You’ve made it through the tough ride of selling yourself to the team- You’ve got your Merch by Amazon account approved!
Now, what’s next? What can set you apart from your competitors in the saturated market in Amazon is your success formula: Great research + Great design.
How do you research products for Merch by Amazon?
Product research is drilling through current market trends to find salable and “winning” designs.
It’s like a treasure hunt- searching through products that can generate high sales.
It can be tricky to decide what to sell in Merch by Amazon- especially when you’re overwhelmed by the fact that you can sell literally anything (that agrees with Amazon’s Terms and Conditions of course)!
It’s pretty easy to play it safe and decide to just go mass with your merch designs.
For example, if you’re an animal lover, you may decide to just sell all kinds of merch for animals to have a wider reach, and in turn generate more sales.
But in reality, that is not always the case.
A broader category means the market is more saturated, and you have much more competition.
In that case, it would be pretty hard for you to stand out among the rest.
This is why it’s always the best approach to narrow down your searches.
The way to go is to find a specific niche. A niche is a specific area of interest that appeals to a specific audience or demographic.
Finding a niche is a better approach, especially when you’re still starting out on Merch by Amazon.
Conducting niche research in Amazon is finding your specific place in the market that are high in demand and low in competition.
When your designs are more specialized, they have less competition compared to general categories.
Once you make your specialized design, you can be able to focus on a smaller segment of demographic, where you have more chances of winning.
Less crowded, more space, and higher conversion rate.
In this article, we are going to talk about the best way to conduct your research for Merch by Amazon.
There are different types of buyers in Amazon.
Some buyers directly search an item from the Amazon Homepage.
On the other hand, others can narrow down their searches and drill into specific categories until they find what they are searching for.
Nonetheless, you have to perform well in product searches.
What is your goal?
Before conducting your research, you must first know what your goal should be as a Merch by Amazon Seller.
Aside from the obvious goal of appealing to your sellers and making loads of sales out of your designs, you also have to know that your goal is to rank in the novelty section of Amazon.
This is because all Merch in Amazon falls under the category of “Novelty and More”.
Your Merch research will be conducted in this category.
This is where you should focus on your performance to rank highly.
It doesn’t mean you have to rank first in “cat shirt” category in Amazon.
Again, a general category is too broad, and with thousands of sellers, reviews, and ratings, it would be difficult for you to rank top.
As it has been said a while ago, the goal is to narrow down your searches, into salable niches.
As you find your spot here, you can build your name all the way to the top.
In time, if you perform well, your merch may actually make its way to the top of the “cat shirt” category.
Here are some ways to conduct your product research in Merch by Amazon:
1. Find the Right Keywords
The first thing you have to do is to make sure you key in the right words using Optimized long-tail keywords for Amazon.
You have to start looking for words that rank high in organic search results in Amazon’s search engine.
Keywords rank high on search engines because of their relevance and their performance.
The right Search Engine Optimized (SEO) keywords deliver algorithms that help both shoppers and designers.
Amazon already has its own product research tool.
In fact, Amazon in itself is a search engine, just like Google and Bing.
However, their algorithm is much simpler than other keyword research tools because they focus on very transactional results.
You can use Amazon.com in itself to do research:
However, using keyword tools and plugins can be much more helpful in your product research.
This is because they can have a keyword autocomplete or search suggestion feature optimized for Merch by Amazon.
It will be easier for you to research designs that are selling using live data.
These tools also have other features that can help you identify the viability and performance of the designs in Merch by Amazon.
You can also use Google Chrome plugins that are especially made for Merch by Amazon or other Paid Merch by Amazon Keyword Research tools such as:
- Merch Titans Keyword Research tool
- Amazon Keyword Research Tool and Optimization
Once you find your SEO keywords on your specific niche, you can look them though search engines and study the designs under it.
This can also give you an idea of what types of designs sell well on that specific niche. Read the description under items that you stumble over in your searches.
Make sure to gather as much relevant information as you can as you go through your product research.
Your keywords are also important not only in product searches but also in creating your listings.
More often than not, designs that sell are those that are labeled in keyword-rich titles.
2. Identify the Rank
As you scroll through these results, it’s time to look for the next thing: the products’ Best Seller’s Rank (BSR).
A low BSR means that more shirts are sold per day, while a high BSR means that less shirts are sold per day.
This means that the lower the rank, the better its performance in the Merch by Amazon Market.
You would want to look for products with a low BSR rank.
🡪 #200,000 performs better than #750,000.
In order to find the BSR, you can search for any design using the keywords that you have generated.
Once you go to the results, you can click into the listing and find a “Product description”.
Here you can identify the product’s BSR.
If you’re often using Amazon on the mobile app the BSR can be found in the “Features and Details” section of the product description.
