Product Research Tips: 10 Tactics From Six-Figure Dropshippers

Chris: I would say that product is king, really. That’s where it all starts. If you have a great product, and you put that product in front of the right audience, it will sell.

Jessica: Over the last year, I’ve asked countless six- and even seven-figure dropshippers to recommend high-potential products for new dropshippers to sell. Along the way, they’ve revealed their strategies for finding products to sell, validating new product ideas, identifying trustworthy suppliers and handling product saturation. 

Lots of valuable product research tips. But if you’re rushing to get your business off the ground, you need those value bombs fast. So in this video, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 tips on product research from pro dropshippers. Let’s kick things off with product research tip number 10.

10. Train Facebook’s Algorithm

Jessica: In product research tip number 10. Scott Hilse explains how he trains the Facebook algorithm to find winning products for him.

Scott: So, I actually found these out with a very unique technique. Whenever you get a Facebook ad that has something to do with ecommerce, like it’s advertising you a product, you wanna go in, you wanna click on that product, you wanna add it to cart, and you wanna initiate check out and you wanna get as far as possible. And then abandon that cart. 

So now, Facebook thinks that you’re a very viable customer for all these other ecommerce products, so then your feed is gonna be filled with these prime products coming up, and these are actually brand new. I’ve noticed that there are not many ads about these on Facebook, but there are two kinds of successful ads. So these are gonna be very hot coming up.

Jessica: Now, that’s an amazing tip. But would I do that with every single product I see on Facebook if I’m a new dropshipper? Or do you look for some criteria when you see an ad on Facebook and if it has a certain number of likes or engagement, then you start following it? 

Scott: So it’s a good idea to look for under a million views and more than 100,000. That’s usually the sweet spot.

product research tip: Use Facebook Ads to reduce abandon carts

9. Analyze Facebook Ads

Jessica: In product research tip number nine, Andreas and Alexander talk about how to analyze Facebook Ads to tell if a product has potential.

Andreas: What I would suggest is to look for products where you will sell them. Look on Facebook for products. For example, you go on Facebook and you type in “fitness” or “body” or something else, and a little text part like “get yours now” or “50% off”, and there you will find a lot of ads with different products. And then you look under engagement. If there is an ad with 10,000 likes, or with 1, 2, 3, 5 million views, then somebody has paid for it, and people only pay for it if it’s worth it. 

And then you see, okay, this product is working, you can open the store in the background, you see, okay how is it advertised? What is the bundle? How is it priced? How do they do it? And then do it similarly, don’t copy it. Copying is not allowed, yeah? Do it similarly, do it better. Do it better than your competitor. And so, we’ll find really nice products on Facebook.

Alexander: It’s important to check the comments because if the comments are over one year old, it doesn’t work. It’s over. But when they are two days old or one day old or a few hours old, then the ad is running. It’s online and he sells it the whole time. Yeah.

Andreas: That’s the way we find new products all the time.

8. Like Pages That Share Viral Videos

Jessica: In the next product research tip, the beast of e-comm shares the Facebook page he uses to get winning product ideas.

Harry: So one thing you can do is very, very hard to do. Okay, but one thing you can do to find the next, kind of, the next untapped biggest thing is to start to like pages that share these kinds of viral videos. You may find something which may be launched soon, to be getting quite a lot of traction, but it’s not being dropshipped by people yet or hasn’t gone viral yet. That way, you can try and search on AliExpress to find if the product is there. If it is, then we may be onto something that is… We’re at that peak of that trend.

Jessica: That’s new to me. Can you at least show me one of these pages that you’re talking about? 

Harry: So yeah, this page here is exactly what we’re looking for. So these kinds of pages, what they do is, they share videos, they post videos, of all sorts of different viral things. Some things may be products, some things may not be products. But it’s a very good way to find something like we’re going back here, this is 2017, but if they put out this and you were on Facebook at the time and saw that these mop slippers were something that was getting a lot of comments, a lot of likes, a lot of shares. It could be something that we could find on AliExpress and give it a test.

7. Use Proven Products

Jessica: For product research tip number seven, we’re back to Scott Hilse, sharing his criteria for deciding what products to sell. If someone wants to find their own best-seller to be under $10, what criteria do you think is really important for them to look at? 

Scott: First of all, you wanna do products that have already proven themselves at least a little bit, I would say, 100 orders minimum, max 10,000 orders. After 10,000 orders, depending on what dropshipping niche you are in, it kinda gets muddled, and most people already have a stronghold on that. I would recommend finding another product. Think about fidget spinners. If you were able to get into fidget spinners before the craze hit, you’d be making so much more money, and you’d already have that data and everything, you’d already have the stronghold. So the whole idea of dropshipping is you wanna find those products before they hit viral status.

