5 Ways to Spot High-Potential Products Before Your Competition in 2020
Video transcript: If you’re looking for high-potential products for your Shopify store, you’re going to love this. But it’s a little different from other product recommendation videos. You see, in the past, we published videos that told you exactly what products are trending in a given year or niche or season and we kind of spoon-fed you our product recommendations based on our own data about what was selling well. And there are other YouTubers who are doing this too, telling you exactly what you should buy and what’s trending. But it’s time someone told you how to spot high-potential products before they make their way to YouTube.
So today, you’ll learn five ways to find trending products and niches ahead of the competition. In particular, you’ll learn about non-dropshipping websites that can give you great business ideas, key dates and holidays that drive seasonal niches and weekly habits that will help you discover new potential products for dropshipping. And what the heck? I’ll share a few hot items along the way too. Let’s get started.
I’m going to structure this kind of like a virtual worksheet. The worksheet contains five questions and as you answer each of these questions through research and through observation, you’ll begin to uncover niches that nobody is talking about. But once you find those dropshipping niches and products, you still have to build a Shopify store and validate those products with Facebook ads.
Now, I’m not gonna go into that stuff today, but I will literally hold your hand through that entire process in Oberlo 101. Oberlo 101 is a dropshipping course that we just created to give you step-by-step instructions on the entire process of finding a product, building a dropshipping store, and getting your first sale with Facebook ads. If you’re serious about making money online, enroll now.
Now, let’s return to the questions that you have to research if you wanna find those high-potential dropshipping products before the competition does.
1. Spot Trending Movies and TV Series
The first question you wanna research is, “What movies or TV series are trending?” I know that’s not something you’re usually thinking about. After all, your headspace is in this mode of, “I wanna start a business. What’s selling well? Why do I care what people are watching on Netflix?” But popular culture drives buying decisions and that’s especially true for impulse purchases. And remember impulse purchases are what you want.
You don’t want someone who cares about shipping times. You don’t want someone who’s price sensitive. You want someone to see it, want it, and buy it right there and then. The question then becomes, “How do you find out what is trending in terms of movies and TV series?” Sure, you can find out from friends what they’re watching. But it might be hard to set up a store now and then advertise those products later after the craze for that show has passed.
Check Entertainment Websites
The key here is to do some non-traditional research. Instead of going to AliExpress and looking at order numbers, I recommend you actually go to some entertainment websites. Now, I’m going to go through this process with you so you can see what I mean and we’ll end up with a potential winning product in our hands.
I am at rottentomatoes.com and I’m probably the first YouTuber who talks about dropshipping to be on Rotten Tomatoes. But the reason I’m here is that this site, in particular, the “69 most anticipated movies of 2019”, will give me a really good idea of what’s coming out this fall. Now, I’m filming this video in August. but the techniques that I’m showing, you can use to find winning products any time of the year and any year.
I’m gonna scroll down and since I am filming in August, I’m interested in what’s coming out in October and December. Already, I see some really big-name movies like Joker starring, in this case, Joaquin Phoenix and then we scroll down and we see the Addams Family which is probably gonna be big and a lot of other interesting shows that will capture popular attention. I also see Terminator, which will probably be huge and let’s see, I think I saw Frozen part 2, which I guarantee is going to bring in a lot of eyeballs.
Identify Product Themes
Now, of course, I’m not going to tell you to buy copyrighted trademarked Frozen merchandise. That is illegal and you will get in trouble and you will lose any money that you’ve made. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t seize on pop culture with these movies and with TV series. What you wanna do when you see these great movies coming up is think about the themes that are in them.
For example, with Frozen, yes it’s about Elsa. But more broadly it’s about a winter wonderland and elves and princesses in Norway, things like that. Cold weather, fairy tales is basically what Frozen is all about, and there’s no copyright on that. Similar to the Addams Family, you’re talking about something spooky and gothic and maybe a little ghoulish, there’s no copyright on that.
The exercise here is to identify those themes and then find products that fit those themes. Once you do that, you can sell those products to people who are excited about something like Frozen or The Addams Family when they’re excited about it.
Okay, I said I would take you through an example, so let’s do that now. Forgive me, I’m going to take you through an example that’s kind of relevant right now, but might not be trending in two months. Nevertheless, you’ll learn the process and you’ll be able to find your own products that are trending in two, three, and even six months.
This summer, The Lion King came out and there was a lot of buzz about it because it had some big-name celebrities in it. Now, I can’t sell something like a Simba playsuit or anything like that. But I can definitely still target people on Facebook who like Lion King and sell them something that appeals to their interests. And one product in particular that I found on AliExpress was a pet costume.
