E-commerce is wonderful, offering anyone with a dialup connection the ability to be in business for themselves, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to provide a great product.
What separates a great product from a “ho-hum” product? What products make people reach for their credit cards and buy now? What products *really* sell on the Internet?
Let’s look together at three characteristics of a great product and how that applies to the real world.
GREAT PRODUCTS DELIVER ENDURING VALUE
The bottom line for your customer is “What’s in it for me?” The more your product or service screams “Here’s how you win!” the more value the customer will perceive. And the faster they will buy.
People buy products and services for many reasons. When all those reasons are boiled down, they come down to two. People want to make money or avoid losing money. Promise of gain. Fear of loss. Those are the big two. The more your product (and selling copy) say “Here’s how you make money (or avoid losing money)” the more sales you will make.
Whether you sell a business opportunity, information, or the latest and greatest widget, be sure that your client will ACTUALLY receive the benefits they are promised. The more you choose products that really deliver, the more money YOU will make.
One word of warning. Some products that create value now, will be useless in the future. Only a few years ago many people were stuck with huge inventories of Beanie Babies as that fad ended. You must know that fads will end. Unless you can afford the losses associated with collecting, it’s best to avoid fad products.
GREAT PRODUCTS HAVE UNIVERSAL APPEAL
While many products deliver great value, not all have universal appeal. Lear Jets are among the finest aircraft ever built, but you may go broke trying to sell them online. (Remember, we’re talking about products to sell on the Web)
The key to a great online product is that its mass appeal allows you to take advantage of the #1 benefit the Web has to offer … a HUGE marketplace. Be careful to choose or create products that can be marketed to a wide audience.
What products have universal appeal? While there are many, here’s a short list to get your thinking started. You probably use some of these products or services every day.
Web hosting Web page design Autoresponders eBooks “How to” information Ad trackers Merchant accounts or payment processing Affiliate programs Advertising
While it is true that each of these product categories has plenty of competition, it’s equally true that millions of people come online every month that need them. If you think it’s too late to be a player in these areas, think again. Best of all, you can sell each of these products without actually providing the service by becoming an affiliate.
It has been often reported that after the California gold rush ended, the people who made and kept their money were the ones who sold the tools (like picks, shovels and mules) the miners used. A classic example of this is Levis jeans. Still being sold today, Levis has provided jobs and wealth for over a hundred years. I wonder how many of the “get rich quick” miners were still rich only 10 years later?
If you choose to sell products created by someone else, pay careful attention to who that someone is. The pure fact is that a product created by Marlon Sanders or Corey Rudl will sell better than one created by someone not as well known. That’s the real world.
GREAT PRODUCTS CREATE REPEAT SALES
You have probably heard this statistic before. Studies reveal that it costs a whopping 10 times more to sell a customer a product the first time than the second time. It makes sense when you consider all the dollars you pour into advertising, product development, marketing, and so forth.
While products like vitamins, long distance service or a membership site may spring to mind as great products that create secondary sales, the truth is that almost any product can be used to generate backend profits.
One way to do this is to sell a series of products that build on each other.
To do this effectively you need to know your target market and what their needs are. Let’s look at people just starting their Internet business as an example.
If you sell autoresponder services and make a sell to a fresh, new marketer, you have the perfect opportunity to let your service pave the way for more sales. Just think through what a new marketer might need. Let’s look at three examples.
1. They might need to know how to use the autoresponder you just sold them, so you might offer them an eBook on autoresponders at a special “Thank you” price.
2. They might need copywriting for their new web site (or their autoresponder series) so you could offer them an e- course or eBook on writing.
3. They might need an easy way to collect money, so you could introduce them to a service like PayPal or offer them a merchant account.
The key is to think through the logical progression their business might take, and be there to offer them the next product they need *before* they go shopping for it. If your timing is good, and your offer a real value, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well this strategy works.
There are literally millions of products you can sell on the Web. How do you choose which one to sell now? You must know yourself and sell something you honestly believe in. The best-case scenario is that you use the product yourself. We never sell a product we don’t use.
Once those criteria are met, make sure you are bringing a true value to clients, that your product will have broad appeal and that it either creates direct repeat sales or sets the stage for selling other products.
If you do these things you will begin to build a business that can last a lifetime.
Charlie Page is a copywriter who owns the Directory of Ezines and the Directory of Marketing. If you want to sell more online, visit Charlie today at http://www.directoryofmarketing.com
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