The reason why we go through the BSR in our product research is that even though it is not the exclusive way to tell whether a design flies or not- it usually tells us much about the product’s selling capability.
Especially when you are still starting out, the BSR is a great way to conduct which area of focus you want to monetize.
3. Identify the Idea’s Feasibility
Once you’ve gone through the products’ BSR, you’ve pretty much had a good grasp of its viability because of its rank.
However, BSR isn’t the only way to measure whether you want to invest in that design/niche or not.
It’s also important to gauge the product’s feasibility.
One way to do that is to key in your idea into Amazon’s Novelty and More section.
For example, you’ve figured that “Purrfectly Awesome” ranks well on the keyword search engines.
As you’ve typed it in Amazon’s Novelty and more, you see only 15 available listings for “Purrfectly Awesome”.
You see that the variability of the ranks is well dispersed.
There are those that perform well with a #300,000 rank, but most are #700,000 and above.
Others with the same keywords have no rankings yet- which means they haven’t made any sales yet.
This could signify a red flag for you.
The idea might work well for other well-established sellers but don’t for others as the concept may be dying down already.
Once you find out that the product is not viable/feasible, it’s best to move on to finding the next idea, until you find one that actually performs well, both in BSR and in viability.
4. Look at Product Reviews
Of course, salability is one thing, but you also want to learn the ins and outs of the Merch world.
This means that you would want to have a list of things to avoid, and a list of goals to achieve.
Looking at product reviews is also one way of doing your product research. Check out products that have high BSR and see why customers like it.
This can also give you a better idea of what your key performance index is in selling.
For example, if a customer said:
Shirt is average quality, but fits true to size. If you sweat, this shirt make you sweat for sure. Print is awesome quality. One of my go to shirts for getting a good laugh.
And if another said:
This shirt is not worth even half o the money charged for it. First, it is a heavy t-shirt fabric that will shrink, and when it shrinks it’s going to lose at least one full size. I’m marking this seller and the shirt as Do Not Ever Buy From Again.
Then you could get an idea of what people are looking for, and what people don’t like.
Design-wise, try to observe what products perform well and get great reviews in Amazon.
Take notes on what makes these designs unique and what color pallets are they using.
Do they use quotes, memes, jokes? What fonts and vectors are they using?
Being a newbie also has its perks- you can be observant and learn from the mistakes of others, while improving your own based on your strengths.
5. Explore outside of Amazon
It’s also a great idea to conduct your research outside of Amazon.
Besides, outside of Amazon lies the breeding ground of monetization.
Social media platforms, celebrity websites, political news websites, and pop culture platforms curate hundreds of fresh ideas every day that people embrace.
Facebook is a great platform for conducting product research. You can just simply go through your Facebook page and see what news is trending or what people are talking about.
Facebook can post/share viral photos and videos from other platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok or Youtube that have relevant content.
The idea is to find something that people relate to and love, and turn it into a merch!
You can also look through your friend’s witty comments, or people’s quotes and sayings that go viral.
A saying that’s very memorable and meaningful can generate a lot of searches on different engines, including Amazon.
Twitter made it pretty easy for you to look for things that people talk about.
Twitter literally has a “trending” section where you can see hashtags that people are talking about, in your locality, and worldwide.
The great thing about Twitter is that it can talk about a wide range of topics such as politics, health, and show business.
For instance, the trending hashtag “Black Lives Matter” went viral because of Twitter, to be followed by other social media platforms.
You can choose to make a merch directly out from the exact hashtags, or you can click on the hashtags and see what people are talking about.
There you can find a variety of conversations, videos, photos, and memes that can give you an idea of what you can put into a merch.
As long as you abide by Merch by Amazon’s terms and conditions and don’t copyright, you can get pretty creative with social media.
Memes from Meme Websites
Memes have been trendy for a while now, and they never seem to go out of style.
Much like merch, anything could potentially turn into a meme- and a meme makes a good merch!
The thing about memes is that they are pretty much related to a certain context/issue/movie/song that became relevant online.
Memes can be hilarious when the audience understands its underlying context
If you’re not too familiar with what memes are, you may want to look into some and get a grasp of what they are- hopefully get a laugh too!
Here are some websites where you can get fresh memes in real time:
For instance, this merch design is referenced from a viral meme online:
You can narrow down your niche and opt in creating designs from viral memes from time to time.
It can work well depending on your target audience.
Product research is a very crucial part of your Merch Success formula.
It can be quite time consuming to find profitable niches and viable designs, but the process is also meant to make you more knowledgeable on important factors such as customer expectations, and solid knowledge on how e-commerce works.
Once you’ve found out your target niche and employ the tactics we’ve discussed above, you’re pretty much good to go!