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product trends - Selecting and Changing Your Product Lines - What Should I Sell Now?

by Chris Malta

Product Sales Tracking
Everyone's constantly after new products to sell, but it's just as crucial to recognize how your current products are selling. In order to know your best business move, you need to ask the right questions: What's selling? Why is it selling? When does it sell best? How frequently do my customers buy from me - Just once? Weekly? Monthly?

Ruth King, CEO of BusinessTVChannel.com, an Internet TV station focused on small businesses, stresses the importance of tracking your product sales information. King suggests a very simple method for tracking:
    • Create an Excel spreadsheet for your customers.

    • Create a customer number for every new person who buys from you.

    • Record which products they buy, when they buy, and the frequency with which they buy them.
Explains King, "Within a couple of months, you should see some patterns in terms of which products are being bought, how much are being bought at a time, and the things you need to know from a statistical sense to make some decisions about your products."

When Should I Add a Product?
If you find a product that complements your current line-up, test it out with your existing customer base and see how it sells. Be sure your product extensions make sense with what you're already selling - don't add snow pants to your footwear site. Another thing to watch is the cost - if you sell items in the ten dollar range, you're selling to a particular audience. By adding an item - even a related item - that costs three hundred dollars, you're now targeting a completely different market. So make sure your goods are similar in taste and price range.

When Should I Drop a Product?
Once again, look at what your sales numbers are telling you - sometimes sales drop for a previously popular item. It may be seasonal, or there may be greater supply in that market than before.

If new competition comes in with a lower price, you can try to outdo them by providing more value - a better web site, better customer service, etc. Buyers will pay a bit more if they feel you're competent and trustworthy. Sometimes, another seller has too much buying power for you to compete - that's when you need to walk away. Advises King, "If you find a particular product isn't selling anymore because a big competitor has come in, go find another product that's niche-oriented and that your customers will buy."

Do's and Don'ts
Every product has a life cycle - an item is introduced, it grows, it hits product maturity, and it begins to decline.

That's why it's important you know when to move on.

    Don't get carried away with fads.

    Do know about changes in your market that affect you.

    Don't try to keep up with every "hot-ticket item."

    Do keep abreast of trends and make adjustments as needed.
Every large retailer monitors their product sales, and it's no less important for your E-Biz.
 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...