Product research: Seven tips to help you find product ideas for Amazon and your own online store
Sales potential, competitor analysis and good ideas are the basis of every effective product research. We have compiled the seven most important points here.
1. Ideas: Sources of inspiration from the Internet and the real world
Inspiration for possible products for your online store can be found everywhere.
Check out “bric-a-brac stores” like TEDi or Nanu-Nana to find new product ideas. Local handicraft shops can be inspiring and might even lead to a cooperation.
And don’t forget Pinterest, which offers heaps of inspiration on any theme you can imagine. And if you have an Instagram account, then like and share, or post items that match your current store offerings. Why? Because the advertising algorithm will adjust itself after a few days. And from then on, you will be shown ads of products that are suitable for your store.
Get ideas for products online and offline.
2. Finding your niche: Make use of prior knowledge
Competition is fiercer on the online market than anywhere else. This makes sense, because a similar offer is just a click away. That is why it is important to not only sell a good product, but also to have the expertise to use it. In doing so, you provide your customers with precisely the added value that they are not getting from your competitors.
You can define your niche based on your interests and experiences. Does your wife tease you because you keep experimenting with new watering systems for your balcony plants? Use your expertise and establish yourself as a supplier of these.
If you fill your niche with a wide range of products, you will also benefit from cross-selling. Anyone who orders an automatic watering system from you, for example, will be more than happy to order the matching flower pots for their balcony plants at the same time.
Always base your product research on your niche and expertise.
But don’t lose sight of the competition, despite your niche. More on this here: 4. Sales potential and competitor analysis – with or without tools
3. Instead of niche: Focus on trends
Analysis tools can help you if you want to focus on trends rather than on niches, or if you simply want to buy products very cheaply and then resell them. These tools complement or replace your “gut feeling”, because gut feeling can be deceptive.
One of the most powerful analysis tools is Amalyze. This platform conducts competitor, market, brand and trend analysis on the Amazon marketplace.
Terapeak can be used for product research on eBay. You can find the tool in Seller Cockpit Pro.
On Google Trends, you can simply search for your product areas to find out whether they are trending at the moment.
These three tools are also helpful if you operate an online store that is not listed on eBay or Amazon.
With “Terapeak”, “Amalyze” and “Google Trends” you have powerful trend analysis tools at hand.
4. Sales potential and competitor analysis – with and without tools
A post about competitor analysis in general that we would like to recommend to you, can be accessed here on the Clickworker Customer Blog: Online Competitor Analysis – Why and How
You have several options if you want to know whether it is worthwhile to offer a specific product.
- Search for your product ideas on the major marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or even actual markets.
- If the products have been frequently rated, then they are very popular, but their dealers are also well established. (In this case you can beat the competition by offering a much better price).
- Items with few ratings indicate less competition and a less competitive market. This is where you can establish yourself as a real force with “niche” work.
- To identify potential sales opportunities, simply use Sales Radar tools. It enables you to determine the turnover and sales figures of competitor products on Amazon. Alternatively, you can use the “999 method” on Amazon. This video explains how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulhLZYm2Eng
- If you don’t have the time or resources needed to monitor your competitors, clickworker can also help you with its “Competitor Monitoring & Product Research” service. Find out more about it here.
The 999 method or ShopDoc’s sales radar will show you the potential sales you can achieve.
5. Take product features into account: Sturdy, compact, lightweight, and durable
When researching products, be sure to factor in shipping as well. Sturdy and lightweight items are easier to ship (usually cheaper, too) than fragile and heavy items. A compact item is also of advantage, because bulky items often incur a surcharge when shipped.
Sturdy, compact and light items are cheaper to ship than bulky, heavy products.
6. Pay attention to the season: Either with or against the current
Have you ever tried to buy beach shoes in December or marzipan sweets in June? Many stores follow the season. This usually works very well. But if you decide to go against the grain, you might just find your niche.
Selling against the season can be lucrative.
7. Legal provisions, customs, etc.
You have found great products in China or the USA that you want to import to sell here in this country? This can quickly lead to problems with customs, or there are trademark obstacles. You cannot simply import a large batch of original branded sneakers from the USA and sell them here. You will need to get the permission of the trademark right holder. (More about this here: Ten Trademark Myths and How They Can Hurt Your Business).
Keep in mind that there is probably a reason why no one has come up with the import idea or implemented it yet, or why this product is not available in Europe.
Be sure to clarify legal and customs obstacles for “exotic” and branded products beforehand.
Product research is complex
Customs, trademark law, season, product features, competitors, sales opportunities, or niches are aspects that need to be considered when researching products for your online store.
Our tip: Create an Excel spreadsheet based on these points and fill it out accordingly. This will give you a clear overview.