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1. How to generate successful product ideas: Seven methods

How to come up with new product ideas

Product ideation. If it were that easy, everyone would do it, right? Unfortunately, it can be tough to brainstorm new products to sell online— after all, can an ecommerce business really reinvent the wheel with a cotton t-shirt? Surprisingly, the answer is yes! While the market may be crowded, there’s always room for your own products that not only break the mold but also set the new standard.

Despite a ton of competition across the ecommerce landscape (including the 9.1 million online stores around the globe), coming up with new product ideas is a time-tested technique to attract customers and establish a thriving online business. Learn to become a pioneer in your product niche with these seven simple methods to come up with new product ideas that set your business apart!

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Significant competition among ecommerce retailers requires business owners to develop new product ideas to stand out from the crowd.

  • Print on demand (POD) services like Gelato enable business owners to experiment with multiple product categories with no minimum inventory.

  • Platforms like social media networks, online marketplaces, analytics tools, and trend publications can help inspire various new product ideas.

How to generate successful product ideas: Seven methods

Want to develop new product ideas that attract customers and help develop a competitive ecommerce business? There are several avenues you can take to inspire your brainstorming process. From leveraging print on demand product development tools and services to enhancing your market research, consider these seven methods to create products to sell online!

1. Leverage print on demand

Leverage print on demand

One of the most simplified ways of developing a new product line is to loop in the help of a reliable print on demand (POD) service. A POD business model leverages a third-party supplier to develop one-of-a-kind customized products and produce them on a per-order basis. POD services handle the entire fulfillment process, from printing to shipping, helping save time and money on product ideas.

Sell custom products without holding inventory

With products made to order, a POD business model also eliminates the need to maintain inventory or make a minimum purchase order, which removes the cost barrier associated with product development. And with a haul of product creation tools, POD services are a great idea to experiment with new designs across a variety of new product categories, like apparel and home décor.

Expand your product offering with ease

Even better, print on demand services empower you to continuously update your product offerings by allowing your custom designs to be printed across various mediums, such as clothing, cell phone cases, calendars, cards — you name it! From here, you can use a mockup generator or order product samples at a low cost to determine if they’re a good fit for your ecommerce business.

Pro Tip: Upgrade to a Gelato subscription plan to unlock premium mockups, millions of stock images, and product expansion tools that make it easier than ever to come up with new product ideas!

2. Look at social platforms and forums

Social media platforms and forums are a cost-effective source of market research many ecommerce professionals use to brainstorm new product ideas. With roughly 4.9 billion social media users worldwide, social networks, including Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok, are jam-packed with a vast selection of consumer interests. That makes social media a go-to destination for inspiration!

Research your competitors

To locate relevant customer insight on a social media platform, first try researching hashtags using keywords related to your brand’s particular industry, product type, or target market. From here, you can locate potential competitors to gauge the consumer demand behind new product lines and review related user profiles to reveal product ideas that are already trending.

Find trending topics within your target market

Outside of social media market research, you can also use social forums like Reddit and Quora to gain information on top trending product ideas and product-sourcing methods. With your product niche or industry in mind, you can likely find threads dedicated to your specific market. Similar sellers regularly share valuable product insight and data to help you draft new ideas.

3. Use SEO analytics tools

Use SEO analytics tools

As with social media insight, search engine optimization (SEO) data can also be used to understand trending items across general target markets and particular locations. When selling products online, SEO analytics tools create a wealth of search data that exposes the current consumer demand for specific items and reveals emerging markets other sellers have yet to tap into.

Google Trends

For instance, Google Trends is a popular SEO tool for regional and global search data. Entering product keywords such as “abstract coffee mugs” or “customizable calendars” into Google Trends helps assess the current search volume as well as the (arguably more important) anticipated future search volume. This data helps identify a growing market that can give your brand a competitive edge.

Google Analytics

For those with an existing business website, Google Analytics is another valuable SEO tool to pull data that further aids in product development. Google Analytics provides the general search terms used by buyers to locate your brand’s website. Inside this search data, you may learn new search terms or phrases that can spark potential product ideas and names related to your brand.

4. Browse trending products on online marketplaces

When struggling to develop new product ideas for your ecommerce store, try browsing trending products on online marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy. The awesome thing about research on online marketplaces is the uninterrupted access to thousands of high-demand product ideas. Plus, each idea comes equipped with first-party customer insight and reviews!


As the largest ecommerce retailer in the world, Amazon should be your first area of research when brainstorming top products to sell online in 2023. Amazon’s Best Sellers lists encompass more than 40 product types and include the top-selling items in each product category based on the number of sales. These lists may just contain a new in-demand product type that aligns with your brand!


If your ecommerce store focuses more on niche products (or a niche market segment), you should also consider conducting market research on Etsy. As the largest ecommerce marketplace for unique, handmade, and customizable products, Etsy is perfect for sourcing new product design inspiration while learning the particular product specifications you may want to consider.

5. Ask your customers for feedback

Ask your customers for feedback

Your existing customer base is by far the most valuable source of insight for new product ideas. When selling products online, it’s vital to collect and harness the power of customer feedback after each incoming order. Feedback can be used to make more calculated business decisions that improve the customer experience and help you keep your product offering appealing to existing and new customers.

