Find the Most In-Demand Products to Sell on Shopify
Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform that allows sellers to build their own online store using Shopify’s integrated website design, payment, marketing, and analytics tools.
Determining the best products to sell on Shopify is a key part of getting your new ecommerce store up and running. While most sellers begin with a general idea of what type of merchandise they want to offer, they are often left wondering – where do I find products to sell on Shopify?
In this guide, we’ll cover how to find products to sell on Shopify, research tips to help you identify potential best-selling products on Shopify, and some current top-selling products on Shopify.
- How Is Shopify Different Than Amazon?
- What to Sell on Shopify
- How to Find the Products to Sell on Shopify
- Identify Best Selling Shopify Products
How Is Shopify Different Than Amazon?
If Amazon is a marketplace, then Shopify stores are like freestanding shops. Individual sellers handle the entire process of designing the store, finding top-selling Shopify products, and marketing their own stores. This gives each seller more control, but places all the responsibility for attracting customers on the seller’s shoulders.
What to Sell on Shopify
Shopify’s success is strongly correlated with a strong marketing strategy and an exceptional customer experience. When you start your store from the position of meeting customer needs, it’s easier to identify the best-selling Shopify products for your brand.
Here are three strategies for matching your customer needs with top-selling products on Shopify.
Identify Profitable Niches
Marketing your Shopify store becomes much easier when you can organize it around a theme, and so does understanding how to find products to sell on Shopify.
A niche is simply a subcategory of interests or needs. For example, toys are currently top on the list of best-selling Shopify products. But “toys” is an overbroad category that can be broken down into subcategories based on age, interest, theme, educational integration, and more.
For example, the Shopify-powered website Bee Like Kids offers a range of environmentally-friendly baby products. Part of their product line includes a curated collection of eco-friendly, durable, wooden toys that encourage imaginative play. This niche focus helps them find the best products to offer in their store without becoming so broad that they lose the interest of their customer base.
Upselling and Cross-selling
If you already run a Shopify store, then you can branch out to offer related products that your existing customers may already be interested in.
Upselling means “offering a better version of what is already being purchased” (Shopify).
So if your store sells external hard drives and flash drives, for example, an upselling strategy would involve expanding your range of products to include external storage that has a larger capacity. This is a higher-value product for your store, but it is also probably a safe bet that existing customers would be interested in it since they are already on your site shopping for digital storage.
Cross-selling means offering products that are related to what you already sell.
The digital storage store might expand its product catalog to include similar items, like laptop accessories or flash drive storage cases.
These are solid strategies for stores looking to expand their products.
Trends vs. Stable Performers
Trending products are often very profitable in the short term, but basing your entire product catalog on these items can be risky, as trends change.
Discovering trending products isn’t always intuitive, which is where tools like DataHawk’s Product and Market Research tool can come in handy. For example, would you have guessed that foods sweetened with dates or CBD-infused acne products are currently hot items?
If you can tie these products into your Shopify store theme, you can likely have some consistent, reliable sales from them even as trends come and go. For example, if you offer a line of trendy personal care products, why not add on a selection of pet bath products to encourage your customers to think of their furry friend when they add items to the cart?
How to Find the Products to Sell on Shopify
Setting up your first Shopify store can be overwhelming. Many new sellers find themselves asking – where do I find products to sell on Shopify?
If you have an existing physical storefront or manufacture your own products, then you don’t need to wonder how to find the best products to sell on Shopify – you already have an inventory of products. It is simply a matter of deciding which items in your inventory lend themselves to an online channel – for example, it is common for local coffee shops to offer selections of their best-selling beans for online customers.
If you are considering drop shipping or working with an outside supplier, then you have millions of products to choose from. Here are some easy ways to narrow that selection down.
Shopify Product Sourcing Tools
One of the most useful Shopify features is the app store, which adds functionality to your site without the seller having to design or program it from scratch. This also makes it very simple to add products to your Shopify store.
Shopify offers a number of product sourcing apps, which facilitate sellers adding products to their site.
