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Blog / Beginner's handbook / How To Find Products To Sell on Shopify in 2024

Beginner's handbook

How To Find Products To Sell on Shopify in 2024

How To Find Products To Sell on Shopify in 2024
Zoe Amora Iranzo-Lauriņa

By Zoe Amora Iranzo-Lauriņa

15 min read

Do you want to open an online store with Shopify but don’t know what to sell? Choosing the right products can make or break your ecommerce success. Discover how to find products to sell on Shopify that’ll attract potential customers, save on overhead costs, and guarantee a healthy profit margin.

Why do so many online sellers choose Shopify? According to a survey by Shopify in 2020, the average monthly revenue of Shopify stores was $1,579. Meanwhile, the top 10% of stores made approximately $10,866 monthly. Shockingly, some Shopify dropshippers earn as much as $800,000 per month.

The good news is, there’s never been a better time to enter the dynamic ecommerce scene. New brands are always emerging with unique niches or solutions for their target audience. Check out these successful Shopify stores for inspiration.

Now, it’s time to learn how you, too, can have your piece of the pie. Let’s dive into what makes a Shopify bestseller and how to find products to sell on Shopify.

What makes a Shopify bestseller: 7 key characteristics

The first step toward success is embodying the characteristics of a Shopify bestseller. No matter how cool your product idea is, following these best-selling Shopify store principles will help you rise above the competition. Here’s what sets Shopify bestsellers apart.

1. Clear target audience

a diagram of a customer satisfaction surveySource: Wikimedia Commons

Successful Shopify stores know their target audience and how to speak to them directly. To create a successful product, research your target market. Know their demographics, interests, and buying behaviors to cater to your audience’s needs and identify emerging opportunities.

Social media can be an excellent resource for analyzing your target audience. Learn how to examine your social media audience to improve your content strategy. Another clever strategy is to narrow down your niche. Discover how to find a niche for your online store and start selling products people are interested in.

2. Strong market demand

Successful Shopify store owners have done the research and know there’s a strong demand for their products or services. Ensure a ready market for your offerings by looking for products with high demand and search volume. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, or Ahrefs to identify popular search terms and trending products.

You can also survey potential customers and ask about pricing, expectations, purchase intent, pain points, and more. Also, consider running a test campaign to gauge interest in your product or offer a pre-sale—that way, you won’t lose money buying stock upfront (learn how to avoid upfront costs altogether in the product sourcing section).

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3. Low competition or a strong unique selling proposition (USP)

Differentiating your product from competitors is key to standing out. A unique selling point or niche product can attract customers and build brand loyalty. Analyzing competitor offerings, customer reviews, and market gaps will help you carve out your own authentic space.

Check out successful Shopify store examples for inspiration. Also, browse social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook Marketplace, Pinterest Shopping, and TikTok to see how other online stores interact with customers and present their products.

4. Fulfillment quality and reliability

a screenshot of a messageSource: Printful

Many Shopify store owners rely on third-party suppliers to fulfill and ship their products. You’ll need a reliable supplier unless you handle fulfillment and logistics. Customers trust companies that provide high-quality products and take pride in being trustworthy, transparent, and forthcoming.

Nobody wants to receive a damaged product only to find out the seller doesn’t offer refunds or replacements.

5. Size and weight 

It’s no secret that smaller items are easier to sell than large, hefty ones. The cost of packaging and shipping a phone case is much less than that of a couch. When brainstorming product ideas to sell online, consider cost efficiency, packaging materials, storage space, and return shipping costs.

Shopify allows you to turn on Live Shipping Rates so that customers can check shipping costs for themselves. Of course, you can also choose to cover shipping yourself and calculate it into the product costs. We’ll dive into profit margins in the next section.

6. Shipping origin and speed

The faster an item ships, the higher customer satisfaction. Save yourself a headache and source products from local suppliers (local to your customers’ location). That way, you’ll ensure the quickest shipping speed and minimize costs. When sourcing products, find suppliers that are transparent about their shipping speed.

