What product should you add next to your e-commerce’s catalog? 5 ways to survey your market

Should I add this to my store’s catalog or not? It looks great, and seems like a top-seller… but what if it flops?

Yes, we know the thought process.

Expanding your e‑commerce catalog isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.

You know, it could all go well and this product may be sold in a matter of seconds but it may also spark little interest among your audience and make the investment in your new stock go to waste (unless you own a dropshipping store).

Of course, the alternative is much worse – if you don’t update your catalog, you’ll eventually fall behind in the market and start losing customers.

Fear not! We’ve got some good news.

And it’s not about crossing your fingers or knocking on wood for good luck.

In other words, there are ways to stack the odds in your favor and predict if the product you’ll be selling will be successful or not.

Want to know how?

Then read on, because today we’re going to teach you to “read your clients’ minds”.

Let’s get to it.

👉 What to do before expanding your catalog (or not)

There’s actually no 100%-effective formula.

With new products, you always run some risk of selling something your target audience simply won’t be interested in.

As a reference, however, here are some aspects to consider before making any decisions:

  • The level of demand: Are there enough people interested in buying that product?
  • The competition: In some cases, if the product’s already being sold by tons of stores, it might not be worth investing in.
  • The profit margin: Can you afford to sell it at a competitive but profitable price?

The last two points are relatively easy to answer.

But how can you tell if a product’s demand will be sufficiently high or if, on the contrary, you’ll end up with a pile of boxes collecting dust in your warehouse.

That’s what we’re about to see.

👉 5 ways of analyzing the market to figure out what to add to your catalog

We’ve said it before, but don’t forget that no method is 100% effective.

The good thing is that if you put the following tips into practice, the odds will be in your favor.

✅ 1. Snoop on your competitors

This is the simplest way of finding new business opportunities.

There are three options.

➡️ A. Your direct competition

Suppose you sell reconditioned computer products online and your catalog currently consists of three main categories:

  • Computers (both laptops and desktops)
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones

However, you’ve recently been asked if you also sell reconditioned consoles, so now you’re obviously wondering if it’d be a good idea to start selling them.

To find out, you decide to give the competition’s websites a check.

As a result, you see that 3 out of your 5 main competitors have already included that product line in their catalogs.

With this in mind, it may be time you made some room for consoles in your shop too.

➡️ B. Amazon

People tend to see Amazon as the Goliath of online stores.

No surprise here that such a giant marketplace offers some advantages, right? 😉

Between the seemingly infinite product catalog and huge sales volume, it comes in quite handy to get a broad picture of market behavior.

There are two things you can do:

  • Find the most successful products on Amazon in your sector (if you own a furniture e‑commerce, go to the “Home and kitchen” category and check for the top sellers).
  • Double check whether the specific brand you want to incorporate has a solid number of reviews – positive reviews, that is.
next product e-commerce catalog

And here comes the third option.

➡️ C. Similar businesses abroad

It could be that your sector is simply more developed in another country.

You know, the old “If it’s popular overseas, they’ll be buying it here soon enough.”

You could use this to gain an edge over your competitors.

The problem is that it’s not a 100% reliable method, as certain trends tend to stay in the countries where they originate.

And speaking of trend tracking…

✅ 2. Become a “fortune teller” with Google Trends

We’ve already spoken about Google Trends in other post.

This free tool by Google tells you the evolution of searches related to a specific keyword over time.

Let’s try with the word “tahini”, for example.

ampliar catalogo ecommerce

As you can see in the graph, the last few years have seen an increasing number of people googling this term.

So if you have a food e‑commerce and you’ve yet to incorporate tahini into your catalog, it’d be a good idea to do it now since the demand keeps growing and growing.

However, this tool is limited in that it doesn’t work with absolute data.

That is, the graph’s telling us that tahini is currently being searched much more often than before, but how much exactly?

That’s where out next point comes in to play.

✅ 3. Do some keyword research

Keyword research is the first thing to do when designing your e‑commerce because it allows you to create SEO-friendly categories (as we told you in this guide).

That’s not to say you’ll only need to do this once, however.

For example, say you’ve decided to add a new category to your online pet shop, but you’re considering three options:

  • Dog beds
  • Cat beds
  • Rabbit cages

Your current budget for new stock can only permit adding two of them, so you must choose wisely.

You decide to find out how many people are searching for each of these products each month (you can use the keyword planner, which is freely available, or a paid tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs).

And the results are…[drumroll]:

  • “Dog beds” has 21,900 monthly searches
  • “Cat beds” has 7,400 searches
  • “Rabbit cages” has 9,000 searches

At first glance, it seems that the best option is to go for dog beds and rabbit cages.

But we can take it a step farther.

Suppose you search for these terms on Google Trends and see that “rabbit cages” searches have been dropping for a couple of years, while “cat beds” have been growing exponentially over the same period.

This means that, even though there are currently more people looking for rabbit cages, investing in cat beds may be more profitable in the long run.

✅ 4. Ask your customers

This is a good option if you have a fairly extensive (and active) subscriber base.

If that’s your case, you could send them an email telling them you’re looking to add something new to your online shop’s catalog and want to know their opinion.

You can even formulate it as a survey with questions such as:

  • From 0 to 5, how interested would you be in buying this product?
  • How much would you be willing to pay for it?

Don’t forget to include a minimum and a maximum price for the last question.

The good thing about this strategy is that it’s not based on general data about the market; instead, the information comes straight from your very own customers.

So what’s the downside? Well, surveys don’t always reflect reality.

For example, while most of your clients may say they’d be willing to pay up to 100 dollars for that new product, they may have second thoughts when it comes time to pull out their wallets.

Or it could be that the number of participants is too low to draw reliable conclusions.

No worries; here comes a much more reliable method.

✅ 5. Use the data from unmatched queries

Surveys might be tricky… but statistics aren’t.

The more objective your data is, the better business decisions you will make when the focus is on increasing sales.

That’s something an advanced search engine can prove really helpful for.

How?

Among other aspects, through unmatched queries. 😉

Here’s an example.

Say you own a consumer electronics store.

There are no vacuum robots in your catalog because they’re too expensive and you were unsure if they’d be worth investing in or not.

Then you go through the unmatched queries.

As it turns out, out of every 100 visitors, at least 15 of them search for “vacuum robot” in the search engine of your e‑commerce.

In other words, 15 out of every 100 people that land on your page have the express intention of buying a vacuum robot.

Knowing this allows you to buy stock and expand your catalog with a near-guarantee that the product will be successful.

Perfect! So what’s the trick then? 😉

👉 Want to know how to use the internal search engine of your e‑commerce to expand your catalog without all the risk?

The fact is the vast majority of site search engines don’t offer certain information, such as unmatched queries.

For this, you need an advanced search engine. Or, as we like to put it, a “smart” one.

One capable of identifying search trends and your customer behavior to give you analytics to improve your sales strategy.

And that’s precisely what Doofinder does.

Seeing for yourself the difference Doofinder can make compared to a basic search engine is like a hot knife through butter.

>>You just need to click here to install Doofinder and try it free for 30 days.<<

You’ll learn a couple of things about your clients you’d never know otherwise.