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The Complete Product Research Guide for Ecommerce Market

Product Research for Ecommerce Market
This guide teaches how to do product research for ecommerce. Learn key ecommerce market research tactics for new product ideas.

A vital aspect of every ecommerce journey is product research and sourcing.  

Think about it; if you don’t have the right product and at the right landed cost, then you have no competitive offer to the marketplace.

To succeed in ecommerce, you need a winning product that solves a specific problem for your target audience.

So you will have to spend time to research for that ideal product, consider the competitive marketplace for the product, and locate wholesalers or manufacturers willing to supply the product to you at a competitive price point.

Therefore, in this guide, I’ll provide you with everything you need to conduct effective and result-oriented product research for your next ecommerce venture.

Table Of Contents
  1. What Is Product Research
  2. Importance of Ecommerce Market Research
  3. How to Do Product Research for Ecommerce
  4. 10 Great Ecommerce Product Ideas
  5. Effective Ecommerce Product Research Strategies
  6. Product Research In A Nutshell

What Is Product Research

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, product research is “the process of deciding which new products might be successful, and the best way to develop and sell them”

When it comes to ecommerce, I take a slightly different approach to understanding product research’s meaning.

Product research for ecommerce is figuring out the current trend in the marketplace and finding winning products that can participate in that trend and sustainably generate high enough sales for you to run a profitable ecommerce operation.

Once you’ve identified the current trend, you need to find a winning product.

You can source the winning product from wholesalers, private label an existing product from a manufacturer, or go all out and develop a custom product to address that market trend.

Product research is a skill that you must learn and develop to be successful.

And I’ll outline several techniques on how to conduct proper ecommerce product research later on in this guide.

Importance of Ecommerce Market Research

I cannot overstate the importance of conducting good ecommerce market research and how the product you’re planning to introduce to the market fit.

Don’t go with your guts, do some research.  

If your gut tells you a product has the potential to be a winner – good, but still do your research.

It doesn’t matter much you like the product or how well you “think” the product will do in the marketplace.

Your thoughts and feelings are irrelevant if real metrics that show the likelihood of product success do not support them.

Ecommerce market research, just like any other form of research, is crucial to get the complete picture of a product’s market viability.

The process of conducting useful ecommerce market research is more straightforward nowadays and supported by the numerous tools and apps that take advantage of big data and available at your disposal.

So why guess?

The good news is that while you’re doing the ecommerce product research, you’ll get a sense of the product’s market viability.

Hence, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel – the product research and ecommerce market research and intertwined.

All you have to do is pay close attention and observe what the data is telling you.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical areas to cover when conducting your ecommerce market research for a given product:

Research Product Market Trends

You may already have a product idea that you want to bring to market. 

If that’s the case, you want to begin by understanding how the product idea is currently performing in the market and if it’s trending.

However, if you don’t have a product idea or have one but are not entirely confident of how the market will receive it, you can always rely on market trends to gauge consumer interests.

There are several resources available to you to gauge the pulse of the marketplace, such as:

1. Print Publications

Publications such as trade journals, newspapers, and magazines are an excellent resource for understanding the market direction and trending products.

You can get product ideas by studying the ads placed in these newspapers and magazines.

Likewise, if your interest or product idea targets an industry sector, consider getting some print trade journals for that industry and observe what’s trending.

2. Local Stores

An often overlooked and underestimated ecommerce market research area is the abundance of information you can acquire by visiting your physical stores in your locality.

Visiting local stores that sell similar items gives you information on pricing, demand, and product portability.

Suppose you notice that a particular product is always flying off the shelf, and you observe people are searching for the product online, and only a few online stores are carrying it. In that case, that’s a product idea worth investigating further.

3. Online Directories

Visit various only wholesale and dropshipping directories to get an idea of what products are moving.

You can use product information listing on these directories to do keyword research to determine interest.

Furthermore, you can compare products to listings on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and other online marketplaces to gauge demand, pricing, and volume movements.

Research Product Competitive Analysis

Understanding the competition is another critical aspect of conducting ecommerce market research for your product idea.

When you understand the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, you’re in a much better position to identify opportunities to differentiate your product offering to give consumers better value.

So it would be best if you did a comprehensive analysis of the competition to get a complete knowledge of the landscape.

Here are some practical methods to go about doing this:

1. Competitor Inventory

The first step is to take an inventory of the competitive landscape. Who are your competitors for the given product idea?

Searching on your favorite search engine will give you ample information on existing online stores selling the product or its variation.

Also, look at online business directories to locate actual and potential competitors.

Overall, your goal is to have an itemized list of your competitors for the product you’re considering bringing to market.

