So you want to get into eCommerce, but you’re not sure what to sell online? It’s good that you’re not taking that decision lightly!
eCommerce is such a crowded space (there are over 10 million eCommerce sites), so it’s important to find a niche. In 2019, an estimated 1.92 billion people purchased goods or services online.
Crowding isn’t a bad thing; it’s fantastic that there are so many buyers wanting to make purchases online. All the activity just requires a little more intentionality in terms of what you sell. After all, there’s that looming statistic that can’t be ignored: 80% of eCommerce stores fail. Yikes!
To identify the best products to sell online, it’s valuable to note trending topics and products and then ask yourself a few questions before jumping on that bandwagon. Is it a seasonal trend? Is it because of something trending in the news? Or is it something that’s a short-term fad or is it around for the long haul?
But, ultimately, that product you choose to sell must transcend the fact that it’s a trend. You need to want to sell it online. Your passion will likely lie where your skills and knowledge are, so those are two good places to start. The more you know, the easier selling and marketing a product will be.
Above all, there are many great products to sell online; there is not one right answer. However, you do need to sell the right product to the right target market. Without product-market fit, you will not sell and could end up with an overabundance of product, wasted time, and money.
Read on to learn about the most profitable digital products and services to sell online and how to find the best one for you.
How do I find the best digital product to sell online?
Well, that depends on you, but we can give you some guidelines to consider so you are more likely to land on your winning answer. Since I know we’re all thinking it: digital solutions are one of the most profitable products to sell online. However, there are some overarching guidelines to think about when trying to get started.
Brainstorm and then brainstorm some more
Brainstorm some ideas of things that interest you. You may want to think in terms of your skills and then all the different ways you could make money from them. Remember that this is a brainstorming session, so anything that comes to mind should be written down.
Don’t be afraid to take a look at smaller product categories and niches – look for the potential in a certain category.
It’s true, coming up with a product that people would want can get a little tricky. You should put yourself in your customer’s shoes: look for pain points and frustration in existing product lines. Read customer reviews on existing products, check out the competition, and make sure you avoid entering an already saturated market.
Remember to not get stuck on finding the “perfect product” – every product will have its challenges to overcome at first. Once you think you have a good idea, continue the investigation by looking at additional market research sites.
Is it profitable and sellable
You can’t be the only one who would buy your product. You may think this sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people attempt to sell a product that solves their own desire, assuming that others will want it just as much.
What is the predicted growth for the industries you are looking at? It’s fantastic if there is high demand, but the more you can find a niche within that market, the easier sales will be for you. It is incredibly important to not be too broad in terms of your target market. It is always best if you can find an underserved need, however, whose competition is low.
When you come upon a product direction you want to pursue, switch your mindset to a financial one and do some estimates and forecasts to see if you could produce this product at a competitive price. The price you can sell it for must cover all of your other expenses.
That brings us to the price point. The more expensive an item is, the harder it will be to sell and the more thought it takes on the consumer’s side. The more your customer has to think about the purchase, the more you must spend on sales, marketing, and customer support.
There are a variety of ways to consider pricing to ensure that you are not overpricing or underpricing your product. You can do cost-based pricing, value-based pricing, dynamic pricing, market penetration pricing, and the list goes on. Make sure you check out this article to learn all about how to price your online products, including how to calculate the selling price of your product.
Ideally, you would want to sell something that has low, medium, and high price points in a growing industry with increasing search volume. If you see future opportunities to upsell or cross sell, all the better.
Popularity relates back to sell-ability. It’s ideal if your product is in high demand. However, with popularity comes competition. As such, you may want to aim for a niche within that trend.
Google Trends is a great tool to gauge the popularity of a product. This tool helps you see the relative change or stability of interest in a product. From there, you can choose to investigate actual search volume and how stiff the competition would be in terms of ad costs and search engine ranking.
Be aware that some things may be popular, but just seasonal. Getting your eCommerce store started with a seasonal product could be difficult, but at least you know about this and you can make a conscious decision.
What digital products should I sell online?
Digital products have great margins because they are easy to distribute and can be replicated infinitely. They are certainly some of the most profitable products to sell online for these reasons. Getting rid of the complexity of moving physical pieces and managing stocks/inventory makes digital products simpler to take to market.
Here are some popular digital products that could be relatively easy to produce depending on your skills and knowledge.
Are you an expert at something? Or even an aficionado? Have you seen personal success in finance? Did you make a dramatic life change? People want to know the tricks that worked for you.
People like eBooks because they’re convenient. eReaders, Kindles, phones, and other devices have helped propel the eBook self-publication trend. eBooks – a wisely drafted collection of words and images – are a great way to share your knowledge, and there are ample ways to self-publish these days.
Revenue in the ePublishing segment is expected to show an annual growth rate of 4.7%, resulting in a projected market volume of almost $35 million by 2025. Also, user penetration is expected to hit 14.4% in 2020 and 23.3% by 2025.
