When it comes to thriving in the competitive world of eCommerce, selling on Amazon remains one of the most lucrative avenues, especially for experienced sellers. The question that every seller faces at some point or another is: How to find products to sell on Amazon?
According to Marketplace Pulse research, there are currently over 6.3 million third-party sellers on Amazon, with over 50% of them selling on Amazon in North America. This statistic highlights the fierce competition among Amazon sellers and the need for advanced product research strategies to stay ahead.
This guide will dive deep into some of the most effective and advanced Amazon product research strategies. Experienced sellers can leverage these strategies to gain the competitive edge they need to make their desired sales.
Overview of Advanced Amazon Product Research Strategies
Product research involves all the processes used to identify profitable product opportunities. Analyzing key metrics such as market trends, demand, and competition are pivotal to this process.
According to Jim Pendergast, Senior Vice President at altLINE Sobanco, “Experienced sellers may need to dig deeper and go beyond the basic Amazon product research techniques that everyone is already using. That’s where the magic of advanced Amazon product research comes into the picture.”
Advanced Amazon product research goes beyond just scratching the surface. It involves a more in-depth approach to identifying the most profitable and less competitive product opportunities on Amazon. You can remove the guesswork from your product research using an Amazon product research tool and other techniques to analyze data, uncover hidden trends, and make data-driven decisions.
Advanced Amazon product research may require that you invest a significant amount of your time and effort. However, you can be sure that it will pay off handsomely in terms of increased sales and revenue.
Importance of advanced Amazon product research
There are many reasons why sellers on Amazon should be intensely interested in conducting product research and leveling up their strategies.
First, it lets you identify and explore potentially profitable opportunities and niches. Amazon product research can aid you in identifying gaps in the market and finding the perfect product categories – those in high demand but with low competition. This will set you apart from the crowd and help sky-rocket your sales.
Furthermore, Amazon product research can provide you with a head-start by aiding in evaluating and assessing competitors and the potential lucrativeness of a product before committing your time and money to it. This can save you money, as it can prevent you from investing in goods that won’t assist you in reaching your financial targets.
Knowing how to find products to sell on Amazon using an Amazon product research tool and advanced product research techniques can help you refine your product descriptions for search engines and improve your product’s visibility in search results.
Once you possess a robust knowledge of the key terms clients are searching for, you can devise superior titles, descriptions, and tags for your products. This will facilitate your products to appear higher in the search results, ultimately increasing their visibility and the likelihood of generating more revenue.
Advanced Amazon product research techniques
Having recognized the significance of Amazon product research, the subsequent step entails examining the methods for executing and leveling these methods up. A few of these include the following:
• Reverse Engineering:
It entails carefully scrutinizing the best-selling products in a specific market segment and disassembling their attributes, constituents, and pricing to construct a comparable or superior product.
Reverse engineering can provide you with invaluable insights into what constitutes a specific product’s success. Subsequently, you can apply this knowledge to design a product that surpasses your competitors.
It involves grouping related products and selling them at a reduced cost. This approach can be highly effective since it enhances the assessed value of the product and stimulates customers to purchase multiple items at once, increasing the seller’s earnings.
• Keyword research:
When customers visit Amazon to explore products, they enter keywords or phrases pertaining to their desired purchase.
By conducting thorough keyword research, you can discover high-traffic search terms that can increase your product’s visibility to prospective customers. This tactic can enhance the likelihood of attracting customers to your product when they conduct a search.
• Identifying and analyzing competitor products and listings:
Acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the competitive landscape and identifying effective strategies to differentiate your offerings is a crucial step. By evaluating the offerings of your competitors, you can identify opportunities to improve your existing products and establish unique selling points that set your products apart.
• Finding unique or custom products to sell:
There exist numerous products that are not commonly available on Amazon or that can be personalized to meet the specific requirements of clients. If you can find such unique or bespoke products, you will achieve a competitive edge and entice niche markets that might not be adequately served by existing products.
These strategies, when applied effectively, can lead to a significant increase in sales and profits and, ultimately, success on Amazon.
However, it is noteworthy that the online shopping landscape continuously changes, and what was effective in the past may not inevitably be fruitful today. Therefore, you must remain updated on the most recent product research trends and tools, including how to find products to sell on Amazon, to facilitate expanding your business on Amazon.
Identifying and analyzing competitor products and listings
Techniques for identifying and analyzing competitor products and listings
When selling on Amazon, one of the most critical factors determining your success is how well you understand your competition. Taking time to identify and analyze your competitor’s products and listings will help you locate loopholes you can capitalize on to stand out from the crowd.
Below are some proven methods of identifying and analyzing your competitors on Amazon.
• Conduct keyword research:
Look up keywords and phrases related to your product or niche on Amazon.
Anthony Martin, Founder and CEO of Choice Mutual, adds, “Go through the top results and analyze the listings to see what your competitors are doing – what they are selling, how they are positioning their products, and the specific keywords they are targeting.”
• Use Amazon’s “Customers who bought this also bought” feature:
Many sellers on Amazon still don’t know how useful this feature is in helping to identify related products that their customers are also interested in. You must analyze these products to see if your competitors offer them.
• Utilize Amazon’s “Sponsored Products” ads:
These appear on Amazon’s search results page and are a great way to identify and track your competitors. Study these ads to find out what products your competitors are promoting and what keywords they are targeting.
• Analyze your competitor’s product reviews:
Knowing what customers think about your competitor’s products is invaluable when selling on Amazon. Such reviews may provide detailed insights into consumers’ preferences, empowering you to utilize this data to enhance your product offerings.
Having made significant progress in recognizing your competitors, the next phase involves analyzing their product listings. Here are some crucial elements that you should pay attention to:
• Product title:
In this case, it’s crucial to take a few hints from how your competitors are naming their products. Are they utilizing brief or lengthy titles? Are they integrating their brand name? Or are there any other descriptive terms they are utilizing? Answering these questions will aid you in devising your unique and appealing product title.
• Product Description:
Your product description is the perfect avenue to exhibit and highlight your product’s distinctive characteristics and advantages. You can analyze the product descriptions of your competitors and explore methods to distinguish your products from theirs.
To draw the interest of potential buyers swiftly on Amazon result pages, deploying catchy images is crucial. One of the most effective techniques to accomplish this is utilizing exceptional-quality images. It is necessary to look at the images used by your competitors to present their products, compare them with yours, and ascertain if there is room for improvement.
Make an effort to identify and analyze the products and listings of your competitors. You will obtain precious insights that reveal how to find products to sell on Amazon efficiently, including what’s effective in your niche, and give you ideas for enhancing your offerings.
Finding unique or custom products to sell
Strategies for identifying and sourcing unique or custom products
Eric Mills, Owner of Lightning Card Collection, says, “As a novice seller on Amazon, it is essential to steer clear of selling products already excessively saturated with competition. This will help you to minimize the risk of being overshadowed by the already established market players.”
To stand out among the multitude of other Amazon sellers and draw in shoppers searching for something distinct, exclusive, or personalized, it is advisable to discover a means of distinguishing yourself. An excellent approach to achieving this is by finding unique or bespoke items to sell.