2. Website Analysis

Take out time and study the competition’s websites and answer the following questions:

  • What products are they offering, and at what price points?
  • Look at their positive reviews and learn what they are doing well.
  • Look at their negative reviews and identify areas they are lacking.
  • Overall, how does their website look, and how can you do things better?
  • What is their search engine ranking for their product, category, and information pages?
  • What promotional offers (e.g., free shipping, discounts, etc.) are they offering to entice buyers?

These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you study each competition’s website.

Doing so will give you a better appreciation of the product idea, customer, the competition, and the market.

3. Newsletter Subscription & Social Media Follow

Subscribe to those competitors’ that offer email newsletters and follow them if they are on social media.

Doing this will enable you to see what offers and marketing communications they are sending to their customers.

And having that information is valuable and gives you the insights to better position your product offer for the marketplace.

How to Do Product Research for Ecommerce

Now let’s look at some of the practical steps to conduct product research for an ecommerce venture.

1. Identify Your Product Target Niche

The process of identifying an ecommerce niche should be the first and foremost in the product research.

Having a niche means focusing on an underserved target market segment with low competition or ready for disruption.

To discover a winning product is equivalent to finding the right niche in the marketplace that provides opportunities for sustainable profits.

It’s very tempting to try to do it all – sell everything to whoever. Do not fall victim to this frame of mind.

The illusion of a bigger audience can be tempting, but if you’re starting in ecommerce, it’s prudent to focus on a niche market.

And that niche market is a narrowed down sub-category within a sub-category within a category.

Depending on how wide and deep the product category is, keep drilling down to the narrowest sub-category with sizeable market interest for sustainable profits.

For example, suppose you are interested in Electronics

In that case, you can drill down to Cell Phones & Accessories, then further down to Accessories and further down to Chargers & Power Adapters and further down to focus solely on HTC Phones.

You get the idea.

2. Conduct Product Keyword Research

Keyword research is a vital part of the product research process to identify a product niche for your ecommerce business.

When done correctly, you get insight into what billions of Internet users are searching on popular search engines such as Google.

You’ll also learn of the related keywords, allowing you to expand your initial ideas and discover new ones.

Furthermore, keyword research does not just help you with product research; it also gives you ideas on how to name your products, structure your product website, and generate content marketing ideas.

One popular and commonly used keyword research tool is the Google Ads Keyword Planner.

It’s free to use. All you need is a free Google account, which you can setup by clicking here.

Using Google Ads Keyword Planner:

1. Visit the Keyword Planner page and login

Product Research - Using Google Keyword Planner

2. Click on the “Discover new keywords”

Product Research for Ecommerce - Using Google Keyword Planner

3. Enter your keywords or website URL

Ecommerce Product Research - Using Google Keyword Planner

4. Study the search results to discover product ideas

Ecommerce Market Research - Using Google Keyword Planner

5. Use the “Refine keywords” feature to narrow down further and discover niche ideas for a product

How to do Product Research for Ecommerce

Doing keyword research can enable you to discover the low lying fruits – those keywords with enough search volumes and minimal competition for a profitable product idea.

Similarly, suppose you have some experience with search engine optimization (SE0). In that case, the keyword research process is a segway to optimize your website and product landing pages for proper search engine ranking.

3. Niche Validation with Facebook Audience Insights

Product research for ecommerce is a methodology that calls for constant validation of assumptions and research data.

Facebook Audience Insights is a free tool available in Facebook’s Business Manager [4] that tells you more about your followers on Facebook (if you have existing followers).

You can also use Facebook Audience Insights to research various data points on the over 2.7 billion people on Facebook. [5]

When doing niche validation for product research, you can use Facebook Audience Insights to understand the audience for a target product idea.

Having a better understanding of the audience for a target product idea allows you to design more accurate buyer personas for that product.

Facebook Audience Insights gives you advanced filters to dissect and segment a given audience.

Facebook Audience Insights Usage Scenario

For example, the image below shows that we’re filtering our target audience people in the United States of America interested in the “iPhone.

Facebook Audience Insights for Product Research

There are about 45-50 million people that meet these criteria.

You can see the demographic breakdown of that target audience on the same screen, as shown below.

Facebook Audience Insights for Product Research for Ecommerce

We see that 58% of the target audience are women, 61% are college-educated, and 51% are married.

First, I can deduce from looking at this data that this audience has disposable income to spend.

We all know that the iPhone is not a cheap device. If I’m considering targeting this audience, maybe I will look into mobile accessories for the iPhone.

And given that this audience shows signs of having disposable income, maybe I can look at mid-to-high level accessories instead of cheap ones.