Conduct a survey

SurveyMonkey and Google Surveys are some of the many customer feedback tools you can use to create customer surveys for distribution post-purchase. In support of well-rounded customer feedback, be sure to include questions that allow customers to rate their experience, express any product pain points, and recommend any updates they would like to see in the future.

Start a conversation on social media

Not to mention, ecommerce businesses with a strong social media presence can also use their current brand following to help discover new product opportunities. From live streams on Facebook to follower polls on Instagram, it’s often wise to run new product ideas by a loyal following who are much more inclined to give honest opinions and general recommendations.

6. Explore trend publications

Trend publications are often an overlooked source of product information and pertinent data that can be very useful when mapping out top-selling products and designs. Trend publications dive deep to uncover consumer data that highlights various in-demand products as well as up-and-coming product ideas and discussions that are gaining the attention of other entrepreneurs.

Trend Hunter is a leading example of a trend publication that aims to provide entrepreneurs with the data they need to drive successful product development and customer retention. In fact, Trend Hunter is the world’s largest trend publication, offering users an innovative dashboard that presents daily product insights and recommendations tailored to your specific product market.

With the data you pull from trend publications like Trend Hunter, it can become far easier to brainstorm and tweak new product ideas so that they properly align with your overall brand. And with data-backed product decisions, you can potentially lower the risk of your ideas falling through and negatively impacting your business investments (though with POD, the investment is minimal).

7. Keep an eye on competitors

Keep an eye on competitors Version

Whether you offer one-of-a-kind, customized digital products or mass-produced products for everyday consumption, you must always keep an eye on your competitors. When selling online, the competition pool you face is quite vast. It’s no secret that failing to make an effort to stay ahead of them when developing new products to sell will only cause you to fall behind.

Monitor competitor product releases and promotions

The above market research channels, especially social media and SEO analytic tools, will help you determine your top competitors. With these competitors in mind, you can routinely review new product releases and keep your finger on the pulse of upcoming promotions. This information can help you fill any gaps in your competitors’ existing product offerings and establish you as a preferred retailer.

Learn from your competitor's followers

Outside of product offerings, it may also be wise to keep an eye on your competitors’ following. Because your competitors' followers will likely align with your target market, it’s wise to keep an eye on their social media discussions and marketplace reviews. Here you can identify customer pain points that can be used during product brainstorming to help you stay ahead of the competition.

Four winning product ideas for your online business

The ecommerce landscape might be crowded, but there’s always room for new products. For a bit of inspiration when brainstorming your new product ideas, consider these four winning product ideas along with the statistics that make them a profitable investment for your ecommerce brand.

1. Wall art

Now is the time to start producing wall art. While the global wall art market size was valued at a whopping $20.40 billion in 2021, it’s projected to continue to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% for the next seven years. To get involved in the ever-profitable wall art market right now, you can experiment with a range of print on demand product types, such as:

2. Clothing and accessories

Clothing and accessories are simply products that will forever hold lucrative income opportunities for ecommerce businesses. In 2023, the global clothing and accessories market was valued at an incredible $1.3 trillion, with continuous growth expected in the coming years. To get your cut of this enormous opportunity, consider high-quality print on demand products like:

3. Drinkware

Between the booming food industry and huge demand for aesthetic and eco-friendly drinkware, it’s no surprise the global drinkware market value is $28.2 billion and is projected to reach $50.20 billion by 2032. With no slowdown in sight, be sure to stay ahead of the competition and consider the use of POD services to develop customized drinkware products, including:

4. Electronic accessories

In this era of technology, just about every consumer has some sort of accessory for their electronics, especially phone cases. The mobile phone protective case market alone is expected to reach a value of $35.81 billion! So, ecommerce operators should consider incorporating electronic accessories when brainstorming new product ideas, including POD-provided phone cases such as:

Find and create high-quality products to sell online with Gelato

Product ideation isn’t an easy job, but someone has to do it. If that person just so happens to be you, you’ve come to the right place! The above methods to generate new product ideas not only help you brainstorm winning ideas but also reveal the top products your existing and potential customers prefer. Once you find your ideas, reliable print on demand services like Gelato can instantly bring them to life.

Whether you sell water bottles for customers with a healthy lifestyle, baby products for customers with a growing family, or even sustainable products for customers seeking a greener everyday life, Gelato has high-quality products for you. Gelato print on demand is a low-risk, all-reward method for an array of customizable products that is just as scalable as it is sustainable.

Start expanding your ecommerce product line with Gelato print on demand today!


What is a product idea?

A product idea refers to a concept or blueprint for a new retail item that an ecommerce business can manufacture, market, and sell to a particular audience. The purpose of a product idea is to detail the key features and design elements of a new item, particularly its purpose and how it’s different from other products currently marketed and sold to a similar target audience.

What is a good product to create?

A good product to create is any item that generates high search volume and drives continuous sales. For product types, items like wall art and drinkware both experienced spikes in search volume that have earned sellers considerable profit. Likewise, winning items like clothing, car accessories, beauty products, and pet products have continuous consumer demand, which makes them a safe option.


Next steps

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