In the world of Merch by Amazon, data is king.
New and longtime sellers alike have used data at one point or another to boost t-shirt sales. Data is used to determine which t-shirt colors sell the best, which genders to target, which niches to upload to, and which trends are popular.
Now that Merch has been around for several years (and millions of shirts have been uploaded), getting your shirts noticed is getting even harder. Tools like Merch Informer have made it easier to find best-selling shirts, but when it comes to finding out trending shirts, it’s not always the best solution. A lot of these Merch by Amazon research tools use historical data.
Great for niches, not so great for trends.
That’s where Merch Data comes in.
Disclaimer: I was compensated with a free account plus a small fee for my time for testing & reviewing this software.
What is Merch Data?
Merch Data is an essential tool that every Merch seller must use to keep up with the hottest rising niches. In my opinion, it should be the first thing Merch sellers check before designing a new shirt.
In a nutshell, Merch Data pulls every single MBA shirt on Amazon and ranks them in 3 categories: best-selling, newest, and rising.
Here’s what the dashboard looks like.
As you can see, it displays data in a very easy-to-read way. At a very quick glance, you can see the title, BSR, and the date the shirt was uploaded.
From there, you can click into the shirt if you need more info, or just quickly browse between pages.
Why was it built?
After chatting with the developer of MerchData.io, I had one question for them:
Why did you you build Merch Data?
Here was their response:
We built this tool because we were spending too much time doing research on what the rest of the merch market was doing, and other sites had stale data. Typing in keywords only got us so far because it relied purely on our own imagination.
Big money comes from being the first to a new niche, not from finding obscure niches or trying to compete in the saturated ones. After building this ‘sorting’ tool for our own personal use, we realized that it could easily be turned into a product for other people to use and benefit from. In order to cover server costs and make it worthwhile for us, we turned it in to a subscription-based website.
We focus on one thing and we do it very well: getting real-time accurate data and displaying it in an easy to read manner.
What Makes MerchData different than similar products?
After playing around with MerchData for the last few days, here’s a few things I’ve noticed that really sets them apart from their competitors.
- Merch Data gathers near ‘real-time’ data of every new shirt and has direct access to every shirt that Amazon displays.
- They don’t use don’t use Amazon affiliate links.
- They don’t use Amazon’s tailored product APIs, which many of the competitors rely on.
- Merch Data is intended to spark ideas instead of making you search and guess what is selling.
Research Trending T-Shirts
As you know, trends don’t last forever. They start out on social media, get wildly popular, and flutter out of everyone’s minds soon after. No one is going to a buy a ‘trending’ shirt if the trend is over. Trending shirts are often impulse purchases anyway, so if you plan on uploading to a new trend or niche, being one of the first to do so will reward you bigtime.
Consider this scenario:
You start out research using your typical t-shirt research methods. You see a shirt with a low BSR and see that is has sold incredibly well over the last week. You then spend some time creating shirts, upload to Merch, and….you get no sales.
Of course it does. It happens to all us. So, that now begs the question… Why didn’t your shirt get any traction?
Remember when I said trends don’t last forever? They really don’t. If you plan on uploading ‘trending’ shirts, or at least shirts that are selling well over a short period of time, you need data that is as close to real-time data as you can get, not older historical data. There’s no point researching trends that are days or weeks old – the trend may be over by then!
The data Merch Data provides is as close to real time as it gets. (It updates every few hours) Many other tools don’t advertise how frequently they update the data. It could be weekly, or even monthly – we’re really not sure. With MerchData, we see a timer that very easily tells when the last update to the database was pushed out.
Effectively Using Merch Data.io to Spot Trends
First and foremost, you’ll need to create an account.
Once logged in, you’ll be met with a beautiful dashboard. By default, it will show Best Selling shirts, but you can use the Category Selector at the top to change it to Newest or Rising shirts. You can also choose whether or not you want to see licensed designs (such as Shane Dawson’s pig t-shirt).
To use Merch Data effectively, you sort of have to rethink how to research data. You are probably used to doing a lot of manually searching for keywords or quotes yourself. With Merch Data, the data is already there for you. All you have to do is go through the different pages.
When should you be using MerchData during your normal upload process – before or after?
I recommend using MerchData before any traditional research methods. Knowing which shirts are selling well as of a couple hours ago is a much better than not knowing how old data on another tool is.
For instance, just by logging in, I can see 3 of the top 4 designs are “Notorious RBG” designs. This lets me know that these shirts are very popular, possibly selling 100+ shirts a day. Wouldn’t it be nice to ride a wave like that someday?
Should you try and create similar shirts based on these top Best Sellers?
Probably not. By now, there are tons of copycats with the same mindset you have.
Let’s take it one step further…
If I change the Category tab to Rising…I can now see which shirts were recently uploaded and are doing extremely well. At #5, I see another RBG shirt. Although it looks much different the the ones in the BSR tab, it’s still selling very well – easily 5-10 shirts a day at that BSR.
So, the goal should be to use MerchData to find shirts that are selling well, and use the Rising category to determine if other quotes in that niche (based on the best selling designs) are selling great as well.
This method of researching does two things:
- Helps me figure out what is selling well.
- Helps me find quotes (in the best-selling niche or trend) that is brand new and selling well, or is rising quickly in the ranks.
I highly recommend using Merch Data to spot Merch by Amazon trends before the competition does. Researching can be a very time-consuming, but with simple inexpensive tools like Merch Data, those tasks become much less daunting.
And the best part?
The data refreshes all time. You can literally log in, spend 5-10 minutes browsing the pages, and instantly know which quotes or t-shirts you should tackle next. 8 hours later, you can do the same thing over and over again. Merch Data does a lot of the research for you, and displays the data in an easy-to-view way.
Check it out for yourself here, and I’ve also added it to my Resources page.