The best way to make it in ecommerce is to provide something that sets you apart from your competition. It should be something your rivals can’t offer, or at minimum, can’t offer it in the same way you do. This means you’ll need to get something wholly unique and distinctive or figure out a way to sell what others already offer in a new and inventive way. These tips for setting and growing your ecommerce product offerings will lead you in that direction.
Identify Your Target Customer
As with every other aspect of establishing your online furniture store, your first consideration should be defining your ideal customer. What is their age range? Do they live in houses, apartments, condominiums or townhouses? Are they rural, suburban or urban? What is their income? Do they have a family? What do they need most? What are their tastes? Try to narrow it to as specific a following as possible. Once you know to whom you’re talking and what they need, you’ll be in a better position to establish offerings with appeal for them.
Identify an Opportunity Gap
Finding a product your rivals don’t offer, or can’t offer as advantageously as you can, is great chance to make your mark and become known. For example, Ikea made its mark offering stylish furniture to young adults at reasonable prices — if they are willing to assemble it themselves. This made it easy for customers to pick up large items of furniture in their personal cars, freeing people of the need to pay for delivery (unless they wanted to). Look for unfulfilled needs and fill them with your product offerings.
Conduct Keyword Research
You’re going to be selling online, so you need to know what your customers are searching when you start a furniture business. The best way to find out is to conduct keyword research around your business. The volume and competition for those searches among your target market will give you significant insights into their needs. When you see an opportunity to rank for specific keywords, you’ll find the clues you need to help you determine what merchandise to carry.
Rely Upon Your Experience
If you have previous experience in the furniture business, you likely have insights fledgling entrepreneurs in the area will be lacking. Leveraging your expertise to determine what to carry and what to avoid will serve you well. As an example, one of the trickiest parts of selling furniture online is shipping. Many items are quite heavy and bulky. You’ll need to decide what to drop ship and what to keep on hand (if anything). Drop shipping alleviates a lot of headaches, but it also imposes some significant considerations. You’ll have to decide if they’re worthwhile. The best way to make this determination is experience.
Identify Trends Early
There are many facets to the furniture business, many different styles of furniture and a wide range of customers as well. When you narrow your target market to a specific group, you can more readily observe how they are responding to popular culture. This will position you to predict what might fascinate them next. Catch a hot trend early and you’ll see your business skyrocket.
The Apple iPhone is a perfect example of this in the electronics sector. Think about it. Where would your business be right now if you’d been the first company to offer the iPhone back in 2007? Actually, you don’t have think about it. Apple is the one of the most valuable companies in the world based largely upon the strength of that product.
Following these tips for setting and growing your ecommerce product offerings might not make you the next Apple Computer. But they will give your furniture business the best possible chance of succeeding.