As you can see here, this pet costume is a collar that when it’s attached to a cat, makes it look as if the cat is a lion with a big mane. It’s pretty cute, and it’s also only two bucks and change which means that the margins on this pet costume are really quite good. But what makes this beautiful is what I can do to sell it on Facebook. I’m gonna show you what I mean by going into Facebook Ads Manager here. I’ve just got a blank ad set up, and the real magic here is that when we go into detailed targeting as we’ll want to do when we’re creating our first ad, we can type in, of course, “The Lion King”. While we can’t sell Lion King products, we can definitely target Lion King fans. That’s the whole magic of this tactic.
So here, I can choose Lion King. But as you can see, I can also even target people who like Lion King the musical, the soundtrack. This franchise has been around for a while, so there are millions of people who like this franchise in all of its forms even the video game, which I’m actually old enough to remember.
Once I choose the Lion King as an interest, I want to narrow that audience because 230 million people is way too broad of a first audience. I’m gonna uncheck this just to make sure I’ve got the right numbers here. Ah, now we’re at 27 million. Make sure you always uncheck this because you want an accurate read on how many people you’re reaching with your interests.
Of course, I wanna target people who like Lion King. But I want to narrow this Facebook target audience because remember: I want to make it both interest-specific, but I also want to make it product-specific. Of course, someone who will buy this cat collar probably owns a cat. So I’ll type in “cat” as an interest and see where that gets me. When I type in cat here, I can choose this and aha, right? It got bigger, because I’m choosing it as an additional interest, so I actually wanna ex-out of that, press narrow audience, and now, press cats.
Now, we’re at 15 million people. This is still a little bit big for a first ad towards the US audience. But honestly, it’s pretty well-targeted, so you could either go for it or maybe you could narrow this down further by, for example, selecting a specific cat breed or a blog or magazine that cat lovers read if you wanna get to a, say, 2 to 2.5 million person audience. 2 to 2.5 million is a good first Facebook audience for the first ad that you’ll run for a product.
But you can keep it broad as well, and learn from Facebook what interests and what audiences like the product you’re trying to sell. Now, hopefully, you can see why a product like this has good profit potential. However, this product probably won’t do really well in the fall because the Lion King has already come and gone as a pop culture trend. But now you’re equipped with the sites you need, and the Facebook ad knowledge you need to find a product that will fit one of those trending movies ahead of time and start advertising it. I’m thinking maybe a Joker costume for dogs. I don’t know. You’ll have to do the research.
2. Identify Apps and Products That Are Rising in Popularity
Let’s move on to the second question you wanna ask yourself as you’re getting ahead of the competition with your trend research, and that question is what apps or products are on the rise? Now, I know this sounds like I’m being repetitive. You’re looking for products that are on the rise. What do you mean I should look into this?
No, when I say what products are on the rise, I’m not talking about dropshipping products that you can sell in your Shopify store. I’m talking about products in general. For example, scooters or smoothies or things like that. The fact that these apps or products are trending tells you that there’s a bunch of crazies out there who will drop their money for this kind of product, and that is the information you’re looking for. I wanna give you a personal example.
A lot of my friends have been talking about horoscopes lately. You know, I’m a Scorpio, you’re a Gemini, that whole kind of thing, and I noticed that there is an app in particular that everyone was downloading and telling me about that was called Co-Star. Being curious about Co-Star, I did some research, and I went to a site called TechCrunch which has a lot of news about up-and-coming startups. What I saw on TechCrunch was that this app just raised 5 million to bring its astrology app to Android.
That tells me that nothing scales like a horoscope. This got me interested because Co-Star does not solve a problem. Co-Star is only popular with people who are rabidly into horoscopes, tarot cards, astrology and so forth. This tells me that there’s a niche out there ready to be sold to. My job as a dropshipper is to find products that aren’t getting in front of this niche and get there first. So how do you do that? Well, here, just a straight-up AliExpress search can be your best friend. Remember that I said you really want to serve this audience a product that they don’t see very often.
Let me prove my point. When you search for horoscopes, you see a lot of zodiac sign necklaces. Now, you could very well sell these. But I’m guessing that, because I see so many on AliExpress, this is probably a product that the crowd that likes this kind of stuff sees all the time. In other words, you’re not gonna stand out from the crowd with this. But if I expand my search, and I think of, for example, tarot which has to do with tarot cards and is in this same kind of mystical niche, I get some interesting results. First, I see tarot cards and I can assume that anyone who’s interested in tarot cards already knows where to buy tarot cards, so I’m not interested in that.
