“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers,” says marketing expert and dot-com entrepreneur Seth Godin.
You may be a marketing whiz or have an optimized ecommerce website, but if no one wants to buy what you're selling, your online business is going to fail.
In a survey of startup founders, nearly 30% recommended conducting more research before launch. Therefore, you can prevent business failure by learning how to do product research. For a successful online store, ecommerce product research is an essential step to finding products to sell online.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Importance of Product Research
Ecommerce product research is a part of market research that involves evaluating a product’s features and gathering information on whether the product might be sellable to the intended target market.
It’s an ongoing process that gauges what works and what doesn’t, avoiding expensive mistakes, and encouraging improvements.
How To Do Product Research
- Check Google Trends.
- Consider your passion and industry.
- Look for profitable products on social media.
- Look through Amazon.
- Create focus groups.
1. Check Google Trends
Google Trends is a great tool for finding products to sell online.
To start using Google Trends for keyword research, input the keyword you're interested in and check its performance over time. To succeed at learning how to find products to sell online, look for products that are part of a strong market and not seasonal or gimmicky.
For instance, the search volume of “yoga pants” is stable over time, while the term “candy cane” is only popular during Christmastime.
After comparing the trend, check regional popularity and compare different variations of products.
For instance, if you want to sell phone cases, you can check for keyword usage over time and then compare it to phone cases of specific brands. In the below example, “iPhone cases” has more usage than “Samsung cases.”
2. Consider Your Passion and Industry
Selling products that you're passionate about or constantly interact with in your profession also helps because you already know what’s sellable and how to market it. You’re familiar with key trends in the area and can identify customer pain points and gaps in the market that can be addressed.
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3. Look for Profitable Products on Social Media
If you don't have a product concept in mind, one way to do product research is to look for trending products on social media.
Other social media platforms you can check include:
- Pinterest, a visual search engine. Just like Google, you can look for trends and do keyword research to look up related terms.
- Reddit, which is also a good place to work on your ecommerce marketing strategy. You can ask a question and look through people’s answers. There are dedicated subforums (called subreddits), such as r/BuyItForLife, where people share their best finds.
- Facebook and Twitter: Both websites are perfect for social listening.
4. Look Through Amazon
Another way to do ecommerce product research is to look through Amazon.
Amazon is the biggest online marketplace in the world. You can use its search feature to look for potential products to sell. Some ways to do Amazon product research are to look through the:
- Amazon Bestseller page, which readily provides insights into the bestselling products and the top sellers people are willing to buy.
- Categories and subcategories to find products you're interested in.
- Product listings to find similar products or products frequently bought together.
- Customer reviews. Happy and dissatisfied reviews alike let you know that the product is sellable and empowers you to find pain points to address.
5. Create Focus Groups
If you can’t think of a winning product, maybe you have a profitable niche in mind? If so, why not form focus groups to talk about new product ideas?
During focus group discussions, you can ask your demographic about:
- The type of products your target audience prefers.
- What would make them buy a great product.
- What they like or dislike about a product.
Showing focus groups prototypes of your own product lets you get direct feedback before launching a new product.
It’s important to note that creating focus groups doesn’t always guarantee success. Just because a group validates your idea, it doesn’t mean that they would abandon competitors to purchase your product.
How To Find a Product To Sell Online
After learning how to do product research, you can now figure out how to find a product to sell online.
The ideal product is:
- Inexpensive, so you can make a good profit margin.
- Unique, so customers will buy from you instead of looking for alternatives on Amazon and AliExpress.
- Solves a problem, so customers will be willing to wait for the product in case shipping takes long or pay more if shipping costs are high.
Final Thoughts: How To Do Product Research for Your Ecommerce Business
Learning how to do product research is an essential skill for any ecommerce entrepreneur. It helps you find the right product, validates whether your product idea will be sellable or not, and makes all the difference in your business’s success.