One of the greatest opportunities in ecommerce comes from selling on Amazon.
With marketplaces all over the world, more than 244 million active users on Amazon.com, and exponential growth in sales over the past few years, projections for the future look ever promising.
The best opportunities lie behind long-tail searches and niche product ideas with significant demand.
An ever-increasing worry for Amazon sellers is rising competition and getting started. Sellers want to minimize risk and ensure they win a big slice of the Amazon pie.
The good news is, this all starts with one very important piece of work. Product research. Even better news, I am going to show you how to ensure you’re doing effective product research.
Finding the “Right” Product
Most successful Amazon sellers today have learned this the hard way, through trial and error. I know this because it’s how I became a successful ecommerce owner.
That is why Jungle Scout was created: to help entrepreneurs with the most sophisticated tools and the most accurate data, but also with free resources, training, and guidance.
I would advise you to spend around 20 hours on product research and follow the helpful tips in this guide along the way.
These are the exact strategies that I use when doing my own product research. I used these tactics to launch Jungle Stix, our collaborative launch product, which racked up over $200k in sales within the first year. Since then, I’ve launched a Million Dollar Case Study, with even more strategies and insights planned for the year ahead.
Let’s Start With Some Basics
Here are some basic criteria that you need to engrain into your mind as a product researcher. Every time you are looking at a product idea you should always be on the lookout for the following:
- Price: Products should be in the $20 – $75 price bracket, anything below $20 can have profitability issues, and anything too expensive means spending much more to get started.
- Shippable: Look for durable and simple products that are not oversized and avoid fragile products.
- Sourceable: You should be able to find the product on Alibaba (Read more about how to source products from Alibaba), Global Sources or other, similar supplier directories.
- Seasonality: Ideally, your products will bring in year-round sales. Tip: Use Google Trends to identify seasonality trends for keywords at the click of a button.
In-Depth Research & Advanced Criteria
Some people may stop there but no, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. Although I am calling this advanced criteria, consider it necessary advanced criteria.
This is where active research and analysis comes into play.
Ideal products should meet all of the following criteria:
1. Consistent & Sufficient Demand (greater than 400 sales/month)
You need to know that potential products are already selling on Amazon. Verifying demand is so important. I like to see at least 2000 sales per month amongst the top 10 sellers of a given product idea or around 400 sales per month per product.
If you haven’t got Jungle Scout yet, you can also check out our free Jungle Scout sales estimator to get you started. It’s available across several marketplaces too!
2. Limited Competition
As the new seller of this potential product, you have got to go up against some competition. Especially when delving into a new niche, you need to find products where there is space in the market for a new seller. Look for products where the top competitor listings have less than 100 reviews, or even less than 50 reviews.
3. The “Weirdness Test”
Popular products can bring so many barriers for entry, such as high competition or legal and trademark issues. Seek out obscure products with demand that are not readily available in brick and mortar stores. You’d be surprised what weird and wonderful products sellers make the most money from.
4. High Profit Margins
I may seem obvious but we need to know that we can make a profit. It’s easy to forget
this important piece when getting carried away with finding new products. Seek out products that you can sell for at least $20 and start to gather some rough estimates on FBA fees, shipping and production costs.
How to Really Gain Competitive Edge
Many, though not all, of your competitors will be using the same criteria as explained above to source new product ideas. So let’s try some optional (but advisable) tactics to really dig and find some product idea gold dust!
1. Find a Product With High Sales & Low Ratings
Scout out successful products that have a low rating. For example, a product that sells 300-400 items per month, but has a rating of 3.8 or below.
Why? These are products with great demand but have an average of low rating reviews, which means there is potentially an opportunity for you to increase quality or add value.
2. Enter a Niche That is Less Mature
Competition can be a huge worry for new sellers. Why not seek out products with demand that have few reviews? Try searching for products with a high sales volume and 40 or less reviews.
This means it won’t be so much work to gain some traction in this niche, and you won’t be playing catch up for too long trying to gain hundreds of reviews.
3. Spy on the Competition
The final tip is to find opportunities by searching for private label sellers and checking out their storefronts. Identify their top selling products and look for opportunities that you can replicate or improve.
You can do this manually right on Amazon if you like, or you can use the Jungle Scout Web App to filter for products that only have one seller.
How to Do It
These tactics above are a great example of thinking outside of the box. There’s always a way to reverse engineer something. That’s exactly what we did with the Jungle Scout Product Database. Part of the Web App, it’s a powerful catalog of products created for Amazon sellers.
It allows you to use smart filters to find product ideas in seconds. You could utilize it for all three of these methods by filtering it by estimated sales, ratings, number of reviews and number of sellers!
