Stuck for ideas on what to sell on Amazon?Or maybe you're looking for some additional products that will drive more sales and boost your profit margins?
Whatever your reason is for wanting to source new products, I have compiled some advice and actionable tips that you can leverage to identify the products that are in high demand on the Amazon marketplace.
Before anything else, I should start by saying that there are typically two approaches you can take when it comes to expanding your product lines.
Firstly, you can identify a product niche or a gap in the market that isn’t already covered. Alternatively, you can identify the products that are already in high demand and capitalise on these markets.
The problem is, while the process of identifying a gap in the market can be a solid business move, it can also be a risky one. For this reason, and for the purpose of this article, I have focused on the latter approach of finding products that are already selling well on Amazon.
Amazon Best Sellers
Assuming you are starting entirely from scratch and don’t have a specific product in mind, one of the best places to start is the Amazon Best Sellers Page.
An Amazon Best Sellers list specifically provides you with the top 100 best-selling products in any given category or sub-category.
Now chances are, as an existing Amazon seller, you are probably already aware of this. The question is, are you actually taking advantage of the data it provides you with?
In reality, many sellers will look at this as nice-to-know, mildly interesting information. Sellers who are looking to take their business to the next level, however, will recognise the fact that this is Amazon providing you with valuable insight into which products are the most popular on the marketplace.
In other words, they are essentially telling you which products could be worth your time and effort selling. I say could be because there are still many other considerations, which I will get to in a bit.
Amazon Best Sellers lists are great, but they only provide you with the top 100 products. Yes, that might seem a lot, but when you consider that certain categories have millions of products, 100 barely touches the surface.
This is where BSR, otherwise known as the Best Sellers Rank, comes into play.
Specifically, every product on Amazon has a BSR, which can be found on the product details page of any item listed on Amazon. This rank will tell you where exactly the product sits within the relevant category and sub-category, in terms of product sales.
While it would be nice to know the actual number of sales each individual product generates, unfortunately Amazon doesn’t provide us with that. This means the rank is the best data we have to work with. That said, as lovely as sales volumes would be, the BSR is still a good indication of the level of demand the product has on the marketplace.
Amazon Seller Tip: Gauge expected sales volumes based on your items BSR. According to Web Retailer (and many other Amazon Sellers), products that sit within the 8,000-10,000 BSR range tend to generate around 4-6 sales a day. This increases to 6-10 if the product has a BSR between 5,000 and 8,000, 10 to 20 a day for those within the 2,000-5,000 range, and a hell of a lot more if it's in the top 2,000. This does of course depend on time of year and the product category.
Now this is the important bit. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS, BECAUSE NOT ALL BSR’S ARE EQUAL.
Think about it. A product ranking at 5,899 in a category such as Home & Kitchen (which has around 6.6 million results and is one of the most popular product categories) is still a big deal. After all, it would mean that that product sits in the top 1%.
When you consider the fact that the products that sit within the top 5-10% of any category will be pretty good sellers, being in the top 1% is extremely good.
Now think about the same rank position in a sub-category such as Professional Medical Supplies. This would mean the product sits in the top 25%.
That’s a big difference itself, but the other thing to note is that even percentages can’t be compared amongst categories.
Let’s say a product sits in the top 1% of Home & Kitchen and another product sits in the top 1% of Industrial and Science, they won't have the same level of demand.
Amazon Seller Tip: Find out how many products there are in a category, simply by selecting the relevant department from the dropdown menu to the left of the search bar and typing in the right and left square bracket into the search bar. You will then be shown a total number of products within that category.
Ultimately, due to the different levels of demand, it can help to know which categories are more popular amongst Amazon customers, and which are not.
According to FBA Empire, a breakdown of product categories by product demand are as follows:
High demand product categories on Amazon
- Home & Kitchen
- Health & Personal Care
- Sports & Outdoors
Medium demand product categories on Amazon
- Toys & Games
- Pet Supplies
- Home Improvement
- Office Products
Low demand product categories on Amazon
- Industrial & Scientific
- Arts & Crafts
- Musical Instruments
This is not to say that you shouldn’t be focusing on the less popular categories, it just means you will have to manage your expectations. After all, Amazon do not provide us with actual sales figures so this is the best we have to work with.
Amazon Seller Tip: Save time and increase productivity during your research process, by downloading the DS Amazon Quick View Chrome Extension. This extension specifically displays the BSR and other product details for an item on the search results page, meaning you won’t have to click onto each individual page.
So, here’s another important thing to remember. Just because a product has a good Best Sellers Rank, does not mean it is necessarily a good product to private label and sell. Below, you will find some key considerations to help you determine just how profitable your product of choice could be for your business.
Does the product have a good profit margin?
While you can still make money selling a high quantity of items with a low profit margin (think mobile phone cases), if you are new to Amazon it is recommended that you start with a product you can sell for over £15. As a rule of thumb, successful Amazon sellers typically try to find products with a 100% mark-up, which is a 50% profit margin.
Small and light
Another factor to consider is the size and weight of the item. The larger and heavier it is, the more it will cost you to import from the supplier and ship to the customer. You should also be cautious of fragile products, as they are more likely to be damaged in transit.
