How to Find a Product That Sells on Amazon
Every empire has its own beating heart.
At the heart of Google, the lifeblood of the tech giant is its search engine. Apple is built around its iPhone. And at the center of every great FBA business is an in-demand product that generates many sales and positive reviews.
No matter how grand your dreams are for your Amazon FBA business, it can only launch with a successful product.
Finding a trending product to sell on Amazon is arguably the most important part of scaling an FBA business. We’ll take a look at what you should consider when finding products to sell on Amazon and how that can affect the value of your FBA business.
Selling Bespoke Products: The Power of FBA
Amazon FBA is a great online business model to start if you’re relatively new to online businesses and web equity.
While dropshipping is a popular ecommerce business model with a lower barrier to entry, many entrepreneurs prefer FBA.
The advantage of FBA over dropshipping is the ability to create and sell specific products that are manufactured by a supplier. Dropshippers have little control over their product besides listing it on their storefront and promoting it, whereas an FBA owner has complete control over sourcing popular products to sell on the Amazon marketplace.
Once your private label products are manufactured, you just need to figure out how to get the inventory to FBA fulfillment centers where you can leverage Amazon’s extensive logistical network to provide quick deliveries.
But first, you need a winning product.
Where do Amazon Sellers find a Good Product to Sell?
Generally speaking, Amazon Sellers will look for inspiration by researching the top sellers in trending niches or by visiting Google Trends to see where the red oceans and blue oceans are. Some of the most popular (and competitive) categories include health, beauty, and home.
Checking best sellers lists gives you a good overview of what’s trending during different seasons. On the other hand, a seller might have a eureka moment based on their own personal experiences and craft a product that meets their needs.
After all, Nike was started when Bill Bowerman felt the need to create personalized shoes so that his track team could run faster. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp created Uber after they waited all night for a taxi in the freezing cold (one never came, by the way).
No matter where the inspiration comes from, your product’s chances of selling on Amazon depend on how well defined your strategy is.
What Is the Strategy for Finding Profitable Products?
Ideally, your product selling on your FBA storefront will have low competition and achieve many sales each month.
However, part of the battle is in how well you build your brand. You’ll find that products with no brand and that achieve regular sales will be in a war of attrition with similar products. Products with weaker brands tend to find the most success if their price is lower than the competition and will continue to gather sales as long as their price is below the market average.
If a product has a reputable brand, customers usually head directly to the brand store or site. Since your product will be selling via Amazon, it takes time to build up that reputation before people start heading directly to your storefront.
But, if you find a product that helps people solve a problem more efficiently than other products on the marketplace, it’ll be easier to generate traction in your Amazon Flywheel.
The Amazon Flywheel is based on Jeff Bezos’s theory that a customer-centric approach will generate sales and, in turn, grow the company. As long as you ensure the customer experience is excellent, customers will spread the word by telling their friends and family or leaving positive reviews.
The social proof will lead to an increase in traffic of new customers. From the new sales, you can expand your product line to offer a better customer experience.
In time, the flywheel builds momentum and becomes easier to accelerate through marketing tactics or better product offerings.
Getting the flywheel started is the hardest part, but it boils down to whether your product will be in-demand or not. When you start researching your competition and the market, the idea of dominating a product category can be overwhelming.
Instead, aim for your product to be one of the highest-rated items in your sub-category. Taking this approach will make it much easier to find a competitive product and narrow down your research.
To start, check whether your product idea has high demand and low competition.
Finding the Needle in the Haystack: High Demand and Low Competition
We’ve sold over 300 FBA businesses on our marketplace. Some of these businesses started off as a profitable side hustle. In some cases, side ventures can even grow into seven-figure assets (check out this case study in which a three-year-old FBA business sold for $1.9 million in only 55 days!)
What we noticed about all of these profitable ecommerce businesses is that their products shared similar characteristics.
In the majority of cases, the best-selling products were affordable. Even if a product had built up an established and reputable brand, it was usually within a price range close to or below the market average.
When setting your product’s price, be cautious about setting your retail price too high. The profitability of your Amazon business depends more on the volume of sales over time as opposed to the profit margin of each individual sale.
You can use tools to check a product’s pricing over time through ASIN scraping.
Another common trait that products from many businesses shared was that they were in an evergreen niche and weren’t affected by seasonality.
Setting up in a niche that’s relevant all year round means your business can generate steady sales, which is important for forecasting inventory levels and general budgeting.
