Your 7 Step Guide to Finding the Best Niche Products to Sell Online
- How To Find and Resell Profitable Niche Products on the Internet
- 1. Specialize in a Niche Market
- 2. Where to Find Inspiration for Product Ideas to Sell Online
- 3. How To Choose Your Niche Market
- 4. Figure Out What Are The Best Selling Products Online in Your Niche
- 5. If You Want ‘Passive’ Income, Go for Evergreen Products
- 6. Make Sure There Is Demand for Your Products
- 7. Check if There is Competition
- Some Resources Mentioned in this Guide:
How To Find and Resell Profitable Niche Products on the Internet
This is an area most aspiring entrepreneurs get stuck and can’t figure out where to go. Don’t make it overly complicated. I’ve said before while discussing drop shipping companies, you need to specialize in a niche market. Don’t try to be the next Amazon or eBay from day one. It’s highly unlikely that you will see much success going that route.
So, how do we go about finding the best things to sell on the internet?
1. Specialize in a Niche Market
Before we talk about this, we need to define what a niche market is. Let’s take the Wikipedia definition of niche market:
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment. For example, sports channels like STAR Sports, ESPN, STAR Cricket, and Fox Sports target a niche of sports enthusiasts.
Let’s look at some examples:
For example, is electronics a niche market? No, it’s just a broad market. Is computers a niche within the electronics market? Now we’re getting somewhere, but why not refine further. Is laptops a niche within computers? It sure is!
How about laptops for college students, or laptops for home business owners such as us. Now we’re talking. The more niche you can go, the better! Also, keep in mind that part of smart niche marketing is just presenting the same product from a different angle. Continuing with the laptop example, it’s not like there are special laptops manufactured only for college students. But there are certain machines which may meet the needs of a college student better than others.
The key difference in this example is that you’re taking a set of laptops and presenting them as the “best laptops for college students”, or whatever your angle may be. Now you have the ability to market within this niche and reach potential buyers. You could advertise on platforms where you know parents of high school students hang out (such as various Facebook groups). You could advertise on platforms where you know college students hang out specifically.The possibilities are many. You just need to think outside the box.
The possibilities are many. You just need to think outside the box. You can apply these principles to any niche items which you may be looking to sell online.
Could you do this if you just had a store called “world’s most giant store selling all kinds of laptops”? Think about it for a moment. Unless you have a multi-million dollar marketing budget, you just can’t get that type of reach. You need to become an expert in your niche. On a side note, even if you had a million dollars to spend on advertising, going broad is still not the smartest use of those dollars.
Need more proof? Large companies often target specific niches as well, which is why we see places like PC Magazine doing precise pieces on these very subjects. Check this out: http://www.pcmag.com/roundup/285524/the-best-laptops-for-college-students.
Another key benefit of specializing in a niche market is that it is usually easier to rank on search engines like Google for niche keywords as opposed to general keywords. You would certainly have a tough time competing with keywords like “laptops” on Google vs. if you were to optimize for “best laptops for college students”, for example.
Just because working with certain sources in the industry gives you access to thousands of products with a few mouse clicks, doesn’t mean you need to set up a Shopify store with 1000’s of products from the get go. You’re better off handpicking a smaller selection of items, setting up your niche and advertising angle correctly, and going from there.
I cannot stress this point enough. Start small, start specialized.
2. Where to Find Inspiration for Product Ideas to Sell Online
To get some niche ideas flowing in your mind, you don’t need to look further than the Amazon store directory. It pretty much lists just about every industry which online consumers are shopping for.
As an example, take a look at the Sports & Outdoors categories at Amazon:
Let’s say you like camping and you think you could deliver value to customers online if you were in that niche. So you click on “Camping & Hiking”.
Here we see a whole another slew of sub-categories:
While you could find a drop shipper in this niche, set up an online store selling camping and hiking products from this category, and probably do reasonably well. However, as a newcomer to the market, you would have a better chance to narrow your focus even more. How about setting up an eCommerce store which sells tents for camping. You could then target sub-niches in this category for advertising and driving traffic to your website.
