How to narrow down your product list: Part 1
Now that you have a list of possible products that you can sell, we need to establish whether they have actual potential to be bought by consumers or not. In the next couple of articles we will be going through a process on how to do more in-depth research on each product.
The first thing we will be researching is whether a product is a trending, stable, fad or seasonal product.
This can be determined by using Google trends and Google Adwords.
Starting with Google trends: navigate to this link: Google.co.za trends
Why use Google trends? With Google trends you can see how many times the searches of a certain phrase (also known as keywords) has been searched within a time frame. The information is given in a graph form showing the amount of searches over the time period chosen. You can compare different phrases (keywords) describing the product for example: coconut oil and coconut oil hair (as in the graph displayed below).
When on the website, type the name of your product in the search bar. This will take you to a page where you can view the search results graph over the timeline you selected. On this same page you can compare the product’s variant names/uses or you can compare it with another product as in the example above (remember to choose the correct country/city when searching to get more accurate results). For now we will only determine whether a product is a trend, stable, fad or seasonal product:
What is a Trending product? It is a product where the line gradually grows upwards for a while, but can drop down when the trend starts dying down. A trending product has the potential to become a stable product, but this does not always happen. A trending product’s graph will look more or less like the one below where I used leggings as an example: Leggings (woman clothing, that look like tights) had quite a stable upwards growth for a couple of years, and their growth has shown to go up and down in recent years, but is slowly going up with time).
Stable product: any product that keeps constant interest over time – the sales can go down slightly and then pick up slightly again, normally staying the same or growing slowly. An example would be a product like a chair; chairs are needed the same today as they were yesterday, and the same as they will be needed tomorrow. An example graph of a stable product will look like the graph below:
What is a Fad product: this is a product that has a quick upward spike in sales, but just as soon as it goes up, it drops down again. An example would be the Vuvuzela during the 2010 world cup. What a Fad graph will look like:
Seasonal product: a product that people only buy in a certain season. An example is Christmas decorations. A seasonal graph example will look like:
Timeline over a couple of years:
Timeline with in a year:
With these results you can also establish what the interest is or was in your product during a certain time period. What makes Google trends even better to use, is the fact that when you scroll down further on the search results graph page, you will see other related/suggested searches of the word you typed in. As in the example below:
Continuing to research by also using the suggested phrases as in the example above can also help you decide if a product is worth selling or not. You can compare the different phrases (suggested phrases/keywords) to help you find a new angle to sell your product, for example coconut oil can be used for food, hair, body, etc. By comparing these with each other, you can see which search is more popular with coconut oil. Further more these results can be used to decide what your product’s selling point will be and what use is more in demand (with these graphs you can also see a product’s demand in a certain area in a certain timeline).
- You can play around with the other search methods on the Google trends website to further research your product.
- Use the more descriptive name of the product to get more accurate results.
- Use the simple product name to get an overview of different names and words used to search for the product in order to get more ideas or for a comparison.
Look out for our next blog where will discuss how to use Google Adwords to narrow down your product list.