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There are loads of reasons it’s a good idea to offer products that are linked to your central range – and this is how I managed to stumble on something that has hugely benefitted my business.
As any business owner knows, if you want to be successful then you need to ensure you target your products and services to what your target customers actually want. This is fact whether you work offline or in ecommerce.
Before we begin, I’m going to assume that your company already has a core product range.
Once you have got this sorted, in order to keep your business sustainable you are likely to need to look for other avenues you could exploit, such as other products your customers want. You never know when you might find a chance to increase the range of products you offer and provide your existing clients with more services.
When it comes to finding out what your customers actually want, there are lots of tactics you could try. Probably the simplest option is to ask them directly. For instance, if they contact you to order something or make a query, this is a great opportunity to have a quick conversation about what they’d like from your business – and it can help you build up a better picture of your market.
Also, make sure you utilise your ecommerce site properly. For example, if you have a search box on your site, ensure you are creating reports on what people are searching for as this can give you a good idea as to what they want.
Also make use of tools such as Google Analytics and AdWords so you can look at something called the Matched Search Query Report. This can help you research into keyword searches.
You can also make progress in your business by researching your competitors. Find out what they’re offering and compare it to what you do. You can also do internet searches for your own products: put yourself in the customer’s shoes, go onto Google and see what comes up that could help you.
After you’ve got a good idea about some related products you might like to sell, you need to find out if you can actually sell them, so look for some drop shippers to assist you with this. If it goes well initially then you could consider incorporating the product into your range to generate more revenue.
This can be really useful because if your site enables your customers to buy numerous related products in one place, this will help you increase sales on your core product ranges.
My original plan when I started Multiple Monitors was to sell simply stands, cables and screens – essentially, to sell monitor arrays. However, I soon figured out that people also wanted to get the computers to go with these add-ons.
I was reluctant to sell computers online, largely because of the potential for things to go wrong and the very small margins. As a result, I ended up using a 3rd party, who supplied the computers on our behalf.
Sadly, this didn’t go very well. We even changed supplier but we still suffered from computers that were poor quality.
Eventually, I decided that the solution was to build computers in-house and supply our own range. It was quite a large job to take on but because I had done my research first, I knew that the demand was there.
Now, I estimate that 70% of what we sell now includes either a computer by itself or as part of a package.
Looking back, it seems like a really obvious decision to sell both monitor arrays and computers, but at the time it was a really tough decision. However, even though I was reluctant to take the leap, paying attention to my customers meant I made the right choice.
With this in mind, what else do you think you could offer your market?