Collecting all of your e-commerce site's products together is a huge task. If you try to gather them all together before launch, it could take you anywhere from 12 – 18 months to actually have your website ready for launch. So, here's the real question: How many products do I need to launch my Ecommerce Website?
How many products do I need to launch my Ecommerce Website?
Obviously, the more products you choose to sell, the more work it is for your business. Not only does it take more time, but it also requires more resources as well. This is because you must get these products merchandised online. As such, there's no real “correct” number of products that's right for everyone to have before launching their site.
Determining who Your Target Customer Is
This is really where all your business decisions should start. Knowing your customer's likes, needs, and wants helps you decide what to sell. If you have a retail store, then you should base your product choices on what sells in your stores (e.g. if it's fashion, sell the latest fashion). In the beginning this may mean only listing a few items, but remember your retail store didn't start with lots of products nor should your online store start this way either.
Revenue Per SKU
One of the best ways to frame your thinking about what products you want to sell is around Revenue Per SKU (a.k.a. unit price). The thinking here is you'll build out processes so you can receive and load new products on your site efficiently. However, you can't forget the cost associated with these processes. This cost is at per SKU level and you must use it to decide whether a project is worth listing. While this is important, it's equally important for you to keep an eye out for products in which you're losing money so they don't quickly get out of hand. Furthermore, don't forget about the costs of shipping, returns, and customer service as well.
Curation and Authority
You're never going to beat Amazon. This is the store people will always turn to when they know exactly what they want or need. However, they tend to have too much content, product, noise, choice, everything. As such, the opportunity to become the authority in your area, vertical, or market definitely still exists.
You don't want to list thousands of products for sale on your site. Instead, scale everything down and simply offer only the best products so you become an authority in your niche. Don't only offer items, but tell people why you're listing these items. By doing so, people will come to your site when they don't know what they want or need, which often occurs.
Be a Curator
Let's face it, if you have thousands of products and tons of brands for sale on your website, this simply isn't sustainable. While in the past this was a good strategy for search engine traffic to bring you more shoppers, this is no longer true. Instead, today you must grow your business by positioning yourself as the company people turn to when they want help choosing the best product for them. Establishing yourself in this way shows your customers that you really care about them, which means a great deal in today's world when so many companies focus on quantity instead.
Now, are you ready for the answer to our first question: How many products should I have on my e-commerce site before launching it? At Pixel Fish we suggest having at least your one, main product listed in each category. From there it's about establishing yourself as an authority. If you need some help determining what products to use in this regard, contact us. We're happy to help!