I been developing different kind of websites for years now and I started to realized to create my own Storefront, an online eCommerce that will make profit aside from my daily job.
However I can't seem to get started because I don't know what Products or Items I need to sell. Some of the books and tips I read is follow your dreams, your passion or related. But the thing is my passion is doing websites and few business but not have any specific Products.
Basically I like the idea of having online Store without an actual physical store to get started. Items I like to buy on online stores are gadgets, shoes, second hand items, and limited edition clothes.
Hopefully anyone from Frihost will share their ideas.
Thanks in advance.
Order from China.
I looked at wristbands at one stage.
The same product could be sold at huge markup but that was still half the price you'd find in the high street.
Bulk order will cost you a lot. I never got further than paying 100 pounds for a sample pack for personal friends and family use, I'm convinced it would work though...
That's my idea and no I don't want to proceed with it further because of other stuff in the "list"
How about electronic cigarettes? Ok, they are physical but they have a high value relative to the storage you need. A friend of mine started that business some years in Moldova, and I think it started well.
Thank you kaysch and chasbeen for sharing your ideas.
Well yeah it can be (item) physically sold but the store is I just want to make online.
In order to sell something you have to have something to offer. Like Standready said you need to have an inventory of the stuff you are going to sell. Or you need to be the middle man in some way like amazon does for some of its products or like ebay does. You could use it to sell your services and offer things such as SEO optimization, css sheets and the so on and so forth
Most people who shop online do so at the big online stores like ebay and amazon,I wouldn't trust a new website store,and buying online is all about trust. If you haven't got an idea about what to sell,I don't really see a point setting up a store. Maybe just set up on ebay and sell from there,look around,see what is popular and find your niche.
Ebay and amazon are a good place to find trust. If you have good ratings on big online store so you can proof yourself not a scammer to your website visitors. Many online store can't proof itself not scam, so many people will don't have gut to buy something. So, selling online on the internet is quite difficult since you need to pay attention to some big stores to get ratings.
The most important thing is the supplier of the product you sell. You need to find supplier with good price for reseller and good quality. There will be many competitor on the internet, so you have to make some unique difference to win the potential buyer's heart.
Thanks for all response. Actually I am not aware of being trust worthy store because all I know is when your popular and you have proof of business permit including any license, that is already enough to be trusted by the people.
But so far I ended up putting small food cart for snacks although my wife take cares of it and monitor the sales and not me. Maybe if it grows, I can finally contribute my skill like making website of it for online ordering then delivery during mid night where all other stores are already closed...
May be you should sell services. It is pretty clear from your post that you have been working with websites for years now. You also want to sell some things. So, from your ecommerce store why don't you sell website building services?
But my idea does steer you far from your original idea of selling physical items like shoes. I am not sure how it works but there are sites like dx.com where you don't need to have your own inventory of goods to sell. You just act as a middle party. Set up an online store, get orders for items and then chinese sites will process the item order and deliver it. You just get the cut in between. You'd have to market heavily though. It will be tough.
The third idea that I have is to just make money via affiliate programs. Join affiliate programs such as Amazon's. Then set up a site where you'd be listing and reviewing items. Promote it and link the items with referral or affiliate links. Then when people make a purchase you will get a certain cut. Won't be easy to sell as an affiliate but there are people who make tons of money this way.
I think the days when you can start up as a "me too" storefront and make money are gone. You could be a seller for an importer/merchandiser who would do the shipping. The last I heard you could set that up with some companies for a small up-front fee, but there were too many look-alike stores. You want at least your own web design, and I don't believe that business model works for anyone now.
I suggest having a website which you hope to make a source of good information, along with a store as a part of a site. A blog which recommends books and links to Amazon or someone to sell them is one example of this. I think you need a more agressive approach, probably with digital goods and direct downloads, possibly along with some referral links. You could try music or ebooks.
One source of content is Gutenberg books. I'm not sure of their policies, but I think you should definitely let potential customers know where they can get the content for free. If they do not allow their content to be sold, perhaps they would allow you to have an optional donate button, and I would suggest accepting bitcoin donations as that will give you access to an important niche market which is currently underserved (in my opinion).
With Gutenberg content or other content, see if you can add value by making it easy for new users to quickly get everything they need to use the content in its best format. Everyone knows you can get those books, but even I tend to think of them as being "plain text". Add articles, sometimes from wikipedia but rewritten a bit for your site (and with proper credit of course), related to the items you're offering.
Let me know if you come up with too many ideas, I think I may have sold myself on this idea!