FIND PRODUCT IDEAS WITH EASE
In the beginning step of starting up a business, you may wonder: What products should I sell? Which products will attract customers? Which products will bring more profit and suitable for your business situation? Internet is a great start for you to look for your big product ideas but as a new entrepreneur, where do you kick off?
Aimlessly searching online won’t get you anywhere, so here are 17 places where your ideas begin:
Start with what you have
Before searching for something, let’s start with product ideas that you already have in mind.
Maybe it’s a product or idea you’ve had for years. Maybe it exists in a half-written business plan somewhere on your computer. Even if you haven’t satisfied with those, it’s worth taking a new look at it.
Below are some questions may help you making decision of business ideas:
- What products, niches or industry you are particularly interested in?
- Identify pain points and challenges. If there’s a problem, solve it. Take a look at which pain points in your life, or the pain points of those around you. Active Hound, for example, stepped in to solve the challenge of dog toys that were easily chewed and destroyed. Dog owners would become frustrated with unreliable products, and the growth of expenses. That product was based on this one specific pain point.
- What products, niches or industries are your friends passionate about?
Your local community
Sometimes, you don’t need a new idea at all. Look around your community and take note of what new or interesting retail concepts people are talking about. Your local newspapers can also be a great resource for this type of news and information.
Example: Grocery-delivery service InstaCart is a perfect example of a company that saw a way to take a brick and mortar concept and put it online. Though many consumers may be apprehensive to online grocery shopping, InstaCart partners with brick and mortar retail stores so customers are still shopping from the same grocery store they know and love. This also supports the small business movement, allowing customers to buy from select local grocers.
Online consumer trend publications
Start your search for product ideas by looking at some top consumer product trend publications. Following trend publications is a great way to begin getting a sense of the direction consumer products are going and the trending product ideas other entrepreneurs are introducing to the market. By doing this, you can gain knowledge about categories and industries that you did not know before.
You can find trends in here: TrendWatching,Trend Hunter, PSFK
If you know the industry or niche you would like to be in you can use various tools to discover the influencers in the industry. Following the right people on social media can inspire new ideas through content of well-known people. It’s up to you to uncover the opportunities.
There are several online tools you can use to discover the influencers online for a particular industry or niche: FollowerWonk, AllTop
Product review and trend discovery sites
Product review and discovery sites can also be a fantastic source for product and internet business ideas. Sites like Uncrate (men’s products) and AHALife (luxury products) are great ways to see new product trends daily.
Here are examples of popular product blogs to get you started: Uncrate, AHALife, Bless This Stuff, Cool Material, GearMoose, Werd, HiConsumption, Firebox
Social curation sites
Polyvore and other similar image curation sites can be exploited for product and niche ideas. Many of the images contain interesting, new and trending businesses and consumer products. You should use the built in social signals to get a sense almost immediately of their popularity. This could be your first clue if there is a market for the product ideas or niche.
Several of the larger social curations sites that may inspire niche business ideas are: Fancy, Wishlistr
B2B wholesale marketplaces
What better way to get product ideas than right from the source? Wholesale and manufacturer sourcing sites lead you to thousands of potential products ideas. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of products available, so take it slow.
Some other B2B wholesale marketplaces include:Alibaba, Oberlo, TradeKey, Global Sources, Made-in-China, Wholesale Central
Online consumer marketplaces
Another rich source for product ideas are online consumer marketplaces. Millions of products is probably an understatement, so you may want to begin your search with some of the popular and trending items. Here are some popular markets that you may interested in: eBay, Amazon, Kickstarter, Etsy, AliExpress, Jet
Social forum communities
Social forum communities are where people gather and discuss many aspects of life. This is the place can not be forgotten when talking about new ideas. One of the most popular social community you must know right now is Reddit ( with sub reddit that very useful: Buy It For Life, Shut Up And Take My Money, The Best of Amazon, The Best of Amazon Canada, Weird Stuff on Amazon, Find It On Amazon, Amazon Under 25)
Another inspired community with huge informative data is Quora. Quora is a community question-and-answer site, “a place to gain and share knowledge,” as the company says. Essentially, users come to Quora to ask and answer questions about pretty much anything and everything. Quora also shows which topics and questions are trending, as well as a count of the total number of answers (each with a number of upvotes and downvotes from the community).
Some other famous industry forum sites: The Fashion Spot, Nerd Fitness Rebellion, Geeks to Go
Social media networks
Social media networks is an useful tool for you search of ideas and niche.
- You can use hashtag to search for a particular interest in a product category or industry.
- There are many accounts on Instagram that post curated product content. Like many other examples above, you’ll likely want to search for and find accounts within the niches you are particularly interested in.
