Top Selling Products Online Fall 2013

by G.B. Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

I’m always trying to stay up on the latest trends and top sellers in the online marketplace. So, here is what my research shows as currently the top selling products, for various categories, from major online retailers this fall. If you have products that match these, you may want to move them to the forefront of your website/online store.

Current Top Sellers for Fall 2013

Jewelry & Accessories: Bib necklaces continue to be top sellers but more elaborate ones with colored jewels or ones in all gold or silver; large link chain bracelets and necklaces; cuff bracelets where the ends don’t meet; cat rings; stacks of rings; spike drop earrings; small purses with chain straps; bowling bag purses; skull scarves.

Product-Trends-Top-Sellers
Feline Ring from Bauble Bar

Kids & Baby Products:  Woodland animals (particularly foxes); plaid and nautical designs; vintage art that is personalized with child’s name; book jackets of literary classics on t-shirts; superheroes; the color grey for the nursery;  giraffes on everything.

Pets: Everything is getting fancier, from faux fur-lined sleeping pods to nickel-plated dishes to fancy food storage containers, all with contemporary designs and patterns meant to fit in with your home’s decor.

Nickel Plated Pet Bowls
Nickel Plated Pet Bowls

iPhone Cases: Popular designs include boho and Aztec prints; cases that look like vintage postcards; cases with a strap (wristlets); cases you can write on (to make notes).

Wedding Products:  The chalkboard trend is still very popular for wedding invitations and all other types of wedding decor as well as wood effects, watercolor effects, 1920s style fonts and gold matte accents; the hot colors are blush, pale grey and pale blue.

Vintage Clothing & Goods: All types of leather items are in demand, as well as denim (especially denim vests); prairie dresses; sunglasses; 80s punk; engagement rings; vintage toys; vintage typewriters; vintage light fixtures; vintage wood sleds.

Home Decor, Art & Photography: Images of space, the moon, constellations, and zodiac signs are all hot; typography prints are still a big trend but, in particular, sayings about family, love, home and classic recipes (for kitchen or bar art); photographs of vintage looking or rundown motels, corner stores and gas stations; embossed 3D wall coverings; wooden animal head busts; elephants; and patterns of honeycomb (hexagons) and plaid.

Product-Trends-Fall-2013
Wooden Animal Busts from Anthropologie

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Top Selling Products Online for Spring 2013

by G.B. Oliver

As you know by reading my blog, I am always up on the latest trends and the top sellers. So, here is what my research showed as currently the top selling products, for various categories, from major online retailers. If you have products that match these, you may want to move them to the forefront of your website/online store.

Current Top Sellers:

Jewelry: Ear cuffs are huge sellers, as are are large statement necklaces like bib collars, chain link bracelets, multi-color chandelier earrings and hand / body chain harnesses. Lots of turquoise, emerald green and pastel colors.

Large, bib necklace from Modcloth
Large, bib necklace from Modcloth

Purses/Bags: Satchels, hot pink, orange, leather, no prints.

Art: Art prints on reclaimed wood, large canvases (5 feet+), abstracts, kalightoscope-type patterns, black and white photography tinted with color sporadically.

Kitchen: Canisters are in big demand, floral patterns, modern tea kettles and tea pots, cookie stamps, dish towels with whimsical block prints.

iPhone Cases: Florals, bird prints, zebra prints, polka dots, stripes, silicone, metal.

Kids/Baby: Fun cutlery, personalized dishware, pyjamas with famous storybooks’ prints, whimsical book ends. brightly colored clothes hangers.

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Twisted Family Cutlery from Saks Fifth Avenue

Outdoor: Willow bark, chevrons, Moroccan prints, coastal/beach.

Wedding: Mint, grey/silver, blush, chalkboard-style, simple/sans serif typefaces, water color designs, butterflies.

Vintage: Non-fiction books/cookbooks from 1940s -60s, lidded porcelain jars, silver teapots, posters, wallpaper, sconces, oversized wine jugs.

Pets: Stylish small dog carriers/purses, thin leather braided leashes, sleeping pods.

Other: Terrariums, drinking glasses with sayings on them, milk glass, milk bottles, humorous cat and dog faces (think grumpy cat), photography prints on clothing (dresses, leggings, scarves and more), unique watch and clock faces, bicycle prints (on everything from t-shirts to glasses).

FINAL WORD: These are products that are currently popular, so I am not saying to jump on the band wagon, but rather if you already have items like this, and they are not selling, maybe you should be giving them more focus. Or take these, add a new twist or mix a few themes together, for an original offering.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Google Search Phrases On The Rise

by G.B. Oliver

★ THIS BLOG POST  MADE NY TIMES SMALL BUSINESS, BEST OF THE WEEK 

I love looking at Google Trends and seeing which search phrases are popular, but also which ones are on the rise. The great thing about Google Trends is you can customize it by country and by time period (i.e. last 7 days), so it is a great tool to keep on top of the marketplace. So I entered some product categories to see what the top rising search phrases were, for the last 3 months, worldwide.

