Despite spending most of my time working on my own startups, I find myself drawn to reading about what other people are up to, or making use of - whether it
How to find the right products to sell online
Small retail businesses and eCommerce sites need to consistently choose the best products to sell in order to maximize their profits.
But trying to find this information is not always easy, and there are plenty of "silver bullet" sites (and con men) that will try to make a profit by advising you to stock products that give them commission.
It's far better to be able to do your own research into which products offer the best value for money for your own customers and clients. After all, you know your business best.
Fortunately, I've got a great trick that anyone can use to automate the process of sorting out which products sell better and will likely drive higher profits.
Researching products to stock and sell
Ideally, you need to understand how a given product performs within its niche over a reasonable period of time - say, over a one to three month period.
This means you need to be able to track its sales and compare this to competing products.
At the same time, it's also important to gauge the market's response to this product because a bad product that's first to market may sell well initially, but crash as soon as a better quality competitor arrives on the scene.
One of the best ways to gain an understanding of how the market responds to a given product is to look at how well it is selling on one of the major eCommerce sites - like Amazon.
Because Amazon has such a huge footprint, and represents a significant enough percentage of overall sales, you can gain some meaningful insights by analysing a product's sales on that platform.
Not only that, but it generates plenty of buyer feedback in the form of reviews and wishlists, etc. So keeping tabs on the sales and sentiment of customers via Amazon will help you make better buying decisions.
Tracking & analysing product sales via Amazon
In order to make your buying decisions easier, it's important to be able to do the following:
- Accurately monitor the sales performance of a product over time
- Directly compare and contrast the sales of a product with its competitors
- Monitor customer reviews and sentiment
Fortunately, that's exactly what RT500 Enterprise already does for thousands of small retailers across the U.S, U.K, Australia and Canada.
RT500 tracks the sales rank of any product (not just books) sold on any Amazon locale on an hourly basis, and even generates accurate sales estimates based on an analysis of the sales ranks it builds up over time.
You can track a product you are interested in selling, along with a few alternatives, and graph their performance together to make a direct assessment of which one has better potential to sell well for your business.
For example, here's a small selection of books that appeared on the New York Times best-seller list in 2013:
If you look at the stats at the bottom of the graph, you can see both the average ranks and the sales estimates for the period graphed. In this instance, The GoldFinch sold 135 units, which Sycamore Row sold 12.\
So, The GoldFinch is still selling very well, and it's sales rank averages around 21, which is so low (remember a sales rank of 1 is the best) that it is hardly visible on the graph.
Monitoring customer sentiment via online reviews
What's also great about RT500 is that its also really easy to keep tabs on customer reviews for any tracked products at the click of a button. Here's what the review summary for The GoldFinch looks like:
From this it's super easy to see that with an overall average review of 4 out of five stars, with the vast majority being 5 star reviews, The GoldFinch is no flash in the pan - it is genuinely loved by the people who buy it.
So, by tracking and comparing sales and monitoring the market's sentiment towards a product, you can start making buying decisions that will work better, and ultimately lead to higher profits.
What do you think of this strategy for deciding which products to stock and sell via your own enterprise? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Think of the Internet economy as a farmer’s field full of little green plants. Each plant represents a business, and the stuff that makes them grow is traffic (just like rain makes real plants grow).
Now, imagine that in between the rain clouds and our fledgling plants, there is a huge funnel that collects the rain and pours it over the field. Let’s call this funnel Google.
Google’s job is to make sure that all the sprouts get a fair share of water (provided they are of good quality), and that any weeds that are harmful to the ecosystem aren’t watered. All day long Google funnels rain onto various different plants in order to help them grow.
Did you know that business card design can directly impact the success of your organisation?
In case you haven't already heard, there's a little kitty out there with feline dwarfism that earns more than you do.
Grumpy cat, according to Wikipedia, seems to be raking in millions of dollars, and this might strike you as odd given how difficult it is to start a successful enterprise these days.
Use the best business software and services to help start and grow your company quickly and efficiently - with the least cost.
There's nothing worse than finding out your business website has been hacked and is being used to send out bulk emails, spam visitors, or spread malicious software.
If it hasn't happened to you, don't fall into the trap of thinking that this scenario is something that happens to other people. Spam hacks are absolutely rampant.
Fortunately, the business model of spammers requires them, more often than not, to automate their hacks to seek out vulnerable Web servers and sites, because they have to do things on a huge scale to turn a profit.
Here are some great ideas that incorporate free stuff (products and services) in order to generate trust, improve revenue and grow your business.
Most consumers like getting free stuff (especially online consumers), so giving away a valuable free offering can help to drive traffic, generate buzz, earn trust, and make money.
This article will give you five great ideas for free product and service offerings that you can integrate into an existing organization or use to help grow a startup.
Ever wondered just how much you can earn in a career working from home? The answer is millions of dollars - if you've got what it takes.
Isn't it frustrating that some people just seem to have that entrepreneurial knack - business opportunities just seem to go their way again and again?
Organic search traffic from Google is so valuable that many businesses come to rely on it as their primary source of income.
And while it may seem that the sun will never set on high converting organic traffic from the search giant, you might want to think about what would happen to your enterprise if the flow dried up.
I've experienced both the frustration and despair of losing Google traffic to an unknown and unexplained penalty (only large, important businesses get the information they need to recover in a matter of days or weeks), but have also seen how other companies have thrived without Google entirely.
Fiverr is an online marketplace offering a huge range of services (from the sublime to the ridiculous) that startups can utilize, for only five dollars.
If you're wondering what service could possibly offer any value for only $5, then you are in exactly the same boat I was.
Most of the services (called gigs) that are available on fiverr are probably not even worth the five bucks they charge. But, if you are willing to dig a bit deeper, there are a few gems that can save you a lot of time and money.
Selling online is getting easier and easier every day, from a technical point of view, because the technology to handle online transactions (like online