European e-commerce market is already full of a variety of products which come in different variants at varied prices. As written in my previous post Europeans also have access and are very eager to do cross-border shopping. In such case is there any way you can squeeze your offer into a new market?
E-commerce sites around the world since its revolutionary beginning attracted shoppers looking for books and electronics mostly. In the very start mostly male audience was engaged in online shopping due to its technical character. However with time also apparel got its fair share in e-shops’ biggest profits generators. Thus, in general 2011 statistics show that shoppers most willingly buy books (44%), clothes and shoes (36%). A lot attention has also been focused on bookings, where e-commerce seems like a perfect solution since you’re actually selling an abstract item, no problems with delivery.
Is Europe any different?
According to the infographics by e-commerce facts in most European countries the situation isn’t any different. Electronics lead the sales of such countries as Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, while the runners-up consist of well-known books, apparel and movies. What counts is also music, cosmetics, bookings and home décor. As to the last one its average expense value increased by 49% in 2010 making it around €220 on average order (according to e-commerce facts) which suggest that people are getting used to buying literally everything online. This summer in Great Britain we could observe a decent increase in the sales of clothes and apparel that went up to 15% out of which 42% were accessories. This is of course not a niche, but the point is to introduce products that actually sale with some niche accent, so to distinguish yourself from the mass.
Use your own resources
Once you enter any European market with your offer you can expect sometimes significant cultural differences in between the countries. Although, Europe is generally considered western society with western customs and culture, the cuisine, customs and fashion differs greatly across the continent. This cultural diversity is something you can use to your advantage. Let’s analyze this basing on the example of apparel. There are several e-shops in the UK where you can buy amber jewelry. It seems like a good choice for business since amber is a well-recognizable gem of Baltic area that is not commonly present in other parts of Europe, unless imported. Thus, the Brits can buy it on holiday while visiting Baltic shore. Of course it is being imported and sold in some jewelry shops but the price and patterns are not that convincing.
One of the e-shops selling in the UK comes from Warsaw and made its focus on amber jeweler, however also trying to push some other products to British unique-apparel enthusiasts.
The e-commerce site is analyzing its target to jewelry shoppers who very often happen to be the apparel shoppers in general. Thus, there’s also an idea of introducing also popular accessories with a touch of the region their involved with due to amber sales. Such initiative might work just well if marketed in a good way. We keep our fingers crossed!
Befriend your stock
Often the secret to making better purchasing decisions comes down to what a buyer knows about the product and the market.
When purchasing products for you e-commerce site decide on something you know very well. Remember that you and your employees will have to answer shoppers’ questions about you inventory, thus is best to plant the passion for your choice in the company. That also includes appropriate website design and content (products description, maybe an about page). Thus, if you focus on something not so well-known to the target audience try to introduce it in a right way. Prepare a detailed about page and try to create a trend for that thing you sell. To illustrate we may take a look at the other British amber e-shop.
Check their about page! It seems like they’ve taken a good strategy firstly introducing amber to the shopper and then explaining their passion for what they do.
Each time you enter a new market you have an upper hand if it comes to the inventory but more difficulties convincing the shopper to buy. You can offer treats that are not yet known in the target market and that always raises interest in the products but you need a good marketing for that, because sometimes you’ll have to first create a trend.
If you know your market very well and are passionate about the sector you’re working with, you may risk and introduce novelties or niche products. However, if you don’t have that ace up your sleeve considers adding some of your local flavour to the commonly bought items.
Are you successfully selling any niche products? What are your e-shop’s bestsellers this season?