While some new merchants know exactly what to stock their online store with, we often find beginning entrepreneurs wondering what to sell.
Generally speaking, there are two ways to decide what to sell in your online store: sell products that you are passionate about or are an expert in, or sell trending products that customers are actively searching for in high volumes. Ideally, whatever you end up selling will be a combination of the two.
Wherever you start, there are several different product types that can inspire you and help you specify the perfect product for your online store. Let's go over these options now.
Products you are passionate about
Writers are advised to "write about what they know." The same advice applies to creating an online store. If you love hiking, chances are you already have a lot of knowledge about the types of products hikers need and love. This is valuable information that you can translate into a business.
Consider your own passions, hobbies, or areas of interest and look for opportunities in the market. If you're a skincare guru, are there any underrated ingredients that you think should be in a moisturizer, but haven't been able to find? If you love carpentry, are there any specific tool sets that you think your fellow woodworkers would find really useful?
The point where your interests and market demand collide is often an incredible place to start a business.
Many ecommerce companies exist solely to sell what's hot right now. And there is nothing wrong with that! The market demand has already been proven, and if you can add a unique flair to the version you are selling, you are very likely to be successful.
If this sounds like a niche you want to explore, there are a few tools you can use to find out what kinds of products are trending.
- Google Trends : Use this tool to see which general search terms are popular right now or to find what people are mostly searching for right now within a niche.
- Trend Hunter - Using a combination of artificial intelligence, data, and human input, this service covers what's hot right now in almost every industry.
- Forums and Social Groups: If you are looking for a particular niche, searching for online communities that share the same interest will give you an idea of what the current talking point is. We recommend joining some of these communities on platforms like Facebook and Reddit, as well as following relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.
Remember, staying on top of popular trends requires regular checks as the market is constantly changing. Also, if you decide to enter a saturated market, you are likely to face stiff competition, so you will want to find out what makes your offering different.
Ask yourself: What is the ideal result of having an online store?
If your goal is simply to make as much money as possible, research popular products that have a high markup and see if any of them interest you.
If you're more interested in creating a unique brand that stands the test of time, remember: the riches are in the niches. Choose products that serve a particular niche, such as gardening for millennials or vegan hair care products for men, and create a complete e-commerce experience that specifically serves those types of customers.
Do you want to create an online community? Research products that are popular with the groups of people you want to attract. If you want to build a community of environmental activists, consider products that are made from reused materials.