As a creative entrepreneur, running an online shop in a big marketplace, like Etsy or Amazon Handmade, is exciting and can be very rewarding.
However, there are a lot of factors that you need to take into account if you want to succeed in such competitive environments.
One of the most important ones is to be able to stay on top of consumer trends and of products in demand. Trends are changes in the marketplace that influence what consumers buy. Some trends are sudden changes in consumer tastes that happen momentarily, but don't create a lasting change on consumers or their habits, whereas others will have a lasting impact.
So you need to be able to quickly identify opportunities and make informed decisions about whether a trend is worth pursuing and how it will impact your business.
There are some great online places that you can often visit to spot new opportunities and trends in the market you are interested in.
Resource #2: Trendwatching “Inspiration, insights and ideas on global innovations’’
This is a great site to watch! In their words, ‘’we help forward-thinking business professionals in 180+ countries understand the new consumer and subsequently unlock compelling, profitable innovation opportunities.’’
Subscribe to their trend and innovation newsletter to get the latest insights from 3,000+ spotters and 750+ professionals in 55 countries sharing the latest and greatest innovations.
Move from insights to ideas using the Consumer Trend Canvas, a powerful ideation tool and a process for generating innovative ideas.
Resource #3 Quora: it’s a great site to ask a question or search for answers on a trend topic that interests you.
Resource #4 - Check the “popular/trending” section in sites that are packed with images of beautiful products, such as
They are a great source of inspiration and of evaluating the popularity of the products you have in mind.
Resource #5 Etsy.com
Another great source of information is Etsy’s blog, featuring the hottest trends and products in high demand. You can get a lot of ideas and inspiration by reading the stories in the featured shops section or checking the “Shopping guide” and “Trending now” sections.
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Resource #6 Amazon Handmade
In Amazon Handmade, check often the featured collections curated by Amazon’s editors.
Resource #7 Customer Reviews (in all of the above)
Read reviews from customers that have purchased a product similar to the one you have in mind. Many customers have good suggestions about better ways to do things, or new products that they would like, so reviews can be a free source of great business ideas.
Resource #8 Instagram influencers & popular hashtags
Instagram is also a great place for discovering new product ideas. Try searching for applicable hashtags and following influencers in the market, niche or industry that you are interested in. Another idea is to do a search for hashtags that insinuate buyers’ interest and intent like #wannahave and #buynow.
Resource #9 Facebook groups
Join Facebook groups that are relevant to your ideas to see what people are buzzing about. Pose questions about trends you are interested in and see what people think of them. Take extra notice of the volume of conversation surrounding your product idea.
Resource #10 Popular blogs in e-commerce sites, such as Shopify & BigCommerce
Another great source of ideas! Read their blogs often, they will provide you with a wealth of information on the latest e-commerce news and trends.
"…Phone accessories have proven to be a product line with reliable and growing demand, with strong signals towards being an evergreen niche like fashion, home decor, and fitness."
And finally… Google Trends!
Examining what people search for provides a unique perspective on what they are currently interested in and curious about. This allows you to measure interest in a particular consumer trend by searching around the globe, right down to city-level geography. Visit Google Trends.
So, cross-check all your ideas in Google Trends. If you see that they have a strong upward market trend, then they are worthy of further evaluation.
Researching the market for trends & opportunities should be a never-ending process.
You have to constantly keep yourself informed to be able to turn trend identification into a growth opportunity!