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Ecommerce Product suitability - What Sells Best Online?


Certain products/services appear more suitable for online sales; others remain more suitable for offline sales. Many successful purely virtual companies deal with digital products, including information storage, retrieval, and modification, music, movies, education, communication, software, photography, and financial transactions. Examples of this type of company include: Schwab, Google, eBay, Paypal, Egghead, and Morpheus.

Virtual marketers can sell some non-digital products/services successfully. Such products generally have a high value-to-weight ratio, and/or involve embarrassing purchases, and/or typically go to people in remote locations, and/or have shut-ins as their typical purchasers.

Products such as spare parts, both for consumer items like washing machines and for industrial equipment like centrifugal pumps, also seem good candidates for selling online. Retailers often need to order spare parts specially, since they typically do not stock them at consumer outlets -- in such cases, e-commerce solutions in in spares do not compete with retail stores, only with other ordering systems. A factor for success in this niche can consist of providing customers with exact, reliable information about which part number their particular version of a product needs, for example by providing parts lists keyed by serial number.

Purchases of pornography and of other sex-related products and services fulfil the requirements of both virtuality (or if non-virtual, generally high-value) and potential embarrassment; unsurprisingly, provision of such services has become the most profitable segment of e-commerce.

Products unsuitable for e-commerce include products that have a low value-to-weight ratio, products that have a smell, taste, or touch component, products that need trial fittings, and products where colour integrity appears important.

Related Topics
Definition and Concept of Electronic Commerce
Benefits of Ecommerce - digitalization and networking
History of Ecommerce
Future of Ecommerce
Internet Users
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) - Overview and Standards
Key success factors in e-commerce
E-commerce problems


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