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What Should I Sell? How to Decide What Products to Offer in Your E-Commerce Store

Posted by Danielle on

You've got the e-commerce bug. You know you want to open an online store, but you're not sure what to sell. There are millions of products being sold online, so the choices are nearly unlimited. But what are the right products for you?

Here are four tips for helping you decide what to sell in your e-commerce store.

Look to Your Passions

If you're going to sell products online, it's really helpful if you are an expert on those products. So a good place to start is your personal interests. For example, maybe you're a wine enthusiast. You've probably tried many different types of bottle openers, decanters and pouring tools. You can put that knowledge to use by selling wine accessories. Or maybe you like knitting in your free time. You could open a store selling knitting accessories like needles, yarn and patterns. Do you fish, golf, surf or regularly participate in another sport or outdoor activity? You already know the products and you understand what customers will be looking for because you are one.

Think about what you enjoy doing and then find products to sell related to that hobby or interest.

Solve Your Own (and Others') Problems

Whatever your lifestyle, you've probably found yourself searching for products to make some aspect of your life easier. Maybe you're a new mother, overwhelmed by the number of baby bottles on the market. You've likely spent a lot of time talking to other mothers, searching online and trying different bottles for your own baby. Why not create a store that solves your problem of finding the right baby bottle? Since all new mothers probably have a similar experience, there's a built-in audience for an e-commerce store selling the best baby bottles with your expert reviews. Maybe you're the parent of a college student. You've probably sent care packages and other products to your teen. You could open an online store selling care packages or essential products for the new college student.

Think about what problems you've experienced in your life and build an e-commerce website full of products that will solve them.

Mine Your Contacts

If your interests or problems aren't giving you ideas for your e-commerce store, reach out to friends and family to see if they can provide the spark you need. Maybe you have a friend who works in construction. With their recommendations, you could open an online store selling the best tools for DIYers. Maybe a relative volunteers for Meals on Wheels. They probably have a good idea of what products would make life easier for the elderly - turn that into an e-commerce website.

Utilize the expertise of friends or family to find products to sell in your new online store.

Analyze Your Options and Make a Final Decision

Once you've come up with a few ideas, then analyze the viability of each one to make your final choice. You'll want to consider how easy it will be to source the products for your store, the average profit you can expect to make on those products, how big a market exists for the products and whether you can target the audience for your products easily through online marketing. Once you've considered the various angles of your potential ideas, you'll be able to determine which type of products is best for your e-commerce store.