Another thing the screen shows is the type of jobs those in the audience have:

Facebook Audience Insights for Ecommerce Product Research

As you can see from the image above, 16% of the audience (i.e., 7.2 – 8 million) are in healthcare and medical services – again, they have money to spend.

I also see that 10% of the audience are in the transportation and moving job sector, maybe rugged and tough phone case accessories to protect their iPhone investment might be an ideal product?

Next, look at the location tab to gain insight into the population’s concentration across cities, states, and regions.

Facebook Audience Insights for Ecommerce Market Research

So if I’m looking to sell locally and don’t see enough population interest in my locality, it might not be a good idea to offer iPhone accessories.

As you can see, Facebook Audience Insights is a powerful tool to validate your product idea and gauge potential demand.

It’s a free tool available to anyone – so make sure you take advantage of it in your product research.

4. Social Listening for Market Analysis & Trend Discovery

You can monitor social media platforms for mentions of your competition, product ideas, brands, etc., keep track and analyze resultant data to understand the market trends better.

This practice of monitoring social media platforms is also known as social listening and is useful in conducting effective product research.

Let’s look at some practical ways to leverage social media for your ecommerce product research via social listening.

1. Discover Customer Pain Points

It’s always a good idea to bring to market products that address and solve customers’ pain points.

When done effectively, social listing allows you to gain valuable insights on what the competition is doing well and where customers are dissatisfied.

If you can learn about the shortcoming of existing products in the marketplace, you can develop new ideas on how to introduce improved products that address and fix those shortcomings.

2. Uncover Trends with Hashtags

You can search for hashtags on Instagram to discover new product ideas and study how consumers interact with existing products.

As you can see from the image below, I searched for the hashtag #phonecases, and there are over 1.7 million posts related to phone cases – that’s a gold mine of data if you take out the time to study it.

Social Listing for Product Research
Source: Instagram

Pay attention to the “Top Posts” as those posts show what’s currently trending and how consumers are interacting with those posts.

When you click on any of the posts that appear in the Top Posts, you get more insights:

Social Listing for Ecommerce
Source: @iphonecasefunk

The above post received over 1,170 likes within three days of posting. But what’s more interesting is the product itself and the profile.   

First of all, the post shows a picture of a unique phone case concept that I’ve never seen before.

And if I click to view the social profile:

Social Listing for Ecommerce Product Research
Source: @iphonecasefunk

As you can see, this is a tightly defined niche within the phone case accessories space.  

The Instagram profile for this ecommerce business has a lovely 54,000 followers of a tight-knit audience interested in their unique style of phone cases.

If you spend enough time social listing, you’ll be amazed at what you will discover.

Take a look at this post and see the comment a follower made:

Social Listing for Ecommerce Market Research
Source: @iphonecasefunk

Bingo! 

That’s how you discover a product idea that’s worth further exploration.

If I hadn’t logged into Instagram and spent 2 to 5 minutes of my time, I wouldn’t have come across this product concept or discover that opportunity existing for a similar idea for Samsung (Android) phones.

And that, my friends, is what social listening is all about.

3. Find Out What Influencers Are Sharing

Social media is agog with influencers and different brands driving the narrative.

Dive into your target audience on social media and find the key influencers in that space.  

Pay close attention to these influencers and the type of content they are sharing with their audience.

You must keep a close eye on their posts and monitor which posts are doing well – i.e., those posts that get the most likes, shares, comments, etc.

Keep track of all product and service-related posts from these influencers and look for weaknesses and gaps in the offers and opportunities for improvement.

5. Identify & Validate Product Market Trends

Identifying and validating market trends is a vital aspect of ecommerce product research.

Luckily, you can use several tools and methods to identify the market direction over a given period.

In this section, we’re going to take a look at some of these tools:

1. Google Trends

Google Trends is a free service that you can leverage to identify trending topics across different verticals over a given period.

It’s quite simple to use. All you have to do is enter the keyword for the niche you’re researching.

Google Trends for Product Research

As you can see from the image above, I entered phone cases as my keywords, and the result is as follows:

Google Trends for Product Research for Ecommerce

The default resultset is over a 12 months timeframe. It’s a good idea to change this and get a better view of the trend over a more extended period.

Google Trends for Ecommerce Research

For this guide’s purposes, I changed the timeframe to 2004-present, and now we can see the market trend for phone cases for the past 17 years.

Google Trends for Ecommerce Market Research

Notice how the interest was relatively the same from 2004 until around 2010 when interest started ticking upward.

The interest in phone cases crossed the 50-point marker in 2011 and has been consistently above 50 ever since.

So this market trend tells me one thing: the interest in phone cases is stable with the usual seasonal spikes.

Keep an eye on interest by subregion.

