What is Product Sourcing?
Most of the people are very much confused about the term “Product Sourcing”. To put it simply, product sourcing is the process in which you have to find an ideal product and sell through your business. It is not that simple to find the products and sell them at a price that can attract huge profits. Finding the right source from where you can get the quality product is the real challenge most of the online retailer’s face.
So, now if you have decided to sell the products in eCommerce Platform, here are a few things you need to check before starting:
- Registration of your business
- All your business documentation should be in order
- Determining which product would be ideal in your region to sell (Knowing the market and niche business).
Methods of Product Sourcing
Most retailers sometimes use a single method and sometimes a combination of methods such as:
Product Sourcing from Manufacturers:
Working with manufacturers means you are hiring an associate who would make a product for you. This method is suitable for sellers who don’t want to invest in manufacturing the product themselves. Product sourcing from the manufacturer is also a feasible method as it cuts down the middlemen and the cost associated with it.
Pros: Manufacturers usually consider those sellers who require minimum order quantity (MOQ). The products that you buy in bulk comes at a very cheap price. This increases your profit margin and you are able to list your products at a very competitive price.
Cons: Not viable for businesses having smaller budgets. As you not only need plenty of capital but also space for storing the products.
How to Find the right manufacturer for your business: You can easily search online for the manufacturers you want to work with. If you are still not sure, you can also attend the expos, trade shows and other industrial events near you to get the better idea of what the manufacturer can provide. This event also allows you to meet the manufacturer and talk to them face to face.
Product Sourcing from Wholesalers
Best suitable for sellers who are not keen towards manufacturing and assembling the products themselves. It is also the best option as it helps to scale your business, which means you can add more products as your brand grows. But spend some time finding the right wholesale associate as it would help to run your business smoothly.
Pros: This is an easier way to stock up your business. Wholesalers are likely to provide a steady supply of the products for your business. Working with the right wholesaler enables you to sell wide-ranging and unique products. Here you don’t have to set a time period for making the product.
Cons: Upfront investment would be high as you would be required to buy the product in bulk. There are chances of other retailers selling the same product as yours. So, competition would also be high.
How to find the right wholesaler for your business: You need to do a bit of research to find the right wholesaler for the product you want to sell. You can check out for the suppliers online like Alibaba, who offers a huge product catalog for the online retailers. Online directory is also the best option to find the right product supplier for you. But it would be a time-consuming process.
DIY or Handmade Products
People these days are keener towards buying natural handmade products. Handcrafting has been done by many craftsmen for centuries. But today’s digital world has created a big difference and provided a great platform for such products. You get a wider reach on the internet for selling handmade goods. Many such artisans make a living, selling such handmade products.
Pros: One of the advantages of selling the handmade product is that no one else would be selling exactly the same product. You get complete control over your brand. Startup costs are also low.
Cons: You need to put a lot of your time and energy into this business. Making your own product and then selling takes time. You will also require time for marketing and frequently listing and updating the inventory of your business. You also have to see that if sales suddenly take off, will you be able to keep up with the demand?
How to Get Started: You first need to check for the option where you can source the materials from. It could be from any local craft store, local flea market, some retail store or an estate sales. Check out for even the minute details or materials you need, to make the product. Also note, from which other stores you can get the material and how much will it cost. This will help you to determine the exact and most affordable cost for your product.
Drop shipping is another form of product sourcing that allows you to list the products of different vendors on your websites or online store. The vendor would charge only if the product is sold. The vendor even ships the product to the customer. You will not be required to handle the products at all. With drop shipping, you can have access to a variety of products.
Pros: Drop shipping means you don’t have to handle the inventory, shipping or packaging. You get the flexibility to choose from a wide variety of products and list on your online store.
Cons: The major drawback with drop shipping is that you will have a huge competition. You won’t be the only online retailer selling the products. You will also have lower profit margins. To earn huge profits, you need to sell more.
Points to consider: If you are looking for a supplier then you would come across thousands of options on the internet. Spend some time researching the best supplier. Go through their business details minutely and check for customer reviews to know if the product they are selling is good or not. Ensure that the company is reputable and would help you to earn good profits.
You can apply some innovative strategies while using the four methods listed above. The only thing is that you need to research a bit to find the right product and supplier for your business.