There’s nothing worse than launching your own online store only to be sued for copyright infringement. Before listing your products, ensure there aren’t any copyright issues. Learn the basics of copyright and trademark laws, and remember to check with local legislation. Keep up with legislative trends, so you can adapt your product offerings while ensuring compliance with regulations.

8. Extraordinary customer experience

Providing exceptional customer service, easy returns, and prompt issue resolution fosters customer loyalty and positive shopping experiences. But the most successful brands go the extra mile to create an extraordinary customer experience both online and in person.

There’s a reason customers stay loyal to popular brands like Lululemon. Yes, they offer high-quality products, but it’s still wild that people are willing to pay over $100 for a pair of leggings. According to retail expert and author Robin Lewis, the secret behind their loyal customer base is creating “addictive experiences.”

a collage of people doing yogaSource: Lululemon

Lululemon is addictive because customers get to co-create the experience with the brand thanks to offerings like free yoga classes and running clubs. Also, by stocking only a few of each item and updating selections frequently, Lululemon keeps customers guessing, which sometimes leads to impulse buying. As a result, customers stay longer, buy more, and keep returning, increasing the store’s value.

How to find a product to sell on Shopify in 8 steps

Now that you know what makes a Shopify bestseller, let’s find products to sell on your online store.

1. Research the market

Market research is vital for businesses to understand their target audience’s needs and preferences and identify potential competition. This process involves gathering and analyzing data about people, companies, and industry trends to make informed product sourcing or development decisions.

a bag with different sizes and sizesSource: Amazon

When researching your market, find customer pain points you can solve, like an unfoldable travel bag that fits way more than your regular duffle bag (for traveling light). Pay attention to common frustrations people have and think of how you can solve them.

Choose a niche market, like people with specific hobbies. Passionate people are willing to spend more on their interests, and if they dig your brand, you could easily build a loyal following. You can also target a specific audience like ND Renegade, a clothing brand for neurodivergent people.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: ND Renegade

Here are some useful product research tools to use:

Check competitors on social media platforms

See what competitors sell on social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. With 82% of shoppers using social media to make purchases, it’s an excellent source of information.

Notice the type of content competitors create and which posts get the most engagement. Find inspiration for marketing your own products online. Check comments for customer feedback and source product ideas for your business.

a man in a room with a bookcase and a couchSource: Instagram

For example, Hem is a premium furniture brand prioritizing design, quality, and sustainability. They offer a variety of furniture and home goods created in collaboration with top designers and manufacturers. The posts that get the most engagement feature their collaborating designers.

Check marketplaces

Another excellent place to conduct market research is online marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. Browse categories like “What’s hot,” “Most wished for,” “Top sellers,” and “Most popular item” to discover current customer demand.

On Amazon, you can view the “Best Sellers Rank” to see an item’s popularity in its product category. Check customer reviews for areas of improvement. While top-selling products may have high competition, they also have a high demand. You’ll be at the top of the game if you can offer high-quality products that ship quickly and provide excellent customer service.

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Stay on top of industry trends for products to sell online using tools like Google Trends. Conduct keyword research to view their search volume and recent popularity. Another effective strategy is social listening. Social listening can range from monitoring trending hashtags to using advanced tools to track trends over time.

Reddit is also an excellent resource for trending topics. You can tune into conversations worldwide and see how many comments, likes, and interactions a subject gets. Don’t confuse a trend with a fad. A fad will vanish in a few weeks/months, while a trend remains popular for years (or decades—think blue jeans or your basic t-shirt).

Note: Capitalize on trends early to carve your space in the ecommerce world.

2. Decide on your product sourcing strategy

Before launching your online store, consider what types of products you’ll sell and where to source them. We’ve covered product sourcing in more depth before, but here’s a summary of your options when opening a Shopify store.

