11 determinant factors for selling information products online

You can make money online through most lucrative businesses around -- creating, marketing and selling information products online because, people access the internet and they want their needs satisfied. 

Whether it's via personal entertainment or gaining more knowledge, the Internet no doubt contains a wealth of resources that can even perhaps provide answers to any query. If you're looking to make money on the Internet, tapping on the continuous need for information would be a lucrative endeavor.

Your online business can be successful if you sell e-books and other types of information products of different formats on the Web.

Online Business That Offers Knowledge is power, as they say. This is why getting into an Internet business that capitalizes on the sale of ebooks, information packets and other related products will never go out of style. 

There is no way that you can fail by selling knowledge -- unless, of course, you have very poor Internet marketing techniques. With the right packaging, enough interesting information, and the most practical internet marketing tools, you have only to sit back and wait for your earnings to grow and business to flourish.

Compared to selling other tangible products, selling information online is relatively easy because you don't need to deal with shipping and packaging damage. This is because, everything's in a highly convenient in digital formats. You can make a great sale with e-books that you provide all sorts of information, from home improvement tips to pet care to financial advice, without worrying about physical costs and overhead. You can even run an online business selling ebooks and information tools by yourself.

Online Business That Answers Questions and Solve Problems

Again, people turn to the Web because they want a question answered. If you have the answer to their question, then they will definitely buy from you. To run an information business online means doing your research at the start. This is so you'll know what types of information majority of online users need, and which ones they will most likely pay for.

Don't limit your range of topics; the wider your offering is, the higher the earning potential of your online business. Of course, it is needless to say that your content should be of high quality and is truly interesting to read. Not only do you want to have buyers, but your goal is to have customers who will keep buying the rest of the ebooks and back-end products you're selling.

While powerful internet marketing tools may work for your online business at the beginning, clients will eventually want to keep coming back because of the level of quality and service you offer that really intrigue them.

A flashy marketing strategy will eventually die out once people start realizing that the actual information being sold is poor.

Your promotional strategies will be for naught if you can't back them up with solid consistence content. Overall, you can make money on the Internet especially when selling information products by answering that never ending quest for information. This is often because, people are always in hurry, and they want that problem solve now. You don't have to be an expert to succeed in this type of online venture.

Build up a wealthy arsenal of ebooks and other information packets and then partner it with a sound internet marketing strategy and you're good to go. Make money on the Internet by selling ebooks and information products. This is one online business that will not only rake in profits for you, but also help answer people's never ending quest for more knowledge.

Factors to consider while creating, marketing and selling info products online.

Finding the perfect product(s) to sell is often the most important step in creating a profitable and growing company; for the past 2 years, I have been trying to answer the question - what is the perfect information products or ecommerce product to sell, but that's not the topic for today.

In today's article, I'm rightly walking you through 11 solid determinant factors to consider while venturing into creating, marketing and selling information products or ecommerce, products online.  

I had to determine common characteristics of successful products and niches share, by analyzing hundreds of successful and unsuccessful products and niches alike; I then developed a comprehensive list of key metrics and criteria, being the below 11 determinant factors behind selling info products online to utmost success.

1. What Is The Potential Market Size?

Choose a product and niche with a small but sufficient market size. Avoid niches that are too small with low keyword searches. For example, a product that caters for pregnant females between 25-40 years old is probably good. But a product that caters for pregnant females between 25-40 years old who like punk rock music will likely be too narrow. It will be harder to find customers, more expensive to acquire them and the small market size will limit your potential growth substantially. Example: Shopify is a store front while Daneson sells luxury toothpicks.

You can probably imagine that the market for luxury toothpicks isn’t massive. Being in a small niche like luxury toothpicks can be both a good and bad thing. The small market size will likely limit revenues, but if they do a great job of defining their target customers and acquiring them inexpensively, they can definitely own that niche. As a bonus, a high- end toothpick is a product that lends itself very nicely to garnering media attention. Tools:

Using Google’s Keyword Tool can help you determine search volume of chosen keywords. This can give you an idea of how many people are searching for your keyword terms and in return give you a sense of the market size. Combine that with realistic judgment and some Google searches on your interested niche and you should start to get an idea of your market viability.

