By Mic Burns, Customer Success Manager
In the previous blog on product sourcing, we discussed some of the weaknesses and challenges of sourcing. In this post, I’ll cover some of the tools you can use to research your products.
You can take a lot of the manual work out of these insight processes and eliminate some of the guess work by using tools like Terapeak (eBay) and AMZShark (amazon).
Our quick start advice is to ignore the “hot research” menu item totally, and drive straight into category research – enter your main category and choose “top sellers”. Within a few seconds you’ll be looking at your categories largest sellers – how many items they’ve sold, total revenue, average selling price, etc. This is great info on its own, and worth the £20 per month fee alone.
From here, run down the list from top to bottom, hover over each seller ID and choose “Research this seller's top titles”. You’ll then be taken to your competitors best-selling lines in terms of revenue.
Have a look through the list, find something that’s selling well which you can source, and give your supplier a call. This approach is straight forward, and it won’t take long to build a current hit list for your next order.
Quick tip: One thing to bear in mind however is seasonality – for example. If Christmas trees are a best seller in December, don’t order these for January.
Yes, I know, there are a plentiful supply of 3rd party services popping up all over the place for Amazon sellers. But one I’ve found incredibly valuable is AMZShark. It comes with around 10 features, and at least 4 of these are core to sourcing product, reducing your research time, and identifying your next best seller more efficiently. Use the product’s ‘Niche Scout’ to get you category level data on average sales rank, price, monthly revenue, number of reviews (a factor in ease of entry to market if competing.
The idea here is to find a category that has a high monthly revenue, but low sales ranks / number of reviews. This indicates there’s demand for product, but current sellers are either not delivering a good service, or selling a sub-par product which is receiving negative reviews. Plug any of those gaps and you’ll be looking good.
AMZShark’s ‘Sales Tracker’ shows sales, price history & sales rank for every product (your own or competitors). Simply add your ASINs and this will track each of those daily, giving you accurate insights into the volume of sales per day/week/month, price trends, and visibility on competition. The great thing here is that you don’t have to be selling that ASIN. You can add all your competitor ASINs if you like and keep a track on those top items that are bringing in the sales. From there, you can go and source those products!
Finally, there’s also the ‘Ranking tracker’, which shows you what products are doing well and helps you spot trends.
Amazon Search Engine
Another great tool is the Amazon Search Engine itself. This can help keep track of how your (or your competitors) products rank within Amazon. This plots stats over time, and lets you see the results of additional marketing activity (sponsored products, email marketing campaigns, etc).
You can use these to spot issues with your product, or opportunities with other seller’s products. The use case here to find products listed by competitors with 1,2 and 3 star reviews (you can bulk filter to get to this very easily). From there, either export those reviews, or eyeball them in the system. Ideally you’re looking for trends of common themes. “the saucepan was great, I only wish the handle was more comfortable”.
If it’s one of your own products, feed this back to your product development team and have the next batch include a comfortable rubber grip. If it’s a competitor listing, see if you can source the same product with rubber grips. I recently saw a negative product review for a yoga mat which said “the mat would have been perfect, but the elastic strap was so tight it’s damaged the material”. Again, feed it back to your product development team or go source the item and correct the issue at root.