On the Google Trends’ results page, you can also gain insights into which sub-regions have the most interest in the product you’re researching.

Using Google Trends

You can also learn which topics are related to your target niche and related searches.

Google Trends for Ecomerce Researching Product

This gold mine of data informs me that if I’m considering the phone cases niche, maybe I need to drill down deeper into opportunities in the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone cases sub-categories.

2. Find Popular Products on eBay

eBay is one of the largest online marketplaces on the planet. And available data shows that there are approximately 1.6 billion live listings on the platform.

Indeed, any number in billions is big data that can be mined and meaningful information derived.

The play here is to find the most popular listings on eBay. And to do that, we take advantage of WatchCount.

Start by entering your product keyword and click the Show Me button.

Ecommerce Market Research with WatchCount

The results page will show you a long list of products and the number of people watching them.

Identify Market Trends with WatchCount

In our product research journey for phone cases, Google Trends informed us that phone cases for the iPhone are potentially a good opportunity worth investigating further.

WatchCount supports Google Trends data points and shows us the types of iPhone cases people are interested in on eBay.

Furthermore, WatchCount shows us the aggregate number of interests for each listing, thus giving us a better idea of potential product demand.

From the WatchCount’s data, we can see more interest in rugged shockproof and luxury slim rubber phone cases for the iPhone.

Having this sort of data available informs our product research effort.

We’re not going with our guts, neither are we guessing. We’re following the data.

6. Explore Amazon and Spot Opportunities

Here’s a fact – you cannot do complete product research for your ecommerce venture without looking at Amazon.

Amazon is the largest ecommerce retailer in the world and commands over 50% of U.S. retail sales.

GMV share of Amazon in the United States from 2016 to 2021

There are several ways you can use Amazon to conduct product research for ecommerce.

1. Study the Best Sellers List

Amazon’s best-sellers’ list is a categorized listing of the most popular products on Amazon based on their sales volume.

As a result, the list is updated hourly and is continuously updated and fresh with up to date information.

Amazon Best Sellers List for Ecommerce

Moreover, the best-sellers’ list provides you with a list of the top 100 best selling products in any Amazon category.

Remember, product research is about finding a well-defined product niche that is profitable.

So to better utilize the best-sellers list, you need to drill down deep into sub-categories within sub-subcategories.

Likewise, you can use Google Trend and WatchCount to investigate further trends and interest-specific products that you may find interesting.

2. Explore the Hot New Releases

The hot new and future best-sellers list is also updated hourly and shows you products that are hot right now and hot new products to be released soon.

Amazon Hot New Releases List for Product Research for Ecommerce

Again, play around with the categories and drill down to identify low hanging fruits prime for profitable product ideas.

3. Review Top Movers and Shakers

Want to know which products gained momentum in the last 24 hours? Make sure you check out the top movers and shakers for this insight.

Amazon Hot Movers & Shakers List for Researching

As you can see in the screenshot above, the Binoculars saw a 7,167% increase in sales within the last 24 hours!

Once again, go deep into the categories and sub-categories to review their respective top movers and shakers and gain product ideas you can bring to market.

4. Most Wished For & Gift Ideas

The Most Wished For and Gift Ideas are useful for understanding what Amazon customers add to their wishlists and gifting to friends and family.

Amazon Most Wished For List for Ecommerce Market Research
Amazon Gift Ideas List for Ecommerce Market Research

This information is indicative of a trend that you can study for further research on ecommerce niche ideas.

5. Frequently Bought Together

Examining the “Frequently bought together” section of Amazon’s product pages is another good product research tactic.

Amazon Frequently Bought Together

For example, when I search phone cases and select the most rated phone case on the search results, the product page shows me other products that Amazon’s customers buy along with that phone case.

Having this knowledge expands my product research’s initial assumption, which was to focus on phone cases.

But now I see that there is equally a demand for screen protectors, which warrants further investigation.

With this information, I can consider coming up with a phone case accessory that comes with a screen protector (as a bundled product) to differentiate my offering.

You get the idea.

7. Supplier/Vendor Insights

Take advantage of any existing relationships with wholesale suppliers, distributors, or manufacturers.

Suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers have an understanding of the market trend that you ignore at your peril.

They know what people/businesses are buying and where the demand and market trends are heading.

So reach out to these critical stakeholders in the marketplace and gain inside information that informs your product research decision.

And if you don’t have existing relationships with any suppliers, distributors, or manufacturers in your niche, spend some time and build one.

Certainly, you’ll need those relationships in the future as you look for new product ideas to bring to market.

8. Launch a Minimal Viable Product & Prototype Your Product Idea

Launching a minimal viable product (MVP) allows you to prototype your product idea, bring it to market and validate its potential.

