Would You Rather Sell a Lot of a Little or a Little of a Lot Online

Selling a Lot of a Little Online

I write a lot about my wife’s ecommerce business here at LLTI. I share the techniques I’m using to drive traffic and generate sales. I share with you what’s working and what’s not.

But what some of you don’t know is that I have some other ecommerce sites that I don’t talk about.   Because of the competitive nature of small niches online, I choose not to share those specific businesses.

I use the same techniques that I share with you here across all my sites so there aren’t many differences.

But there is a subtle difference that I wanted to write about today.  It’s something that I think everyone should consider, when first starting an online store.

While it seems like an inconsequential difference at first, it’s absolutely not.

I’m referring to selling a few items or selling across an entire category.

Let me elaborate further.

Selling a Broad Base

My wife’s business is an online jewlery store. She sells dozens of different brands with dozens of pieces in each brand.

Each season, these designers release new designs and new pieces. There are pros and cons to this type of ecommerce site.

Pros

Inventory is changing and that makes for repeat business.  It’s a convincing reason to bring a visitor back.

Come see the new release of blah blah

seasonal inventory

Lots of product results in lots of web pages.  These web pages are then indexed by search engines.

The wider the selection, and the more the pages, the greater the chance of bringing traffic to your site.

This wide range of options give you a greater possibility of making a sale.

Surely someone has to love something.

Cons

The cons of this type of ecommerce site is that it’s labor intensive. With new products every month, you have new work, every month.

You have to photograph and add the products to your site. You have to write descriptions, and publicize the new products.

These steps gets rinsed and repeated every time you sell through your old inventory and add new inventory.

It’s a rat race with no end I sight. 

But what’s the alternative to this model?  I wrote about selling lettuce online and why it makes for a bad business.  Bob also talked about wishing he knew this before he started.

So this is not the first I’m broaching this subject.  But as I continue to grow other ecommerce businesses, the disparity in work between the models becomes more evident.

The Sweet Alternative

The other option I’m referring to is a simpler model.  The concept is to concentrate on selling lots of the same product over and over.

Unfortunately I don’t have the luxury of having invented the next thingamajiggy and getting featured on Shark Tank.

I have to create my awareness and chase my buyers.  This takes time and effort.  The beauty with this model is that I have the time.

Let’s say for the sake of discussion I sell footballs online. This is not an ever-changing industry.  Footballs have been pretty consistent over the last 10 years.

selling footballs online

Arguably, I can offer half a dozen different types of footballs, and build quite a big business.

The key here is that all I have to worry about are 6 products. Once I have optimized those 6 products, the copy, and pictures, I’m done.

I don’t have to look for next seasons footballs. I don’t have to add new footballs or worry about how many footballs to get this season so I’m not stuck with them.

What To Do With All My Free Time

All that left over time, I can use for marketing.

I can optimize my funnels and email campaigns.

I can find the best ways to drive targeted traffic to my site.

I can focus on finding football influencers to collaborate with.

I can make $$ and not spin my wheels.

make money online ecommerce

Now I’m not saying it’s the only way to sell products online. Quite the opposite actually.

I’m successfully doing both and making good money selling with both approaches.  Both models work, but it something to think about when starting your Online business.

Final Thoughts

So I leave you with something to think about.  If you have already launched your online store, is there a way to make it less seasonal?  Can you reduce your inventory turn?

If you haven’t started your site, make sure you consider this.  There are different models and each has their pros and cons.

Depending on your strengths, cash reserves, and goals, think about what’s going to work for your online store.

Are You Ready To Start Your Own Online Business?

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