Hello, r/ecommerce! I do product research full-time and decided to give away some of the products my clients (or I personally) don’t plan on pursuing. My goal is to post here regularly with product ideas.
This might be a bit lengthy, but I promise it’s worth the read. Here’s what I got –
The Product: Reusable Coffee Capsules
People LOVE coffee. It’s an indisputable fact. So much so that 75% of Americans get 100% of their caffeine from coffee. Additionally, 78% of Americans prepare their coffee at home.
Coffee Pods have grown like crazy because of their efficiency and convenience. But, they don’t come without their problems. The main ones being: cost, limited variety of flavors, their impact on the environment (lots of non-biodegradable plastic), and finding the right ones for your machines (the sizes aren’t universal).
TL;DR – Why This Product?
- For the last 10 years, reusable coffee pods have been growing consistently, it’s about to hit another spike.
- Amazon data shows an average of 354 sales/month and relatively low reviews (174 on average) for existing products/sellers.
- Selling price $25.00 – $35.00 USD
- 1.5m monthly searches for words related to reusable coffee capsule
- An obvious opportunity for differentiation and marketing
- This product has known suppliers that you could work with to test it out
As it currently stands, there are roughly 30-40 Shopify stores selling this product and 70+ listings on Amazon – so this isn’t a blue ocean. That said, there’s nothing wrong with a little competition, it’s a great way to gauge demand for a product. Here are the key things we pulled from our competitor research –
- Top sellers on Amazon are selling well over $10k/month of this product
- There is ONLY 1 branded competitor, Seal Pod (just google them), for this product and they don’t even have their SSL set up 😑 – they do have an Amazon listing that’s doing pretty well.
- Other non-branded seller’s stores look like bad dropshipping stores – which isn’t great.
- There is one seller that’s able to sell $2,200/month with only 30 reviews via Amazon. This is a great sign for people trying to enter the space.
- After scouring through all the reviews, we see two areas of opportunity for someone entering this space:
- The most complaints by far were about the coffee capsule not fitting their machine
- The next leading complaint was that the coffee tastes watery and different than when using their original pods
// How to Execute
Suppliers: A big opportunity we see is finding a supplier that eliminates the “watery coffee” complaint mentioned above. There was a common trend that products that utilize a disposable top to their design have no complaints about watery product taste. After looking at dozens of listings, I found a couple of great suppliers. I can’t link them here but will try to do so in the comments.
Build a Brand: Private labeling appears to be the way to go. By creating a customer brand around the product, your perceived value increases substantially and it allows you to charge more for your product. Currently, Seal Pod is charging $35 which is well above other sellers and is doing REALLY well on amazon.
Create a “Does it Fit Guide”: With an overwhelming amount of negative reviews coming from products incompatible with specific machines, the obvious solution is to create a simple transparent guide around machine compatibility. Seal Pods does this with a simple link at the top of their amazon listing
Advertising/Marketing Potential: We see high potential in this product with Google Adwords and Influencer Marketing. Here’s why –
- Google Adwords: This product is great for Google. Reusable coffee pods are a “transactional search intent” product – meaning that people searching for this will likely purchase it. And, with 1.5m monthly searches, there’s definitely intent.
- SEO: This product is still relatively easy to rank for. The obvious queries such as “reusable coffee pods”, “Nespresso refillable pods”, and “Nespresso refillable capsules” are all VERY EASY to rank for and collectively bring in more than 16,000 searches/month.
- Influencer Marketing: With any product that has a large consumer base and looks aesthetically pleasing, Influencers are definitely a viable route. Additionally, the price point of this item is perfect for Instagram as well.
- Facebook/Instagram Ads: Personally, we don’t think this product would perform well using paid ads on these platforms. Given that this isn’t the type of product that makes people stop scrolling, it may be hard to grab attention and drive impulse purchases – but we love to be proven wrong!
Revenue potential: $22,990/month. I’ll post a link in the comments for how it’s all calculated.
If you made it this far – thank you! I love doing product research, so let me know if you'd like to see more of these posts.