It helps to know which side your business is when it comes planning your resources. From a simplistic viewpoint, all business exist to fulfill consumer’s demand. However, if you look more closely at your business and its activities, you will probably identify which part of the demand coin your business really is.
Demand creation is usually associated with creating a need for your products or services, and it usually takes a lot of patience and financial resources before you can really begin to see any feedback from the market. Compared to demand fulfillment, it’s much more risky, but if done right it can be much more rewarding.
A business that fulfills an existing demand is much easier to kick start, and hence the barrier of entry is lower and in turn requires volume to stay profitable. For instance, a department store that carries various branded products do not need to educate their consumers about the products they carry (the brands should have done that already) and their focus would be giving consumers a good purchasing experience.
By understanding which one you are, you can allocate your marketing budget and talents in the right projects. Most e-commerce stores falls in to the demand fulfillment category. The products carried are usually brands which they resell from third party distributors who control the pricing and supply. So, as an e-commerce entrepreneur, your job should not be focused on branding those products, but on the shopping mechanics of your online store. So, it’s always a good idea to get products that are established already so you can focus on the purchasing experience.
You can still do both at the same time- branding your own products and fulfilling needs for brands your customers are already looking for but remember not to spread yourself too thin or you might not achieve success in either one.