Everyone is searching for the golden egg, an ideal product, a life changing product. Well guess what? This product is neither going to appear magically in front of you nor anyone’s ever going to put it on a plate for you. You will have to swim through the ocean of 500+ million products on Amazon and make an informed decision after diving in.
Product hunting is by far the most crucial stage and if you don’t spend considerable time here you WILL fail! There are 2 kinds of sellers, the ones who make decisions based on their narrow observations and the ones who follow a strict criteria. What do WE propose? This blog will negate both actually. There is no tool which can give you an exact result or a formula to predict success of a product. It has to be a mixture of data analysis, observations and experiences that hatches the golden egg of success.
Product & Product Strategy
Every product is special and has its own market destiny. Just like the uniqueness of each product, the ‘go to market’ strategy for each will also be unique. Any product can be a success if the right strategy is adopted.
New vs Experienced Sellers
New sellers are either too frisky or are too risk averse whenever they are required to take a progressive decision. Based on your circumstances, a balance is required on the sea-saw of risk. However, we are jotting down some pointers for you that will act as a guiding path, just to keep you on the safe side. This guide is for those who are either starting or have started but are struggling at the moment. Some are either thinking to quit altogether or want to restart selling in a different manner.
Some experienced sellers usually search for a product with exact precision and treat every decision mathematically after using market intelligence tools which is not a correct approach as well. You need data analysis in your right hand, an unbiased judgement in the left and then join your hands together to make the best decision.
Let’s get started.
1. High Demand & Low Competition
It’s absolutely mandatory for you to find a product that has a high or even medium demand. What does that mean? Demand will determine how much time your product will take to sell off once it is up for sale on your Amazon storefront. Consider demand as the flow of a river and that every product niche has a distinctive flow. You would want to enjoy a canoe ride where the pace of the water is extraordinary, enough to take you to your destination quickly without toppling you over on the way.
We will also be looking at our competition and number of competitors in total to analyze if this will be the right market for us to dive into. Number of competitors can reasonably be compared with the depth of the river. The more the competitors, more the depth of the river and more chances for your product to drown. So your product would have to swim more in order to come to the surface level for visibility.
AMZ One Step Tip. So ideally speaking, you would want to hunt for a product that has a high sales velocity by default and less number of sellers for you to shine among from easily. Whatever product you finalize, you will have to develop a corresponding strategy to bring it up to the 1st page. Now let’s address the elephant in the room, how do we ascertain the demand ‘exactly’? The plain and simple answer is ‘we cannot’, we can only provide an estimate and predict sensibly using different tools and get a feel on the level of demand from multiple channels. The most famous tool recommended by all gurus out there is Jungle Scout (JS) Chrome Extension. For those who are going to use it for the first time or are in their initial stages, JS Extension provides row wise data for Amazon sellers along with an opportunity score.
Usually it is recommended for beginners to start with products having Opportunity Scores 6, 7, 8, 9 as they represent products in high or medium demand with medium or low competition. You will also have to analyze the total revenue, price, reviews, sales per day etc. (we will cover these later in the blog).
Egrow is another emerging tool in the market and which delivers the same kind of results as Jungle Scout does but of course with a different interface.
2. Keyword Search Volume
This should stand second on your checklist in terms of its importance and relevance. You should always treat keyword search volume exactly the same way like a Sales & Marketing Professional looks at footfall in a mall or a market place. The more the people enter the mall or in our case are searching for the keyword (broad or specific) the more likely the product is going to sell and thus, judged as high in demand.
There are several tools that are out there which share different types of data while showing keywords. We always recommend our readers to use ‘authentic’ tools and advise them to investigate how different tools are acquiring their data. What do we mean by ‘authentic’? In a layman’s language, you should work with a tool that is accurate, make unnecessary complicated projections and does not exaggerate results. You can go through our detailed blog on this topic by clicking here. Our team of professionals and our satisfied clients use AMZ Wordspy, a premium tool that will help you throughout your Amazon journey i.e. Product Hunting, Backend Keywords, PPC Campaigns & Bidding, Product Title, Product Features etc. It has a 30 day free trial, does not have any hidden charges and can be used for USA, UK, Canada & Indian markets. It looks like this:
The product that we select should not be a hot selling item for just one season or is in demand once a year. The product demand trend can easily be checked using Google Trends by punching in the product keywords. Products with low seasonality will first of all be unpredictable wrt their sales and secondly will only deliver for a specific duration. So, it’s a no go area for the new sellers especially because it will only be a battleground for factories or whole sellers in these categories.
4. Monitoring the Consistency of Product Behavior
Demand, Keyword Search, Seasonality, checking their results once is like taking a snapshot of the situation for that particular moment. You need to keep this in your mind that whatever results you get are for that specific time only. So you need to set a specific time, spanning from weeks to a month or maybe more than that based on the product, just for monitoring the product behavior and see whether it is behaving consistently over a period of time. Using Keepa will also be helpful here to see the age of your competitors and the selling price patterns over time. Its results look like this:
5. Product Title
When using Jungle Scout or AMZ Wordspy, you should not make a mistake by using the product title but you should use the main keywords while analyzing the product being investigated. It’s a common rookie mistake to get excited with JS Opportunity Scores or AMZ Wordspy ratings by using incorrect terms.
