Planning for an e-commerce store can be exciting. Figuring out what to sell, finding the right customers to target, and balancing the shipping logistics are just some of the things you get to experience. Wide-eyed with the prospect of selling your merchandise and turning a tidy profit, you probably have a short-list of which items to sell. A humidifier, however, is not likely to be on top of your list.
Why sells humidifiers?
A fundamental tenet of having a successful business is that the business satisfies a need. The entertainment industry, for example, fills the need for entertainment by providing media such as movies, TV shows, theatre shows, etc. The better the “product,” the more customers are willing to pay.
As a prospective humidifier seller, you will also be satisfying a need. Do you know that during winter time in any country with four seasons, people always complain of problems like dry skin and constant coughing? These people need a source of humidity. In other words, you have the answer when they need a humidifier for dry skin. Check out the product, you should know all the features, the easiest way to visit Wikipedia.
The preliminary steps
Because humidifiers fill out a specific niche in the consumer market, you need to make sure that you’re planning ahead. Home appliances are meant to last for a while, which means you’re always targeting new or upgrading customers. You won’t be seeing any repeat business until after a while. To help mitigate the impact of always having to attract new customers to your e-commerce business, here are a few steps you must do:
- Know your products
Having a working knowledge of what you’re selling goes without saying. You don’t have to be an expert who can disassemble and reassemble the item in record time, but you do need to have some knowledge of the item. Ideally, you want to know more about your product than what your customers can find out on their own.
For humidifiers, you need to learn the different kinds available. Find out the differences between central, evaporative, impeller, steam, and ultrasonic humidifiers. Learn how each type works, and research each of their pros and cons. The main goal is to be knowledgeable for your customers when they need your help.
- Try your products
Knowing what you sell is one thing, but having hands-on experience with the item is another. Customers ask the most mundane questions, and unless you know your item inside and out, some simple questions will stump you.
And while having a sample of every unit you’re selling is not feasible, you can still demo your item. You can arrange an appointment with your supplier to test out the products, or you can attend an expo for the industry. Regardless of how you experience the item, having a hands-on encounter with your product will make you appear genuine.
- Know your customers
This is another golden rule for selling: know the people who will be buying your items. While you could argue that selling a humidifier for dry skin encompasses a majority of all available demographic, how you communicate with them will differ. You cannot try selling a central humidifier to a young couple living in an apartment because they have no use for that product.
Gathering information about your customers depends on how and where you’ll be selling your items. If you’re listing your wares on an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon, demographics will be less of a concern. The customer’s searching preferences and the platform’s algorithms will tailor the results for them.
On the other hand, if you’re selling your humidifiers on your website, it’s up to you to determine how to reach them. The most obvious option is to have a survey, but not all of your customers will take it. Privacy-savvy individuals will also try their best to prevent you from knowing about them.
- Have multiple advertising strategies
Let’s pretend that you have all sorts of demographic information about most of your customers. You know about their household size, their income levels, their residence type, their average age, to name a few. You’re not sure whether to go on a generic and widespread advertising campaign or to execute a multi-faceted approach.
The answer depends on your budget and goals, but it’s always better to have more than one advertising strategies. What works on Facebook Ads probably won’t work for Twitter Ads. Utilize the demographic data you have and tailor your promotion around that. Got a sizable chunk of younger customers from a mid-scale metropolis that’s dotted with high-rise apartments? Try sharing with them your portable impeller units.
- Decide on your store format
Got your homework done and your items ready to ship? The next logical step is opening your store or listing your items, depending on the format you wish to take.
Doing business in a marketplace website has its advantages, the main one being traffic. Because people already know that the site is trustworthy, they no longer have to be convinced to visit it. Your main concern should be your competition against other sellers.
On the other hand, maintaining your website gives you complete freedom on how your items are offered. And unlike marketplaces which take a cut of your sales, running your site means you get all of the profit. The downside is that you need to worry about the technical aspects of the site, versus letting the tech behemoths take care of their marketplace platforms. Check out how the sale or review of your product on other sites.
I’ve shipped my first item, now what?
After so much time spent in research and advertising, you finally sold your first humidifier for dry skin. Congratulations! Your efforts are paying off.
If you think you can now relax because customers are noticing you, think again. Most (or all, depending on the situation) of the post-sale period is a giant waiting game for you as a merchant. The ideal situation is that you won’t hear from your buyer again for a while, except for positive reviews. You’re happy, they’re happy, and business goes as usual.
Though most post-sale periods go towards the quiet route, some don’t take that road. Some will want a replacement or a refund, while some will have questions. Perhaps something broke because it fell down the stairs, or the humidifier just stopped working out of the blue. Regardless of the reason, you’ll be spending your time trying to make things right for them.
Once you get into a rhythm of market research, product selling, and customer care and retention, maintaining your reputation as a merchant will come naturally. Everything is a cycle, and if you diligently follow that cycle, your business will grow. You might not be making millions overnight, but with hard work and determination, your humidifier business is sure to expand.