There's a lot of competition and a lot of potential in America's eCommerce industry, and having a better startup idea than the next person might be all it takes to succeed (well, that and hard work).
eCommerce has grown consistently over the last 10 years despite large scale problems in the U.S. economy. This makes it one of the best industries for entrepreneurs to get into.
But, what you really need to drive decent profits is differentiation. Offer a store that isn't like everything else out there. Fortunately, the vast majority of eCommerce sites do the same old thing without adding much value - and offer less competition as a result.
This article will focus on 3 great, simple ideas that you can use to inspire your own eCommerce based startup - even if you're working from home or out of your garage (this is where all the best businesses start anyway) to begin with.
If you're worried about the technical challenges involved in starting a new online store, don't. It's actually quick and easy - and doesn't require any Web development experience.
Here's how you do it...
Create a new eCommerce site in minutes
Believe it or not, you can create a top of the line, responsive Web design (to support the rapidly growing number of mobile transactions) online store.
Either one of the two leading hosted eCommerce site builders will make it quick, cheap and easy for you to get set up. And, you can follow along with our step-by-step guides to help you choose a domain, register your new store, and even select a new store design:
If you're not familiar with either platform, check out our comparison review of Shopify vs. Bigcommerce latest features.
So, withour further delay, let's check out our top 3 ideas:
1. Made in the U.S.A
Cheap imports are everywhere, the world over. But there is a growing market for high quality domestic products, and your business could be at the forefront of a turnaround in the way consumers behave online.
Tap into local, state or national pride by promoting and delivering the best quality locally produced stock, that provides great value for money (as opposed to just being cheap).
You can start off small at first - perhaps only a handful of products. But, as time goes by and more people who care about quality find out about your store, it will be possibly to expand.
Take plenty of care to focus on the quality of your goods because your business model would not really involve competing on price - although, there are signs that improved processes in design and production are starting to make local manufacturers more competitive again.
2. Brand & market local food delicacies
Why not find a great local recipe and turn it into a brand that everyone knows and loves right across the country? Do something well enough, and market it properly, and not only will your store become popular, but your products will become famous.
The Philly cheesesteak is a great example. It's not impossible for people in other parts of the world to make a cheese steak. But is it really a Philly cheesesteak?
Same goes for Champagne, Tobasco and a host of other well known products.
Ok, so maybe your home town doesn't produce champagne, but I bet there is something you are known for - even it is grandma's chilli recipe. Box it, bottle it, brand it and market it.
What's great about this idea is that you can get the locals on board to help market and promote it. Everyone loves a home-town winner, after all.
Americans love to get involved in public life. From politicians to celebs, there is always plenty of scandal, debate, tragedy, triumph and disaster that everyone has an opinion on.
If you have a knack for coming up with great one-liners or love to contribute to the latest memes doing the rounds online, why not capitalize on this by making funny, hip, sad, happy, loud, outrageous, and generally captivating t-shirts.
Stay on trend and up-to-date with what's happening across the states. Make sure that you always offer t-shirts with quotes, quips and images that let people express themselves about current affairs.
What's great about this idea is that you can pump out plenty of designs for your online store without having to actually produce and warehouse the t-shirts.
Simply print on demand whenever you need to fulfil an order. If it's cheaper to do small print runs, go ahead and print 10 or 20 at a time. Chances are if you get one order for a t-shirt covering the news, you'll get more anyway.
So those are 3 of my best ideas for online stores focused on the American markets. What other ideas do you have that would do particularly well in North America?
Share your thoughts in the comments.