Remember GI Joe?
Sure you do.
You probably watched the cartoon and played with the action figures as a kid. Maybe you still play with the action figures. Hey, I’m not judging.
At the end of every show, GI Joe would say, “Knowing is half the battle.”
This came after a public service announcement like, “Don’t get into cars with strangers,” or, “Don’t do drugs,” or, “Don’t gamble with your own money, use your parents.” Okay maybe not the last one.
It’s the exact same in ecommerce dropshipping – picking the right products to sell is half the battle.
You can have the right traffic sources, the perfect Facebook video ads, a professional site, but if your product sucks… No money, no honey.
Why is the product you sell so important in ecommerce?
- There are only a few verticals that work on mobile marketing.
- There are only a few verticals that work on native advertising.
- But you have millions of options when it comes to picking eCommerce products to sell.
(Literally millions… Just in the women’s clothing section)
Do you go with 80’s style sunglasses or the Game of Thrones wine goblet collection?
The Dukes of Hazzard t-shirts or the digital watches?
All the choices can lead to SERIOUS analysis paralysis.
How do you pick the RIGHT products? The ones that people will actually buy?
I wanna give you some of the insights I use to find winning eCom products to sell.
#1 – Find Your Hungry Audience
First, you need to find an audience that is passionate and WANTS to buy.
- Parents will buy almost anything they think will improve the lives of their kids.
- Survivalists go crazy over the latest gadgets and gear.
- Dog lovers, especially the obsessive ones who dress their dogs in sweaters, will buy just about anything for their “Pookie Poo”.
You want the people who are more than willing to pay for products – impulse buyers, hardcore fanboys etc.
How do you find these people? It’s all about the TRENDS.
Trends let you see what’s hot. What’s making waves, generating conversation, getting the social media buzz.
Google Trends is a great place to find out what’s hot:
Game of Thrones is HOT right now with the new episodes coming out, and Donald Trump is everywhere.
Can you tap in the passionate GOT fanbase? Can you sell a t-shirt or some sort of artwork? What about something pro or anti Trump?
Another great place to look is Trend Hunter. They curate hot trends and offer hundreds of ideas for products to sell and test.
Palm-sized underwater drones?
That sounds really cool – there are a group of people who will buy that somewhere.
But lasagna-like birthday cakes?
What does that even mean? Lol.
Trends indicate a HUNGRY audience. People talk about trends and buy stuff related to trends. People share trend-related products with their friends. If you hit on a killer product to sell related to a hot trend, there’s a good chance people will spread the word.
Reddit is also a perfect place to figure out what people want. In addition to finding super offensive memes and crazy conspiracy theorists, you can find some awesome products.
Also, the comments provide reliable insight into why people actually LIKE products. This can be a huge help when writing the sales copy for your products to sell. When you see why people are so into a product, you understand their pain points and desires.
One mistake people make is they are too “product” focused.
But if you find a hungry audience, you can sell to them over and over again.
#2 – Pick Something That’s Visually Powerful
Certain products pack a serious VISUAL punch.
Those annoying fidget spinners? They catch the eye, especially if they’re gold-plated and covered in diamonds.
Fanny packs? Not so much (unless they’re gold-plated and covered in diamonds).
Last year, charcoal masks were all the rage? Why? Partially because they were visually striking. They stand out.
They are shocking, like something Hannibal Lecter or Freddy Kruger would wear before killing someone. If you woke up in the middle of the night and saw your girlfriend standing over you wearing one of these, you’d freak.
Why do infomercials show products operating in the most extreme conditions, like steak knives cutting through granite? Because they know that VISUAL SELLS.
There’s data to back this up. NewsCred says:
- Articles that contain images get 94% more views than articles without.
- 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
- 93% of people say that visual imagery is the #1 factor impacting purchasing decision.
Can you sell things that aren’t visually amazing?
But when you think of the crazy hot products over the last few years, they’ve almost all had a visual element at a minimum. It’s normally the crazy Photoshop tricks or videos that help to sell the product rather than just the images though.
