How to Choose a Niche and a Product
Okay, so now you understand the logistics of these logistics… you understand how to set up your Amazon account, you know the steps involved in the storage and the delivery, and you are ready to start sourcing and selling your products. At this point, the next important step is to actually choose your products and decide what you want to sell.
There are many factors to consider here. It’s essential that you take your time: the decision you ultimately make will dictate the trajectory and success (or otherwise) of your business going forward. So how do you pick your niche and your product?
I use the term “niche” because this is the internet marketing term you may be familiar with. In this case, though, “industry” would be more appropriate. The product you sell is broadly going to fall into a category, whether that be fitness, health, money, fashion, grooming, pets, technology, or something else. The industry you choose should be your first decision, as it will help you to narrow down the kinds of products you’re going to sell and who you will sell to. Keep in mind that you can likely find everything from extremely cheap items to “big ticket” items, no matter what industry you choose. For instance, if you choose to sell tech products, you could sell styluses and phone cases or sell super-powerful computers! Don’t let this be a factor that sways your decision then. Common advice for authors is to “write what you know.” This also applies here!
If you want to be successful, then choose a niche that you know inside out will help a huge amount. Not only does this allow you to choose products that you can appreciate yourself (meaning it’s likely to appeal to other people like you), but you’ll also be able to test it more thoroughly. Moreover, if you’re going to be content marketing and running social media accounts, then you’re going to need to spend a lot of time reading and writing about the topic you’ve invested in. If you aren’t interested in that subject matter, then this will come across, and you’ll find it much harder to become a thought leader.
Finally, if you already have a platform such as a blog, Facebook page, or YouTube channel, then, of course, you’re going to want to leverage that by creating products you can sell to that same audience. Other considerations include demographics (who buy these products), whether the product category satisfies a need or a want, and how broadly appealing the niche is. The best advice for that latter question is to choose a category that balances the line between being too big and competitive and being too focused and narrow.
Choosing the Best Product Types
Once you have your industry or product category, the next thing to consider is the actual specific product you want to sell. So if you’re in fitness, are you going to sell dumbbells, resistance machines, protein shakes, or something else entirely. Again, this comes down to many of the same factors as before:
• Does the product make sense considering your own interests and any audience you’ve built?
• Is the product broadly appealing within your niche, without being too over-saturated?
• Is this something that people really NEED or something they WANT? Is there an emotional drive behind that WANT?
Consider the value of a “consumable” product such as a protein shake. These need to be replenished, and so if your buyers like what you offer, they can provide you with a steady, ongoing source of income!
We’ll look at the individual pros and cons of specific items in terms of profits in the next chapter. But for now, some useful considerations to keep in mind are the value of the product. A much more expensive product will require a bigger investment and will sell less frequently, but it will help you to make a bigger profit in a shorter timeframe (assuming it sells). Larger items are also more expensive to ship (size and value don’t always correlate). More expensive items are more difficult to replace as well.
Likewise, a less expensive product will let you invest in a much larger inventory, which in turn will mean you need to handle freight forwarding less often. A good rule of thumb is to start with a less expensive product and work your way up. This will allow you to increase your total assets for reinvesting, and it will let you gain experience where the stakes are a little bit lower. Eventually, having a spread of different value products will make your business more resilient, and will mean you can appeal to all types of customers (it will also let you create a “funnel” of sorts).
Doing a bit of market research on Amazon is also always a good idea. A great tool is one called Jungle Scout (www.junglescout.com). This will let you do a deep search of Amazon to see the listings on Amazon and how much they are each selling per month. The service is a little expensive ($69) but you can always cancel it once you’ve done your research and chosen your products!
Again though, scratch your own itch! Think about what sells well, but also what you would actually use – and what you can really appreciate as being a useful thing to own.