One of the first questions aspiring Amazon sellers face is “What should I sell?”
Amazon contains thousands of products from skin serums to sardines. How do you choose the product or category of products for Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or self-fulfilled products that will actually get noticed by customers and sell well?
First step: Don’t panic.
Second step: Continue reading this blog post.
Marketing by Emma has years of experience helping third-party Amazon sellers find success. We’ve polished targeted content that has boosted conversions across every category. We’d like nothing more than to help you take one of the first steps to selling on Amazon: Choosing your product(s). Narrow down potential products with parameters and researching tools and discover your niche!
What Type of Products to Consider
Tip 1: Choose Something You’re Passionate About
Which products interest you? Which do you understand, and which would you go to bat for? Selling on Amazon has pros and cons; it isn’t always easy, especially for beginners. It takes determination, creativity, and patience, so selling a product you’re personally invested in is very important.
Tip 2: Choose Something with High Demand yet Low Competition
Think of your Amazon listing like a budding performer at an audition for the lead role, i.e. a purchase. As your listing’s mentor, you wouldn’t send your listing into an audition overrun with over 100 seasoned performers. Competition would be too high, and your up-and-coming listing would return home disappointed, down a pint of ice cream, and go straight to bed. A better idea would be to book your listing for a smaller audition.
In the same way, when it comes to selling products online, you want a product with a lot of interest but not a lot of competition. How do you find that product? Sometimes it’s instinctual (you’d expect there to be a lot of phone chargers on Amazon, yes?). Other times, you’ll have to conduct some research.
Either way, you’ll need to pinpoint your niche (more on that later!).
Tip 3: Choose Something that Suits your Shipping Fee budget
In general, the smaller and lighter the product, the less the shipping cost will be. This is the case if you choose to set your shipping rate in Seller Central based on weight and not price.
For reference, here are Amazon’s shipping fees based on weight:
Here are Amazon’s shipping fees based on product price:
Assess your budget and consider choosing a product that wouldn’t stretch that budget. For more specific information about shipping fees for your category, refer to your Seller Central.
Tip 4: Choose Something that Fills a Gap in the Market
Maybe there are a lot of children’s backpacks on Amazon, but are there many mermaid-themed children’s backpacks? It’s less likely.
Even if you choose to sell something seemingly ordinary, see how you can make it unique. Then, your product will fulfill a specific need and stand out in the market.
Tip 5: Choose Something Appropriate to Sell Year-Round
Not many people buy Christmas decorations in June. If you want your product to sell outside of a specific time frame, steer clear of seasonal products such as holiday decor.
How to Conduct Research
There are a couple of ways you can research potential products:
- Manually search Amazon
- Use a Chrome extension
Let’s look at both.
Manually search Amazon
Try typing a general product such as “white t-shirt” into Amazon’s search bar. If you look to the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll see that Amazon has over 50,000 results for “white t-shirt.”
Now try “white Sherlock t-shirt,” and you’ll get only 283 results.
In the same way, you can research the amount of competition for a given product and narrow your to-sell options down to a niche with low competition.
If you are wanting to sell a product with pretty high competition, there’s an alternate search you can make. Try “white t-shirt” again, but scroll a little down on the landing page. You’re looking for at least three brands with “Best Seller” labels, and in this case, you find: Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, and Gildan.
Seeing at least three best-selling brands means that the category isn’t monopolized by one brand and there’s room for other brands—yours—to shine.
However, keep in mind that this is a double-edged sword. In the white t-shirt example above, the best-selling brand names are household names. It’s likely customers will opt for these brands over a new brand they haven’t heard of because of risk aversion.
If you conduct the best-seller search and discover big-name best sellers only, it would be in your best interest not to compete directly with them. Instead, find your niche within the category.
2. Use a Chrome extension
There are two popular Chrome extensions to help you conduct keyword research on Amazon:
Jungle Scout shows you monthly sales volumes on products, displays products with low competition, and allows you to save products to track them over time. This extension can help you quickly and efficiently answer “What are the best products to sell online?” by narrowing it down to a product or category in which you can excel. However, Jungle Scout is relatively pricey, particularly if you're just starting out.
Unicorn Smasher is Jungle Scout's free alternative. While the data isn't as accurate as Jungle Scout, and it lacks some of Jungle Scout's sophisticated features, it's nonetheless a helpful free option to gather estimated monthly sales and revenue for Amazon products.
Have a research game plan in place and products in mind? You’re doing great.
You can choose the most advantageous product, the one that’s flying off Amazon’s proverbial shelves, or you can choose one that research deems difficult to sell.
Your presentation of the product makes all the difference: captivating, concise copy; quality images; and a strong brand presence.
Marketing by Emma can help you there. Pair your products with expertly crafted listings created from scratch or see if your current listings are maximizing their potential!