 2. What's Your Competition?

What does the competitive landscape look like for your product? Are there no competitors, a few competitors or many? If there are a lot of players in your niche, it can be a signal that the market has been validated. In order to break through, you will have to do something different to attract customer attention and build market share.

For example: Shopify store Luxy Hair wasn’t the first company to sell hair extensions online, the market was filled with competitors when they began four years ago. Right from the start they knew they had to do something different. Luxy entered the game with a different marketing strategy by offering value for free in the form of video tutorials on YouTube. 2 years later and over 700,000 YouTube subscribers later, they are now one of the biggest online hair extension retailers in the world.

Tools: Of course, Google and Bing searches will help you uncover current market players. Google’s Keyword Tool can tell you approximate search volumes for your chosen keywords, and also tell you how competitive they are (meaning how many other people/businesses are bidding on those words). Don’t forget, the more people bidding on your keywords, the more expensive they will be.

3. Who Are Your Target Customer?

At this point you don’t need to go into extreme detail but you should be aware of what type of customer you would likely be selling to and their online purchasing capabilities.

If you have a product geared for teens, you should keep in mind that most don’t have a credit card to purchase online.

Example: Clothes for seniors offer adaptive clothing for seniors. One of their main target markets has a low level of technology and online commerce adoption. You'll need to tailor your entire online store to accommodate them. Tools: If you find another company selling similar products, you can use Alexa to getinformation on their visitor demographics, which may help you define your target market better.

4. Is it a Trend, Fad, or Growing Market?

Make sure you understand to the best of your ability where your product stands. And that’s is - does your product or niche fall into fad, trend, stable, or growing market?

Example: A Geiger Counter is a personal device about the size of a cell phone that tells you the level of radiation around you. Cool niche market right?

Tools: Google Trends will help give you the big picture whether something is a trend, fad, growing or stable market. If you see un-explainable spikes, try doing some further searching to see what the possible cause was of it.

5. Can They Buy Your Item Locally?

If your product is readily available locally there is one less reason for people to seek your product out online. Example, most people who want to buy a toilet plunger simply go to Walmart or their local hardware store. If your product can be bought locally, how are you going to differentiate yourself and convince people to buy from you online?

·        Can you offer a better selection?
·        Higher quality?
·        Better price?

Example: Ellusionist sells gorgeous, high- end decks of cards for magicians and card players alike. Take a look at their products. Have you even seen something like them sold locally?

6. What Is Your Markup?

It is vitally important to take markup for a specific product into consideration before going too far into the process. This is important as there will be lots of other small fees associated selling your products that will eat away at your margins. Having a strong initial markup will provide you with the necessary cushion to absorb these variable costs.

Example: Let’s look at an actual product to get a better understanding of why initial markup is so important. We will work with a Pet Pedometer - a little device you can connect to your dogs collar to count how many steps they take. This might be an interesting little niche - people are always willing to spend money on their dogs. But can you sell this product profitably? I chose a potential selling price of $24.99 and got a cost per unit of $2 from a manufacturer on Alibaba.

I added all the other approximate costs associated with selling the product into the spreadsheet below: You can see from this example how the small fees whittle away at your margin. In this case, a product that had an initial markup of over 1,200% ends up less than 100% when all is said and done. Of course, these are just approximates and you can cut costs significantly by handling fulfillment yourself and spending less on advertising. Tools: Try to find an example of the product you are interested in on Alibaba.

Email a few manufactures to find out pricing and minimum order quantity (MOQ). From there, use Google to try to find others selling the same or similar product.
How much are they charging? Survey Monkey is a great tool for creating quick surveys to send out on your social networks to get a sense of what others would pay in your social circle. 

When you begin to get more serious, you can mock up a quick website using tools like Weebly and actually try to attract a customer to put through an order to validate your price point. There can sometimes be a big different between what people say they would pay, and what they would actually pay, especially if all you solicit is friends and family members opinions.

7. How Much Can You Sell It For? 

A price point between $75 to $150 is general recommended as it minimizes the need to find a large number of customers to turn a decent profit and be able to give you some cushion for customer acquisition (marketing) costs. Prices in excess of $150 tend to come with a lot more customer scrutiny.