6. Healthy Margins
This is quite often a pitfall for newbies. They get excited looking at product results erroneously and finalizing a product declaring it to be a hot seller. What they fail to take into account is the fact that how much will they be able to source the product for and how much are they going to sell it for. You are putting so much time, effort and money not to earn cents but dollars and lots of them. So we recommend that the selling price of the product should be between $15 – $40 (at least for newbies). In order to check margins and have a reasonable idea, you can check FBA calculator by clicking here. You can also check our blog on Sourcing Platforms Other than Alibaba to make well informed sourcing decisions and reduce purchase cost.
7. Average Revenue & Average Monthly Unit Sales
As per experienced sellers, the average revenue for the targeted product niche should be more than $5,000. This is an indication of the sales volume, total market in terms of $ the product is currently operating within. The bigger the cake, the bigger a slice that can be cut and the bigger the bite you can take. Similarly, another indication of the sales volume is that the number of units, if 300 units of the product are sold, there might be enough room for a new entrant to squeeze into.
Reviews constitute social proof, the more the merrier. Why is the number of reviews critical after all? First of all everyone knows that Amazon has laid a strict hand on reviews lately and that raising reviews is one ‘helluva’ of a job itself. Unless you are glued up to a product and that you have ample time & money on you, you should avoid products with reviews in the bracket of 500 – 5,000. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes, there is some sense of security and safety when you see some number of reviews. ‘That figure of 2,500 reviews has gotta mean something, I mean there might be some paid/fake reviews but they can’t be that many, can they?’ These are some questions that usually cross by your mind.
AMZ One Step Tip. Experienced sellers usually profess about a formula that the product that you finalize should have 3 sellers in top 10 should be below 50 in reviews and that if the top 3 players have more than 1,000 reviews it will be a tough market and you should anticipate significant amount of time/money to be spent. So for that reason, it is a no go area for new sellers.
9. Small & Light Weight
Our advise is to choose a product which is of less than 1 pound weight and does not have extraordinary dimensions. Why do we suggest this? Sellers are extremely sensitive about their expenses at least in the beginning and they usually get frustrated about surprise costs that just uselessly pop up every now and then. Heavy and large sized products will increase the transportation cost which is computed based on volume i.e. from supplier to Amazon warehouse to the final customer. There will also be an increased cost for Amazon to keep your product in its warehouse. Their calculation is mostly based on the dimensions so we advise you to keep a check on your product size and weight as you will eventually have to increase the product cost to be charged to the final consumer.
10. Seller’s Rank
Although no one except Amazon truly knows exactly how the seller’s rank is calculated but based on experience, we can define it as a number that denotes the popularity of a product within its category. Highest the BSR of the product, higher the sales volume (not talking about competition here).
Some examples of categories with advised BSR ranges are below:
Home & Kitchen
Primary product BSR range 100 – 20,000
Competing product BSR range 250 – 20,000
Home Improvement Tools
Primary product BSR range 100 – 7,500
Competing product BSR range 250 – 80,000
Primary product BSR range 100 – 2,500
Competing product BSR range 200 – 3,000
Health & Personal Care
Primary product BSR range 800 – 7,000
11. Margin for Improvement
You need to go through the comments of new and established brands within your product category to see any suggestions from customers or any improvement points they want the brand to improve upon. Innovate the product, add value in the market place and provide solution to the customers.
12. Stay Away Features
a. Reviews >1,000
As elaborated earlier as well, we need to stay away from products with more than a 1,000 reviews. You should either be mentally ready to face the music, develop strong patience levels along with a long term strategy.
b. Amazon, Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM), Brands
You might have noticed AMZ or FBM written on JS Extension results. Ideally speaking, consider their absence from a product category as a blessing but if they are present and you really feel optimistic about the product then they should not be in a dominating position within the niche.
c. Fragile, Glass, Ceramics Products
The product leaves the warehouse, reaches Amazon fulfilment center then is later dispatched to the final customer, most likely you won’t be present at or during any of the product commute. Products that have the tendency to break during transit should be avoided as they are like a time bomb for you. You can easily earn a negative review without any ill intentions on your part. If you are really passionate about the product then take extra precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the product at all costs.
d. Products with Multi Parts, Chess, Letter Board
For instance if there is complexity in the assembly of parts of the product then there is an inherent chance for things to mess up e.g. missing pieces, pieces not joining up correctly etc. This can leave an unhappy customer which will ultimately make you unhappy.
e. Gated Items
Some categories require prior approval from Amazon like Health & Beauty Products & Grocery items. Beginners should begin with unrestricted categories or commonly known as ungated categories to avoid any unwanted speed breakers.
f. Electronics & Battery Items
We advise you to stay away from electronics and items that are battery operated especially in the beginning. Since you have an acute margin for acceptable error allowed by Amazon, you do not want a teeny tiny transistor ruining your Amazon selling experience. We need to leave electronics category to the factory or wholesale suppliers that will remain unaffected as they are working on humongous volumes and returns won’t inflict much harm to them. For battery items, there are some changes in the Amazon policies, please see the Amazon FBA Policy changes in 2019 by clicking here.
g. Patents & Legal Issues
Search on the internet or higher a specialist’s services on fiverr to dig up any legal limitations that you might have to face unknowingly after your product has reached the warehouse.