However, recognizing and procuring these unique products that can put you ahead of the competition may present a challenge. Below are some suggestions that can steer you in the right direction as you embark on your quest to discover one-of-a-kind or personalized products to sell on Amazon:
• Search for handmade products:
Handmade products hold a significant spot in the hearts of numerous buyers, and these consumers are usually prepared to pay a higher price for them. Websites like Etsy, a platform for vintage and handmade items, offer a wide range of handmade products. Additionally, it’s a good idea to prioritize visiting craft fairs and exhibitions to discover artisans who produce one-of-a-kind products.
• Consider private label products:
Not sure what private label products are? Don’t fret. They are products you don’t manufacture yourself but can be sold under your brand name. After receiving the product, all you have to do is customize it to your taste and make it appealing to customers.
This strategy can be very effective, primarily when you identify a currently trending product with few customization options.
• Take advantage of online marketplaces:
There are so many online marketplaces, such as DHgate, where you can find reliable suppliers specializing in custom or unique products.
You can ask these suppliers if they offer a range of customization options. Options, such as different colors, sizes, or materials, so you can be creative and bring your unique product to life.
• Work with a designer:
If you have a specific idea in mind for a unique product but need to know how to put the pieces together, you can employ the services of a designer to create a custom design.
Where to find designers? Easy! You can go on sites such as Upwork and Fiverr or attend design conferences and events to network and collaborate with designers in person.
You need to be ready to explore new opportunities and put your creativity to use when trying to learn how to find products to sell on Amazon. These unique products might just be what you need to take your sales game to the next level!
Tips for finding and working with suppliers for custom products
Identifying unique source products can be overwhelming, particularly if you lack experience collaborating with suppliers. Here are some pointers to facilitate and streamline the process of discovering and engaging with manufacturers of bespoke items:
• Know your product requirements:
Before commencing your search for suppliers, it is vital to carry out research. Have a distinct understanding of your product requirements, including the type of material, dimensions, and design you desire.
A clearly outlined product specification will make explaining to potential suppliers what you are looking for easier and ensure you get the exact product you want.
• Check supplier credentials:
When encountering a potential supplier, look at their credentials. It’s imperative to find a supplier with substantial expertise in dealing with your category of merchandise and a favorable reputation in the industry.
• Request samples:
To discover the appropriate supplier, demand samples of products from potential suppliers. This will grant you a glimpse into the quality of their work. Asking for samples should assist you in determining whether you intend to proceed and collaborate with the supplier.
• Negotiate prices:
While collaborating with suppliers, it is crucial to ensure that you negotiate cost-effectively to secure the best deal. Disclose your budget and expectations transparently, and do not be reluctant to negotiate a deal that is favorable to you.
In the world of e-commerce, the competition is intense. Only the most seasoned sellers who implement advanced product research techniques will prosper.
Although traditional product research strategies are still utilized, they possess limitations, and sellers who exclusively rely on them are likely to miss numerous opportunities.
Performing advanced product research requires time, energy, and resources. Sellers must allocate resources to reliable tools and stay current with the most recent advancements to make more informed decisions.
By implementing the strategies detailed in this guide and continuously refining their tactics, sellers will know how to find products to sell on Amazon, maintain a competitive edge, and establish themselves for long-term success in Amazon’s marketplace.
As the largest and latest round of stimulus checks make their way into bank accounts across the USA, we take a look into how you can use it as an investment into your business.
According to the IRS, about 90 million Americans were sent their $1,400 stimulus checks on Wednesday alone, with more to be sent in the coming weeks.
The newfound financial flexibility creates opportunities previously not afforded for those fortunate enough to receive the $1,400 as “extra” money. One popular way to view the stimulus check is as an avenue into investing, but investing isn’t limited to stocks.
Instead of investing in another company, why not invest in your own?
Whether you’re a longtime seller, beginner, or considering leaping into FBA, there are plenty of ways to rejuvenate or jumpstart your Amazon business with $1,400. By investing in your e-commerce business, you could easily turn your stimulus check into a long-term money-making machine.
We should mention this isn’t necessarily a guide. Every seller’s journey is different. The options we’ll highlight below are merely a few options you may want to consider. With prudent planning, these options present a promising opportunity for you to get a great return on investment from your stimulus check.
Without further ado, let’s dive into it!
Elevate Your Product Research Game
When it comes to selling on Amazon (and in most aspects of life), having the luxury of reliable data to base your decisions on is a tremendous luxury. For Amazon sellers, this is made possible through product research.
Whether you’ve yet to begin your FBA journey or have a catalog full of successful products, product research is crucial for sustained profitability. When you have access to comprehensive market data, it’s almost like having the answers to a test.
While reliable Amazon sales data is crucial at all stages, it’s especially vital for beginners. The research that goes into deciding upon your first product serves as a foundational aspect of your Amazon career. Choosing to source and sell a product without conducting intensive research with data you can trust is a surefire way to make your first product your last product.
So if you’re beginning to look into FBA, test out a few software providers. Most software providers will offer a free trial, giving you time to see if they’re right for you.
Feel free to test trials from different software providers simultaneously to compare and contrast the data. If you notice any inconsistencies, don’t be shy. Ask their customer service team how they arrive at their numbers. With such an important decision that can pay off handsomely, don’t leave any stones unturned.
Aspiring Amazon entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who can take their product research game up a notch. Often, Amazon sellers don’t utilize all tools within their toolset.
Whether there are underutilized tools in your current software plan or an opportunity to upgrade your plan for additional access, there’s no better time than now to explore unfamiliar tools. Amazon is constantly evolving, so sellers must evolve with it.
Boost Your Business with Captivating Creatives
It’s springtime! You know what that means. Spring cleaning!
For Amazon sellers, the seasonal cleaning isn’t limited to dusting ceiling fans, clearing out the refrigerator, and giving your home a good deep cleaning. It may be worth considering if your listing creatives are due for an upgrade.
Do your listing’s copy and product photography abide by Amazon requirements and follow the style guidelines? Is your competition doing something with their photos that seems to be working? Are you maximizing your visibility by having a keyword-optimized product listing, or are you missing out on indexation for keywords customers are using to products like yours?
These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself when considering updating your creatives.
Even if your product photography is in tip-top shape, additional photos can still provide plenty of benefits for your business. For example, possessing extra product images opens the door for creative advertising.
One way you can spruce up your advertising with enhanced photos is Amazon Posts, a relatively new option to increase brand visibility. Amazon Posts is a social media-like platform within Amazon that allows brand registered sellers to flex their advertising muscle. Appearing on product detail pages selected by Amazon, brands get the ever-important chance to poach customers from competing listings.
The best thing about Amazon Posts? It’s totally free. Well, submitting your Posts is free, anyway. You’ll still want professional photos capable of enticing customers to earn a click. Since Amazon Posts is somewhat new, it’s flying under the radar of many sellers, but can be an incredibly efficient weapon for stealing customers from the competition.
Additionally, having extra photos come in handy if you sell outside of Amazon or may consider selling elsewhere at a later time.
Lastly, having extra photos at your disposal provides an even better opportunity to experiment for peak optimization. Once you’ve got premium product photography, don’t forget to split test! With a plethora of split testing sites to choose from, it’s an easy step to maximize your conversions and profitability!
Flex Your Marketing Muscle with PPC
Another great way to invest your stimulus money into your business is by using it to take the next step with Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.
