Tips for Working Out What Makes a Product Ideal to Sell Online

Whether you currently run an eCommerce store or plan to launch one in the coming months, a big focus of your time and energy (not to mention finances) is going to be choosing the goods you sell online. This is easier said than done. 

While there are thousands of items to choose from, working out what’s best for your store and where you might attract plenty of sales and earn profits is challenging. Here are some key things to consider to help you find the best inventory possible.

Learn from Customers 

It pays to simply learn from your current customers about what they might be most interested in. For example, ask them via surveys, social media interactions, customer service and sales conversations, polls, and the like. You might pick up some ideas you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Plus, consider utilizing comprehensive website heatmap software to watch shoppers browse and buy on your store. With a heatmap, you can see exactly which pages they look at on your site and which areas of each page they examine as they move about the website. 

You’ll pick up how they move from product listing to product listing and what search terms they enter, plus where they are when they seem to get frustrated or bored and click away. This kind of research will help you understand your target market much better and learn what they do and don’t look for as a result. 

Bring Benefits or Solve Problems

As you investigate potential new product ideas, keep front of mind the fact that every item you stock should either solve a customer pain point or bring shoppers some benefit. People want goods that will help them in some way. 

For instance, this could be via finding a gift for a hard-to-buy-for loved one, an item that makes them look or feel better, entertainment value, or time-savings in the kitchen. 

A Point of Difference

Another part of choosing the best products for your online store is finding items with a point of difference. With so many e-tailers selling to customers globally these days, there’s a tremendous amount of competition for consumer dollars. To get attention and stand out for all the right reasons, you must present fresh, new, unique, and exciting goods. Try to find things that aren’t sold anywhere else or at least at minimal other outlets. 

Not only does having these kinds of stock items make shoppers more likely to complete transactions, but also to come back to your store again and again. When consumers know places where they can always find something interesting and special, they won’t forget it and will make repeat purchases over time. Having a unique range of products makes it more likely that your customers will tell their contacts about your store, too. 

Easy and Secure to Transport

To keep your shipping costs down and minimize the number of returns and replacements or refunds you have to handle, you also need to find products to sell that are easy and secure to transport. You want goods that don’t cost you so much in shipping that the fees excessively bite into your profit margins. You also want to send out products that aren’t so fragile that they break in transit or arrive looking worse for wear. Such a situation would get costly for you and damage your relationships with clients. 

It also helps to find non-perishable inventory items wherever possible, so there’s less stress about selling things before they reach their use-by date. Plus, be on the lookout for products that are easy to store because they perhaps stack well, don’t take up much space, or don’t require expensive storage conditions, such as heating or refrigeration or specific lighting. It helps, too, if goods are easy to pack and don’t need a heap of bubble wrap or other support in transit, which costs time and money to provide. 

Well Priced

These days, you can sell products at just about any price online, from 50 cent supplies to items people have to pay thousands of dollars for. However, there is still what’s considered a sweet spot for online stores, with products retailing for between USD $10 and $40 (excluding shipping) typically sell in more significant numbers.

Choose inventory pieces in this range, and you should notice that people make more impulse buys because there are plenty of low-cost items for them to choose from. Also, you should see less cart abandonment, hopefully, as consumers are less likely to shop around based on price when the items in question aren’t too costly anyway.

These are some of the top factors to address when searching for additional stock items. However, consider as many elements as possible and try to test new lines with pre-orders or smaller orders from suppliers so you don’t get stuck with unwanted inventory if you get selections wrong. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.