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Dropshipping Product Research: Winning Methods & Killer Tools to Try (Step by Step Guide)

When it comes to dropshipping product research, it is not just about browsing AliExpress & searching for products, but, there is a lot more in the play.

Product research is crucial to understand the characteristics of a product; and determine whether it is going to be profitable or not.

From figuring out if the product is getting traction amongst consumers or not, to calculating the profit margins – there are many factors to keep in mind.

In short, product research is one of the most important aspects of your dropshipping business & it should be done right in order to yield expected results out of your efforts.

But the question is, how to do product research for dropshipping? Is there any best way?

The answer is, there is no BEST way & you need to dive deeper to spot out some potentially winning products.

To help you understand how you can proceed with product research & how to identify potential products, read out the different strategies I’ve explained in this blog, all backed by proven results from popular dropshipping entrepreneurs across the Globe.

The research is not going to be EASY, but the efforts are definitely worth it.

By the end of this article, you would be able to research & find potential products to dropship, & furthermore, be profitable.

Let’s dive in:

First Step: How To Know If A Product is Good for Dropshipping – Winning Product Criteria

Knowing how a winning product looks like, is the basic thing to know while dropshipping product research.

The better you understand the characteristics of winning products, the more likely you’re going to pick good products by the end of your research.

Below are a few characteristics of the winning product that you should look at:

  • Problem solving
  • Makes lives easier
  • Mass market appeal – huge interest in product
  • Passionate Audience – Fishing niche, baby niche, golfing, Pet
  • Impulsive buying or WOW Factor
  • Good Profit Margin
  • Is not saturated or no aggressive scaling in the past

These are obviously not the only & mandatory criteria to look for, however – the more rules, the better strategy!

Remember that the above is not a checklist that you need to tick on all.

While some characteristics are optional to look for, problem-solving & profit margin are the two most important to look at.

The key is to test fewer products, but spend more energy in choosing them.

Thomas, Blogger & Dropshipper

Let’s discuss each of these points quickly with examples:

1) Problem Solving Product: Address Painpoints & Sell Solutions

A product that’s problem-solving, sells like crazy! – there’s no denying it. If you’ve done some research on finding winning products, you probably know this well.

Where there is a problem, there is business & money to be made. The same is followed in dropshipping as well.

A popular example of such a product is the “Posture Corrector” that went crazy during mid-2020.

Posture corrector is a popular dropshipping product that was sold like crazy in the past. When research is done right, there are tons of similar products to dropship
Popular Dropshipping Product That Was A Winner

This product solves some major & real-life problems like:

  • Improper posture correction
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Upper Back Pain

Remember that it’s equally important to be able to describe what problem your product solves – in marketing copies, like images & descriptions.

Don’t sell the product, address pain points & sell solutions:

  • Solve real problems
  • Solve Inconvienences
  • Make something easier or better
  • Save human effort/time

2) Passionate Niche

We all are passionate about something. When you’re niche marketing & selling especially to a passionate audience, the conversion rate improves.

A popular example is setting up a dropshipping store for pets. To be more specific & target a passionate audience, you can narrow down the niche to cat pet lovers or dog pet lovers.

There are tons of hobbies, or say passionate niches you can start with – golfing, fishing, mountain biking, traveling.

The list is endless & so are the hobbyist peoples.

Just target the niche that you’re interested in & market the store well – and see the sales flowing.

Below are some renowned benefits of niche marketing:

  • Improved conversion rates
  • Less chances of failure
  • Easy to build a community around your brand
  • Less competitors
  • Easy to stand out from the competition
  • Improved & Efficient business operations

& much more.

3) WOW Factor / Impulsive Buying aka Scroll Stopper

This is probably the most popular criteria for choosing a winning product to dropship.

As the name suggests, products with the WOW factor instantly grabs the attention & curiosity of the viewer.

Whilst there can be many factors making a product “WOW”, some common factors are:

  • How unique is the product?
  • How innovative is the product?
  • Products that arouse curiosity
  • Products that are interesting or fascinating
  • Design & Usability of the product
  • Product has a cool factor

Newly launched products in the market can also grab attention quickly because it’s often unheard of – you’ve never seen the product before and that’s what makes you curious to learn more about it.

When you choose a product with the WOW factor, it becomes easy to create “Scroll Stopper” advertisements – that make a user stop scrolling feed (by instantly grabbing attention) & consumer your content.

4) Healthy Profit Margins

Dropshipping has been a popular topic for years now – the competition is obviously increasing!

