You’ve noticed a huge new trend; all the kids are wearing chicken hats or whatever and you want to capitalize. After all, why shouldn’t it be you that rakes in a fortune and cashes out to enjoy the rest of your life on a beach due to your chicken hat fortune? There are many reasons why trying to jump on a trend likely won’t work out very well for you. It’s true that someone is raking it in due to this new fad, but the fact that you’ve already noticed it out in the world means it’s probably too late. Let’s look at why.
It’s Definitely too Late
The fact that you’ve noticed your trend out in the world means the products are already selling. In order for you to get in on it you would need to source a supplier, set up production, receive and vet test products, sort out logistics (be that handling the logistics yourself or having Amazon handle it through FBA), and finally get your product listed and moving out the door. The problem is that fads and trends die as quickly as they pop up. By the time your chicken hats are ready everyone has already moved on. Now everyone is wearing sandals that look like gecko feet and you’ve got 1200 chicken hats that will just take up space, either in your own warehouse/apartment, or that are costing you money taking up space at Amazon’s warehouses. Chasing trends is an unforgiving game that will leave you with tons of product that you can no longer sell. Just like a GM in baseball evaluating potential players, you want to find consistency.
The Competition is Fierce
If you’ve noticed a trend you are definitely not alone. Several others who believe they’ve got some inside information have also noticed this new trend. When you list your chicken hats you are competing with everyone else who has noticed the chicken hat. Sure, you might be the best at SEO and be able to get your chicken hat right at the top of the feed, but you still have all those competitors who are also getting sales. Maybe the second or third listing has a unique style that is drawing eyes away from your listing. Maybe a big brand name decided to get into the chicken hat game. It really doesn’t matter where all this competition comes from. What matters is that it’s there, there is a lot of it, and it’s cutting into your business and leaving you with unsold merchandise.
Trends and Fads Die
Fidget spinners are the go to whipping boy for the concept of fads dying, and possibly an extreme example, but they’re certainly not alone and still worth learning from. Few of the things that explode in popularity like they did actually have staying power. Working in these trendy product spaces can work out really well for someone. The issue is that there is no way to be certain that someone is you. When you chase trends you’re gambling and like with any gambling you’re more likely to lose than you are to win. Instead of doing the market research and carefully choosing products that will consistently move at good volume with little competition like we do here at Angora, trend chasing leaves you to the whims of the most fickle parts of the market. Ultimately, the best way to profit off trends is to already have the product in place when it takes off, which requires either astronomical luck, or precognition.
Slow and Steady
The fable of The Tortoise and the Hare was written in the fifth century BCE, which means that for at least 2500 years now we have known it is better to be steady, consistent, and clever. This is true nowhere more than it is in ecommerce. Chasing trends is usually a recipe for failure. There is entirely too much competition and the window of opportunity is entirely too small. An ecommerce strategy backed by research and knowledge is almost always the better way to go. Trying to capitalize on the newest big thing is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. And it is true that this section of this blog post is full of cliches, but cliches become cliches for a reason and no emerging sector is immune from the wisdom that persists throughout human history. It is absolutely better to find a niche and carve out your own space than it is to try to fit yourself into the same place that everyone else is trying to fit into. Don’t risk your future with quick schemes and impossible odds. It may not be exciting to sell dog harnesses while all around you people are walking around with their chicken hats or their gecko sandals, but people are always going to have dogs and they’re always going to need the equipment to take their furry friends for walks. If you’ve carved out your niche there, the money will keep coming as long as you keep supplying product. Stay steady and stay consistent. Be the tortoise and not the hare.