Making product choices can be tricky. Everyone wants to have products that customers want to buy – products that bring in sales and profits. But how can you predict what’s going to be hot, especially if there aren’t any discernible trends yet?
Here are some ways for getting a firmer grasp of the market to help decide what you want to offer.
==> Talk to Vendors and Suppliers
One of the best things you could do is pick up the phone and give your vendors or suppliers a call. While you might only sell to one metropolitan area or one specific online sub-market, chances are your vendors are in touch with a much wider market.
They’ll know what’s currently selling all over the country. They’ll know which products are picking up in demand. They’ll know which products are selling like hotcakes.
Get on good terms with manufacturers, wholesalers, vendors and suppliers. They can be a godsend when you’re trying to pick products.
==> Research Products on Google Trends
Head over to Google Trends and type in the product names that you’re considering selling. Check and see whether more or fewer people are looking for the product each month.
Ideally, you’re looking for products with an upward trend, but which aren’t oversaturated in the market yet.
==> Talk to Your Customers
Talk to your customers about what they’re excited about next year. What items would the buy if you stocked them?
Try talking to your customers in person, as well as sending digital surveys to your customer list.
==> Monitor Your Website’s Search
Keep a log of all the search queries performed on your website’s search box. If you notice people regularly searching for products on your site that your site doesn’t offer, that’s probably a good indication that you should stock those items.
==> Check Out Your Competitors
Check out your competitors, both online and offline. What are they stocking? What aren’t they stocking?
Seeing one competitor do something might not be a great indication that you should do it too. But if a whole slew of competitors are all doing the same thing, then you should probably pay attention. Chances are they’re catching on to a trend that you aren’t aware of yet.
==> Err on High Profit Margins and Consumable Products
If you’re ever in doubt between several products to stock, all else being equal aim to stock items that have a high profit margin and are consumable. Consumable products need to be purchased again and again, which results in a lot of repeat sales.
Use these techniques to get a better sense for where your market is at. There’s no crystal ball to see into the future, but these tactics should make it a whole lot easier to predict what will sell and what won’t.