How do you know what people want buy online?
Fortunately, a number of sites make answering that question very simple by publishing weekly, monthly, and annual trends; interest comparisons, top lists and market research reports. Various online services publish the number of times keywords and phrases are searched over a given period of time.
Here are 10 of my favorite market research sites and services.
- Google Trends lets you compare the world's interest in your chosen niche markets.
For example, I entered ‘coffee' and ‘tea' and discovered some significant spikes in the interest in coffee (shown in the graphic below).
You may enter up to five topics and see how often they've been searched for on Google over time. It also displays how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and which geographic regions have searched for them most often.
Google's Insights for Search lets you compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. Check out the examples of how you can use Google Insights for Search accessible from the homepage – you can go DEEP with this one!
- Magazines.com lists their 10 Top Titles on their homepage.
At the time of writing, these included Sports Illustrated For Kids, Time, People, InStyle, Woman's Day, Money, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Women's Health and Disney Adventures.
So what topics do we see there? Sports, general news, women's issues, fashion, kids and finances.
- eBay Pulse is a daily snapshot of current trends, hot picks, and cool stuff on eBay, listing popular searches, largest stores and most watched items.
Alhtough eBay Pulse page shows an overview of the entire eBay marketplace, you can use the drop-down menu to refine and filter the lists to show content for specific categories on eBay.
- Yahoo's Buzz Index focuses on the entertainment industry, providing their most popular searches on a daily basis for actors, movies, music, sports, TV and video games.
comScore Networks provides insight into consumer behavior and attitudes by compiling reports based on a global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore explicit permission to capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing.
Juniper Research provides research, analysis and advice to help guide technology vendors and service providers on market opportunity. Guest access is available, however, to quickly gain access to salient sections of recent Jupiter Research reports, try Googling “juniper research ____” (_____) being the name of the topic you wish to study.
Amazon best sites for doing market research. Search any of their departments, i.e. books or baby or and you'll see either a link for Bestsellers or Top Sellers as well as:
- Hot New Releases
- Most Gifted
- Most Wished For
- Movers & Shakers
Google Adwords Keyword Tool is also a free tool that reports on search performance and seasonal trends on keywords and keyword phrases that you enter into the search box. Statistics show the relative amount of users searching for that keyword on Google.
WordTracker shows you exactly what people are looking for online by showing you exactly which keywords and phrases they're searching for. Wordtracker's suggestions are based on over 330 million keywords and phrases that people have used over the previous 90 days.
Although Wordtracker offers a free trial, I recommend that the week-long pass for $27.59 is really worthwhile if you want to do justice to your market research!
Whether it's golf, gardening or grandfather clocks you want to sell, use the sites recommended above to find out how much of a potential market exists BEFORE you make the leap to a full-scale site on the subject.