Product is the last in our series. Some may argue that product should be first; however, for those considering e-commerce product should be considered last. The reason is that many people are looking for ways to generate revenue through the Internet. These people will need to take inventory of their individual skill sets and resources.

Products vary from in-house produced items to resale items. Would an automobile be considered an in-house item or a resale item? If you said resale you would be correct, because the automobile manufacturer sells the product to a dealer for resale. Many people in e-commerce will be involved with resale, so they will need to consider the other three principles of marketing before settling on a product.

Product volume needs to be considered. Do you have a product that is geared towards high volume sales, repeat sales or more towards a one time purchase? High volume sales generally result from low cost items or staples, like food and greeting cards. High volume sales can represent repeat sales; however, if your product has intense competition the repeat sales may be to your competitor.

Inventory needs to be considered with product. By inventory we are not only talking about what you have in your warehouse or stockroom, but also supply chain. You may have a great price on laptop computers; however, if your battery supplier goes on strike or cannot keep up with your sales you are going to lose sales. You want to stay away from products that have a complex supply chain while just starting out.

When we consider the other three principles of marketing: price, promotion and placement, product will tend to fall into line. We will tend to want to market products that we have heard about or used ourselves due to the comfort level and user acceptance. However, I have seen products that were re-marketed after not gaining user acceptance that performed quite well. Enjoy selecting your product(s) and remember marketing is about people.

Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS