Last Update: 16.04.2024

18 min


Published on: 14.03.2022


Last Update: 16.04.2024

18 min

13 Strategies To Find A Product To Sell Online


Boran Özgül

Content Marketing Specialist

Published on: 14.03.2022

A woman trying to find a product to sell online

Ever felt lost in the endless options of things to sell online? From handmade items and digital creations to everyday goods and tasty treats, there’s just so much out there! But let’s be honest, not every product is a winner. Finding that one special thing to sell can feel like searching for a treasure without a map. 

But here’s some good news: you don’t need to list every single thing you could sell—that would be crazy! Instead, we’re here to show you some smart ways to discover that perfect product to sell, something that not only sells well but is also something you’re excited about. With these strategies, finding what to sell won’t feel like a wild goose chase. You’ll be on your way to starting your online business, and we’ll be right here to guide you through it.

After you have found a product and found a business idea you are happy with, you can easily start your online business with ikas!Below, you can find different strategies that will enable you to find a product to sell online.

1. Solve a problem

Some products people just like to have, while others they need. Figuring out what people want can be tough, but understanding what they need is usually much clearer.

Start by identifying a problem. Think about what challenges a specific group of people might be facing. What do they struggle with, and what could make their lives easier?

Take hikers as an example. What might they need? Maybe it’s more durable or more affordable hiking gear. Perhaps what they’re looking for are winter hiking boots that keep their feet warm and dry. By focusing on solving such specific needs, you’ll quickly find a product that people are eager to buy.

The best ideas often come from looking at what people need. Consider how Windows made computers more user-friendly for everyone, or how Apple reinvented the smartphone to be simpler and more intuitive. These innovations were all about meeting a need.

So, take a look around. What problems do people in your community or around the world face? Find one of those problems, and you’ve found your next product idea. Whether you aim to serve your local area or tap into a global market, solving real problems is a great way to find a product to sell online.

A classic example of solving a simple yet widespread problem, Hydro Flask started with a personal need for a water bottle that could keep water cold for longer periods. The founder, Travis Rosbach, was frustrated with the existing options that failed to meet his hydration needs during his outdoor adventures. By focusing on this specific problem, Hydro Flask was born, offering high-quality, insulated stainless steel bottles. This focus on a simple, universal problem led to the brand’s massive success, appealing to outdoor enthusiasts and everyday users alike who sought functional and durable water bottles.

a man trying to solve a problem.

2. Think about your hobbies

Do you have a specific hobby? Or something that you just really love doing? Then you might be able to find a product to sell online easily!

We have previously talked about solving the problems of others. But maybe the problem you need to solve is the problem you and the people around you have. And your passion or hobbies could be the great starting point you have been looking for!

If there is anything you are happy to do, you can easily start with the problems you have during the process of performing that activity. Maybe there is nowhere around that sells the equipment you need. Or they might be too expensive. There could even be a lack of customizable equipment. List what you would have liked to have, or what could make your hobby even more convenient. Then, think about how you could provide it to yourself, and others that need the same thing. 

Selling something you are passionate about is also great to increase your motivation for your job. You might not be performing your passion for money, but at least you are doing something related to it! And the people you will be working with will also be passionate about it, so your community will also have a common interest with you.

As an example, CaitlynMinimalist started as a small, personal hobby of making jewelry and quickly grew into one of Etsy’s top sellers. The shop specializes in handmade, personalized jewelry pieces such as name necklaces and custom ring designs. What began as a simple passion for crafting unique jewelry pieces turned into a thriving online business that has sold to hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide.

3. Consider your experience

Sometimes the best products to sell are the ones you are experienced with. Consider your work history, your education, or your hobbies, and list the products that you know very well. Having some experience with the field or the product itself could provide you with the competitive edge you need. 

Being knowledgeable about the products you sell is a great boon. First of all, it increases the trust your customers have with you. Everybody likes to shop from the people who are experienced with the products. 

Leveraging your experience could be great for professional goods. For example, if you have worked as a chef for years, you would be better at choosing professional kitchen equipment. So you would know what to sell, and what not to sell. Your customers will also feel better shopping from someone who knows their equipment. 

As such, Yael Aflalo combined her experience in the fashion industry with her commitment to sustainability. After witnessing firsthand the environmental impact of fast fashion, she set out to create the brand of Reformation that aligned with her values.

Reformation is a clothing brand that focuses on sustainable practices, offering stylish and eco-friendly garments. The company uses sustainable materials, recycled fabrics, and ethical manufacturing processes to produce its collections.

By integrating her professional background in fashion with her passion for environmental activism, Yael Aflalo has positioned Reformation as a leader in sustainable fashion, demonstrating that style and sustainability can go hand in hand.

find a product to sell online , two people talking near a board.

4. Search keywords

Searching for keywords with different keyword tools is one of the best ways to see what people are looking for!

When shopping for a certain product, most people will start their search on the web. The majority of shoppers will compare the prices of goods online even while in a brick-and-mortar store. So the volume certain searches have will indicate the demand for that product.

You can use Google Keyword Planner or similar tools to determine the search traffic of certain keywords. Start by the name of the product in your mind, and then narrow it down by adding the specific features.

For instance, the rise of home-based hobbies and DIY culture has seen a significant increase in demand for craft kits and supplies, ranging from beginner-level knitting kits to advanced electronics and robotics sets for hobbyists. These kits not only serve as an engaging pastime but also as educational tools, blurring the lines between entertainment and learning.

On the other end of the spectrum, technology continues to spawn innovative product ideas, such as wearable fitness trackers that not only monitor health metrics but also provide personalized fitness coaching. The pet industry, too, is seeing a wave of innovation with smart pet toys and gadgets that promote activity and monitor health, reflecting the growing trend of pet owners treating their pets as family members and seeking the best products for their well-being.

Meanwhile, the wellness sector is expanding beyond traditional health products to include subscription boxes for mental health, offering monthly deliveries of mindfulness exercises, stress relief gadgets, and natural supplements.

Blueland’s founders, for example, noticed the growing interest in sustainable living and eco-friendly products, including “zero waste cleaning products.” This insight led to the creation of Blueland, a company focused on reducing plastic waste by offering refillable cleaning product solutions.

By targeting keywords around sustainability and eco-friendly home products, Blueland successfully positioned itself within a growing market segment passionate about reducing plastic use. Their innovative approach to everyday cleaning products has garnered a loyal customer base and significant media attention.

5. Find hobbyists

There are tons of hobbies out there, and a lot of them require specialized equipment. Better yet, most hobbyists enjoy spending the money on the items they want!! Aiming for niche hobbies could even open up a very low competition market to you.

Consider the niche hobbies you or those around you are interested in. Then, determine the ones that require some extra equipment or products to be performed. The best way to learn what hobbyists need is to find their specific forums, message boards, Facebook pages, and Reddit boards. Then, you can just read the posts to see what they want to buy!

For instance, specializing in tools, supplies, and materials for model building, Micro-Mark caters to hobbyists in fields like model trains, architectural modeling, and dollhouse construction. Their niche focus and offering of hard-to-find miniature tools and materials have garnered a loyal customer base.

how to find a product to sell online, two hobbyists.

6. Try out your talents

Do you have any talents or skills that will enable you to create something by yourself? This can be anything from handmade accessories to digital art! If so, why not use your talent to make your products to sell!

The list of goods you can make is huge! You can create handcrafted products from scratch, or you can take a manufactured product and customize it! Or you can make artworks, even digital ones! 

Creating your products will give you a lot of control over what you sell. But they are also harder to scale, as each specific product will need you to spend time on it.

Famously, Envato Market is a platform for buying and selling royalty-free photos, videos, graphics, themes, and much more. Its success is due to providing a vast selection of high-quality, ready-to-use digital assets that save time and resources for creative professionals.

Emerging trends in the e-commerce world are reshaping how online businesses operate, offering new opportunities for entrepreneurs to innovate and thrive. One significant trend is the growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly products. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their purchases, leading to a surge in demand for goods that are not only good for them but also the planet. This shift is prompting sellers to explore products made from recycled materials, items that support zero-waste lifestyles, and goods produced through fair trade practices. 

Additionally, there’s a noticeable move towards personalisation and customisation, with buyers seeking products that can be tailored to their specific preferences or needs, from personalized skincare regimes to custom-designed apparel. 

Another trend gaining momentum is the integration of technology to enhance the shopping experience. Augmented reality (AR) allows customers to visualize products in their own space before making a purchase, significantly enhancing buyer confidence, especially in the furniture and home decor sectors. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in customer service, through chatbots and personalized shopping assistants, is streamlining the shopping process, making it more efficient and interactive. 

Moreover, the increasing use of blockchain technology is improving transparency and security in transactions, building trust between sellers and buyers. These technological advancements, combined with a shift towards more conscious consumerism, are setting new standards for online businesses and opening up avenues for innovative product ideas and selling strategies.

Known for its try-at-home glasses service, Warby Parker uses augmented reality (AR) to allow customers to virtually try on glasses through their app. This innovation enhances the online shopping experience, making it more interactive and personalized.

Analysing social media trends to unearth product ideas involves diving into the vast, real-time world of consumer preferences and behaviours. This approach taps into what’s current and popular, providing a goldmine of insights for potential products.

