Can you make a profit? Sometimes, even if you can sell a product, you can't sell it at a price that will make you enough money. Running an ecommerce business means you cut out a lot of the overhead of a traditional brick-and-mortar business – you don't have to have a physical store, which cuts the rent, heating, water, and power costs along with the furnishings and equipment. However, you still have to pay wholesale for the product or pay for the materials and production. You also have your own bills to pay, including the hosting and maintenance of your website. So do the calculations and figure out how much you can charge and still get people to buy, then figure out how much it'll cost you to do business and take care of your expenses. You have to do more than break even; emergencies come up and you need to be able to afford to expand your ecommerce business too.

Is it something you can keep selling? There are some items that customers only need to buy once and they're happy. However, it doesn't hurt to invest in a product that people will keep coming back for. Clothes, for example, wear out and fade, fall out of fashion. People will never stop buying clothes, and will continue to order. However, you have to stay on top of things and roll out new product designs and types every so often to keep your customers' interest. Sometimes that means retiring old models. You can choose to sell something that doesn't keep selling to the same people over and over; however, it won't be nearly as profitable and you will hit a time where you struggle. Keep your product line fresh and make sure you can come up with new ideas, and you'll be fine.

Deciding what your business will be about and starting it is the hardest part of the process. If you successfully answer these questions and still need a little extra help, you can contact a consultant or an ecommerce company for assistance. As with any traditional business, it takes time and effort but will be rewarding in the end.

About Infigra Ecommerce:

Infigra Ecommerce is a New York City based company that offers software as a solution (SaaS) and enables retailers to increase their sales by offering sophisticated e-commerce management tools. Our mission is to help move inventory by increasing the product visibility on different online global marketplace segments, such as Ebay and Amazon.

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Factors to help you decide what to sell online

These days, it seems as though everyone is jumping on the ecommerce bandwagon. The Internet has given many people the platform they need to build a small business that will succeed. Along with more competition and choice is more opportunity to create a market niche to set yourself apart from the crowd. However, with so many online stores popping up, you might be wondering what you should do to ensure a profitable business. The truth is nothing is guaranteed and you have to take a risk in any business you decide to start up. The risk can never be eliminated, but it can be diminished with proper planning. Here are some questions to keep in mind when deciding what your ecommerce website should sell.

Are you interested in the product? One of the most important things when starting a business is making sure you can invest your time and effort into getting it off the ground. The only way you can do that is if you're interested in what you're doing, whether it's a service you provide or a product you sell. For instance, if you find that selling car parts makes good money, you don't want to jump into the business if you don't have a passion for cars. It will get old quickly and you won't put as much of your full potential into creating quality products and marketing them with true passion. You won't be able to provide the best customer service either unless you do a lot of ongoing research to keep up with the latest news in your field, something that's difficult to stay focused on when you're not interested.

Is it marketable? You have to do more than just take an interest in your product; you have to make sure it will sell too. The only way to find this out is if you do your research. Find out who you're targeting and find out what they like. You can conduct market research of your own, including sending out surveys and polls. But the easiest—and quickest—way to get your answers is to turn to the Internet and search your proposed product and your competition. Although you may think that having no competition is a good thing—it isn't. There are markets that so crowded that breaking in is nearly impossible, but a little healthy competition shows you the product is desirable. Once you know you can market your product and people will be interested, you have to focus on the next point.

What can you do to make your product different? Just because you're in the same business as someone else doesn't mean everyone chooses one of you due to chance or a higher ranking in Google. Although some may go that route, the best way to sell your product is to make it unique. Ask yourself if you can lower the price, produce higher quality, give the public something slightly different—a different design, a different type, different materials. If you can't think of how you can set yourself apart from the crowd, then it might be time to rethink your choice of product. People aren't going to buy when it's something they can find on someone else's website – someone they've been doing business with already or someone that's been established for years.