Prioritize New Niche Products
What you wanna do here is keep scrolling. You wanna keep going through the AliExpress results page until you find the product that this niche hasn’t seen before. It took me a couple of pages, but I found this product that I think would do really well with anyone interested in horoscopes, astrology, and tarot cards. It is the tarot card tapestry wall hanging. What I love about this product is that it definitely appeals to anyone who loves tarot cards, but it’s also quite tasteful and fits in with a more minimalist design.
Of course, the thing you’ll learn about this product is it’s less than $5 which means you can price it around $15 and keep that profit. That will also mean that this product isn’t terribly expensive to advertise on Facebook. That’s good because you’re going to want to test to see which astrological sign prefers buying this product over the others. Just kidding. I mean, you can test that, but that’s not an exact science, kind of like astrology.
Moving on. Let’s go to the third question you wanna ask yourself when you’re looking for those trends before your competition gets there.
3. Check and Mark Your Calendar for Hot Dates
The third question you wanna ask is what dates and holidays are driving consumer buying behavior. You guys, we’re filming this in August, and there are a lot of dates coming up. What I’m gonna do right now is tell you what those dates are and I’m also going to leave that in the description below so you can copy and paste it, mark your calendars, and do whatever you need to do so you remember to sell to people around these dates.
And by the way, these are dates just for major ecommerce markets like the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, so it doesn’t include some dates that might be really important to other countries.
First up, you’ve got Thanksgiving in Canada. That’s on October 14th. Then October 31st is Halloween. On November 28th, you’ve got Thanksgiving in the US, and the next day is Black Friday. This is when people are shopping like crazy in the US and they expect big deals. The frenzy continues on December 2nd. This is Cyber Monday. On December 22nd, Hanukkah starts, and December 25th is Christmas. New Year’s Eve, of course, falls on December 31st. How do these dates influence buying behavior, and how do you know to stay ahead of them and find trends that capitalize on them?
Widen Your Target Audience for Holiday Gifts
First of all, people are going to be buying gifts for other people on these dates. That means that if you’re advertising products that you think are only meant to be advertised to women, think again. You might have men looking to shop for women, women looking to shop for men, widen up your ads to make sure you take advantage of some of this gift buying potential around the holidays.
Another way that these dates influence behavior is that, well, while people are shopping for others, they decide to pick something pretty up for themselves. If ever there was a time in the year to run a sale, these dates are those times. Give your discounts away, and you will get sales. Just be careful of your margins along the way. Finally, and this is where the trend part really comes in, you can pick products now that are targeted to what people will need during those events and holidays themselves, and I have a really good example.
Jump on a Trend Early
This is a phone tripod. It allows people to take a picture by putting their phone into the tripod, setting it up anywhere, and setting their phone on the self-timer mode. It’s incredibly cheap, and it even comes in different colors. When I first saw this product, I wasn’t struck by the fact that it was a phone tripod. That didn’t seem special to me.
But then I thought about the problem it solved. During the holidays, you’ve got the family coming in to celebrate whatever it is they’re celebrating, and they wanna take a picture. But who has to take the picture? Whoever it is, they won’t be in the picture. It will be the one family member that doesn’t get included in the picture. That’s tragic. That goes against the spirit of the holidays, and that is the kind of fear and emotion you want to stir up in your ad for this product.
You’re not just selling something hands-free, you’re selling a tool that makes sure the whole family is included in holiday memories. That is how you capture a trend ahead of time. Start your story now, so that you can start seasoning your Facebook Pixel and getting these sales before the holidays. That way, you’ll know exactly who to target once all these holidays start rolling around.
Hold on, I hear it from here. But what about shipping times? No one will wait. You can use that sense of urgency to your advantage. When you start selling this product immediately, here, now, in August, I want you to include on your product page text that says, “Supplies are limited, order yours now, so you’ll get it in time for Halloween.” And then in three weeks, update it, “Thanksgiving,” And then in a couple of weeks, update it, “Christmas.” Whatever the case may be, use this sense of urgency to lock in the sales and to make sure your customers get their products in time.
4. Get Inspired by Recent Purchases
The fourth question gets a little introspective. I want you to think about what you bought this week, and if you’re just at the beginning of the week, start a document where you write down every single thing you buy. But do not stop there. I also want you to write down why you bought that and just free-write. Don’t be so practical. I’m going to give you an example of this because I’m gonna tell you about what I bought last night at the grocery store.
I was walking around the aisles and I was looking for baby shampoo. Now, I don’t have a baby, so why was I looking for a baby shampoo? The answer is I wanted to keep my make-up brushes clean because someone told me that baby shampoo was a great gentle way to remove dirt and debris from makeup brushes, and I wanna remove dirt and debris because I don’t want to break out, and I wanna keep my makeup brushes nice and clean so they can carry color effectively.
