In today's economic climate, consumers are constantly looking for the best deal. This holds true for Internet retail shopping as well as for any other business, as online consumers are accustomed to searching and comparing prices. Given the frugality of many online shoppers, it's no surprise that shopping domains, such as Overstock.com, have enjoyed success selling retail surplus online. Nor is it any surprise that other businesses are now looking for a piece of the overstock pie. The question, of course, is how to succeed when selling surplus online?
Not every company can afford to deal in large scale retail surplus, and offer the same choices in an overstock business that you might see in a standard department store. Specializing in a specific area is often more profitable, and controllable, for an online shopping domain. For instance, one company might choose to specialize in overstocked DVDs and CDs, while another specializes in surplus clothing.
On a day-to-day basis, succeeding with a surplus retail domain is similar to succeeding with any other online business. The basics of new success remain the same, whether the retail domain is building internet traffic or running an e-mail ad campaign. It is the acquiring and selling of market surplus on a regular basis that differentiates overstock sites from other online shopping domains.
Stocking is a concern for the online surplus store. To make a regular profit, it's essential that the site inventory is always as full as possible. This necessitates careful planning and solid partnerships with suppliers. This is one reason why online overstock stores do not lend themselves as readily to highly specialized niche marketing. The nature of market surplus does not always assure a company of specific stock.
The global nature of the internet does offer great potential for market surplus businesses. Not only can overstock now be sold internationally, inventory and products can also be acquired at an international level. This means that an overstock company in Canada could purchase market surplus from, say, Singapore, and then sell the products globally.
While many online shoppers seek out the cheapest prices for the best deals, they are simultaneously cautious about market surplus, fearing that overstocked goods must have something wrong with them or they would sell through more conventional channels. An online surplus retail domain must answer these concerns, explaining that in most cases, overstock arises from bankruptcies and miscalculations in inventory demands, and not flawed or faulty goods. In the event that an overstock company does acquire damaged or flawed goods, the retail domain should clearly identify them as such.
The difficulty with traditional specialty retail has always been the challenge of attracting a large base of customers looking for very specific products. For example, a store specializing in pink frog figurines might have difficulty maintaining a steady stream of business. For specialty retail, success often hinges on reaching the widest customer base possible.
The internet offers the largest customer base of all! A specialty retail domain online has a worldwide customer base, greatly increasing its chance of success. Although no one in town may have a thing for pink frog figurines, there could be a whole community of pink frog enthusiasts desperate for your services in the worldwide zone.
No matter how specialized a retail product is, there's probably an online market for it. A specialty retail domain can take advantage of that market. Niche marketing has become so successful online that most marketing advice sites advocate niche retail websites instead of more general markets.
Niche marketing is a successful business strategy partly due to the nature of internet search engines. Search engines love websites that focus on specific topics. In fact, the more specific the topic, the better the website performs in keyword searches. General shopping domains online are often buried in a long search engine list because they are competing against too many other sites in a category that is too large.
Designing a specialty shopping domain is a balancing act between targeting specific keywords that your customers are actually searching for and being able to rank highly on those terms. Here's an example based on our hypothetical pink frog figurine store. Simply use "frog" as a keyword and the website won't just be competing with rival frog emporiums for search engine rankings, it will also be up against scientific amphibian sites, pet frog pages, frog folktale sites, plush frog stores, and any other website that uses frog as a keyword. On the other hand "pink frog figurines" may be too specific a search term. A happy balance might be to use "pink frog" and "frog figurines" as the main key phrases. That way the site attracts users looking for pink frogs and frog figurines, increasing the potential for site traffic.
While arriving at the correct balance of keywords for a specialty store is tricky, the potential rewards are well worth the effort. A specialty shopping domain can be a great investment for your new online business, giving you a clear focus for inventory and customer base.