Where to Find Good Ecommerce Product Trends

Best Places To Find Ecommerce Product Ideas

Deciding to dive into the world of online retail and ecommerce was unfortunately the easy part. Now you have to figure out what is going to make you stand out online, or at least what you are going to sell. You will have to come up with something that is desired by people so that it will sell, but also a product that you will be able to manufacture or acquire with relative ease and low costs in order to turn a profit.

Unfortunately, we can’t just summon an idea into our brains – they sometimes seem to hit us at rather impromptu moments, but more usually it seems that entrepreneurs will be examining and analysing the markets around them. For an experienced entrepreneur, this might become an easy task over time, but for a newcomer to small businesses and online businesses, it will take a lot of searching and contemplation to come up with the products or services that are perfect for you.

It may seem a bit aimless at first, and if you have found yourself asking “Where do I start looking?” then you have come to the right place. In this article I have compiled a list of some of the best resources that would certainly be useful for new entrepreneurs to give your startup online business some direction.

It may seem a bit aimless at first, and if you have found yourself asking “Where do I start looking?” then you have come to the right place. In this article I have compiled a list of some of the best resources that would certainly be useful for new entrepreneurs to give your startup online business some direction.

However, as you read this list it’s important to keep two things in mind:

  1. Niche markets exist and are extremely viable options for many startup businesses. Even big businesses will often adopt niche marketing tactics and techniques as they believe that there is a big enough potential consumer base and profit to be made. Many popular products and services have already found their markets and demographic, and breaking into this and getting your business seen and heard would prove to be very difficult. Niche marketing strategies will allow you to target a much more focused market and deal with little to no competition. It would be a great to begin building up your business, so keep it in mind as you’re generating ideas.
  2. As you look at different categories of product, it will be important to look beyond what everyone else is currently doing within that industry and look for room to innovate or to offer a unique angle through your business. Again, you will be dealing with lots of competition in a more popular or common industry or product category and so looking at what different spins you can put on any product you would offer within these categories will be key to your success. For example, Netflix began to enter the DVD market by offering a postal DVD rental service through via the internet, but were able to innovate on a market that was growing stagnant by creating a film and television streaming platform.

The following list will detail ten of, in my opinion, the best places to find inspiration as an entrepreneur. As you go through the list I would encourage you to keep a list nearby of any ideas that might hit you as you’re reading. Once you have them all put to paper you can revisit them at the end of the article and carry out a SWOT analysis, identifying their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, respectively.

  • Start With What You Already Have

Before you scroll any further through the list, it’s important to first explore and evaluate any ideas that you have already been contemplating. Even ideas that you have previously discounted are worth taking a fresh new look at again. It’s likely that since then you have grown as an entrepreneur and so might see some new vitality or viable in these previously defunct ideas. As you’re writing this list, you should ask yourself a few questions about the idea itself.

  • What product categories or markets do you have a huge interest in or are passionate about?
  • What product categories or markets are your friends interested in or passionate about?
  • What do find in your own day-to-day life that you feel you could improve, in a way that would be marketable to others?

Example: Max had an issue when he would wake up every morning, finding his hair to be messy and unable to be styled but not having the time to spend on a shower so that he could style it. He intended to fix his own daily pain by coming up with the idea for Morning Head, a shower cap that you can soak in water, place on your head and rub around you get your hair wet and prepared to be styled.

In this way, Max was able to create a product that not only solved a problem in his own day-to-day life but a problem that also must have affected many other. This made Morning Head marketable, and due to the nature of the product, likely profitable. Perhaps you have your own day-to-day troubles the could be solved with a clever invention?

  1. Your Local Community: Maybe for your first business venture you will consider that you might not need a “new” idea at all. Taking a walk around your local city or town you will see a massive variety of thriving retail stores, many of which doing nothing different to their dozens of counterparts in the area. Analysing what is and working for physical stores around you and adapting the successful aspects of their business to your ecommerce store can oftentimes be more than enough to ensure some startup success, allowing you to build a safety net before exploring more niche or difficult markets. Talk to people in your area too; conducting field research via surveys or just asking people’s opinions can be an invaluable resource for a budding entrepreneur.