Potential customers will want and expect a lot more re-assurance. They will have more questions and in general will create a longer, more difficult sales cycle. For example: In our previous example with the 'Pet Pedometer' we had a relatively low selling price of $25. Because of this, variable costs ate away at much of our profit, leaving us with a profit per unit of only $12.95. Now, let’s say we switch out the Pet Pedometer for a new product called “Product X” and assume that “Product X” has a potential selling price of $100 (4x more than the Pet Pedometer).

For consistency, I have also multiplied the other appropriate cost by a factor of 4x. Because of the higher selling price we have much better margins 73% vs. 42% for the Pet Pedometer, and our profit per unit skyrockets from $12.95 to $76.75.

8. Can You Offer a Subscription?

You will hear it time and time again: It’s much easier and less expensive to sell to a current customer, than to find new customers.

A subscription-based business order than search engines based allows you to sell to the same customers many times over, automatically. There are generally two types of subscription-based ecommerce businesses, discovery and replenishment. Examples: A discovery based ecommerce business like Quarterly Co. sends you something on a schedule but you don’t know what it is. It is picked by someone else but usually falls within the same category every period like beauty or fashion products. Below is an example of a quarterly based subscription service of products hand- picked by Tina Roth Eisenberg (Swissmiss).

A replenishment based ecommerce business like Dollar Shave Club is based on sending you things that you consume and constantly need. In this case, shaving razor blades is a perfect example.

A subscription ecommerce model is especially important for a company like Dollar Shave Club because of the extremely low price of their products. Monthly blade subscriptions begin at $1 USD/month. If they didn’t sell to that same customer on an ongoing basis their business model would not work.

9. What is Your Product Size & Weight?

Product size and weight can have a big impact on your sales and bottom line. More and more customers expect free shipping these days. If your product is oversized and/or heavy, costly shipping can deter potential buyers. Did you know that shipping costs are the #1 reason for shopping cart abandonment?

Additionally, there will be added costs for shipping the products to you if you are working with an overseas manufacturer and it will increase warehouse costs if you choose to use a fulfillment warehouse. Example: There is a popular oversized yoga mat company which sells giant workout mats. The product itself is a reasonable $99. Shipping to the USA is $25, Canada is $40 and the rest of the world is $100.

For some, it would be hard for them to justify spending 40-100% more for shipping. Same goes for any large or heavy item. You may be very keen on selling iron weight sets, and perhaps you found a great supplier that will give you an excellent price - well, you need to take into account the increased shipping cost. There's only so much in shipping costs that a customer is willing to pay.

10. Is Your Product Durable?

How fragile is your potential product? Fragile products can be an invitation for trouble. Breakable products will cost you more in shipping/packing costs and you are bound to have more customer returns and exchanges. Refer to our products return policy

Always keep in mind that even if it’s the shippers fault, it’s still the customers experience with your brand. You are ultimately responsible for that entire experience. When you get to the stage of ordering samples, test them and push them to the limits. Leave them in a hot/cold environment, apply pressure, twist it, pull it, drop it, kick it.

Don’t worry about breaking a few hundred dollars in samples. It’s more important you know exactly the quality of your potential product. Example: Play Lashes lost over $2,000 worth of product due to a damaged shipment to themselves when the shipping company tried to fit the shipment into a P.O. Box that was too small.

The hard plastic cases that were protecting the delicate product shattered on most of the units. Going forward they decided to have their fulfillment warehouse bubble wrap all orders.

11. Is Your Product Seasonal?

Businesses with seasonal products can suffer from inconsistent cash flow. Ideally, you want to find a product that will show even demand year round. At the very least, you just want to be aware of seasonal demand fluctuations to plan accordingly. Example: Christmas items like the ‘Omega Tree Stand’ are best sold leading up to the holidays.

You are in the best position to determine if you're going into creating, marketing and selling seasonal products. What emerge of this niche products is the low annual sales.

In conclusion, you should create, market and sell your information products online based on your niche; and the above 11 determinant factors listed out are highly recommended irrespective of your niche and products type, if you must attain successful business products venture and sales.

Note: You will likely never find a product or niche that fits all the criteria below. And, evaluating your idea behind the use of this list will give you a better understanding of your chosen product/niche, helping you avoid pitfalls and increasing your overall chances for successful online business venture. This is not the final destination while selling info products online, but would does takes your close to the peak of your  online business endeavor.

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