Let’s say for a moment that you’re interested in listing products on Amazon or trying out the FBA selling (fulfilled by Amazon) system, but you have no clue what to sell or where to start. Sound familiar? Many prospective businesspeople want to take advantage of FBA, as you don’t have to take the time building a website or complex selling infrastructure, you don’t mess around with complicated merchant account rigmarole, and the customer support options are great. With Amazon, you can sell and ship just about everything under the sun, so narrowing down your prospects can seem like a mountain of a task, especially if you’re a beginner. Instead of randomly scouring through catalogs looking for the perfect items to sell, though, there’s a more focused way you can go about maximizing your prospects—product research. There are online product analytics research tools such as Product SpyPro that provide wealth of analytics on best selling products trends.
What Is Amazon Product Research?
In short, product research is the process of finding out what the market is clamoring for and what items will sell well based on the available data you procure. Traditionally, manufacturers and retailers have used product research as a component of product development, to identify if a new product may be fruitful when it goes on sale , to scope out what similar competing products exist in their sphere, and explore ways to get in on what could be a lucrative market.
With successful product research, you won’t just know what’s out there and who’s doing it right, you’ll also be able to differentiate yourself from the masses to carve out your own share of business. This is critical, as jumping blindly into a sector where someone else is dominating is a great way to get yourself crushed. Using careful planning, though, you can offer a new angle or approach that makes the product you’re selling, however similar, appear more attractive and gain more sales as a result.
In the past, companies would use a wide array of old-school methods to collect data. Reading the news to learn about new products and public opinion, combing through business case studies, hiring product engineers, employing focus groups, and conducting surveys all fell under the purview of the product research banner. While some of these methods will still apply to you, the advent of Amazon has opened up a whole new range of techniques you can use to gauge which products you should be spending your time on selling.
How Can I Use Product Research To Find Things To Sell On Amazon?
Now that you know the basics, here’s how you can implement a successful Amazon product research campaign. We’ll cover some specific techniques in a second, but first, you need to keep in mind during the entire process that your product research is aimed at finding the answers to important questions that will influence your ability to flourish on Amazon.
What niche do you want to target? Amazon isn’t the wild west anymore, which means that just about every product market has its bases covered. You won’t be able to stroll in and make a killing, so you have to find niche markets that are on the upswing you can target to maximize your effectiveness.
What specific products should you sell? Once you’ve identified a niche, you need to go deeper and find what products will do well, and which products you should leave alone.
How should you set your prices? To be competitive, you have to get your pricing in the “sweet spot,” where it’s more attractive than your competitors but still high enough that you’re making a profit.
How can you craft your product listings to stand out? It’s difficult to make great sales numbers without an informative product listing. You’ve got to use all the tricks at your disposal to make yours better than the rest.
How will you convert product browsers into sales? You’ll have to implement a few other strategies both on and off Amazon to get eyes on your products and score conversions.
Now, for most of these questions, the most basic level of research you’ll be conducting is spying on what the top sellers are doing on Amazon. When searching for a niche and specific products, for instance, you’ll want to head over to the “Departments” tab and see how Amazon is organizing different items.
You’ll notice a long series of lists, divided by main categories and further broken up into sub-categories. Those sub-categories are what you’re after. The main categories are too broad for you to make much traction in, but you can narrow down a few smaller categories to concentrate on and start marketing your wares.
You shouldn’t, however, choose a niche that is too narrow. Obscure categories get very little traffic, and as a result, you’ll get a minimal amount of sales. You want to find something that is small enough for you to compete in but thriving enough to make money. Part of determining this is figuring out what products are selling within particular categories.
For this part of your research, you should head to the “Best Sellers” page within a category. Here you can see which items are at the top of the heap, and plan accordingly. You don’t just want to target what’s hot at the moment, mind you.
To the right of the best sellers page, you’ll also see “Hot New Releases,” “Movers & Shakers,” “Most Wished For,” and “Gift Ideas.” These listings will allow you to gain some insight into what’s on the horizon in terms of popularity and start gearing up to target these specific products as well. Furthermore, you can find out what might apply to the marketplace that isn’t being offered yet, and score first dibs on introducing it to hungry clientele. As you go through all of these listings, make sure you’re taking note of prospective keywords to target to enhance your own product descriptions and make sure you can get eyes on your wares.
