Starting an online store: which product should you sell? 8 tips!
You consider starting an online store because of the many advantages, such as flexible working hours, independence and low start-up costs. But which product is best to sell? There is no clear answer to this, but there are useful guidelines to make a good decision. Read on for 8 useful tips.
1. Selfmade product
Are you creative? Then it may be a good idea to sell selfmade products.
- You have a unique product (!)
- You can design and produce new items yourself (or let them be produced)
- You can control everything yourself and depend on (almost) nobody
- You can maintain and control the quality yourself
- You have the potential for a unique position in the market
- Designing and developing products yourself takes a lot of time
- If you have a lot of demand, you have to be able to meet this
- Most webshops only shop nicely from 100 products. You can start with less, but it will be more difficult to attract repeat customers. After all, they also want to discover new things
2. Purchasing products through a supplier
Another option is to purchase products from a supplier.
- You will save a lot of time because you don't have to design, produce, describe (etc.) the products yourself
- You can easily replenish your stock. It's a matter of ordering, and you're done!
- You will need starting capital to build your first supply
- You have to look for a reliable supplier where it is affordable to buy
- You will have the risk that other webshops sell the same products
- Sometimes you can only buy the products in large numbers
- You have no control cover the product itself
- You run the risk of a production stop
- Larger shops can offer the products for a lower price because they can get more purchasing discounts because of their larger sales.
3. Import products
Nowadays, you can easily import products from abroad, for example from China.
- You can often buy products abroad much more affordable
- You often have no personal contact with the supplier
- You have to wait and see whether you actually get the products and whether they are of good quality
- Long delivery times, high freight costs and possibly import duties
Tip: place a small trial order to see if everything goes according to plan. Check the website of the Tax Authorities from your country for more information about the handling of VAT and import duties when importing from abroad.
4. A combination of selfmade and purchased products
It is also possible to combine your own products with purchased products so you'll have a wider range of products. However, if you are serious about building your own brand, we recommend that you go for 100% own products.
You can start an online store without your own stock. This is called dropshipping. Your shop then contains a technical link with a supplier (the dropshipper) and is in fact no more than a conduit. You offer (a part of) the product range of the supplier in your shop. Every order is sent directly to the supplier and he takes care of the shipment.
- You don't have to invest in the first stock (low risk)
- You can offer a wide product range quickly and without any problems
- It takes less time, because you don't have to pack orders yourself
- You can run your shop from wherever you want. You don't need to pack and send packages, so you can even monitor a successful shop from Bali!
- Often you cannot supplement your product range with products from another supplier
- You often have high costs
- your profit margin is limited
- Other shops often offer the exact same range of products
6. buy products through a purchasing fair or purchasing center
At purchasing centers or fairs, you will find the latest trends and newest collections from over a hundred brands under one roof. A lot of purchasing fairs have their own theme and point of view. These 3 purchasing centers are most known in the Netherlands.
- ShowUP – Home & Gift
ShowUp is a purchasing fair for the branches living, kids and gift items. The fair focuses on buyers of interior stores, concept stores and online stores.
- Trade Mart - Retailbeurs Utrecht
At Trade Mart you will discover the latest trends and you can immediately buy the latest collections from many brands. On the different floors Jewels & Watches, Fashion World, Kitchen & Dining and Kids Universe you will find the latest retail developments of no less than 300 suppliers and 2.000 brands.
- TICA - b2b cash & carry
200 Importers and manufacturers offer a complete range of Home, Gift, Garden, Decoration and Fashion products under one roof and 7 days a week.
7. Niche or not?
Now that we have looked at how you can get products, it is important to look at what kind of products you want to sell: a niche or a wide range.
Especially when you buy products, it can be a wise desicion to choose a niche: an online store with a very clear theme. This way you distinguish yourself from the big players who often have a huge and wide range of products.
- Often, you are not bothered by competition
- Reach your target audience easily; after all, you are one of the few to offer the desired product (range)
- You don't need much marketing budget
- You have the potential for good findability within search engines
- You can ask a higher price for your products
- The demand for a specialized supply is often smaller
8. Add value
Last but not least: add value. There are a lot of online stores nowadays, so why would someone buy from you? See if you can sell value-added products that solve a problem. For example, did you encounter that there were no trendy, ecological clothes available after the birth of your child? see if you can sell cool ecological kids clothes yourself.
Conclusion: whether you are going to sell selfmade or purchased products, choose a niche or a wide range, own a stock or use a dropshipper: the most important thing is that you are enthusiastic about the products you are going to sell. Almost every day you are writing product texts, answering questions about your products or coming up with social media posts. Therefore choose a product that you like yourself as well.
We hope that these tips will help you choose a suitable product. Subscribe to our newsletter below and don't miss any articles for your online store.