To begin, you’ll want to identify hashtags and topics that are currently trending across social media platforms that resonate with your target audience. Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest stand out as particularly valuable in this endeavour. Utilising tools like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, or even the search functionality within these platforms can help you pinpoint what’s capturing the public’s attention.

Once you’ve identified these trending topics, the next step involves a deeper analysis. This isn’t just about spotting what’s popular; it’s about understanding why it’s popular. What needs or desires does this trend satisfy? How does it fit into broader societal or industry shifts? This analysis can uncover underlying consumer motivations that are not immediately apparent.

Following this, it’s crucial to engage with the community that’s driving these trends. Join conversations, follow influential accounts, and even directly engage with posts to get a feel for the community’s pulse. This engagement offers invaluable insights into what specific aspects of a trend people are most passionate about, and where there might be gaps in the current market offerings.

Finally, testing your product ideas on social media before fully committing to them can save time and resources. Create mock-ups or prototypes and gauge the reaction of your audience through polls, stories, or teaser posts. This not only validates your idea but also involves your potential customer base in the development process, creating a sense of investment and anticipation for the final product.

9- Leverage Customer Feedback and Reviews

Leveraging customer feedback and reviews is a strategic approach to discovering product ideas and improvements that can significantly enhance your offerings. This method relies on the insights and experiences shared by your customers, providing direct input into their needs, preferences, and areas for enhancement.

Starting with the collection of feedback, ensure you have efficient systems in place to gather reviews across multiple platforms. This might include your website, social media channels, and third-party review sites. Encourage your customers to share their thoughts by making the process as simple as possible and possibly incentivising it. The goal is to gather a broad spectrum of opinions and experiences that represent your customer base.

Once you’ve collected the feedback, the next crucial step is analysis. Look for common themes and recurring suggestions or complaints. This could involve requests for new features, improvements to existing products, or entirely new product ideas that address unmet needs. It’s also worth paying attention to the language and phrases customers use, as this can provide keywords or concepts that resonate with your target audience.

Engaging with this feedback is equally important. Respond to reviews, acknowledge the input, and discuss potential changes or new products being considered as a result of customer suggestions. This not only shows that you value their opinions but also helps build a community of loyal customers who feel heard and appreciated.

The insights gained from this process can then be used to inform your product development strategy. Whether it’s making incremental improvements to existing products or launching entirely new offerings, customer feedback provides a valuable roadmap for what your market wants and needs.

In practice, leveraging customer feedback and reviews offers a direct line to understanding your customers better, enabling you to tailor your products more closely to their desires and problems. This approach not only enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty but also positions your business as adaptable and responsive to market demands, giving you a competitive edge in your industry.

10- Attend Trade Shows and Industry Conferences

Attending trade shows and industry conferences is a strategic move for anyone looking to find new product ideas or expand their business network. These events are where the latest innovations, trends, and products are showcased, making them invaluable for entrepreneurs and business owners eager to stay ahead in their market.

At trade shows and conferences, you have the opportunity to see firsthand what’s new and upcoming in your industry. Exhibitors display their latest products and technologies, giving you insight into current trends and consumer interests. It’s not just about what’s being sold; it’s about understanding the direction in which your industry is moving. This can inspire new product ideas or improvements to existing offerings.

Moreover, these events facilitate direct interaction with manufacturers, suppliers, and fellow entrepreneurs. Such interactions can lead to potential partnerships, supplier agreements, or even mentorship opportunities. The knowledge exchange that happens in these conversations is often invaluable, providing practical insights and strategies that you might not gain from market research alone.

Another significant advantage of attending these events is the ability to gauge the competition. Seeing what others in your field are doing can help you identify gaps in the market, uncovering niches that are underserved or emerging trends that are not yet widely adopted. This competitive intelligence can be a powerful tool in developing unique products that set your business apart.

Beyond the exhibition floor, trade shows and conferences often include workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches by industry leaders. These educational sessions can deepen your understanding of market dynamics, consumer behaviour, and innovative business models. They can also expand your perspective, encouraging you to think creatively about solving industry-specific challenges.

11- Explore Subscription Models

Exploring subscription models is a forward-thinking strategy for businesses looking to introduce new products or services. This approach has gained popularity across various sectors, offering customers convenience and value while providing companies with steady revenue and deeper customer relationships.

Subscription models work by offering products or services regularly in exchange for regular payments. This could range from monthly delivery of physical goods, such as food and beverages, beauty products, or even books, to access to digital content like software, entertainment, or educational materials.

