It comes as no surprise that consumers have turned to online shopping, be it groceries or clothing, autos or furniture, everything is available on the internet. We are projected to spend $327 billion dollars online in 2016. And, starting an e-commerce business is not child’s play, very competitive, yet doable for the average new entrepreneur. A little knowledge goes a long, while in-depth research and a good strategy will get you on the road to success. The retail industry is wide open, products are plentiful. However, choosing a product and direction are the first steps, both determine future success.
Where to begin your research
Trend publications offer statistics and tools necessary to gain a foothold in your product category. These publications spend millions of dollars researching trends so you don’t have too. According to CMO.com, “Online shopping retail sales are predicted to grow steadily to $370 billion in 2017, up from $231 billion in 2012.” Understanding consumer shopping patterns and product trends are essential to a successful e-commerce business.
Some trend publications might be fee-based research, not a bad idea. However, diligence will land you great research sans fees.
Once you have an idea about consumer buying patterns, then it’s time to select products supporting the objective to sell, sell, sell. Research products specific to your value proposition remaining focused each step of the way. This might sound daunting at first, however, discovering new products is one of the most exciting aspects of the process. Remember, everything you need to build your business is available on the web and Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs) like Amazon, Shopzilla, Ebay, and Google shopping provide easy access to products and ideas. You’ll grasp some initial insight by reviewing “Best Sellers” or the “Most Popular” sections of the CSEs.
When talks come to the product marketing, social influencer networks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are among popular platforms driving traffic to your business. Product review blogs are the ideal place for feedback and exposure. In general, you’ll find others posting about the latest and upcoming products in the market providing information about trendy new and upcoming products. Using tools like BuzzSumo and Netbase to locate product influencers is a must.
After research, deciding on a product you like is the real first step to launching a store (make sure it is trendy). Track the top social networking sites and discussion forums to gauge trends and product popularity. After your research, strategy, and product satisfy your needs, go for it!
After knowing about the behavior of the consumers and products, you might still be thinking on product ideation. And without a product idea you just can’t get an e-commerce website online. You would find ample number of website over the internet related to this genre. But, instead of doing the hard work by surfing through all these websites, just be a bit smart and stick to the three basic themes– Product Review Blogs, Product Curation Marketplaces and Social Image Networks.