But how can you get priceless, accurate data for free?
As it turns out, Amazon recently launched their own version of a product research software called the Product Opportunity Explorer. And it’s free to anyone with a professional seller account.
Don’t be fooled by the lack of price; It’s one of the most powerful product research tools there is.
Today, I’m going to show you exactly how to use Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer to find your next product idea.
Myself and the coaches at Just One Dime have tested every product research software known to man. In fact, we actually created our own. And Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer is right up there with the best of the best.
Become familiar with Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer.
Before we get into how to use the Product Opportunity Explorer, let me show you how to access it:
- Login to your Amazon Seller Central account.
- Click on the three horizontal lines in the top left corner.
- Under Growth select Product Opportunity Explorer.
If you don’t see that option, contact Amazon at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access.
Product Opportunity Explorer is still in Beta testing as of April 2022, so there is a chance it might not be an option on your account yet. Product Opportunity Explorer is set to be available to all professional seller accounts by the end of the year.
Once you’re in the Opportunity Explorer, you can select a market to research. Opportunity Explorer is currently available in American, British, French, German, and Italian markets.
The Opportunity Explorer will show you tailored niche recommendations based on any products you currently sell. But if you’re looking for new product ideas, you can type keywords (words or phrases shoppers search on Amazon to find what they’re looking to buy) into the search bar to start your research. Once you hit the search icon, Amazon will offer a group of niches.
Niches are collections of products that fulfill the same need for the same set of customers. And various keywords can all lead to the same niche.
For example, customers looking for a “steel kitchen knife” might search “steel kitchen knife”, “kitchen knife”, “steel knife”, or even “knife for kitchen”. All of those keywords would lead to the same niche.
When you search for a niche in Opportunity Explorer, Amazon will return suggested niche search results with the following column headers:
Amazon labels each individual niche as a Customer Need. Customers will search different search terms to find products that satisfy the same need. And you can see the Top Search Terms they use to find that niche listed in the next column.
From this point on, “niche” and “need” are interchangeable terms.
Search Volume (past 360 days and past 90 days) indicates how many times shoppers have searched any of the search terms that lead them to that particular niche. The 360 day column totals that number for the past year; the 90 day column totals that number for the past quarter.
Search Volume Growth (past 360 days and past 90 days) indicates the change in search volume for all search terms that lead shoppers to that niche. The 360 day column compares the current year to the previous year; the 90 day column compares the current quarter to the previous quarter.
Units sold (past 90 days) gives us the total number of products sold in that niche within the past quarter.
# of Top Clicked Products represents the number of products in that niche.
Amazon only includes the top-most clicked products that, together, received the top 80% of that niche’s clicks. They do not show the lower clicked products that make up the last 20%. Essentially, this metric tells you the number of products in the top 80% of a niche.
Average Price (past 90 days) is the average sell price of that niche’s products within the last quarter.
Now that we know how to read the Opportunity Explorer, let’s look at how to use it to find new products.
Discover New Product Niches.
With the Product Opportunity Explorer, you can easily find new niche ideas at random and/or discover ideas based on your existing products and their product categories. Whether you’re looking to build a completely new brand in a new product category, or you’d like to expand your current brand with products similar to what you currently sell, this tool has you covered.
Step 1: Search a broad keyword describing the overall category you want to find.
Let’s say we want to create a product for meditation. We would type that keyword, “meditation”, into the search bar.
When we click the search icon, we get a list of niches in that category.
Step 2: Filter the niche results.
By filtering our results, we can avoid slogging through products that do not meet our minimum product idea criteria.
Click Filter Results.
In the pop-up window, select Price.
Input your minimum average selling price. This should be the lowest average price you will accept for a niche. Let’s set our base as $35. We want to find a product we can sell for more than that, but that’s the absolute lowest we want to see.
Now we can see the “meditation” niches with an average product sell price of at least $35.
Step 3: Narrow down the niches.
The columns Units Sold and # of Top Clicked Products are not important to consider as you evaluate each niche. Instead, focus on these columns:
- Top Search Terms: These are the most used shopper search terms. You should use these terms to research this niche from all possible angles. And if an idea has high potential, these will be crucial keywords for your listing and advertising.
