The product is the first part of my triad, perhaps the most obvious.

First, there are products in the Internet that cannot be sold, or with a very small  sale (usually applied to hobbyists). We should think about the concept of the “target market” as of a group of customers to whom the company directs marketing operations and, ultimately, sells goods. A well defined target market is the first element of every good marketing strategy. The target market and the product marketing variables, it means:  place (distribution),  promotion and  price are  four elements of marketing strategy that  determine the success of the product on the market. This refers to the market in general,   the target market in the Internet is much more complicated, because of the fact that some clients are – for various reasons – “untouched”  by the Internet.

Some products are very specific,  the “Coca Cola” is not a product to be sold through the Internet, unless it is the advertising and a brand support, or any charitable activity. The same, we do not sell coffins in the Internet, unless we want to advertise a local store, or a manufacturer of coffins, looking for distributors all over the world.

Another issue is to sell services in the Internet. Shortly, more or less it is the same as in the case of sellers of coffins, in terms of local advertising of a service company (here we should understand  well the “local positionning,” in my opinion the most effective for services).

From Wikipedia: ” In general, the product is defined as a “thing produced by labor or effort” or the “result of an act or a process”, and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce(re) ‘(to) lead or bring forth’. Since 1575, the word “product” has referred to anything produced. Since 1695, the word has referred to “thing or things produced”. In economics and commerce, products belong to a broader category of goods. The economic meaning of product was first used by political economist Adam Smith. In marketing, a product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need. In retailing, products are called merchandise. In manufacturing, products are purchased as raw materials and sold as finished goods. Commodities are usually raw materials such as metals and agricultural products, but a commodity can also be anything widely available in the open market. In project management, products are the formal definition of the project deliverables that make up or contribute to delivering the objectives of the project. In insurance, the policies are considered products offered for sale by the insurance company that created the contract. A related concept is subproduct, a secondary but useful result of a production process. Dangerous products, particularly physical ones, that cause injuries to consumers or bystanders may be subject to product liability. PRODUCT’ can be classified as tangible or intangible. A tangible product is a physical object that can be perceived by touch such as a building, vehicle, gadget, or clothing. An intangible product is a product that can only be perceived indirectly such as an insurance policy. Intangible Data Products can further be classified into Virtual Digital Goods (“VDG”) that are virtually located on a computer OS and accessible to users as conventional file types, such as JPG and MP3 files, without requiring further application process or transformational work by programmers, and as such the use may be subject to licence and/or rights of digital transfer, and Real Digital Goods (“RDG”) that may exist within the presentational elements of a data program independent of a conventional file type, commonly viewed as 3-D objects or a presentational item subject to user control or virtual transfer within the same visual media program platform. Open Source Code, GNU Linux, or even Android, may manipulate and/or convert base Virtual Digital Goods (“VDG”) into process-oriented Real Digital Goods (“RDG”), as part of an application process or manufactured service that may be viewed on Personal Data Assistant (“PDA”) or other hand-held tangible devices or OS computer. In its online product catalog, retailer Sears, Roebuck and Company divides its products into “departments”, then presents products to potential shoppers according to (1) function or (2) brand. Each product has a Sears item-number and a manufacturer’s model-number. Sears uses the departments and product groupings with the intention of helping customers browse products by function or brand within a traditional Raj department-store structure. A product line is “a group of products that are closely related, either because they function in a similar manner, are sold to the same customer groups, are marketed through the same types of outlets, or fall within given price ranges.” Many businesses offer a range of product lines which may be unique to a single organization or may be common across the business’s industry. In 2002 the US Census compiled revenue figures for the finance and insurance industry by various product lines such as “accident, health and medical insurance premiums” and “income from secured consumer loans”. Within the insurance industry, product lines are indicated by the type of risk coverage, such as auto insurance, commercial insurance and life insurance. Various classification systems for products have been developed for economic statistical purposes. The NAFTA signatories are working on a system that classifies products called NAPCS as a companion to North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The European Union uses a “Classification of Products by Activity” among other product classifications. The United Nations also classifies products for international economic activity reporting.

The Aspinwall Classification System classifies and rates products based on five variables:

  1. Replacement rate (How frequently is the product repurchased?)
  2. Gross margin (How much profit is obtained from each product?)
  3. Buyer goal adjustment (How flexible are the buyers’ purchasing habits with regard to this product?)
  4. Duration of product satisfaction (How long will the product produce benefits for the user?)
  5. Duration of buyer search behavior (How long will consumers shop for the product?)

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) developed a commodity and services classification system for use by state and local governments, the NIGP Code. The NIGP Code is used by 33 states within the United States as well as thousands of cities, counties and political subdivisions. The NIGP Code is a hierarchical schema consisting of a 3 digit class, 5 digit class-item, 7 digit class-item-group and an 11 digit class-item-group-detail. Applications of the NIGP Code include vendor registration, inventory item identification, contract item management, spend analysis and strategic sourcing.raj. A manufacturer usually provides an identifier for each particular type of product they make, known as a model, model variant, or model number. For example, Dyson Ltd, a manufacturer of appliances (mainly vacuum cleaners), requires customers to identify their model in the support section of the website. Brand and model can be used together to identify products in the market. The model number is not necessarily the same as the manufacturer part number (MPN). A specific unit of a product is usually identified by a serial number.”

The understanding of products is crucial, if we want to find  a specific group of products to be easily sold in the Internet. It implies, also,  a knowledge concerning the market of producers and customers.

1. Concepts of Marketing:  Marketing Theory

2. A history of schools of marketing thought (by Eric H. Shaw and D.G. Brian Jones)

3. How to Sell a Product Online?