If you’re planning to sell on Amazon, perhaps the most important question you have to answer is “what am I going to sell?”
Sure, plenty of people shop on Amazon, but if your product is flooded with low priced competitors – you’ll likely be buried in the search results.
If your product is too specialized or “nichey” there may not be enough customers to support your business.
So how to you find the right mix of high demand and low competition?
In this Jungle Scout review we’ll discuss exactly how we used this tool to build multiple six-figure Amazon FBA businesses.
So you’ve heard that Amazon did $178,000,000,000 in sales in 2017, and is up significantly in 2018.
To put it in perspective, Amazon owns about 50% of all ecommerce sales.
Let that sink in for a minute.
You’ve also heard that Spencer’s good friend, Jeff Bezos announced that about half of the items sold on Amazon come from third party sellers.
Many of those sellers are ordinary people like me and you.
It wasn’t all that long ago that if you wanted to create a product and sell it to people, you’d be
begging pitching buyers from places like Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other big box stores to give you some shelf space.
Now, almost anyone can sign up as a seller on Amazon and get “shelf space” on the undisputed king of ecommerce.
Truly, you have an unprecedented opportunity.
JUNGLE SCOUT REVIEW
WHAT IS JUNGLE SCOUT?
Jungle Scout is a web-based tool that helps you make informed decisions about what to sell on Amazon.
It does this by taking important metrics from Amazon, like best seller rank, number of reviews, and other factors to give you estimated sales numbers and rank the opportunity of a given niche in Amazon.
Jungle Scout is available as a web application and as a browser extension – which gives you a quick, but detailed analysis of a page’s results when you’re searching Amazon.com
FINDING PROFITABLE PRODUCTS TO SELL ON AMAZON
NOT OVERLY SATURATED
Amazon is a competitive place to sell (which is why tools like Jungle Scout exist in the first place). So you don’t want to make the mistake of just seeing high sales numbers for a particular type of product and assuming you can easily get in on the action.
If a product category is totally oversaturated with hundreds or thousands of competitors all across the spectrum of high end to low priced – you generally want to stay away from entering that category.
Jungle Scout can certainly help you avoid entering a category that’s overly competitive.
The most clever innovation in the world doesn’t really amount to much if nobody is willing to buy it. It’s tempting to come up with what you feel like is a great idea, but then for whatever reason you find out that the kind of product you’re creating doesn’t sell well on Amazon.
There are a number of different reasons that might be the case – but the most important thing is to know for sure that people are buying products like yours on Amazon.
If not, you may spend a lot of money creating a really high quality product that nobody wants to buy.
Jungle Scout’s sales estimator will help you be informed about how well items are selling today on Amazon.
Ideally, your product should have some feature or benefit that’s different and better than the competition. This is the easiest way to set yourself apart from your competitors.
You generally want to avoid being a “me too” product that is basically the same exact thing that everyone else is selling with a different logo on it.
When you take this approach, you’re often left to battle based on price – which can make it tough to sustain a long term profit.
Jungle Scout focuses on the data points available from Amazon, and determining things like “uniqueness” isn’t something you’re going to get from an analysis tool like Jungle Scout.
JUNGLE SCOUT CHROME EXTENSION VS. APP
Jungle Scout actually comes in 2 forms: A browser extension and a more full-featured web application that you sign into and use from any web browser. Frankly, we’ve made more use of the Chrome extension over the years because it gives you immediate access to numbers when you’re perusing Amazon for possible products to sell.
If you decide you want both, you’ll actually have to buy them both separately – which feels a little odd to me, but nevertheless they are separate products.
Let’s talk about some of the differences between them.
The Chrome extension of Jungle Scout comes in a Lite and Pro version. Each one can be purchased for a one-time fee to get lifetime access:
For a long time, we used the Lite version and didn’t really know we were missing anything by not going Pro. Now that we’ve upgraded to Pro, having the fee estimator and profit calculator built-in is handy.
So my suggestion would be to pay the extra $100 one-time fee and get all the bells and whistles.
If you go through this special link, you can get $10 off either version of the Jungle Scout Chrome Extension!
For the web app, the pricing is built on a monthly or annual subscription:
Most people will be just fine with the lowest tier, or perhaps the middle tier which comes with the Niche Hunter functionality. If you’re still in the brainstorming phase of your product idea and are wide open on which category to enter – the Niche Hunter can certainly help you discover some opportunities you might not find otherwise.
While we’re on the topic, let’s dive into the functionality of the web app starting with the Niche Hunter.