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For the jewelry vendors out there, and I know there are lots, these are the top rising search phrases:

  • Cheap Body Jewelry
  • Hematite Jewelry
  • Amethyst Jewelry (amethyst is the February birthstone)
  • Bridesmaid Jewelry

For wedding products vendors, typing in wedding was too generic, so here are the top rising search phrases, worldwide, in the last 3 months for “Wedding Invitations”:

  • Fun Wedding Invitations
  • Coral Wedding Invitations
  • Country Wedding Invitations
  • Homemade Wedding Invitations

For vendors of baby products, again, typing in baby was too generic. So I tried “Baby Clothes”, and these were the top risers:

  • Baby Summer Clothes
  • Neutral Baby Clothes
  • Crochet Baby Clothes
  • Handmade Baby Clothes
  • Unisex Baby Clothes

For vendors of art, I typed in the phrase “Wall Art” and this is what resulted:

  • Kitchen Art
  • African Wall Art
  • Bathroom Wall Art
  • Beach Wall Art
  • Kitchen Wall Art (Kitchen seems to be in big demand)

For vintage sellers, these were the breakout rising searches for “Vintage”:

  • Vintage Valentines
  • Modern Vintage Boutique
  • Vintage Swimwear
  • Vintage Prom Dresses
  • Vintage Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Vintage Style Dresses

For sellers of home products, it is a little tougher to narrow things down. So I entered “Decorative” and these were the results:

  • Decorative curtain rods
  • Decorative baskets
  • Decorative bird cages
  • Decorative wall hooks
  • Decorative ceiling tiles

FINAL WORD: When you look at searches in lesser time frames, like the last 3 months, it helps you to see popular cyclical searches, such as Valentine’s, and also how far in advance people start searching for different events or seasons. For example, people are already searching for summer items. Use Google Trends to help you find where that next opportunity lies for your online business.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Predict Trends Before They Happen

by G.B. Oliver

★ THIS BLOG POST  MADE THE NY TIMES – THIS WEEK IN SMALL BUSINESS

In December, Pantone chose Emerald Green to be its color of the year. Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that the movie, Oz, the Great and Powerful was coming out in spring, in which Emerald Green plays a large part in the story? Just how much does pop culture influence trends in fashion and other types of product categories, such as Home, Wedding, Kids and Lifestyle. (Please also see my post, Product Trends for 2013).

Pantone-color-of-the-year-emerald

When the Great Gatsby movie was scheduled to come out last fall (it has been delayed to this spring), the 1920s vintage trend starting showing up in early 2012. That was also helped along by the movie The Artist, another 1920s period film, which won the Academy award for best film in 2012 and television shows like Downtown Abbey.

If you were wondering why baroque styles came back into fashion two years ago and has stayed, you just had to look at the movies Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Anna Karenina (2012), Mirror Mirror (2012), Lincoln (2012) Jane Eyre (2011) and Alice in Wonderland (2010) to see the influence.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is obviously focused on Smaug the dragon and the new, very popular trailer for Game of Thrones also features a dragon. So does this mean that dragons will be one of the creatures of choice in 2013/2014?

What about human-type monsters? Remember how popular vampires have been the last few years? Well that looks to be overtaken by zombies, thanks to movies like ParaNorman, the upcoming movie, World War Z and the popular TV show, The Walking Dead.

Books are an influence as well. Studs and spikes are showing up in both fashion, jewelry and home decor, citing a definite 50 Shades of Grey influence.

So if you want to get in on a trend before it starts, keep an eye on the things in pop culture that influence us – movies, books, television, music, world events, technology, and see what commonality you can find.

FINAL WORD: While trends don’t have a long shelf life, they do help to get you publicity (because editors only want to write about what everyone is talking about) and publicity gets people into your shop to check out what else you offer.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Products I Love – February 2013

by G.B. Oliver

I love smart and innovative product design for many reasons. One, it is inspiring. Two, it always gets publicity. Three, social media followers love spreading the word. Four, it sells!

I went over to one of my favorite shopping blogs, Outblush, and found some of their recent picks that I think are brilliant.

Deep Tea Driver Infuser

Deep Tea Diver by Kikkerland from Modcloth
Deep Tea Diver by Kikkerland from Modcloth

How great is this $15 tea infuser from the online store, Modcloth? Even the name is smart. I love this because it is just so clever. How could you not want to buy this, whether you drink tea or not? Now, granted, you have to use it with a glass mug or it kind of defeats the purpose, but you have to admit it is just makes sense.

Recipe Writing Rubber Stamps

Recipe Writing Rubber Stamps from Paper Cookie
Recipe Writing Rubber Stamps from Paper Cookie

I love these stamps (4 for $24.95) from the Paper Cookie. This is a practical product that appeals to the person who still wants to write out their recipes the old-fashioned way, but made a little easier by the stamps. The stamp market is a big business, and it is nice to see a company finding a new, creative use for them.

