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Product sourcing 101—how do you effectively source your products?

Selling on Amazon or any other online marketplace is equally exciting and intimidating. But as one movie said—”when it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump.”

First things first, though: know the basics of product idea generation and sourcing:

BIG IDEA

Product sourcing is the backbone of any business. Yet, finding the holy grail for your Amazon store isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Sure, the Internet is brimming with options that may meet the market’s demand. However, quantity doesn't always mean quality. Some suppliers are more interested in making money than helping you grow and succeed. 

📝 But don’t worry, because Procurement Tactics made a rundown of the steps to product sourcing success:

  • Do your product research. Make sure to study the current market trends and listen to consumer demand. Otherwise, you may be risking your money on something that might not sell.
  • Engage with potential suppliers. The more contacts, the better. Remember, today's gem could be tomorrow's dud, so cast the widest net possible.
  • Request samples. This process is standard practice, so don’t hesitate to ask for them. Take the opportunity to thoroughly examine the goods, delve into the details, and conduct testing to decide if it's the right product for you.
  • Do a trial run. Once you've chosen the best supplier among your options, go ahead with a trial run. This lets you try the product in your target market before making a larger commitment. Pay attention to how well it sells and what customers say about it.
  • Evaluate and decide. Ask two important questions: (1) Did the product meet expectations? (2) Was the supplier a dream to work with or a headache?
  • Leave room for maneuver. Variety is the key to a resilient supply chain. Maintain a list of potential suppliers—you never know when you'll need a Plan B.

💡 Tips from the trenches

  • Price isn't everything: Sure, it matters, but don’t let it blind you. Quality, reliability, and supplier reputation are what matter most.
  • Take product sourcing seriously: It’s a full-time hustle. Stay on top of trends, markets, and suppliers.
  • Don’t sleep on trade fairs: They’re goldmines for meeting suppliers, checking out trends, and testing products.

Product sourcing is like a rollercoaster. There would be lots of research, negotiating, and evaluating, all of which can greatly affect how well your business does. 🎢

Another important tip is to be wary of 'wolves in sheep's clothing' among suppliers. If unsure, consider tapping a sourcing agent for assistance. You may need to shed a few dollars, but the value you’ll receive is well worth the investment.

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*Source: Walmart first-party data, 2021-22

**Conditions apply.

BITES OF THE WEEK

TRENDING TOPIC

5 trends that will shape product sourcing in 2024

5 trends that will shape product sourcing in 2024

As sellers, you know how important it is to stay in the loop with marketing trends. Well, here’s an additional note: staying ahead in the sourcing game is just as vital to making it big.

🚚 To help you find those hot products that people can't get enough, Dragon Sourcing listed the hottest trend in the sourcing scene this year:

  • AI and predictive analytics in procurement. With AI, you can accurately pinpoint market shifts and supplier risks. This allows you to quickly go from being reactive to proactive based on the situation. Meanwhile, predictive analytics helps spot supply chain hiccups before they become a headache.
  • The surge in real-time supply systems. Thanks to IoT, AI, and blockchain, you can now gain real-time updates on inventory, shipments, and production. That means less waste and way smarter production!
  • From wellness to eco-friendly solutions. 2024 will be all about what fits your customers' lifestyles. And ICYDK, people nowadays are all about products that shout out health, eco-friendliness, and convenience. 
  • Strategic wholesale sourcing. This isn't just about what's trendy—it's about hitting the market at the right time. That way, you not only make money but also meet the demand right on the spot.
  • Ecommerce trends, specifically, voice search, AI upselling, and augmented reality. Yep, these trends are pushing manufacturers to create mind-blowing personalized sourcing experiences.

🧭 This 2024, innovation and consumer desires are your compass. As these trends continue to evolve, businesses need to stay agile.

Our tip? Embrace the future, adapt to the trends, and keep riding the waves of change.

ACTIONABLE ADVICE

Turn your product idea into ecommerce success in 5 steps

Turn your product idea into ecommerce success in 5 steps

So, you've got this killer product idea that gets you excited about selling online. But hold your horses—that's just the first step. You still need to find a way to turn this idea into something that sells! 💰

Amazon listed the steps on how you can do that:

1. Source your products

That product on your mind, where do you find it? Do you want to resell existing items or create something from scratch? Perhaps you're thinking of partnering with a manufacturer.

Each option has its own set of pros and cons, so choose wisely.

2. Get your products to customers

After you get your hands on your target products, you then need to get them into the hands of your eager customers. You can either handle it yourself (via FBM and Seller Fulfilled Prime) or let Amazon do it. You can also mix and match methods to meet your fulfillment needs. 📦

3. List your products

Create a product listing in Seller Central to start selling products. You can choose to match an existing listing or create a new one.

Creating killer listings is key to attracting customers, so pay attention to the little details. Also, make sure you check if your products have any special requirements to avoid violations. 

4. Build your brand

Your online store should showcase your brand story and entire product catalog through customized rich media. Once you create a seller account and enroll in Amazon Brand Registry, the possibilities for connecting with customers are vast.

5. Market your products

Even the best products won't sell themselves without proper marketing. From social media to email campaigns, there are endless ways to spread the word about your products. So, keep experimenting, keep adjusting, and most importantly, keep hustling.

 🔥 Ready to dive into the world of ecommerce with your product idea?

Author : SellerBites
Faith began working on SellerBites in 2021, a weekly newsletter that provides sellers with the latest news and updates in FBA. With first-hand experience in managing various seller and vendor accounts, she understands what sellers face on this platform. Her background led to the conception of SellerBites, which main goal is to help people become better, more informed entrepreneurs in the Amazon marketplace.
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