Product Sourcing: What You Need to Know
Product sourcing is one of the most important aspects of an ecommerce business, but it can also be one of the more difficult parts to navigate. There are a lot of different strategies for sourcing products, and knowing which strategy will work best for your company can make or break your success.
This article will help you understand what product sourcing is, how to find products that meet your needs, and why this process is so crucial to the success of any ecommerce business.
What is product sourcing?
Product sourcing is the process of finding suitable products to sell online. There are many different types of product sourcing, and each one has its own benefits and challenges.
What are the types of product sourcing?
There are four types of product sourcing. These include:
- Direct Purchasing: This is when you buy products directly from manufacturers or suppliers.
- Dropshipping: This product sourcing strategy relies on a third party for fulfillment and shipment, but not inventory management.
- Retail Arbitrage: With this method of product sourcing, you find popular items at discounted prices in brick and mortar stores and resell them online with profit margins.
- Wholesaling: This is when you purchase items in bulk from the manufacturer or supplier and then resell them individually for profit margins to other retailers or individuals.
Product sourcing can be challenging because of fluctuating prices, limited supply, inaccurate information about a product’s demand and availability, difficulty sourcing specific products, and more.
Why is product sourcing challenging?
- Fluctuating prices: If a product is in high demand, its price might skyrocket if many people are buying it at once – and vice versa.
- Limited supply: A store may only have one of an item in stock or the company that makes the products may not be producing enough to meet customer demands because it’s too. If you are a store and start selling an in-demand product, customers will buy every last one of them.
- Inaccurate information about demand and availability: if the company that makes a product doesn’t know how much to produce or have incorrect numbers on its inventory, it may not be able to meet customer demands for certain items.
How do you find the perfect product to sell online?
The following steps can be used to find your perfect product:
- Check out eBay and AliExpress for a sense of what consumers are buying.
- Consider what you could buy from overseas that is in high demand, but not readily available domestically. For example, if there’s an item on sale online or at retail stores periodically – like Nike shoes, that is a good candidate for an online store.
- Look at products in the “Hot Deals” or “Trending Now” sections of Amazon. These items tend to be selling well and are popular with consumers right now.
- Consider what you know about your customers: if they like specific brands or types of-shirts, for example.
- If you’re not sure what type of product to sell online, take a look at your competitors’ products and see if they are selling something similar that is in demand right now.
- Consider the product’s price point. You want to sell low enough so you make good profit margins, but not too cheap because customers might think it is a bad quality item that will break easily.
- Sourcing products from overseas. This may be the most expensive way to source your items, but it is also one that will provide you with a wide variety of options for purchasing goods and materials.
- Buying wholesale directly from suppliers or manufacturers in person or online. This offers a little more control over the quality and price of products, so it’s easier to find what your business needs.
- Buying retail from local stores like big box retailers or chain stores that sell a wide variety of items in bulk quantities for lower prices than wholesale suppliers. This can be an affordable way to get started with product sourcing if you have limited funds.
- Using a product sourcing service, which will take care of the ordering and shipping process for you so that all you have to do is find what your business needs and provide measurements or specifications they need from you.
Whatever way you choose to go with for determining how your products are sourced, it’s important not just because it’s a crucial building block to your ecommerce launch, but also because you want to be able to control quality and price.
It can make the difference between success or failure in an online business.
Where do you find trending products to sell online?
There are a couple of ways you can find trending products to sell online. One is by using tools like Google Trends and Social Mention, which allow you to see how popular search terms are over time. You could then use this information as inspiration for product ideas that will be in high demand from consumers who may not know they want them yet.
Another way to find trending products is by looking at what's popular on social media. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be a great source of inspiration for product ideas, as well as an excellent place to do your research when it comes time to launch or promote a new product. You could also use Google Product Search to see which searches terms are trending in your niche and then find products that match.
Appealing to a younger audience can be difficult, but there are many strategies you could use when it comes time for product sourcing. One of the most popular is digital marketing, which relies heavily on SEO optimization and social media campaigns. You may also want to consider influencer marketing as, where you partner with popular figures in your niche to advertise your product.
What are some product sourcing strategies?
- Do extensive research and analysis before launching any new product to ensure that it meets all necessary qualifications, including demand in the marketplace.
- Keep an eye out for trends due to Google and social media. Follow your competitors and find out what they are offering to their customers, including new items or changes in pricing that you can use for a competitive advantage.
- Do a test run of the product on Amazon, first by listing it as an affiliate and then gradually working up until you have enough sales information to make a business decision about whether to sell the product.
- Consider a dropshipping model where you don’t have any inventory, but are responsible for finding suppliers and handling customer service.
- Partner with retailers that will distribute your products on their websites or in physical stores if you want to expand beyond Amazon’s reach.
- Look for retail distribution channels through wholesale networks.
- Consider using a crowdfunding platform to launch your product.
Are product pages important?
Product pages are the foundation for building an ecommerce business. They can be used as a competitive advantage, so it is important to have them done before launch day in order to maximize your traffic and sales. Here’s how:
- Do a test run of the product on Amazon by listing it as an affiliate first and gradually work up until you’re comfortable with the product.
- If possible, wait to launch your products on other channels until you have a good idea of what type of profit margin you can expect from them.
- Add photos and videos that will highlight the features and benefits of the product if it is not immediately clear when viewing it online.
- Include high quality and informative product descriptions with features, benefits, instructions, etc.
- Pay close attention to your reviews. If the majority of feedback is negative or neutral from what you would expect for that type of product based on its description then it might be a sign that there are design issues that need to be addressed before launch day in order to to ensure customer satisfaction.
Knowing all about sourcing products is crucial
Sourcing products is important for any online business. It’s important to have a strategy in place for where you’re going to get your products from and how you’ll do so.
A variety of online training courses claim to teach the process for researching a new product and sourcing them to create a successful online business.
One online course that focuses on dropshipping is Ecom Elites. Ecom Elites offers a variety of training courses that teach you how to create an online store and find products for your business.
Check out I Buy I Review’s comprehensive look at Ecom Elites here to see if this course is right for you.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.