When you bring a minimal viable product (MVP) to market, you’re introducing a product with minimum features that are adequate to appeal to those customers who are early adopters.

To put it differently, launching a minimal viable product is a litmus test to gauge the interest levels, validate assumptions, and test the waters.

The effective launch of a minimal viable product requires you to work with your supplier to place a test order, get a website landing page up and running, and then promote the product.

It’s beneficial to have an existing audience to target with this MVP product for purchase and validation.

A typical audience for launching a minimal viable product and effectively prototyping your product idea includes email subscribers, blog readers, social media followers, online communities (forums, Facebook groups, etc.).

9. Analyze Online Marketplaces & Find Hidden Gems

Hundreds of millions of people participate in various online marketplaces and leave digital footprints of what they want, like, need, and ready to buy.

How are you taking advantage of these footprints to support your ecommerce product research?

Let’s take a look at some marketplaces and opportunities to come upon new product ideas.

1. Etsy

Etsy is a unique marketplace that focuses on the trading of craft, vintage, and handmade products, items, and suppliers.

With popular product categories spanning across jewelry, toys, arts and crafts, home decor, furniture, handbags, and much more, you can find any craft item on Etsy.

Most Wanted List

You can browse through Etsy’s most wanted list to learn unique craft products people save to their wish lists.

Using Etsy Markeplace
Best Selling Items

Scan their best selling items list to see products that are moving volume.

Using Etsy Marketlace for Ecommerce Product Research

You can filter the results by most sold itemsbest sellers, and best selling in the top trending categories.

Using Etsy Marketlace for Researching Product for Ecommerce

This custom engraved wooden spoon picked my interest.

Using Etsy Reviews for Product Research for Ecommerce

Exploring the product further and reading the reviews, you can see that this product is suitable for gifting based on the feedback by those who bought it on Etsy.

Most Popular Item

Etsy’s most popular item listing shows you the list of hot and high demand items.

Using Etsy Marketplace

You can filter this list by clicking to view the “most sold items” and items that are “trending now.”

2. Popular Projects on Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. Anyone can list a project and find backers who pledge to assist the project come to fruition.

Available statistics show that Kickstarter has successfully funded over 195,000 projects at the time of this publication, with over $5.5 billion pledged.

As you do your product research for your ecommerce venture, you need to pay close attention to the Kickstarter platform’s Popular Projects.

Doing Researching Product with Kickstarter

Doing so will give you valuable insights into what project ideas on the platform are popular and getting the most pledges.

This information indicates a market trend where you’re learning what creators are creating to align with what backers are willing to fund.

3. AliExpress

AliExpress is one of the largest online marketplaces owned by Alibaba and based in China.

The marketplace allows anyone anywhere in the world to buy products at rock bottom prices.

According to China Internet Watch, over 150 million cross-border buyers purchased products on Alibaba in 2018

This figure is probably double at this very moment I’m writing this guide.

So what’s my point?

It would be best if you kept an eye on global market trends when doing product research.

If you’re in the U.S., wouldn’t you want to be the one that discovered the latest trend in Japan and introduce it to the U.S. market?

AliExpress is an excellent platform to conduct such research.

SimilarWeb shows that over 8% of AliExpress’s traffic comes from Russia.  

I don’t know about you, but it’s worth knowing what the Russians are buying on AliExpress and how it correlates to my country or locality from where I’m sitting.

To use AliExpress in your product research, take the following simple steps:

1. Select a Category or Sub-category

To figure out the best selling products on AliExpress, first choose a product category or sub-category, for example – phone cases.

Ecommerce Product Ideas form AliExpress

As I type the keyword “phone cases,” AliExpress’s AI is already showing me recommendations.

Remember our Google Trends and WatchCount’s data points pointing to iPhone owners being the leading audience interested in phone cases followed by Samsung Galaxy phone owners?

Interestingly enough, AliExpress is also supporting that piece of data.

2. Sort by Orders to Show Highest Sold

Sort the search results by Orders to display phone cases with the highest sales volume.

Getting Ecommerce Product Ideas form AliExpress

The first listing shows over 106,000 quantity sold. Using that piece of information, we can deduce that the iPhone’s liquid silicone phone cases are popular and in high-demand.

3. Filter Results by Product Rating

We don’t just want to find products with a high sales volume. We want to see those with both high sales and ratings.

You can filter the earlier search results to show only those products with a high sales volume and a 4 and above rating.

Getting Ecommerce Product Ideas form AliExpress

As you can observe, one thing remains consistent – silicon phone cases for the iPhone are popular and in-demand!

