Finding a niche market for your ecommerce business ideas requires a dash of creativity as well as grinding keyword research, a bit of luck, and the right platform. Web Shop Manager can help with the platform. The elbow grease is on you.
It might surprise you that one of the primary obstacles e-commerce owners face when starting out is choosing a niche. What sounds like such a simple box to check off can actually be overwhelming, and is easily shuffled to the bottom of that ever-growing to-do list.
After all, you might be setting your sights on giving some of the biggest names in the industry a run for their money – and that’s great. Reach for the stars!
But (and it’s a big but), before you even think about selecting products and designing your online shop, it’s essential to your success that you choose a niche. It doesn't matter what your goals are, directing your energy and resources to one particular segment will provide your customers more value, and you'll have fewer headaches.
Here we dig into what a niche is and why you need to decide on one before moving forward with your e-commerce business.
In a nutshell, a niche is when you fixate your efforts on a specific area of an industry. Often you'll find that niches are small but very defined. You’ll have some large niche markets like automobiles and health, and then sub-niches that really grind down the needs and wants of the consumers such as specializing in organic foods or Jaguar cars.
Here's an example of how oldchevytrucks.com narrowed down their auto niche to Chevy and GMC truck parts from 1934-1972. They even have a forum for their customers to mingle in.
And don’t think when picking a niche that you have to choose from a pre-existing list. New ones pop up all the time when someone recognizes a place that the consumer needs are not being met as well as they could be. In some cases, they are not being met at all.
For example, you may do some keyword research and find that thousands of people a day are looking for vintage hood ornaments. The further you investigate, you learn that a few celebrities are using vintage designs for their vehicles, and the trend is continuing to rise. However, you also discover that the market isn’t being targeted very well, information is sparse, and options to buy are difficult to find.
And just like that, you’ve stumbled across a potentially great niche to invest some time in. However, if you start picking products and designing your website before you find a niche, then you’ll miss out on a profitable opportunity.
Now that we've discussed what a niche is and dissected it a little bit, let's look at the ways choosing a niche will lead to a more lucrative e-commerce store.
If you still aren't convinced that you need to choose a niche, here are five ways that decision will make your life easier and your bank account bigger.
#1: You’ll know where to focus your energy. As an e-commerce owner, it can be easy to take on work that is time-consuming and unproductive because you’re scattered and jumping from one end of the spectrum to the next. By honing in on one particular area, your time will be spent more efficiently thanks to the smaller space you’ll be covering.
#2: You’ll develop authority and trust. When you specialize in a particular area of an industry, people will be more likely to trust you versus someone who covers a broad range of products and tutorials. Once you've provided quality information and become a solution for your customers, you'll start to see more conversions.
Think of it like when you need a home repair. When you have a pipe leaking under your sink, you'll call a plumber before a general contractor. The same goes for your e-commerce store. When you specialize in a particular corner of the market, many people will come to you before going to a larger e-commerce store because you have more in-depth knowledge backing you and your products up.
#3: You’ll have more advantages when marketing. When you have a niche to focus on, you’ll start to notice that you’ve narrowed down your target consumer as well. This helps you get to know them better and assists when marketing.
If you’ve decided that your niche is going to be fly fishing equipment, then you should have a pretty good idea that your target market enjoys nature, is willing to spend money to get away from it all, and may be more inclined to travel. As you learn more, you'll be able to refine your marketing strategy to cater to that particular person's needs.
#4: Optimizing your website will be easier. As e-commerce gets more competitive, you want to take all of the advantages you can get when optimizing your online store, and selecting a niche will make it much easier. Keywords will be more direct and exact, and you can be location specific if need be. Plus, you'll have a better idea of where to focus your social media efforts.
#5: You’ll get more repeat customers. Because you can get a little more personal with your customers when you select a niche, you'll find that you get more repeat visitors than if you spread yourself out.
Here’s an example of how The Coffee Concierge chose to refine their niche and get to know their customers a little better. They go beyond selling coffee makers and become a solution for all of their customers’ coffee needs, by introducing and educating about great coffee, and teaching coffee preparation techniques.When you want to learn more about coffee you’ll probably trust them versus a large e-commerce store like Wal-Mart or Amazon, for whom coffee is only a small part of their business.
By now you should have a decent idea of what a niche is and why it’s essential for your success, and you’re probably ready to pick something out. However, be sure you don’t rush the process before you get some research done. Remember – you want a profitable niche, and the odds are it won't be something that you're completely passionate about. This is a case where professional web design can really improve your chances of success.
You might love antique clock accessories, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find the right audience that can meet your profit goals for your e-commerce store. However, if you can align your passions and profitability, then you’re probably on to a winner! Before making the final decision, you’ll want to look for a series of indicators that can predict whether your chosen niche will actually make you money or not – that’s coming next week!
Start paying attention to the different niches and take notes if you see a gap in the market!
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