There is no doubt that setting up a shop on the internet can generate some sort of revenue almost immediately, but only if you pick the right niche for your online store. Very often, finding just the right market to pursue is the hardest part of starting your store.
The first question that you need to ask yourself is what are your goals and why did you choose to open an online store? Was it because you don’t have to meet with any clients during the day? Was it so that you can work at your own pace, adding products at your leisure? Was it so that you can sell your products directly on the web with very little customer intervention?
Perhaps you think these questions have little relevance to opening your online store and you just want to get going and sell a "hot" product and make money quickly. If only it was that easy we’d all be millionaires.
Many people make the fundamental mistake of opening a store without doing any proper research first. For example if a particular product is "hot" the chances are there will be lots of competition and unless you are prepared to put in lots of work you will not be able to gain any advantage over your competitors, especially if they already have a high listing on the search engines. It is always difficult to succeed in a popular niche that is already saturated with would-be entrepreneurs, all trying to make a fast buck.
It is always best to select a niche where you have at least some expertise in the products you are going to sell but even more important is a genuine enthusiasm for the product line. For if you don’t believe in it how can you expect your customers to buy it? In addition knowing and understanding the products you intend to sell will allow you to easily distinguish good and bad products when deciding what to carry in your online store.
Selling products that you personally love or enjoy will provide you with the necessary confidence and determination to persevere. Entering product descriptions onto your site on a regular basis will drive you slowly insane if you are not in the least bit passionate about the products.
Remember the ability to write in depth reviews and product descriptions about items you love will instill confidence in your customers. Even if you employed a professional copywriter to do the job for you, you must still be able to impart your belief in the products to paint a vivid picture of what you want to say.
If you are working to a strict budget always select products that can easily be sold online with standard shopping cart software, preferably open source software that you can add high quality Modules and Addons to in the future, as you extend both your range of products and your ambitions.
Do try to choose a niche that still has room to grow. In other words look around you for new products and innovative ideas where you can be in on the ground floor. Avoid markets that have been around for a long time and are already flooded with online sellers.
Make sure that even though you may be extremely passionate about a particular product or set of products you can make money from it. For example, if your passion happens to be tartan brooches you are going to have very few buyers in such a limited market – but then you probably won’t have much competition either! Ideally, what you want is to find a large target market of which you can choose a small but popular niche without too much competition.
There must be some evidence of competition otherwise it all points to a non-existent market. A good way to test a niche’s for future income is to insert the keyword or keyword phrase for your potential niche into the Google search bar and see what comes up. If there aren’t many results showing and not many Google Adwords displayed either it probably means that there isn’t much of a market.
The ideal is always to choose a product that has high margins for although you should follow where your passion takes you it is always advisable to sell a product that has high margins, or a greater perceived value.
Another alternative is to pick a product that is needed but generally hard to find. They do say that those who identify a problem and then offer an easy solution are future millionaires. Sit down with friends and family and hold a "brainstorming" session (perhaps over e few drinks or a nice meal) where everyone identifies something they but can’t easily find in any store.
If you come up with any likely items that aren’t normally available in your home town make a note of it and look up local manufacturers of that product. Talk to them directly and find out what the pricing of their product is in bulk and inquire if they will ship to you or even arrange a drop ship scheme.
Set out to choose a niche where you already have connections so that if you have friends or even relatives that run a successful venture you can use them as a resource. People with an existing business will have a good idea of what will and will not make money in their particular area of commerce. Furthermore, they may have ideas that they’ve considered in the past but never had the time to pursue but are willing to pitch in and help you with your venture.
In general, whatever sells in a printed catalogue will also sell on the Internet. So have a look through the multitude of catalogues that come through the door every week and see if anything looks promising to sell online.
The size of the niche you choose is often more important than the type of products you sell. For while in the physical world, niches are based on geography this is not so on the internet. Niches on the internet are based on what you sell, not where you are situated. Think of the cowboy in Wyoming, snowed in for the winter but needing some new boots. He can’t just nip into town so naturally he turns to that modern Godsend –online shopping.
However, do remember that whatever you decide to sell and no matter how small the niche you have to be the first place that people of think to buy it; this is because your customers can just as easily visit any other similar online store. So once you have settled on your niche go forth and promote it like mad! For this you can use word of mouth, online advertising, including a Google Adword campaign, or better still a dedicated and effective SEO strategy.
This article was written by Web Copy Expert