If you’re interested in dropshipping, the product that you choose to use for your business is arguably one of the most important decisions that you can make. This decision should go beyond what sounds to be a hot, sell-able product, and into the product’s quality. This requires a thorough assessment of the product to make sure it’s worth selling and building your dropshipping business around.
Steve and Evan Tan are brothers, 9 figure ecommerce founders, and now co-founders of LeapVista, an ecommerce education company. They help aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs learn everything they need to about building drop shipping businesses on Spotify in diligent, easy-to-follow online videos. One of the topics they cover with students is how to choose which product to use for their dropshipping businesses. They shared the following product evaluation criteria — the same that they use when assessing their own potential products.
What Makes A Good Product?
“There is a considerable amount of criteria that goes into determining if a product has the capacity to go ‘viral’,” said Tan.
- It has a big enough niche.
“A niche is great, but it should be big enough — hundreds of thousands or even millions who are passionate about this type of product,” said Tan. “One example is people who love cooking. So, maybe you love your knives and cooking gear, so you would target chefs who are passionate about their time in the kitchen.”
You may find some cool products that only fit a very, very small niche. Instead, seek to find a product that certainly has a passionate audience, but a big enough audience that ad targeting won’t be an uphill battle.
- It has a ‘Wow’ factor.
“This is why videos of amazing products such as nonstick pans are so successful,” shared Tan. “ Your product should offer something that truly makes the potential customer think, Wow; – which is, of course, subjective, but you want to invoke that feeling of ‘Wow, I want this, too!’
One of the products that the Tan brothers once used was a “talking hamster” (a small, stuffed animal hamster that talks and dances) which ended up being a seven figure product for their dropshipping business. Alongside the product on the landing page was a video compilation of babies and pets with the talking hamster in cute and funny videos, which shows potential customers how much fun they can have with it. “We used this information to target parents, because the video compilation featured so many babies and young children.
- It has a utility function.
Products that solve an underlying issue can be another bonus point attract customer attention – especially when that utility function goes alongside the “wow” factor.
“Products that have this ‘wow’ factor are almost certain to sell five to seven figure in sales,’ said Tan. “An example of a product that both solved an underlying issue and had a ‘wow factor’ is magnetic false eyelashes.” These, down to the entrancing video of how easy the eyelashes are affixed, truly make a potential customer think, ‘Wow’ – because they were so easy to put on, which solved the problem of needing to use glue or needing to be an expert to affix eyelashes perfectly.
“That’s a big enough niche where you can target your ads to women who love makeup or those in the beauty world, and also pair the ads with videos demonstrating the ease. That’s what made this product very, very successful and lucrative.”
How to Find Products
Finding on AliExpress
The Tan brothers recommend using sites like AliExpress to find inspiration for products to sell on your dropshipping store – and, most importantly, you can directly dropship to consumers all around the world when researching on AliExpress. “Begin by thinking, ‘What type of product do I want to sell? It’s smart to start off with a specific niche in mind,” advises Tan. “I always start with one direction before I move onto other niches.”
If you choose a niche that’s quite large, it’s recommended to go into subcategories. Then, sort by number of orders. “It can be assumed that the products with the most orders are the ones that are the most popular, and are likely to sell quickly on your Shopify store,” said Tan.
Of the most popular options, keep looking for the ‘wow’ factor. “You do not want to do a product that just looks normal,” said Tan.
Finding on Amazon
Amazon is another way to find products — but to see what’s purchased together. “We like to look for bundle products on Amazon, especially because Amazon is so widely-used that sometimes, people like to cross-check on Amazon to compare the prices,” said Tan. “Navigating the bundles is where you can find inspiration, especially because so many buyers come to Amazon.”
The reviews on Amazon can be helpful, too. If a product looks great and is at a low cost but has poor reviews, that’s a warning sign — it’s likely that your customers won’t be happy with it, either.
Surprisingly, Groupon is another option. There’s a section for cheap and interesting products on it, however, and reviewing it is a great way to find inspiration. Once again, search for reviews and low cost. Once you find a product that you like, keep looking — there may be an identical product that is a few dollars less, which will matter for your profit margin.
However, Tan does urge that “if you can’t find the Groupon or Amazon products on AliExpress, the best method forward is to find a fulfillment agent who can source it for you.” They personally use Wiio.io, which is a dropshipping platform that helps them source and fulfill anything that they want.
To learn more about setting up a successful dropshipping business, take LeapVista’s courses.