Beginner’s Guide to Product Research
Starting an e-commerce business from scratch is an investment. Not only an investment of money, but also of time and effort. It’s often found that aspiring sellers get stuck at the product research phase. Unfortunately, finding and selling profitable products on Amazon will not be an overnight pursuit. It is important to develop a business plan, formulate a budget, determine marketing strategies, analyze risks, and everything in between in preparation for this high-risk-high-reward venture. We’ve put together an overview of what product research in e-commerce entails for those who are brand new to this business.
What is Product Research?
Product research refers to the art of searching for and evaluating trends in any given market in order to figure out which products will sell for the most profit. You are using critical thinking, research, and analytical skills to look for products with high demand and low competition. The goal here is to determine if a given product is something customers want or need, and if you’ll be able to sell it.
With over 6 million other sellers, the marketplace is flooded with a wide variety of categories and an even wider variety of products. Product research is the most crucial step in developing and growing your Amazon business. Conducting efficient research can make or break your success! It is crucial that you accurately assess the demand and competition for your product. Remember, once you start selling, you can change the marketing but never the product.
If you invest in a product that doesn’t sell because of low demand or high competition, you risk losing the cost of purchasing, manufacturing, shipping, and storing the products. Not to mention, all the time wasted towards your efforts!
Luckily, there are a variety resources and avenues for product research that are easily accessible (some of which are even free).
How Do I Conduct Product Research?
Product research starts with simply looking at the market. You should be looking for products in a specific niche to determine demand for that product. The tools at hand include but are not limited to: data analytic software, social media, and even Amazon itself.
Data Analytic Software
One of the biggest catalysts in the growth of Amazon sellers is the software available for research and marketing. As e-commerce has grown over the years, so has the number of data analytic platforms and their capabilities. Many sellers use software like Seller.Toolsand Helium 10 to find profitable products and compare data with the competition. In these databases, you can search products and product categories to find popular and trending goods. These softwares also enable sellers to analyze sales, find opportunities, research keywords, uncover niches, and more. These paid tools provide a great guide for your initial product research.
The average time spent on social media per day worldwide is 2 hours and 27 minutes. During this time, you are exposed to a variety of advertisements, products, and design ideas. Upwards of 70% of Americans today use social media platforms daily and are constantly influenced by what they see. Social platforms like Pinterest, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace are useful for discovering ideas of what is trending and what people are currently buying or are interested in buying. We can see users post, pin, and save retail and consumer items that they like, want, or intend to purchase.
You can search for keywords on Pinterest to gain insight on the popularity of products based on real and potential consumers’ digital footprint. Users are saving product links and images for future reference, and companies like Pinterest capture this information. Noting the number of views, saves, and sales on these platforms and comparing them with Amazon’s search trends and data will help determine how successful a product may be.
For example, if a certain product is pinned thousands of times on Pinterest, but is yielding few results on Amazon’s search engine, you may have an opportunity for a successful product. Through some light digging on social media and gathering of public information, you can see what is trending among consumers and society in real-time and use that data to your competitive advantage.
The platform we’re trying to master has already mastered us. Amazon’s technology can provide us with useful and relevant information to make well-informed decisions with potential products.
Have you ever noticed when you type something into Amazon’s search bar, several other searches that begin with the same word appear? These are the most frequently searched items that consumers are looking for in connection to what you’re searching, and Amazon auto-populates them as you type words or phrases. In other words, you have an angle into Amazon’s product demands at no cost to you.
The Amazon best sellers list is another great free tool to kick-start product research. The platform provides a public list of its best-selling items, broken down by category. This provides insight into which products consumers are buying at any given time. On the same page, Amazon provides a “Most Wished For” category toggle to allow sellers to take data analysis to the next level. When you look at the “Most Wished For” lists, ponder these questions: what is it about these products that made people “wish” for them and not buy them? Is there an opportunity for me to sell these products too? What can I do with these products to turn those wishes into sales?
What to Consider When Wicking Products?
A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned.
The price range in which you sell a product is not going to be the amount of profit you will make. Keep in mind that a large chunk of capital will go towards producing your product; moreover, you will also pay for the cost of shipping your product to storage, and from storage to your consumers when they make purchases. It is likely that you’ll use an overseas manufacturer to produce your products, so these costs are inevitable.
Keep your price range digestible to consumers within your niche so that they are more inclined to click on your listing. A higher-than-average price point will deter online shoppers and they’ll keep scrolling until they see a product option within their budget. Consumers are more likely to purchase less expensive products without much contemplation or hesitation. Look for products that are within the selling price range of $50-100 to appeal to your customers. This price range also cushions your production and shipping costs so that you still have a margin of (approximately) at least $15 per product. Products that are priced above consumer budgets won’t normally stand a chance. By the same token, products that are too low in price are less likely to incur profit after all the shipping and seller fees are deducted.
Bigger is Not Always Better.
Getting your products to your storage facilities and then to your consumers will cost money. The more bulky or heavy an item is, the more you will pay in shipping and storage fees. Aim for products that are small and lighter in weight – these products can get to customers faster and at a cheaper price. If you choose large and/or heavy items, you risk losing your profit margin because of higher shipping costs. Not to mention the high storage fees for large and/or slow-moving items. The smaller your product, the less it will cost for shipping and storage, and the quicker you can turn around your inventory – which puts more money in your pocket.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
Would you prefer to have moderate, steady sales throughout the year, or one month of extreme success and 11 months of little to no profit? Many new sellers are tempted to enter the Amazon e-commerce marketplace as seasonal sellers. Holiday seasons are the most competitive times of the year, and if you’re selling a festive product that is specific to a holiday, you run the risk of not selling your inventory and losing money on your product.
Let’s consider the Christmas holiday season. If you search Amazon for holiday socks or Christmas lights during this time, you will yield endless pages of results. Scroll through these products and you will see many of them are nearly identical, with low, competitive price points. Trying to compete with the hundreds of businesses selling the same or similar products will impede your ability to sell yours. Moreover, since it’s a seasonal item, you might get stuck with a large amount of holiday-based inventory with no buyers for the rest of the year.
Seasonal products, while they have the potential for ultra-high profit and return on the products during their respective seasons, aren’t normally successful year-round. They might not even be necessarily successful during their season due to the high competition. It is more beneficial to select evergreen products that will generate revenue throughout the year at a stable pace rather than all in a single 2-month period. This type of steady income can then be reinvested for more product research, purchasing, and scaling to further expand your Amazon brand and increase revenue.
The Online World is Your oyster.
It can be tricky to find a profitable niche in your initial stages of product research. Finding your groove in researching and rolling out products will and should take a good deal of time. Don’t rush into a purchase without fully understanding the market. Take full advantage of the data and resources that are available to you as an aspiring Amazon business owner. The opportunity is there, you just have to discover it.
Can Someone Do This For You?
If extensive research like this isn’t your thing, you believe your valuable time belongs elsewhere, or you simply don’t want to deal with the tediousness of market analysis – the Ritz Momentum expert team of Amazon Sellers will be more than happy to do it for you.
To learn more, visit https://www.ritzarm.com/ . We love bringing new ideas to life, and you can easily be the next one.