#3 – There Are No Easy Alternatives
If you can go on Amazon, easily and cheaply purchase a product, and have it delivered in two days, that’s not a winning product to sell on Shopify.
A product shouldn’t be easily purchasable. You don’t want someone thinking, “Oh that’s cool, I’ll go get one at Wal-Mart.”
You want them thinking, “Holy crap, I need that, and this is probably the only place I can get it.”
Otherwise, they will just buy it from Amazon, or it won’t be different enough for them to pull out their credit card.
I think this is a really cool product…
It’s unique, you probably can’t get it at Wal-Mart, and it’s visually appealing. Plus, you know parents are going to get this for their kids.
How can you find these gold mine products? A couple suggestions.
Browse AliExpress and just have fun.
AliExpress allows you to buy inexpensive products from manufacturers in China. You can see what’s hot, as well as how much you’ll pay for an item. Look at things you would like to buy and see if there’s some margin in there.
Browse the trending projects in Kickstarter.
The trending projects show you what’s grabbing people’s attention. Pay attention to products that are crushing their funding goals. This shows what people are interested in and willing to pay for. If you can find a similar product to sell, you’re in luck.
Also, can we talk about that weird looking automated toothbrush?
Amazon isn’t a bad place to look. You can get a feel for what’s popular, as well as how many sellers are pushing a product. The only challenge is that Amazon is hugely crowded. It can be tricky to find a product to sell that isn’t already being sold by a million other people. However, it can be a good place to browse, get ideas for further research, and impulsively buy the entire box set of 90210.
Research on Etsy.
Etsy can be a goldmine for finding products to sell on Shopify. The site tends to focus on crafty, handmade items, which can provide great ideas for further research. If you’re trying to sell to a female demographic, this can be an especially useful tool.
#4 – Look For Products With At Least 100% Profit Margin
Whatever you do, stay away from products with a low-profit margin. You have to sell a huge volume to make a serious profit, and there’s always the danger of spending a lot of money on a product that won’t sell.
At a MINIMUM you should look for products with at least a 100% profit margin. Remember, selling is more than just products costs + Facebook advertising.
- Processing fees
- Returned and broken items
- Shopify apps
- Shopify fees
- Virtual assistant wages
- And a lot more
This is where sites like AliExpress are useful. You can see what it costs to purchase a product directly from the manufacturer. Then you add in all your additional costs to get a VERY BASIC idea of what your actual margin will be. If it’s not at least 100%, it’s a no go.
How do you know how to price your products? Check out your competitors and then match their prices. If the product shows promise, keep increasing the price until your conversion rate starts to fall.
Huge stores like Wal-Mart can play with thin margins because they sell a ton of products, but not you.
#5 – Would You Actually Buy This?
This is a really simple test. Would you, or someone you know, buy the product? If you’re a gadget lover looking to sell gadgets, find the ones you’d buy in a heartbeat.
I don’t know anything about the beauty niche, so I went to a female friend, showed her a page, and asked her to pick 5 products.
Now I have some options to test. I’m not a woman…so how can I pick what works in the beauty niche?
This is just basic intuition. If you would gladly open your wallet for a product, others will too. You don’t want to always trust your gut, but don’t ignore it either.
Test, Test, Test
Testing is your final step. Once you find a promising product to test, you need to test to see if it’s a winner. I’ve tested some weird, random things that took off. Then other mainstream products that tanked.
If a product doesn’t sell, try another one. Don’t get emotional, it’s all part of the game.
Whatever the case, go back to the lab again and find a new product.
What’s Your Puffy Jacket?
In the 90’s, we all knew that puffy Starter jackets were hot. How did we know? Because if you didn’t have one you felt like a total loser. Plus, people were willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for them.
If you do a little research, you can find your own version of the puffy Starter jacket.
Now go strike gold at AliExpress and upload some products to your Shopify store.