When it comes to selling on Amazon, the single most important part of your strategy is your product research tactics and selection — this task should never be under-estimated! Choose the right product and your ecommerce business has the potential to take off. Choose the wrong product and your sales and profits will, of course, be far harder to achieve.
Many sellers find the prospect of research over-whelming, and there’s no denying it’s a huge task. But product research doesn’t need to be daunting! Let’s first consider what Amazon product research actually entails.
What is Amazon Product Research?
The process of researching products to sell on Amazon is exactly that. A process of analysing what’s selling so that you can grab a slice of the action. The idea is that you research products that you are able to source inexpensively and sell for a profit. Sounds super simple, doesn’t it? Yet, it’s a process that includes numerous important factors that must be considered.
For example, your niche selection, any brand restrictions, your competition, costs and fees will all impact whether the products you research are viable.
Why is it Important to do Product Research?
If you don’t spend adequate time honing your research skills, you’ll be unable to spot potentially profitable products. Choosing random products just because you like the look of them and ‘think’ they will sell on Amazon will not cut it, because what you ‘think’ and what your research will uncover are likely to be total opposites!
So, don’t sell what you want to sell, sell what sells!
There is no room in the world of running an ecommerce business for you to make guesses or uninformed decisions, particularly if you want your business to be successful and to grow.
One of the main reasons Amazon sellers find product research so challenging is because they simply don’t know what to focus on. And it’s not surprising as not all products are equal. Before you even start your research you should have a handle on what a good product looks like to introduce to your inventory.
Good Products v Bad Products
Ok, so ‘bad products’ might be a little strong, but, there are certainly ‘good’ product characteristics you should consider when you research products to sell on Amazon. The important point is to research products that sell – because of course, you need customers to survive!
But you also must take into consideration the product from your point of view as the seller. For example, you might discover that 50-inch TV’s are selling like they are going out of fashion. Great! But from a practical point of view, as an Amazon seller most likely working from home, you’ll have trouble not only with storage of stock but also shipping fees, not to mention brand restrictions.
So, you need to leave products like that to the big boys and instead concentrate on products that make running your ecommerce business simple and make your research simple too.
Good Products fit the following criteria:
- Small, lightweight, robust – easy to store pack and post
- A price point of between £10 and £50 – attracting impulse buys
- Unbranded (with branding potential) – higher margins available
- Low competition – a chance to enter the market
By keeping these criteria in mind, you will filter out items that don’t meet these requirements and your research task immediately becomes less daunting and more refined.
Now you don’t need to worry about looking at heavy or bulky products, branded products, perishable goods or products that don’t fall into the impulse buy category.
So, now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s move on to Amazon research tactics that will make finding the perfect profitable product a simple process.
How to Research Products to Sell on Amazon
Top Seller Tip: Niche it Down!
Before we look at Amazon product research tactics, here’s a tip for you, and one that can be instrumental in your success as an Amazon seller. Like all ecommerce platforms, if you sell on Amazon you will without doubt encounter competition.
This means that you can’t simply choose a market or category to sell within, pick a product (even if it fits the criteria listed above), list it and sell it! Focusing on markets that are broad won’t work.
For example, you might choose the dog collars niche. Great, but highly congested! You’ll find thousands of Amazon sellers all listing dog collars. So, instead, you should choose a sub-niche within the main dog leads niche.
A colour variation could be viable for example, so the more specific you can go, the lower the competition and the higher your profits will be. Instead of dog collars, choose to concentrate on flashing LED dog collars in pink, or personalised dog collars for example.
Search volumes will be lower, but you will be targeting a very specific market and can filter out much of your competition. Because you have chosen to go so niche, your product is more likely to convert consistently.
So, take into account the product criteria, niche it down and then and only then start researching specific products to sell on Amazon. These seven research tactics will help you.
Top Amazon Research Tactics For Sellers
Research is the key to finding winning products to sell on Amazon. So, you must make sure you do it right and know exactly where to carry out your research!
1. Amazon Lists
The first place you should head to for your research is unsurprisingly Amazon itself. More specifically, the Amazon Bestseller lists, which not only include ‘bestsellers’, but also include ‘movers and shakers’, ‘most wished for’ and ‘gift ideas’ sections. All of these can offer invaluable insights into the type of products you should be considering for your inventory.
Head over to the Amazon Bestsellers page and start your research.
All the tabs you see across the top of the page are super helpful to you when it comes to your Amazon product research:
Use Bestsellers to view the top 100 bestselling products in any category. The trick here is to dig deep into the sub-categories. So, don’t look at the number one seller in the top-level category and choose that as the item you are going to source and sell.
