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product trends - Understanding Consumer Buying Trends - Building Dynamic Product Lines

by Chris Malta

The ability to detect trends and to interpret that knowledge can not only tell you what consumers want now, but also help you predict what they'll be looking for tomorrow. As a retailer, this trending knowledge can give you a big edge, particularly when it comes to selecting your product line.

What is a Trend?
A trend is more than a group of popular items that everyone is buying. It's really an expression of what matters to consumers at the moment - it's a sign of what they're excited about. A trend can actually give you many ideas of what products might be popular within certain groups. The trend towards natural living, for example, could inspire a whole line of products because that's what people are concerned with and are thinking about. Unlike fads, trends may grow and evolve and morph, but they always have rhyme and reason - they don't just spring out of nowhere.

Trend Analysis
Lisa Suttora of WhatDoISell.com explains, "Trend analysis is simply looking at a definable group of customers that you can get coming back time and time again. You're not sourcing products in a vacuum, because you know exactly what types of products people are looking for." Though it may initially take you more time to study market trends in the beginning, it will pay off in the long run. You won't be trying to figure out why you can't move products, or wasting money on just guessing at what you think will sell.

How Do I Become a Trend Spotter?
Spotting trends is a learned ability - it doesn't require you to be trendy. It requires discipline - make it a habit to research trends daily. There are many avenues you can use to help you research:

    • Most major search engines offer keyword tracking tools that show you how many people are searching for a given item. Worldwide Brands's product sourcing tool comes with a built in market research function that can show you, based on market statistics, how likely a product is to be successful.



    Consumer magazines and web sites are great sources for gathering information.

    • Check out trade shows, associations, and publications. Though trade publications tend to be pricey, the information in them is the result of millions of dollars of research, and projects out from twelve to eighteen months, which gives you a significant jump on sourcing trends that haven't even evolved yet.

    • The media can provide some very valuable trending stats - newspapers often give numbers and demographics. Look for indicators of growth and decline. You want to get in on the upswing of a trend - not when it's on its way out. Document everything so that you have it all in front of you and don't forget anything important when you sit down to analyze the results of your research.

The key is to be consistent and do your research daily. Advises Suttora, "Trending information is not something you do once and then stop. Every successful business owner is going to continually be reinventing their product line... on an ongoing basis."
 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Pro...

What Should I Sell Online?

There are NO Sales Without Marke...

How to Select Your Product Line ...

Internet Seminars - the Good, th...

What Should I Sell Online? - Ide...

Growing Your Sales Using eBay Sa...

Understanding Consumer Buying Tr...

4 Things Web Analytics Can Teach...

Pricing for Dummies - How to Fin...

The New Entrepreneur - A Web Sit...

All I Want For Christmas... How ...

Price Check - How to Set Your Pr...

In the Know - Market Research an...

Good Advice - Taking Advantage o...

Shopping Smart - Using Technolog...

Holiday Sales Techniques - 4 Tip...

Tracking Market Trends - How to ...

Interpreting Web Analytics - Wha...

Trend Blending - How to Predict ...

Understanding Product Life Cycle...

Forecasting Buying Trends Based ...