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Top Resources for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs Looking for Product Ideas

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While some great ideas come out of the blue, others require a little outside inspiration to take shape.

Ecommerce has seen exponential growth over the past decade, however some entrepreneurs may be seeking a little help to find their next big idea, as not just anything will sell on the internet. Ideas need to be unique and must fit some demand niche, and there are a number of tools online that can help eCommerce entrepreneurs come up with innovative product ideas.

One of the most popular ways eCommerce entrepreneurs find inspiration is through online consumer trend publications, such as Trend Watching or Springwise. The goal of these publications is to track and identify trends in order to better predict the “next big thing,” giving eCommerce entrepreneurs a good foundation to build on. In addition, product and trend discovery review sites such as Uncrate or Firebox can be used as a source of ideas. These sites review and discuss the most popular up-and-coming products on the market, making it a useful resource for entrepreneurs looking for inspiration.

While publications and reviews are useful for coming up with ideas, it’s important that any entrepreneur use personal discussion with others to better understand what the market is looking for. This can be done by visiting forums online to draw inspiration from conversation, as well as to ask questions and get a feel for the market. Sites such as Reddit are phenomenal resources for eCommerce entrepreneurs, as it gives a very real idea of what types of products will do well in certain markets. In addition, eCommerce entrepreneurs should take advantage of their own local community when searching for inspiration, as there are often great ideas to be had right in one’s hometown. By monitoring local brick and mortar stores, entrepreneurs can learn which trends are popular, and then adapt them for eCommerce at a later point.

Of course, the best way to know what will sell online is to see what’s already selling. Some top markets to keep an eye on include:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Kickstarter
  • Etsy

By monitoring what sells on these platforms, entrepreneurs can see exactly what products are making waves, which can then be used to formulate a profitable idea. In addition to using platforms that sell products for inspiration, entrepreneurs should pay attention to curation sites such as Pintrest or Polyvore, as these platforms are hubs for rising trends to be seen.

Perhaps the most important online tool available to eCommerce entrepreneurs is social media, particularly Instagram.

What makes Instagram so useful for entrepreneurs? The platform is full of accounts that post curated content, many of which showing innovative new ideas that could be built upon by other entrepreneurs. In addition, the hashtag system makes it easy to search for specific keywords, giving an excellent idea of how many people are posting about what at any given time.

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About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.