Print-on-demand

Print-on-demand (POD) is a business model where you sell third-party products on your storefront without keeping inventory—meaning, no overhead costs. POD companies stand out thanks to their ability to print on the products. You can create unlimited designs and have them printed on custom hoodies, t-shirts, embroidered on bags and hats, and much more.

a screenshot of a productSource: Printful

Let’s say you have an online store and use a POD company like Printful. When a customer orders something from your store, your POD partner receives the order and notifies you. The company then prints, packs, and ships the product to your customer on your behalf.

Need help finding trendy products to sell on Shopify? Check out this list of best-selling print-on-demand products to add to your store.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is one of the most popular product outsourcing methods. It’s a business model where you sell third-party products without keeping inventory. Many Shopify stores partner with dropshipping suppliers because it allows them to offer trending products that appeal to customers.

a man sitting in a chair with a laptopSource: Printful

Like POD, dropshipping allows you to sell products online without keeping an inventory. Instead, third-party warehouses store and ship products directly to customers.

Suppose you run an online store and use a dropshipping service. When a customer purchases from your store, your dropshipping partner receives the order, fulfills it, and then dispatches the product to your customer. Voilà!

Most dropshipping suppliers offer on-demand order fulfillment, meaning you only pay for products as orders come in. This business model, just like POD, is popular in ecommerce for its low entry barriers and flexibility in product offerings.

Ordering in bulk

Ordering products in bulk from a wholesaler or directly from the manufacturer can reduce the cost per item and increase your profit margin. The downside is that it requires a large overhead investment. Plus, you risk losing money with unsold inventory.

To source products for your online store, find a wholesaler that offers products you’re interested in, buy them in bulk, and either take on shipping yourself or send them to a third-party logistics company. Buying from a manufacturer is similar, but with the bonus of creating your own exclusive products.

You can’t always monitor stock levels when working with POD and dropshipping companies. When ordering in bulk, since you own the inventory, you can follow stock levels and ensure you don’t sell more items than you have. Then again, when you buy from a wholesaler or manufacturer, you must have space to store the stock and a way to ship it to customers.

3. Calculate costs and product pricing

The next step in our guide on how to find products to sell on Shopify is product pricing. Before you list any items on your Shopify store, calculate the costs from order fulfillment to shipping the product to your customers and set an appropriate price. Ensure you have a healthy profit margin so your business can thrive and expand. You can consult Printful’s pricing guide to understand your earnings.

a screenshot of a clothing storeSource: Printful

Wondering how to find profitable products? Check out our list of dropshipping products with high profit margins. When calculating costs, remember to include taxes, design costs, platform subscriptions, shipping, warehousing, marketing, and any other aspects of running an ecommerce store that consume your time.

Other useful resources:

4. Order samples

Before listing any product online, ensure you’re satisfied with the quality and look in real life. A great way to check these factors is by ordering product samples. Although you can preview your products using a Mockup Generator (and download free high-quality product mockups to add to your Shopify store), nothing beats ordering samples.

Let’s say you design custom t-shirts and order a few samples to check the print quality. You may find flaws in your design that could be fixed or realize that the t-shirt material and weight aren’t what you expected. It’s always better to resolve these issues yourself and avoid embarrassing design flops instead of hearing complaints from customers!

a man wearing a black shirt with white text on itSource: Boredpanda

5. Sell products you’re passionate about

While turning your passion into an ecommerce business may not always be a lucrative idea, it can be if you meet the following criteria:

  • Meet product demand: Assessing the market demand helps ensure a viable audience for your product or service.

  • Identify your USP: As mentioned earlier, identifying your unique selling proposition helps you differentiate yourself from competitors.

  • Assess scalability: Assessing the feasibility of scaling your business is a crucial step in building a profitable ecommerce store. When operating a print-on-demand dropshipping business, you can sell as many products as customers order.

  • Build a loyal customer base: A top priority should be building a loyal customer base through effective engagement strategies and adapting to changing trends and preferences.