Now this will depend on whether you want to find a product that will sell consistently well all year round, or something that is more seasonal. It’s also worth thinking about the shelf life of the item. A great example of this is in fact phone cales, as the demand for tech accessories will decline year-on-year, as new models are released. That’s not to say a product of this type isn’t worth considering, you will just need to be prepared and possibly limit your order.
While the above suggestions will hopefully give you an idea of some key things you will need to take into consideration when searching for a product to sell on Amazon, I would suggest taking a look at this full checklist from Web Retailer.
So, you've got a profitable product in mind but not sure where to go from here?
Alibaba.com is arguably one of the best sites for sourcing reliable suppliers for the products you wish to private label on Amazon. For some great tips and insight, I would definitely recommend watching this how-to video hosted by Amazon Seller David Harned.
This is another great article to read about the benefits of selling Private Label Products on Amazon.
The obvious downside to sourcing a high demand product is that the competition on Amazon is likely to be high. But you already knew that. This is why it is crucial that you are doing all you can to stand out from the competition.
If you’re not, everything you’ve done to this point will be a wasted effort and you can pretty much wave goodbye to any chance of succeeding on the marketplace. Harsh but true.
Even if you are prepared to go above and beyond to make your business a success, remember that it won’t happen overnight. Instead it will take time and effort, especially when getting started, but it can happen eventually if you follow these best practices:
If you have read some of my other articles, you will notice I mention listing optimisation a lot. Well there’s an obvious reason for that – it works.
In fact, if you’re not investing your time into improving your listings on Amazon – or any other marketplace for that matter – I guess you could ask yourself if it’s worth selling at all.
While I go into much greater detail about increasing your visibility on Amazon in our How To Sell More On Amazon eBook, some top tips and considerations include:
- Spend time crafting your product titles
You may have already noticed that product titles on Amazon tend to be longer than other marketplaces. This is because Amazon provides you with 500 characters and encourages you to make use of them all.
Because the listings with longer, keyword-rich titles actually perform better and subsquently outrank those with shorter titles.
Now that said, it is still integral that these titles include relevant information, using keywords that your target customers are actually searching for. In other words, irrelevant waffle just won't cut it.
If you're not sure where you can even get this information, let me introduce you to keyword research.
Amazon Seller Tip: Begin with the search box. If you start typing your main keyword, Amazon will actually display a list of search terms associated with what you've typed and display them in order of search volume. This can be a great way to gauge what exactly people are looking for on Amazon and if relevant, use these terms in your listings to increase visibility.
- Write a compelling product description
When creating your listings, it is important to be as detailed and specific as possible, but try and format it using bullet points as this has been proven to increase product sales.
You may want to start by thinking of the top five features for your item, for example dimensions or if relevant, warranty information. Do keep in mind that this section is not the place for promotional, pricing, shipping or company information, so keep it product focused!
A final word of advice on this matter would be to think about what your potential customers are likely to ask you about the product. It can be extremely beneficial to actually cover the most frequent questions within the product description. Over time you can actually start to monitor these questions, but in the meantime monitor the competition and ask your family and friends.
- Take advantage of backend search terms
Keep in mind that your product will only appear in the search results if it contains all of the search terms that a customers includes in their search query. In other words, in order to ensure your listings appear in as many relevant search results as possible, you need to go beyond knowing what the keywords are, and actually include them somewhere in your listings.
Now if you're anything like me and tend to search for items by stringing a range of varying keywords together, you will probably be wondering where you can actually include them without them being visible to your customers.
This is why Amazon's backend search fields in Seller Central are so important. In short, this provides you with the ability to add hidden keywords to a product.
Amazon Seller Tip: When using the backend search fields, where possible try to use hyphenated words as they will cover all possible combinations. As an example, anti-aging would cover anti, aging, anti-aging, anti aging and antiaging. This is incredibly important as different people may search for your product using different variations.
There are, however, best practices outlined by Amazon themselves that you will need to adhere to. You can learn more about this here.
- Optimise your product images
The images you choose to use on your listings can play a crucial role in encourage conversions. Amazon specifically state that your images should be clear, easy to understand, information-rich and attractively presented.
Amazon Sponsored Products
While listing optimisation can help to improve your organic search position, there are other ways to boost your visibility on Amazon.
Amazon Sponsored Products is an advertising option on the marketplace, which helps to promote your listings and have more control over your visibility. For any products you wish to advertise through Sponsored Products, you will be able to assign keywords and enter a cost-per-click bid. From here, your products will only be displayed to customers searching for your assigned keywords and you will only be charged when a shopper clicks on your ad.
Amazon Seller Tip: You can't outbid a competitor if your Sponsored Product is listed in the wrong category. Many sellers don't realise that Amazon actually tell you which category is most popular for your chosen keyword, and the Sponsored Products within that category will get a more significant presence than those listed in other categories.
On the left hand side of the screenshot above, under 'Show results for' you will see Lighting is above Home & Kitchen. This means that Lighting is the most popular category for 'Himalayan Salt Lamp', and subsequently products listed within this category will typically perform better when being sponsored.
So, there we have it. By following all of the tips and guidance outlined above, you should go some way in identifying and ultimately marketing a successful private label product on Amazon.
Do you have any other tips that have worked for you? Let us know by leaving a comment below!