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How to Come Up With An Idea For An Online Store

03/02/2022 | Share:

Want to start an online store but not sure where to start? With ecommerce stores predicted to fulfil one-third of all retail sales by 2024, this is no small sector, and competition can be fierce – which can make it even harder to know where you fit in.

Running an online store certainly has its appeal, but it’s a journey that comes with a tough set of challenges. Starting any business is hard work, and it can often feel very overwhelming, especially in the first few months. It is so important to consider online retail as a get-rich-quick scheme or a fun hobby, but the truth is that basic business principles will apply.

However, we’re here to help, not to put you off! And, it’s important to realise that countless people have already made this leap into entrepreneurship wholly successfully. With the right idea, willpower and determination, there is no reason that you can’t join this industry and become a pro.

To come up with the best business idea for you, we’ve put together some handy starting points and a collection of considerations that should help make this an enjoyable and profitable journey.

Solve Your Own Problem

Sometimes solving a problem isn’t creating a unique solution but improving an existing one. As a consumer yourself, you will likely have an opinion about a product or service that could be improved. If nobody else is doing this, then you may have found your gap in the market.

Ecommerce entrepreneurs looking for problems to solve don’t need to become revolutionary; they just have to be a little bit better than what’s already out there. Of course, you need to look at things like copyright here to ensure you don’t face any legal consequences!

Focus on Something You’re Passionate About

Such as is the mantra: ‘Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life’ goes, apply this to your planning process and consider what it is that matters the most to you. It is fruitless debating running an online pet store if you have no interest in pets; when something isn’t fun, you won’t apply passion to it and could be setting yourself up for failure.

Look at What Other Business Are Doing

Look around the market and see who is doing what. Could you do better? Here is where you may find your niche, your community, and even your vocation. If you’re interested in designing wall art, look at how other companies are doing this, how successful they are, and the ways you would improve their efforts.

What are Suppliers Providing?

Research your potential suppliers and collect as many quotes as you can in order to see who may be the best fit for your business model. Think about all the services you need to outsource here.

If your own home isn’t suitable for storing products, you’ll need to look at wholesaling and warehouses. All of this will entail additional costs against your total budget.

Speak to People

One of the greatest ways to find out what people want is simply by asking. This could be within your local community, social media page, or place of work. By doing this, you’ll likely identify what is missing that you could be filling.

Look at the Latest Trends

What are consumers wanting right now? You can find a wealth of information online regarding current product trends, consumers trends, and trend predictions for the commencing year.

Look at several different trusted websites to compare the findings, as they’ll likely be using variable data from various sources. But you will be able to see which products are repeated across the board.

Use Social Media

Social media now holds a plethora of open doors for today’s businesses, including ideas! Below are just 8 clever ways you can use social media to spark your online store:

  • Reddit: search questions in subreddits – make use of things like the Ask Me Anything feature to uncover some excellent potential ideas you may not have thought of.
  • Pinterest: here is where you’ll likely find the latest hot topic and must-have product, so create an account and start sifting through the comments.
  • Check out Competitors: Monitor the social media activity of the major players in your potential industry; pay particular attention to the banter among users on the thread to assemble a greater understanding of this market ecosystem.
  • Look at Complaints: People can post unashamedly on social media posts with their negative opinions and criticisms (no, really!), so see why your potential consumers feel let down by other businesses, to see how you could improve on this.
  • What’s Trending: When scrolling through your feeds, pay attention to what you’re seeing, and you’ll likely start to see a trend forming. For example, if you search for baby teething products, you’ll find a host of info about medicines and much less about natural methods – which could be your gateway into business.
  • Hashtags: Instagram is the place for hashtag trends and an excellent platform to see what your audience is talking about; if comments are open, this could be an even more valuable insight into what consumers want.
  • Groups: Join groups on Facebook, and you’ll find them to be a gold mine for business ideas. Larger groups will likely be a mixture of consumers and competitors and an excellent place for you to hover and note what is being said about a relevant industry.


Bring Popular Ideas From Another Country

The beautiful diversity of the UK is due to its people who have come from far and wide, and each land of origin brought something fantastic with it. So, you can’t reinvent curries, and fried chicken has been done to death, but you could look at what is highly profitable in another country that isn’t yet available in ours.

Again, the internet is your best friend here. A quick search of what products are trending across the globe will increase your awareness of things that aren’t yet here but could very much work. For example, a top product right now in Australia is wooden watches; consumers love their comfort and that they’re degradable. You could build on this, offering customization or various patterns.

Rounding Up

Hopefully, now you know where to begin to look for a great idea for your online store. The internet is invaluable and will offer up unlimited ideas about products and services. It’s so important to research thoroughly; the more extensive the time investment in the early days, the greater the profits later on down the road.

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