Identifying and leveraging category trends can yield significant benefits. Any category or product that begins to enjoy a surge in demand is a direct reflection of customers' current needs and the volume of available competition attempting to supply or meet these demands. When a category begins to trend, the sellers who recognize and adapt to these changes first are often the ones that benefit the most. However, as with all things in the e-commerce industry, adopting this business approach or strategy comes with both benefits and disadvantages.
Targeting a field or category that is becoming increasingly popular delivers great benefits. If done properly, your product will be directly aligned with the most current and relevant customer interest. Assuming that you are among the first to recognize and tackle a trend, much of this interest can be easily converted into profit. Perhaps, one of the biggest advantages of this approach is the low effort and investment that is required in terms of marketing and promotion.
These target customers do not need to be convinced or made aware of the benefits of your product. In addition, carefully studying these category trends and audience behaviors can often lead to revelations of patterns in other associated categories or markets. The combination of these benefits usually result in significant profits and accelerated growth.
Nonetheless, this is all easier said than done. As trends emerge, so do the number of competitors seeking to benefit from them. Precise timing is an important requirement for this approach. To maximize your chances of success, a lot of time and effort needs to be invested into researching and monitoring current trends and interests from a variety of sources.
Unfortunately, despites one's best efforts, a lucrative discovery can often come down to sheer luck. Another concern is the inherent temporary nature of trends. Overinvesting in a seasonal product clearly leads to loss. Yet, unlike expected seasonal trends based on holidays and other cultural practices, the length of other spontaneous trends is impossible to predict.
Now that you have a better understanding of both the benefits and the disadvantages of this strategy, here are some specific tools you can use to identify trends:
Search Trend is a common service from search engines, e.g. Google, which offers compiles and analyzes the most popular search queries. Use this tool to quickly discover what your potential customers are searching for.
The Alibaba Keyword Analysis Tool allows you to easily understand the performance of any keyword. As you identify potentially profitable keywords, you can also use this tool to look at all related searches.
SKU research can help you discover what products are currently being sold the most. You can easily get such information from product description page of any e-commerce website. If interpreted accurately, you can begin to spot important trends.
Assessing category trends is and will continue to be a powerful method to help maximize your profits and grow your business. Knowing what customers want and meeting their expectations before anyone else, is a solid way to generate more revenue. However, before you fully invest in any category or product that you see potential in, always keep in mind that people's product interests tend to change over time. It's important to be prepared for a shift in consumer behavior at any given time and be ready to adjust your marketing plan accordingly.