Also, with the increase in digitization, more & more advertisers are leveraging popular channels like FB Ads, Google Pay per Click advertising, etc.

These channels work on an auction basis – which means, the costs depend on available ad inventory for advertisers – the higher the number of advertisers, the higher the cost to acquire the ad.

Also, new tools are being introduced in the market & SaaS is on the rise, making the dropshipping operations costly than ever before.

Factors like competition, increased operation costs, etc, have made it hard to sell products whilst generating good profits.

Years ago, dropshipping entrepreneurs have made good money from products that sell around just $10 – $15.

But nowadays, it is advisable to keep away from any products costing between $10 – $20 – because obviously to crack the code, you need healthy profits.

You must choose a product that has at least a market value of $30 or more; so that you can grab a margin of at least $15. This is my personal opinion, not an industry standard.

Remember, you need to play around with various marketing channels in order to generate sales, so keep this in mind & utilize this cost within the profit margin whilst generating sustainable profit- or else, there is an obvious loss at the end of the campaign.

5) Mass Market Appeal

The broader the market appeal, the more you can scale.

By mass-market appeal, I mean products that can be sold to broader audiences & multiple niches.

For example, a pair of headphones can be sold to – any gender, gym enthusiasts, gamers, students, travelers, etc, whereas, earrings can only be sold to women.

Also, when you’re doing print-on-demand drop shipping, where designs are the primary asset, choose designs that can be sold to a broader audience, and not only hobbyists – such as a motorcycle design, can be sold to bike enthusiasts only, while a motivational quote Tshirt can be sold to any audience group.

Do I make myself contradictory as I told earlier to choose passionate niches?

No, it’s up to you what you choose. Both are different approaches & this is not a checklist, remember! Both have their own pros & cons that you need to take care of.

Passionate niches are also profitable but there is always a cap, whereas, mass-market appeal products have a lot of scaling potential & can be scaled to even 6 or 7 figures without the fear of saturation.

6) Saturation or No Aggressive Scaling in the Past

This is the key point – timings are very important when selling a product.

It is important to understand the stage at which you are choosing a product to sell. This stage is basically the time when you pick a product after its release in the market – or say, the type of adopter you are.

There are mainly 5 types of adopters in general:

  • Innovators
  • Early Adopters
  • Early Majority
  • Late Majority
  • Laggards

By Innovators, I mean the marketers who test the newly launched products in the market at the earliest & discover winning products before the competition arises; hence they can grab hefty of profits.

By Early Adopters, I mean the marketers who test products that have shown some traction in the market but are not discovered by many drop shippers. These are also the ones who grab good profits, just like the innovators.

Moving forward, there are early majority & late majority dropshippers, who test products that other stores are selling.

Laggards are the ones who test products that are proven to win, and they just try washing their hands & luck.

The more down you go on this list, the less profitable you will be.

Most of the beginners fall in this laggards category as they pick products that are winning already. The major downside is that these products are often saturated & if you even crack the marketing code to selling these products, you can’t scale it like a pro.

Just keep in mind that don’t sell products that seem to be already sold aggressively in the past.

Although being an innovator or early adopter is really tough & risky (money), but if you crack this code – you will soon be able to cash in 6 or even 7 figures, for sure!

7) Marketability

To make your first campaign profitable, it is also recommended to choose products that are easy to market.

By this, I mean products that are:

  • Easy to Advertise: Products that have good photos & videos, which you can use on marketing copies & ad creatives.
  • Easy to Understand: Products that are self-explainatory & easy to explain
  • High perception value: Products that are branded, innovative or has modern design.

If the product is hard to market, you would face a tough time selling them – common sense, right?

Step 2: Dropshipping Product Research Methods: How & Where to Find Products?

Now that you know how a winning product looks like, let’s look at some of the popular & latest product research methods to find good products for your dropshipping store.

Method #1: Short Video Sharing Apps like TikTok – Latest Dropshipping Product Research Method

Popular short video sharing cum social media apps like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Facebook Short Videos are being actively used by businesses to sell products, including dropshipping stores.

All you need to do is dig down these platforms to find potential products.

Potential products on these platforms can obviously be spotted by looking at the engagements (number of likes & comments

You can browse short videos or search via hashtags like #tiktokmademebuyit on these platforms. You can discover more popular hashtags by looking at what others are using.

Finding products on short video-making platforms like TikTok takes time, but the research is definitely worth it.

I’ve also seem people promoting products on Facebook Short videos & YouTube Shorts – don’t miss to keep an eye on these platforms as well.

