Compass is an educational platform, which aims to improve E-commerce knowledge among merchants. It includes all areas, starting from Business Planning, Branding, Marketing up to the final Shopify store launch.
You can ask “Hey, mate, but I’m a developer, I don’t need that E-commerce nonsense”, and my answer is simple. To my mind, every developer should be familiar with this, to be able to solve merchants’ problems better.
It is impossible to cover the overall Compass course within one article, so I decided to split it into series of articles.
First block is called Product ideas.
At the end Compass will ask you to answer a single question – “What would I sell?”.
There is a classification of products types you can work with:
- Physical products
- Digital: songs, plugins, samples, e.t.c.
- Services: different types of expert consultations.
- Membership. Subscription models, like meal plans, of even apparels.
- Tickets: local, global events, exhibitions, e.t.c.
- Classes: yoga, music classes, languages.
- Rentals: dress, vehicle rentals.
You should find out the exact product type that can fit your future business.
Next thing for you is to look for the fulfilment model you will implement into your business.
There are 3 types of them:
- Make your product
- Dropshipping model
Each of these models has its own pros and cons.
Your own product way
- Full brand and quality control. You are in charge of all processes to get as high quality as you want.
- Flexibility and agility. You can adjust anything you want, like colour, material, form, or even business process.
- Time. Obviously, you will need to spend time on processes and manufactures. It is longer than dropship way.
- Focus. You should split your focus over a lot of different areas, besides store creation.
- Low costs to launch your business
- Low risks
- No in-house fulfilment
- Low margins
- High competition
- Stock/fulfilment issues connected to the fact that you are selling someone’s else stocks.
- Low risks. You are using someone’s else capacities.
- Speed. You can have your kind of unique product faster.
- Low level of customization. Obviously, there is not infinite features possibility, if you are using white labeled shoes.
- Low margins.
At this point you should decide which fulfilment model you will try to use for you business.
Trends and niches
If you think that trends are key points to your success, you could be wrong. Trends are important, but not for all of 3 fulfilment models above.
Adrian Morrison says that hunting a trend is a game that could never be won. His suggestion is to find an evergreen niche.
A niche is a subsection of the population who can be identified by sharing a common value or interest as other people.
It will help you have a better focus, and it is about longterm analysis, not luck or jumping from one trend to another.
- You niche needs to be unique
- It needs to be identifiable
- Niche needs to be scalable, to be able to grow
Identify your niche
Take your time, analyse your possible niches. If you spend 5 minutes only to do that, then someone else will be able to duplicate that effort too. Also remember, that possibly you will be more successfully building a business in a niche you are passioned about.
Research your niche
At this stage you should understand that you are picking a strong niche. Use Google trends and Facebook Audience Insights. Here is a tutorial how to use Facebook Audience Insights, but you should have Facebook Ads account to do that.
Try to focus on specific country or city, check your niche there.
With the help of this research you will find out your possible target audience.
Ok, you think you will move towards dropshipping.
First of all, you should find what products are already selling. If you are a beginner you should start with hot products, that are already selling.
In dropshipping world the trends can take place, because you are able to create an MVP of your business faster. You don’t need warehouses, manufacture stages, in-house fulfilment. In case of dropshipping it is a common sense to look our for them, like Google Trends, Google Ads keyword tool, or event YouTube trends as well.
You should figure out what product you will work with. Your first step will be to select your potential manufacturer.
Check these companies:
Secondly, you should figure out the design you want to create upon the white labeled items you will be ordering from manufacturer. Do you have some designer expertise? If not, you can find affordable artist to work with. You can hire a designer on https://www.upwork.com/ or https://www.fiverr.com/.
Compass recommends that you should use a niche that correlates with your hobby, to be able to produce a unique valuable product.
Just start with something.
So, the question is “What would you sell?”.