Starting an online store and seeing it boom right away is every online seller’s wish. The challenge is finding the right product with that kind of potential.
When you’re picking what to sell, it’s tricky. Do you go for something currently popular or a timeless one? Should it be widely liked, or is it better if it’s more special and focused? And then, there’s the decision of making it yourself or going for options like private label or dropshipping.
The product search phase is a big deal. That’s why we’ve listed some top strategies to help you pick a money-making product and get to the success you’ve been dreaming of.
13 Tips for Finding a Product
1. Solve a problem
It’s basic advice for any new business. If your product doesn’t fix a problem or meet a need for people, they won’t buy it. So, focus on addressing a specific issue instead of just coming up with a product.
Listen to what people are talking about in your circles, both in person and online. See if they have complaints about existing products or if there are problems without good solutions yet.
Everyday Problems with current products and services (also personal problems for people) can be about money, getting things done, how things work, or getting help.
2. Connect with Hobbyists
Ever met someone super into a hobby? (Maybe you’re that person!) It’s a smart market to explore. Hobbyists love their hobbies so much that they’re willing to spend a lot on them.
If you can make, brand, or sell products related to these hobbies that truly help these passionate folks, selling becomes much easier than starting from scratch.
3. Follow Your Passion
Got a hobby or something you love doing? It’s a big advantage—because you’re basically your own target audience. Your insights speed up research, and you can guide decisions on features, ads, and where to sell. You’re like a walking guide for what works best.
4. Use Your Work Know-How
Just like following your passion, using your work expertise pays off. Ever worked in a field where you learned valuable stuff?
For example, Dustin Lee founded Retro Supply, a site selling digital stuff for illustrators and designers. He knows what designers need because he is one. He chose to run a store instead of his design business, using his professional smarts.
5. Catch the Trends
Many successful entrepreneurs spot new trends early and go all-in. But be careful—it has its own challenges. Trends have a short life, especially if it’s just a passing fad.
To catch trends, use online tools. Listen to what people are saying on social media, check out trending topics and hashtags. Tools like Google Trends, Trend Hunter, and places like Reddit can help too.
6. Read Reviews
Look at what customers say about existing products. Pay attention to complaints—they show where products are lacking. Use this info to offer something new that fills those gaps.
Also, see which products get people talking the most. It hints at communities that really care about what they buy.
7. Hunt for Product Keywords
You’ve heard about keyword research, right? It’s a great way to know what customers want and talk about. Start with Google’s suggested keywords. Use tools like Keywords Everywhere, Jungle Scout, and Helium 10. Check out big marketplaces like Amazon too.
8. Test Your Idea First
Diving in has its good and bad sides. The bad: If it’s a bad idea, you’ve used up a lot of resources only to find out it doesn’t work. So, it’s smart to check if your idea is good before going all in.
One way is to make a webpage showing off your product, letting people sign up or even pre-purchase. Or, try a crowdsourcing campaign on sites like Kickstarter. If people are interested early on, your idea might work. If not, you can try something else.
9. Look at Related Stuff
Into a specific product or industry? Check out related products on Amazon for ideas:
– Products often bought together: See what goes well with your idea. If people buy a grill and also grab grill covers, maybe there’s a need for cool grill accessories.
– Frequently bought items: It shows trends. Someone buys a yoga mat, then a meditation cushion—it hints at a growing interest in holistic wellness products.
– Amazon suggests similar items: Find alternatives and variations. Got an eco-friendly water bottle? See what other sustainable stuff is recommended. Is there a niche in sustainability you haven’t explored?
– Sponsored related products: These are bets from companies. If lots of brands are pushing wireless earbuds, there’s probably a demand. Can you bring in unique features or designs to stand out?
10. Find Low-Cost Products
Products with low costs can bring in big profits. They’re great because making them doesn’t cost much. But, when deciding the price, it’s not just about the initial expenses.
Look at your cost of goods sold (COGS). It covers everything, from making the product to promoting it, storing it, and even shipping. The goal? Find items that don’t cost a lot to make but can bring in a lot of money (ROI).
Some tips: Light things often cost less to ship. And low wholesale prices don’t always mean big profits. Use tools like the Shopify margin calculator to make pricing simpler.
11. Use Personal Memories for Ideas
A cool way to find products is by looking at personal stories. Ask friends, family, or community members about things they loved but can’t find now, or items their ancestors used that they wish were still around.
– Have a “memory share” evening: Gather people (online or in-person) to talk about past products they miss.
– Take notes: Write down stories or recurring themes. Products that make people emotional or fill a gap can be great for a comeback.
– Test it out: Make a prototype based on feedback. Share it with those who gave the idea to get more thoughts.
This way, you can find products that already mean something to customers and might be special in today’s market.
12. Learn from Tutorials for Unmet Needs
People often make things when they can’t find them in stores. And they make tutorials about it. Look at YouTube or DIY blogs for insights.
Imagine this: You see lots of homemade standing desk tutorials. It means people want cheap or different desk options. Or, if there are many guides to fix a gadget, it’s a sign for a stronger or easier version.
But don’t just watch the videos. Check the comments. People often share what they want or what’s missing in products. Find those gaps, and you’re onto something.
13. Get Ideas from Cultural Conversations
Online platforms connect us to cultures worldwide. Dive into these spaces, and you might find profitable products for bigger markets.
Start by joining platforms that link people from different places. Chat about daily routines or special traditions. What’s normal in one culture might stand out in another. It could be a handmade item, a unique tea mix, or a special decoration.
Sites like InterPals and ConversationExchange can help. People use them to learn languages, but they also share bits of their daily lives. Pay attention to unique things they mention or use.
We’ve covered some good starting points for your product research journey. All that’s left is to dive in and find a product that meets your criteria.
As you search, think about the balance you want. Consider how much you’ll spend testing your idea and on marketing, like ads and personalized content.
When you see the whole picture, you’ll be ready to start strong and keep going for the long run.