Example: A company that perfectly fits this advice is Yummy Tummy Soup Company. YTSC saw an opportunity when they realised that the artisan and homemade food markets were growing and seized the opportunity to take similar products online. They offer packages of homemade baked goods, soups and pastries to be delivered to your door and enjoyed. YTSC is a great example of taking a working retail concept online, and are especially important as you would think that a mail-order food service could be difficult to operate, a challenge which they overcome by making food every day and transporting them in temperature controlled trucks.

  1. Online Consumer Trend Publications: Watching consumer trends is a great way to predict what will be the next big hit for consumers, as well as seeing what is currently on the up or down with consumers’ likes. You will also be able to follow online trend publications to see what other entrepreneurs dealing with similar products to you are bringing to the market. This will enable you to begin competing or removing yourself from any market or product category that you feel confident in or unsure of. In short, following online trend publications will be an invaluable resource for you as a budding entrepreneur. There are a handful of online trend publications that I would like to personally recommend:
  • Trend Hunter – Trend Hunter is the largest trend community in the world. With nearly 200,000 members and many millions of fans, Trend Hunter has become of a hive of both entrepreneurs looking for inspiration and those of us simply wondering what’s trending.
  • Springwise – Springwise has a team of more than 20,000 so-called ‘Springspotters’ scattered across 190 countries in the world, constantly hunting for new and exciting ideas being employed and innovated in in areas you would never normally see. Springwise has people travel the world for people like you, looking for ideas, and has them published both daily and weekly in informative newsletters, documenting the world’s latest and greatest trends. Springwise is a great utility for those among you who are looking to be entering niche markets, as you will be able to examine on a countrywide basis and research what trends are going to be taking off in specific countries. Even better, their newsletter is available completely free, making it what will be an integral resource in our search for a new business idea.
  • Trend Watching – Trend Watching operate with a similar method to Springwise, with 3,000+ of their own trend spotters positioned in over 180 countries across the globe. Their services will also allow you to examine growing trends in different countries across the world and allow forward thinking entrepreneurs to anticipate and prepare for these trends, positioning themselves in a way that they will certainly profit from it.

Example: One such company that adopted another country’s trend and brought it to their own domestic country is Inkkas . Inkkas are unique shoes that are created using authentic South American materials. The idea originated when the entrepreneur noticed that this type of shoe was beginning to trend in Peru, and so he brought the idea over to North America, where he successfully Kickstarted it.

  1. Industry Leaders: If you have come into this article already knowing what area of business you would like to focus on, which industry you would like to be involved, then it would do you a great deal of benefit to follow the current leaders of that industry in any way you can. Nowadays social media and the internet make it very easy to be constantly in touch with influencers and leaders, and perhaps receiving a constant stream of thoughts and opinions as these people that you are essentially aspiring to be will get you in the creative frame of mind.
  1. Product Review and Trend Discovery Sites: Sites like the ones I will list shortly can often be a wonderful source of information and new ideas for products to sell for many entrepreneurs. Every day these sites will give you a look at products that are breaking into the market or ones that would be found desirable by their respective demographics. It is important not only to concern yourself with mainstream review sites, but again to pay special attention to sites that specialise in reviewing niche products. Take a look at a few of these sites:
  • Bless This Stuff
  • Firebox
  • Werd 
  • Uncrate 
  • HiConsumption
  • Gear Moose 
  • Cool Material
  • Outblush 

There are many more sites like these out there on the web, so think of a few industries that you are passionate about and try to find some review sites that have an angle towards these industries.

  1. Social Curation Sites: Websites like fiverr and Pinterest offer you a unique look into what people want to buy. Fiverr is an interesting example as it gives us an idea of the value that people place on certain things: everything on the site starts costing only $5, and some people are so lucrative when utilising fiverr that they make a living from it. It will also give you potential ideas for some cheap-and-cheerful niche goodies that you could begin stocking for your own ecommerce store.

