When you open a store, whether brick and mortar or online, you start by thinking your store’s concept. What is your store going to be? What image do you want to convey? What type of consumer do you want to reach? Then you move on to what products will you sell to convey the concept and image you have in mind.
Or at least that’s how it is supposed to be.
I came across someone who wanted to open an online store selling military coins and eco-friendly stuff for babies and adults.
My first reaction was “Whaaaaat?” Military coins and eco-friendly items do not match at all — they have two different markets, where a buyer of military coins may not even give a hoot about buying eco-friendly items. They are just so different from one another where it doesn’t make sense to combine the two together.
It’s one thing to launch a store where you offer anything and everything for one group of audience (e.g. store for women where you offer shoes, clothes, accessories, makeup, etc); or you are everything and anything for everyone like Amazon.com. But to offer two mismatched product lines with no common elements together is just courting for disaster.
When choosing the product lines to sell, the rule of thumb is simple: does it make sense to the customer?
If it makes sense to the customer, then you’ve won half the battle. The last thing you want is for a customer to go into your store, especially online, and get confused as to what you are really all about. You want products that your target market is interested in, so you won’t have to work twice as hard and spend twice as much to reach two different clientele.
Take pregnancy mom clothes and baby clothes and baby accessories — those two work well together. Your client — the pregnant mom — is highly likely to be interested in baby stuffs. So with one customer, you have a higher chance of getting more per sales from that one single person
If you sell eco friendly stuff for babies and adults, extend your product line to eco friendly and baby friendly home furnishings. Or even eco-friendly home cleaning products. You want to get more from each customer that goes into your store to help maximize your marketing expenses. A customer who wants eco friendly items for themselves and their babies is more likely to be interested in eco friendly items for the homes. If a person can buy 5 items from your store instead of just 1, then so much the better!
If you want to sell two mismatched items, it is better to create separate stores for them, and not shove them together in one store in an effort to save on domain name registration, hosting or other online store operating expenses.
Otherwise, you’ll end up confusing the customer: what is your store really about? Why would I buy from you when I don’t know what you are really selling? And you dont want that. This is basically the essence of branding, where you convey to your customers who you are and what you are about.