4. Alibaba

Alibaba is another important marketplace you can utilize to research product ideas, concepts, and improvement opportunities.

With over $91 billion sales projection for 2021, Alibaba is HUGE and surpassed $1 Trillion in gross merchandise (GMV) during the first quarter of 2020.

On Alibaba, you can search for items based on suppliers or product descriptions.

When searching by suppliers, Alibaba allows you to filter results by supplier location, verified supplier, and those suppliers with Trade Assurance certification.

However, for product research, it would be best if you searched by the product description.

Finding Great Product Ideas with Alibaba

Again, you can see the pattern – phone cases for the iPhone are top of the list in the phone cases product niche.

On the search results page:

Using Alibaba for Ecommerce Product Research

Notably, the option to filter results by different phone case types is an indicator of which phone cases are in demand.

As a matter of fact, Alibaba’s AI recommends that I filter by Shock Proof, Transparent, Thin, Eco-Friendly, Waterproof, Silicon, etc., phone case types.

I can then drill down and research each recommended phone case type to identify new product ideas or product modification opportunities.

10. Research Online Communities

Earlier on, we talked about social listing and how you can use it for successful product research.

Engaging with various online communities is another form of social listing in which you’re not just observing and gathering data. 

Online communities are a useful tool for researching new products. You’re also able to ask questions and interact with community participants.

Let’s look at some of the leading online communities and how you can leverage them for your ecommerce product research effort.

1. Quora

Quora is a popular online community where people go to ask questions and get answers.

The site has over 300 million monthly active users, and Alexa ranks it as the 80th most visited website on the Internet.

As a question and answer platform, Quora users love to ask and answer questions. Many users with considerable knowledge in their field use Quora as a platform to establish authority on a given subject.

To use Quora, begin by asking a question and observing suggestions as you type your question.

Using Quora for Product Research

Next, you can sort the search results by questions, answers, topics, and spaces.

Using Quora for Ecommere Market Research

I highly recommend spending a reasonable amount of time studying Quora for topics, questions, and answers related to your product idea.

You’ll be surprised as to what you may discover.

2. Facebook Groups

We’ve already established that Facebook is the largest social media platform on the planet.

We often overlook Facebook Groups for product research and other marketing, customer service, etc., activities.

It may surprise you to know that over 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups every month.

And there are tens of millions of active groups on Facebook, which provides a great resource to the discerning for quality product research.

For the purpose of product research, focus on finding Facebook Groups for passions, hobbies, and interests that align with your niche.

Where possible, request to join the various groups you discover and participate in learning more about members’ particular interests and pain points.

Your goal here is to understand each group’s audience, their likes and dislikes, products they buy, and the specific lingo and words particular to them.

Having this level of understanding of your potential products’ target audience better aligns your product design and market communications to them.

3. Reddit

Reddit is another online community you can use in your product research effort.  

The platform is mainly a conglomerate of various forums and sub-forums on every topic imaginable.

With over 200 million users in the U.S. alone and north of 1.8 billion visits per month, Reddit, just like Quora and Facebook Groups, is a useful product research tool.

You can conduct product research for ecommerce on Reddit by:

1. Find Your Target Audience

You have a product idea and a concept of the ideal target audience, it’s time to find that audience on Reddit.

Finding where your target audience resides on Reddit is the tricky part, but it all begins with a search.

You can use search operators such as:

title:keyword – for example: title:phone cases

subreddit:keyword – for example: subreddit:phone cases

While searching, keep a list of the prominent subreddits for your keyword and the questions people ask on the platform.

2. Evaluate The Target Audience

As you spend time searching and browsing through the different subreddits on your niche, you want to gauge and document your observations on how the audience feels about your product niche, category, concept, and idea.

Also, make a list of advertisers on the different subreddits and how the audience responds to their marketing communications.

Pay close attention to comments by Reddit’s valuable users. These are comments that are pushed to the top by Reddit or UpVoted by users.

These are the sophisticated and topic-informed users on the Reddit platform, so their comments, views, thoughts, and feeling towards any topic, concept, product idea, etc., matter.

10 Great Ecommerce Product Ideas

The key takeaway from this guide is that you need to find the right product and the right landed cost (i.e., the total cost of purchase) to sell a high enough price to make profits.

Furthermore, finding the right product is what the product research aspect of ecommerce is all about.

So in this section, I’m going to show you some of the ecommerce product ideas that are trending.

By no means is this an all-inclusive list, it’s a list of product ideas and concept to get you idea bank ticking.

1. Baby Rompers

Baby rompers are a one-piece bodysuit primarily for infants. Parents love them because they reduce the number of clothing items to put on the little guy or gal.