Constellation Lamp

Constellation Lamp from Urban Outfitters
Constellation Lamp from Urban Outfitters

What kid is not going to love this lamp ($49) from Urban Outfitters in their room at night? Plus, it’s educational. Educational + fun always sells!

Teacup with Wood Saucer

Teacup with Wood Saucer from Scandinavian Brands Online
Teacup with Wood Saucer from Scandinavian Brands Online

Smart product design is when you solve a problem for the user. That is why this teacup with wood saucer ($28) from Scandinavian Brands Online works. It solves two problems – needing a saucer for your tea when you are drinking it and keeping it hot when you are not. Plus, it looks good.

You Got Your New Dog Kit

Got Your New Dog Kit from Uncommon Goods
Got Your New Dog Kit from Uncommon Goods

This New Dog Kit ($25) from Uncommon Goods is smart for so many reasons. The obvious is that it makes the perfect gift, and gift sets are big business and dog gifts are big business. But if you sell a variety of pet products, why not package them all together as a great way to up-sell your other products. This kit includes practical items like doo-doo bags (their words, not mine), a training clicker, dog treats and a quick start instruction card for the new owner, which to me acts like a very effective business card so the gift receiver knows exactly where to get more.

Be like these online sellers and take your business to the next level! I offer a variety of helpful marketing tools in my Etsy shop, the best advice to market your small business!

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How Trends at NY Fashion Week Can Inspire Your Products

by G.B. Oliver

It’s good to remember that fashion influences products in all areas – children’s products, home products, decor, art, wedding products, you name it. New York Fashion Week just wrapped up and here are some trends to note that may carry over into your market. A lot of these trends were inline with a previous blog post I wrote, Product Trends for 2013.

Teal, fur, 60s patterns at the Anna Sui show (photo from The Cut)
Teal, fur, 60s patterns at the Anna Sui show (photo from The Cut)

Trends from New York Fashion Week Fall 2013:

∞ Materials – Fur (including colored fur), leather, beaded fabrics, brocades, embroidery, shiny materials, quilted materials

∞ Patterns – Menswear patterns such as houndstooth, checks, pinstripes, large thin plaids, herringbone as well as camouflage, florals, cheetah prints and weaved materials

Eras – Mod 60s and Glam 70s with retro patterns and gold metallics

Countries – A lot of the oversized fur hats, coats and mittens gave a nod to Russia, possibly because they are hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics

∞ Colors – Burgandy/wine, army green, purple, camel, teal and black

∞ Jewelry & Accessories – Huge, oversized flowers on necklaces and bracelets; large cluster necklaces, chain chokers, large colorful pendants on very long chains, color blocked purses (black and a bright color), clutches (a lot of purses that looked like iPad covers), handle bags,  large gold belt buckles, fisherman caps, beanies and fur hats. Did I mention large?

How to Apply These Trends to Your Products: 

  • Maybe we’ll see faux fur throw pillows in teal or in a weaved pattern of leather and metallic gold.
  • Wedding invitations might be moving away from chevrons and ombres to bright plaids and florals.
  • Possibly we’ll see lots of colorful, oversized faux fur mittens for kids.

Take a Couple of Trends and Mix Them Together:

  • Try clutch purses in cheetah prints with beaded accents.
  • Maybe quilted camouflage iPhone covers.
  • Choker necklaces with large plaid flowers.

While you may not be interested in applying trends to your products, to have just one trendy product is good for getting editorial and publicity, which will then bring people over to your shop.

If you are still not sure how to apply trends, then check out this article at CasaSugar that shows how today’s fashion trends can carry over to home products.

My marketing guides will tell you everything you need to do to successfully sell online, including how to create products the current marketplace wants. The early reviews have been great! Click here for more information.

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

New Product Ideas for Art Prints and Photography

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Art and photography can be a tough sell these days. Thanks to the online marketplace, it is becoming even more saturated and as a result, prices have dropped. It is a wonder that artists can make any money any more.

But that is when you have to get creative! Just like any product that is in a saturated market, you need to find new ways to repurpose your art for different markets in a manner you don’t feel hurts your artistic integrity.

Everyone has gone in an art museum gift shop and seen Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, among others, repurposed onto umbrellas, note cards, coasters, you name it. Now, I have found a few other unique ways art and photography have been “repurposed” that may inspire the artists out there.

BRING YOUR ART ONTO TEXTILES

ADD YOUR ART TO EVERY DAY ITEMS

Add Some Class to Your Cell Phone

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Wear Your Art 

02072013082749
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So all you artists out there, do not get discouraged if your work is not selling. Instead, try to find new, exciting ways to bring it to customers. See more ideas for new product ideas for art prints and photography at my Pinterest board.

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“Best buy ever!” . . “Cannot recommend this enough!” . .  ”You will not be disappointed!” . . “Incredible!” –  just some of the customer reviews of my ebook, Home Products Marketing Ideas – which includes art and photography – available at my Etsy shop.

© 2013 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.