For example, you could have a blog post called “Top Ten Best Tents to Use While Camping in National Parks This Year”. This post could make suggestions based on your expert research and link to your inventory for readers to purchase those tents. These are just some ideas off the top of my head. The possibilities are many and chances to make money with this sort of strategy are real — given that it is executed correctly.Note: This is bar none the most complete and easiest to use eCommerce platform available on the internet today. If you’re interested in setting up an online store for any type of products, grab your free 14-day trial of Shopify here.
3. How To Choose Your Niche Market
There are a million stores online trying to sell everything under the sun, but there’s always room for another personalized niche store. Generally, the so-called ‘experts’ will tell you to follow your passion and go with a niche market you’re interested in. So, for example, if you like working with power tools, then with this methodology, you should set up a website catering to an audience who also like power tools. You could then set up an online store in this industry using drop shippers and make bank selling power tools.
Others will tell you to forget about following your passion and go where the money is. If selling exercise equipment has a much higher profit margin than selling power tools — then you should go with whatever is offering a higher profit margin.
Which do you go with? This is also something which you need to decide for yourself. You know yourself best. There are people who must have personal interest in the work that they do, or they just fall of the wagon and can never fully dedicate themselves to what is required of them. There are yet other people who could careless about personal interest and their mentality is all business. Their interest lies in money and business alone. They will enter any market to accomplish their goal of generating a profit.
Method 3 – The middle path:
Personally, I’ve done business both ways. I’ve started (and still have) businesses in niches where I have no personal interest whatsoever. Markets which I entered solely to make money. I’ve also started (and still have) businesses in niches which I have a personal interest in. And I’ve done things in between. Niches where I may have had to compromise a bit when it comes to profit, in order to go with my interests — and niches where I may have had to compromise a bit on personal interest, in order to go with better prospects of making a higher income.
I personally place myself somewhere between the two methods. I will enter a market if there’s money to be made, but I still need to have at least some level of personal interest in the type of products I am going to be offering to my customers. At the same time, I will not enter a market if the prospect of making profit is low, no matter how much I personally love the subject matter.
You need to decide for yourself what works for you. One thing you should keep in mind is that having some sort of personal interest in your niche makes it a lot easier to constantly work on improving your website and its content. This is not the easiest thing to do if you hold no interest in the topic. You may find yourself hiring an expert in the niche if you have no interest in it or find the subject matter difficult to understand.
Pick a nice, brandable name which can grow into a large company later on offering more products. In this case, for example, it would be better if you go with something like TechMonster.com. Not only does this give you a brand identity to work with, it also gives you room to add any tech products later on as you grow.
Zabubli's Pro Tip
Pick a nice, brandable name which can grow into a large company later on offering more products.
In this case, for example, it would be better if you go with something like TechMonster.com. Not only does this give you a brand identity to work with, it also gives you room to add any tech products later on as you grow.
For example, look at the website you are currently on. Is it called something like BestDropShippingBusinessAdviceYouWillEverReceive.com? No way! This Zabubli.com, which over the years tens of thousands of loyal readers have found to be synonymous with solid, transparent internet business advice.
Bottom line: Don’t be like those who take forever to figure out which niche they want to go into and never go past this step. Just pick something and roll with it. You will only learn by doing and not just by reading, thinking, or imagining.
Thinking outside the box: When looking to enter a market, take an account of the knowledge which you have already. What does this mean? Take the example from above where you are a camping enthusiast and want to set up an online store. You are excited to have the opportunity to sell your top recommended camping tents online. Chances are you already know where the prospective buyers for this niche can be found online (you are one of them!). This would make it easier to advertise your online store since you already know where to find your customers.If we take
If we take Facebook advertising as an example, they make it super easy to target your ads towards an audience who is interested in the type of products you are offering. In this case, that would be pages and groups which camping & outdoor enthusiasts are a part of. There are tons of other targeting options on Facebook and this is just one example.
4. Figure Out What Are The Best Selling Products Online in Your Niche
After you’ve got an idea of which sort of niche market you may want to get involved with — see what is selling. There are various ways to do this online. One of my favorite methods is to look at the Amazon Best Sellers list.
