In this article, we will look at how to find the best products to sell on your online store and your ecommerce website. We are going to cover the following point:
- Which products to choose if you already have products to sell.
- How to find new product ideas.
- What are the key characteristics of successful products to sell online
- How to test the demand for a product
Let’s dive in!
You already have products to sell
If you already have a physical shop, if you are selling products on Instagram or WhatsApp, or if you already know what you want to sell on your site, this step is easy! In that case, I recommend starting with selling your best selling items on your online store. Choose 10 to 20 of your best sellers, add them to your store, and start promoting them.
Over time, you can add you whole catalogue and expand your products list, but starting with a smaller selection makes things easier and faster.
How to find new product ideas
If you don’t know yet which products to sell on your online store, let’s take a look at how to get new ideas and discover products to sell online.
A first approach to find ideas is to look at your hobbies, and what you are passionate about. If you can find products related to those, it will be much easier to find products to sell, and to get excited about your business. You will also be able to reach out to people sharing the same passion and interests, and ask them what they would be interested to buy, or just identify things that you have trouble finding yourself and could offer to others.
Another way to find ideas is to look at trend publication sites like Google Trends or Jungle Scout. You can search those sites and subscribe to their newsletters to find ideas on products. You can also have a look at what is trending overseas, and see if it could be worthwhile to launch in South Africa.
Finally, you can also have a look at your competitors’ sites, and see what type of products they are launching and promoting. The best sellers or trending ones are ideas that might also be interesting for you. You can also go to Amazon Best Seller section, and look for something that you find exciting and you could be launching in South Africa.
The best products to sell on your online store
Whether you already have your list of products or are searching for new ones, there are a few characteristics that are always worth keeping in mind for selecting the products that you want to sell online.
Here are the key points that make a product great to sell online:
- If the product can be a repeat purchase, this is really great. Your clients will come again and again to buy again from you.
- A small item is preferable, because it will be cheaper to store and cheaper to ship: a small item is preferable to a big bulky box.
- An item with low sales support and low returns is also much better.
- It is also better to pick something that is not subject to local regulations or restrictions. It will save you a lot of headache: anything than needs a label or a certification will be more complex to handle.
- You need to be able to sell you product with good margins, usually at least 25%. Anything lower will make it difficult to cover your other costs and to generate a profit.
- Also be aware of the import duties: if you are importing your products and have to pay duty, the difference between a 0% and a 45% rate can kill the margins of a product!
This list is just a guideline, your products do not need to tick every box of this list. However, it is definitely something to keep in mind when you are evaluating products ideas.
How to find out if people will buy a product
Before launching a product, it is also good to estimate the demand for it. A great tool for this is Google Keywords Planner. To access it, you just need to register a free Google Ads account. You can then use Google Keywords Planner even if you don’t run any ad, it’s totally free. It will give you statistics on people searching for specific keywords on Google Search, and this can give you insights about how many people are looking the products you plan to sell.
Feedback from friends, family and social media, is also very valuable to evaluate your products ideas. You can always get very interesting feedback and insights from those channels!
After you applied these ideas you should now be able to find great products to sell on your site, check if they can be successful for an online store, and evaluate the demand for them. In the next article, we will look at how to start your site, and choose the right ecommerce platform for your online store!