Comprehensive market and product research are key when selling on Amazon. We sat down with FBA seller, Sell Rank Win Podcast host, and MerchantWords team member Tommy Beringer to find out the top five metrics to review to determine if your product will be a success.
MW: So, Tommy what are you looking for when you do product research for your Amazon brand?
Tommy: As an FBA private label seller I want to make sure from the start that the product I want to sell is viable. Doing the right amount of research, in the beginning, prevents a bunch of wasted time, effort, and money spent down the road.
Here’s what I look for:
SEARCH VOLUME: This is key. Not too surprising, MerchantWords is my go-to tool for product research. After performing a search in the Classic Search tool, I immediately look at the “Search Market Size” metric in the top summary section. This number indicates the total search volume for the top 100 keywords associated with the initial term I typed in. I refer to this as the “keyword market.” I can tell right away if there is any demand. If I see a number below 75K I am a bit hesitant, but I always dig deeper.
To find out more, I scroll down the page and look at how the search volume is spread out among all keywords. If the search volume for the top three to five terms accounts for most of that 75K I would move on to another product niche. But, if that 75K is well spread out among the top 100 keywords it is definitely a viable option. I will have a chance to target more keywords in my PPC campaigns that have a good search volume.
It is important to also be aware of a search market that is too high. This means that the waters are red with a lot of competition. A healthy “Search Market” ranges from ~75K–1M, but you must continue your due diligence from here. Search volume is not the end all be all.
REVIEWS: Review count is the second thing I consider. The number of reviews tells me if a product market has high, medium, or low competition. My rule of thumb is that for the highest volume keyword in the keyword market the top 7–10 products on the first page of search results should have 100 reviews or less. If I see a product with over 1,000 reviews I gracefully bow out and move on to another product niche to research.
To find the highest volume keyword in a keyword market I start by searching the broadest term or keyword phrase first. For example, if I want to sell bamboo cooking utensils I would start with “cooking utensils.” Then I follow up with the relevant keywords that have the highest amount of search volume and search in the Page 1 Products tool to look at the products reviews.
RESULTS: The second way to gauge the level of competition is to review the “Results” metric in our tools on MerchantWords. It gives you a snapshot of how many product results are displayed on Amazon for a particular keyword. Less is better here. If there are more than 1,000 results for a keyword I may have to look a bit deeper or not use that keyword for a PPC campaign.
I like to see at least 10 keywords in the keyword market/product niche have 300 results or less. Three hundred may sound like a lot, but not all of those results will be hyper-relevant to the product you want to launch.
I like that I can filter by “Results” in our tools to see keywords with 1–300 results or whatever parameters you decide to set.
SALES & REVENUE: The next thing I review is the sales and revenue estimates for a specific product. Now you can see this information directly on MerchantWords! These important metrics are displayed in both the ASIN Plus and Page 1 Products tools. I'm super excited because it makes my product research process much more efficient!
In ASIN Plus I can view the 30-day estimated revenue and estimated number of units sold for a particular ASIN. On the Page 1 tool, I can see the 30-day average sales and revenue estimates for a particular keyword, or scroll down the page to view the 30-day estimated revenue and estimated units sold for each individual product (that shows up on page one for that keyword query).
I use these metrics to get an idea of how much revenue I can expect if I end up becoming a contender on the sought-after first page of Amazon results. I like to conservatively calculate 1–5% of the total revenue found on the first page. This tells me roughly how much I might make in total revenue over 30 days if I can secure consistent positioning at the top of the first page of Amazon results for this specific keyword market.
PRICE: When selling with FBA you get charged fulfillment fees. So, it is important to have a good cushion if you want to make a profit.
When sourcing a product I make sure my costs are no more than 25–30% of my planned retail price on Amazon.
I prefer a product that I can sell on Amazon for at least $20. Pricing a product less than $20 can result in little to no margin. If you can sell a product for about $20 and get it into the Amazon warehouse for about $6, then it's a no-brainer. Pull the trigger on it.
Our Page 1 Products tool shows the prices for all the products for a specific keyword.
It is important to remember that product research and selling on Amazon is a marathon and not a sprint. Especially when doing proper product research.
No one has ever drowned in their own sweat. You have to put in the work to find the right products to launch and then turn it into a successful brand on Amazon.
Good luck and godspeed to all the sellers out there!