Method #2: Check YouTube Videos

YouTube is also a great place to find good & potential products. Since it is the world’s biggest video search engine, people are making good business via it.

There are many dropshippers & ecommerce sellers that leverage YouTube to generate sales.

In order to find products from YouTube videos, that you can dropship, try searching for videos like:

  • Top gadgets under {price range}
  • Best products on Amazon
  • Best gadgets for {audience type or hobby} | Example – Best gadgets for bloggers, mountaineers, carpenters

& so on…

The ideas & videos are endless on YouTube.

Browse also through the related video section & note down the products that fit well as per your dropshipping campaign.

Method #3 : Adverts on Social Media Feeds

This is also a popular product research method, especially for dropshipping.

What you need to do is scroll through social media feeds to find adverts. This is kind of a spy method where you keep an eye on products that are actively being marketed.

What you click on is what you’re going to get – to get more adverts on your feed, engage with ecommerce adverts.

If you click on eCommerce ads – you’re going to see more ecommerce ads on your feed.

The anatomy behind the process is that social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram keeps a track of your activity & interests.

These factors (activity, interests, behaviour, etc) are used by advertisers to target the right audience while running adverts – you probably know this if you’re getting into dropshipping.

Just don’t overdo clicking on ads! Someone else is paying for each click you do.

Method #4: Search on Amazon: The Biggest Marketplace

Amazon is an eCommerce giant, which makes it a great place for researching & finding new & in-demand products.

Amazon can be super valuable for dropshipping product research because the winners on Amazon are likely to be the winning products for your store as well.

Pick products that have some decent sales on Amazon, & find the same (or similar) product on AliExpress or another portal to see if you can dropship them.

Sometimes, when you shortlist a product from Amazon, you won’t find the exact same product to dropship, but something similar can also be sold – that solves the same problem.

Best Sellers Category

Amazon lists the best-selling products of their platform under the best sellers space – a space that lists the most popular products on their platform, based on sales and is updated hourly.

This list is of course available publically.

You can browse best-selling products under different niches by navigating from the category list on the left sidebar.

Amazon Best Sellers is a good place for dropshipping product research
Amazon Bestsellers category to find best selling products

Movers & Shakers

Similar to the Amazon best sellers category as discussed above, Amazon Movers & Shakers category lists down the products that have gained sales rank in the platform.

A product gains a sales rank when it’s selling well, getting good reviews & is actively searched by users. There are many more hidden factors but the category is definitely worth viewing if you’re researching products.

Movers & Shakers category in Amazon is another place to search potential dropshipping products
Amazon Movers & Shakers category to find products that have gained sales rank in the platform

Method #5: AliExpress

This is probably the most common method that everyone knows. Since AliExpress has always been the topmost choice for dropshippers in the past, there are tons of winning products in the portal.

Just browse through the AliExpress marketplace & categories inside it, you will definitely spot a lot of potential products.

When looking for products in AliExpress, check the number of sellers offering a product & the number of orders each of them has got.

A product sold by 5 – 10 sellers means the product is in high demand, but if the average overall number of orders seems high – avoid that product, it could be a saturated one.

When researching products on AliExpress to dropship, look at the following few factors:

  • Ratings & Reviews: to determine the quality of the product
  • Number of orders: to understand the scale at which product is selling in the market
  • Number of sellers selling the same product: if there are too many sellers selling the same product, it’s likely to be saturated, but also selling well in the market. You need to make your own alalysis.
  • Marketing content availability: like Images & vides, as we discussed earlier in this article.

Remember: Products saturation is a complex topic and instead of worrying about product saturation, spend more time finding the ones that aren’t saturated.

Also, use the AliExpress Dropshipping Center feature, which is a built-in tool within AliExpress, allowing you to view products that are selling the most.

Dropshipping Product Research Tools To Leverage (Free & Paid)

1) Asify – Chrome Extension (Free to use)

Asify is a popular chrome extension that helps you with dropshipping product research with AliExpress in many ways.

This tool basically lets you:

  • View product sales statistics: Daily product sales & countries where the most orders are coming in from
  • Search for products: Based on useful filters & sorting options like price, number of orders, reviews & ratings, keywords, products with video available, shipping country, processing time & much more
  • Product sales activities & top products: Display the sales progress on any category (or all combined) over a period of 15 to 30 days ~, as well as the TOP products

This tool also has a feature named CA simulator that lets you view the possible profitability of your product, according to the price & other factors you insert, like the delivery location, type, etc.

UPDATE: ASIFY seems to be not working for all users across the Globe. You need to install the extension & check compatibility with your browser & location.

