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products to sell online - Building Your Line-Up - 5 Product-Types Every Retailer Should Carry

by Chris Malta

Too often, e-tailers think only in terms of carrying individual products. But according to Lisa Suttora, founder of WhatDoISell.com, "If you're in the mindset of selling one product to one person, you're thinking about making a one-time sale, not building a business." You're not just vending product X - you're creating a product line and giving your customers a reason to return to your site.

Products With a Purpose
When selecting inventory, it's important you evaluate each potential item and identify the role it plays in your web store. There are five categories you typically need to round out your product portfolio:

    1. Meat-and-Potatoes Products
    These carry a strong demand from your target market. They're your mainstay, the cornerstone of your business. Providing a solid profit margin, these are the products that represent a large percentage of your overall revenue.

    2. Cross Sellers
    These are the add-on sales: the tackle boxes you sell with the fishing poles, the cosmetics bags you sell with the cosmetics. Each of these products has a different profit margin associated with it, but each serves an important function and contributes to your overall profit margin.

    3. Up Sellers
    "Upselling," says Suttora, "plays right into a basic desire we all have - we like to have the best." As a retailer, you need to offer your customers options.

    Surround the basic model with similar products that are a little bit nicer, a little bit pricier. Today, they may buy what's on sale; tomorrow they may want the more expensive version - there's no real way to predict, so make those choices available to them.

    4. Rounders
    It's important to have those items that round out your product selection. It comes down to presentation and to offering your customers a full shopping experience. If they purchase a sewing machine and expensive silk fabric with you, they'll probably want to be able to complete their purchase right there, and get the thread and needles from your site as well. You might not make a large profit off of them, but it's convenient for your customers and makes their buying experience more satisfying.

    5. Loss Leaders
    Sometimes you sell products on which you're just breaking even. You use them for advertising purposes, to bring customers into your store. Once they're there, they'll buy that product, and there's a good chance they'll also stay and browse. Hopefully, they'll see the other, complementary items you're selling and add more merchandise to their carts.

Completing the Puzzle
Every item in your line-up has a place in your overall product solution - they fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

When deciding what to sell, ask yourself where each item fits into your product scheme, and what purpose it fulfills. Providing a diverse, well-rounded selection for your buyers gives them a motive to come back, and presents you with an opportunity to build repeat business.

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

Beware of Web Sites Bearing 'Fre...

'Set' your Products to Sell

Is Your E-Biz Ready for the Holi...

If You Wanna Play, You've Gotta ...

New Year, New Business!

Finally, An EStore That Has It R...

Must-Do's for the Holiday Sellin...

The Price is Right! - How To Arr...

Building Your Line-Up - 5 Produc...

Everybody's Doing It - 5 Reasons...

4 Things You Should Know Before ...

Creating a Web Site that Sells -...

Stages of Conversion - Increasin...

10 Holiday Sales Tips - How to C...

Safe and Stress-Free Shopping - ...

EBay for Everyone - Getting Onli...

Learning from the Best - Good Ad...

Giving Something Back - Online C...

How to Build a Successful Websit...

Profitable Knowledge - Adding In...

No Experience Necessary - Buildi...

The Voice of Experience - Gettin...

A Matter of Trust - Protecting Y...

Designing Your Web Store - The B...

Website Set Up - 3 Tips for Star...

How to Build an E-Biz on a Budge...

How to Improve Conversion Rates ...

How to Handle Product Recalls in...

Maximize Your Sales with a Full ...

Your eBiz Can Win Against the Cu...