So far I’ve been talking above all about internet phenomenons, which are simply revolutionary ideas creative people have and brings them loads of money by investing nothing more than a bunch of hours sitting in front of the computer and/or surfing through the web. Awesome!
Alright, back to e-commerce. Since the brilliant invention of the internet, more and more products are sold and bought online, reason for that are lower prices. Of course, if you don’t have to pay salaries to employees, standing around in shops and drinking one coffee after another, your costs decrease and you’re able to offer lower prices. Sounds logical!
In 2010 U.S. online shoppers spent $165.4 billion, an increase of 14.8% compared to the previous year with tendency to rise continuously. Within the next decade presumably more people will take orders online than visiting a shop. Due to this change shops are already adjusting to the market and do both, sell online and in stores (very smart). As the internet is already flooded with online shops, the question arises: “What to sell if I want to survive with my business?”
A question that is definitely present in everyday e-commerce considerations, well, if the salesman feels the urgency to survive. The businessman normally sells the products/services gaining the highest profits. Consequently follows: “Which products/services gain the highest profits?” I think you could turn this question into: “What do most of the people want?”
On the Journey
To find out people’s wants I’ve been doing a lot of research and came across a couple of techniques, that are also used by the biggest online-stores and most successful businessmen in the world. Answering my last question stated does simply need the help of the internet, yes, the ultimate entity of our time is back in the spotlight. Ready for taking action and finding a niche for your business? Here it comes…
Amazon offers a huge variety of products in many countries around the globe. If you take a quick look at Amazon Bestsellers, you will see the products bought most at the moment, you can also sort the products by category. As it is the worldwide largest internet-selling-platform with a gigantic turnover, it is definitely a good indicator for trends. Let’s have a look at cell phones with service plans, at the moment the bestsellers are:
1. HTC Inspire 4G Android Phone (AT&T)
2. HTC ThunderBolt 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)
3. HTC Freestyle Phone (AT&T)
I surfed through the list and found out that the iPhone by Apple isn’t even under the top 100, though it is the 2nd most sold cell phone worldwide? That means, if you sell cell phones with service plans, you do not necessarily need to sell iPhones at the moment, as the market seems to be saturated. Of course this can change daily, staying up-to-date is, in regards to this technique, essential.
A bit different from Amazon, if you enter the page it tells you: “…a snapshot of current trends…” Perfect explanation! “Popular Searches”, “Largest Stores” and “Most Watched Items” are listed and can again be sorted by category. A 2nd time I choose cell phones and the first 3 results in “Popular Searches” are:
1. iPhone 4
Well, “Popular Searches” only means that people were searching for it, but didn’t necessarily buy it. It seems that most people on ebay would like to have an iPhone 4, but how many actually acquire one on ebay stays secret. Nevertheless, in contrast to Amazon you should include an iPhone to your product range, as a lot of people desire it. Next!
After you have read the headline you might already know what I’m gonna talk about. Returning to cell phones, type the words into the Google-searchbar and click on shopping. Then you sort the results by relevance, in my case the following phones appeared first:
1. Google Nexus S Android Smartphone
2. Palm Pixi Plus Verizon Wireless CDMA Cell Phone – Black
3. HTC Desire HD Quad-band Cell Phone – Unlocked
Noticeable this time, the iPhone 4 takes place no. 11. Sort by relevance means how good a result is linked and by whom it is linked. If you then click on a product, you’ll get a variety of online shops selling the product, moreover prices and ratings. “Google Shopping” searches for products everywhere on the internet, also in the above stated stores Amazon and Ebay.
Kept everything in Mind?
There are many more ways of analyzing the online market and finding out trends (e.g. social networks), but I would like to leave it to that. To summon up, all the possibilities supply you with trends about consumption. The results for trends can differ a lot from method to method and hence you definitely have to use a mix of methods to be certain of a trend. Beyond that, ensure you check trends on a regular basis, they might change quickly as people often change their mind quickly.
And finally you know what people want!
Considering all that (and much more, for sure) you can open an online store and try to survive on the market. Good luck!