Facebook Ad Library (Free to use)

This is one of the most powerful spying tools that one can use for dropshipping.

Facebook Ad Library is an open-source library offered by Facebook that allows anyone to check the active advertisements being run by a page or organization.

All you need to do is keep this tool in mind & whenever you come across any competitors dropshipping store, you just need to find their Facebook page name & search it on the Facebook ad library; This would then show up all the active adverts, if any, being run by that page.

Now, by looking into the adverts, you will get an idea of how the product is performing.

Just use your common sense & analyze their ad copies.

One important thing to look at is the date from which the ad is actively running. An ad running for a long time indicates that it’s performing well. See the example below:

Facebook ad library is a good tool for dropshipping product research as it allows you to check active adverts being run by a Facebook page
Facebook Ad Library – An open source tool to check adverts being run by Facebook Pages

Niche Scraper: Spy on Winning Products (30-day Free Trial)

Niche Scraper is a powerful dropshipping product research tool that helps you discover winning products by using various research methods.

You can search products from AliExpress & Shopify, based on various specific filters like:

  • Category
  • Sub-Category
  • Number of Weekly Orders
  • Product Price

& other advanced in-built filters like: Competition Score, Growth Rate, AliScore, Top Country & more.

Niche Scraper - Dropshipping Product Research & Spying Tool
Niche Scraper – Dropshipping Product Research & Spying Tool

Using these filters allows you to see how saturated or competitive the product is.

Other Features of Niche Scraper tool:

  • Curated list of hand-picked products: A frequently updated list of winning products in the market. Hand picked every day with suppliers, ad examples and other factors
  • Video Maker: This feature allows you to create videos for your ad copies. A very handy tool for beginners as well as experienced.
  • Store Analyser: A great feature that helps you spy on competitor stores by revealing sensitive stats like: best selling items, traffic, sales estimates etc

Ecom Radar – Google Chrome Extension (Free to use)

Ecom Radar is a very useful Google Chrome Extension that helps you with dropshipping product research on Facebook.

This tool basically allows you to eliminate organic posts from your Facebook news feed, so you can see only adverts.

This way, you can absolutely save time in finding profitable eCommerce products to sell.

Sell The Trend (Free Trial Available)

This tool is a complete suite for dropshippers to research winning products & automate various dropshipping tasks.

Sell The Trend - Popular Dropshipping Tool with many features including product research
Sell The Trend – Popular Dropshipping Tool with many features

Below are some of the core features of this tool:

  • Products Research: Sell The Trend has more than one type of product exploring tool to help you find the right & best selling products from the market.
  • Products Importing: Seamlessly import products & its content to your store on one click.
  • Orders Fulfilling: They have an extension that allows you to fulfill order easily, on one click.

The tools helps you find & choose products based on the following few criterias:

  • Number of orders on product
  • Number of stores selling the product
  • Product Costing
  • Product Selling Price
  • Possible Profit Margins
  • Sales revenue generated
  • Time when the product was spotted

and a few more factors….

Try Sell The Trend on your own with their free trail & see if it works for you.

Ecom Hunt (Free to use)

This is yet another useful tool for dropshippers to hunt down popular & best-selling products in the market. The organization claims to have a team that manually scans the marketplaces & handpicks the best selling products for you to dropship.

Ecom Hunt is a popular tool & recently they’ve added new features to the tool, including the Store Hunter. This feature allows you to spy on other eCommerce stores so that you get the right insights to make informed decisions on your campaign.

Ecom Hunt - Dropshipping Product Research Tool
Ecom Hunt – Dropshipping Product Research Tool

Other features include:

  • Targeting Suggestions
  • Facebook Ad Examples
  • Instagram Influencers List
  • AliExpress / Ebay Analytics

& more…

The best part about this tool is that the basic version is free to use – however, comes with a very limited features.

Not everything comes with the free & basic plan, but it’s definitely worth it to use this tool. Visit Ecom Hunt.

Conclusion

Dropshipping is obviously an awesome way to build your eCommerce empire & generate wealth. However, due to the low barrier to entry, there are many who does not take this business model seriously.

By leveraging the right strategies & tools, you pave the way to a successful eCommerce business.

Just do everything right & give your 100%!

Tools have made our lives very easy so don’t forget to check out the tools I’ve mentioned above.

Anymore questions? Feel free to let me know in the comments section.

Also, what is your best product research method & when are you planning to start your dropshipping journey, do let me know in the comments, I am eager to know 🙂

All the best!


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