When you think of starting your online business, what comes to mind? An offline retail shop concept shifted to the internet arena? A digital product downloadable such as software, e-books, and manuals? There’s no wrong or right answers here, but digital products certainly offer some advantages over physical products.
Most internet users are very familiar with physical products. Before the internet came along, most of the products sold were physical and tangible products such as TV, furniture, clothes and toys. You can offer details that the 5 senses demanded, such as sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. A lot of offline stores have moved over to the internet world, such as Barnes and Nobles, banks, pharmaceutical stores, and clothing stores. Online stores have lower overhead costs.
So why am I recommending digital products over physical products? The shipment. One limitation of worldwide sales of physical products in E-bay is the shipment costs for large, bulky items. You can easily pay $20 to have a fridge hauled to your home, but if you buy it from another country, it will cost you a few hundred dollars at least. You need a place to store these physical products while you are selling them, and warehouse storage costs money. You can use drop ship supply to your customers, but your profit margin drops dramatically. If your products need special storage like refrigeration, the costs will escalate.
This is where digital products that are downloadable have an advantage. You can easily store the digital product on your hard disk, and nowadays, digital storage devices’ prices have dropped and depreciated rapidly with time as technology progresses. Delivery is a snap, just allow your customers to download it off the internet.
There are some downside to digital products though, but they are relatively minor to their advantages. I have heard of people’s sanity affected when their precious digital products are lost when their hard disks crashed, or when the servers were affected by viruses that wiped out all the data. Even though equipment to store them and host websites on a larger scale may be expensive, nowadays options are aplenty when it come to shared hosting that are lower in cost.
There’s money to be made in both physical and digital products. For hassle free trading, use digital products, but whatever products you choose, competitors abound, so you have to exercise the right marketing strategies to win.