When you run an ecommerce store, it’s important to keep things from getting stale. For this reason, many e-sellers choose to update their website design, push out new forms of content, or host social media contests. All these strategies are good ideas and can be beneficial for e-stores. However, ecommerce sellers should also consider expanding their product lines to keep operations fresh.
Admittedly, coming up with new products to sell isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be tough to come up with products you can sell off the top of your head. How will you even know if your new merchandise is viable or not?
Below, we’ll share a few ecommerce tips centered around coming up with new products to sell. This should spark some ideas to help you thrive in the exciting world of ecommerce.
Examine Your Competitors
What is ecommerce? For those who don’t know (or at least need a refresher), ecommerce is the sale of real, physical goods in exchange for digital dollars facilitated by an online retail website. It should be no surprise to you that there are numerous ecommerce retailers in existence today. According to one estimate, there are between 12– and 24 million ecommerce websites currently in operation.
While this number might be scary at first (i.e. market saturation), it might actually be beneficial for our efforts. Why? Because there are thousands, if not millions of competitors you can emulate.
If you see your closest competitors in the consumer tech space moving away from smartphones and towards drones and action cameras, maybe you should take notice. They might know something you don’t. Or, at the very least, customers may come to expect your store will offer drones and action cameras too.
Examine your competition to see what is working and what isn’t.
Explore Market Research
As with any highly competitive industry, there’s a wealth of research available for the market. Why? Investors and entrepreneurs hate losing money. They’d rather earn money instead. Thus, these folks rely on data and market research to inform their decisions.
If you are a newbie in the ecommerce space, it’s likely you launched your online retail store based on something you love or know; and that’s totally fine. But if you are looking to expand your product offerings, market research can be very helpful. You can certainly conduct your own market research or work with an agency. However, it is much cheaper to keep a pulse on the news and explore existing research packages online.
Embrace New Technologies
Earlier in this article, we provided an example based upon conceivable changes in consumer technology. If you are attempting to come up with new products to sell, it’s wise to pay attention to new technologies. For instance, if you sell smart TVs or e-readers, there are likely to be new models on the market. Sure, they might cost you a bit more. But if you are trying to capture early adopters in tech, the latest technologies are a must-have for your ecommerce website.
Consider Collectibles & Retro Goodies
Conversely, it may benefit your e-store to sell classic merchandise and retro goodies. Sports bobbleheads and comic books are perfect examples. These are hot collectables in certain communities and their value is increased by their scarcity. If you can corner a product line that people just can’t find elsewhere, you’ll have a dedicated and loyal customer base banging at your proverbial door.
Just Ask Your Customer Base
One last suggestion is to simply ask your customer base what they want to see on your website. For instance, if you sell expensive marble sculptures online, some consumers might request similar (but cheaper) bronze or copper sculptures. However, you wouldn’t know that your audience wants copper statues unless you asked them.
Try pumping your customer base for product ideas via email marketing, online reviews, social media conversations, and the like. You never know what you might learn.
Expand Your Offerings Strategically
As you can see, coming up with new products to sell isn’t as easy as pulling a word or theme out of a hat. Instead, it’s better to expand your offerings strategically. Inform your decisions by leveraging market research, examining your competitors and embracing the best new and old products for your audience.