Instead, choose a sub-category and look at the top 100 there instead. Although still popular there will be less competition and you are ‘niche-ing’ down your ideal product. Choose a product to research further and source a similar but better version rather than the exact product.
Use Hot New Releases to discover what’s selling well right now and what products are about to be released. Just like the best sellers, you should niche it down and base your on-going research on products that are similar to those that are just released.
If you’re quick with your research, you may even be able to source a product before the release date of a popular item and cash in immediately.
Use Movers and Shakers to discover which products have gained an increase or decrease in popularity over the previous 24 hours. This is a great tactic if you have a product in mind and want to monitor it for a period before sourcing and adding it to your inventory. Beware monitoring for too long though as you may miss the ideal opportunity.
Use Most Wished For and Most Gifted to view the products that are most often added to gift lists or even ordered as gifts. The benefit here is you will be able to see the types of products that are trending, giving you ideas for further niche research rather than product research in general.
2. Speak with Your Current Supplier
If you already sell a product on Amazon and have a relationship with a supplier, one of the easiest and most cost-effective product research tactics is to simply speak with your supplier to get the unofficial low down on their best selling products and hottest product trends.
Your supplier should already have their finger on the pulse and will be able to offer you inside information, plus, the more products you purchase from one source, the lower your unit cost will be! By speaking with your supplier, you can actually achieve big discounts and get new product ideas all at the same time.
3. Spy on Your Competitors
Another superb Amazon product research tactic is to check out which products are already successful on Amazon through current PPC campaigns. Amazon sellers spending money on campaigns like this are pretty certain to be profiting from these products otherwise they would not spend the money on the campaigns. When you see the word ‘sponsored’ on Amazon, this means the product is a paid-for advertisement:
4. Utilize Google Trends
One of the best tools you can use for your Amazon product research is Google Trends. The first way you can use this tool is by setting up alerts so that you instantly receive notifications about trending or popular topics.
The advantage is that although you are not directly being notified of ‘products’ as such, as a seller you will be able to identify relevant subjects or stories that tie in with your business and product needs. This allows you to explore potential products that you can sell on Amazon.
Alternatively, you can search on Google Trends itself. Simply choose the UK, search for a product and choose web search to see results returned for all related products. Using the earlier example of ‘dog lead’, the search results you’ll see returned are useful for giving you ideas to research even further:
5. Investigate the ‘Customers Also Bought’ and ‘Frequently Bought Together’ Sections
Let’s head back to Amazon now, and a great Amazon research tactic is to view the sections beneath the main listings which can give you insightful product ideas.
You’ll need a rough idea of the niche and product you’re researching, but this tactic will help you not only understand your potential customers thought and buying process, but also give you the opportunity to research and create a unique product bundle.
Products that are frequently bought together on Amazon can be combined into one amazing product that could become a best seller. Products that you see customers also bought are likely to be hugely popular and can be researched further in their own right and either added to a ‘bundle’ or sourced and sold as a stand-alone product.
6. Look at eBay’s Trending Lists
Whilst you may wish to sell on Amazon, eBay can be a mine of information when it comes to your product research. If an item is available and selling well on eBay, it’s likely to sell well on Amazon too! This is where eBay’s lists are useful for your product research. So, head over to this page and you’ll be able to view all trending product deals across a choice of categories:
Not all products will fit with your research criteria, but it’s an ideal place to spot in-demand products that you can source and sell on Amazon.
7. Browse through AliExpress and Find the Bestsellers
This is a fantastic Amazon product research tactic, yet often overlooked! AliExpress is one of the biggest trade marketplaces that you have free access to, so don’t just use it for product sourcing. Use it for your research as well. Ali Express doesn’t have a dedicated page for best selling products, but you can still investigate which products are popular in three easy steps:
- Choose a category or sub-category e.g. pet supplies
- Sort results by ‘orders’ to see the highest sold numbers first
- Filter the results to display products with a 4* rating
You’ll now see all the top-selling products in your chosen category or sub-category with the added bonus that you can have confidence in that product due to all ratings being 4 star or above from previous buyers.
Your Amazon product research will never feel daunting if you always follow the set criteria and remember to ‘niche-down’ your research whilst using competitor information and trends to help you. There’s no need to waste time trying to sniff out products that are non-starters when you can narrow down your research and recognise a bestselling product using the easily accessible Amazon research tactics detailed above.
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