Have you ever thought of selling children’s products online? No doubt about it, there’s lots of competition, both from other online stores and the big guys, Amazon. But on the other hand, parents do love to spend money on their children, so the demand is huge.
One important pitfall to avoid is offering a product that is like those already sold by huge retailers. As a small business you simply can’t compete with these retailers on price because they have the advantages of scale, including cheap distribution and the ability to buy in bulk. Instead, you need to find a niche you can serve or do something better than the big companies. ‘Better’ could mean a product that isn’t available anywhere else or more personal customer service, for example.
Read on for some ideas of how to not compete with the big retailers…
Invent and sell an innovative product
If you ever found yourself bathing your baby or trying to get her to sleep and thinking ‘there has to be a better way!’ then you’re in good company. Some mums have gone one step further and created products to make other parents’ lives easier, including Cara Sayer of SnoozeShade and Helen Wooldridge and Polly Marsh of Cuddledry. An advantage with inventing your own product is that you’ll intimately understand your audience and their needs – after all you’ve been there, done that – so you’ll be able to tailor your product, branding and marketing very precisely.
Sell a top-quality product
We all want the best for our children, so how about buying them the same socks as worn by a prince? Prince George was pictured wearing Condor UK online shop’s classic navy baby knee length socks in official pictures released by the palace. This is a great example of a company not only selling a top-quality product, but also being able to demonstrate this to their customers. Most parents can only dream of having a budget like Prince George’s parents, but they would be happy to buy knitted cardigans for babies from the same store.
Sell an ethical product
Over the past few years customers have been demanding more ethical products. This can be a challenge for large businesses because they must keep their prices at around the same level as before to avoid losing customers and they have complex supply chains that are difficult to change quickly. Also, not all parents can afford the price increase that is often unavoidable with organic or fair-trade products, which makes those that are willing to pay a niche worth exploring. Little Green Radicals and Frugi are two such online stores.
That said, ethical doesn’t have to mean more expensive. There are many opportunities for small businesses with products that are both ethical and could save people money, for example vintage and upcycled clothing or cloth nappies.
It may not look like it at first, but there are many untapped opportunities for selling children’s products out there. With a little creativity and some careful research, you could find a niche with parents who would love to buy from you.