Jessica: Okay. But there are lots of products that get over 100 sales, like a woman’s dress for example. So, how do you narrow down that group even further? 

Scott: I’d recommend honestly, just use common sense. Don’t sell anything that you can find at your average department store. When you’re first starting, you really wanna focus on unique but practical items that are targetable. Now, as you get into the niche market, then you can add those items as upsells or whatever because it’s already in your niche store, but when you’re first starting off, you really wanna find a unique but practical, attractive product that you can target people for.

Product research tip: Don't sell anything you can find in a departmental store

6. Validate Ideas With Facebook Audience Insights

Jessica: In at product research tip number six, Andreas and Alexander show how to use Facebook Audience Insights to validate product ideas.

Andreas: There are some reasons why we choose this product because it’s not well known. In normal shops, in offline shops, I haven’t seen it before. I haven’t seen it and I was surprised. And the niche is very big. It’s the self-doing niche, the gadget niche, it has more than 50 million active…

Alexander: Homeworker.

Andreas: Yeah. More than 50 million active users on Facebook a month.

Jessica: Well, why don’t we go into Facebook Audience Insights and show us how you found that out in the first place? 

Andreas: You click in the Ads Manager on the Audience Insights tool, it’s here. And in the Audience Insights tool, you choose your country. We always test in the United States because the market is big, people are willing to pay via PayPal or credit cards, and then I type in the niche.

Alexander: And this product is perfect for the US market because the US people like to do-it-yourself.

Andreas: And now, I typed in two interests. “Gadget” and “do-it-yourself” niche. And I see here, it’s 50 to 60 million active people on Facebook, just on Facebook, every month on Facebook. And I see, “Okay, this market is big enough to test and to start.” If you have here a niche, a very, very little niche with around 500K active users a month, I would not start testing it. A bigger niche is good. There is space for competitors and your new store as well.

Jessica: Time out. These tips and tricks will take your ecommerce game to the next level. But to use them, you need to have a foundational knowledge of all things dropshipping. If you don’t have that, check out Oberlo 101. It’s the ultimate course for starting your first online dropshipping business because it gives you step-by-step instructions for finding a product, building a store, and getting your first sale with Facebook Ads. 

5. Analyze Google Trends and Analytics

Jessica: Okay, back to product research tip number five, where millionaire dropshipper, Melvin, explains how to analyze Google Trends and Google Analytics to validate product trends.

Melvin: Yeah, I think validating what kind of products to sell is actually very crucial in finding the winning products, so I actually use Google Trends to actually find out how trendy the product is, what’s… Are there a lot of people tweeting about it, is there a lot of people Googling about it? Let’s look it up, “travel makeup bag”. 

So, this is the surface of it. So we can actually see that there was a hype about the product here back in November 2018. That was during the Black Friday week, so people are actually… And this was a period of time when people are starting to travel for Christmas and that’s when you could see the spike and this side of things and the trend just dies down here. And the projection for the next few months is actually gonna be upward.

So I think we use… I use Google Trends to actually figure out whether the products are… Is it a past winner or is it even a winner? Is it a product that is gonna sell… Gonna make me money?

Conduct product research by looking for hot and trending items with Google Trends

Jessica: Do you use any filters here? Like would you only look at the US and only in the past 12 months or would you go deeper? 

Melvin: I’ll go… Of course, the past 12 months give me the most information, whether someone has already scaled this product to millions of dollars or not, and I’ll look at the small, small indications like the cities that are actually looking for this products, what sort of keywords, what sort of related topics they’re actually looking at. And this actually gives you a lot of hints on where you look for this kind of audience. And it actually relates you to a lot of different websites, blogs and all these influencers that are talking about the products.

Jessica: Okay, I look at this and I think, “Okay, it probably makes sense that it’s about to trend upward because you get into spring vacation, and summer vacation travel in the warmer months that are ahead.”

Melvin: Exactly.

4. Cross-Reference AliExpress Orders Over Time

Jessica: In product research tip number four, Jeff Ho shows you how you can see AliExpress orders over time in the AliExpress dropshipping center.

Jeff: So this is where actually you can do cross-references, I like to call it. So you could actually go to the product page itself to see whether the product is in demand or not, judging from the number of orders, and then you can actually verify it by pasting that URL on that product page and then pasting it here just to see how the sales did out there in the past certain number of months or days.

Jessica: How interesting.

Jeff: Yeah.

Jessica: Let’s do that. I’m kind of curious.

Jeff: Sure.

Jessica: To see about this…

Jeff: Yeah, so you just copy and paste.

Jessica: Copy and paste it? 

