in ,

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Product to Sell Online

Thinking about selling a product online? Learn how to choose the right one.

For new, up-and-coming entrepreneurs, choosing the right product to sell can be an intimidating endeavor. It makes sense—honestly, what you sell largely makes or breaks your success. Do you currently find yourself in such a situation? You’re not alone. 

When first starting out, the knee-jerk doubt is that everything on the planet has been created and sold online—that no raw, undiscovered niche exists. And if it’s not an issue of novelty you’re worried about, it’s one of competition—everyone sells something on the Internet, it seems.

Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Zappos—is your initial product capable of doing battle with these titans of the e-commerce industry? Okay, enough with the scare tactics—you’ve got nothing to be afraid of. Using the four strategies below, you’ll have a game-changing idea in no time at all.

Identify an Evergreen Industry

No, when I say “evergreen,” I’m not referring to those little, smooth-smelling green trees that hang from the rear-view mirror in cars—I’m talking about value. Evergreen products are goods that, in spite of the time of year or what’s trending, constantly catch the attention of new buyers.

Says Stephanie JoAnne, an online business mentor for forward-thinking entrepreneurs, “Make a list of what you already have to sell that is current and fresh, and what people will want ten years from now, as badly as they want it today.”

Work with Customer Pain Points

Care to know more about one of the best ways to launch an online business with a top-notch product? It’s easy—focus on customer pain points. For example, think about things from a literal standpoint—without it’s ability to quickly cure people of headaches, Tylenol wouldn’t be around.

As a brand, however, because Tylenol understands the pain its customers feel on an in-depth level, it’s able to properly market its pain and fever-reducing pills. Though you’re likely not a pharmacist, the same tactics apply. Speak to prospects. Learn what hurts. Solve the problem.

Look to Fill an Opportunity Gap

If the first two points on this list have done little to prevent you from pulling your hair out, this third point might do just the trick—opportunity gaps. Simply put, an opportunity gap refers to a deficiency in an existing niche that can be capitalized on—this is where you come into focus.

The good news? There are tons of opportunity gaps to be filled. The bad news? Few people are vigilant enough to identify them. Still, during the brainstorming process, think of how you can improve existing features, speak to a new audience or improve upon a marketing message.

Take Into Account Your Own Passions

As you think critically about the product for which your business will be known, it’s important to consider your potential target audience’s passions. That said, having built online businesses, I suggest you approach things from a different, more helpful perspective—what are your passions?

Yes, this method has the potential to end in disaster, but here’s the deal—building a business is hard. The bumps along the way are inevitable. You can read all of the business books you want, but the one thing that will keep you from throwing in the towel? Selling something you love.

Don’t Overthink Things—Now’s the Time to Act!

Choosing is a balancing act. Tackle too big of a market, and yours will be a product nobody hears about. Swing the other way, and there might not be enough buyers to keep you afloat. Either way, put the above into practice—they’ll help you find the perfect product equilibrium.


Written by Nathan Resnick

Nathan Resnick is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO of Sourcify, a marketplace of the world's top manufacturers. In the past, Nathan has brought dozens of products to market, been a part of campaigns on Kickstarter raising a total of over $1mil, used to live in China, and knows the ins and outs of how to turn ideas into realities. He currently writes for Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post.

3 Leadership Lessons I Learned Working with the Most Influential Company in the World

The Ultimate Solution to Break Out of Procrastination and Build Your Big Vision