- Search Volume (past 90 days): Shopper searches on Amazon are searches to buy. This column directly correlates with consumer demand (how many shoppers are looking to buy in that niche or how much money can be made within that niche). It tells you how many times that keyword was searched over the past quarter. Lower search volumes indicate low demand.
- Average Price: This column indicates if a niche can support your goal sell price.
Based primarily on these three columns, select five niche ideas to research further.
To make the process easier and more organized, right click on each niche to open a new browser tab for that niche.
Keep the results page open in its own tab, as well.
Let’s take a look at the “Steel Drum” niche. It has a high search volume. It appears to be relatively small in size (which is helpful for lessening fulfillment fees and shipping costs). It also has a high sell price. And it’s kind of a unique, interesting niche.
Once you have selected a niche from Opportunity Explorer search results—or chosen a recommended niche to research—it’s time to explore that niche’s potential.
Evaluate Product Niches
Click on your selected niche, in this case “Steel drum”, to view its Niche Details page. This is also the page you will land on if you click on any of Amazon’s suggested niches rather than searching for a new niche by broad keywords.
The overview on the Niche Details page breaks down the following metrics (among others) for the past quarter:
- Search Volume
- Average Price
- Search Volume Growth
When you scroll down the page, you can see tabs for:
- Search Terms
We can use each metric to evaluate the niche. Let’s start with Insights.
Evaluate niche insights.
Select the Insights tab.
We can use this data to determine this niche’s potential.
Ease of Entry
By comparing # of New Products Launched (past 180 days) against # of Successful Launches (past 180 days), we can establish this niche’s ease of entry—how easy or difficult it will be to launch a new product in this market.
Here, notice that out of the 12 new products launched in the past two quarters, 8 were successful.
We can determine a niche’s success rate by dividing the number of successful launches by the number of total launches, and then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage:
(8 ÷ 12) x 100 = 67%
So this niche has a 67% success rate.
By assessing Top 5 Products Click Share and Top 5 Brands Click Share, we can see the percentage of all customer clicks on the top five brands and products.
This allows us to establish if the niche is dominated by a particular brand. You want these numbers to be less than 50%; the lower, the better. Smaller numbers indicate that one brand does not receive an overwhelming majority of clicks.
Here, both of these numbers fall between 15% and 34% percent, so no one brand is dominating the market.
By assessing Average Review Rating, Average out of Stock Rate, and Average Listing Quality, we can establish if the sellers in this niche are newer or more seasoned.
In this instance, the listing and review quality are rated quite highly, whereas there is a relatively low out of stock rate. So this niche is likely full of seasoned, experienced sellers.
Now that we understand the general niche, it’s time to zoom in on specific products.
Evaluate niche products.
Select the Products tab.
This allows us to analyze specific products within this niche.
By default, products are sorted by Click Share (past 90 days). In other words, products are listed in order of how often customers click on that specific listing after searching a keyword that leads to that niche. The most-clicked product is at the top, the least-clicked product is at the bottom.
We can gain key product insights from this information.
Review Importance and Ease of Entry
If the click share is only high on products with a high number of total reviews, customers place high importance on reviews when purchasing in this niche.
If instead the click share is evenly distributed across both lower and higher review listings, customers probably place less importance on reviews while favoring product design, instead. This would indicate that a niche has an easier market entry.
In this instance, we can see that a listing with 719 reviews has a click share of 3.1%, while a listing with only 26 reviews has a click share of 2.7%. We can deduce customers don’t place too much importance on reviews for this type of product.
If the click share is much higher on listings with a low average selling price (past 90 days), this means customers are primarily clicking on low price listings. This is an indicator customers in this niche are more sensitive to price.
However, if the click share is similar across multiple price points, or even high on higher priced listings, this niche is less sensitive to price. Customers are willing to pay for more expensive products.
In this case, we can see that a $34 product has a click share of 3.9% while a $73 product has a similar click share of 3.1%. So this niche is not overly price sensitive.
Most Ideal Product Type
We can establish the specific type of product customers are most interested in purchasing by comparing product images and the corresponding click share percentages. Listings with higher click shares tend to be the ones that grab shoppers’ attention most and will most likely best satisfy their need. This metric can help you decide what type of product to build within a niche.
In this case, we can see that steel drums without stands draw more customer interest than those with stands. Also, notice that steel drums bundled with accessories are the most desired versions of this product.
