Drop Shipping & eCommerce Blog | Doba

Effective research for a better business

Written by Jeff Allen on August 21, 2014 in How to Sell Products Online


If you plan on selling online, be ready to hear “Do your research.” It’s probably a phrase that you’ll hear a lot, or one that you’ll be thinking about constantly as you start your business and build your brand. And while you’ll be hearing it quite frequently, it’s definitely not a bad thing to always keep in mind.

For veteran etailers, research comes almost second nature. For newcomers, it can be a completely different story. Research is a pretty broad term, and covers many aspects of selling your products online. And even experienced etailers don’t always do efficient and effective research. With this article, we tried to pick out some of the most important aspects of ecommerce research and break them down for you.

Research Your Product

Lets be honest. If you don’t know much about your product, you’re not going to do very well. In addition, if you don’t know what your product should be, your chances at success are even less. Product research is often viewed as the most crucial part of running an online business, and it’s usually where people start.

Do yourself a favor and spend an ample amount of time looking at what has been selling on Amazon, eBay, and other ecommerce sites. If you’re a member of Doba, you have access to our Elite Seller Report, which shows you which products have been selling the most online.

Pick a product that is popular, but isn’t lost in a saturated market. Find a pain point (or an area where you can solve a problem), and sell to that market. If you want more info on finding the right product, check out our blog here.

Research Pricing

This is another hugely important part of research. You need to make sure your prices don’t turn off your potential customers. You’re probably thinking that means don’t make the prices too high. You would be surprised to know that’s not always the case. Making your prices too low often turns customers away as much as making them too high.

It’s not so weird when you think about it. We usually judge a product’s worth and the business’s credibility based on price. If customers see you selling your products well under the MSRB, they may question how trustworthy you are as a business owner. If you set the price too high, they’ll think they’re getting ripped off.

Again, you’re going to want to spend time on etail sites watching at what prices your product is selling. You’ll want to keep your prices around the average selling price. And here’s the trade off: set a lower price, expect to sell more but have a lower margin. Set a higher price, expect to have less sales and a higher margin.

It’s crucial that your method of sales matches the capabilities of your business.

Research Promotion

If you’ve mastered the first two tips, your next item of business is getting your name out. Even if you have the greatest products with the greatest prices, if nobody knows about your business, you’re not going to be selling much.

So if you haven’t figured it out by now, your competition will often be your best source of research. Is there another business selling your product? Are they doing exceptionally well? Don’t feel bad perusing their website and trying to figure out all their tricks. Certainly don’t copy them, but researching competition will give you the best research you can get on how to advertise your product.

After you check out a handful of competitors’ websites, you should start to formulate a good idea of how to advertise your product. Cherry pick the best ideas from all the websites and make your own awesome marketing techniques. (Also, don’t overlook social media. Make sure you emphasize it heavily. Check out more information here)

Finally, researching isn’t a one time thing. Nor can you expect your results to be consistent. Don’t expect your first research results to last the life of your company. Don’t even expect them to last a year. A good business runs on great research. Plan on making research a big part of running your business, and you’ll have a great and successful experience with ecommerce.

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