  • Maintain high standards: Maintaining high quality and consistency in your product or service offerings will help build customer trust and credibility.

  • Have an effective sales strategy: Use the product research tools mentioned above to gain valuable insights into your target audience’s activities and preferences. Apply that knowledge to your marketing strategy and watch the sales roll in. Dive deeper with our list of market research tools.

Meeting these criteria makes it possible to transform your passion into a successful ecommerce venture that generates sustainable revenue and growth while fulfilling your creative aspirations. For example, sisters Kim and Keyondra, founders of Jolie Noire, transformed their passion for style and empowering the black community into a successful clothing line.

two women posing for a pictureSource: Jolie Noire

6. Stay up to date

Change is the only constant in life, and you can apply this law to how you sell on Shopify. Stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry so that you can identify emerging opportunities and adapt your product offerings accordingly.

You should also be aware of changes in your target market, like which products are currently popular and which have lost popularity. This will help you make informed decisions about your business strategy.

The best part about creating custom products with Printful is that you can showcase as many unique designs on 333 products—all without spending a dime on inventory and warehousing. Simply use the Design Maker to create gorgeous designs and then download product photos with the Mockup Generator.

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7. Consult crowdsourcing platforms and join forums in your niche

Discover innovative product ideas by browsing crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or IdeaScale. Analyze successful campaigns and implement them into your product strategy or gather inspiration for your own products.

Also, joining online forums, discussion boards, and social media groups in your niche can be an excellent way to engage with like-minded individuals, gain knowledge, and stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends. Again, Reddit has many Subreddits with endless topics you can join. Share your expertise and offer valuable insights to carve your name in the community.

8. Attend craft fairs, local markets, trade shows, and expos

While the internet provides endless product resources, real-life networking still holds value. Plus, by attending live events, you can see firsthand what people are selling and how customers react to the products. It’s a beautiful opportunity to ignite your creativity.

Consider attending industry-specific trade shows, exhibitions, and expos to explore new products, trends, and potential suppliers. Networking with industry professionals can provide valuable insights and connections to help your business grow.

You should also visit local markets, craft fairs, and artisanal events to discover unique handmade, artisan products and small-batch goods. Engage with vendors, explore product variety, and gather ideas for your Shopify store. Attending these events can help you stay up to date with the latest trends and find new and exciting products to offer your customers.

a screenshot of a computerSource: Expocart

Check your local newspaper or municipal events calendar to see what expos and trade shows are happening in your city or surrounding area. If you can, travel to and participate in large events to get your foot in the door. You never know what could happen—you might meet your next business partner!

Nurture your passion, ignite success

Your Shopify success story isn’t just about selling the perfect products—it’s about crafting a unique customer experience. This journey requires dedication, creativity, and strategic foresight. Take advantage of numerous tools and tactics available, from marketplaces to industry events.

Remember to embody the key characteristics of a Shopify bestseller mentioned above, and follow the steps for finding products to sell on Shopify. Find suppliers you’re content with, interact with your customers, and stay flexible.

Achieving success on Shopify is not just about profit margins—it’s about building lasting connections and exceeding customer expectations. So, embrace the thrill of discovery, experimentation, and innovation. Unveil your Shopify success story by finding products that resonate with your brand and captivate your audience. Let Shopify be the canvas on which you paint the masterpiece of your ecommerce journey.

author

By Zoe Amora Iranzo-Lauriņa on Apr. 10, 2024

Zoe Amora Iranzo-Lauriņa

Guest author

Zoe is a creative writer, multilingual translator, and certified yoga instructor with a passion for learning, traveling, and global cuisine. When she's not typing away at her PC, you can find her teaching yoga in the park, reading on the couch with her cat, or plunging in the Mediterranean.

Zoe is a creative writer, multilingual translator, and certified yoga instructor with a passion for learning, traveling, and global cuisine. When she's not typing away at her PC, you can find her teaching yoga in the park, reading on the couch with her cat, or plunging in the Mediterranean.