Baby Rompers

Ecommerce websites like Punkbabyclothes.net are finding success selling fashion-oriented, fun, and stylish baby rompers.

It’s a niche worth looking into and coming up with modification and expansion ideas to make it better.

2. Organic & Natural Skincare Products

Consumers are moving towards organic and natural skin care products as opposed to those with harmful chemicals.

The marketing is growing, and the trend is sustainable.  

Since 2019 the global organic and natural skincare market has from $4.75 billion and is projected to surpass the $7 billion mark by 2024, according to Statista.

Organic and Natural Skincare Market Size Data

You can get starting in this niche by working with a private label or contract manufacturer. Optionally, you can buy wholesale and retail established brands.

Take advantage of resources such as ThomasNet to find U.S. manufacturers and Alibaba to locate China-based manufacturers.

3. Smart Home Accessories

You’ve probably heard of IoT.

Specifically, IoT as in the Internet of Things.

The grand vision to connect all devices on the planet to communicate and talk to each other.

For instance, your car can talk to your home’s HVAC system to turn off the heating, or your refrigerator can re-order your favorite six-pack beer when it notices you’re running out.

Welcome to a brave new world. IoT is the future.  

Smart Home Accessories

And don’t for a second think only Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, etc., can partake. You, too, can participate!

IoT is the underlining technology that makes the smart home a reality.

And sales of smart speaker products such as Amazon Echo, Google Nest, etc., are projected [31] to surpass $35 billion by 2025.

Take a look at Amazon, AliExpress, and Alibaba and study exiting brands to identify opportunities you can key into and be part of this new market.

4. Online Courses

Do you have specific knowledge or skill sets that your friends and family have come to rely on your expertise?

Have you ever thought of exploring the possibility of offering that as a course? If you’re not, you should.

Surely the beauty of online courses as an ecommerce product idea is that you can create one on any topic that matters to you. You don’t need significant financial investment for inventory.

If you’re an expert photographer, you can offer a photography course.

Likewise, if you’re a DJ, graphic designer, web programmer, woodworker, etc., you too can offer online courses.

5. Smartwatch

The smartwatch is another tech that presents immense opportunities for ecommerce brands and entrepreneurs.

Smartwatch

It’s a portable smart device you wear on the wrist just like a watch. Smartwatches come equipped with touchscreen and apps that keep track of your footsteps, plan your daily activities, monitor your heart rate, and much more.

With a 19.6% CAGR and global sales projections to surpass $96 billion by 2027, the smartwatch is a profitable product idea worth researching.

6. Health & Beauty Subscription Box

The boom in subscription services and direct-to-customer (DTC) ecommerce is an opportunity worth serious consideration.

With its fantastic offering of assorted luxury items, carefully curated by category experts, Birchbox is a leading player in its niche.

Birchbox

While numerous companies are moving into the health and beauty subscription space, don’t let this dismay you.

There are still opportunities to focus on a highly targeted customer segment.

However, you have to think outside the box and study the people and environment around you to identify untapped opportunities.

7. Personal Safety Equipment

In 2020 we saw the rise and demand of the face mask dues the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, face masks are only one aspect of the overall personal safety equipment product mix.

Personal Safety Equipment

Other protective items such as gloves (latex), face shields, and hand sanitizers are hot at the moment.

For this reason, personal safety pieces of equipment are an ideal product category to add to an existing brand if you’re already business.

They provide valuable cross-selling opportunities in ecommerce and can grow your average order value (AOV). 

8. Fresh Meal Delivery

If you’re passionate about cooking and your culinary mastery is second to then, you should consider turning your passion into an ecommerce business.

Yes, you can, in fact, start and monetize your passion for cooking by turning it into a product and selling it to your target audience online.

Free meal delivery is a growing industry that prepares and delivers fresh home cooking to customers who don’t have the time or skills to cook for themselves.

The meals can be delivered already cooked and frozen or in the form of a meal-making kit with instructions for your customers to follow and complete the cooking process themselves.

Ecommece Product Ideas - Fresh Meal Delivery
Source: homechef.com

When considering starting a fresh meal delivery service, focus on a niche for a specific target audience.

For example, the ethnic food market is a niche worth exploring. Likewise, the same goes for people with unique nutritional requirements; that’s also a niche worth investigating.

To succeed in the fresh meal delivery business, you must provide finger-licking-good meals (if I may use that expression) to your customers.

They must also be healthy, nutritious, and free from any harmful ingredients to the body.

Word-of-mouth is essential in this industry – if your meals are great and service is excellent, you can rest assured the news will travel.

9. Handmade Products

Are you good with your hands and have unique craft skills? You can sell handmade products to those looking for authentic craft items.

