Product sourcing refers to the process in which a business or seller attains stock to sell.
Knowing how to source products to sell online is the number one task for most online sellers, and to set their brand apart from the competition, they must conduct thorough product research, where and from whom to buy inventory, shipping details, marketing, and more.
In this article, we’ll go more into detail about how to direct source products to sell online and become a successful eCommerce owner.
Choose Sourcing Model
First and foremost, you need to decide on the sourcing model. Different models of product sourcing may entail working with a wholesaler or manufacturer, dropshipping or DIY products.
Non-Inventory Based (Dropshipping)
Dropshipping is basically described as a business model that makes it possible to run eCommerce without having your inventory. Instead, the products are sent directly from the manufacturer or distributor to the end customer.
It has become increasingly popular among online sellers as they can focus more on marketing and sales instead of packing and distributing the goods. A crucial advantage of dropshipping is that you avoid the costs of warehousing. This also means reduced risk.
Instead, all risk is transferred to the supplier and you can quickly adapt to changing demand.
As a seller, it is critical to be able to trust the distributor and ensure that the customers not only receive the expected quality but also that the products arrive on time. Customers’ satisfaction is a success factor in being able to succeed as an online seller. Therefore, choosing a reliable supplier is crucial.
This model requires you to keep the actual stock of the products you sell. Purchasing from wholesalers or manufacturers is part of the inventory-based sourcing models.
Wholesale is the process of purchasing products in bulk with the goal of packaging or distributing the goods to retailers. As the products are sold in bulk, retailers can charge a higher price to customers than what they paid for the product from the wholesaler, thereby earning a profit.
Buying wholesale is a popular option but wholesale liquidation goods are also becoming a common choice among eCommerce sellers who look at this as their next venture. Dealing with liquidation pallets is a great option as this type gives sellers access to the desired stock at a fraction of the usual price.
Liquidation pallets can be auctioned off to bidders at highly discounted rates and are ideal for startups, discount stores, flea markets, and especially online resellers, who can resell them and earn good money.
A Sound Approach to Data
Once you choose your sourcing model, pick a product line or category and opt for one that will deliver good margin, volume, and frequency.
Sourcing products isn’t just about having a good product. You must establish a consistent flow between the product to the research, shipping, and final phases. Do research so you’re sure that you’re selling the product to the right market.
Your shipping method must also have financial logic with the entire process. Simply put, each stage of selling a product online must be supported by actionable data which will make you feel confident that you’ve made the right, most reasonable, and profitable decisions.
Insights to Act Upon
Fortunately, you’re not left on your own when navigating sourcing products. Sales estimators, for instance, are tools that can help you learn how to source products using actionable insights but also how to evaluate your current status and ensure you’re operating with the most profitable sourcing methods.
Key data points concerning marketplaces with the highest profit opportunity, product demand level, costs, and potential revenue can be essential to the overall success of your online business and prevent deadstock.
Find and Select Suppliers
Lastly, it’s time to find product suppliers for your online business. As mentioned before, they can be wholesalers of manufacturers. You can use platforms like Alibaba, for example, to find the most suitable manufacturers or suppliers for your online store.
To make it easier on yourself, focus on those with experience, good ratings and reviews, quality certifications, and an independent R&D team.
Being able to physically visit and source from wholesale markets means that there are fewer chances of fraud as you can see, inspect and buy the product directly. In addition, the logistics turnaround time also decreases to a great extent.
Sourcing products to sell online doesn’t have to be complicated. By having a good plan and using the right tools, you can do it efficiently and professionally. Keep in mind, however, that success doesn’t happen overnight. You have to analyze the competition, make wise decisions, and use actionable data insights. When done right, product sourcing will increase your sales and create substantial profit.