What makes the perfect Amazon product?
The product that hits page 1, sells, dominates, and makes you feel like…
The perfect product has 2 things:
(1) Great physical specs and
(2) Great Amazon market conditions.
So today, we’re going to look at what specs and market conditions you should look for, then I’ll give you some actionable tips to find product ideas.
(1) Great physical specs
A few pounds, max. The lighter, the less money you lose in shipping and duty fees.
> Fits in your pocket.
Or at the very least, a shoebox. This avoids excessive shipping and Amazon storage fees down the line.
> Profitable to sell.
Buy low, sell high. Aim for a retail price of $25 to $100. This leaves room for profit, but isn’t expensive enough for buyers to have to consult anyone before purchasing. As for margins, aim to make at least $15 in profit on a $30 product. Remember to account for product cost, shipping fees, duty fees, Amazon fees, and currency exchange rates (if applicable). For example, the Canadian dollar is weak right now. Go Raptors.
> Not patented.
Check out Google Patents to get a sense of whether your item has been patented, or has other IP issues. Of course, Google Patents isn’t an exhaustive patent search nor is this isn’t legal advice; consult a licensed attorney.
> Brandable and customizable.
You can improve the physical form without great expense. For example, you should be able to add a brand logo to it (hence the term “private label”), a helpful modification, a handle, a protective case, a foam coating. Fixed form factors like diecast metals and plastic made from molds leave less room for differentiation, which is bad.
> Not at Wal-Mart.
Ideally, buyers can’t get this item in big box stores and are forced to buy online — which means Amazon, which means you.
> No instructions needed.
The customer should know what to do straight out of the box. Go ahead: include your free PDF guide. But ultimately, your product should be drop-dead simple.
> Can be re-ordered.
Better yet: it’s something that can be used, enjoyed, and then re-ordered. After all, the second sale is easier to make than the first.
> Simple tech.
Consider avoiding charging and batteries, as more can go wrong. Tech that doesn’t work will hurt reviews down the line.
> Passes a stress test.
Can it survive a drop from a building? Yes. Is it safe in the hands of a toddler? Yes. So it won’t break during shipping, resulting in better reviews and fewer customer service issues.
> Single SKU.
Imagine you start out with 3 sizes and 3 colors: small red, medium red, big red. Small blue, medium blue, big blue. Small yellow, medium yellow, big yellow. That’s effectively 9 products to keep stocked at all times. Start with medium red and if it does well, roll cash into variations.
Let’s look at a perfect example of good physical specs: silicone wedding rings.
Fits in your pocket.
No IP issues.
Wal-Mart does have them, but only 5 listings right now.
Intuitive to use.
Won’t break in shipping and could survive being dropped from the CN Tower. Go Raptors.
Sounds great! Why don’t we all private label silicone wedding rings?
And now the market looks like this:
Still potentially profitable, but competitive.
Which brings us to the other half of the equation: market conditions.
A good product without the right market conditions won’t sell. So what does a perfect Amazon market look like?
(2) Great Amazon market conditions
> No household names.
If there’s a strong brand that people associate with the product keyword, stay out. Duracell. Kleenex. Sharpie. This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes a dinosaur market needs an asteroid or two.
> The product has multiple keywords.
The product is searched for, found, and purchased through various keywords. Synonyms, if you will. You’ll benefit from this when it comes time to optimize your listing for search and run Amazon paid ads.
Check Google Trends for the product ideas you’re considering. Is the trend going up or down? If they’re ascending because of consumer preferences or current events and the trend will continue, that’s good. If it’s in decline, stay away.
> You can build a brand around it.
The product you pick must be the start of a cohesive product line. Don’t make it a one-off, then sell something in a different category. Make it part of a larger vision because you can cross-sell customers who buy initial product A with similar product B.
> Presentation can be improved.
You can improve the branding, presentation, packaging, and information of competitors. You’ll know if this is the case because page 1 for the keyword will look… well, ugly. Unoptimized. Short titles, poor quality photos, priced too high, priced too low.
> You’re an insider.
If you’re a member of the target demographic for the product, you’ll know what the market needs, and that’s an advantage over Jim in marketing who sells yoga mats but has never done downward dog pose and doesn’t know what kale tastes like. Study your bank statements for the last 6 months. What hobby or niche have you spent a disproportionate amount of money on? Gaming? Superfoods? Fashion? Whatever it is, see if you can find a product that fits the physical specs we talked about.
> Thriving FBA sellers.
You want to know that someone’s succeeded in the niche as a proof of concept. Not too successful, but somewhat. You can be the Apple to their Samsung. Samsung does it first, Apple does it better. Add 999 units of the product to your cart every day for a week, so Amazon gives you the inventory count. Use the Chrome extension Keepa to track BSRs of various Amazon products over time. In Keepa, you’re looking for a history of low BSRs. The lower the bar is (i.e. the closer to BSR #1), the better the product’s performed over time.
> High RPR.
“Revenue per review.” The idea is this: high revenue is ok, but high revenue and low review count is better. To calculate RPR:
(1) Find the market leader’s monthly revenue (e.g. the top seller makes $24,000).
(2) Divide their revenue by the number of reviews they have (e.g. $24,000/45 reviews).
(3) The RPR (revenue per review) is $533. That’s a great RPR. What does it mean? If you compete with a similarly optimized listing, for every review you get you “earn” $533 if you eventually overtake that competitor.
Not a perfect metric, but produces clear ‘YES/NO’ decisions when looking for private label ideas.
Just know: low RPR is bad, high RPR is good.
And now, you know what to look for: the ideal specs and the perfect market conditions. And now, tips on finding new product ideas.
Finding new ideas
– go to a Wal-Mart or Target and browse the shelves. Now that you know what to look for, you can find physical objects that fit that description.
– look outside of the Western world, at local Chinese supermarkets. Sometimes they’re ahead of the curve. And if there’s no Chinese supermarket nearby… yes there is because Aliexpress.
– don’t look in Amazon’s top 100. Everyone looks there. Find niche products that appeal to a specific type of person. It helps if you are such a person. Anyone can think to sell a soccer ball but what about darts? Boomerangs? Rock climbing stuff? Boating accessories?
– Keep clicking. Maybe start in the top 100, but click away to product after product. Go layers deep, and find the untapped markets.
– add modifiers to searches. For example, instead of just “backpack”, search: “industrial backpack”, “commercial backpack”, “bulk backpack”, “kids backpack”, “novelty backpack”, “special backpack”, “backpack accessories”, “backpack alternative”, “better backpack”, etc.
– use auto-completion. Start typing a product name or category, and see what Amazon fills in for you.