E-commerce is one of the biggest innovations in the past few decades. Customers are no longer limited to visiting stores to find that perfect item. They can browse unlimited selections from the comfort of their own homes, reading up on reviews and easily comparing products from different organizations.
Companies can massively cut back their operating costs by operating as an e-commerce store, rather than a brick and mortar store. This innovation alone is a great advancement, but many entrepreneurs get bogged down thinking e-commerce is just about selling products you would buy in store. Sure, you can sell those products. But that is just the tip of the iceberg! There are many non-traditional items you can sell using e-commerce.
On the Go Healthy Products.
People love to be healthy (or at least, love the idea of being healthy). People love the idea of letting someone else do the work for them (or at least, love the idea of saving time to be more productive elsewhere). On the go products tap into both of these loves. There is a rise in consumer interest for healthy food and drinks ordered ahead of time to be consumed at a later date (such as a smoothie drunk later in the week that you do not need to make yourself). Businesses that can make, package, and distribute these made ahead health products can come out doing pretty well in the e-commerce world. Customers can enjoy the convenience of ordering their healthy stuff for the week with a simple touch of a button.
Are you an expert in your field? Make money off of that knowledge. Business coaching services are a huge industry, raking in $11 billion a year. You can use your talents and insight to mentor up and coming leaders in the business world, guiding them as they embark out onto their careers. Help them learn from the mistakes you made, pass on what you wished you knew at their stage in their career, and other useful bits of insight. You can offer in-person coaching sessions or even by videocam or phone call. Describe and sell your services through your website or e-commerce site like Shopify.
Many companies sell products alongside of services. Maybe you operate a hair salon. You sell hair care products online, but you can also be using your e-commerce opportunities to sell your hair styling services as well. With a simple set up, customers can book appointments online. You can even tie the two together. When they go to purchase a bottle of shampoo, you can have a pop-up that reminds them to get a haircut every 8-12 weeks. Or when they book an appointment, make a pop-up asking if they need to replenish their hair care product supply.
One great way to generate consistent income is by selling subscription boxes to your customers. These allow them to make one “purchase” by entering in all their payment details and setting up a recurring payment plan. After the initial set-up, they do not need to worry about having to re-order their given product once they get low. Subscription boxes also help you introduce customers to new products they might not have considered buying, such as throwing in a certain type of food to a snack subscription box. They may end up buying more of that product down the road. Subscription boxes can be filled with artwork, food, entertainment items like books, nearly anything you can think of.
These are drugs or supplements designed to enhance the body in various ways, such as improving concentration, cognitive reasoning, or memory. This market is expected to reach $6 million by 2024. Market and sell yours through e-commerce as a nice side hustle (or even your main gig).
If you sell services or exclusive access, you can sell these online with e-commerce. If you operate a gym, for example, you can sell memberships to this gym online. This makes it easier for consumers to become loyal customers, paying up front for the monthly or yearly sessions as opposed to each time they enter your venue. It can also help foster a sense of exclusivity, especially if you offer “members only” perks. Exclusivity helps make your offerings more appealing and perceived as more valuable, a great marketing tactic.
More and more products are being converted to digital alternatives as technology advances. Digital downloadable songs through iTunes became an alternative to CDs. Digital downloadable books through the Kindle became an alternative to paperback or hardback books. Many consumers prefer downloadable formats, as these take up no physical space and can be accessed from any device with the right login credentials. It is easy to “repurpose” content you are already distributing into digital downloads you can sell. Round-up your company’s blog posts and re-work them into a thorough strategy guide on a given topic. Go more in-depth on a trending topic your consumers interact with heavily on your social media page. You can make downloadable case studies, reports, guidebooks, podcasts, the list goes on and on.
Instead of outright selling items, you can lend them out to consumers. There are numerous areas where people can prefer to rent rather than buy. Think of all the teenagers strapped for cash needing a tuxedo for prom (and then not again for years until their wedding, when they have grown too much to fit back into that tax). High end clothing is a great market, since people may only want to wear clothes for a special event like a black and tie ball. Or maybe you maintain a stock of items used for big events, like chairs and canopies rented out for weddings. People can use your site or online store to rent the products they need.
When it comes to e-commerce, marketing your goods is a big factor in your ultimate success. Even if you are offering the desired product or service to your target audience, they still need to be made aware of your quality e-commerce offerings. Here at 10Twelve, we specialize in marketing your small business. Reach out to the 10Twelve team today to discuss the many service options available to you.