Competition is a natural part of being successful in business. If you’re not fighting to have upper hand over market rivals, it could mean interest in the future of your industry is low. Healthy competition is an indication of a thriving market with lots of energy, ambition, and opportunities for growth. So, even the biggest brands in the world strive for it.
Dropshipping is a contemporary way to earn a salary from the comfort of your home. While still relatively new, it is gaining popularity as one of the easiest and cheapest methods of starting an online business. There are virtually no overheads, and sellers can begin making a profit within weeks. For many people, dropshipping is the future of online commerce.
Despite being an inexpensive venture, it’s still important to do your research and prepare correctly for a new dropshipping business. It does require an understanding of the target market, and it can take patience and hard work to keep the business on track.
Competitive research is important for new businesses and existing. To dominate your market or niche, you need to know who your competitors are. Look what others in your industry are doing and what is working for them. You can learn many things from rivals.
Replicating successful competitor will boost your chances of succeeding right from the get-go. So why not take it from them, model their success and build on it.
Fortunately, there are plenty of market research and analytics tools to help entrepreneurs find their feet. Which ones should you use? What impact might they have on your online business? Is it worth paying for premium versions, or are free tools enough?
Today, I will present features and options of a market research tool called SaleSource, which is popular among dropshippers. So, let’s see what it has to offer.
SaleSource is a marketing tool designed to help e-commerce businesses grow faster and more securely via the use of things like product analyses, trend evaluations, and competitor comparisons. It is particularly useful for dropshippers because it provides different ways to identify the most popular, in-demand products.
The tool is an AI-based application which is compatible with Shopify and supports all e-commerce platforms. If you’re sourcing from AliExpress, for example, it’s one of the most efficient tools available. There are four main features: Store Center, Sale Centre, Marketing Center, and Product Center. Across these four components of the tool, users can do the following:
- Identify the most reliable online suppliers (via ratings)
- View all current sales locations for a specific product
- Determine which products are long term best sellers
- Use data on market trends to identify products with the potential to go viral
- Analyze competitor statistics (revenue, top products, visitor numbers, etc.).
- Compare product prices among top-rated suppliers
- Determine how many people/businesses are dropshipping a specific product
- Automatically find top-rated suppliers, high converting product videos & generate descriptions
- View dropshipping suppliers, products with viral video content & track the best selling products
- Analyze and find winning products
- Check that a product is not saturated by looking at all other stores selling it
SaleSource comes with a handy Chrome extension that turns itself on every time a user navigates to an AliExpress product listing or a listing on any other e-commerce store. This is very useful because it enables automatic analyses of rival products. You don’t need to download or import any data or images to do this.
With the extension, you get all the most important product specifications, information about the supplier, a sales chart, and data on the product’s previous prices and how they each performed with shoppers. It’s invaluable data to have when you’re trying to figure out if a product is worth bringing to your own store.
You can see if a product is popular with other dropshippers by searching for larger than average orders. If there’s a lot of bulk orders for a product – particularly one that cannot ordinarily be used in bulk by a single person – there’s a good chance dropshippers are snapping it up for themselves.
SaleSource Platinum Services
Here you can order services for your Shopify store like store review, fixing errors and bugs, logo creation, designing megamenu, get product descriptions, Google analytics setup, etc.
You can find the services you need by browsing catalog. Once you find what you want, visit the page for more information, such as a description of the service, portfolio or samples of work, and pricing.
If you have specific questions, you need to write to them during the order placement stage. When you feel you’ve found what you need, simply proceed with placing your order.
This section has several tabs. Those are Product Analyzer, News and Trending, Best Sellers (by niche), Best Sellers (all time), and Saved Products.
News and Trending is a quick and easy way to identify popular products. List of products gets updated twice a day, but I am not sure from where that data is pulled. Is it from what other people are searching for or if it’s just random products generated by the AI?
According to SaleSource, product listings are designed to disappear after a time. They say it’s the best way to prevent too many people from selecting the same product and causing it to become oversaturated.
When using Best Sellers (by niche), you’ll notice the products are arranged into categories like jewelry, health, bags, electronics, women’s clothing, shoes, etc. Each category can be further split into subcategories relating to specific types of products, selling locations, and product descriptions (whether they have video ads, for example).
The Best Sellers (of all time) gives data on product prices, the total number of sales, potential sales, and more. Click the heart icon to save products for additional viewing and analysis.
Product Analyzer feature is convenient because it enables users to perform product analyses on items they want to include in their own stores. Simply use the Chrome extension to upload or import an image of a product. SaleSource will then locate the best match on AliExpress so you can make plans to start dropshipping it. You can also enter the Aliexpress/Shopify URL.
It’s a fast and straightforward process, much faster than manually searching for a single product among AliExpress’s many listings. If you use AliExpress regularly, you’ll know it can be frustrating sometimes. It’s not as professional or formal as something like Amazon, so it’s easy to get bogged down in low-quality listings. This product search function could save you a lot of time and hard work.
The product analysis provides everything from a list of the best rival sellers to existing marketing videos for the product, current sales locations, and lots more.
