Selecting products or services to sell online
The most important thing, before even diving into online business, is to identify the product or service that you want to market. This is what forms your business. If you are already marketing it locally, then you can take the same product online. If you are starting out, then today is your day of identifying your niche.
In online business, we call this ‘Niche’ A niche is a small market within a big market. For example, a lady selling handbags is in a niche where the bigger market is Women Fashion in even a far much bigger Fashion industry. Online businesses are based on niches. We try to make you dominate in a niche in a certain locality. For instance, handbags in Nairobi.
When selecting a product or service to market online, there are various aspects you will have to consider:
- You must have a passion for the product or service. Always sell a product that you love and consume. DO NOT sell what you do not like, even if if it seem to be profitable. This is the master rule. For instance, if you love baking, selling cakes will be great!
- Identify a product or service that is easy to produce. This saves you on spending too much resources on producing it. You do not need to produce the product yourself, you can be an intermediary. For instance, if you love shoes, you could organize with a boutique and they be giving you at wholesale price.
- Get a product or service that is quality. If you really love the product, then it must be quality. Ensure that whatever you are providing is quality and great! If its expensive, you can mark it up higher, but ensure that it is of high quality. Most customers don’t mind paying higher for that quality. Especially once they consume it.
- Mark up your product or service accordingly. Large markups will inflate the product price. The essence of online marketing is to be able to provide the product for even lower prices due to low overheads. Ensure that your prices are competitive enough.
- You must select a product or service that is easy and cheaper to deliver, according to your capability. For instance, do not choose to sell fridges if you do not have a car for delivery.
- The product or service should be needed in your location. Do not try to introduce a new product, especially if you are just starting. Go into markets that are highly competitive and pick a small group of people (the niche). The idea behind online business is to dominate a niche.
- Start off with one product or service or niche before introducing another. While introducing another product, select one that is related to what you are offering. One that you could also offer to the current niche. This helps you in learning and also concentration. For instance, if you are selling computers, you can easily introduce computer maintenance service and start by marketing it to those you sell the computers.
- Make your delivery prompt and professional. The reason your customers will love you is not mainly because of your product but your delivery. Note that you are in a competitive market, where the product are almost the same. So the only thing that is different is how you delivery your service or product.
- Keeping in touch with your customers.You have bought many products and services from various shops in your locality. Have you every got a call from the shop keeper asking you how you are? That’s the difference you want to make. Select a niche that you could easily communicate with on at least a weekly basis. This is how you also get repeated business from them. Emailing is one of the most effective and affordable means of communication.
- Long term product.Choose a product or service that you could sell for a longer time. Since you are going to invest into it, it should stay in the market longer enough to return your investment and enable you make money.