Although Amazon debuted PPC advertising in 2012, it has grown considerably over the last 2-3 years and shows no sign of slowing down. With Amazon expected to net nearly $13 billion in advertising in the United States marketplace alone, the company has every reason to continue pushing and developing PPC.
Whether this means finally taking that PPC course, creating your first campaign, or trying out an unexplored ad type, doing it with a bonus $1,400 makes it a prime opportunity to experiment with PPC.
For sellers currently selling, it especially makes sense to test out new campaigns now as plenty of customers are flush with their stimulus money and tax season right around the corner.
After all, you’re not the only one receiving the stimulus. More customers shopping with more money is a recipe for more customer searches. As your product appears more frequently through search and on competitor listings, the sample size for your campaigns grows larger and, thus, more reliable.
Fortunately, the options are flexible for you regarding your PPC campaigns. Set your budgets as low or as high as you feel comfortable with, and barring disaster, let them run until the reporting data begins to stabilize. Once they’ve matured, you’ll have real data on your performance that you can use to optimize to your advantage.
Scale Your Store by Expanding Your Brand
Suppose you feel like you’ve squeezed nearly all the juice you can out of a product. First off, congratulations! It’s every Amazon sellers’ goal to reach and maintain peak performance, but what do you do once you’ve achieved it? For many, it can be a never-ending pursuit of perfection.
However, it may be more beneficial to scale your brand by finding your next home run. Think of your stimulus check as $1,400 off the development of your next product, and this becomes especially beneficial.
Of course, this entirely depends on your goals, resources, and risk appetite. Ideally, the learning curve for launching a new product shortens with each new product. If you’ve built a strong brand on Amazon, the likelihood of your next product being a success increases exponentially.
Instead of squeezing every penny possible out of your current storefront, dig into your sales reporting numbers and do your best to determine the best course of action for your business.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to supercharge your Amazon business! Whether jumpstarting your entrepreneurial career or looking to take your existing e-commerce operation up a notch, investing in your business with your stimulus money could provide an excellent, long-lasting return on investment.
No matter what you decide to do with your stimulus money, enjoy it! Without a doubt, extra cash in your pocket is nice. But creating long-lasting, sustainable sources of income is even better.
Thanks for reading! Want Amazon news sent directly to your inbox? Just drop your email below.
In the latest version of our chrome Amazon extension, we’ve pushed major updates to conveniently elevate your product research to new heights!
Without further ado…
Introducing The Keywords Tab
We’ve added a Keywords tab with key metrics from our Keyword Research tool in addition to the four existing tabs (Sellers, Trends, Analysis, and Calculator). Open up the Keywords tab when examining a page of Amazon search results or on an individual ASIN’s page, and you’ll see the following updates:
Related Search Terms
Using our proprietary ARCS algorithm and powerful collection of Keyword Research data, the extension now provides related search terms for you.
Too often, sellers make the mistake of performing product research under a secondary or tertiary search term instead of the primary keyword. With this feature, you can now avoid making that mistake by quickly comparing search volume estimates for a handful of the most relevant search terms for the keyword.
Google Trends Integration
On top of receiving access to our Amazon search volume estimates, you can now check Google Trends to see how in-demand a search term is outside of Amazon. Under the displayed search term, just click on the Trends icon to see search interest directly from the company synonymous with search.
While we stand firmly behind Amazon search volume estimates being the most significant consumer demand indicator, we also believe the more data available at your fingertips, the better equipped you are.
Why do we recommend Amazon search volume estimates? Easy. While Amazon and Google are both search engines, they serve two entirely different purposes. Google’s mission is to organize information and make information universally accessible; Amazon search takes you to a marketplace.
At the very core, Amazon searches are done with buyer intent, while Google searches are made to learn. However, Google trends data can help determine seasonal interest and provide another avenue of product research for the growing number of Amazon sellers expanding their brand beyond the confines of the Amazon marketplace.
Scout Your Competitors Like Never Before
We’ve incorporated our reverse ASIN lookup tool, Competitor Intelligence, into our chrome Amazon extension so you can uncover how an individual ASIN is performing across crucial keywords.
Now you can instantly dig deeper into the performance of competitors! Knowing where the competition is succeeding and where opportunities exist helps you stay one step ahead and fast-track your Amazon success.
For an even more comprehensive look into your competitors and how they’re ranking on a keyword-by-keyword basis, be sure to add the competing ASIN into Competitor Intelligence for a deep dive into their performance.
The Market Intelligence extension is free to add to your Chrome browser. However, you’ll need a subscription to our Essentials package to earn access to the abundance of impactful data that has helped thousands with their product research.
Lastly, drop your email below to receive the latest Viral Launch product updates and Amazon news in your inbox!
Product research is everything for Amazon FBA success. But many competitors, gurus, and “experts” neglect using Amazon search volume data despite its incredible impact. Why?
No matter where you’re at in your FBA journey, conducting intensive product and market research is critical to your success.
With each stage of the Amazon selling process, the key performance indicators (KPIs) you rely upon will change, as each phase presents unique challenges. Knowing which data points to observe and consider during any decision-making process plays a significant role in your ultimate success or failure, especially for FBA beginners.
For most sellers, search volume data doesn’t enter the equation for product research until you’re building an SEO-friendly listing or exploring pay-per-click (PPC) advertising opportunities.
But waiting until after you’ve found a product to start paying attention to search volume data may be a major mistake!
How does search volume play such an important role in the decision-making process? Easy. It’s a significant indicator of one of the most fundamental aspects of any business.
Search volume represents demand.
Outside of Amazon, businesses invest an abundance of time and money into research for demand validation.
What are people looking for? Where are they going for these items? How much inventory should we have in stock? What are interested customers willing to pay? Can I expect steady sales all year long?
With the right research tools, sellers can not only answer all of those questions but can actually reverse engineer product ideas based on years of exhaustive market data. Every metric tells a unique story, and search volume estimates tell the story of demand.
We can safely say this due to the nature of Amazon being a search engine solely for commercial purposes. Others may recommend utilizing Google search volume data for research, but there’s a huge part of the equation you’d be missing out on by not using search volume from Amazon.
Searches on Amazon are made with the intent to buy
Check out your recent search history on Google. How many of those searches were made with the intent of buying something? Chances are, not many. On the other end, it wouldn’t make much sense to search for something on Amazon without some level of interest in buying something.
So why make a business decision based on searches made with no intent to buy?
Outside of Amazon, Google Keyword Planner and AdWords are incredible tools for seeing what’s generating buzz. From that, you can increase your visibility through PPC advertising outside of Amazon. But Amazon and Google serve two entirely different purposes as search engines.
Google organizes information and makes it universally accessible. Amazon is much more focused on commerce and making transactions as frictionless as possible for sellers and buyers.
Utilizing search volume data for Amazon instead of Google eliminates the guesswork of buyer intent. As a result, you can focus on the level of interest in your market directly from your audience.
Where can I find Amazon search volume?
Viral Launch’s search volume estimates (available with any plan with access to Keyword Research) display search volume history ranging back years to keep an eye on product seasonality.
Every product is bound to have peaks and valleys in sales. But not paying attention to seasonality is an all-too-common rookie mistake.