Look out for Different Selling Points
I know I’m losing you on the makeup part. But what I’m getting here is there was a series of concerns that fueled me to buy this product that, on its space, has nothing to do with my lifestyle. Even though it’s baby shampoo, I bought it, ’cause I didn’t wanna break out. I wanted to keep my makeup brushes clean. I wanted to make my makeup look brighter when I applied it to my face. This told me three selling points for anything having to do with cleaning makeup brushes.
Now, my job as a creative dropshipper that wants to stay ahead of trends is to find a product that will address any of those selling points and that is a product that stands out. This is when you’re gonna say, “But makeup brush cleaners are saturated.” I hear you, but hear me. The problem of cleaning makeup brushes is not going to go away. Women are not going to wake up magically and find self-cleaning makeup brushes, although honestly, that sounds like a brilliant product idea, and if you can describe something like that, you should. Until we get to that day, people who wear makeup are going to need to clean those makeup brushes, and they’re going to want products that help them do that. So your job is to find the makeup brush cleaner that no one has seen before.
Let’s do a little research live. When I search for a makeup brush cleaner, I see a lot of results. But what I haven’t seen is this right here. This armband that lets you clean makeup brushes also looks new. A lot of people have seen this make-up brush cleaner, and I still think it could get sales, but I personally would like to sell something a little bit different. So I was excited when I was browsing through AliExpress and I spotted something that stood out.
This is a makeup brush cleaner that sticks to a surface, and then in this little cup, you can insert your baby shampoo and water to clean your brushes. I’ve never seen something like this and it’s really cool to me because I like the idea of being able to stick it on the counter as I’m cleaning all my brushes and kind of have that puddle of liquid out of the way. As you can see, this has great reviews, but probably not very many people have bought it. That smells like an opportunity to me.
5. Recall Interesting Content You’ve Come Across
The last question you need to answer yourself to discover trends and trending products ahead of your competition is another introspective one. But it’s a little different. This week, I want you to write down what you watched and read on the internet. What YouTube videos caught your eye, besides this one, of course. What Instagram stories could you not stop watching? What articles did you actually read until the end?
Make a note of this and then note why you were so engaged. How did these videos appeal to your emotions or your anxieties or your fantasies about what the future would be like? It’s that emotional kernel that you want to get at because that is where the trends lie. I’ll share an example that actually relates to one of the other points that we just talked about.
This week, I was mesmerized by this video about pie crusts. I could not stop watching as she continued to create inventive pie crust patterns with dough. And I started thinking, “Maybe this is something I could do. Maybe I could be the one who brings an incredibly beautiful pie to the next dinner party I’m invited to. Maybe I could be the one that everyone compliments, ‘Oh, that’s a beautiful pie. How did you bake it?'”
This is the fantasy that I was living out in my head as I watched this pie baking video. If I have that fantasy, I’m sure others do too. So my job as an entrepreneur is to figure out what products fuel that fantasy, feed into that fantasy that I can sell to a hungry –get it?– audience on Facebook.
Venture Into the “Recommended” Section
To do this, I simply went to AliExpress and searched, “pie”. The first thing I saw was this dough cutter, that I’ll be honest, looks kind of mind-blowing. Apparently, you can just roll it over the dough and this incredible strudel-y topping appears. However, I was a little skeptical that something like this would work. When I was browsing, however, I noticed under here, the “recommended for you,” suggestions. This beautiful roller right here, because this wooden rolling pin will imprint its incredible pattern on any pie.
And do you know what’s amazing about this particular product? When I’m thinking about when I’ll bake all these pies and bring them to parties, do you think I’m imagining doing that in July? No, no, no, no, no. This fantasy is definitely connected to the holidays. So if I saw an ad for this rolling pin, telling me, “Make the pie no one will stop talking about at your next Thanksgiving gathering.” I’m buying it right then and there.
And if you answer the questions that we went over today, you’ll be able to identify these products that people will want to buy immediately before anyone else has them on their radar.
That’s all from me today, but before I sign off just leave a comment and let me know what you think of these tips and what other questions do you ask yourself when you’re trying to find trending products before anyone else gets there? Until next time, learn often, market better, and sell way more.
Want to Learn More?
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- Best Niches in 2020 and Product Recommendations
- How This 21-Year-Old Found Great Products and Grew His Beard Grooming Brand
- 10 Best-Selling Oberlo Products of All Time
- 16 Best-Selling Dropshipping Products Around the World