You can drill down to the category of your choice and see what the hottest selling items are. There are just too many creative ways to use these methods to list them all here — but explore around and take notes.
You’re not necessarily looking to sell the same exact products as the ones being offered on Amazon or any other large online retailer. Some ‘experts’ may tell you to sell completely different products on your online store to be different than the competition. I don’t necessarily completely agree with this notion. If a product is the best in its category, then it’s the best in its category. Why should I not sell the best products on my website just to be different from everyone else?
However, there is some wisdom to this type of thinking. Let’s say you research the top selling most expensive tents on Amazon and elsewhere online, and then you come up with your own list of alternatives to these for those who may not be able to afford the most expensive items. This way you can leverage your expertise to make educated recommendations while fulfilling a need of the market. Again, these principles can be applied to just about any market and we are just using camping as an example here.
Marketing Your Business Locally?
If you are planning to market your eCommerce website in your local area, then you should have some idea of local brick-and-mortar shops whom you may be competing against. Continuing to beat the camping example, let’s say camping is big in your area around summer time and you will be advertising in local newspapers, local TV channels, etc. In this case, it is in your best interest that you visit the local stores which sell camping supplies and see what they’re offering — and for how much. You then develop the ability to be able to compete, both on price as well as quality and service. Remember, knowledge is power. In business, knowledge can often equal profits.
It is impossible for a local store, no matter how large, to stock every single type of item in any particular category in their shop. This gives you an edge where you can see what sorts of products they may not be stocking. You can then advertise your online store locally as “the source to get all the hard to find camping products which you just can’t find around this area”. Are you getting some ideas yet?
5. If You Want ‘Passive’ Income, Go for Evergreen Products
This is something you need to be mindful of. Personally, I don’t want to be constantly updating my online stores every week because of new items coming out.
An evergreen product, as the name implies, is always green and never dies. In business lingo, we can even interpret the green part as cash money. It is basically any item that won’t be affected by short-term fads and trends, and will almost always appeal to what we desire as human beings.
Some industries are driven by constant evolution and updates. The tech industry is a prime example of this. There are new tech gadgets coming out just about every single day these days. If you have an online store in a niche which sells tech products and electronics, then be prepared to update it as soon as new items hit the market. You don’t want to be the website which is still selling yesterday’s model.
On the other hand, other niches will require much less updates. The camping tents example from above is a good one for this. Sure, new items may come out in the market, but the older items will still retain their value for a long time. Also, when purchasing a camping tent, customers don’t necessarily care if it is the newest on the market. They care more about other factors like if it will serve their needs, price, etc. You can’t do that in a niche which is driven by constantly updating products.
This is not to discourage anyone from entering a non-evergreen niche… not at all. If you can be the online store who is always the first to update whenever something new in their industry comes out, then more power to you. This can even put you at an advantage compared to your competition. I just personally feel that it is better to put your time and money into building up a business which serves an evergreen niche. I don’t want to be working day and night to build up a business for two years, and then find out that majority of my traffic and sales took a huge dive because I didn’t update the website for two weeks.
Compare this to if you spent a considerable amount of time building a presence in an evergreen business. You could even walk away and not update the website for months at a time and still keep getting traffic and orders. It doesn’t get any better than this.
However, this again is a matter of personal preference and each person will have their own taste.
6. Make Sure There Is Demand for Your Products
Once you’ve decided on the type of products you’re going to be selling — you need to make sure there is actually enough demand for them. Just because one may find a wholesale dropshipper selling pink pens for practically free, doesn’t mean that there is enough demand for pink pens to make it worthwhile to start a business around it.
Is it Selling Well on Amazon?
We can again use Amazon to our advantage here and check various things. One thing to take a look at is the quantity of reviews any given item has. The more reviews it has, the more it is selling. Most people who buy something on Amazon (or anywhere) do not leave reviews online. Think about it. When was the last time you left a review online for something? If a product has a lot of reviews, that means it has got to be selling in very large quantities in order for that many reviews to be there.
Google Trends is a Goldmine of Data
Google Trends is another way to gauge if the products in your market have demand at different times of the year. Just plug in your desired search term and feast on the data.
