Product Research: How to Find Products to Sell Online?

November 24th, 2023
Product Research

Are you eager to dive into the world of online retail, or do you have an existing e-shop that’s craving a fresh lineup of products? Let’s do it! Explore the free Product Ideas List or Product Research Template to help you uncover the products you love and that will sell most profitably.

What’s the next step for your e-commerce? Take a moment to review the tree diagram below, it will lead you to the resources to help you find the most profitable products for your e-commerce:

How to Find Products to Sell Online

Are you just about to start your online store? Or are you already familiar with the world of e-commerce? The following section holds insights that could significantly enhance your range and appeal. If you’ve already got a specific item in mind, feel free to skip ahead to the product research below.

Passion for your products

A good product with a detailed convincing description will not sell on its own! It is only as good as the seller thinks it is. Be passionate and be the expert on your goods. Stand 100% behind them.  

Consider your personal interests and hobbies. What brings you joy? Things you are passionate about are more likely to keep you excited and engaged. By extracting aspects of your favorite activities, you can create products that resonate with both you and your customers. The questions below will give you some ideas about possible goods that you will love selling to others:

Product ideas

Product ideas

If you haven’t already, start by downloading the product idea list (above) to investigate which products sell best for you. The goal is to identify the products that resonate most with you.

Start by listing your favorite genres, hobbies, interests, or activities, at the top of each column. The key is to focus on something that truly excites you. Now, as you think about each activity or hobby, in the list, fill out the rows with ideas that come to mind. Let your creativity flow! What are you thinking about? I am thinking about a versatile champagne bottle holder, which can be used in a bathtub. Double bubble. 😉

Consider the connections between these ideas. Can some of them serve multiple purposes or be combined with one another? If the answer is yes, you’ve got a keeper! 

What not to sell

Your spirit is high, and you are in the flow, but -if you are a novice in selling online- let’s take a moment to navigate some common pitfalls.

Question all your products that exhibit the following habits:

  • Oh, I am fragile and break easy! 
  • No, do not wrap me! I go moldy in 2 days! 
  • I am a flower, don’t move me! 
  • Someone like Einstein invented me, and only he can sell me. 
  • I kill peoples’ headaches and I am responsible for other sensations.
What not to sell online

Fly-trap carnivorous plant from “The Little Shop of Horrors” does not want to be packed or moved. 

In other words, be careful with medications, harmful items, and perishables. Check online if products are patented or trademarked. Also, be careful with possible import restrictions. More detailed information will give you the international shipping article. 

Now, as you’ve crossed the impossible ideas out, have a look at your list again. Perhaps you come up with a synthesis of a completely new item or spot a market gap? Compare your product idea list with what the competitors are doing.

Product research

Back to those who are already navigating the e-commerce world: Perhaps your assortment needs an update to optimize sales? Time to tackle the product research list (download above), which will help you with analysis.

To complete this list, go ahead with these steps: 

  • Use Google Trends to envision future demand  
  • Check the keyword search to understand how people search for what they need 
  • Identify who is the top seller of the product (or a very similar) that you want to sell on Amazon, Etsy, or other marketplaces. 
  • Search for your goods on social media to see trends and demands 

In a world where we seek familiarity, where people tend to copy and remake, totally unique products are rare. Finding a niche that caters to a specific community, people you share the same hobby with, for example, is easier to find. 

Your research revealed that some of your existing products are no longer in need? Find new products that complement existing ones by going back to the idea sheet and filling it out with activities related to your existing products. 

How to know if the product is profitable

You have your list, have done your research, and have found a unique, high-demand product. Perfect. It’s time to weigh the numbers and assess your product’s potential profitability.

Decide on your product price

If your competition sells a similar or same product for XYZ, going cheaper is not always the solution. Make your offer better by clearly highlighting its advantages. Offer subscriptions or add little extras that will raise the price slightly.

How to define your price

The diagram to define your price

Price is not profit

If the goods are profitable for you, depends on the following: 

  • Will you create the product yourself or others?
    • Evaluate if you are going to spend the needed amount of money and energy to create the dream product or if others could make it for you. And if so, how much this will cost you. 
  • How much money can you make selling your products?
    • Products that are easy to produce, have little shipping cost (because they are light). Products that sell for a higher price than production cost have a good profit margin. This margin depends on the income you like to reach. Let’s say you invested 63 USD in producing, shipping, and advertising. To profit from it, you would have to sell it for more. If people buy it for 64.50 USD, you will make a better profit margin (2.3%) than the company Lenovo (with 1.9%). Just to give you some dreams. 
  • Can you find a balance between the pressure of selling enough (if the price is too low) and comfortably selling the items?  
    • There is a point where prices are at optimum. This price point lies according to ABLS between 75-100 USD.
  • Price anchor
    • People tend to be more flexible in spending more if the product they buy is a one-off. For example, something they can use for many decades, like a sofa, in comparison to a cake. You can find more about anchoring and other selling tricks in the psychology of selling.

Will it sell well? 

If your item meets three or more of the following criteria, it will likely sell with success:

  • Easy to pack 
  • Difficult to break (no glass) 
  • No electronics (anything that requires a special warranty) 
  • Lightweight (below 1kg) 
  • Attractive price where impulse buyers never hesitate 
  • Compliments other products (not necessarily yours) 
  • Can easily be upsold or cross-sold with other products
  • Is on trend
  • Can be customized (printed, engraved, gift-wrapped) 
  • Is evergreen (that people will still know for centuries) 
  • Used frequently 
  • Not restricted to ship to certain countries 
  • Product niche 
  • Part of a product line with a low turnover (meaning it does not change seasonally)

Notice that some characteristics contradict each other. Something that is on trend probably will never become evergreen. Something that is a one-time purchase for people cannot be a cheap everyone would buy on a whim.

Now you know the basics of how to conduct product research, find products that fit your business or existing goods, and determine your market niche. You can use this information whenever you want to start a store or need to expand your offering. Do your research, add profitable products to your online store, and make money today.

Start your online store profitable