For example, let’s take a look at this chart for the search volume history of “kettlebell.” If you were to have looked at search volume estimates in April or May of 2020, you might believe you’ve hit a grand slam product idea.
From this graph displaying years of search volume data, we can reasonably conclude traffic for kettlebells skyrocketed as gyms closed. As a result of COVID-19, gym rats worked out more at home.
As more people receive their home workout gear and gyms re-open, searches have seen a downtick in the previous two months and will likely continue regressing to the norm. While “kettlebell” receives a significant chunk of searches, it’s a far cry from the peak outlier demand in the months after gyms started closing due to COVID-19.
Current search volume provides a zoomed-in snapshot of the moment, and historical search volume data delivers a more complete picture. Using historical search volume data allows us to increase the sample size we’re drawing from for more accurate data.
Use search volume estimates to find and validate your niche.
As more and more household brands flock to Amazon and top-selling third-party sellers continue to mature, competing with dominant products is increasingly difficult due to saturation.
By no means does this mean that highly profitable products aren’t out there, it just means the strategy for finding them has been updated to fit the current landscape of Amazon as it continues to mature as an e-commerce giant. And for aspiring sellers, it only intensifies the need for astute strategies and well-informed research.
Because of that, we recommend avoiding the oversaturated, uber-competitive markets that are difficult to compete within. While not impossible to succeed in a saturated market, more barriers to entry represent additional risk.
You can find our comprehensive deep dive into our recommended strategies for finding niches and performing product research in today’s FBA climate here.
In a nutshell, finding niches is beneficial to sellers because they have an increased likelihood of success and an opportunity to own a segment of the market as both Amazon and your brand grow.
With this strategy, you’ll want to avoid overly crowded markets while also making sure you have an audience. With Keyword Research, you can quickly ensure this by utilizing the Estimated Search Volume filter and setting your search parameters.
Utilizing the Estimated Search Volume filter in Product Discovery’s Keyword Search is an excellent way to hunt for niches.
Once you’ve narrowed down your filters to match your goals, just click Show Keywords, and you’ll be provided with a sortable list that includes estimated search volume as well as data including the average price, sales, reviews, and revenue in that keyword market. Those on annual plans will also see a Product Idea Score. This score incorporates multiple metrics into one score on a 1–5 scale for quick and easy validation.
Using your search parameters, you’ll see a full list of keywords on Amazon that meet your criteria. This allows you to evaluate some of the most important elements of product research at once.
As you sift through the results, be sure to use market research tools such as Market Intelligence to further validate product ideas with data, estimates, and insights.
Use this powerful data to your advantage
Don’t make the mistake of overlooking search volume data in your product hunt! Without tracking current and historical search volume for a product’s seed keyword, you’re vulnerable to critical oversights in your research.
At Viral Launch, we believe the most-informed decision is the best decision. Having reliable and accurate search volume estimates in your arsenal is an essential element of making the most informed decision possible.
Don’t miss out on the valuable insights from Amazon search volume estimates! Add Keyword Research to your research plan for reliable search volume estimates and an edge over the competition!
Now that you’ve got both feet on the ground as an Amazon seller, the tricky part is finding what products will put you ahead of the pack. You can look at snapshot estimates from a random collection of sourcing tools, piecing together what you hope is an accurate picture of the market and product — or you can improve your chances of sourcing only the right products by making use of the right Amazon market intelligence.
Viral Launch’s Market Intelligence tool gives you the most comprehensive access to Amazon-wide insight across billions of different data points. With it, you can make truly informed decisions and validate any product before you ever launch it.
What Real Amazon Market Intelligence Looks Like
Intelligence is nothing without data, which is what makes our Amazon Market Intelligence tool so valuable. It’s the only tool that can collect and leverage data points from across Amazon’s entire market. With the data the tool gathers for you, you can glean the kind of insight and analysis that can help you almost predict the success of any product launch. For example, the billions of data points you’ll have access to can help you assess markets and products by:
1. Name brands: See whether any big household names or Amazon itself is selling in the market. It will be easiest for you to compete against other smaller brands, so stay away from markets that are dominated by one brand or a few dominant brands.
2. Sales spreads: If a few products are claiming most of the sales in the market, it’ll be harder to claim a piece of the pie, especially as a newcomer. Look for markets where sales are spread pretty evenly between the products on the first page.
3. Competitors’ intelligence: Finding a few products dominating sales spreads isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Use the Market Intelligence tool to reverse-engineer their strategies. For example, track what keywords the dominating products use in sponsored ads and make a list of your own variations.
4. Market trends: Sales trends tell you a lot, but if you want to determine which trends are fads and which are actual depictions of the market, you’ll have to look at data from across a few years. Use market trends to avoid investing too heavily in the next fidget spinner.
5. Price margins: Even with a great product, you won’t make a profit unless you can cover Amazon’s fees and still stay price-competitive. You can research the cost of sourcing units from a site like Alibaba, then plug it into our Amazon FBA calculator.
6. Product reviews: Speaking of being competitive, you can enter the competition a lot sooner in a market where mediocre performance is the norm. Research reviews throughout the market and pay special attention to those that are generally low.
7. Product fulfillment: Finally, stay away from markets filled with FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) or AMZ (Amazon original) designations. If your products are FBA, then you can compete more effectively in markets that are mostly filled with FBM (fulfilled by merchant) products. Data can mean the difference between entering a market and thriving in it — or sinking fast due to poor intelligence. With our Amazon Market Intelligence tool, you can make sure you end up on the thriving side every time. To learn more, sign up for a free trial today!
As an Amazon seller, you know that product research and selection is by far the most important decision you will make. The product that you decide to sell is the largest determinant of success or failure for your Amazon business as a whole. The wrong product sets you up for failure from the very beginning, while the right product allows for incredible money-making opportunities.
In recent years, selling on Amazon became increasingly competitive and difficult, and because of that, finding the “right” product has also become more difficult. There are more sellers who are using more sophisticated software and marketing dollars, allowing them to extract the best opportunities and bully their way to a great sales volume!
In such a competitive landscape, the question becomes, “Where is the opportunity for me to succeed?” And, “What is the probability for that success?”
Here at Viral Launch, we’ve been honored to help thousands of sellers build successful Amazon businesses over the years. This experience has provided deep insights into the tactics of super successful Amazon sellers, and it helps us stay ahead of the trends.
Despite the increased competition, we’ve put together this in-depth guide to walk you through a new Amazon product research strategy. This process will significantly improve your probability of sourcing money-making products every single time.
Unlike a typical guide to Amazon product research, this new approach will change the game, helping you to identify profitable product ideas while circumventing your competition.
All the data we’ve collected points to this being THE most comprehensive Amazon product research and selection method available!
Phase 1: Define Your Perfect Amazon Product
In order to find “the perfect product” you have to know what the perfect product actually looks like.
Imagine being asked to find your mom’s friend Howard in New York City’s Central Park during peak summer time, but you have no idea what he looks like and have never been given any details about his appearance (height, age, hair color, etc.). If you don’t know what you’re looking for, “he” is hard to find.
Understanding what makes the perfect product for you is the foundation to product research, so we want make sure we get this step right!