Some of the top apps include:
- Oberlo: broad catalog of products
- Drop shipper: coffee drop ship catalog
- Shapeways: on-demand 3D printing
- My Online Fashion Store: women’s clothing and accessories
These apps are available with a variety of payment options, including commission or fixed retail pricing. Using them is similar to shopping for yourself – a seller browses the catalog of offered products and decides which ones to add to the site.
You can use more than one product sourcing app for your Shopify store. It is even acceptable to mix different types of fulfillment services, like drop-shipped, print-on-demand, and custom-shipped products in your store. Just make sure to be careful to set up each app correctly so customers aren’t confused about shipping costs and you make sure orders all get fulfilled.
These apps are what make selling on Shopify appealing for so many. It is no longer necessary to negotiate directly with manufacturers or create licensing agreements yourself because third-party apps handle it for you.
Some stores still require a more hands-on approach to product sourcing. If you would like to sell only locally-made products, for example, you will need to work with each vendor that you want to feature on your site to create fulfillment agreements.
Use Product Research/ Trending Finding Tools
Though a slightly pricier option, you can use product research tools that automatically feed you competitor research by showing what’s selling the best on other Shopify stores.
Apps like this one increase your chances of finding products that are much more likely to sell well in your store because they’ve been proven to perform well on others.
Of course, it’s a bad strategy to simply copy another existing store. There may be specific marketing techniques that add to their success or a loyal customer base that has been built over time. A trend app is more about discovering categories and types of products that will likely do well. For example, if you are in the beauty niche and you notice jade rollers performing particularly well, it is probably a good idea to add that product to your catalog.
Research Influencers and Thought Leaders
If you dive deeply into any passionate niche – whether it be competitive club volleyball or homemade vampire costumes – you’ll discover a few people who participate in the most important conversations in that field.
Reading what these people have to say on social media or online forums like Reddit can be a great way to discover untapped needs.
For example, cosplay (the hobby of creating elaborate, customized costumes based on popular characters) has a thriving online community. Many members of this group have publicly noted the lack of accessories tailored to diverse skin tones. This is precisely the type of gap that a small Shopify seller could use – in any industry-to find their first best-selling Shopify product and grow their store.
Using Keyword Research to Find the Best Selling Shopify Products
Another key strategy for finding top-selling products on Shopify is to use keyword research. Customers search for products that they need and want online, and identifying these searches is a good way to be reasonably sure that you are meeting an actual customer desire.
Many shoppers automatically begin their shopping trip on Amazon, which means Amazon’s predictive search bar is a great way to find out what people are searching for.
Another site with a large customer base and a predictive search function are eBay. Well-known for its niche appeal, eBay can be a good way of discovering top sellers in highly specific markets, especially collectibles and fashion.
Using predictive text is a good starting point, but won’t tell you everything about the best-selling Shopify products. For that, you will need some more advanced analytics tools – which we will cover next.
Use Google Trends
Another way to find the best products to sell on Shopify is to use Google trends to conduct keyword research. Not only can this help you boost your Shopify store’s SEO it can also help you determine what products to sell in the first place.
Google trends give you historical data that shows when certain products are more popular. For example, seasonal items like swimsuits will boost as the warmer months approach and fade as the winter gets colder. If you like to switch up your Shopify store inventory regularly, Google Trends can be a useful tool to determine what items to offer, when.
Identify Best Selling Shopify Products
Analyzing your existing store is a great way to identify which product types you should expand, and which ones may need to be discontinued.
For example, a nail care Shopify store may study its analytics to discover the holiday-themed nail polish sells well. Subsequently, they may expand into seasonally-themed nail stickers while they simultaneously phase out underperforming products – say, neutral tones. It is all about studying the buying habits of your customers to more closely anticipate their needs with the best products.
Use Analytics Tools
Shopify analytics offers a lot of options, so it can be easy to get lost among the features when you’re trying to figure out your best-selling Shopify Products.
Under your analytics dashboard, navigate to “Product Analytics” to access a product performance report for the past 90 days. This lets you access multiple metrics, including net sales, units sold by traffic source, and a sales breakdown.
This helps you make sure you are on the right track with your products.
