The Ultimate Product Research Tactics And Tips For Amazon
How do you know which products to sell on Amazon or your e-commerce store? Before sourcing and selling a product, you need to ensure that the product you put in your portfolio will sell at a strong volume and high margin. Your products are the foundation of your e-commerce store, determining your potential revenue and growth.
Below we’ll go through the best research methods that top sellers use to find the perfect niche and product.
What kinds of products do you want?
Before discussing how to research products, you should first know what kinds of products to look for. What does a “good” product look like?
You want to make at least a $10 margin on the products you sell. The average cost of sourcing, shipping, and fulfillment, and overhead per product generally equates to about $10. This means you want to sell a product that is at least $20 to have strong margins.
When researching potential products, determine if the average price for similar products is $15. This means you can sell that type of product for at least $20.
Ideally, you want to look at whether the product can be made for 25% or less of the sales price. This will give you a strong margin regardless of price.
There is no “max” price, but it’s generally easier to sell products under $100 on Amazon. If your price is too high, it can be hard to win the Buy Box and gain a customer base.
Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to be the most expensive product in a category. Customers want premium products, and selling premium provides a strong margin that will keep you in business.
You want a product that naturally encourages repeat purchases from your customers. This could mean that you sell an air purifier and all of the replacement parts to that air purifier. Or this could mean you sell toothpaste, which your loyal customers will need to re-purchase on a monthly basis.
You also want the ability to expand your brand as need be. If you sell a travel mug, you can sell other products for coffee and tea or you could sell other travel products.
Choose products with a number of complementary products for your portfolio. This is a great way to ensure you maintain a strong customer base of repeat purchasers.
Keep in mind that replacement parts are generally low cost. You won’t want to charge upwards of $15 for a replacement in most cases. This means that replacement parts don’t often have strong margins, so they may not be the best option for recurrence. However, these can work well if you reduce your sourcing and shipping costs with robust partnerships. Talk to Seller’s Choice about how to make strong margins on replacement parts.
You want small, lightweight items when possible. Smaller items are more cost-effective because they take up less space in the shipping carrier and warehouse. This generally means your shipping and inventory costs are reduced, which can improve the strength of your margins.
If transporting by air, you especially want lightweight products, as air carriers charge based on volume and weight. We recommend products no more than 3 pounds for air shipping.
Some sellers see success with larger items, but these sellers are usually more experienced and have strong relationships with shipping carriers.
You want to sell durable products that won’t break in transit. Fragile products cost more to ship and they generally have a higher rate of damage.
In general, you want a unique product that other sellers aren’t selling. The more unique your product, the less competition you’ll have. This helps narrow your niche to attract a specific target customer.
In most cases, you want to avoid selling seasonal products. This includes holiday items as well as season-dependent products like pool toys. Seasonal products can end up not selling-through during their season, so you’re left with inventory in your warehouse that you either have to pay for the rest of the year or return to your factory.
Note that some “seasonal” products will still be sold year-round. For example, ski poles are a winter product, but there are a number of skiers who will need to buy new poles year-round. Balance seasonality with the needs of your niche.
How do you know which products are selling?
Now that you have an idea of the best types of products to sell for high margins and sell-through, how do you research and select these products?
Below are the 6 research methods that any seller—beginner or advanced— can utilize to find key selling products. These methods focus on units that are currently high selling or have a high potential for growth.
1. Best Sellers
Take a deep dive by looking at the bestseller lists in a variety of categories and subcategories. This is a good opportunity to research a number of different types of products and niches.
Keep an open mind; you never know what could end up a profitable product. If you already have an established brand, though, use this method to take a deeper look in categories that are relevant to your product portfolio.
On Amazon’s full store directory of departments, click on the category in which you want to search. From there, you can go into a variety of different subcategories. After clicking on a subcategory, click on the “Best Sellers” tab. This will bring up all of the best sellers in that specific subcategory for the past 24 hours.
This will give you an idea about the types of products that are selling well in that category. Consider selling products from this best seller list that meet the above 6 criteria of choosing a product.
2. Best Seller Rank
You should also look at the bestseller rank (BSR) of the product and related products. The BSR shows which products are selling well in certain categories and subcategories, demonstrating the demand for the product.
You want a best seller rank of at maximum 5,000, which shows the unit is selling well within the category. A unit with a BSR of 20,000 sells at a less frequent rate than a product with 2,000 BSR.
From the best seller list, you want to see which products have a lot of positive reviews. If they’re bestsellers, they will usually have good reviews.
Take a look at similar products in that category. For example, a current bestseller in Home & Garden is a digital kitchen scale. It has over 6,800 positive (4-star average) reviews. This shows that a number of people are buying kitchen scales and are generally pleased with them.
But that’s just for that one scale. How are other digital scales performing? You’d then type “digital kitchen scales” into the search results to take a look at other similar items. The first page of results has a number of products with over 500 or 1,000 reviews.
Too many product listings with positive reviews mean that it’s a competitive product. A number of established sellers with thousands of reviews will prove a challenge to get your product on the first page of search results. Even though that product is a best seller and meets the above criteria, the high number of reviews on the top product page shows that competition is fierce.
On the other hand, if the first page of search results shows that most products have less than 50 reviews, there aren’t too many competitors in this field. This could be a strong product to break into to avoid competition.
You want to find a balance of reviews. You want to choose a product that sells well but doesn’t have strong competition on the first page of search results.
It’s time to spy on your competitors. Take a look at successful sellers to see what products they’re selling, at what price, and their reviews. “Successful” sellers are usually those with a lot of positive reviews and a high seller rank.
On a product page, click on the seller profile. From there, you can see all the products they offer, the reviews, and the price. If someone has a number of products with a lot of good reviews, they’re good competition and know what they’re doing.
What products are they selling? If they’re succeeding, they’ve already done the product research for you. You don’t want the same portfolio as another strong seller, but this is a great jumping off point to choose which products are selling and will work best with your brand portfolio.
How well does the product rank for keywords? You want products with a high number of monthly searches. This shows that customers are looking for and buying your product.
Check out Google Trends. Type in the main keyword or other keywords for your product. This will show you how many people search for that product on Google throughout the month or year. This is a great way to see the overall “need” of your customers both on and off Amazon.
This also shows you if searches are trending upward or downward. You always want a product that’s on the upswing. Keep in mind that a number of current best selling products may not be best sellers in two months, so you want to watch for upcoming trends as opposed to current trends.
You should also do Amazon keyword research to see if your potential products have strong relevant keyword traffic and volume. Check out this article by Sellics for 6 keyword research methods to increase visibility.
6. 999 method
The 999 method is a favorite for many sellers because it helps see how many product units are selling on a daily basis.
Go to the product page of a product you are considering. Add the product to your cart. In your shopping cart, click on quantity 10+. Type in 999 into the box. If there are less than 999 items in stock, Amazon will show how many items the seller has left in stock. This is more accurate for FBA than merchant fulfilled (FBM).
Watch that product’s inventory levels for about 7 days. Each day, track the difference in inventory. This will show how many of the product is sold each day (unless you happen to start tracking during the week the seller adds more inventory.) Do this for multiple sellers of the same product to get a better sense of the sell-through.
The Bottom Line
You want to pick a product that is currently selling high or on the upswing, but you want to avoid products with high competition. Choose products that will work with your brand while appealing to the upcoming needs of your customers.
Selling products at a high margin and high sell-through rate starts with choosing the right types of products to sell on Amazon.