If you are just starting out in business or looking to expand your product range, this guide covers how to research for a product that will be profitable for you. Irrespective of whether you sell on Amazon or not, it provides many great opportunities for product and market analysis.
Product research can be challenging but it is crucial. If you can identify what that product is and get it manufactured with improved specifications, you will be able to capture the demand and sell successfully. Finding a successful product to sell takes time and patience.
Product Criteria Checklist
Generate product ideas with the highest potential by first focusing on a specific niche and then searching product trends for hidden gems.
When you’re gathering a list of product ideas, an ideal product should meet the following basic criteria:
- A price point in the range of $20 – $50. Any lower, you might face profitability issues. Any higher requires more money upfront and also risks greater scrutiny in reviews
- Low seasonality. You want a product that will sell all throughout the year and not just during certain seasonal periods
- Small (fits in a shoebox) and lightweight. For fast and easy shipping, you want something that won’t be too expensive to import
- Simple to manufacture. You don’t want to run into quality control or manufacturing challenges. Avoid glass, electronics, or highly complex products if you can.
Using these key characteristics as a guide, let data direct your product discovery process using Amazon product research tools, like Jungle Scout. These tools allow you to filter different sets of criteria so you can drill down until you’re left with a curated list of products with low competition and high sales volume.
A different approach is looking at keywords to unlock niche products. You can search keywords in a specific marketplace and category, to get all of the viable results showing the metrics for that keyword’s top five sellers.
But is it a good niche overall? After you have a few product ideas, you can search keywords related to each of those products directly on Amazon to scope out the competition. Based on the results, you can focus on a specific feature or function of a product that you might be able to improve on in manufacture.
Find Hidden Gems
Now that you’re taking a look at the competition on Amazon for your product ideas, there are a few advanced research methods to dig even deeper in your search for prime opportunities. Look for products with:
- Sufficient demand. A minimum of 2,000 sales per month (the total sales among the top ten sellers of a given product idea) is ideal.
- Limited competition. Look for listings where the top competitors have less than 200 reviews (preferably less than 100 reviews) as an indicator of room for new entrants.
- Poor ratings. If they sell well but have a low rating, read the bad reviews to see if there might be an opportunity to come up with a better version.
- Poor listings. The LQS (Listing Quality Score) is Jungle Scout’s proprietary system that evaluates and scores a product listing based on the Product Title, Description, Product Images, Keywords, and more. It is a scale of 0-100, so products with an LQS below 40 leave a lot of room for improvement.
You can also validate demand by conducting keyword and competitor research, tracking sales activity, inventory, Best Seller Ranking, and pricing over a period of time. Tracking a product’s performance for a few weeks.
Check For Shippability
When analyzing your product search results, use the following list to assess whether the product may have issues shipping:
- Avoid clothing brands and licensed products.
- You don’t want anything fragile that can easily break, including anything that is glass or electronics.
- Look for small, lightweight products that will make for easy shipping and won’t be too expensive to import.
- Research any potential issues with IP or import.
- Many seemingly innocuous products, like some camping gear, cosmetics, perfumes, and frozen foods are actually restricted on planes or ships. Use this Hazardous Materials table as a first step to check out whether this might affect your product.
Are you are planning on shipping hazardous materials? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Work with your supplier to identify and classify your dangerous goods.
Determine with your freight forwarder which transportation methods will accept your goods, which hazmat regulations apply, and complete any application or qualification process required.
Work with your supplier to package your goods properly. There are three degrees of protection with dangerous goods during transport:Group I. Greatest danger, most protective packaging required,
Group II. Medium danger,
Group III. Least danger, least protective packaging required.
Get your supplier to provide a Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS), provide a detailed description of the goods on all other relevant shipping documents, like the freight quote, commercial invoice, bill of lading, and shipment packing list.
Work with your supplier to mark and label everything properly, including, if required, a placard with designated classification, and the four-digit UN number (more on this in the Safety Standards & Labeling guide).
Contributed by Greg Mercer, JungleScout