If we were going to manufacture and sell our own steel drums, this data suggests we should add accessories.
You can also try sub-niching to find markets with even less competition, provided there is enough volume on product types with lower click shares, such as steel drums with stands.
Now that we know the ideal product type within this niche, let’s look at search terms.
Evaluate niche search terms.
Select the Search Terms tab.
Now we can see the most common search terms shoppers search on Amazon to find this niche and satisfy that particular need.
These results are by default ordered by search volume (past 90 days). Terms with the highest search volume are at the top.
Search Volume Growth (Quarter over Quarter and Year Over Year) shows us any changes in how often shoppers search these terms. This may indicate seasonality within a niche.
For example, if there is high growth for a certain keyword in the fourth quarter and a stark drop off in the first, that’s a good indicator that that niche primarily sells over the holidays. If, instead, a keyword shows little change, that niche is most likely stable throughout the year.
Click Share (past 90 days) compares the number of clicks for a certain keyword in a niche as compared to other keywords shoppers searched to arrive at the same niche.
For example, “tongue drum” has a click share of 24.9%. This means that 24.9% of the time, customers search “tongue drum” before clicking on products in this niche. Whereas “steel tongue drum” is searched 19.9% of the time before shoppers click on products in this niche.
This keyword data is invaluable. It tells us what keywords we can use to research this niche further on Amazon. It also tells us the exact type of product customers shop for the most within this niche. If we were to create our own product, for example, we know that the drum should be made of steel.
Search Conversion Rate (past 90 days) indicates the percentage of purchases within this niche that originated from a particular search term compared to all purchases in this niche from all search terms. In other words, it tells us what percentage of a niche’s conversions (sales) were caused by a particular keyword.
For example, “steel tongue drum” resulted in 8.5% of the sales in this niche. By contrast, “handpan” only saw 1.2% of sales in this niche.
The highest converting search terms will be the most important keywords for this type of product. You can use them to:
- Conduct further product/niche research
- Decide which product (type) to manufacture
- Optimize your future listing
- Optimize your future PPC campaigns
- Find low competition keywords
Pro-tip! You can use Product Opportunity Explorer to ensure you have the highest-converting keywords in any of your existing listings. All you have to do is search your niche and compare the keywords with the highest click share and search conversation rate to those in your listing.
Top 3 Clicked Products tells us the three most-clicked products for that search term. These will most likely be your top three competitors if you decide to sell in this niche. But you can gain valuable insight from their main images and product design: their listings have the highest click rate, which means they are most indicative of what shoppers want in this product.
Now that we’ve evaluated search term data, it’s time to test those same terms on Amazon.com.
Evaluate this niche’s Amazon search results.
To do this, we will select the most relevant, highest converting keyword and search it on Amazon.com, just like a shopper would.
Let’s use “steel tongue drum”, which has a search conversion rate of 8.5%.
We type that keyword, “steel tongue drum”, into Amazon’s search bar, hit the search icon, and voila.
Now we need to examine the organic (non-sponsored) listings on the first page of search results. For “steel tongue drum”, the first row of organic search results on page one looks like this:
We can see that listings with low review counts (such as 51 and 92) rank well. This indicates strong ease of entry and that shoppers will be willing to purchase from a less-reviewed listing.
We can also see that customers favor products in this niche around $60. However, it does look like higher priced products (up to $120) are still accepted.
Now that we know this is a strong niche and keyword, we can conduct standard product research with tools such as Just One Dime’s NicheHunter.
Keep in mind we’ve only looked at one niche. Before you get too deep, make sure you evaluate the other four niches that we found at the onset in just the same way we evaluated our “steel drum” niche. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to choose the niche you will sell in.
Choose your niche.
Now that you’ve evaluated all five niches with Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer tool, it’s time to select the best niche and product type for you. When you know what you want to sell, you can move forward with further research and even start looking for suppliers to build your product.
There you have it. You can now uncover and evaluate new product niches—plus gain invaluable insights into your existing product niches—with shopper data direct from Amazon!
This training is just a small fraction of the Grow Course (course five of five) in our Amazon FBA Mastery membership. Get the rest of Grow, plus all four other courses (that’s over 100 step-by-step lessons!) at JOD.com/freedom.
What product niche are you interested in selling in? Let me know in the comments.