The internet is truly an amazing technology. Thanks to all of our advancements, we can buy something and literally within 24 hours, that thing can be shipped to us. Want a new calendar? Done. Looking to buy your groceries online? No problem. Want a new car? Shipped and delivered. Almost anything can be, and is, sold online these days and that’s exactly why it might be time for you to join the online market.
Before you start immediately looking into buying a domain name and setting yourself up, you need to figure out if there even is a market you can tap. If you’re just starting up and you got a unique product, chances are good that you can sell it online. However, if your product isn’t distinctly different from your competitors then you’re going to have a tough time at it.
There are many questions that determine if your product is worth the effort of making it available online. Can it be shipped and delivered without adding cost? Is your product something that should be available to a broader base than you’re currently tapping? Will the added cost of building your website be offset by new customers?
The fact is that the internet is already oversaturated, with many new companies joining the market every year. I could search to buy a horse today, right now, on a variety of different sites and by this time next week I’d have a horse. Yes, a horse. A live animal in my backyard chomping on grass for less than a used car. Actually, thinking about it that doesn’t sound like a bad idea… anyway, it just goes to show that even if you build a site for your product, unless it’s completely new and original, chances are you’ll barely make a drop in the bucket compared to already-established competitors. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, though! After all, a drop in a bucket might not seem like much, but many small drops leads to your own full bucket.
Every product is different and as such, how you sell each product is different. Most consumers like to inspect a car before they buy it, yet people are still able to, and do, buy cars online often. Why? Because often times, those sites pair their own service with one to look for accidents. They’ll include pictures of each car, a detailed history, and other relevant information so that, while the buyer cannot physically inspect the car, they will feel satisfied by having the information.
The same is true of many other products. Fast food and restaurant joints will display pictures of their food, often times accompanied by nutritional information. Clothing retailers will give sizing information, front, back, and side pictures, material type, and much more to help customers buy. Your biggest priority after you’ve decided to sell online is to figure out what customers will want to know about your product. You have to convince people to come and buy a product they can’t touch, they can’t inspect, and they can’t test.
An easy way to do this is to pretend you’re the one buying the product. What information would you want to see? What would convince you that your site is trustworthy and your product is good? Figure that out and design your website around it.
Another good tip is to be inspired by your competition. This does NOT mean to copy them. If they’re already established then chances are you won’t be getting any new sales anyway. People tend to be pretty loyal to their brands and if you don’t offer something new, different, or exciting then why would they switch? Look at your competition, find ways to improve, and be willing to adapt a bit.