Few Reviews but Highly Rated
We also found that, regardless of the number of reviews, the product was highly rated or recommended by customers, as indicated by glowing reviews left on the product listing page.
A lot of sellers often aim to get as many sales as possible when they first start their FBA business. However, we found that selling the right product to the right customers who will benefit the most from using the product is more important than the volume of sales.
With each positive review, the flywheel builds up steam, but a series of negative reviews can kill the momentum very quickly.
In order to find valuable customers, it’s important to optimize your storefront’s Amazon SEO. You can use keyword research tools to start your product research, such as Ahrefs or Jungle Scout.
Using SEO tools help you understand your customers’ pain points and will indicate whether your product idea is sought after. Long-tail keywords can be valuable, as these types of queries are more specific.
You can also find low-competition keywords to help you with your PPC advertising. There are a number of Amazon sourcing and research tools to choose from. You won’t need to use all of them, so take advantage of any free trial periods to see if a specific tool has features you’ll be using frequently, such as Jungle Scout’s Chrome extension.
Once you’ve subscribed to a tool, you’ll be able to see the search volume on Amazon’s marketplace.
Understanding a customer’s buying intent is one way to find a successful Amazon product if you’re starting from scratch. However, it’s best if you look at existing data that’s available to everyone—particularly, the competition.
Keeping an Eye on the Competition
Seeing what types of products the competition is selling is a great way to learn about what potential products could be launched.
New sellers will normally visit the marketplace as a starting point, but they might not know what to look for when comparing different products. While you could look at selling a product in a competitive niche, it’s recommended that you grow your reputation in a blue ocean.
In a search, look at whether a sub-category has similar products with Amazon’s Basics brand or if there are well-known brands that already exist.
It’s best to avoid this niche if either of these types of brands already exist as your product will struggle to arrive on the first search result pages. If the niche isn’t too crowded, start to compare the reviews and best sellers rank (BSR) of different products.
A lower number and quality of reviews indicate that there’s a chance to create a solution that does better than what’s currently available.
Take note of any shortcomings and strengths in customers’ remarks about the product you’re researching. These nuggets of information give valuable insight that can shape your product blueprint into a highly anticipated new product.
On top of looking at reviews, make sure you check the product’s BSR. It’s not entirely clear how the BSR is calculated right now, but we do know that it’s related to the number of sales a product has and whether it wins the Buy Box.
The lower the BSR, the higher a product ranks in its category or sub-category. If several top-selling products in a niche rank high in both sub-categories and categories, this might signal that it’s a lucrative niche to explore—especially if you can create a better product.
Look Outside of Amazon for Inspiration
If you need more ideas for selling items on Amazon, consider researching popular white label products.
You’ll find plenty of inspiration on popular marketplaces like Alibaba or AliExpress. Just like you would see what’s trending on Amazon, check the best-seller lists in niches you want to explore.
Despite their lack of branding, people are willing to pay for these white label products. Ask yourself, what do the top-selling items have in common? How do they differentiate themselves from the others? Is their pricing competitive, or have they slashed their prices way below the average?
Once you’ve gathered enough information, you can apply these lessons learned to your product creation.
Other Ways to Increase the Value of Your FBA Business
Finding a winning product plays a large role in the success of your FBA business. However, creating a sustainable brand with longevity takes more than just selling items.
Many buyers are willing to pay a lot of money to acquire FBA businesses with a strong brand, a popular product, and streamlined operations.
There are many ways you can improve the value of your FBA business after you’ve found a great product.
Implementing these tips can increase your monthly profit and improve your efficiency when managing the business. If and when you decide to sell your FBA business, you’ll have stronger leverage to negotiate a higher sales premium.
Generate Recurring Revenue
Regular sales are the fuel for your FBA engine. Without them, you’ll have no capital to keep your business afloat, let alone expand it.
Whether it’s your first product or an additional item to an existing product line, consider how to entice previous customers to buy from your storefront again.
For example, you’ll have a steady stream of revenue from returning customers if you’re creating a product in the supplements niche. Like a subscription model, satisfied customers will keep buying more supplements once their current stock has run out.
However, if customers are unlikely to buy your best-selling product again due to its quality and lifecycle (e.g., a BBQ set), think of complementary products you can cross-sell or up-sell.
You’ll often see a subsection under the product description called “Frequently bought together.”
In the case of selling BBQ sets, you could also sell gas canisters, heavy-duty cleaning products, and BBQ tools. When bought together, you could also offer a discount off the total price. On the other hand, you could offer a discount for gas canisters with a minimum purchase order.
