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ChatGPT - An Infinite Ecom Product Ideas Generator


    Mike Partee

ChatGPT Makes Research Easier

So, you’re interested in ecommerce huh?

Bad news is you can’t think of any products to sell.

What do you do?

Thankfully, ChatGPT can do a lot of thinking for us. We just have to enter the prompts below in the proper order, like following a good recipe from a recipe book.

Like any boring food blog, I’m going to tell you how I discovered this recipe first. The thought process is the hard part when you're starting out - Watching how I did it should save you some time!

The Story

This involves “principles first” or “rules based” thinking, just like ingredients…

Our First Ingredient: How you frame ChatGPT.

  • It “knows” a little bit about everything, but it is not capable of deep understanding of subjects.
  • It is like an employee that needs to be trained. It won’t do what you ask unless it’s very explicit, in the correct order. Humorously, it will even refuse to do things you ask or will give excuses as to why it can’t do what you asked it (sort of like a normal employee). In which case, open a new chat and try again.

Our Second Ingredient: How you think about ChatGPT use cases.

  • Since it “knows” a little about everything, It’s a great tool for generating a TON of ideas outside of your knowledge base. It’s akin to having a research assistant or intern.
  • That said, its output isn’t perfect so you have to take what it says with a grain of salt and verify what it gives you.
  • Since you’re coming at it from a place of zero experience however, this is acceptable for basic market research.

Our Final Ingredient: How you use ChatGPT for Business Applications.

  • Most people use ChatGPT for one-off tasks, which is terribly counter productive considering how much time writing a good prompt takes.
  • Instead, take time to write your prompts, store them in a sequence of prompts, tweak them, and reuse them like you would code. Maintain them like a recipe book and keep coming back to them.

Now that you’re familiarized with the ingredients, let’s get to the recipe. I will provide a step, followed by my output. Since the model is constantly evolving, your results may vary. In any event, just go with it…

Ready to generate an endless list of product ideas? Let’s go!

The Recipe

1: Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

Create a list of industries from the NAICS.
Return the result as a table and Include the following in each line:

- NAICS Code
- Industry Title

(Note: NAICS is an acronym for the “North American Industry Classification System.” It’s the most comprehensive list of industries I’ve seen, and is a great list to feed into ChatGPT for generating ideas).

Here’s my output:

(Another note: See how ChatGPT made an excuse and almost didn’t follow through with my command? Lazy bastard…)

2: Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

Provide a list of all 4-digit NAICS industries.
Return the result as a table and Include the following in each line:

- NAICS Code
- Industry Title

This should extend the list and provide more sub-industries for ChatGPT to work with.

Here’s my output:

ChatGPT WILL stop generating results after a certain point.

3: Expand. Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

Sorry, it looks like you cut it short there. Can you keep going?

Use this as many times as you like when ChatGPT stops listing industries. This is also very useful when you need it to continue listing product ideas, which we will explore in a moment.

4: Make ChatGPT provide product examples. Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

For each 4-digit NAICS industry you have listed, provide an example of 1 product that can be sold in that industry with the following characteristics:

- Must be sold to companies operating within that industry (B2B)
- Must cost more than $1,000 on average
- Must weigh less than 70 pounds on average
- Must fit inside a box with a volume of 8 cubic feet (please provide its average dimensions in inches as well)

Return the result as a table and include the following in separate columns:

- NAICS Code
- NAICS Industry Title
- Product Name
- Average Product Price
- Average Product Dimensions
- Average Product Weight
- A one sentence description of the product's function.

I wrote this prompt to find industrial products to sell B2B. I’m sure it’s fine for consumer categories as well, but you can explore that on your own.

Here’s my output:

The results are okay, so let’s get a few more ideas.

5: Expand. Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

Sorry, it looks like you cut it short there. Can you keep going?

Here’s my output:

Aquaculture products sound interesting. But does this product actually exist? Maybe:

We'd take more time here to do more research!

6: What about Cross-Sales? Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

List 3 other products I could cross-sell with _____. Use the same requirements, except that it can cost less than $1,000 but must fit in a 12"x12"x12" box.

Here’s my output:

7: What about Pain Points? Enter this prompt into ChatGPT

Provide 1-3 things that customers complain most about the examples you gave
and what can be improved about them.

Here’s my output:


Pretty cool, right?

There you have it. In a matter of minutes, we’ve gone from having no ideas for products to sell, to generating a ton of great ideas, including cross-sells and even some insight into customer pain points.

A few parting thoughts:

  • Weight, Dimensions, and Pricing are likely not accurate. Instead, they are used to filter out obviously bad examples, such as products that are exceptionally bulky or heavy.

  • Obviously, ChatGPT is only capable of ‘scratching the surface’ when it comes to industry knowledge. In this case that’s fine, further research and verify ChatGPT’s assumptions with some Google Searches

  • If ChatGPT doesn't know something - try pasting in some knowledge you'd like in your answer. Context always helps. More to come on this soon!

  • You can modify this recipe to fit your business model. I’ve given ecom as an example but could easily modify Prompt #4 to generate Services or Software ideas.

I hope this was helpful, try it for yourself! Sign up for ChatGPT and do stuff!

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