The Niche Hunter in Jungle Scout lets you set parameters like the categories you’re considering, the average number of sales, the average prices, and a number of other things to help you find the biggest opportunities on Amazon.
Here’s a look at the search results when I left everything unchecked and all of the settings at their default levels:
As you can see, not everything is a helpful result.
For example, “gildan 18500 pullover hoodie” is a branded term because “Gildan” is a clothing brand. So obviously, you can’t create a Gildan shirt anymore than you can create a pair of Nike shoes.
So a little bit of brain power is needed to decipher the results you get in Niche Hunter, as you only want to spend time on keywords that don’t contain a brand name.
So for example, “cassette tape storage cases” is something you could work with.
And you thought cassette tapes were dead…
Here’s a quick look at what all the columns mean in Jungle Scout’s Niche Hunter:
As the name suggests, this gives you the average price of the current top 10 listings when you search that keyword on Amazon. This probably won’t be enough information to make or break your idea – but if the average price in the top 10 is $12 and you were planning to retail at $50 – it could be a sign that the market isn’t willing to pay the added expense.
AVERAGE UNITS SOLD
Again, looking at the average of the top 10 products, you’ll find out how many units they’ve sold in the last 30 days. Note that Jungle Scout claims to exclude outliers, but I couldn’t find exactly what qualifies as an outlier.
Typically this would be if one product has sold zero units or maybe the top product has sold 10,000 and everything else has sold 500 – the 10,000 would be considered an outlier. But I wasn’t able to find any information on how Jungle Scout calculates this, so take the metric with a grain of salt.
Long story short, you want to see a higher number here – ideally in the thousands. The color coded line beneath should ideally be green – showing that this is a healthy number.
On a scale of 1 – 10, a “1” is the least competitive – which is what you want. Jungle Scout bases this off of the number of reviews of the top 10 of Amazon. So if most products on page 1 have only a few reviews, in theory your opportunity to get a few reviews and rank very quickly are much better than if page 1 has many listings with hundreds or thousands of reviews.
LISTING QUALITY SCORE (LQS)
This score is something Jungle Scout calculates that tells you how well the current top 10 listings are optimized. They look at things like the number of images, the keyword being used in the title, the length and relevance of the descriptions and the bullet points – all the things that go into a well-optimized Amazon product page.
According to Jungle Scout’s recommendation, a LQS of 3 or lower indicates very poor listing quality. Once you get to 7 or above, you’re looking at very high quality listings. This doesn’t mean you can’t compete in that category, it just means you need to evaluate further and make sure you can find a way to stand out.
As you might imagine, the opportunity score is a summary of all the items above. A 10 means that it’s a great opportunity, and a 1 means that you should probably look for a new idea. In general, the formula is looking for products that have high demand, but the current top listings have poor listing quality and few reviews.
Those are often great opportunities for new sellers to come in and capitalize by simply doing a better job of the basics.
A low opp score means just the opposite – the demand isn’t that great, and the competitors are already doing a good job.
The next module in the Jungle Scout web app is the cleverly named “Keywords” tab.
It’s kind of like a Long Tail Pro for Amazon keywords.
You start by inputting a seed keyword ( I’m sticking to cheese graters for my example) and it’ll pull back related keywords to review:
Many of the fields here are fairly self-explanatory, like “exact match search volume” is how many times a person searches that phrase in a 30 day period. The broad match includes slight variations like plurals and misspellings.
Then, you’ll find 3 columns dedicated to showing you what your pay-per-click (ppc) costs might be to run sponsored ads for those terms on Amazon.
You can also create lists of words, so if you’re evaluating multiple product ideas you can easily sort and see related keywords rather than working with one big list.
Let’s look at a few of the other columns and what you’ll use them for:
As you may know, launching a product on Amazon can be difficult. One one hand, you usually need some reviews in order to get a meaningful amount of sales.
On the other hand, it’s hard to get sales without reviews.
It’s the classic “chicken and the egg” situation…
So one popular way to launch a product is to nearly “giveaway” your product by selling it at a steep discount, or using a service like Jump Send or Viral Launch to distribute coupons in a more systematic way to deal-seeking customers.
There are different strategies you can follow to run an effective giveaway, like the CPR method made popular by Helium 10.
Essentially, you use a special URL with your giveaway to help give your listing a boost in Amazon’s rankings.
So in terms of Jungle Scout, the number you see in the “Recommended Giveaway” is the estimated number of units you’d need to giveaway every day over a 1 – 2 week period to make your way to the top 3 spots in Amazon for that search term.