Step #1: Know Your Budget
It’s pretty easy to talk to a manufacturer, or page through Alibaba, and get a feel for how much a shipment of product will cost. That said, understanding your necessary budget for completely sourcing a product is quite a bit more complicated. You will incur regular fees such as your Seller Central subscription, fulfillment and referral fees, and logistical costs (importing and shipping to Amazon), one time fees for things like packaging design, professional photos, and trademarking, and finally, fluctuating costs for things like advertising, promotion, and review generation. If you’re looking to source your first product, there will also be general business related costs as well.
Understanding these fees is crucial to building a successful Amazon business, or any business for that matter. Logging, predicting, and planning for these costs will help you to have a better sense of your potential margins, profit, and growth.
So how do you apply this to sourcing a new product?
You need to know what you can afford. Amazon is an almost limitless sea of products. You need to look at your budget and figure out what you can afford to source, what quantity you can afford to source, and how much capital you will have to reorder before you start seeing any cash flow.
If you can only afford to order 100 units of a product, but it can easily sell over 1,000 units in a month, it’s probably not the right product for you. If it’s going to cost you $15 per unit to source a product that sells for an average of $20, it’s probably not the right product for you. If ordering a first shipment is going to totally absorb your budget, you’re either going to need more capital or a different product.
Understanding your budget is a crucial first step to finding a successful product.
Step #2: Know Your Revenue Goals
It’s all too common for a new seller to look at Amazon as a ‘get rich quick’ venture. Heck, there are thousands of videos, social media posts, and gurus talking about how they made $1 million a month on Amazon and how you can too if you just buy their course, software, or subscribe to their email list!
The truth is, people DO rapidly find unbelievable success on Amazon…but people DO also win the lottery. Starting a business can be a gamble, and you are assuming risk. But unlike the lottery, you have the ability to play smart.
One of the most important ways to do this is to set realistic revenue goals. The three main variables that determine your potential revenue are budget, sales quantity, and selling price.
When looking at the relationship between budget and revenue, it’s somewhat analogous to an investment portfolio. When investing, you typically find that more capital produces higher gains (assuming that the market doesn’t collapse). You can invest aggressively, with increased risk but increased potential reward, or you can invest in safer options, which are lower risk but have smaller rapid growth potential. In either case (unless you hit it big last year with cryptocurrency), if you’re investing $5,000, you’re not going to (quickly) turn it into $1 million.
The same can be said with Amazon. There is absolutely a risk vs. reward correlation, but you’re not going to quickly hit $1 million in revenue from a $5,000 investment. Amazon can be an outlet to quickly build a successful business, but it’s not magic. When establishing your goals for revenue, aligning your expectations with your budget is an important consideration.
With regards to sales quantity, a market research tool (like Market Intelligence) gives you the ability to understand the potential for a product, but you cannot do much to influence it. For example, if your top competitors are selling around 500 units per month, it’s unrealistic to think that you can sell 1,000 units per month. Markets can be influenced by seasonal cycles and social trends, and you can employ marketing tactics to increase awareness. However, when setting a revenue goal, it’s important to know that your potential is dictated by the market demand.
On the other hand, you do have some control over price (though not as much as you might think). When sourcing a private label product, you can technically sell your product for any price that you’d like. That said, your price should be limited (if not dictated) by the competition.
Think about this from the perspective of a shopper. If you’re looking to buy a mousepad on Amazon, are you more likely to buy one for $5 or $20? The $20 pad might be a bit fancier, but all you’re probably looking for is a basic black mousepad for your desk.
So as a seller, you can create any price for your item but a shopper can also choose any alternative. A higher-than-average market price can limit your potential sales quantity, therefore limiting your potential revenue.
Returning to the concept of setting a revenue goal, it’s important to look at the prices and sales quantities in your market. If you’re looking to generate $20k in monthly revenue and you’re selling your product for $20, you need to be able to sell 1,000 units/month. This is definitely doable in some markets, but if the top sellers in your market are moving around 500 units per month and/or if the average selling price in your market is $10, you may need to set a more realistic goal or look for a new product.
But, as Amazon becomes more competitive, it’s becoming more important to not put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversity (much like a stock portfolio) can be the key to success in e-commerce.
Say you can’t realistically hit your revenue goal with one product. Maybe you can do it with two.
As markets get more crowded, review quantities increase, and prices decrease, looking for several smaller, promising opportunities can prove to be more beneficial than looking for that one gold-mine product.
Step #3: Understanding Micro-Niches
Now that we’ve covered your budgeting and goals, it’s time to understand how to find the right product for you.
Amazon has changed a lot over the last few years. Competition, and Amazon’s dominance over e-commerce, has increased. In the past, the strategy was to find a market/niche to sell in, such as bed sheets. Now, because of the depth of competition, focusing on these broad markets can spell doom for a new product. While it’s true that the largest search volume remains in these broad markets, the depth of competition and a product’s ability to convert make it incredibly costly to market and difficult to succeed.
Instead, finding a product should now be about looking for micro-niches. A micro-niche is a market within a market… one with more specificity. For instance, instead of sourcing a set of bed sheets, you should look at sourcing something like flannel sheets. This market may not have the same depth of search volume, but shoppers will still be searching with this keyword, and you’ll be able to filter out a lot of competition. Additionally, because the niche is more specific, your product is more likely to consistently convert.
As Amazon grows, there is a bigger pie to be shared among markets. As competition on Amazon grows, each markets’ piece of the pie gets shared between more products. With that logic in mind, the concept of micro-niches can be employed to find easier to reach pieces of the growing pie while avoiding a lot of markets that are being fought over.
Phase 2: Find Hot Micro-Niches
So how do you find these micro-niches that provide opportunity within more specific markets?
We’ve added a new feature to our product finder, Product Discovery, to make your Amazon product research easier than ever. This tool allows you to input what kind of product you’re looking for with filters, which will result in identifying product markets that match your specific criteria.
Within Product Discovery’s Keyword Search function, we’ve included a new filter called ‘Keyword Contains’. This feature allows you to search using a main keyword to help identify profitable micro-niches within a specific market.
To illustrate the use of this feature, let’s walk through how to quickly and efficiently identify micro-niches within the Product Discovery.
Assuming that I don’t have a large budget to work with, I want to look for something that I can source for a low cost. While you can definitely use a product-oriented keyword (like ‘bed sheets’) to find micro-niches, I’m deciding to base my search on a low cost material: paper.
While selecting specific categories is typically my first filter, in this instance (because I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking for) I’m going to leave my categories open. To conduct this search, I’ll add a few filters, and Product Discovery will show me markets that match what I’m looking for. (And remember, this is simply an example. Feel free to personalize your filters. The more you change, the more unique your results will be).
I’m starting by adding the keyword ‘paper’ to the Keyword Contains field, inputting a minimum monthly revenue of $5000 (to meet my revenue goals), and a maximum review quantity of 100 (to avoid markets that are highly competitive).
One important thing to note is that I’m not providing data for all of the filters. The more specific you are with filters, the more restrictions are placed on your results. I like to start my searches with a few important metrics, then if needed, I’ll start adding additional parameters.
That said, when searching for micro-niches, it’s also important to make sure that there is an audience of people searching for your product (or, existing demand). I might be trying to avoid the heavily competitive markets, but if I’m sourcing a product that no one is looking for, I’m not going to be successful. For this reason, I’m also going to click on the Advanced Filters menu and add a minimum exact search volume of 3,000. This means that I only want to see keywords that 3,000 or more people are searching for each month.
