How to Select the Right Market for Your Ecommerce Store

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Does this sound like you: You’ve heard all about drop shipping, have concluded that it sounds awesome, but you have absolutely no idea of what market or niche you should get into? Don’t worry, it’s fairly common. Choosing the market is the first step in opening your drop shipping enterprise, and it’s the step that is the hardest to take. This is because the sheer amount of markets that you can get into, which makes your decision making process even more difficult.

When it comes to choosing a market, you’ll most often find two different philosophies.

One camp will say to only care about choosing a profitable market and to disregard anything else.

The other camp will implore you to choose a niche that you’re passionate about and to prioritize that over profitability.

The truth is that you need a balance.

You need to worry about profitability. Profitability is the ultimate metric of success, and if you place it on the back burner, then what’s the point of opening an online store? If someone says, “No, choose a passion first, worry about the rest later,” they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, and you should steer clear of them.

You also need to think about your interest in the market. You have a series of important responsibilities that become much easier to deal with if you have some interest and knowledge in your niche. This is why we recommend that you never go into a market that you are not interested in, as it will be an unnecessary uphill battle to stay invested and motivated.

The sweet spot is finding a market that you have some interest in, along with it having a strong chance of profitability. We want to help you find that market.

Choosing the right market

To start with, it may be a good idea to compile a list of your interests or products that you like. If you find something that you believe can be used as a launch pad for your online store, then great, proceed.

However, many of you will be drawing blanks when it comes to this task. Your interests may not be compatible with online retail, and that’s okay.

What we want to do if that’s the case is to start researching market and product ideas as soon as possible. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to choose something that you are absolutely passionate about, although it would help. Passions do not necessarily equal profits. So if you’re struggling to decide on a market, you may need to start from a different place.

In many situations, it’s a good idea to think about the type of products that will have higher profit margins, and then make the final decision if that’s something that you’re interested in. Profitability is still the main reason why you want to launch a drop-shipping business, after all. Finding profitable market ideas is the crucial first step.

How to look for the right products

Look for products that…

  • Would have higher profit margins. You may be tempted to start with cheaper products, but if you’re barely making any money per sale, you will need a high volume of sales to make a remarkable impact. This will be difficult to do if you’re a new store that is not attracting a high amount of traffic.
  • Have upsell potential. This isn’t necessarily a requirement, but it will tremendously help you become more profitable. A refrigerator, for example, may not have huge upselling opportunities (unless you do your research for other products or accessories people will need for that fridge). You want to sell products that will need additional accessories or add-ons, as that gives you more opportunities to sell more products. Look for products that have that attribute.
  • Are not saturated with super-tough competition. Unless you find an untouched niche, you’ll most likely be dealing with competition. The quality and quantity of your competition should inform your decision making process. If another retailer has a strong foothold on a market, and you are not confident that you can provide enough value to carve your place in that market, don’t waste your time.

Chart the demand for your products

If you find a product that other people are interested in, and is not oversaturated with thirsty competitors, you should strongly consider jumping into that market. If there is a demand for a product, and if you can fulfill it, then you stand a strong chance of being successful in a market.

Use the Google Keyword Planner tool to look at the search volume for your product. Set it up so that the tool yields searches that are low to medium competition. You’ll have the option to select broad, phrase match and exact searches. Select phrase match or exact, as that will give you a much more accurate idea of the search volume for that keyword. You want at least 1,000 searches. And anything over 30,000-40,000 will obviously have high volume but tough competition.

Beyond that, you should do research into the longevity of the product. Will there be repeat customers for the product? Are people passionate about the product? What’s the demographics for your products, and are these people willing to spend money? How much money are they willing to spend? These are all questions that must be answered.

Choosing the market that’s best for you

Don’t get into a market that you’re not fond of– there’s no need for it. Get into something that you have some interest in. You don’t have to love it (but if you do, great), but you should like it to an extent, or at least be indifferent to it. Building a business is hard work, but it shouldn’t be torture. Use the tips outlined in this blog post and find the best niche for you.

 

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Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on: Business.com, Redbooth.com, Kabbage.com, MaterialDesignBlog.com

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