by Tom Shackleton
For every successful eCommerce store, finding that next top seller is always essential. To keep your store growing healthily and continue attracting new customers in new markets, you’ll need to keep expanding and developing your offering.
From spotting growing trends to figuring out your store’s niche and picking the very best supplier, there’s a lot to consider when finding new products. Not only that, but picking the right one could take your store to the next level, open new markets and keep your business going strong.
Here’s how to find exciting new products for your eCommerce store:
The key to the right product often lies in identifying a new product trend before it hits the big time. Follow these key tips to help you spot trends and identify growing product categories that could be included in your store.
Monitor Social Media
First things first, see what your customers are talking about. Use social media to monitor what they are sharing, engaging with and interacting with. You may be able to spot developing interests or identify pain points that your new product could address.
Using your existing customer base on social is a great way to identify trends that most likely fit with your target market.
Check Review Sites
Review sites will be some of the first to pick up on new trends. New and exciting products make for great content, so both industry specific and general review sites are bound to pick up on them.
Review sites like Uncrate keep up to date on the latest new products, emerging markets and experimental product ideas. If you want to identify potential new product ideas well ahead of time, review sites could be the way to go.
Review Industry Publications
Industry publications, websites and blogs will have their finger on the button when it comes to developing trends. They’ll likely have a strong focus on developing areas and interesting new ideas, so are great places to go for identifying trends.
One thing to take note of, however, is that competitors are also likely to be using these same sources, so industry publications probably aren’t for you if you’re looking for a truly unique direction.
Analyse Google Trends
Google Trends allows you to monitor and analyse search traffic for terms of your choosing. You can use Google Trends to view past search traffic and spot developing trends, as well as to alert you if traffic for your chosen terms increases.
Look at search terms for potential new products and highlight those with growing traffic. These could be great new products for your store. The graph above shows interest in the term ‘smartphone’ over time. You can see the steady increase in traffic over time, signalling a growing interest from consumers.
Identifying a Niche
When finding and choosing new products for your eCommerce store, you need to be sure that any choices differentiate you from the competition. So take a little time to evaluate the following:
Research the activities of your competitors and see if they are stocking similar products. Sometimes directly competing with the exact same product isn’t the right thing to do, so look at areas that your competitors may be missing and try to find products that fill these gaps.
Look at how heavily competitors are promoting your potential new products. If they’re not pushing these products, is there a reason? Could you find a similar product with a competitive advantage or USP?
Researching keywords is a great way to assess if you could afford to market your new products on search. Highly competitive product terms may be very popular with customers, but you may not be able to achieve visibility in search for them.
Finding products with strong search volumes but not too high competition can be a great indication of a possible niche to target.
Source The Smart Way
Finding the perfect new product idea is all very well, but if you can’t source the product at a good price and with good quality, you won’t make a profit. Follow these tips for sourcing your new product the smart way:
There are plenty of great wholesale sites that allow you to quickly find and compare different suppliers for your new products. Probably the most well known, and definitely the largest, is Alibaba. The Chinese B2B portal allows you to view and compare products from different suppliers around the world, finding the best deal for your store.
Wholesale sites like Alibaba are great for quickly comparing different suppliers and finding one capable of meeting your requirements for quantity, specification and quality.
If you’re looking for something a little more individual, online marketplaces like Etsy might be a better fit. Etsy has a thriving community of sellers, who make their own products. Look for someone who makes the kind of product you are searching for and have them make something for your store.
You could find a manufacturer on an online marketplace that offers your eCommerce site something truly original and sets you apart from the competition.
Your existing supplier network should never be overlooked when sourcing new products. You’ll likely already have some reliable and trustworthy contacts that could point you in the right direction, or manufacture your new product for you.
If you already have an existing supplier who provides great quality products, using them for your new lines could be the simplest option.
Finally, you can use your exiting business network on sites such as LinkedIn to find new suppliers. Social media is a great way to begin discussions with new suppliers and sound out if they could potentially provide you with your new product. Start your conversations and research on social to quickly draw up a list of potential suppliers. You can then narrow down the options with more in depth conversation and analysis.
Sourcing new products for your eCommerce store can often be a struggle. You may not be able to find a product just right for your store, or a supplier with the perfect specifications. Using these tips can help you to source fantastic new products that your customers are craving, while sourcing them for the right price and with great levels of quality.