Starting an ecommerce business

Start an Ecommerce Business – Part 2. Where to Look for Ideas

By September 24, 2017 November 19th, 2017 No Comments

Congratulations to Part 2 of 200…. Lol not too sure how many parts we will get to but every step and goal we will take we will give.

Now that you know what to use to help you find your product to sell. It’s time to start looking for some product ideas. Coming up with a great idea for a product to sell online will occasionally strike when you least expect it, most of the time though, it’s something you need to be proactively on the lookout for. The internet contains a wealth of ideas and inspiration, but where exactly should you begin?

This part will go over some of the best places to find a product or at the very least get some more inspiration and ideas. As you go through all the resources listed in this post, make sure to look beyond the products themselves. It may sound cliché but because there is heavy competition in the most common and popular product categories, choosing a different or unique angle can be instrumental to your success. Try not to just look at products, rather look at new ways the product can be used, new ways it can be imagined and new markets for it.

Here is what we did.

1. Make a List

As you go through this part you can keep it in you mind or be more proactive and make a list of resources, it’s best to capture all of your concepts and ideas on paper. Once you have all of your brainstormed ideas recorded, you will be able to return to them later and evaluate them further for viability and market potential.

If paper is a bit too old fashion for you like it is for us then Evernote is a fantastic tool tool to use to help consolidate your ideas and remember what you wrote down for later.


2. Get on Alibaba and become one with this platform.

There is no better place to get started then it is to start looking at what is available in the market place of Alibaba. You’ve likely heard of Alibaba. They are the biggest ecommerce company in the world, even larger than Amazon and eBay combined. Alibaba connects consumers all over the world with wholesalers and manufacturers (typically) from Asia. With hundreds of thousands of products, there’s not much you can’t find on Alibaba.

If you want to be a successful ecommerce business owner you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable with visiting different or uncommon sites. When you are taking notes and then want to be able to find a product to see what it is being sold for whole sale a quick look at the product here will let you know what they are selling it for. there is nothing more exciting then to see something on JBHIFI for $600AUD and then on Alibaba being sold for $100USD. Its really finding a product that you can source on Alibaba that you think has merit. So jump onto the platform and start surfing the products there.


3. Start with What You Have or Solve Your Own Problems

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you likely already have a few ideas for products you want to sell or have thought about selling in the past. Maybe it’s an idea you’ve had for years or maybe you have a problem in your own life has no good solution for currently.

Here are a few questions to consider when making your list:

  • What products, niches or industries are you particularly passionate about or interested in?
  • What products, niches or industries are your friends passionate about?
  • What pain points or frustrating experience do you have in your own life?

Example: On Those Trays was a start up here in Perth that a couple of guys got together to make in Fremantle unique jarrah wood trays for professional gentleman’s keys, wallet and phone. This was created to help forgetful guys have a place for their three components all in once place for quick and easy collection.




4. Follow Industry Leaders

You may not know what product to sell, but maybe you know the industry or market you would like to be in. Using various online tools, you can discover and follow the influencers in the industry you’re interested in. Following the right people on social media can help uncover and inspire new ideas from a constant stream of carefully curated content from the people that are in the know.

There are several great online tools you can use to discover the influencers online for a particular industry or market:


5. Read/Watch Consumer Product Reviews

Product reviews and discovery sites can also be a fantastic source of ideas and inspiration. Sites like Uncrate (men’s products) and Outblush (women’s products) are great ways to see new curated product trends daily. What better way to get inspired than to get a daily glimpse into the new and interesting products other entrepreneurs are bringing to the market.

Here are just a few examples of popular consumer product blogs to get you started:

Don’t limit yourself to just looking at the big and popular product blogs but explore niche reviews sites as well. Consider what types of products and niches you’re particularly interested in and follow product review blogs in those niches.


6. Social Curation Sites

Social curation sites like Pinterest can be a goldmine for product and niche ideas. Many of the images contain interesting, new and trending consumer products. Using the built in social signals you can sometimes get a sense almost immediately of their popularity. This could be your first clue if there is a market for the product.

Several of the larger social curations sites to check out include:

  • Pinterest – Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social network with over 50 million monthly users. Make sure to check out the popular section for what’s currently trending.
  • Polyvore – Polyvore is another great service, similar to Pinterest. Polyvore’s global community has created over 80 million collage-like “sets” that are shared across the web.
  • Fancy – Fancy describes themselves as part store, magazine and wish list. Regardless of what it is, it’s filled with product ideas for you to explore.
  • Wanelo – Wanelo (Want – Need – Love) describes itself as a community for all of the worlds shopping, bringing together products and stores in a Pinterest like product posting format. You can start by checkout out trending people.



8. Online Consumer Marketplaces

Another rich source for product ideas are online consumer marketplaces. Millions of products is probably an understatement so you may want to begin your search with some of the popular and trending items and branch out into other interesting categories that catch your eye from there:

eBay – eBay is the largest online consumer auction site.

eBay Popular – A list of some of the most popular product categories on eBay.

eBay Watch Count – An online tool that will list the most popular items on eBay based on how many people are “watching” them.

Amazon – Amazon is the largest internet retailer.

Amazon Bestsellers – Amazon’s most popular products based on sales. Updated hourly.

Amazon Movers and Shakers – Amazon’s biggest gainers in sales rank over the past 24 hours. Updated hourly.

Kickstarter – Kickstarter is the largest crowd-funding website.

Kickstarter Discover – Browse all projects by popularity, funding, staff picks, as well as many other options.

Etsy – Etsy is a marketplace for handmade items.

Etsy Trending Items – Check out the current trending items and listings on Etsy.

AliExpress – AliExpress is a new consumer wholesale marketplace from Alibaba that allows you to order in small quantities.

AliExpress Popular – The most popular products being bought on AliExpress.



As you can see there is a large range of sites that you can see and review products from for yourself to get into the market with. As you start looking for a product that you think meets something that you can run with start looking at the risk and analysis of that product to see if it stacks up to become a successful product in Australia.