What To Sell? | The Tricky Question Answered
Businesses often find it difficult to make their offering stand out or rather, what to offer in the first place. This leaves them questioning their environment and sometimes their business skills and expertise. Start-ups go through a lot to stand beside some of the giant players of the industry and for that there is always a story of unending determination and hard work.
The first and foremost question that arises in the mind of new entrepreneurs is regarding their product or service offering, and it has to be. Deciding on what the company has to sell defines the ultimate business strategies and gives them a direction for other business operations as well. A good product or service offering that is promising and profitable is what should be sought. Any strategy that supports the sale of a product such as online marketing, customer relationship management, advertising campaigns and aesthetically appealing web design go down the drain if the product is not up to the mark or is too lousy to ever be trusted for fulfilling the needs of the customers. Retail success comes after the knowledge of what to sell and what not to sell and how to effectively carry out the entire task.
The Products That Actually Sell Are:
There is always ambiguity in the minds of new and inexperienced entrepreneurs about what kind of products would actually sell and earn healthy margins of profits. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of what actually sells:
1) Products that Have High Chances of Bringing in Profits
Investing in products that have high probabilities of being on the shelf for short and in the possession of the customer for long are the ones a company should think of putting on offer. An analysis prior to sales about how much (percentage) of the revenue would go in the pocket as a profit after subtracting all the expenses from the sale price so that it could be calculated how much margin has to be kept . This, however, has to be known by selling the products in the first place - a test is necessary to know the results anyhow. The information about profit margins does not come in right away, for this requires some risk that is, to sell the products first.
2) Superior Quality Products
Low cost is often perceived as inferior quality and this is what usually slashes out the chances of the product’s success. If the product quality does not match the industry standards then a high volume of sales is needed to reach the optimum profit. Also, one of the major advantages of selling a high quality product is to target the higher socio economic groups of the market. This strategy is particularly useful to upgrade the target market overall and it works since high quality products may be expensive but would attract the higher income groups in the long run.
3) Products that Target Niches
Products that target niche markets have higher chances of being sold and earn good amount of profits for the company than their regular counterparts. A niche product would cater to a specific set of needs and customers but has high chances of being a winner when it comes to the needs of that target market. Products such as shampoos for psoriasis and gluten free biscuits are examples of niche products. Less competition is prevalent in such a market since there are very few players that target those needs and that leaves a lot of room for a company to earn profits.
Because niche products do not need heavy advertising, they are able to grow at a rapid pace and grab a considerable chunk of the niche market without having to invest a lot in marketing.
4) Products that fulfill the Market’s Requirements
Market requirements could be studied to understand the growing needs of consumers and the needs that are created with time or those that could be created by effective marketing strategies. These market trends could be traced with the help of online forums and discussion sections of different brands and ideas that ask for customer feedback. Studying the upcoming market trends could help develop not only new strategies but also assist the development of new products and their positioning so they could generate profits that the company needs and aims for.
5) Upselling Products
Selling regular goods to the customers may bring in acceptable amount of revenue but not skyrocketing profits that are needed for business growth. Why wouldn’t it be a brilliant idea to offer your existing customers some augmentation with the basic product offering? At initial level this may sound like a costly idea to provide upselling to the customers but the comeback is totally worth it when there is a repeat purchase by the customers that is satisfied or better, delighted by the experience they had with your product offering along with the upselling options. Customer experience plays a key role in making this strategy a successful one that drives higher profit margins for the company if the customers are satisfied with the upselling and consider it an advantage in the price of the basic product. Common examples include selling related products such as cell phone cases with a cell phone brand, cutlery organizer with cutlery sets etc.
6) Scarce Products
Also the scarcity of a product may be a very good chance to pitch in and offer the product by working in liaison with efficient suppliers to offer the products that serve the needs of a serious segment of the market. The basic laws of economics kick in here as scarce products have higher demand so a company has a lot of chances of growth in there. Effective strategies that result in procurement of essential production material or the semi-finished product which the company would sell could definitely generate high profits for the fact that they are scarce in the open market on a regular basis. This also gives competitive players tough time for as long as they’re unable to reach out for scarce products but there has to be ethical considerations that need to be kept in mind- selling scarce products is one thing and exploiting them is another especially if they’re necessities. Also, antique items or those out of fashion for long are also part of the scarce products category and could be retrieved for the market that demands it in order to earn from it.
A few tips for the novice
Sell What You Enjoy Using
As eccentric as it may sound, the products that you as an entrepreneur enjoy using have high chances of being successful with the customers as well. The logic behind this idea being a success is that, firstly you are passionate about what you love. This enthusiasm and frenzy instil the right amount of flare in your selling techniques and strategies which push forward the product offering and usually land it atop great products in competition. It is witnessed that salespeople that are fond of the brands they’re selling or persuading customers to purchase, make great number of sales as compared to those who do not like the product or don’t have much fondness for it.
Another reason why it is essential to go for the products you love is that it might actually be a dream or hobby and for that you already have loads of information about the features, competition, industry leaders (if it’s not a novel one) and any room for improvisation. Add that to the passion you already have for the product and there’s a high probability that this product would be eye candy for customers as well.
Sell Products That Are ‘In’
The trending products are a great source of knowing what the market demands are and what are they likely to turn into. A trending product would be generating a lot of interest among the consumers and that could be evident in their search and queries about related products that they might inquire about. A product other than that of your company if trending could indicate the areas of improvements and room for novel ideas to be introduced to make it a success in the market. The unique attributes might actually be an indication of the fact that the product could well serve the niche market, if any, or serve the demands of the mass market that are rarely met because of the scarcity of resources or development.
Sales websites and blogs contain a section of trending topics that could be somehow a clear indication of what’s going on in the market and what could be done to serve that section of the market. Also the search results can show to a great extent the exact type of product they’re longing for and thus the company can incorporate those ideas into its products. Fads and Crazes could also be traced for the purpose of studying market trends that are not catered to or paid very less head towards. But the drawback of this strategy is that the information on latest trends would be available to everyone on large and other companies would be looking out for the same which gives a very short time period to your company to take action on the acquired information.
Make use of Expert Knowledge
Expert knowledge is never overlooked be it in any area of interest- Business is of course one of them. The expertise gained over time by you would definitely come in handy for future endeavours when it comes to identification of the needs of the market based on the time and trends. However, this information has to be adequately utilized in order to benefit from it in such a way that creates a room for the products to not only sell but be a hit as well in the overly competitive market. Identification could also be done by searching for the memories where you had a need and had to search extensively for the product/ service (or was it only available for niches and known majorly by them only?). The information and knowledge gathered over time could be of great help when you’re conducting market research for your product viability and predicting the chances of its success. Additional and professional knowledge on the related field helps you identify the difference between the actual needs of the market from those that seem to be but aren’t that reliable to be focused on. Also, possessing knowledge of customer market helps, as a company, to decide for the up-selling products and what would really attract the consumers when served along a basic product.