Anyone can start an online business. Without exaggeration, anyone with a desire to start an online business and an internet capable device has everything they need to start an e-commerce store in 2018. Maybe that’s the allure so many people find in the idea. It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s practically free. It’s also doomed to fail if you don’t find the right products to sell. That’s exactly why we decided to create this article, to help identify the types of products that will actually sell, not to just have in your store.
So, if you’re new to the e-commerce game or your sales aren’t where you want them to be, the question you should be asking is how do you find the best products to sell online? Here’s a list of tips and tricks to help refine and focus your search and generate ideas for products that will sell online.
In determining the types of products to sell, research is key. Effective research should make execution that much easier. However, it’s also important that you don’t spend weeks looking for a perfect product idea because you’ll most likely choose one of the first ideas you thought of. Find a way to find balance between research and gut instinct and you’ll find a product that you’re passionate in selling.
Brainstorm Dropshipping Ideas
Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t know what types of products you’d like to sell initially. Be prepared to give your plan some thought and effort so you can be sure to find the best possible products for you. Get inspiration from your newly discovered passions, daily hobbies, products you are drawn to purchase yourself, products your friends and family members purchase, Google Trends products, etc. Make a list of all of the products that fall into any of these categories, as well as any other products that come to mind while you’re making this list. Do not try to skip this step, you will regret it later! Don’t worry about whether or not the item you are writing down will be a best seller or not. Just write it down.
Browse Other Stores for Product Ideas
Go through other stores and marketplaces, look for their top offerings, their bestselling list, and products that are highly promoted. A lot of stores have a large amount of data and employ entire departments to organize their sales and pick their products. Capitalize on that information, it will help you generate some really great product ideas.
Spend some time researching these links:
Add any of the drop shipping ideas that seem interesting to you to your list of potential products to sell online.
Ask Friends for Dropshipping Ideas
Whenever you’re with a friend or around family, ask them about their thoughts on some of their recent purchases, items they are drawn to and why, as well as their opinions on Google Trends products. There is no limit to the number of people you should talk to. You can talk to friends of all ages and backgrounds. Your goal is to gather a wide variety of product ideas from these conversations. As you talk about your desire to start an e-commerce business, you’ll get new ideas for products to dropship.
Look for Inspiration Around You
There are some products that we cannot live without. Look around your house, workplace, car, and your life. Do you find products that make your daily life easier? Is there any of this product that is difficult to find in supermarkets?
Be observant, stay alert, and spot opportunities. Possibly carry a notebook with you or make a list in your phone of all of your ideas, remember to write everything down.
Hit a Niche
The last thing you want to do is choose products that will put you in direct competition with other already existing big stores. Stay away from categories that are too general and broad. Rather, consider categories that are not yet saturated.
If you’re looking for what types of products to sell online, chances are “shoes” isn’t the answer. That’s not to say a particular type of clothing won’t be a hot seller, just that having a broad selection of general merchandise isn’t going to bring in big profits. That’s why people go to Amazon. If you want a hot product, you need to sell to a niche: something like “Women's Casual Ballet Comfort Soft Slip Flats.”
According to Entrepreneur.com, “Niche marketing not only provides startups with an opportunity to launch the business successfully but can also help them grow into major players in a larger market. Healthy, profitable businesses such as Traulsen, Aman Resorts, Zamboni and Peet's Coffee and Tea all serve thriving niches.”
Be Passionately Practical
You’ll often hear people tell you to sell what you’re passionate about. They’ll inform you that the best products to sell are those things that you know and love, this is correct. If you know and love, say, bakeware, you’re going to be up against some pretty stiff competition. However, if you combine your passion with a niche (see above), you’re bound to have success. Something like “Sunflower Bread Pie Flan Tart Cake Silicone Mold Pan Bakeware” will stick out and appeal to certain people more than “Bakeware.”
Solve Pain Points
Some of the best products to sell online are those that address a certain issue or problem. Mountain climbers want products that help reduce weight without compromising the integrity of their gear. Athletes are always looking for apparel that’s comfortable but doesn’t restrict movement and mobility while they work to increase their performance. If you can find a product that addresses specific pain points, you’ll have customers lining up for a chance to buy what you offer.
Don’t Sell Products that Exceed $200
You can certainly sell high-priced items, of course. But as the price of your products increase, there are higher startup costs and more risks. The reason conversion rates are higher with lower priced items is because the buyer requires less consideration to make the purchase. You are more likely to get more impulse buys at a lower price point whereas most people do product research and comparison at a higher price point. However, there are also ricks involved when selling that are too cheap. A good rule of thumb, is stick with products that are at least $10 or more. Cheap products are usually taken care of by large importers who can afford to run on small margins making it a lot harder to compete. We have found that $200 is about as much as a customer will pay without investing a lot of research into a product.
If you’re looking to make money running an online store, selling accessories is a great way to do it. Buying a new surround sound system is a big investment for most people, they’re either going to be brand-loyal or thoroughly research all aspects of a given model. What they typically don’t care nearly as much about are the involved accessories. Wires. Fasteners. Mounts. Cases. All these accessories come as an afterthought to most big purchases and enjoy markups of up to 1000%.
Don’t Sell Local Products
Unless you’re making your own product, the chances are good that a customer can find your product somewhere else. The trick is to ensure that product can’t be found locally. If you’re selling something that a customer can find down the road, they’re probably not going to buy from you. Price point often comes first in the purchase process. However, this is typically followed closely by immediacy. Even if your product is cheaper, someone might opt to pay more locally to get it sooner instead of getting the same product for less. As you plan out which products to sell, the best products will be those that customers can’t get (easily) from anyone other than you.
Avoid Seasonal Products
Sadly, by focusing on seasonal products only, you end up reducing your sales cycle. Avoid seasonal products like Christmas decorations. Most Christmas decoration sales take place in autumn and winter. These are likely some of the best drop shipping products for that time of year, but you’ll need more products in your store which will sell all year long if you want to build a business that is successful year-round. Take time to review your product list and ensure your list isn’t primarily seasonal dropshipping items.
Do the Research, Enjoy the Payoff
Do what you love and love doing it, that’s e-commerce. Put the time into finding the perfect product to sell, and not only will you love doing it, but you'll also have a successful online business to show for your hard work.