Marketing Unpopular Items during a Pandemic

Online shopping has boomed since the pandemic started. eCommerce is currently enjoying unprecedented popularity that has enticed a lot of companies, merchants, and suppliers to take their wares online, hoping to ride the wave and get a piece of the action.

However, not all products that are seen in eCommerce platforms are popular and cool. For instance, a portable toilet rental business is a lucrative and niche business but since the pandemic started and outdoor events were put to a grinding halt, it has been a struggle to market their products. Other products that were popular pre-COVID started to take a back seat to other essential items. People started to redirect their money more meaningfully and purposefully, especially those who are struggling financially and strapped for cash.

That’s not to say that these items will no longer sell. Suppliers and sellers just need to market them properly to create a need for them.

As the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Given the tough times we’re in right now, each and every sale counts. But if you’re inventory consists of items that aren’t as popular in a pandemic as it was before, you need to take certain steps to make things happen for you.

Here are some things you can do to improve your sales amid a pandemic:

Make it about the consumer’s life

Content marketing exists and is popular for a reason. They’re doing something right as far as marketing is concerned. Their take on marketing is fresh and non-threatening to people. Instead of focusing on the products which tend to make it seem like a hard sell, they concentrate on what’s important and interesting to the consumers. They look for stories that take place in consumers’ lives and use that to genuinely connect with them. This gets sellers, suppliers, and manufacturers more online engagement than just ads that highlight product features.

Associate it with a “cooler” product

Unfortunately, as much as you would like to say you offer cool and cutting-edge products, you’re probably stuck with something ordinary and unassuming. You can have that particular product be associated with something that’s cool and in-demand. You don’t need to go as far as stretching that both products are the same. You just need to find out how your item aligns with a more popular one, such as talking about how your product is integral to the other one’s functionality. Take advantage of the other product’s high demand to reposition your product as a “best-kept secret” sort of item. That should help get people to pay attention to your products and services.

Do your homework about your prospective clients and customers

Marketing is a tricky aspect of business as it requires a never-ending pursuit of knowledge. You need to constantly feed your brains with the latest trends, products, strategies, and data, including consumer data. Take time to know more about your customers and your target market. For instance, find out who wields the purchasing powers in a company and tweak your presentation that will make your product more appealing to them. Find out what their objectives and needs are and use that knowledge to your advantage.

Use product and pricing comparisons


A simple solution to your dilemma is to look at what the competition offers and some products that are comparable to yours and highlight the differences, especially the advantages, of your product compared to them. From pricing to product features, make sure you cover all bases and prove how your product is the better choice for them.

Offer discounts

Discounts and promos help increase sales. Just make sure that you clearly indicate your terms and conditions on the post.

Volume discounts help popular items sell more and those with lesser demand seem more popular. This gives consumers the option to make a one-time purchase and,  if satisfied with the product, make a recurring purchase at a lower price for each item bought in bulk.

Give your product or service a higher purpose or deeper meaning

Products and services are created for very specific needs. This means that each one of them has a specific purpose, even the most mundane ones. For instance, you may be selling bolts or nails. On its own, they may be insignificant, but if it is used for building or repairing, then it fulfills its function — it serves its purpose. Or perhaps you’re offering services that aren’t as in-demand nowadays, such as teaching dance. Talk about the health benefits of the art and how it adds value to people’s lives, especially in a pandemic.

Whatever your product is, look for its significance and meaning and use it as part of your pitch. As long as it stems from a deep desire to improve lives and a genuine heart that just wants to serve and meet people’s needs, you’ll have an easier time marketing your products and services.

Selling is hard, especially if you’re offering products and services that aren’t as in-demand or popular as others. But given the right strategies, you can make it work for you and increase your sales even in a pandemic.

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