There are also some filters available in the Jungle Scout Pro Chrome Extension, which allow you to spot opportunities whilst browsing Amazon categories and sub-categories, or searching for products on Amazon:
This isn’t all about Jungle Scout though. You could also start your hunt for product ideas in numerous places, for example:
- Amazon Best Sellers List: This is a great place to start. There will be lots of inspiration, but also high competition. From there you can drill down into Amazon subcategories.
- Reddit: Delve into “subreddits” (topic forums) for weird and wonderful ideas
- eBay: And other marketplaces too, check them out for ideas.
- Alibaba: Start your search right where the manufacturers and suppliers are.
- Alltop: Find hot niches using this handy blog aggregator.
- Flippa: Get some ideas from thousands of niche websites that are up for sale
- The Jungle Scout list of over 1000 niches
- Keyword Tools: Such as KWFinder, Google’s KW Planner, or LSI Graph, which can help you drill down into a niche with related search terms and more ideas.
Then use the free Jungle Scout estimator to get your product sales estimates!
Add Value & Always Aim For Quality
I recently surveyed thousands of Amazon sellers and one interesting fact was that the majority of successful sellers were not seeking to find cheaper supplier alternatives.
It is always better to try and find opportunities where you can add value and/or quality – which often means having a higher price point, but a better product overall.
It’s not a race to the bottom, it’s a race to be the best.
Once you find products using all of the criteria and tactics explained above, find ways to improve. Read customer reviews to find out what issues a product faces and find out if you can resolve them.
It could be that a product is lower in quality or not large enough. Or you might find a way to add value by adding in an extra added freebie. For example, in our Million Dollar Case Study, I considered adding an extra washcloth with our Baby Hooded Towels to use up the excess material.
Since you are striving for quality and value, it’s a good opportunity to go in with a better product listing and better photographer than your competitors. From here you can focus on your marketing efforts to gain more organic reviews and a better rating, all of which will be beneficial towards your rank and sales velocity.
15 High Potential Product Ideas
Now that you have the basics down on how to find products, let’s dive in and get some product ideas. I want to use the basic strategies that I outlined above and investigate some example products that fit the criteria. The easiest way to do this is by using the Jungle Scout Web App as it will make this process quicker and easier to understand. I want to take a look at some real ideas to contextualize the methods shared above. This should help to get your mind working in the way it needs to in order to uncover product opportunities.
Just to give you a short peek into the shortcut that I used, I entered my criteria into Jungle Scout’s Web App (Minimum Price of $18, with more than 300 sales per month, and less than 50 reviews). It looks like this:
From here, I filtered the database and got a bunch of product ideas that meet these criteria. Here’s how my results looked:
I’ve pulled out a list of ideas and niches that caught my interest and look like they have potential. They are:
- Aquarium Gravel Cleaners
- Award Ribbons
- Balance Disc
- Burlap Race Bags
- Burlap Table Runner
- Dish Rack
- Hookah Hose
- Letter Tray
- Masking Tape
- Party Props
- Play Parachute
- Prize Wheel
- Serving Platter
- Stroller Pad
- Trekking Pole
This gives you an idea of how quickly you can generate a similar list with the Web App. Now let’s take a closer look at these and dig a little deeper.
Here’s a screenshot of the result as I found it in the Product Database. In addition to generating the product idea itself, I can get some valuable information that helps me quickly understand if the product has potential and if it merits further research.
A quick overview for the Aquarium Cleaner:
- This product has a lot of sales – almost 500 a month, at a nice price point.
- Fees are relatively high, $13, as it is a standard (large) size.
- Seems fairly straightforward to manufacture – quality control shouldn’t be an issue when getting it manufactured.
- These sales are generated despite having only 13 reviews. I imagine that I could get that many reviews quickly with a few promotions and then presumably I would be ranking for the keyword as well and get some of the sales that this product is capturing.
- Nice sales, not many reviews, and good profits per sale.
- It is hard to tell exactly what it is from the main image. Could I get more clicks on my listing with a different graphic? If so, that’s a nice way to break into this niche.
- A simple product to manufacture and decent sales.
- Is this product too easy to purchase at a local store so much so that people wouldn’t decide to purchase it on Amazon?
- How competitive or crowded is the niche? I would want to look into the search results for “Letter Tray Organizer” to do further due diligence.
- Are there ways to market this to other customer segments via keyword research and optimize the listing to reach more promising niches with this product?
- Only 2 reviews and 400 sales per month. Wow! This is looking good from the outset.
- Looks like smart marketing–including a variety of colors and award types, bundling it together so that they could charge $30.
- This is probably very easy to manufacture – can’t really mess this up!
- Very light packaging – less than a pound, so less shipping costs presumably.