One key advantage of subscription models is the ability to build a loyal customer base. Subscribers are more likely to become long-term customers, providing a predictable revenue stream. This model also encourages regular engagement with your brand, increasing the chances of upselling or cross-selling products.

For businesses, subscription models offer rich data insights. By monitoring subscriber preferences, behaviours, and feedback, companies can refine their offerings and personalize experiences, further enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. This data-driven approach allows for better inventory management and more accurate forecasting, reducing waste and improving efficiency.

Innovation in subscription models can also unlock new markets or customer segments. For example, by offering tiered subscription options, businesses can cater to different levels of interest and affordability, broadening their appeal. Additionally, subscriptions can introduce customers to products they wouldn’t have purchased otherwise, expanding their awareness and appreciation of your brand’s range.

Implementing a subscription model requires careful consideration of your market’s needs, the value your subscription offers, and how it fits into your overall business strategy. It’s crucial to ensure that the process is seamless for customers, from sign-up to cancellation, and that the terms of the subscription are clear and transparent.

Businesses like Dollar Shave Club, with their razors and grooming products, or Birchbox, offering beauty product samples, have successfully leveraged subscription models to disrupt traditional markets. Similarly, software companies like Adobe and entertainment services like Netflix have shown how digital subscriptions can dominate an industry.

12- Collaborate with Designers or Inventors

Collaborating with designers or inventors is a dynamic strategy that can infuse your product line with innovation and creativity. This approach leverages the expertise and vision of individuals who are on the cutting edge of their fields, whether it’s in fashion, technology, sustainability, or any other industry. By partnering with these creative minds, businesses can develop unique products that stand out in the market and attract a discerning customer base.

Designers and inventors often bring a fresh perspective to common problems, creating solutions that are not only functional but also aesthetically appealing or technologically advanced. Their work is driven by a passion for innovation and a deep understanding of the user experience, which can translate into products that offer something genuinely new and valuable to consumers.

One key benefit of such collaborations is the ability to tap into niche markets or trends that your business might not have the expertise to explore independently. Designers and inventors often have their fingers on the pulse of emerging trends and consumer demands, allowing them to create products that meet these needs in novel ways. This can give your business a competitive edge by being the first to market with products that capture the imagination of your target audience.

Furthermore, these collaborations can enhance your brand’s reputation for innovation and quality. Associating with well-known designers or respected inventors can lend credibility and prestige to your product offerings. It signals to customers that your business is committed to excellence and supports the creative industry.

To make these collaborations successful, it’s essential to establish clear communication and mutual respect from the outset. Both parties should have a shared understanding of the project’s goals, timelines, and financial arrangements. It’s also important to respect the creative process, allowing designers and inventors the freedom to express their ideas while ensuring that the final product aligns with your brand’s values and customer expectations.

Businesses like Apple have long understood the value of collaborating with designers, which has been a cornerstone of their product development strategy. Similarly, fashion brands often collaborate with artists or designers to create limited-edition collections that generate buzz and excitement among consumers.

13- Focus on Sustainability and Ethical Products

Focusing on sustainability and ethical products reflects a strategic response to the growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly and socially responsible goods. This trend is not just a niche market anymore; it’s becoming a mainstream expectation across various industries, from fashion and beauty to food and technology. By prioritizing sustainability and ethical practices, businesses can align themselves with the values of a significant segment of the population who are willing to pay a premium for products that are kind to the earth and supportive of fair labor practices.

Adopting a focus on sustainability involves re-evaluating sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution processes to minimize environmental impact. This could mean using recycled or biodegradable materials, reducing waste and energy consumption, or investing in renewable energy sources. Ethical products involve ensuring fair labor practices, supporting fair trade principles, and possibly engaging in social initiatives that give back to communities involved in the production process.

The benefits of focusing on sustainable and ethical products extend beyond meeting customer demand. They also include long-term cost savings from more efficient use of resources, enhanced brand loyalty among consumers who share these values, and a reduced risk of backlash from practices deemed harmful or unethical. Moreover, businesses that lead in this area often set the standards for their industry, positioning themselves as forward-thinking and innovative.

Collaboration with certifications and third-party organizations can lend credibility to your sustainability claims. Certifications like Fair Trade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance, or B Corp can provide consumers with the assurance that your products meet high environmental and social standards. Transparency is key; customers are increasingly savvy about greenwashing, so providing clear, verifiable information about your practices is essential.

Brands like Patagonia in outdoor apparel and Beyond Meat in the food industry have successfully centered their businesses around sustainability and ethical practices. Patagonia’s commitment to environmental activism and transparent supply chains has made it a leader in sustainable fashion, while Beyond Meat’s plant-based products address environmental concerns associated with animal farming.

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Boran Özgül

Content Marketing Specialist

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