More Inventory

Part 3 (Final): More Inventory – The 3 Ways to Increase Your Online Business

This is the final part in the three part series on how to increase your on-line business. In the first part we covered the two sides of efficiency, internal efficiency and external efficiency and then in the second part (which I had to cut short due to time) we covered more sales channels.

Recap

I want to quickly recap on the sales channels section, these provide the largest spikes in turn-over for businesses. Even when done poorly, they can still offer the quickest returns on investments of time and money. Over time, both internal and external efficiency will kick in and make the new channel(s) more productive.

I didn’t really cover the the how and the where-to particularly well in part 2, I’ve got this noted to look at it again in more depth at a later date, as the article is compounded by the use of multiple tools for backend systems and I’d be looking at creating one larger article that covers the common ones.

Moving on…

To the final instalment, the title has already given the thunder away, its simply “More Inventory”.

“More Inventory” could mean a couple of different depending upon its application, it could mean the leveraging of ‘range selling’ so that you’re better able to tackle the exit strategy (for when the item being viewed is not the item desired) for listings on different sales channels or completely new products (or services) to be added to your business.

Range Selling

Staying with “Range selling” for a few moments, this simply means that you offer the majority of a range of products. As its raining here currently I’m thinking umbrellas. So imagine you have a couple of umbrellas that you sell quite frequently, also the supplier has 20 or so  other umbrellas, that you’ve just not ventured into as of yet. These are different colours and different sizes.

Instead of sticking with just the few that sell or you’ve found that sell in the past, take one of each and add them to your inventory (virtual stock is much better for this) . Now if you’ve not included them in a multi variation listing (best case) or via size/colour attributes on Amazon in a single record (again best case) you could add extra images & links to promote the other umbrellas in the listings themselves (on Amazon this is related products). The simplest way of look at this is as a buyer “Oh I don’t like this one I’m looking at, but I might like that one”.

Note: “Range selling” was introduced to me by a seller in the toys category several years back. I didn’t really get it at first, but once I started treating them as “ranges” and cross-promoting them as such, I would find that the entire range would do really well, rather than just a few more popular items. And often as the other items in the range did poorly for others, I was able to negotiate better pricing on the entire range of products.

Simple Fact. Product IS Product

It frequently surprises me when I explain this to clients and they get the “ah-ha” moment. It does not matter if you are selling an house or a pen, the selling process is essentially the same. You document the product, you market the product, the product sales, funds change hands, the product is delivered.

A Product
= An Umbrella
= A Computer Keyboard
= A House
= …

With this in mind, what is stopping you from expanding your current product range outside of the ‘safe boundaries’? Think about it, you probably already have access to hundreds if not thousands of extra products already within your supplier groups, its just a case of looking for them.

Once you’ve found one supplier, finding their competitor is relatively childs-play. But every supplier is different and with a little effort you can easily move around the supplier-food-chain. If you’re using backend tools as mentioned in the first article, the efficiency of adding more products is amplified both in the backend creation process (internal efficiency) and also in the steps you make towards greater external efficiency. These are both universal regardless of product type.

Note: I always pick a house as the opposite end of the extreme, it has its complexities, but its still a product…

<Insert negative here>

Frankly some people either don’t like this concept or just don’t get it. The former is because they “believe” you should be specialised and I agree, you should be specialised, specialised in making more money. You’re either growing or you’re dying. Pick one.

Conclusion

Through these three articles you should have a better idea on how you can increase your on-line business. From using tools to make both internal efficiency and external efficiency greater, to adding more sales channels (hint this is the second largest spike producer in turnover) and finally to adding more products, because they’re ALL essentially the same.

5 replies
  1. Proetus
    Proetus says:

    Certainly from my small home based business and limited inventory perspective it definitely didn’t pay to specialise I started off with headphones that with perhaps as much luck as judgement my first supplier were 100% genuine wholesalers also new to the WWW. World.

    This in itself although the perfect start to my new eBay business very quickly started to dry up as my suppliers success ultimately meant more competition. I then added baby toys too my inventory.

    This is not the exact customer email but went something very similar to this.

    “Thanks for the baby toy my daughter can’t put it down I think it must have annoyed wife aswell as she has allowed me to order these headphones”

    Although both sides of the business periodically slow down they do both often seem to prop each other up

    Reply
    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Howdy Proetus,

      Oh totally, just because I bought some lawn seed, that doesn’t pin hole me into just lawn care products, I like food too and countless other product based threads, but not pink shoes though.

      Matt

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Inventory Either wider or deeper inventory. Range selling, new product verticals (widening the current range) or deeper inventory (thus better price points & supplier relationships) […]

  2. RT @lastdropofink: Part 3 (Final): More Inventory – The 3 Ways to Increase Your Online #Business – http://t.co/4lXKMqEM

  3. Part 3 (Final): More Inventory – The 3 Ways to Increase Your Online #Business – http://t.co/R0KVyOav

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