Once I click Show Keywords, my results appear. Each result is a product idea, along with market average metrics, and they all match my inputs. I then filter my search based on star rating to see the best ideas first. The star rating is a 1-5 scale, which is Viral Launch’s initial indicator of the product idea’s potential. This rating is generated programmatically and should be used as a first-check, but it’s crucial for you to dig into the data further and decide if the product is right for your business. Note: The Product Idea Score is only available on annual plans.
From there, I quickly pin five different products that looked interesting to me, and I will analyze each one more thoroughly. Moving over to my pinned ideas page, I have isolated ‘white paper bags’, ‘parchment paper sheets’, ‘white wrapping paper’, ‘gold paper plates’, and ‘crinkle cut paper shred’.
Note: Your pins are unique to search type. For this reason, I will click on the ‘Keywords’ tab within the Pinned Ideas menu.
All of these markets have an average of less than 100 reviews, which indicates a relatively low barrier to entry for a new product. Three of the five have a typical sales trend, which implies that sales have remained relatively constant month over month. Average selling prices are relatively low, which can sometimes be of concern, but assuming that manufacturing and shipping costs are low, my product may still have a healthy margin. These markets also look promising from a revenue perspective, ranging from $7k-$22k per month.
Phase 3: Validate Your Product Ideas
Now that I have decided on a broad market that I’m interested in and have found a few micro-niches to hone in on, it’s time to do a deep dive and identify which products I may want to look into sourcing. I am going to use Market Intelligence, our in-depth Amazon product research tool, to further investigate my potential products.
Step #1: Logical Processing
When deciding on a product to source, your first step after compiling a list of ideas should be to think about them critically. There are a few key questions that you can ask (and answer) based solely on your own intuition. This can be especially important when looking for a micro-niche.
The very concept of a micro-niche focuses on a specific product characteristic in order to circumvent the more competitive primary market. That said, it’s critically important to make sure that people are actually searching within your micro-niche.
You can use a tool like Keyword Research to view the search volume for your keyword, but at a more basic level, putting yourself in a customer’s shoes and asking whether or not you would use this phrase to search for your product can be an indicator as well.
When thinking about your product idea, do any brands come to mind? This can be an important question. If a product market has strong brand awareness (or brand loyalty), it’s going to make it harder to penetrate the market. If you can name some brands, it doesn’t automatically invalidate the idea, but it is something to consider.
For instance, if you’re buying a stapler, you’re likely aware of Swingline, but as long as a stapler staples, has decent reviews, and a low price, chances are most buyers aren’t going to be brand loyal (unless they’re fans of Office Space).
Alternatively, other markets have stronger brand association and loyalty. Even if it’s a dollar or two cheaper, Harvey’s Homemade Toothpaste is going to be fighting a really tough uphill battle against Crest and Colgate. It might be an amazing product and a better value but because most consumers have (hopefully) seen and used a few name brands of toothpaste for most of their lives, it’ll be almost impossible for Harvey to muscle his way to the top of the market.
While I won’t go into all of the possible questions that you could ask in this phase, a few others are:
Do I feel like I can price this product to be competitive and have a wide enough profit margin?
Do I think I can make enough profit per unit for this product to be worth selling?
Am I chasing a fad (where demand may decline before I can get my product to market)?
Am I too passionate or not passionate enough about this product?
Is my intuition telling me anything about this product or market? If so, what will I need to research to reassure myself?
In the Amazon space, some sellers rely heavily on their own gut instinct or personal passions when sourcing. This can sometimes work and it’s important to believe in your product, but other times, if you source something you’re too passionate about, you’re more likely to spend more to improve or customize your product (cutting into your margins) and/or throw good money after bad (by entering a competitive, expensive, or nonexistent market). Other sellers can alternatively get lost in the data, which can lead to lost time, missed opportunities, and a never ending quest for perfection.
I recommend trying to work somewhere in the middle. Use data to hunt out advantageous markets, use your brain to think critically about them, and return to the data to test the products that made the cut.
Step #2: Sales to Review Ratio
First, you want to check out what the sales to review ratio looks like for your pinned products. The sales to review ratio is a measure of how quickly you will be able to compete, as a new seller, in any given market. This is calculated by taking the average monthly sales among top sellers divided by the average number of reviews. If a market has a high sales to review ratio, it means that sales are, on average, much higher than reviews. This signifies that a new product has lots of opportunity to gather reviews, plus there is a low review threshold to reach before shoppers consider that product as a viable option among the other options in the market. Because reviews provide consumer confidence through social proof, and because reviews are not easy to acquire, identifying a market where you won’t need to gather as many initial reviews to become competitive can play to your advantage.
Thinking about this concept logically, certain markets are more review dependent than others. If you’re buying a pair of bluetooth headphones on Amazon, reviews are going to be crucial to your purchasing decision. You want to see opinions on audio quality, battery life, durability, etc. On the other hand, if you’re buying something like wrapping paper, unless the reviews are horrible, you’re probably not going to be as concerned with them. At the end of the day, it’s a roll of printed paper. As long as it meets the stated dimensions and it doesn’t spontaneously combust, it should work to wrap a gift.
Looking at my pinned ideas, the average market-wide sales to review ratio ranges from 16 to 32. This means that on average, products in these markets are generating that number of sales per month for each review. All of these rates are relatively high, which is a good sign. Alternatively, if I’m looking at markets that are generating only 2 sales per review, that might be concerning for me as I’m trying to enter the market.
In the interest of due diligence however, I don’t want to stop there. I’m also going to want to view sales to review ratios on a product-by-product basis within Market Intelligence.
It’s important to note that some noticeable factors can contribute to the sales to review ratio when reviewing at the product level. Whether good or bad, this information can help you to better understand your market.
Here’s the data for ‘crinkle cut paper shred’:
Looking at the individual sales to review ratios for this market, I’m seeing some optimistic information.
Starting with the product highlighted in yellow, the sales to review ratio is below average for the market. That said, looking at the date that the product was listed, I can see that it has been selling for a few years. Because of this, I’m seeing that this product has a higher than average review quantity. It’s actually selling relatively well for the market, however because the price point is above average, there’s a good chance that it’s limiting sales potential.
Checking out the product highlighted in red, I’m seeing a super high sales to review ratio. It’s a newer product with 2 reviews but it’s selling really well. A high sales to review ratio does make sense when a product is newer, if it sells well. For me, this is promising because it provides evidence that I can sell well without having to gather a large quantity of reviews.
While the listing dates in this market prove the contrary, higher sales to review ratios can be a sign of a newer market, which is something to also keep in mind. If you’re looking at sky-high ratios in a newer market, by the time you have a product sourced, those products may have accumulated more reviews, making the landscape more competitive.
Finally, looking at the product highlighted in blue, it has a pretty high sales to review ratio. Looking into this more, I can see that the product has been listed for a little over a year, and despite only having 13 reviews, it’s selling really well for the market. It’s price is relatively low, providing a potential explanation as to why it’s selling well. That said, it’s not the cheapest option.