- If you already have a business page on one or more social media platform, you may be able to use your audience insights data to find ecommerce business ideas. Understand which pages, hobbies, interests and other characteristics they have in common and brainstorm products.
- Instagram is also an interesting option for inspiring product and ecommerce business ideas. Because of it’s photo-based, it’s easy to scan through many ideas photo quickly.
- Facebook still has the most active users out of any social media platform. In addition to hashtags, trending topics and popular pages, check out which Facebook groups are popular in your niche.
- Pinterest users are browsing, shopping and buying, making it an ideal spot to research popular products and trends. The average order of value of sales coming through Pinterest is higher than any other social channel.
- Snapchat ideal for a younger demographic. Use the Discover option to find out what the Snapchat community is talking about and follower influencers in your niche to gain more insight into their needs and motivations.
- Twitter trends will be helpful in finding new ecommerce business ideas. You’ll be able to see what’s popular in your network or a chosen location. Furthermore, you can see trends on the left-hand side at twitter.com or as Explore option on the mobile app.
Besides, here are some other social media networks: Houzz, MapMyFitness, Untappd, Care2, WAYN
On-site and third-party customer reviews
If you already have a business (online or in real life), check out your own customer reviews. Savvy entrepreneurs consider customer recommendations, the motivation behind it, and respond accordingly.
If you don’t have any reviews of your own to consider, look at reviews of companies and products in your niche. Identify commonalities, paying careful attention to customer complaints, and determine how you can create a product that will address those concerns. Amazon is an especially great place to find honest customer reviews.
SEO analytics and insights
Search engine optimization (SEO), insights can show you what’s trending on search globally or targeted to specific geographic locations. Google has a number of free and paid tools you can use: Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, Google search
Consumer lifestyle publications
Consumer-facing publications in your industry can reveal a lot about a market segment and what’s trending. Consider what these publications are talking about and which articles resonate most with the audience. To find out which articles are most popular, look at how many comments, social media engagements, or social media shares the content has received. The more popular articles could inspire niche market ideas.
Learn from the successes of your competitors and popular businesses in your chosen industry. Which products have they launched with the most success? Why were they so successful? Sometimes, brands will share the why and how behind new products.
Also, don’t forget to examine their community. Who is their audience and why do they love those products?
Surveys are one of the best ways to get qualitative and quantitative insights into an audience. Craft questions about the problems and challenges they face, which products they love most and why, and what they wish they had to enhance their everyday life. Keep a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions that will let you inside respondents’ heads. Use this information when you brainstorm your ecommerce business ideas.
Here are some tools you can use to create and distribute your survey: SurveyMonkey, Google Surveys, SurveyGizmo, Zoho Survey, Typeform
Crowdsourcing is along similar lines as surveying, except when it comes to crowdsourcing, you’re asking for ideas more overtly. LEGO Ideas is a prime example of a brand that uses crowdsourcing to find new product ideas to sell. Consumers can submit their ideas for LEGO sets, and the site also features popular and successful ideas. Create your own crowdsourced ideas or look to those hubs for inspiration.
If you want to organize your own crowdsourcing campaign for product ideas to sell, check out the following: InnoCentive, Chaordix, IdeaConnection
Look to the past
One way to learn is from the past. Through examining history and old trends, you can come up with a list of revived product ideas to sell. This is one tactic that Dogfish Head Craft Brewery came up with their product series of Ancient Ales, which uses old-school brewing techniques.
But history doesn’t necessarily mean historical events and techniques. It’s also about pop culture trends. In fashion especially, we often see the resurgence of trends, and consumers love nostalgia. Choker necklaces have made a comeback, and countless movie and TV show reboots have created renewed interest and passion for consumers. You can evoke this sense of nostalgia through a product that is no longer available or highlights a seemingly forgotten subject likely to inspire fond memories.
As you go through all the resources listed in this post, it’s best to capture all of your ideas on paper. Once you have all of your brainstormed ideas recorded, you will be able to return to them later and evaluate them for viability and potential.
While searching for new product ideas, make sure to look beyond the products themselves. It may sound cliche but as we learned in Strategies for Finding Your First Profitable Product, there is heavy competition in the most common and popular product categories. Choosing a different or unique angle can be instrumental to your success. Try not to just look at products, rather look for potential in the product category. Consider new markets, new features and new ways to use the products.
Don’t be afraid to look at smaller product categories and niches. Even though a niche is a smaller subset of a larger category with less potential customers, it makes up for that by way of less competitors and a more targeted audience. Less competition makes it easier to get to the top of Google, and is usually more cost effective and efficient to advertise to your customers.