They say that 80% of online businesses fail within 2 years. Inexperience and lack of knowledge, among other reasons, are common explanations for why an online business doesn’t take off. However, there are also cases in which businesses start off in the same situation, or even worse, and are still able to establish themselves well. Why is that? Again, there are a lot of reasons why, but among them we can find the one that we’ll deal with today: choosing the product. Just by finding the right niche, you’ll help your business take off even when you may lack technical expertise or experience. And if you add effort and good tools on top of that, you’ve got it made.
If you are going to create an online shop , there is something you must have very clear: there must be demand for your products . It doesn’t make much sense to spend money setting up a store with products that nobody is going to buy. It may sound obvious, but when you take a deeper look around the web, you will find cases where it’s not so clear why they decided to start selling certain products. In addition, to sell online, you must take one other important detail into account: online sales is completely different than traditional sales.
Just because a certain product or industry has a lot of demand in physical stores does not mean that it will have the same demand online (and vice versa).
Interestingly, fashion is the top selling industry in almost all of the world.
Yes, despite the industry being tricky and having products that come in sizes that may vary from store to store, fashion remains the queen of sales. The increase in demand in the fashion industry in the online world owes itself mainly to the improvement in returns policies. Previously, it was difficult for somebody to risk buying a shirt, pants, or a jacket without knowing for sure if it was going to fit well. Nowadays returns are free in almost all shops and you can try something on at home, without lines and knowing that you can return it at any time.Indeed, there are lots of sales, but… is it worth getting into this niche?
Don’t get carried away with your first impulse. Whenever you have an idea, try to separate yourself from the emotions it makes you feel and analyse it objectively. Ask yourself, who am I going to sell to? How am I going to reach those clients?
- Too general: the term “fashion”, when said like that, is too general. This means that there are a lot of different types of fashion that fall under that umbrella term. If you try to cover them all, you will surely fail.
- Swamped market: if the most-sold products are fashion products, don’t expect to reach the open blue sea (a market with no competitors), but rather a red one full of fishermen.
- Technical difficulties: do you know anything about textile design, materials, and suppliers or your only relationship with fashion your monthly reading of Vogue magazine? Even if it is a well-sold product, you are going to need a lot of knowledge…
- Risk of returned products: users are used to being able to return products without giving reasons why. Big retail businesses do it that way and it’s a challenge for an e-commerce that’s just starting up.
- People buy a lot: clothes and fashion in general are the products that sell the most because people are not afraid of buying them online anymore. There are some other sectors where we don’t feel as comfortable, but not here.
- Technology makes it very easy: thanks to video and photo tools, you will be able to show clients products as if they were seeing them in person.
- It is a fast-moving sector: new products are released every day, as well as new trends to be exploited—and that is great for a content marketing strategy.
Here you have some tips before we get into the next point:
- Specialise yourself as much as you can: don’t just start a shop about clothes—find a style, a specific garment, or even a specific model from just one brand, and aim to be the best.
- Start by using dropshipping or affiliation: if you don’t want to invest in stock, try out one of the options that allow you have a shop without investing in material.
#Sam Smith | Ecommerce Consultant at Doofinder