Similarly Pinterest allows us to examine an image based social networks that revolves around sharing things that you want to buy with your friends. Essentially at times Pinterest can be a sample market right before your eyes, and even includes a popular section so that you can what’s trending.

Social media curation sites can prove to be very helpful when narrowing down product ideas and focuses, so here are a couple more that you could check out:

Polyvore: This social curation site has a unique twist, allowing its massive userbase of more than 80 million to create sets of items that they think would go well together, allowing you to examine not just singular ideas but whole bundles of potential products.

Wanelo: Wanelo, short for Want – Need – Love, touts itself as a community for the entire globe’s shopping, adopting Pinterest’s format and presentation but instead focusing on items and stores.

  1. Business to Business Wholesale Marketplaces: A massive amount of startups simply make their money by dropshipping: buying from a wholesaler and immediately selling the wholesale items on their own site, at a profit. Websites like Alibaba and Aliexpress allow you to browse thousands upon thousands of different products, along with options to view what’s popular and trending. Their ability to offer cheap tech is also desirable among western markets, with the only difficulty being receiving the goods. This could potentially be where you step in, having a certain amount of Alibaba stock on hand ready to ship at much faster rates than what Alibaba themselves are capable of.

Alibaba is considered to be most popular of these online wholesalers, manufacturing many of their products in Asia where costs are low and exporting all around the world. However, there are other sites in a similar vein to Alibaba that allow you source products for cheap and flip for a nice profit.

  1. Online Consumer Marketplaces: You are already familiar with many of the world’s most popular online consumer marketplaces, as are the majority of people on Earth, making them a fantastic resource for entrepreneurial inspiration. Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress and more allow you to sort by various different departments – Computers, Books, Furniture, etc – and take a look at what are the bestselling items within each of these departments. On one website, this would give you a nice idea of what demographic of consumer are buying from this website. However, having access to a multitude of these different sites will enable you to crosscheck the bestselling lists with each site, building a comprehensive idea of what is trending across any and all websites. This knowledge will ensure that you pick a product that will sell well for your business venture.
  1. Social Forum Communities: The internet is full of places to have discourse with likeminded people, and these such places can be great places to find inspiration for your new idea. Reddit is perhaps the largest of these online forums, even dubbing itself as “the frontpage of the internet” and its influence can be massive. Reddit has thousands of ‘subreddits’ – think of these as subforums – which cater to specific niches and things that people are into. There is a subreddit for almost everything. Reddit can be a great place to search your existing passions and interests in order to find a community of like minded people from which you can generate new ideas. Even posts on very broad subreddits, asking questions of its users like “What $10 or less purchase has had a positive influence on your life” can receive thousands of responses, and each of these responses can be upvoted and downvoted. Essentially, you can get massive examples of people’s opinions from Reddit.

There are other similar forums such as Buy It For Life that aggregate items that are high quality and built to last, something that consumers are on the lookout for in a world where planned obsolescence seems to be becoming more and more commonplace.

  1. Instagram: This might come as a surprise to many of you, but Instagram is used for a lot more than selfies and pictures of your friends’ meals. Instagram is also an interesting option when it comes to looking at social product trends. Its nice presentation and variety of platforms that it’s available on allow you to browse through lots of photos quickly and on the go. Instagram can be filtered similarly to Twitter:
  • Product Curation Accounts – Yes, there are accounts on Instagram specifically to post specially curated products and this is to your benefit. These accounts can provide a lot of insight into products that would be likely to perform well in online sales and due to Instagram’s young demographic will also likely themselves target a younger market. It would be a good idea to again begin by searching within industries and product categories that you are already passionate about.
  • Hashtag – Again, one of your own specific interests would be the best way to begin your searching through Instagram via hashtags. You could also try hashtags that are extremely general such as ‘#shopping’, ‘#instashop’ or ‘#wishlist’.

I hope that you have found this article useful. If you look in just a few of the places that I have detailed above I truly believe that you will find inspiration, and this inspiration will, in turn, lead to success in whatever business venture you end up setting your heart on.