FINDING THE PERFECT NICHE MARKET
Let’s say that you have now decided that ecommerce is the right business model for you. That’s great! Now it’s time for you to make another important decision, deciding what specific product niche you want to build your online business around.
Your niche is your specialty. It’s what sets you apart on the market. Your niche falls into a narrow category of products you’ll be selling to target the specific needs of a certain group of people. In order for you to find your identity as a brand or as an online seller in the competitive world of ecommerce, you have to identify the industry and the niche that you want to focus on.
For instance, women’s clothing is a broad category—clothing is a universal need. However, the niche on sustainable and eco-friendly athletic wear is considered much narrower, as it targets specific wants and needs of a certain demographic. This could potentially be an idea for a niche to build a brand upon. However, with the near limitless possibilities that the internet and online markets provide, you’ll be faced with millions of possible niches and business opportunities to get into.
How do you find the perfect niche for you to build your identity as an online seller?
One of the biggest possible mistakes anyone can make with their online business is getting in too fast without proper consideration of the right product niche. This is an important strategic decision that you have to make for your brand in order for you to become successful. You don’t want to rush into an unprofitable choice.
Here are some of the things you need to deeply consider when choosing a niche.
This is a natural start. Creating a business and choosing a niche around your passion and interests could act as a powerful force that could enable the success of your online business. Many people dream of finding ways to monetize the things that they are passionate about, and working with your passion can provide you with long term advantages through the ups and downs of business.
If you are passionate about your niche, then the drive to be the best in the industry should come more naturally than if you are working on a niche that won’t provide you the same interest or motivation. You’ll be more likely to abandon a project or niche that you don’t really care about. At the same time, you’ll also be working with a target market that share the same interests as you, meaning you’ll have a better understanding of their wants and needs, because they align with yours.
However, being passionate about something doesn’t necessarily lead to the success of your niche. Your passion could also be detrimental to your ecommerce enterprise if not as many people share your interest. There needs to be an existing market to actually sell to.
You have to be wary of the fact that passion can blind, and in business, you will still have to take an objective stand and make practical business decisions based on facts and figures.
What you can do to solve this passion vs. practicality conundrum is to identify and list down your interest and determines a niche or an aspect of a niche that can balance passion with real profit, giving you the drive to stick it out and persevere.
Don’t Be Too Quick To Jump In
This is precisely the reason why many ecommerce businesses fail. Popular niches attract businesses like flies, but also has them dropping like flies. Remember that and approach with caution.
Let’s talk about a niche that performs as one of highest in terms of profitability— Women’s fashion. Sound good? Well, maybe not. It’s not as simple as finding the niche that is making the most money and joining in on the fray. As it turns out, the highest ranking niche categories also happen to be a tough road of steep competition. Even if you build a store by narrowing down your niche in selling the hottest summer trends and market it with all conceivable strategies, chances are, you might still drown in the torrential waters of your competitors. You’ll find thousands upon thousands of other sellers to contend with, who just so happen to be selling the same exact thing.
Choosing the right niche for you may not be about the hottest craze and jumping on it, because everybody is probably on it already, and crazes don’t last. It’s also not going to be about getting into the widest category imaginable and selling everything under the sun.
Instead, don’t be afraid to look for smaller subsets of the larger category. Narrowing down the category will help you stand out and will lead you to a niche with less competition and a narrower target audience to feed into your business. Less competition will help you get on top of the game to dominate your target market.
Do More Research
Now that we have determined that you can’t just jump into the first over saturated niche you find without much thought in the possibility you might wind up floating in the tide of your competition, it’s time to do some more research.
You can begin your research as you normally would, with a simple Google search on “trending niches” as well as “low competition niches”. There are also many other tools available online for you to track the rise, fall, and stability of various niches using keyword searches. One such tool is Google Trends, which will show you graphs on the peak and decline of people’s interest.
Searching the web for trending categories should yield niches that are wildly popular now and the niches predicted to become profitable in the coming months and year. These are very attractive in that they are brimming with potential, but also attract some tough competition.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are also great places for you to observe public demand for a specific niche. You have to make sure that you are gauging people’s interests, because you can narrow down your niche based on what specific groups of people want and need.
Ideally, your niche should hit the sweet spot by not being too popular, but already has an existing target market that has sufficient interest in your niche. For instance, pet care is a widely profitable niche in ecommerce, with many pet owners buying accessories and care products for their cats and dogs. Narrowing your niche into something like high-quality, grain-free and sugar-free food for cats can be an option. You have an existing target market, and a narrower niche. Or another example, focus on selling grooming and clothing accessories for a specific dog breed like the Pomeranian.
Ask Yourself: Is This Niche a Passing Fad?
Fads are a thing you can pretty much rely on to suddenly skyrocket in popularity, have a short and powerful influence in determining people’s spending habit, before ultimately sputtering out into non-existence and obscurity once again. Fads seem promising when they are at their height, but in reality, they leave a very small time margin for a business to profit from its success. If you build your business around a fad, then your business will die when the fad comes to an end.
The conclusion here is that you might wanna eye a niche that has been around for some time, a niche that already has an established consumer base that has withstood the test of time. If you want to build a brand around a niche, think long term, not short term. Tools like Google Trends can also help you out in tracking the nature of growth and decline of potential niches that you want to explore. It’s a handy map on the landscapes of people’s interest.
The Sustainability of Your Niche
Now that you’ve determined whether the niche isn’t a passing fad or trend that has withstood the test of time, you still need to consider the future of your niche by considering the possible ongoing lifespan of your niche. You need to ask yourself, will this be profitable a year from now? Five years from now?
These are questions you need to ask yourself about the future of your niche because it is also the future of your business. For instance, according to Oberlo, watches fell into the highest performing niche category of 2018, while The Insider is predicting that analogue watches will become obsolete by 2020. There’s no way of telling whether the analogue watch, with its traditional clock face—a style staple for centuries, will really be overrun by smart watches, but these are just the kind of things that you have to consider when choosing your niche.
The sustainability and longevity of your niche is a tough one to consider, because no one can predict the future.
The Wrap Up
The niche you ultimately select will define your brand and your e-commerce business. It is a crucial choice that you have to make that will determine the success of your ecommerce venture. You need to ask yourself what you are passionate and interested in, and if you can monetize from it. The niche that you choose should also ideally fit into a narrow category that aligns with the needs of a target market. You shouldn’t also jump into the first profitable niche that you find because you don’t want to be buried underneath your competitors. And lastly, make sure to enter a niche that will stand the test of time so that your business can continue to grow along with your chosen niche.
Choosing your niche may seem like a tough choice, but it’s an important one that you’ll have to dedicate some time and research to. If you’re still undecided about what niche will be best for you and your online venture, Contact Ecommerce Pro. Together we’ll find out the best niche for you.
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