Jeff: Copy and paste it into the product analysis and you just click on…

Jessica: Do I need to get rid of all this search stuff? 

Jeff: No, just leave it as is.

Jessica: Okay.

Jeff: And you click on search and then you’ll see like a graph that shows the number of orders, so you can see it was peaking at about the start of June.

Jessica: Yeah, interesting.

Jeff: Someone was doing about 16 orders a day, or maybe a bunch of people, we won’t know.

Do product research on AliExpress itself

3. Check Product And Supplier Ratings

Jessica: In product research tip number three, Chris Wane shares what numbers he’s looking for on AliExpress product pages.

Chris: So the first thing I wanna look at is obviously the rating of the product itself, so this… And you want anything over a 4.5, even probably higher than that, over a 4.8 which is probably where you’d wanna be working at. Obviously, this has almost 4,000 votes and most of them are five stars, which straight away gives you a good idea that it’s a good product. 

But I’m also interested in the supplier. So as you can see here, this supplier is classed as a top brand on AliExpress, so they’ve been around for a while, they give very good service. And as you can see on the detailed seller ratings here, they’re getting 4.8s, 4.7s across item-as-described, communication, shipping speed, and that basically tells that this is a good supplier and it’s a good product.

2. Conduct Supplier Research

Jessica: In product research tip number two, Melvin explains how to find trustworthy AliExpress dropshipping suppliers.

Melvin: I think, to be honest, even up to this point in time, I think looking for these reliable suppliers is a big challenge for I think any dropshipper in the world. They are not too sure about which supplier is actually reliable or honest or even not honest as well. So I think one way we… One of the metrics I’ll look at this really to go on AliExpress and look up, let’s say, unicorn slippers. And then I’ll sort most of them by orders, and just looking at the number of reviews, the number of orders that these suppliers are getting and all the badges that they earn from AliExpress. That actually gives you an indication. 

But at the same time, we actually split our orders across different suppliers as well at the same time, to actually find out who has the best quality of products, who has the most reliable fulfillment processes, or who has the best shipping processes around it as well, so that tells us which suppliers to work on two weeks down the road as well.

Jessica: Wow. Okay, that’s some advanced stuff. You actually test suppliers with different segments of your customers? 

Melvin: Exactly.

Jessica: I think a lot of our viewers are still hoping for several customers, let alone enough to make a test out of. But I wanted to dig deeper into some of what you just said. When we’re looking at… Is this what you mean by badges? 

Melvin: Exactly. So, these are the badges that these suppliers earn from AliExpress, to recognize them as a top seller on AliExpress. That, most of the time, it gives you an indication that they are pretty okay. They are not here to scam you or they are not here to give you shitty products because they have these reviews, these badges that they earn as well.

Test dropshipping suppliers as part of your product research process

1. Check If Other Dropshippers Are Selling The Product

Jessica: And in at product research tip number one, Ryan Carroll explains how to tell if a product that has a lot of orders is actually being sold by other dropshippers. 

I wanna dig into what you just said about if you go to AliExpress and you find a product with multiple suppliers, what that tells you. So, let’s do a quick search on AliExpress and see how many other competitors or other products like this there are.

Ryan: Yeah, 100 percent.

Jessica: Okay, so we searched “body camera”, these are cameras that people can wear on themselves. And where would you go from here? 

Ryan: Okay, so what we’re gonna do first off is click on “Orders”, this is just gonna bring the top-performing product to the top, so this order has about 1,500 sold, which is a good number. I like products that aren’t tens of thousands, ’cause those are just very very saturated products. And so if the top order is only 1,500, you have a really good chance at being another seller for this product. 

And so right away, if we just click on this, you can see, there are 732 reviews, which is really good because that means people are actually probably buying this product from AliExpress. So this is kind of a weird little ratio number here. So that’s about half of the orders. 

So that means just about 50 percent of all of these purchases aren’t even bought from someone dropshipping it, ’cause if someone’s dropshipping this product, the customer is not gonna go then to AliExpress and give a review of the product, because the product’s not coming from AliExpress, it’s coming from your Shopify store. So this shows me right here that people are actually finding this product on AliExpress and buying them themselves.

Jessica: Wow, that’s a great hack. So you look at the number of votes here in the reviews, and you compare that against orders, a 50 percent you’re saying is like a pretty good ratio? 

Ryan: Yeah, because that means another 50 percent maybe could… They just might even still be people going in and buying the product off AliExpress, they’re just not leaving a review, but it just shows me a lot of people are buying this product straight from AliExpress. So there are not a lot of people dropshipping this product right now.

Jessica: What do you think of these product research tips? Have any of them worked for you? And which product research tip surprised you the most? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll chime in with my thoughts. Until next time, learn often, market better and sell more.

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