So, it doesn’t matter if you’re producing research reports, guides, or novels, as long as you educate, advise, or even entertain, eBooks are definitely a digital product that sells fast.
After fine-tuning your content and checking for any mistakes, select a format for your eBook – this will depend on where you want to sell it. Reflowable eBooks are great on the Amazon Kindle Store while PDFs work well for the Blurb Bookstore. Or you can set up your own website and sell your eBook directly online. You’ll need to integrate with a shopping cart, offer a few payment options, and you’re set. This way, you have full control over the entire process.
If you know of an industry that has a problem, talk with your would-be buyers prior to building, and then take a crack at the solution! Remember, no one wants more software, they just need better solutions to their existing problems.
Spend time getting to know your target market well and try to validate your idea by asking yourself “Will people actually buy this solution?” Make sure to define and lay out your product roadmap and business plans before actually developing your own software/digital products. Then, you will need the people who can code, as well as the technology and the processes. If you can’t do it all in-house, externalize and find those people who will help you bring your vision into reality.
You can create software for virtually every industry. Just think of how many project management tools there are, or learning management system tools and file storage tools. Software-as-a-Service tools have their revenue projected at $113 billion in 2021, so if you want to be part of that story, start coding, then partner with a trusted digital commerce platform, such as 2Checkout, to start selling your software globally.
Video production is at an all-time high right now. Content marketing is very popular as a means to gain customer trust and following, and videos are one of the easiest ways to catch people’s attention because they are usually far more engaging than text and highly effective.
Did you know that Facebook has 4 to 8 billion video views per day? These videos can be informational, promotional, or educational. If you are good with technology, consider making videos for yourself or for others.
By offering licenses to individuals or companies, you can charge for the use of your videos. Or you can create a paid membership that grants access to your video content. This might ensure a steady revenue stream over time.
Do you have an ear for sound? This skill could be a great moneymaker for you. There are lots of different audio formats that you could sell:
- audio lectures
- classes that teach a foreign language
- reading books aloud to turn them into audiobooks
- sound effects
- background music
Can you create sound effects or write music? People are always needing sound clips. In fact, that’s why sites such as Soundcloud and Bandcamp have seen such considerable growth in their user base in recent years.
Podcasts have been popular for a while, as well. Back in 2006, only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. By 2020, this figure had risen to 75 percent. Forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023, so that’s definitely something to think about.
If you have an eye for digital imagery, people need your services! Good, high-quality images are rare and heavily sought after – just look at Shutterstock, Unsplash, or Freepik. Images dominate websites, blogs, and marketing.
Maybe you’re not much of a photographer, but can create beautiful digital art. Companies are always in need of new fonts, textures, logos, and illustrations because of changing trends. Put your digital skills to work by creating presentation themes, backgrounds, logos, or cards with tools like Photoshop or Illustrator.
If those tools are a little too complex for your liking, there are some that require a little less expertise to use.
Documents of all sorts are a fantastic product to sell online – especially if their content needs to be frequently updated. For example, if you are knowledgeable in a certain industry, you may want to put out quarterly industry reports, using a subscription model to generate recurring revenue.
Other documents you could consider are manuals, guides, whitepapers compiling your blog posts, or templates. Templates or “printables,” as they are called in the blogging world, could be for sales proposals, workout goals, lesson plans, or workbooks.
There are ample eLearning sites that host courses for a reason. They are HOT. If you consider yourself knowledgeable in a field, create a course! Your course could consist of audio, video, text, or a combination of them all to suit everyone’s learning styles.
If you want to go really big and increase marketing potential, establish a certification for the completion of your course package. Your courses could be a business in and of themselves, or they could complement a business that you already have.
You can also set up your own website to sell your online courses. While this can be a bit more expensive and technical and will require more effort in terms of acquisition and distribution, self-hosting gives you total freedom over your materials.
What services should I sell online?
None of the digital products suiting your fancy? You can sell your professional services, too, without ever meeting your clients in person. Provide a fixed price or custom quote to sell your time.
Popular professional services that are commonly sold online include copywriting; consulting for websites by doing marketing and UX audits; coaching and mentoring in the realm of health and wellness, beauty and style, finance, organization, and business; and business services such as graphic design, web design, and video editing.
If there’s anything you’re particularly good at, you could consider productizing it to create revenue streams that require less of your time and effort to maintain.
That was a lot of ideas! The best products to sell online depends entirely on you and your interests, strengths, and skills. This being said, it’s important to seriously consider what is trending because you need to be able to sell it. If it is trending, however, the competition may also be stiff. So, make sure that you have a unique way of presenting yourself if you do enter a more competitive, trending market.
Thinking through the elements that make a product a good one to sell online will surely push you toward success. Is it small, lightweight, durable, popular, and profitable?
Now it’s time to write your business plan. We know that process can get challenging, but we’re here to help. Make sure you read this article and start building a business primed for the future.