Let’s see what Google Trends has to say about “camping tents”:
There are too many different ways to sort your data to list them all here. In the above screenshot, I’m looking at the data for “camping tents” for the past 12 months. We can see that demand starts to increase around spring and really hits the peak over the summer months. It then takes a dip in other seasons. While this may be common sense, many internet business owners do not think of these things. They then start to panic if something seemingly unexpected happens in their business. Having this data can prevent you from panicking when your camping supplies sales decline during winter months.
Most importantly, you know when you will get your surge of customers and you can be best prepared to maximize every single visitor.
Google Trends also tells you which regions of the world are the most active in any particular niche. It also gives you related topics and keywords:
This is a powerful tool. Use it to your advantage.
Google Keyword Planner – Another Best Friend
If you don’t know already, you can use Google Keyword Planner to research keywords, get their monthly search volume, and also discover other relevant keywords in your niche. Sure, they made some changes recently which many internet marketers are crying about — but it is still a good tool to use nonetheless. It is still my first go-to tool whenever I need to do keyword research on any subject.
You will need to sign up for a free Adwords account in order to use this tool. You are not required to run an advertising campaign in order to be able to use this keyword research tool.
When researching keywords, be mindful whether the keyword reflects an intent to buy or not. Many searches done on the internet are purely for informational purposes, while others show that the searcher is looking to make a purchase. For example, “how do I set up my tent at the camping ground” is more of an information and research based query — this person is not necessarily going to make a purchase. Now take queries like “buy camping tent” or “reviews of best camping tents”, these show that the searcher is looking to make a purchase.
Advanced Research Services
There are other more advanced services available which let you dig deeper into your niche and your competition. SEMrush is one that I really like. It is a paid service though and the free version is very limited. This is not a requirement for a beginner and you can do just fine with the free tools available. However, once you start making some money, or if you’ve got money to invest up front, then this is definitely a solid add-on to your entrepreneurial arsenal.
7. Check if There is Competition
Last but definitely not least, you need to check and verify that there is competition for the niche which you’re going in to. Notice I say verify there is competition. Why? Simply because competition is a good thing and not something to be afraid of. Competition in a niche indicates that there are buyers looking to make purchases. Competition shows that other businesses are surviving in this niche and so can you. That being said, you always want to try your best to be different from the competition in some way and add value which they are not offering.
Ways to Verify Competition
We’ve already covered things like checking if the product has a healthy amount of reviews on Amazon, checking Google Trends, and doing keyword research.
In addition to all of this, you need to search for your keywords on Google and see what sort of results come up. These are your competitors. Don’t let big names like Amazon, Walmart, or eBay scare you. This is precisely why we discussed the concept of specializing in a niche earlier in this guide. If you skipped that part, then please scroll up to read it and come back.
Specializing in a niche allows the smaller business to get their share of the market from the heavy lifters. Sure, a ton of people will go on Amazon and buy their products. But there is still a large group of buyer who prefers to purchase from niche shops — where they feel they are getting more personalized service from an expert dealer and not just a selling-it-all giant superstore.
If you don’t see any competition whatsoever in your niche, then you need to do further research. You may have stumbled onto a goldmine — or you may have landed on a dud. Maybe there’s no competition because this isn’t a profitable niche. Maybe others tried, failed, and walked out of the market. Do your research to establish whether you stand a chance at being profitable or not.
Other things to look for: Look at the paid ads on the top and the side of the Google search results for your keywords. These are also your competitors.
The presence of sponsored ads in any given niche can also generally be considered a positive indication that there is profit to be made in that niche. Businesses wouldn’t be paying to advertise for a particular keyword if it wasn’t proving to be profitable for them.
You need to do some deep keyword research and discover keywords with buyer intent for which there is little to no competition in paid advertisements. These are the keywords which will be your money makers. Remember, the big guys like Target or Walmart have heavy budgets and they go straight for the most obvious & most popular search terms. We, the ‘little guys’, actually sit there doing research and find lesser known keywords which others aren’t paying attention to.
Also remember that the general population is very lazy. If you’re trying to do proper keyword research before setting up your website, you’re already ahead of the pack. So keep at it and make that money.
Some Resources Mentioned in this Guide:
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