So in the example above, if I wanted to be one of the first 3 listings that shows up for “cheese grater” you’d need to make sure you sell 36 units per day for at least 7 days.
As you can see – that cost can add up quickly!
However, it’s good to know this number because it helps you do the math and decide just how viable your product idea is.
Can you afford to lose quite a bit of money early on before turning a profit?
EASE TO RANK
Another Jungle Scout algorithm that’s similar to the “opportunity score” we looked at earlier. In this case, the closer the number is to 100, the easier the software thinks it’ll be to rank for that term.
In our search, one word terms like “grater” have a score of 100 – meaning it would be very difficult to rank at the top of Amazon. While more long tail phrases such as “electric cheese grater” are scored with a 10 – meaning it should be fairly easy to rank on page 1.
This is all about how relevant a given term is to your original search. If you’re well versed in a niche or in the product you’re going to be launching, you might not find this column that useful.
However, if you’re still learning about a product you may find some terms/synonyms/slang that people search that you’re not familiar with. This could mean more keywords to make sure you target in your listing – so do a quick sort based on relevance and see what else shows up near the top.
One really helpful thing you can do in the Jungle Scout app is create groups, and then see averages of like products. For example, I added several different cheese graters to a single group to see how they perform as a whole as well as how they do individually:
Notice that at the top I’m looking at numbers over the last 7 days, but I could change that to go up to 60 days – which gives you a much wider look at how these products are performing over time.
The reason this matters is because seasonality is a factor with almost every product. In the holiday season, most products are going to have inflated numbers. Other times, something like a pool raft might look like it has great metrics in June, but look much worse in October.
So looking at a 60 day timeframe is going to give you a more accurate picture than a single day in time.
The product database gives you access to filter and search virtually the entire database of Amazon products.
We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of listings.
What Jungle Scout allows you to do with those listings is rather powerful. You can run a search using a filtering criteria that narrows down the list in virtually any way you’d like:
Looking for products in Sports & Outdoors that have reviews between 3 and 4 stars and sell at least 500 units per month?
Want to start a niche site that can bring in $3,000 per month… or more? Here I discuss:
- The tools you’ll need
- How to start on a budget
- Best ways to generate an income fast
You’re just a couple of clicks away from getting that list.
Want to look for product opportunities inside of a category? Try selecting your category and setting the maximum listing quality score to 4.
We ran this below in the beauty category, then sorted the results by sales to see which low quality listings are selling the most products.
Could developing a brand of pimple patches be something worth considering?
CHROME EXTENSION OVERVIEW
Think of the Jungle Scout browser extension as a lite version of Jungle Scout that you can take on the go.
In my time using Jungle Scout, I’ve found that I use the browser plug-in more than the web app.
Because it’s convenient and it works when you’re browsing Amazon.
For example, I can search “cheese grater” and click a button to see how well the best sellers are doing:
Note that you can click the “+” sign and quickly add products to your product tracker for the web app.
This is helpful because as we mentioned earlier – I took this screenshot during the holiday shopping season – so the graters may be selling a whole lot better than they do in a typical month.
So it’d be helpful to look back in 30 – 60 days and find out the average numbers.
Another thing I like about the browser extension is how it gives you a quick, easy to read summary at the top showing the average price, number of sales, and even an opportunity score based on the combination of demand and competition.
While you’d want to do a little more digging before investing in a product, the Jungle Scout extension can certainly get you off on the right foot in terms of which avenues to explore.
In our case, we’ve launched at least a couple of dozen Amazon products – many of them have no connection to the others, and are in a variety of categories.
So when in the brainstorming phase, we spend a lot of time browsing Amazon and clicking on things like this:
Maybe cheese graters are too competitive, but peelers and zesters are better opportunities?
While you’re clicking around Amazon and exploring products, just click on Jungle Scout to get a quick look at sales and reviews and then jot down any ideas that seem to have high opportunity.
Then, you can dig in later on and find out how expensive those items are to manufacturer and all the other things that go into bringing an idea to life.
Overall, Jungle Scout is generally the gold standard that other Amazon research tools are compared to. Get Started with a $10 Discount on Jungle Scout Right Here!
If you’re looking for an alternative, I’d point you toward Helium10 which we’ve also used and found to be very useful.
That said, Jungle Scout is a very helpful and capable tool for evaluating the competition and their product tracker is super useful for seeing how products perform over time.
A mistake many sellers make is looking at a snapshot of sales during a peak season, then sinking a lot of money into a product that isn’t going to sell well for the majority of the year.
If you stay patient and use a tool like Jungle Scout – you can save yourself a lot of headaches and money.