No matter the scale of your retail store or the industry in which you operate, there is always a concern about whether or not you are “up-to-date”. With growing competition and an increase in customer demand, staying ahead of the curve and fresh with the latest trends and products can be difficult in 2019.

There are many articles on the internet about it. Also, according to published research, the average gross margin of retail stores in 2018 was 50%, with beverage retailers averaging the most, while shoe store retailers averaged the least income. However, this does not mean that either former or latter is better for your specific situation. Instead, let’s take a look at how you can find trending products which can be sold both in retail and online depending on the individual customer.

1. Identify Your Audience

The first order of business in online sales and retail is to identify your perfect customer. There are several questions which you can ask yourself (and your staff) in order to pinpoint who to target with your product portfolio:

  • What kind of products did you sell in the past year?
  • Did you manufacture products internally or did you serve as a brand reseller?
  • Do you operate strictly online or do you also have retail storefronts?
  • Are there any industry-specific suppliers whom you cooperate with currently?
  • Do you plan on expanding your business or are you satisfied with your scale?

If you haven’t already done so, you should consider using Shopify to create an opportune online store for your business going forward. Coupled with the answers to these questions, you should have a clearer idea of where to take your business and which products to lean towards.

2. Scour the Social Media

Social media platforms have become much more than just tools for chatting and meeting friends. Instead, you can use sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to find trending products to sell in your storefront. Create a page with your business’ name on it and start scouring the search feeds and trending topics.

Twitter feeds are always riddled with popular tweets and hashtags, while Instagram offers numerous brands to showcase new products on their pages. Go through comment sections on social media pages of each post you find interesting and see if you can identify a need for those products in your online and retail store.

3. Consult Trending Keywords

Online search patterns can reveal a lot about how customer bases think no matter where you operate. For example, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an official set of rules governed by Google and their SERP algorithm. Websites and stores with good SEO will rank highly in Google’s search result pages and vice versa.

However, these sites can be tracked for trending keywords and popular products quite easily with specialized tools. Platforms such as Keyword Planner and SEM Rush offer comprehensive keyword research options with the latest trending data. You can use these tools to find which products and brands are the most popular in different global territories and adjust your store’s product portfolio based on what you find.

4. Ask Consumers Outright

Customer engagement plays a large role in how a brand is perceived by the public. Why not use that opportunity to start a channel of communication with your customers and ask them about their wants and needs?

You can create online polls, surveys and questionnaires quite easily through tools such as Google Forms. Depending on which territories you target with your online store, you can use Pick Writers to choose professional translation services (among others) and widen your survey.

The more people you reach on a global level, the easier it will be for you to find exactly which products to feature on your website and storefront. These documents can then be sent to your mailing lists through a platform such as Mail Chimp with a call to action asking the customers about their purchasing habits. This is the most direct and informative way in which you can discover which products to sell on your storefront.

5. Take Hints Online

It’s never a bad idea to simply visit some of your favorite online stores and take a hint from the successful sellers. For example, Amazon has not risen to the peak of online sales popularity by accident. You can check out their top selling pages and landing page in general to get a glimpse of what type of products people are looking for.

Similarly, Etsy is a good choice if your store focuses on accessories and handmade items, especially if you target the female population with your products. Don’t be afraid to look up popular online stores and discover which products are trending at that moment.

6. Consider the Profit Margin

As for the revenue side of the equation, you should always keep a close eye on your profit margins when choosing new products to sell. Every sale you make will indeed be counted as a success, but it is up to the profit margin to decide how much you will make in the end. Some of the things that affect your overall profit include:

  • Local and online taxes
  • Bank transfer fees
  • Supplier fees
  • Employee payments and fees
  • Customer support fees
  • Return policy fees

To make a long story short, this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to calculating your final profit margin. Don’t sell items which will make a miniscule profit or bring your margins into negative decimals. Always look for positive, double-digit (or higher) margin when looking for products to sell and your business will thrive.

7. Work on your Sales Game

When all is said and done, you will need to develop marketing content for your newly-acquired products. Each item you sell has to be accompanied by adequate descriptions and advertisement incentives (like calls to action).

If you don’t have a copywriter onboard, you can refer to tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway in order to create legible, error-free marketing messages and product descriptions. Coupled with a good selection of items on sale, your online store should flourish over time.

In Summation

Once you establish an online presence with your new product lineup, you should also back that up with adequate product management software. Make sure to streamline your online sales as much as possible in order to have time for further market research. The more trending products you discover online, the better your revenue stream will be, making it easier and more viable to maintain an online storefront in 2019 and beyond.