Once you know what you’re going to sell through Amazon, you have to set your prices competitively. Your final number will, in part, be influenced by the deal you can get from your provider for the products in question (or your production costs, if you’re making products on your own). Be that as it may, you’ll also have to take some time to find out what similar products are selling for already. For that, it’s back to the best sellers page to see what’s current.
Pricing Factors to Consider
Ideally, you’ll want to try to set your prices a bit lower than competitors to gain a foothold. This will get you higher in the “Buy Box,” a crucial step if you’re not manufacturing your own products to sell on Amazon, as it marks you as one of the sellers of a particular product that potential customers can order with ease.
You should, however, take into consideration the Amazon fees before setting your prices. Amazon doesn’t offer their services out of the goodness of their heart; they want their cut of the action as well. Remember to factor in these fees when calculating your profit potential for items you’re offering. For FBA, you can do this via the Amazon Revenue Calculator.
In conjunction with great pricing, you’ll have to learn about how to craft your product listing for optimal success. Again, you can spy on what the best are already doing to learn your answer. We could go into another article just on product listings alone, but the gist of it is simple. You want to be as detailed as possible, target (but don’t overuse) keywords. List your product’s most relevant strengths first, and use lots of high-quality images to attract attention.
Those are the basics of Amazon product research, now let’s talk about how you can go the extra mile. We briefly touched upon differentiating your product from the competitor’s earlier. Did you know there are ways to expand upon this beyond the product listing?
Check the reviews and ratings for products that you are selling or plan on selling. Notice any common trends among the feedback? If you can pick up on defects or inconveniences that customers are unhappy about, you might be able to work with your supplier to create a version that improves upon these and market your version as the superior option.
Of course, this is a lot of work and takes a significant investment of time on your part to complete. If you’re looking for something of a shortcut to help you navigate some of the intricacies of product research, there are a number of tools you can use to assist. Do a search of product research software, and you can find options that will help you narrow down keywords, learn about sales rankings, plan volumes and expected revenues, or even track the prices of what items are selling for on Amazon currently. The Product SpyPro is an example of a tool that can save you time in your product research and provide key amazon data analytics so that you can make key decisions based on the insights derived from the data.
What About Private Label Sales?
Time to talk about private label products. Using the research skills you’ve acquired, you can hunt down generic products that are selling well or have the potential to sell well, then market them using your own packaging, logos, etc. to gain an edge. Once you’ve narrowed down the products you want, you’ll have to create a relationship with a good supplier so you can obtain your generics. One of the biggest curators is Alibaba, as you can find suppliers throughout multiple categories from many regions around the globe through a simple search of their site. Make sure to focus on suppliers that will allow for private labeling of their products.
When you have your supplier picked out, you’ll then have to negotiate an order quantity and pricing. Remember to take into consideration all of the factors we mentioned earlier about getting a deal, Amazon fees, and setting up a competitive reselling price to score conversions and make sales of your own once you have the product listed. You’ll also need to consider making your own branding and packaging under which to market the product. If you’re skilled at design, you might be able to tackle this step yourself. If not, you can make use of a talented third party or freelancer to do the work for you. A quick internet search will reveal a long list of freelancing sites that can put you in contact with the right professionals.
Though you might be dependent on your supplier for the product, and it will take some time to build a name for yourself on Amazon this way, using private label products affords a range of advantages that you can capitalize on. You’ll be able to work faster through private label suppliers, have your supplier make alterations at your request, and have greater control over your branding and pricing—all important factors in building your success through FBA.
Amazon FBA selling is a great way to build a business that requires a reduced level of effort in regards to creating infrastructure and websites of your own. To maximize your success, though, you’ll need to make use of clever product research and find a reliable supplier of the precise products you want to sell. Remember that when researching products, you should try to narrow down a niche to target, and check your competitors for information about how to set your prices, target specific keywords, and craft killer product descriptions. Go with private label products as your supply to give yourself the most control over branding and pricing, and keep doing your homework so you can stay on top of what customers are interested in and buying.