How to Choose a Product to Sell

A product in a shipping box.

One of the most difficult things is finding a product to sell online for those who want to start their own ecommerce store. If you’ve always strived to be an entrepreneur but can’t seem to find the right product it becomes frustrating. 

However, here are some useful tips for choosing a product to sell.

Solve a pain point

Solving a pain point is one of the most common ways of developing a product for your online business. A pain point is a problem people are having that causes a bad or frustrating experience with already available products

Every product usually solves a solution. The vacuum picks up dust, a dishwasher washes the dishes and the list goes on. Chances are there is already a pain point in your life that you need to be solved.

To give an example, Canada Pooch is a company that sells pet products. One of their products is a utility leash. A utility leash has a carabiner at the end to attach to your dog’s collar instead of a clip. 

A clip can come loose either from your dog, yourself, or any other weird instance (if you have a dog you’ll understand this one). It causes a sense of worry. The clip coming undone could mean your dog is able to run away. 

The utility leash solves this problem by using a carabiner. It gives people the safety and security that the clip can’t offer. 

Utility leash from Canada Pooch.

Follow your passion

Passion products are an interesting idea. It can be a fantastic idea because you have a passion for it. You can continue to explore your passion, learn new things and love being a part of something you enjoy. The downside to all of this is your passion may not that be profitable or you may get tired of your passion by trying to gain sales.  

Regardless, finding a product using your passion can still be an idea worth exploring. There are lots of profitable niche businesses out there that do well.

To give an example, Smart Sweets owner, Tara Bosch created the company through her love of candy. She wanted to create a candy with lower sugar. With Tara’s passion for candy and need to create a candy with lower sugar, Smart Sweets has been wildly successful. 

2 Smart Sweets products shown.

Stay up with trends

Trends have become more prevalent with the age of social media. Chances are if you’ve been on these platforms long enough you’ve seen product trends. Trends are a great way to find a product because if you’re early enough in the trend you can capitalize on the interest

Trending products sometimes are very niche products while others are more general. It’s a matter of finding the trends that appear to the right target audience and can generate top-selling items for your ecommerce business.

A trend doesn’t necessarily mean it comes and goes. Trending products to sell will help the initial launch, but it can still continue to be a good business. 

To give an example Air pods by Apple were immensely trendy a few months ago. Air pods are completely wireless earbuds. It’s two individual earbuds that sync together and your phone. 

Although the trending product of Air pods seems to have died down, Apple was able to create enough noise in the market with them that they’ve continued to be a success.

*Quick tip – even checking out Google trends data can be a good way to see trends emerging. 

Air pods by Apple.

Look at existing products

There are millions of products on the market right now being sold in online stores. It can sometimes be hard to create an entirely new product. Luckily, looking at existing products can spark inspiration.

Existing products and pain points can tie together. There may be an existing product right now that is good, but it’s missing a feature or could be done better

The clothing industry is a great example of looking at existing products. Clothing for the most part isn’t going to change. There’s always going to be a shirt, sweater, jeans, sweats, and so on.

The difference between brands could be the fit, look, or style that makes it unique to its own product. 

To give an example, if we look at Lululemon, they use to primarily focus on yoga wear but now have expanded into athletic wear, lifestyle apparel, and accessories. None of these products are necessarily new on the market.

There are lots of other brands that offer athletic wear, however, they’ve been able to elevate their products through, style, fabric and fit. 

Lululemon Fundamental T-shirt shown above.

Look at data

It’s not an interesting decision for most people deciding on a product to sell, but looking at the data of products can be a good way to see what’s worth selling.

Carrying a product comes with a lot of other costs like shipping and marketing. All of these other costs cut into your revenue for the product. 

Running the numbers on a few products can help you determine if the fees outweigh the amount of revenue you can make for your own online store. Consistently high-profit margins can be more enticing compared to a smaller profit margin.

Gain inspiration

Looking for products to sell online or thinking about products doesn’t always lead to ideas. Sometimes you can run into idea fatigue. Often times the best ideas or thoughts can come from other activities whether that’s at the gym, reading a book, etc…

Having a notepad on your phone can be a good idea for when inspiration strikes. 

Continually thinking of products to sell, may not always be the best solution. Take time for yourself and be open-minded to the ideas you’ll gain in your everyday life. 

Viewing products in the shop.

What's next after finding a product?

After finding a product, you can’t necessarily start selling online. There need to be additional steps taken into consideration. 

Evaluating your idea will help give you confidence in selling your product. Companies can spend 1000s of dollars on evaluating an idea but that’s not necessary for evaluating your own products. 

Quick tip – your product description and product photo are also going to impact selling your product.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

What do people need? 

Most people buy a product to achieve or gain something. If we go back over our examples Smart Sweets provides a lower-sugar candy or Canada Pooch’s utility leash provides a safe alternative to the regular clip.

You need to honestly answer the question of what people need. If that answer is no, your validation process becomes easier. 

Who is your audience?

Discovering who your audience is for the product is an essential step. Finding out all the information can help with understanding the potential of the product.

You’ll learn if there’s a bigger market for your product and know who to sell to.

Have you made any sales? 

Not jumping right into selling is a good idea, however, getting a few stocks of product can be beneficial. It will let you test the market and give you the confidence that your product can make sales.

Understanding these questions can help you gain better insight into your potential customers and help you decide if the product you have thought of is worth pursuing. 

If you’re looking to learn more about the process of starting an ecommerce business check out our article “How to Start an Ecommerce Business”.