When it comes to finding niche products to sell online, randomness kills all.
Far too often we get stuck in the mindset that all you have to do is spend time brainstorming to randomly land on a few good ideas.
But here's what:
This approach may occasionally land you on a respectable product that sells well through an online store, but more often than not you end up with a product that's either too far ahead of its time (so it doesn't have a market yet) or a product that's in an overly-saturated market.
Neither of these situations work out for you since the potential for making money relies on consumers getting used to a product or you spending countless hours and dollars trying to break into an impenetrable market.
That's why you should focus on a more methodical approach to finding niche ideas for online business.
This way, you're not randomly selecting and choosing products. Also, the next time you search for niche products you'll have a process to lean on.
The Golden Rule: Stop Thinking About Your Experiences and Go Straight to the Data
It's human nature to sit down and brainstorm like this:
“What problems have I had in my life that haven't been solved by a product?”
“Which products do I see all my friends and family buying? They must be popular!”
These thoughts deliver faulty results. Your personal life problems don't necessarily reflect those of others. Also, “my friends and family,” is not even close to a good enough sample size.
Creative people are given the advice to write, draw, paint, film, or design whatever makes them excited, but that thinking isn't going to sell you more products online.
That's why your personal biases and experiences should be removed from the equation as frequently as possible.
Because you have access to hard data from places like eBay, Amazon, Google, and other shopping engines. This data delivers nothing but the truth, with details on how actual products sell to actual customers.
Therefore, for your own sanity and business success, cut past the brainstorming process that uses your own life experiences. The best route is with data.
Bonus Tip: Once you skip speculation and go straight to the data, it's important to focus on one particular niche with your online store. This way, Google considers the store to be a topical authority, and you have more interlinking opportunities with your own blogs and other blogs.
Step 1: Tap into Amazon Sales Data to Find the Best Selling Online Products
When you're shopping on Amazon you might not immediately realize that sales data is published all over the website.
Seeing as how Amazon is the top eCommerce website in the United States (and many other countries,) it makes sense to use it as a testing ground.
The good news is that every single product on Amazon is assigned a best sellers ranking. So, if a niche product is listed in the Action Figures category, Amazon ranks its sales in that particular category.
Since most niche products are listed under multiple categories, you might see numerous rankings across these categories.
For instance, I looked up a product called Fisher-Price Disney Mickey & the Roadster Racers, Roadster Racers Garage Playset.
The most revealing metric is that of the primary category. In this situation, it's the Toys and Games category. This niche product is ranked as #711 at the time.
But you'll also notice that it jumps to #19 for the subcategory Action Figures and #352 for Pre-Kindergarten Toys.
This rankings system provides a scale for comparing popular products with other items on Amazon. Since Amazon has a huge customer base and tons of sales each day, the sample size is more than big enough for you to trust the results. In addition, you don't have to pay any money or go digging too deep to locate these rankings.
My Conclusion for This Niche Product: Choosing a toys and games niche for your online store is far too broad, but the Action Figures category looks promising. if you already have an action figures website, it's not a bad idea to stick with niche products under #100.
As for using the Amazon rankings system as your main product search tool, you might find it somewhat tedious to click through so many products. In fact, there's nothing that compares or organizes your results unless you plan on pulling information and inserting it into Excel.
That's why I recommend searching Amazon using a tool like Jungle Scout.
Along with several other features, Jungle Scout has a Niche Hunter option:
With the Niche Hunter, you'll have access to far more information than just a bunch of rankings.
For instance, I could filter categories and search for niche products in those categories with average units sold between 500 and 1000 over a certain amount of time. This delivers the most promising results, and you can also search for things like quality score, competition, and average price.
Step 2: Find Niche Products with Google
Google is becoming more and more popular for shopping, and most of this has to do with the increasing focus Google puts on Google Shopping results.
Some people would rather go straight to Amazon, or whatever other stores they shop at, but Google has the advantage of aggregating results from different sites and showing multiple price comparisons.
As you may have already assumed, Google Shopping has enough users to make the data worthwhile.
Another reason we like researching products through Google is that it reveals how difficult it will be to end up high in the search results.
Your best bet for finding the best selling online products through Google is to utilize the Google Keyword Planner.
The trick with this tool is to type in and analyze some of the exact keywords that customers might be typing in themselves. This is an excellent process to follow after you've decided on a few potential niches from the previous Amazon search.
The only problem with going through the Google Keyword Planner is that it's tough to understand the results.
First of all, it's important to only look at the keywords that focus on products.
For example, the keyword “female travel tips” doesn't make sense for finding niche products, since the people searching are most likely looking for information, such as a blog posts.
A better keyword would be something like “anti-theft travel purse,” since this is going to lead people to a product or category page.
Leave the default settings and click on the Get Ideas button. This reveals an onslaught of information that can be both confusing and eye-opening. For instance, we can see that millions of searches are being completed for the anti-theft purse, and some more specific keywords receive some impressive numbers as well. The competition is high, however, so this means that lots of advertisers are bidding on these keywords.
This leaves us in a sticky situation since we know that the keyword is popular, but it might be so popular that we can't get any search engine exposure.
This dilemma brings us back to the importance of niche products. Not only do you want to focus on highly-niche markets, but niche keywords as well. One of the best ways to do this is by only targeting long tail keywords, or less popular, yet still effective keywords.
One way to do this is by using a tool like Long Tail Pro, which delivers a more useful version of the “competition” portion of Google Keyword Planner.
In short, Long Tail Pro ranks keywords based on “keyword competitiveness,” instead of how many marketers are competing for a particular keyword.
This way, you can see how well you're going to be able to target customers with a certain keyword.
For instance, the anti-theft travel purse might not be all that strong for your business, but something like a slash proof backpack may be a keyword that'll show some results.
Step 3: Use Niche Product Rules to Eliminate Bad Choices
Although I recommend using both of the methods outlined above, we also have some rules you should always follow throughout the process.
These product guidelines come in handy to eliminate some products or even full categories of niche products.
Let's take a look:
- Sell niche products that list at more than $15.
- Don't go much higher than $200.
- Stay away from seasonal products that only bring in money during a certain time of the year.
- Only sell items that don't lose value as they sit on shelves. For example, electronics lose value fast.
- Sell products with more ambiguous pricing. Everyone knows what an electronic item should sell for, but informational items and jewelry are more subjective in pricing.
- Choose items that are easy to ship and not breakable.
- Smaller products work best for niche stores.
Are You Ready to Find Niche Products for Your Online Store?
Locating the perfect niche product involves using data and the right analysis tools. Forget about solving life problems and brainstorming from your own experiences. These methods typically make you frustrated and deliver bad results.
If you have any questions about niche products in general, let us know in the comments below.
Feature image by Kit8