The 2022 online landscape is filled with intense competition, a saturated market, and a pool of consumers who demand convenience above all else. Don’t let that discourage you. Plenty of businesses have succeeded against all odds, but you need to have a plan.
Before you start brainstorming designs for your brand and online store, you need to choose an incredible product to sell. When you do, the rest of your business will fall into place.
What Products Can I Sell Online?
Most businesses will sell commoditized or niche products. Commoditized products are high in demand, popular, and include items the general population needs.
Niche products are goods and services that serve specific customers or product categories. You can choose both.
In many instances, creating a niche and useful product will pave your road to success. However, no matter how useful, any niche product is more likely to fail.
That’s why startups will focus on commoditized items and dabble into niche products as they scale.
It’s really important to track your purchases in the startup phase because there are several online business tax deductions that can offset your taxes when you’re at your most vulnerable.
How to Create a Product That Sells
Before promoting your product, you need to create it, but you need to solve a problem before that. To find the best possible product to sell in your niche, complete the following steps.
1. Create a Product That Solves a Problem
When brainstorming ideas for your product, try to reflect on your own life. What do you dislike about a product you’re using? Is it the poor battery life? How expensive is it? For Kyle Kirkpatrick, an Olympic gymnastic coach, it was headphones that wouldn’t stay in place.
Remember that opportunities are more often found by improving on an already made product. Reinventing the wheel is possible, but it’s risky, and you don’t want that level of risk right now.
For your first product, it’s in your best interest to play it safe. If you’re having a hard time coming up with ideas to improve on, conduct market research. That way, you can see exactly what your potential customers find annoying or frustrating about a competitive product in your niche.
2. Consider Branding Potential and Consumer Passion
We still stand by waiting until you find a product to sell before you brand, but you can’t leave the idea out entirely. Most people are passionate about brands that speak to their morals, values, and need to preserve the planet, so try to work your customer’s needs into your message.
By emotionally investing in your product, you can better deliver on your promises. Plus, a deep, personal, and emotional story can really set you apart from your competitors.
3. Trends, Guilty Pleasures, and Niching Down
Trends can be risky unless you stay up-to-date with the most recent “it” products. However, if you have the fortitude to release a product that may miss the mark, then start chasing trends.
Keep in mind that trends take a lot of upfront research and a fast product development cycle to pull off. If you don’t have the capital, you could try capitalizing on a guilty pleasure product. Ice cream, wine, fast food, and coffee are guilty pleasures people will spend a lot of money on.
Finally, you should try niching down. Selling to a niche market can benefit entrepreneurs because it allows them to stand out. Many sub-niches are neglected by mainstream companies, so you may be the first to make them a priority, giving you access to more loyal customers.
4. Start With Free Traffic Sources
Now that you know what kind of product you want to sell, start considering traffic sources. We recommend taking free advertising first, so you can promote your product for less.
If you use the following tips, you’ll be able to attract your first customers:
- Offer free discount codes to entice people to check out your store.
- Add your store URL to all of your social media pages and website.
- Try to make valuable and authentic connections through your ads.
- Speak to personal connections on social media platforms you use.
- Join online communities, forums, LinkedIn, and Facebook Groups.
At this point, you may have already made your first sale. Most online shop owners sell to their co-workers, friends, or local connections first. But if you want to make a sale beyond your social group, you may need to consider paid advertising and content marketing.
5. Jump Into Paid Advertising
To succeed in the advertising space, you’ll either have to track key metrics relating to your customer base or use what you found in your research stage to sell to your buyers. To make your advertisements pop, you may need a graphic artist, copywriters, and photographers.
Remember that your brand represents you, so whether you pay for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Google ads, you need to start on the right foot. If your initial advertising campaign is lackluster, you may be known for that misstep if you go viral.
Besides traditional advertising, online stores can promote their products by:
- Submitting guest posts, asking for product reviews, and pitching a news story.
- Seeking out partnerships with other similar, non-competing retailers.
- Running contests, offering exclusive discounts, or sponsoring events.
- Working with influencers that can sell and speak directly with their audience.
- Participating in guerilla marketing campaigns and pop-up shops.
6. Blogging and Content Creation
To bring constant traffic to your website and social media pages, we recommend creating blogging content. Google and other search engines tend to rank websites higher if they’re frequently updated, and a blog that revolves around your niche can do just that.
You don’t have to post content every single day; as long as you establish some consistency, your audience will keep coming back. You’ll appear more trustworthy by adding videos and pictures to your website, as websites that don’t use visuals typically look suspect to customers.
A great photographer can go a long way in establishing your brand and showing off your product. If you can take photos yourself, hire an editor who can integrate your branding.