Store Center consists of sections called Top Stores, Store Analyzer, Store Tracker, and Store Checklist.
If you click Top Stores, you’ll get a breakdown of the most successful sellers on Shopify. This list is updated once per week. There are three buttons, ‘View Best Sellers’ as well as ‘Analyze Store’ and a new feature called ‘Track Store.’
You can select each of the listed stores to access its website and get estimated revenue statistics. When looking at a specific store on the list, the Analyze Store button brings up information on how long it has been operating, how much traffic it receives, what apps it uses, and how many ad campaigns it creates. Naturally, the View Best Sellers button gives you a list of the shop’s most popular items.
Store Analyzer feature allows you to analyze any Shopify store, where you can see things like their sales estimate, best selling products, ad campaigns, apps used, the theme used, etc.
If you see that your competitor gets a ton of sales with certain products, there’s a good reason to think that you can also get sales, since there’s already demand and a proven track record that sales do actually take place.
It is an excellent way to organize the top listed stores according to the statistics which you think are most valuable. If you want to get a feel for the competition and find marketing and sales ideas that work, this is a quick way to do it.
I’m not entirely sure how they get the sales estimate figures, but I guess that they take into account the overall traffic that the store gets, and get a rough estimate of an average product value and conversion rate (which the AI does automatically).
Marketing Center consists of Product Video Finder, Facebook Video Ad Finder, and product Traffic Checker.
Use the Facebook Video Ad Finder to browse an almost endless array of top-performing marketing videos. Seriously, you can search through more than 200,000 of these things. You will never run out of ideas for your own marketing campaigns if you use this tool. Check out videos from similar sellers, note which elements are most successful, and try to use them as inspiration for your own content.
Traffic Checker is another clever tool. It gives SaleSource users data on how many people have accessed a particular bit.ly link. If you want to know how many people are visiting a specific product page every hour, day, or week, this is the quickest way to find out.
The Sale Center includes a couple of short training videos, which I recommend you watch. The main features are pretty straightforward. However, Sale Source has a lot of sophisticated and perhaps less well-known tools that can take your e-commerce business to the next level. It’s worth checking these out.
Some of the key videos help show you how to use SaleSource to find winning products, view competitor products, and importing from their platform into your own store.
You’ll also find a tool called Factory Pricing in this part of SaleSource.
When you buy a product from Aliexpress, you’re likely not getting it direct from the factory. You are probably getting it from a reseller, who is buying it from the factory, shipping it to their office, and then shipping it to your customer.
Even worst, you could be buying it from a reseller who resells it to a reseller, etc., leading to huge markups from the base factory price.
One thing to note is the tool is operated by live agents. It’s not AI-based data or information that’s been automatically extracted from websites. There is a team of operators who put the work into finding information on original source manufacturers. For this reason, it’s not an instant service. You may have to wait between 1-3 days for a response to an inquiry.
I have tried to request one product to test factory pricing feature but I never received any response.
Finally, you can use the Import From Shopify function to upload multiple products at a time for analysis and research on SaleSource. It’s another smart way to save time, particularly if you’ve got a clear plan for what you want to analyze and why.
SaleSource comes in three pricing plans, which can be paid monthly or yearly. There is also a free trial. The free trial gives you full access to the software and the ability to scan five products and return the lowest prices. To access competitor data and much more, you will have to upgrade your plan.
Going with the annual option is far cheaper than paying every month. The most affordable monthly Essential plan is $69/month, and with it you get access for 1 user to 1,500,000+ products, new trending products daily, personal product feed, competitor intelligence, competitor ad campaigns, product description generator, bulk product video finder, Shopify store analyzer, product analyzer, Google Chrome extension for product research, extras, support, and training videos.
The Essential plan paid annually will only cost you $29/month. Other plans are Pro plan, which brings everything that comes in Essential plan plus factory pricing, and some additional training videos.
Elite plan comes with everything mentioned but for up to 5 users. I think most will be fine with using the Essential plan.
SaleSource Review Conclusion
My favorite aspects of SaleSource are definitely store tracking and market competitor analysis. They’re the most popular parts of the platform, and it’s not hard to see why. Being able to type a rival store’s URL into SaleSource and have it instantly identify their most successful products, estimated revenue, and other key details is extremely useful.
The question is, are these functions worth the monthly subscription cost of $69 per month? Well, everybody’s going to have a different perspective, but I believe it is worthwhile. For all of the tools and features described, it’s not a huge sum. Yes, there are lots of free alternatives out there, but they aren’t anywhere near as extensive.
If you’re serious about launching an online store, $69 per month is a reasonable fee. Use it correctly, and you’ll always have the edge on your competition. You’ll always know which products to invest in, why they’re a great choice, and what type of things your market competitors are doing to make money.
While many of these functions can be performed manually, without the help of a specialized tool, it would take five times as long to do it.
- Free trial option
- Analyse competitor statistics
- Compare product prices
- Analyze and find winning products
- Store Analyzer feature
- Product Analyzer feature
- Chrome extension
- Documentation is non existing, but at least there are training videos
- Some might consider it pricey