Ask Your Customers
Acquiring new customers is increasingly expensive and difficult, but providing an exceptional customer experience can build loyalty that lasts for years and leads to word-of-mouth referrals.
Simply asking your customers what products or services they would like to see from your store is a simple, but effective means of deciding what you should sell.
There are many ways to do this, and it is often best to incentivize your customer feedback in some way to encourage them to share:
- Offer a giveaway entry for leaving a review/comment/suggestion
- Feature social media reviews of your products that tag your business account
- Offer a coupon for answering a short product survey
- Run a contest to solicit product suggestions – i.e. are you Team Paisley or Team Plaid for our new outerwear line?
- Provide early access to new products for customers who answer a survey
This gives you a direct pipeline to the wishlists of your customers, and also builds customer engagement by increasing brand loyalty.
Best Selling Shopify Products
Looking ahead to 2022, what are some of the best-selling Shopify products to feature?
We’ll cover some of the best categories that can be combined with the product research tips above to help you build a store full of best-sellers in no time.
Toys have the added benefit of needing relatively little seller experience to market, unlike other popular categories like technology or cosmetics. Keep in mind that most toys have a lower profit margin than other items, so you will likely need a larger sales volume to maintain a profitable store, or to combine toys with items that produce a higher margin.
According to Statista Research, the online toy market has seen an increase in sales every year since 2008 – and the most recent data doesn’t even include the boost of online shopping resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Toys compose a massive category. Many items fall under the toy category, including:
- Board games
- Educational Toys
- Fidget/Sensory Toys
- Craft Kits
- Costume and Dress Up
- Infant Toys
- Water toys
Google Trends indicates that subcategories of toys that are currently highly sought after include fidget toys and toys from the Luca and Dino Ranch franchises.
At-Home Exercise Products
The global market for at-home exercise products is expected to grow by at least 11% over the next six years, according to Global Market Insights.
As consumers worldwide become more health-conscious and concerned with convenience, home workout products that come with online connectivity are top-selling Shopify products.
Wondering where do I find products to sell on Shopify that fit this category? Searching content curation sites like Pinterest or trending instructional videos on TikTok or YouTube offer great clues on what people are researching when they set up a home workout program.
For the exercise product field, think about lifestyle-specific products that are designed to meet a specific need. Current top performers in this niche include:
- Foldable treadmills for small spaces
- Yoga mats in fun designs
- Wearable fitness trackers
- Massage guns for workout recovery
- Foam rollers
- Stationary bikes – pricey, but difficult to replicate
One survey indicated that customers spent on average $95.75 setting up a home workout space. Obviously, this number was much higher for those participating in the spike in Peleton sales over the same period.
Think about your target audience when filling your Shopify store with workout products – are your customers looking for budget buys, or a deluxe in-home gym to replace their monthly gym membership? This will help you curate and market the perfect selection of products.
Athleisure & Casual Wear
This category dovetails perfectly with the previous one. The rise in remote work, the rise in yoga’s popularity, and the increasing emphasis on clothes that are both stylish and comfortable. The athleisure market is expected to grow by about 8.6% by 2028.
Like toys, clothing often suffers from a low-profit margin. One athleisure category that bucks this trend is bras. According to Shopify’s research, the keyword “bras” receives 1.5 million monthly searches, and there are many opportunities to niche down even more.
There are many subcategories within athleisure. Recent top performers in this product category include:
- Sports bras
- Yoga leggings
There are even specific Shopify sourcing apps that specialize in athleisure for drop shoppers, like Monob Clothing and Title Nine. It is completely possible to design an entire Shopify store around only athleisure or to integrate casual wear products along with other wellness and lifestyle items.
Pet food is by far the most profitable product in the pet industry, followed by pet medication and pet supplies. While big-name retailers like Chewy still dominate much of this market, there is ample room for small sellers.
According to Shopify’s research, the key to creating a profitable pet supply store is to offer something unique that shoppers can’t find at their local big-box store. This often means finding a unique benefit to your pet products, like:
- Pet food or treats for specialty diets – vegan, all-natural, organic, etc.
- Breed-specific items (i.e., shops devoted only to Labradoodles)
- High-quality grooming products
- Holiday-themed products, like pet Halloween costumes or Christmas stockings
- Pet services; dog walking, pet sitting, grooming, etc.
