We all know that picking a niche or product to start your dropshipping business is your first big challenge entering this game, it determines whether you could make your business or not. When you start to find a product to sell, you'll always find it is already being sold—not to mention the reality that there will be plenty of competition in the most popular niches.
Fortunately, there are still golden opportunities out there, new products successfully launch all the time. To help you get started, I put together 8 strategies that you can adopt for finding your first winning product.
1. Find a product to solve a customer pain point
Solving a customer pain point will always be an effective way to develop a product people want. Abstract customer pain points, meanwhile, are usually about addressing poor or frustrating experiences with the current selection of available products.
It's worth paying close attention whenever you notice common frustrations with an existing line of products. Being keenly aware of the pain points and small annoyances you come across in everyday life could be just what you need to come up with your next profitable product idea.
2. Try a niche you are interested in
It is foreseeable there is a lot of hard work to do while building a business, and you'll be better equipped to stay motivated and overcome the hurdles if you are deeply invested in what you are selling. If you are engaging in the niche you are not interested in at all, doing product research and looking for new products could be a boring experience, and you are going to quit or change the niche easily when you come up with difficulties. And we know building a business is not easy, go with your passion can be a bit easier.
3. Make good use of your professional experience
Has working in a particular industry helps you get started with the business related to your professional experience more easily than the average person, and that isn't easy for others to duplicate or copy.
Let's say you are a photographer, and you want to create an online store selling camera accessories, you have a huge advantage over those who know nothing about photography. Because you know better what photographers need, where to find your potential customers, and how to get the latest news. You have the profound professional knowledge to support you, you are much easier and more likely to do well than the average person.
4. Invest in a niche appealing to enthusiastic hobbyists
People will not only spend money on daily necessities, they are also willing to pay for their hobbies. When consumers are passionate about a particular trade or hobby, they're usually more inclined to invest money to get the exact product they want. This willingness-to-pay can be an important qualifier when evaluating the potential opportunity of any product, or line of products.
What's more, these hobby products usually got higher levels of engagement and loyalty with your brand, as enthusiastic customers are generally more involved in the industry and get more value out of the products they purchase.
Let me again take the photographic industry for example, my friend Paul is running a Shopify store selling camera accessories, and he told me 80% of the revenue came from returned customers. And you know, the profit margin for this industry is pretty high. So invest in a niche appealing to enthusiastic hobbyists can be really profitable.
5. Catch up with trending products
When there came out a winning product, you'll soon find 200 stores selling it, and then you find it's hard to make a profit on it because of the fierce competition. So the key point is to find a potential winning product, which is a trending product, instead of an already winning product.
But how or where to find trending products? I found 3 ways for your reference.
First, you can browse what's trending on online marketplaces. The data from those big online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Kickstarter, and the like is a good free source of inspiration. You can browse lists like 'What's Hot', 'Most Wished For", "Movers & Shakers". And on individual Amazon product pages, you can see the "Best Sellers Rank" to find out how popular an item is in its category.
The second way is to find product opportunities in keywords. It's no secret that organic traffic from search engines is an important marketing channel. Searching for keyword opportunities means strategically looking for a product based on the search queries people are using, the number of searches per month, and overall competition for those searches.
Remember that Google isn't the only place where people start their search, and as such isn't the only place to mine for keywords. Online marketplaces also have their own search functions, which means lots of keyword data as well. I collected a few tools you can use to uncover popular search terms, which may help you find the next product to sell：
And here is a pro tip: you can use these keywords in your product description copy, a trick to kill two birds with one stone.
The third way is to recognize a trend in online communities or sites like Google Trends, Reddit, and more.
Where you can keep an eye on what's trending so you can act quickly on potential opportunities：
6. Hunt for products with higher profit margins
Let's get back to strategy 6 for finding your first winning product. It's is an important point you need to take into consideration, especially under the current situation that the shipping fees keep on increasing due to the quarantine and the lesser available flight lines to deliver goods. Despite it, under the common situation, you need to make 10 sales of a product with a profit margin of $2, while other sellers just need to make 1 sale with a product at a $20 profit margin. In most cases, you spend similar time and effort on making each sale. You do the maths, so that's why fashion jewelry is a hot niche for dropshipping, as the product cost is cheap, the shipping cost is cheap as it is always light-weighted, but you can sell at a high price, a decent profit margin you can make.
And it is advised to look for those products that you can make your own brand with, because with branded products, you can sell for a higher price, and a higher repurchase rate, it is a trend for dropshipping.
7. Get insights from customer reviews on existing products
There is a wealth of insight you can glean from customer reviews. When you have a certain niche to do in mind, it does no harm to check the reviews of products under the niche on online marketplaces. You can see what customers are saying about the existing products. Are there any trends or interesting bits of feedback you can use as inspiration to develop your own products? What "wishlist" feedback is being shared about potential improvements to already successful products? What add-ons or additional products do customers consistently bring up? It does great help when you are exploring the industry.
Even if you have launched a store, you still need to check the reviews and feedbacks closely, especially to those shortcomings and complaints being shared, you'll find it helps a lot with improving your product line.
8. Test the market before you launch
You can't make sure you're doing a really promising product or niche until orders are generated and paid. If you already have an idea, but you're not quite ready to invest heavily in it, minimize your upfront investment and test the market by building a landing page to promote your potential product—with a way for interested customers to leave their email—and run a few paid ads to drive traffic to it. Then you evaluate the result whether to invest more, to extend the product line or not.