E-commerce is booming today with projections showing rapid continued worldwide expansion in sales and revenue. In 2016 e-commerce was predicted to reach over $1.9 trillion in total sales and by the end of 2020, over $4 trillion is expected. In the U.S. alone, ecommerce growth is anticipated to be somewhere between 11.6 and 16.5 percent from 2016 to 2018. When it comes to retail products and services purchased on the internet, ecommerce accounted for more than 8% of the total retail market worldwide in 2016, and by 2018, that share will increase significantly to 10% of total retail sales.
Accompanying revenue growth is the amount of ecommerce retailers who are selling products. There are several that are at the head of the pack. These include the usual suspects: Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, eBay and Apple. But there are dozens more who have large and thriving e-commerce businesses and additionally, there are many more coming online regularly. As a result, online competition for e-commerce is fiercer than ever.
This is why figuring out what to sell online is an impotent aspect to get right. In fact, picking the right products to sell is the most important thing to determine when you are launching an e-commerce business, and this decision will impact every other business decision you make. There are really only two kinds of products to sell and both can sell really well.
Stapes are products that everyone needs all of the time. These include food items, clothes, toys, and toilet paper. These often have big brand names backing them, and price is a major consideration in their purchase. If there are two similar brands from two similar companies selling a similar staple, people can be swayed to the cheaper brand in many cases. If you seek to sell these products it is best to offer many brands and allow them to compete with each other for the business of your customers.
These are often limited in number or even one-of-a-kind products that may be handmade or specialty made. They can range from food items, to jewelry and clothing, to even accessory items.
There is a trend today for sites to offer both style of products because consumers purchase both, so having them both on one site can create more business.
Selling Niche Products
The bigger sites focus mostly on selling a wide range of products and have built their business on this model. These businesses make billions every year, and have it honed to a science. More and more however, consumers are looking for sites where they can find very specific items that can be easily located on the site. Sites like these must excel at providing more in-depth information about its products and become experts on the types of products they sell. Companies like Shopify offer tools to build these types of sites and position entrepreneurs to offer more in-depth analysis and personal knowledge about product niches including art. This is where opportunities are abound and where the niche area can be exploited.
Again, the key is to be the expert and provide service that the big boys struggle with at times. This means personalization and a demonstrated love for the product subject. If you can do this in today’s thriving ecommerce market you can surely carve out a niche for yourself.