Finding a popular product that will sell consistently over time is a strategy that many Amazon sellers use.
There’s good sense behind this – those types of products are good for all seasons and don’t tend to experience the sharp lulls that other products do.
However, this is not the only game in town. While many Amazon sellers are leery of selling “trendy” products, there are good numbers of sellers who are making decent money out of doing so.
If you’d got onto Hatchimals before Christmas 2016, you’d have probably found yourself selling out like these brothers from Arizona who cashed in. In 2013, Rainbow Looms were a thing, and every year there are product trends in other categories too.
How can you cash in on product trends too? Let’s take a look:
Pros and cons of trending products
First of all, it’s helpful to be fully aware of the associated pros and cons when you’re dealing with trending profits. By their very nature, trends are fast-moving so if you’re going to do business this way, it’s a different experience to finding a solid long-term product.
From a practical standpoint, we would recommend that you don’t have selling trending products as the only thing you do. It can be good as part of a diversified business strategy, but it is risky on its own.
Pros of investing in trending products
- You can make excellent profits in a short period of time. Trending products like Hatchimals were selling out everywhere, so if you time it just right, you’ll find people beating down your door for the product.
- Small sellers have the potential to transform a relatively small investment into something much greater, giving them the opportunity to grow their business.
- The product is already an established winner in the market.
Cons of trending products
- Your timing needs to be very precise. Trends are fleeting in nature so if you’re too late, you’re going to end up with stock you need to heavily discount.
- Competition can be fierce among sellers if others have caught onto the same trend.
- Intense competition can lead to a race to the bottom in terms of price. It has also lead to dirty tactics at times, such as deliberate bad reviews.
- Trending products are not a long-term business strategy. They are often around for just one season.
- Getting into trending products can take a lot more monitoring and organizing. You’ve got to identify the trend, find a way you can get in on it and figure out how to source the product.
Who should sell trending products?
Given these pros and cons, you can start to paint a picture of whether or not trending products will be suitable for you. Generally speaking, sellers who are very perceptive and quick to notice trends will do better.
Those sellers should also be relatively agile and prepared to quickly make decisions and invest in inventory. It’s usually a matter of timing with product trends, so if you can quickly enter a market and build customers, you can get a jump on competitors.
Hatchimals – image source, Amazon.com.
How to discover trending products
Let’s begin by being brutally honest – it’s not easy to discover the right product at the right time. You need to have the time to be paying attention and the perceptiveness to know a good thing when you see it.
That being said, here are a few ways to discover those trending products:
Look around you
Many sellers have caught onto trends early simply by paying attention to what’s happening in their own neighborhoods or listening to the buzz coming from their own kids. In the story we mentioned earlier, the brothers who sold the Hatchimals had noticed them because one of their kids was talking about them.
With Q4 being the biggest selling period for most sellers, if you want to get in on a toy craze like the Arizona brothers did, it’s important to notice what kids are talking about in August or September. This is how quick you need to be – you’ve only got a short time to source product and have it sent into Amazon on time.
If you have a product in mind, you can gauge how popular it might be by searching for it on Google Trends. You can view search volumes and generally get an overview of whether searches are trending up or down over time.
As a bonus with Google Trends, you can hone in on geographic locations to check the popularity of a product there. This can help you to be targeted with any advertising you do of the product.
If you see the trend graph showing a downward slope, this should be taken as a warning that the product may actually be on the way out.
One of the most valuable relationships all sellers have apart from that with their customers is with their suppliers. There are a number of benefits to ensuring you build good supplier relationships, but one is that it can be like having extra fingers on the pulse.
If you’ve developed a solid rapport with your suppliers, the chances are they might talk to you about the product trends they are seeing. What is being ordered in large quantities? What is trending in their part of the world that hasn’t quite made it to yours yet?
Talk with people and keep an open mind. If your suppliers are giving you a heads-up, it’s time to look a bit deeper into the product.
Influencers in your niche
Popular bloggers, vloggers, podcasters and other influencers in your niche can be great sources to find on-trend products. Pay attention to the products they are backing or promoting – what do they talk about or post on their social media channels?
There are influencers for niches out there who have millions of followers, so if they’re promoting something, there’s a good chance that it will catch on. Pay attention to what it is that the influencer admires about the product or brand they’re promoting – this will give you a good idea as to what people are looking for and what to highlight when marketing.
If you’re not too sure where to find those influencers, there are some good tools available for you to find them. Buzzsumo helps you to find popular content and who wrote it. You can search using keywords for a niche you are interested in.
Influence.co is a search tool which helps to identify influencers by category, location or both who are popular on Instagram. It’s as easy as searching for your preferred niche, then getting a list of possible matches.
There are a number of different trend publications and blogs which feature up and coming products. Many of these exist in order to help online sellers find the next big thing. Look for those which have some good data behind them and a solid following.
Here are a few suggestions:
Unboxed – If you’re into the tech niche, this is a good place to come to check out the latest in tech trends. As an aside here, there are now a number of sites which do “unboxing”, so there is bound to be one within your own niche.
Uncrate – This site is targeted at men’s style and interests in particular.
Trend Hunter – This is an online community with a large following, dedicated to sharing trends.
Springwise – With access to precision tools and data, Springwise is on top of the hottest trends.
Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay make it easy to spot trends by producing lists of popular products. For example, check out eBay’s top products and Amazon’s lists; hot new releases, movers and shakers, most gifted and most wished for.
For more insight into how a product is doing on Amazon, try a tool such as Jungle Scout to filter through the thousands of products and find what sells.
Look for related products
Sometimes it pays to think laterally when it comes to trending products. For example, rather than selling the main product itself, is there a side-product that you can cash in on?
For example, Crocs shoes were a popular trend for kids. As an extension of that trend, charms for the shoes caught on.
Other products might have something that goes with them that will require extras or refills. For example, those Rainbow Looms needed extra colored rubber bands and some sellers cashed in selling extra head bands for the popular game, Hedbanz. Sometimes it pays to think in terms of related products!
Selling trending products on Amazon is not the easiest thing to crack, but it can be very profitable if you’re able to get in on the right products at the right time.
If you are perceptive, observant of trends and agile enough to be able to move quickly to stake your own market, then you can do nicely with trending products.
As a core strategy, trending products would be difficult to build a reliable business from, so we suggest trying it as an additional strategy for your current business. It can provide you with a nice cash injection, especially during Q4.