eCommerce and starting an online business represent excellent ways to start earning a new stream of income, and when people are willing to stick with it they often find that it becomes a full-time career for them. Knowing where to start with eCommerce can be one of the most difficult components of this kind of business, however.
There’s plenty of information, and there are lots of resources out there, but how do you sift through those and determine which are going to be most valuable for you? The learning curve with eCommerce and online businesses can be frustrating, which is one reason some people might not stick with it.
There’s also a lot of competition, and choosing the right products to sell is essential to overcoming some of that competition and making a space for yourself.
“This is because the market for them is already oversaturated and you’re likely to get overlooked due to all the more popular sellers already in the niche,” said David Zheng of Wise Merchant, about trying to sell the most popular current products.
So what can you do to set yourself apart? One option is called white labeling, and the following are some of the things you should know to determine if this could be a good route for you to take.
What Is White Labeling?
White labeling is a term that means a retailer or marketer is taking a product which is generic and is created by a manufacturer and they’re reselling it as their own brand and under their own name. A white label product can be sold by other retailers, and of course, they’ll then market it under their name and brand as well.
Retailers can mark up the product to earn a profit. This is different from private labeling. Private labeling means you’re getting products from a manufacturer and then they’re sold exclusively under your brand, as the retailer. When you do private labeling, you can usually work with the manufacturer to make changes to the product and customize it so that it is truly your own.
The primary benefit of white labeling over private labeling is that you’re going to be able to sell products faster, although of course, your only means of differentiation from other retailers also selling the product is going to be due to your unique brand and your marketing.
What Type of Products Should You Sell?
Before you decide on any white label product you’re going to sell, you should do some pretty extensive research. This was touched on a bit above regarding the quote from Wise Merchant, but if you don’t choose the right niche, then it’s not going to matter how great your product or your branding are.
You want to choose a product or products that there’s enough interest in for people to come to your site to buy them, but it can’t be oversaturated.
When you think you have some products in mind, you’ll have to do competitor research. You’ll need to focus on what your possible competitors are doing especially in terms of branding, marketing, and overall customer outreach since this is going to be what sets you apart.
How Do You Find Manufacturers?
When you’re doing white labeling, it’s very important to find a manufacturer who’s going to deliver on their commitments and give you a high-quality product. If you’re getting products that are somehow defective or create problems for your customer, it can be extremely damaging to your brand.
Often you can simply perform a Google search and you’ll find a lot of manufacturers who do white labeling, but that doesn’t mean they’re all going to do it well.
You should always request samples of products before signing any big contracts, and you want to consider issues such as delivery timeliness and what they do if you have returns because of defections or issues originating with the manufacturer.
White Label Product Agreements
You should work with a manufacturer based on a white label product agreement. This agreement should define specifics of product production, and it will also likely have information about how you as the retailer are to brand the product.
Details that might be included in a white label product agreement can include specifications of the products, how they’re manufactured, how products should be packaged, customer support, and any patents, trademarks or copyrights that may apply.
Going with a white label product might not be right for every eCommerce business, but it is one viable option particularly if you don’t have the time or budget to develop your own product and you don’t want to do dropshipping.