Amazon boasted an astounding 12,231,203 products as of May, 2016 -- and that doesn't even include books or services! Altogether, the site accounts for one in three purchases in the United States.
Clearly, variety is key to success at Amazon. The same cannot be said for all eCommerce sites, however. Product strategy varies significantly based on the size of the company, the type of product offered, the amount of available warehouse space, and the ability to drop-ship select products. If managing uniform products online is a struggle, keep the following considerations in mind:
Convenience of Access
Think carefully about ease of access as you determine how many items to feature on your website. Anything regularly stocked in your warehouse or that you can access quickly from your supplier is worth featuring on your site, especially if it is a top seller in your brick and mortar location. Products that can be drop-shipped are even better, as these allow you to avoid wasting storage space on extra, unwanted items.
Highlighting high-quality products that sell well but are difficult to access might be tempting, but you'll need to carefully weigh the benefits of pleasing customers with favorite items against the potential shipping or storage calamities. For certain products, this balance must be struck on a case-by-case basis. Do not hesitate to drop a product from your website if it's in any way difficult to access.
What Happens If I Stock Too Many Products?
Certain products will consistently sell, no matter how many different items are featured on your website. Others will prove difficult, even when heavily discounted. When extending your online reach beyond consistent best sellers, you are automatically taking a big risk. A website stocked with thousands of items will continually be hit with out-of-stock products and other challenges. Only you can determine whether your business is prepared to handle the extra cost and hassle.
What Happens If I Don't Stock Enough Products?
Tempted to play it safe with a handful of items that are consistently popular with your customers? Don't expect impressive sales; customers like variety, and few things impress them less than a rarely-updated website that offers a limited selection.
Products Per Page
In addition to determining how many products to include in total, think carefully about how many to display on each page. This will depend on whether you organize your eCommerce site like a catalog, or in a more targeted manner. Pages with dozens of products will keep visitors interested, but could also distract them. Categorization will help to keep customers on track; carefully organize pages based on the type of product or according to the following classifications: sale items, best sellers, and recommended products.
There's a fine line between featuring too many or not enough products on your website. Some trial and error may be necessary before you find the right balance. Contact UniformMarket today to learn more about product strategy and page layout for eCommerce websites.