E-commerce is booming: In the UK, internet sales revenue in 2020 amounted to approximately 96 billion pounds, and this trend is on the rise. It’s no surprise that more and more people want a slice of the pie and are looking to sell products online. However, success is far from guaranteed, so planning your e-commerce business effectively – starting with choosing the right product – is crucial.
Selecting products for online sales is an art in itself. The demand should be high and the competition low. The quality must be high, and barriers to sale, low. To be successful in the fiercely competitive e-commerce market, you should either find your own niche or add value to products that have already proven their selling power. Both require extensive research.
We’ll explain how to find good products for online sales, what you need to consider, and which product categories and products are particularly suitable at present.
Finding Product Ideas: What Makes a Good Product? The next hit product is always just one great idea away. Predicting what will sell like hotcakes and what will become a shelf warmer is not straightforward – otherwise, everyone would do it. However, there are a few rules you should observe to avoid shelf warmers: Product reviews
High Demand Naturally, you should only sell things that someone needs. Demand can be identified based on several factors – through your own surveys, published studies, search engine trends, or the sales figures of the competition, for instance. More on this later.
Low Competition If demand is high, it is probably already being met. It’s difficult to establish yourself in a niche where many companies are already selling successful products. Therefore, it can be worthwhile to sell products that are not already available at every corner and to anticipate new trends.
Solving a Problem In the quest for the next bestseller, some aspiring sellers forget that a product should also have a purpose. This result is often seen on TV shows like “Dragons’ Den”, where investors are often pitched products that nobody really needs. Products that solve a real problem, preferably for a large audience, have a much better chance of success.
Price & Manufacturing Costs The more expensive a product is, the smaller the target group that comes into question. And even with cheaper products, the margins should be large enough for you to reliably generate profits. So sell products that are attractively priced for your target group and whose margins are profitable for you. Costs can also be saved with products that are small and easy to deliver. This allows you to save on delivery and storage costs, which can make your products even more attractive by passing these savings on to your customers.
High Quality The internet is full of cheaply produced products, which are often worth little more than poor copies of more valuable alternatives. There may be a market for this, but you will win loyal and happy customers with high-quality products that deliver what they promise.
Passion Of course, online selling should also be fun. If you sell products that you truly believe in, and do not just view your product as a means to an end, you are likely to be much more passionate about your business. This can also affect the success of your e-commerce project.
The “perfect” product or the “safe” bestseller does not exist. However, there are also successful products that do not solve any problems and sellers who generate high profits in a market with a lot of competition. Nevertheless, you should consider these factors when selecting your product – this is where the real product research begins.
Research Methods: How to Find Good Product Ideas? Do not underestimate the power of market research: there are many data and statistics that you can access free of charge, and methods that can help you estimate the existing or potential demand for a product. Here are a few of the most important:
One good way to find out what people are interested in is to look at search trends. With Google Trends, for instance, you can find out how often people are searching for which products and search terms. You can apply different filters, such as comparing two terms or categorizing search trends by markets.
Google Trends is a valuable tool for discovering what people are searching for.
With Google Trends, you have to manually search for terms, so you should bring some ideas with you in advance. But there are also tools that do this work for you: with Exploding Topics, for example, you can find out which terms are gaining in popularity in which categories right now.
Very few online sellers reinvent the wheel. There is no shame in copying others to see which products are currently popular – because high-quality competition stimulates business.
Unfortunately, not many companies publish the sales figures for their products. However, there are ways to find out trends. On Amazon, for example, you can see the current bestsellers, broken down into categories, at any time.