Having a strategy to generate recurring revenue will not only increase your monthly revenue but also mitigate the risk of one of your products unexpectedly suffering a drop in sales.
Diversifying Revenue Streams
Creating recurring revenue helps your business to keep going, but you could find yourself in trouble if your primary revenue stream drops.
Amazon can ban your account because of a breach of their terms, or they can suspend the listings of your best-selling SKUs without prior notice.
Creating multiple revenue streams outside of your FBA business mitigates these kinds of risks.
Selling on other ecommerce marketplaces like eBay or Walmart is another way to diversify your business’s revenue channels.
Selling items on these platforms gives you a chance to test your products with different markets and also increase your brand’s exposure to audiences who prefer certain marketplaces that you wouldn’t have been able to reach by staying only within Amazon.
Setting up an email list is a great way to drive external traffic and increase sales by building a loyal audience. A monetized email list with many subscribers is a highly valuable asset by itself. Many ecommerce businesses don’t utilize this revenue channel enough, despite the fact that email marketing has stood the test of time. Building an email list is an inexpensive way to grow your business’s revenue streams.
Another way to drive external traffic and increase revenue is by creating a blog and signing up to an affiliate program.
By providing useful information on how to use your product, readers will be more likely to click on your affiliate link and make a purchase. You’ll earn a commission from each sale, increasing the value of every transaction.
And, best of all, it’s a hands-off strategy since you don’t need to actively manage your blog.
Increase the Number of Your Suppliers
Building and maintaining good relationships with a number of suppliers will ensure you’re never at risk of running out of stock. If you’re unable to fulfill orders because you run out of units to sell, this can seriously damage your brand’s reputation and lower a buyer’s trust in your FBA business.
By establishing relationships with a variety of suppliers, you can call on any of them to fulfill orders in case the supplier you order from the most suddenly has manufacturing issues.
You can also consider changing suppliers from abroad to a local manufacturer. Some brands are strengthened when they can back up the claim that they’re an American brand at every stage of production.
Suppliers for many FBA stores are located in China since it’s relatively cheap and easy to manufacture products there. Moving your manufacturing to the US may increase your costs slightly, but it may also save you money on logistics and transporting stock from overseas to fulfillment centers.
It’s always good to have at least one month of inventory in stock ahead of time. However, ordering too much stock that’s stored at FBA centers can be costly.
Inventory held at FBA fulfillment centers for longer than six months will incur long-term storage costs. Not only will this increase your expenses, but potential buyers may also be concerned about why the inventory isn’t moving quickly enough.
To avoid this situation, you could rent a warehouse where inventory is sent first. After some quality control and repackaging, you can send off the desired number of items to fulfillment centers.
Renting a space to store your inventory before sending your products to FBA warehouses may cost more, but you’ll have much greater control over your inventory management.
Generate More Reviews
We wrote a piece on getting great reviews on Amazon filled with useful strategies.
In short, Amazon is strict about policing incentivized reviews. But, as we all know, great product reviews increase the likelihood of someone committing to a purchase.
Sometimes, a happy customer may have forgotten to leave a review. You can use the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Service to reach out to a customer to ask for a review if they were happy with the product and their experience was positive overall.
However, this approach only applies if people are buying your products in the first place.
If you’re struggling to get sales, you could use the Amazon Vine service. Vetted reviewers are sent free products to test and review. This program helps you gather authentic reviews by people who actually used your product.
If the review isn’t glowing, at least you get valuable feedback that you can use to further improve the product.
The Most Important Piece of Your FBA Puzzle: Your Product
Finding a winning product is probably the most important and yet the hardest thing to get right when starting your FBA business. As long as the product beats the competition and helps customers efficiently solve their problems, you can figure out the rest later.
Even if the rest of your business isn’t as fully developed as you’d like, buyers will be able to recognize an FBA business with potential. You can always streamline operations and marketing, but the true star of the show is an in-demand product that generates sales.
No matter what stage your FBA business is at, you can sell it on our marketplace as long as you have a profitable product.
If you don’t have the time or capital to take the business any further, savvy buyers are willing to acquire the business in order to grow it.
And they are willing to pay top dollar for your digital asset.
There is $1 billion in verified proof of funds ready to be deployed in acquisitions like your FBA business.
If you’ve found a winning product and you’re curious about how much your business is worth, try our free valuation tool to get a rough estimate. It might be a lot more than you thought.