Pet parents are devoted to their furry companions, demanding quality products. You may be wondering – where do I find products to sell on Shopify for the pet niche?
As with other niche’s on Shopify, there are suppliers for pet products on Shopify too. These include:
- Petstore USA
Of course, if you want to feature handmade products or local services, you will need to source those individually. But if you are interested in the dropshipping model for a Shopify pet store, then finding a good supplier that fits your market can get your store up and running quickly.
Starting an online food store on Shopify is a little different because of the perishable nature of the products. Food sellers typically keep a close eye on their inventory level to ensure that they are producing or ordering enough stock to quickly fulfill orders without leaving items sitting on the metaphorical shelf.
The dropshipping model takes care of most of this inventory management for the seller. Currently, GreenDropShip is the primary grocery dropship supplier for Shopify. Other approaches to how to find products to sell on Shopify include working directly with wholesalers or with local manufacturers.
In the coming year, Shopify identified immunity-boosting food items as the top trend for food sellers. As consumers worldwide become more educated about the connections between diet and wellness, they are searching for healthier foods that can’t be found in regular grocery stores. Some of these rising stars include:
- CBD-infused products for health benefits
- Adaptogenic foods
- Plant-based protein
- Grain alternatives
- Probiotic-rich foods
- Vegan convenience foods
With the growth of the specialty food market – it hit a record sales of $170.4 billion in 2020 – Shopify sellers can count on increasing demand for these products.
There are endless subcategories of shoes, and this product type does extremely well when marketed on social channels like Instagram and Facebook.
Sourcing is incredibly important for wearable products. Customers want the quality of their new shoes to match the price tag. One Shopify seller shared his experience of switching to a supplier that offered quicker shipping and almost doubling his monthly sales as a result.
Specialization is key when it comes to selling shoes. Audiences are usually looking to fill a specific need with their shoes, and stores that can curate their products around that can nurture a strong following.
According to Google Trends, popular footwear-related searches include:
- Snow boots
- Volleyball shoe
- Formal shoes
- Girls school shoes
- Birdies shoes
Some of these trends will be seasonal; as sports seasons come and go, there will be increased demand for specialized footwear.
One enduringly popular shoe niche is sneakers. Generally considered stylish regardless of the season, the demand for sneakers is steady. Sneaker collecting can also be a lucrative niche; just be aware of the sourcing challenges and competition in this hobby.
Deciding how to find products to sell on Shopify for the shoe niche can be as simple as selling used and vintage shoes that you source locally and then resell to a larger market. You will need to ensure that any brand names you are reselling are authentic, and not fakes, to maintain your brand reputation.
Another popular model involves working directly from the Shopify seller dashboard to browse new products and decide which shoes to add to your store.
Custom Printed Items
The custom printing model is a great pick for sellers with design experience. A seller can create customized designs – say, a line of travel-themed t-shirts – and then customers order the specific product and size they want with the proprietary design. Each item is only printed when an order is placed, keeping up-front costs low.
According to Shopify, some of the most profitable POD products include:
- All-over print hoodies
- Tote bags
This niche also makes it easier to start small and then expand into other products once you build some momentum with your audience. For example, if your travel-themed t-shirt business is going well, you can expand into tote bags and children-sized shirts using the same designs.
When deciding how to find products to sell on Shopify for a POD store, it’s important to identify a supplier that can meet all your printing needs. If you want to offer printed home goods exclusively, for example, it’s best to work with a printer that focuses on those types of products, rather than apparel.
Sourcing products is one of the most important steps in setting up a new Shopify store. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you will need to determine what matters most to them so you can find the best selling Shopify products possible.
Consider some of the following questions when deciding how to find products to sell on Shopify:
- How important is quick shipping to my customers?
- What lifestyle do my customers pursue?
- Is my store offering a particular value that can’t be found somewhere else?
- Are their similar competitors in my niche?
Clearly defining the needs of your potential customers will help you identify the best supplier for you.
Finding products, marketing your store, and tracking your progress put you well on the way to Shopify seller success.