ECommerce is tough. It involves a lot of details, forethought, guts, and work. And if you are just beginning, the odds are stacked against you. Let’s try to bring the odds back in your favor. I am going to point you in one direction. It’s what I wish someone would have told me when I was starting. You need to learn that it’s all about the market.
This is an absolutely critical piece of the ecommerce puzzle. You probably got into ecommerce because you love what you’re going to sell. But it’s going to take a lot more than love to sell those products. You need to look at the basic economic factors of supply and demand. It’s great if you can open an ecommerce store that is based on something you love, has great demand, and little supply. That is when the stars align. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case. Do yourself a favor. Do some market research before you spend time and money building your store. There are a lot of resources out there to help you on your way. Let me just get you started:
1. Google (http://www.google.com) – If you type your product keyword in Google, how many websites are returned? This is the “Results 1-10 of about…” message that you will see at the top right. Check out who is selling products. See how many stores are online. This will help you to start understanding who your competition is. This is the supply for the demand. You are part of the supply, but only a part.
2. Overture Search Inventory (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/) – This will show you Yahoo searches of your product keyword. This helps you to understand a little about the demand of your product. And again, it is only a start.
3. Nichebot (http://www.nichebot.com/) – This simply marvelous tool can give you overview stats on all kinds of things. This is another great way to see supply and demand. It can also help you find other crucial keywords in your online endeavor.
I hope I didn’t burst your bubble too hard. People are usually excited that they can get their product out to the world. But they fail to realize that the rest of the world is vying for those customers too. That’s the cruel reality. But, if you do the upfront work, you stand a much greater chance than 90% of the online stores out there. There are more things to think about, but that will get you started in the right direction.
I hope you succeed!