Not many things can be quite as exciting to the would-be online entrepreneur than seeing their first shiny products appear in search results. At last, the money will soon start to roll in they think.
The reality is often very different. Firstly, potential customers need to find the shop, then they need to find the products within the store, and finally, perhaps most importantly, the price must be right….and thereby lies the problem.
With literally tens of thousands of new online stores appearing each year, we will in time reach saturation point. Just as high street shops have been dwindling due the the enormous buying power enjoyed by the big corporate giants such as the supermarkets, so too online retailers will soon face similar issues.
On the face of it only the strong will survive. I already speak to online store holders who are struggling to compete with the larger buyers or conversely, with the ever growing crowd of eBay sellers who cut prices to such ridiculously low margins of profit that only someone who already has another form of income will manage to survive.
Is that it then? No point in starting a new business?
Thankfully, no. There are still unfilled niches that can pay a good return. Niches where those already trading products within the niche have not slashed prices beyond all hope of profitability.
Perhaps the store could sell unique products? It seems to me that there is a lot of scope for manufacturers to sell there own products online to good effect. A bit daunting for some maybe, but even as I write I notice the larger number of adverts appearing for in-house e-commerce specialists, so it is probably only a matter of time before many cut off their stockists and represent the brand in every respect.
As always, those who get the best domains will certainly get the initial advantage, and I predict that many of the generic names will start selling for stratospheric prices. Country specific domains will become ever important to make the most of the local search bias that Google et al have been busily rolling out throughout the SERPosphere.
Professional SEO services are becoming ever necessary for all who want to appear above the fold in any given niche, so even though we have frozen our prices for a year to give everyone a chance to cope with the current financial crisis, it is only a matter of time before the bigger SEO companies will be able to name their price.