Indeed, thousands of people are finding success online selling handmade products such as beauty products, personal care products, toys, pet products, and much more.

Product Ideas - Handmade Products

It’s important to realize that this is a passion-driven product idea.

So you need to focus on items you enjoy creating by hand and doing the necessary product research to ascertain its audience and demand online.

10. Laptop Skins

Laptop skins are covers made out of thin rubber or vinyl used to cover the outside of a laptop.

Available data show that they are trending back up gradually since their last peak in 2009.

Product Idea - Laptop Skins

The global monthly search volume is at 21,000 searches, with the U.S. accounting for 8,600 of those searches.

As we can see from the image above, people are also expressing interest in laptop skins for HP and Dell laptops specifically.

For the most part, this is a great product idea for ecommerce that you or anyone can research for consideration.

Definitely, the numbers in the data show people are showing buying-intent interest.

Therefore, you need to use the different product research methods discuss in this guide to study the competition, identify gaps and opportunities, and decide if it’s worth the investment.

Effective Ecommerce Product Research Strategies

Hunter S Thompson succinctly said, “anything worth doing is worth doing right.

As you embark on your ecommerce journey, the product research component is worth doing, and most importantly, it’s worth doing right.

In this section, I’ll like to go over and reinforce some of the effective ecommerce product research strategies that will ensure you find that ideal product for your niche.

1. Start With Your Passion

Your passion is that strong connection you have to something, idea, concept, activity, etc.

Before you begin your product research, take a step back and take an inventory of your passions and things you love doing.

It is easier to find products to sell online when they come from a place of passion; because the whole process is more rewarding and fun-filled since it’s an area that matters to you.

Likewise, your future customers benefit significantly from the level of quality of service and product they receive because this is a niche you know well more than any other.

When your product research is for a product niche you’re passionate about, the full knowledge you’ve acquired over the years about that passion comes to bear.

And that enables you to find the right products that accurately address your target audience’s needs.

2. Take Advantage of Latest Market Trends

Actively participating in online communities and social listening serves to inform you of the latest market trends.

Of course, knowing of the market trends and not taking advantage of them defeats the purpose.

So it would be best if you took advantage of the latest market trends when researching products for your ecommerce venture.

When you spot a trend, go through the product research methods outlined earlier in this guide to deep dive and understand that trend to learn if the product is worth bringing to market.

3. Target Audience Pain Point

Your target audience’s pain point is that particular problem that you’ve observed them complain about either via online feedback and reviews, online communities, or through social listening.

If you understand your target audience’s pain point, then you’re steps ahead of those who don’t.

When you research and create products that address the pain point, you’re ultimately positioning your ecommerce product for success.

4. Professional Experience/Expertise

Just as with your passion, your professional experience or expertise is a good starting point for researching suitable products for your target audience.

For example, if you’re a financial advisor/stockbroker with years of experience in wall street, maybe you can consider writing an ebook or designing an online course for people looking for strategies on how to grow their wealth.

Similarly, a fitness coach can create and develop a unique blend of nutritional shakes or performance drinks for gym enthusiasts.

One benefit of approaching the product research process from a professional experience perspective is that you already have industry knowledge, understand what’s lacking, and know the customers’ pain points.

So if you have professional expertise in any field and are looking to start an ecommerce venture, all you have to do is look within.

5. Other’s Peoples Hobbies, Passions & Interests

I’m sure you’re aware that you are not the only one with a passion, hobby, or interest in a given topic, area, field, activity, etc.

By the same token, I’m sure you have family, friends, and associates with various passions, hobbies, and interests.  

Therefore, nothing stops you from researching ecommerce products targeted at other people’s passions, hobbies, and interests.

In fact, this is most often the case with many brands in the market.

So take out time to research the plethora of hobbies and interests out there.  

Start by looking at magazines, Facebook Groups, Reddit, Quora, search engines, and other resources out there to find hobbies that you can target for a specific audience.

Then follow the various product research methods outlined in this guide to determine viability, marketability, and profitability.

Product Research In A Nutshell

Spending quality time and making an effort to research your product niche for ecommerce is a crucial step that you take seriously.

As I said earlier, product research is all about going with the data and not your guts.  

If your guts tell you a given product is suitable to bring to the market, prove your gut right by researching that product. 

It’s that simple.

In general, one thing is for sure – if correctly done, the product research process yields a desirable outcome.

And that outcome is a product that you can bring to market to address demand and participate in a market trend.

I hope you found the suggestions in this guide useful. I’ll love to hear your comments and feedback.

How are you currently doing product research for your ecommerce venture? What topic areas would you like us to cover on SpicyCommerce? Leave your comments below.

Cheers.

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