This product is one to review more specifically. Because it’s not the cheapest option, and because it doesn’t have a wealth of reviews, it may be worth reviewing other aspects that may contribute to this product’s success. Is there a color preference? Is it a larger size? These variables may help inform sourcing decisions.
As a brief comparison, here is the data for ‘bluetooth headphones’:
As you can see, the sales to review ratio in this market is incredibly low. The massive review quantities in comparison to sales would make this market exceptionally difficult to compete within.
Step #3: Sales Depth
It’s important to also observe how sales are divided within the micro-niche. If only 2-3 products are generating 90% of the sales, it’s going to be difficult for you to capture a reasonable share of the market. If sales are relatively divided across the first page (and maybe even the first few pages), it means that you don’t necessarily need to rely on hitting one of the top spots to hit the mark on revenue. It’s much safer to bet that you can rank in the top 10 or top 15. While you obviously want to have the best product in the market, I suggest shooting for the moon, while being okay with hitting the market average.
Using my ‘crinkle cut paper shred’ example, but this time reviewing the sales column, I can see that sales are pretty evenly dispersed throughout the page. This means that even if I’m unable to push to one of the top rankings, I would still have the ability to generate a decent volume of sales.
By comparison, here is another market with a poor depth of sales:
As seen here, there are a few products generating thousands of sales while others are selling in the single digits. In this instance, I know that it’s going to be difficult to compete with the few top sellers.
There are a few different reasons for a poor depth of sales in a market.
It could be that a single brand (or a few brands) dominate the market. This is most common when searching a branded keyword, such as ‘Nike sweatshirt’, but you can also encounter it with non branded keywords with strong brand awareness/loyalty, such as ‘cotton swabs’, where Q-Tip and Johnson & Johnson vastly outsell much of the competition.
This can also happen within private label dominated markets if a handful of sellers have a disproportionately high review count, a much lower price, or a more established product.
Additionally (as is the case in example above), you may not be viewing the primary keyword for a market. This is typically evident if you see large volume sellers in lower positions. If a keyword has a lower search volume, a product with far fewer sales may rank better. This is because it’s able to drive more sales through this specific keyword. However, when looking at a related keyword with higher traffic, the products with high sales volume likely rank better. An example of this would be looking at a keyword like ‘lavender bath bombs’, when the primary keyword is ‘bath bombs’. The keyword ‘lavender bath bombs’ only gets a few hundred searches per month, yet some of the results are selling thousands of units. By comparison, the keyword ‘bath bombs’ receives around 230,000 searches per month.
Step #4: Price & Margin Check
This can be a bit more tricky, but the next step is to try to get a feel for what margins you can expect. You want to look at average prices in the market and compare that to any sort of sourcing estimates you may have found. Market Intelligence can be used to get a rough idea of the profit margin for a product, but it’s definitely important to compare this to any real numbers that you’re able to obtain (quotes for manufacturing, logistics, etc.).
It’s also important to understand Amazon’s FBA and referral fees. FBA fees are based on shipping and storage costs. A referral fee is the cut that Amazon takes for each sale made and is a fixed percentage based on category. Amazon provides a breakdown of their FBA pricing tiers and referral fees by category on Amazon Seller Central.
If you’re looking for more information on calculating FBA fees, we have a blog post that walks through the process in more detail: How to Calculate Your Amazon FBA Fees and Projected Revenue. Additionally, within Market Intelligence, you’re able to view our estimated unit margin for a specific product by clicking on the the orange Unit Margin metric.
As you begin to fill in some of your own costs, Market Intelligence also includes a Cost Calculator to help you determine you own potential margin.
Typically, I like to review the lower prices on page one. If I’m able to turn a profit while pricing on the low end of my competition, I know that I have some flexibility to adapt to market changes. If I can’t afford to source for a competitive price, I may want to avoid this particular market.
Step #5: Check Tips, Warnings, and Alerts
On the VL Analysis tab of Market Intelligence, you’re able to view some quick tips, warnings, and alerts that you may have otherwise missed. This can help to clue you into seasonality, sales depth, review concerns, etc. and can help provide a quick overview of any market conditions that may be of concern.
Step #6: Seasonality
Some sellers choose to steer clear of seasonal markets, while others welcome the influx of cash during peak seasons. Either way, seasonality is something that you want to be aware of when sourcing a product and purchasing inventory. By clicking on the Market Trends tab on Market Intelligence, you’re able to see how a product has sold over the course of a year.
If you’re looking for a seasonal product and you find one that is selling well in winter, you may want to look to source this product in summer/early fall in order to capitalize on the peak selling season. If you’ve missed the seasonal window for the year, it might be worth sourcing a small quantity to start generating a few sales and reviews, or you may want to keep it in your back pocket until next year while keeping a longer term eye on the market.
When looking at a market like ‘Christmas decorations’, you can see that the market is highly seasonal:
Alternatively, while there are always going to be fluctuations in a market, when looking at a market like ‘toothpaste’, the sales spikes are much less dramatic:
As mentioned previously, just because a product is seasonal does not mean that it’s not viable. Sellers can make a killing on seasonal products and only need to be focused on them for a few months out of the year.
The important thing is to understand that sales and demand will not be consistent throughout the year. One of the most common mistakes we’ve seen is a seller deciding to source a product based on statistics obtained during a peak season. Without appreciating the ebb and flow of demand, sellers commonly over order inventory, or financially plan for a high sales volume, only to get stuck holding a large quantity of product.
Step #7: Identify Main Keywords
It’s unlikely that a single search term is driving all of the sales for products in a micro-niche (or any niche for that matter). Typically there are at least 4 or 5 decent keywords that may be viable selling opportunities for a given product.
To start, check out keywords that other products are using in their title. If you’re looking at ‘white paper bags’ for instance, you might also want to check out keywords like ‘paper bags’, ‘white craft bags’, ‘large white paper bags’, and ‘white gift bags’. A sure-fire way to make sure you’re not missing any of your main keywords is to use a tool like Keyword Research, which programmatically identifies all main, related keywords for you.
When using Keyword Research, particularly for micro-niches, I like to first sort by priority score, which will show me the most closely related keywords while factoring in search volume:
One of the most helpful, and perhaps underutilized features of Keyword Research is the ability to add keywords to a bank to create your listing’s copy. This will help you to insure that you’re indexing for as many search terms as possible and casting the widest net to capture your customers. Listing Builder, a feature within Keyword Research, can help you construct your listing and maximize the potential audience for your market.
Proper keyword research can sometimes clue you into an even more advantageous market, but more importantly, you should analyze other main keywords in your market to better understand your micro-niche as a whole. While tedious, it’s valuable to repeat the previous validation steps on several main keywords to fully comprehend your product market and competition.
Without reviewing your broader market, it’s possible to miss crucial data that may help you avoid mistakes. One of the more frequent mistakes we encounter is assuming that a specific keyword is the main sales driver for your product market. If you don’t fully understand your market, you could see a keyword that looks non-competitive with a high return, only to realize that sales are being driven through a much more competitive term.
Let’s apply this to my product ideas:
Thinking critically about my pinned ‘paper’ ideas, I’m going to whittle down a few options.
