MerchantWords vs. Helium 10: Amazon Keyword Research Tool Showdown

MerchantWords vs Helium 10

When you launch a new product on Amazon, you want to know it will be a huge success. After all, this is your business.

The very last thing you want is to invest a lot of time and money on a failure. All that hard work, only for it to be a flop. Very sad times.

One investment that goes wrong can mean a huge headwind to your business. Or sometimes, even worse. (But let’s not go there!)

Of course, part of being a great entrepreneur is taking great calculated risks.

But here’s something any successful Amazon seller will tell you. If you can take out some of the guesswork, then do it! If you can get hold of some data, use it.

It’s what takes the luck out of the equation. Meaning you don’t have to think you’re on to a winner. You’ll know it.

The best way for an Amazon seller to do this is to verify that there is demand for product. Before launching it.

So we’re going to take a look at two tools that do just that.

Meet the contenders: MerchantWords and Helium 10

MerchantWords has long been a key tool for Amazon sellers. In brief, it’s powerful keyword research software. Its job is to show Amazon sellers which product keywords could be successful.

We wanted to take a closer look at MerchantWords. Specifically, what MerchantWords can do for your Amazon seller business.

As a comparison, we’re also looking at Helium 10.

Helium 10’s keyword research is getting a lot of praise right now, and we wanted to dig into that.

So if you’re trying to figure out how to source new Amazon products, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s take a look at these two keyword titans.


What does a tool like MerchantWords do, and why do you need it?

Keyword research tools like MerchantWords are all about data. The kind that helps you as an Amazon seller make decisions about what product to source.

The folks at MerchantWords have been collecting information for a long time. (Since 2012!) Essentially, they’re looking at how many Amazon customers search for each keyword. Then they’re keeping a record of all these searches and sharing them with Amazon sellers.

We’re talking about 1 billion Amazon customer searches. Now that’s a ton of data.

Why data matters. A lot.

Because it’s this customer data that helps sellers. It’s what we need to make decisions about which product to launch.

Let’s say you’re thinking of sourcing a new product, but you don’t know what will be successful. Tools like MerchantWords take away some of this guesswork. Which means a huge advantage over any of your competitors who aren’t already using it.

Here’s an example.

You’re interested in introducing a new product in, say, the sports clothing niche. So you type “sports clothing” into MerchantWords or Helium 10. And just like that, you get the search volumes for the keyword “sports clothing.” And a bunch of other similar keywords.

This means you can find out which products customers are searching for just like that. You can see that the one product you had your eye on is a dud, because no Amazon customers are searching for it. Or that the other product you had in mind has the opportunity to go through the roof!

If you’re not using a tool like MerchantWords, you’re probably missing out. Without them, you’re never going to have these kind of insights about what customers want. Instead, you’d be working on “gut feeling,” or simply trying to use much less data to make the same decisions.

In our experience, of course it’s nice if your gut feeling pays off. But it’s much better business to know your product will be successful before you invest in it.

To summarise: how do tools like MerchantWords and Helium 10 boost your business?

  • Check out business opportunities for new product ideas

  • Find out which keywords customers are searching for

But what exactly sets these tools apart? Why do some people swear by MerchantWords while others would die for Helium 10?

That’s what we’ll take a look at now.


Strengths and Weaknesses: MerchantWords vs. Helium10

Undecided which tool is for you? No problem, we’ve got you covered!

But before we go any further looking at features, let’s talk data.

Why do MerchantWords and Helium 10 have completely different data?

Remember how we said data is super important with these tools? Well, MerchantWords and Helium 10 get their data from very different sources. That means their estimations of customer search figures are not the same. And one of them must be more accurate than the other, right?

And by the way, there are big differences in the data they give you. With the example of “chalk bag”, MerchantWords estimates there are 211,600 searches, whereas Helium 10 estimates 6,232.

MerchantWords Chalk Bag Results
Helium 10 Chalk Bag Results

So if you believe MerchantWords, the market for your new product is 339% bigger

So it’s worth figuring out which you trust.

Let’s start with MerchantWords. Here’s what they say about their data:

“The best place to find new opportunities and trends is within the Amazon search bar… The result is the most accurate, most extensive database of customer keyword search data available today.”

whereas Helium 10 say this:

“We run tests against main competitors and based on the data points that we have available our estimation is comparable or better on most categories.”

Which data can you rely on?

So which tool you choose should depends on which data you trust most. All tools claim to have the very best data out there, so how should you make your decision?

MerchantWords take their data from search information. They reckon that this info is key to spotting emerging trends. They claim that their data does not come from search engines like Google and Bing.

Helium 10, on the other hand, seem to give preference to other Amazon sources. Most likely, pay-per-click (Sponsored Products) landing data. The benefit of this is that customers are more likely to buy these products. After all, otherwise no one would bid for the keyword.

The jury’s still out on this one. But the huge difference raises big questions. We wouldn’t want to invest 339% more in a new product, only to have it fall flat.

Instead, we’d side with a tool that shows a more conservative figure based on numbers that are proven to be successful.

Therefore, if you want to check out a product opportunity, Helium 10 is probably a safer bet.


As for usability, they’re both great. Type in a keyword and get your data. If you want, download the data and play around with it. It shouldn’t be any more complicated than that. And here’s the good news: With both of these tools, it’s a piece of cake.


Pricing Showdown: MerchantWords vs. Helium10’s Magnet2

Whichever pricing works best for you depends on your usage.

Helium 10 starts on the cheaper side with a free but limited global plan at $0/month. The unlimited global Magnet2 plan works out at $37/month. The Magnet2 global plan covers North America and Europe. Which should be enough for most sellers!

The MerchantWords global plan is on the more expensive side at $60/month. It does, though, cover a few extra countries like Australia and Japan. So if you’re entering those markets, you may want to splash out for MerchantWords.

Merchant Words Pricing Comparison Helium 10

It’s also worth mentioning that Magnet2 is just one of Helium 10’s suite of tools. (These are also sold together as a $97/month package.) So if you like everything in one place, you might want to go for Helium 10’s wider offer.


Conclusion: Which keyword research tool should you go for?

It’s easy to spend a lot of time trying out software that doesn’t quite do the job you bought it for. With this in mind, let’s recap.

MerchantWords has been a lot of people’s favorite for a long time. Because it was doing its job as well or better than most of the competition. That’s now changed.

Magnet2’s user interface is just as fast and just as slick as MerchantWords. And it contains additional features. And its global price plan is actually cheaper.

Most importantly though, Magnet2’s data is probably the most reliable out there. And when you’re doing product research, the number 1 thing you need to know is this: can I count on my data?

1 Comment
  1. Although Merchantwords is a great tool I particullarly prefer Helium 10, as it has more features and data than MW.
    Great post btw! I also reviewed Helium here

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