- I would want to pursue this niche—is there demand for these in general? Is there enough room for a new entrant, or a different type of ribbon or award to offer?
- Wow, there is a lot of sales for this product! Almost 20 a day.
- It is oversized, so the fees are steep ($21 per unit sold), but that still leaves $38 net profit per unit.
- A higher price point is usually less competitive with private label sellers, and at $60, there are fewer competitors.
- The Listing Quality Score (LQS) is 53 out of 100. This is a proprietary Jungle Scout rating but shows some room for improvement with the listing.
- This is a simple product to manufacture and source, yet sells very well. I assume that there is a variety of styles and shapes that I could source to offer a differentiated product yet still tap into the demand for “tiered cake tray stands”.
- $30 is a nice price point, and likely fewer sellers. I would want to explore what the other sellers are offering, the keywords they are targeting and which types of tray stands sell the best.
- They could use more images – an easy way to improve on the listing?
- I included the Jungle Scout Extension data above. This is an easy way to identify which variants I would want to include. In this case, there is a variety of colors that sell well. By looking at the Best Seller Rank, I can see which one is most popular.
Burlap Table Runner & Burlap Sacks
- I don’t know off-hand how much burlap costs, but my initial guess is that this is selling at a handsome markup. I would want to look into sourcing and costs for this.
- Does the niche as a whole sell well? I would want to look at the metrics for “burlap race sack” and how those sellers are faring.
- Below is the Jungle Scout data, showing how the top results for “burlap race sack” are doing.
- It looks like some sellers with very few reviews are in the top 10 sellers which means there’s an opportunity to rank for the top keywords relatively quickly!
- A straightforward product to manufacture, and presumably not very expensive. Yet it sells for $25.
- It is a relatively “unsexy” product, so probably less saturated and competitive amongst other private label sellers. That is where the best opportunities are.
- This product is selling well, yet doesn’t have any reviews. Perhaps they were running some promotions, but that is good news for a new potential seller because it is selling well. Imagine if the listing had just a bit of social proof in reviews? A nice boost of social proof would presumably increase conversion rates.
- Currently out of stock, and still selling more than 10 units per day. And only 5 reviews. This is a new product in the niche, and has sold well. An opportunity for a new entrant!
- The product photos don’t look like they are high quality–there are only four photos, they are relatively dark and clearly not professionally taken. It wouldn’t be hard to take better photos and create a better listing.
Bachelorette Photo Props
- Could this be improved by including different accessories in the props kit?
- Could I target other occasions, like bachelor parties, office parties, weddings, etc with photo booth props? I would want to look at Alibaba or AliExpress to see what is easily sourceable and what people are already selling.
- This product is selling well and doesn’t have any reviews. Is it a crowded niche, or one with lots of demand and limited competition selling relevant products?
- This looks like a robust listing: lots of colorful photos, good keywords, and product title, yet still selling well and only 10 reviews. Is there a lot of demand that is still unmet?
- What do the negative reviews say about the product? Only 10 reviews and 4 stars is not great for this seller–maybe I can capitalize on the negative reviews and learn what the shortcomings of the product are and create an improved offering.
Child Car Seat Saver
- Products targeting new parents are often very popular, as new parents are willing to spend money and purchase products that help them and their kids. A simple waterproof liner like this is a great example.
- I would want to investigate the health regulations and inspection standards for products like this that kids will be using and handling.
- I want to look into different color liners–maybe blue or pink, or patterns that are in demand.
- Additionally, are there different sizes or models for different strollers? Maybe there is a popular stroller that does not have a liner accessory. Or at least I could include that type of stroller brand in the listing, to try to rank for those keywords.
- This is a very strong listing, nice photos and good keywords in the listing.
- I like that it is $20 per trekking pole – because what is one pole good for? You need two! So that would generally mean $40 per order.
- I took a look at the top sellers for “aluminum trekking poles”. Here is the Jungle Scout Extension data. It looks like there’s a lot of demand because these sellers sell quite well, but some sellers have less than 50 reviews and are still ranking in the top 10 sellers for the keyword.
- The sourcing, manufacturing and quality control of these should be fairly straightforward.
I hope this article has given you an idea of how I generate ideas and evaluate them when I’m looking for products to sell on Amazon.
The beauty of this business model—and the requisite for product research—is that it is replicable and scalable. You can run through this formula many times over and the products that are promising are in constant flux. That’s what you get when you’re selling on the largest marketplace in the world, the juggernaut known as Amazon.
If you want to learn more we have a whole library of free resources to help you find great products at our Jungle Scout University. Don’t forget to get some free sales estimates using the Jungle Scout Estimator.
Keep generating ideas and applying the methodologies explained in this article. You will be well on your way to building a thriving Amazon business!