Private labeling may seem like a mysterious ecommerce business technique to boost your revenue, but it actually accounts for nearly 18% of the entire retail market with a value of roughly $199 billion dollars. You can use the method to expand your online store without trying to reinvent the wheel on product creation. Here’s how to start private labeling and what it can do for your e-commerce business.

What is Private Labeling?

image of ecommerce store on laptop and smartphone - Figma Expert Irvine - digital nomad designs.jpgPrivate labeling, or white labeling, is when you work with a third-party manufacturer to make custom-branded products for your store. It’s a savvy move when you already have a customer base or some kind of following and want to generate more revenue. As you get your products up and running, they can become a source of passive income as they sell repeatedly. 

Private labeling gives you control over the production as you work with manufacturers to figure out what type of materials, colors, or quality you want. You can also help set pricing and take ownership of the product across branding and marketing.

If you’re ready to move forward on private labeling, here’s how to make it work for your ecommerce business.

Identify a Niche Market

The first step in creating a private-label product is identifying your niche market. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Skincare
  • Pet products
  • Travel gear
  • Products geared toward remote workers
  • Gardening supplies and gear

Some niche markets are over-saturated, making it harder to stand out. For example, there are thousands of ecommerce businesses in the skincare space, but not as many are geared toward specific skin conditions like eczema. Beyond the products you want to sell, make sure you have a unique selling proposition (USP) or angle in mind. Or your gardening supplies could include shovels with a unique handle that’s both colorful and easy on your hands for people dealing with arthritis.

There’s always a fresh way to approach an established market, so keep narrowing down your options and get to work sizing up your competition.

Find Private Label Manufacturers

Once you narrow down what products you want to sell in your online store, you need to team up with manufacturers to create your private-label products. Start by searching online marketplaces, like Alibaba, to find willing manufacturers ready to work on your idea. Reddit also has a Private Labeling subreddit that’s a goldmine for tracking down manufacturers and asking for advice.

Whenever possible, try to find reviews of the manufacturers before you get in touch. It’s also wise to reach out with concrete detail about the following:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Design
  • Materials or ingredients
  • Texture
  • Colors

The more specific you can get about what you want, the better. If possible, send a sketch or mock-up of what you have in mind. 

Ask for Samples

If your manufacturer is on board and ready to put your product together, you still need to order a sample first. The manufacturer may have a different idea than you do, making it imperative to test the product yourself to ensure it looks fantastic, works well, and is up to your standards. If the sample arrives and is disappointing, give it another shot. It can take a few tries, and even a few manufacturers, to find the best private label options for your ecommerce business.

Promote Your Products with Content Marketing

laptop with website conversions - Measure Shopify Performance - digital nomad designs.jpgUnless you have an eager audience that’s ready to buy, you need to do more than list your new products in your online store. Hone in on your marketing with the help of content. Whether it’s YouTube videos, a blog, or case studies, use the power of content marketing creates connections with your customers. Content marketing also helps customers understand more about the product, strengthen your SEO, and improve your Google search rankings. 

Of course, your SEO strategy should include more than content marketing with great keywords. Learn what to look for to fuel your search engine rankings here

When to Consider POD Instead

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the white-label process, there are similar options to consider. POD, or print-on-demand, provides an easy way to apply your designs to products like T-shirts, mugs, homeware, bags, and more. You can experiment with the design and color as much as you want without the risk. With no inventory to carry, you get paid when an item sells, and the POD company produces, fulfills, and ships it for you. Request a branded shipping label be used with every product to reflect your business.

Next Steps

When you’re ready to take the next steps and expand your ecommerce business, we’re here to help. Digital Nomad Designs are WordPress and Shopify web design experts. Whether it’s SEO, shop management, content creation, or A/B testing, our goal is to continuously optimize the user experience and improve your conversion rate. Ready to launch or grow your local business and dominate your niche? Book a call with us today to discuss your online store.