While I was really intrigued by the low reviews and high sales for ‘crinkle cut paper shred’, with an average selling price of $11 per unit, I think I might avoid this market. I know that in order to be competitive, I’m going to want to be able to price on the lower end, meaning that I’d probably be looking at a selling price of around $8-10. Even if I can source affordably, shipping, fees, and storage are likely going to eat up a lot of my potential profit margin.
Next, I’m going to weed out the ‘parchment paper sheets’. The overall numbers aren’t bad but looking at Market Intelligence, I’m noticing some larger names like Reynolds. While Reynolds is providing some steep competition, I’m honestly surprised by how evenly the sales are spread.
That said, I’m also starting to think about manufacturing. Parchment paper typically involves more robust (and likely more expensive) packaging. Typically, it would be packaged as a roll, in a box, with a metal cutting edge. This will also add weight which will increase the cost of logistics. Since average selling price isn’t too high here either, every penny counts.
Finally, and while it may still be a decent idea, I’m going to filter out ‘white paper bags’ as well. This is mainly because I’m not overly confident in how many sales this specific keyword generates. There is a lot of variety on size, intended use, and even features (handles, gloss coating, etc.). This means that it will be hard to determine whether the keyword ‘white paper bags’ is a primary keyword for my market and it will be hard to determine which product features will make me more competitive. In comparison to many products, this is a relatively minor point, and while you should definitely perform quality control inspections when sourcing a product, I’m also a little concerned about glue quality and weight capacity. Compared to wrapping paper or paper plates, I’m seeing slightly more potential for returns and negative reviews which could limit my potential for success.
For the sake of keeping this brief (as brief as possible), I’m going to focus on the white wrapping paper.
Looking at Market Intelligence, price points are relatively high, sales are pretty well dispersed, and the product is relatively simple.
While there is a bit of seasonality to the market, there’s still an overall average of around 500+ sales per month and sales don’t totally drop off outside of peak season. The best selling month isn’t until November, but this will give me a bit of time to source and list my product and work on accumulating reviews.
There are also no warnings or alerts for the market, which is another positive sign.
In comparison, with the ‘gold paper plates,’ one of my major concerns is the diversity of product offerings. On page one, I saw everything from gold plastic utensils to gold and pink plates, different shapes, sizes, and patterns. This will make it harder to isolate the features that buyers prefer and would likely result in lower conversion rates.
Fortunately for my bottom line, it appears that plain white paper rolls sell best. Provided I can offer a comparable size and length as the top competition, while pricing my product at around $15 per unit, this should be a pretty viable option.
White wrapping paper receives around 7,000 searches per month, meaning that it has an audience searching for this product. For products on page one, there is an average sales quantity of 810.46 units/month with an average revenue of $17,665.04 meaning that it definitely has the potential to hit my revenue goals.
The average review count for page one listings is 55.15, however there are several products with fewer reviews that still sell well (implying that, while I will ideally want to generate as many reviews as possible, it’s not necessarily crucial to have as many reviews as my lead competition to be successful). As long as I’m able to generate 10-20 reviews with a rating of around 4.5 stars, it should give me a healthy foundation for driving sales.
It’s important to note that I am running this analysis shortly after Christmas so numbers are likely to be inflated. That said, based on the annual sales trends, I can still expect a decent potential year-round. This means that I should be looking to ramp up my inventory and marketing in time for Q4, but I should still have decent selling opportunity when my inventory hits Amazon. This ebb and flow of the market may actually be ideal for me, as I can source the product now and begin generating sales and reviews with the goal of positioning my listing to capitalize on Q4.
At this stage, white wrapping paper appears to be a solid product idea, and I was able to find this micro-niche within about 10 minutes of research on Product Discovery.
Phase 4: Source Your Product
Once you’ve identified a product (or products) that you’re interested in selling, it’s time to find a manufacturer.
You can go to trade shows, take a trip to China, or contact a sourcing agent, but the quickest and most cost-effective way (and where most sellers end up finding a supplier) is typically using Alibaba. Alibaba is essentially the e-commerce platform for e-commerce businesses; the Amazon for Amazon sellers. This database of manufacturers helps align you with suppliers that will able to actually produce your products.
Looking at my micro-niche for white wrapping paper, I was quickly able to find several suppliers with a simple search:
You may have to experiment with keywords and search around a bit, but you can find virtually anything on Alibaba. And, suppliers are typically willing to negotiate and manufacture to your specifications.
From here, I would select a around 5 suppliers who look to be reputable and reach out to them inquiring about samples. I won’t delve too deep into the sourcing process here, but I’ll want to compare pricing, product quality, and adaptability of the supplier as well as timeliness, communication, and the overall pleasantness of the conversation. Keep in mind that if all goes well, I’m looking to build a long-term business relationship with this supplier.
When looking for a product within a micro-niche, it’s important to consider the competition when making a sourcing decision. With my white wrapping paper, I’ll want to see if there are any discernible features that sell better than others. What sizes, thickness, potential patterns, etc. are ideal for capturing my market and gathering high quality reviews? Returning to Market Intelligence, I can review products that sell well in the market and take note of any shared traits.
This will help me to understand whether I need to order a few different sizes, or whether I should source rolls or sheets. I can also see if offering a patterned paper improves my sales potential, or if there is a certain thickness that buyers seem to prefer. Obviously, this has to be reviewed with attention paid to other variables such as price and review count, but understanding what your customers want will help you to source a product that fits your demand.
Using another example, let’s say I settled on white paper bags as my micro-niche. Through this lens, I would want to check to see if bags with handles and/or gloss coats sell better. I’d also want to check what quantities (how many bags in a package), and what dimensions sell best. Using this information, I can source a product that conforms to, and capitalizes on, the majority of the micro-niche demand.
As the Amazon landscape continues to grow and change, it’s important that your strategy does as well. The days of sourcing a gold-mine product that generate hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars is all but gone; but the opportunity to be successful on Amazon remains strong.
Rather than looking for one big, broad product market, fueled by a small handful of high-volume search terms, it’s now more advantageous to look small and think big.
As competition grows, Amazon’s dominance over e-commerce grows as well. While established sellers have the benefit of experience, sales history, massive review quantities, and large investments, the continued growth in sales creates more depth to the market and creates opportunities in more specific micro-niches.
These days, it’s no easy task to quickly drive a product to a monthly revenue of $50,000. Instead, it’s more advantageous to use micro-niches to drive 3-4 more specific products to a monthly revenue of $5,000-$15,000 each, allowing you to strategically grow your business.
The secret to success on Amazon in its current stage is to think smarter, dig deeper into research, source with specificity, and diversify your offering.
The Amazon game has changed and will continue to change in the new year. The standard on Amazon has increased significantly, so how are you staying competitive? In this episode, Casey Gauss discusses emerging tactics for success in 2019. Product research, review generation, and micro-niches, oh my!
The Amazon Space is FULL of information. The entire Seller Ecosystem is extremely unique, full of perspective, experience, data, competition, and everything in-between. Our goal is to simply put out TRUTH – facts, advice, and information backed by data. When we see Sellers walking down a path that leads to failure, we try to step in, and point people back on the right track. And that’s what we’re doing today. We’re breaking down what two HUGE mistakes Sellers are making when it comes to Product Research, and how to research markets correctly.
Today, we’re breaking down two huge Amazon product research mistakes.
Click here to get plugged into our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/VLsubscribe