There are many businesses on the current market like Crocs, Michelin, and Gorilla that demonstrate that you can create and maintain a business with just one, competitively priced product or service that genuinely addresses your target audience’s needs.
But more often than not, maintaining success or growing your eCommerce retail store requires developing a product line and providing your clients with multiple options. And this is especially true for the apparel industry.
If you are actively engaged with your customers, you will know what they want. By knowing who your target consumers are, you will reduce the likelihood of creating a product that the market isn’t looking for. But let’s take things one step at a time.
In this post, I’m sharing tips on how to create your own product line that will sell and help your eCommerce business reach new heights.
Understand the Basics of Selling Products Online
eCommerce is more popular than ever. According to stats, there are more than 26 million eCommerce websites across the world, with more being created every single day. In 2021, eCommerce sales amounted to about $4.9 trillion worldwide. So, if you’ve been wondering how to start a clothing store online, here are a few ways you can jump on the eCommerce bandwagon:
- There are two main ways to start selling products online: a marketplace or an eCommerce platform. Marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy are simple, cost-effective solutions for new vendors. eCommerce platforms, on the other hand, allow you to set up an online store quickly with the help of features that can be used to manage inventories and receive payments.
- You can also sell using social media, email, through Google Ads and Facebook Ads, or by simply adding a shopping cart to your existing website.
The best part about selling online is that you can sell almost anything. There are no restrictions at all: you can offer a physical product, services, digital downloads, event tickets, subscriptions, appointment scheduling, or start your own product line, which is what we’re going to talk about in this post.
Of course, you should keep in mind that online selling entails much more than simply choosing the products you will sell and the right eCommerce platform. You will also need to deal with things like eCommerce marketing, and retail management, and dedicate a portion of your free time to learning what is inventory management. But we’ll leave these topics for another time.
What Is a Product Line?
A product line is a collection of connected goods sold by the same business and marketed under a single brand name. eCommerce businesses market many product lines under their various brand names in an effort to set them apart from one another for easier consumer use. For instance, Nike has product lines for basketball, soccer, and track & field, among other sports. The company offers a variety of footwear, apparel, and equipment product lines.
Because customers are more inclined to buy products from well-known brands, businesses frequently increase their offerings by adding to current product lines. A company’s selection of product lines is called a product portfolio or product mix.
How to Create Your Own Product Line
If you want to launch your own product line for your company and make it successful, here are 4 crucial measures to follow.
1. Keep Your Target Customers in Mind
When you conduct market research for a product or service and create a customer profile, you may find that your current customers have other, more common needs you are not addressing. For instance, if you are selling women’s clothes, it might be worth exploring whether your target market would be interested in maternity clothes. You can see what potential customers would appreciate from you with new eyes by taking a look at the big picture of the customer’s life and normal experiences.
2. Find a Talented Designer
If you have a creative designer side, making your own product line will be a great way to showcase your design talent. However, if design isn’t your strong side, keep in mind that it will be your main differentiator in the market, so don’t skimp on it. You can always partner with talented designers using freelance platforms like Upwork, Behance, and Dribbble.
You’ll be able to collaborate with the designer you choose to make your product ideas a reality. Most print-on-demand platforms provide a wide array of products, ranging from cutting boards to tank tops, for you to choose from once a design is finalized.
3. Manufacture Your Product Line
Your business idea can easily come to life with the support of the right production partner. There are several approaches to locating the perfect match for your demands whether you work with a domestic or foreign factory. To assist you in filtering and identifying available manufacturers, start with online manufacturing directories like ThomasNet, MFG, Maker’s Row, Kompass, Oberlo, and Alibaba.
Using social media and online forums to get recommendations from other business owners can also be a great place to start and a way to gain opinions on the vendors you have been considering.
4. Market Your New Product Line
Start planning your go-to-market strategy prior to the launch of your actual product line in order to create buzz and excitement. Release the content you prepared during the planning stage a few weeks before the product line launch. Your marketing team probably already worked on your social media presence and has a list of preferred marketing channels for your product line, but consider also trying a few new ones like TikTok or Reddit. You can also pay for affiliate links on well-known publishers
Encourage current customers to pre-order by offering them lower prices, free trials, rewards, and other benefits as part of your pre-launch campaigns. In addition, invite influencers to try your product line and write reviews. Obtaining social proof before launch can also be a big advantage.
Why You Should Develop Your Own Product Line
Most entrepreneurs who have considered creating their own product lines have been propelled by a few primary causes:
- Standing apart from your direct competitors. Anyone can sell products that already exist. Creating something unique will distinguish you in the crowded market and make your store more special.
- Ability to evolve their brands. Offering a custom product will increase consumer awareness of your brand. People much prefer having something special to a commodity that is oversaturated and sold by numerous sellers.
- Garner loyal customers. When everyone is selling the same thing, shoppers frequently focus primarily on price. If a product completely meets the needs of the customer, that customer becomes considerably more loyal to the company.
- An opportunity to gain higher margins. Profit is the ultimate goal for both online and offline retailers, but an unprofitable product line can still be useful for your online business. For instance, the loss leader strategy exposes potential clients to a product with the hopes of building a customer base and generating recurring revenue in the future. Even when the product is losing money, it is nonetheless sold to draw in new clients or upsell profitable clients on more goods and services.
The Bottom Line
Every good eCommerce company should make adjustments and additions to its product offerings or even better, introduce a completely new product line. Having new products is what will keep you relevant, and this is especially true in the erratic world of eCommerce, where customers can quickly discover something new or unique.
This guide should assist you in creating goods that appeal to both your existing clients and potential new ones and help you to continue growing your eCommerce store.