Perhaps I should have titled this article, ‘What can’t you sell with eCommerce.’ It would have been a much shorter article since there is very little you can’t sell with eCommerce.
eCommerce today is a far cry from what it used to be when Amazon first came online. Today, starting an eCommerce business is open to almost anyone with a great idea, some creativity, and willingness to work hard and persist.
Most Popular eCommerce Product Categories
It is simply impossible to list everything you can sell using eCommerce. However, I can briefly touch on the most popular eCommerce product categories that most products will fall into.
There are very few physical products that can’t be sold using an eCommerce store. From clothing to books, food, electronics, furniture, hardware, gadgets, and everything in between. There are literally millions, probably tens of millions of products that you can sell online.
A key difference between physical products and other product categories is the fact that physical products typically require storage and need to be shipped to the customer.
An exception is in the case of dropshipping, where you can sell physical products without ever having handled the product as the storage and shipping is taken care of by the dropshipper.
Digital products include any product that does not have a physical form. Digital products include ebooks, music, video content, graphic templates, software, photos and more.
One of the great things about digital products is the fact that you don’t need to worry about shipping and storage space which simplifies store setup.
Selling educational content or online courses is a sub-category of digital products. Typically, you will need to make use of a Learning Management System to house your learning content and this is then connected to an eCommerce system or has it’s own built-in payment system.
Selling educational content is extremely popular and there are no shortage of course ideas in this space.
Membership sites typically provide access to content, tools or features by restricting access to paying members. This is done using an eCommerce system combined with a membership system.
Quite often membership sites also include eLearning features and include educational content. Other types of content that may be provided to paying members includes articles, downloadables, communication tools such as in the case of a private social network.
In fact, creating niche private social or business networks that function much the same as Facebook or LinkedIn are growing in popularity.
Accommodation & Events
Buying tickets to events or booking and making payment for a variety of appointments has been a popular use of eCommerce tools for quite some time.
eCommerce tools today allow for booking calendars, ticket generation, accommodation reservations and more.
A less common use of eCommerce is to sell services. While software has been sold as a service (Software As A Service – SAAS) for years now, most businesses that sell services have not yet made the leap to actually packaging and selling their services through online payment gateways.
With the dramatic boom in eCommerce over the last two years there has never been a better time to add service plans that can be purchased online and reach whole new markets.
Advertising & Listings
Another use of eCommerce involves selling advertising or listing space online.
Building an eCommerce platform where people can list cars, property, classified style ads and a whole lot more remains a popular way to generate income online.
Another use of an eCommerce store actually bypasses much of the stores features. Affiliates can use an eCommerce store as a catalog to list affiliate products. This use of an eCommerce store requires no payment gateways, shipping options or user account settings. Visitors to the store simply view affiliate products and then click a link that will take them to the product seller’s store or website to complete the purchase.
The affiliate makes a commission on all eligible sales but does not take any payment from the customer nor ships any products.
This concludes this very brief introduction to what you can sell online using your eCommerce store. There really are very few limits besides your imagination of of course some legal restrictions that will vary from country to country or state.
If you have a product, a service, some useful or rare content or something you feel there is a market for, then chances are you can see it using an eCommerce store.
If you are looking for a partner to help you launch your eCommerce empire then be sure to take a look at our Launchpad Cloud eCommerce Platform. otherwise feel free to get in touch.