As you research niche markets, you’ll soon discover that many of them are actually quite broad. And while this can be a good thing for your e-commerce store over time, at first it gets pretty overwhelming, and you might want to consider focusing on a sub-niche to get started.
Here we’ll look at what a sub-niche is, the benefits of them, and how to find the one for you.
A sub-niche is going to be a much more refined and specific topic within a larger niche.
To give you an example it would be like if you decided that you were going to focus your attention on the health niche. Now, this is extremely broad, and you can go in a lot of directions.
If you try to cover all areas of health, you'll find your efforts will be diluted, and you really won't be providing a solution for anyone. So, you decide that you want to focus on products that help people improve their diet.
Now you’re on a roll.
Once again, you need narrow down your focus even more. Do you want to carry every product that can help people make healthy foods? Or would you have more success focusing on one particular piece of equipment?
Here’s an example of the Juice Fanatics. As you can see, they narrowed down the broad niche of health for one specific audience.
As they refine their juicing sub-niche, they can expand further into the health category if they want, but it isn’t necessary.
Now that you have a better idea of how to work a niche on a smaller scale let's look at some of the advantages.
When you’re dealing with a smaller niche market, you’ll be able to gather more accurate information about where your customers hang out online and what solutions they are looking for. This will give you the knowledge to have a more refined marketing strategy.
When you focus on a sub-niche like the Juicer Fanatics, you'll have in-depth knowledge about how to use the product from the motor to the different speeds to the cleaning procedures. This puts you in a position to be an authority in the industry, and people will trust your products and reviews.
In-depth knowledge is one of the best ways to make sure that people come to your online store for their needs versus going to someone like Amazon.
Okay, so no approach to e-commerce is necessarily simple. But when you narrow down your product selection and focus on a smaller piece of the pie, you’ll find that you have more control over every project. This will make problems easier to spot and give you the opportunity to put your personal touch on all aspects of your online store.
Now that we’ve looked at why you should be getting involved in a sub-niche, here are a few ways to identify the ones in a larger market.
If you want to know the top searches in a large niche market, go to Google and type in the keyword you’re targeting, but don’t click search!
You’ll be shown a list of the most common searches using that keyword.
For example, if you want to know what people are searching for when looking for pet supplies, just start typing words that match your niche ecommerce site today. For this one "dog" was put in the search bar and you can see that dog breeds are the number one search.
However, many people are searching for whistles and kennels. While dog whistles may not bring you much profitability, dog kennels and their accessories such as beds can bring in more and is worth a few minutes to investigate further to see if there's something more going on with this niche.
Just like Google, go to places like Amazon and Wal-Mart to see what’s happening in their search bars when you type in your broad niche keyword. You’ll find the most popular items andcan check them out in more depth on the platform. The reviews written by previous customers (both good and bad) can be beneficial to your marketing and product selection process.
Check out large niche forums to see what people are talking about. You’ll be surprised how much insight you can gain from a few niche enthusiasts.
Here's an example of a forum from Automotive.com. Below the Car Buying category, they have discussions with hundreds of car consumers involved on topics from repair to accessories.
Also, knowing the e-books that are in your niche can help you gain an understanding of what people are writing about and what information consumers are after.
Social media is another great place that you can join in on the dialogue and gain an understanding of the needs of the current customers in your target market.
For example, if you have an e-commerce store that focuses on city bicycles, you might find that there is a relatively large group of riders who talk about how difficult it is to find accessories to carry awkwardly shaped and bulky items. Most likely, this is vastly different than the company that creates automotive website designs for the West coast.
Now, you want to be conscience of trends because new technologies and advancements of current products can create a demand that wasn't there in the past. You'll find yourself in unchartered waters, and people will be flocking towards you to fill that gap. Think about digital technology that you wear such as Apple watches and Fitbits.
In the same vein, trends can also become obsolete and out of style pretty quickly. Remember last Christmas when hoverboards became the new rage. However, there was a glitch – videos of the boards came out as catching fire and exploding, and it was pretty easy to get injured on them. Amazon and many other large companies pulled out, returned money, and had a mess on their hands.
Of course, for the hoverboard companies, they’ve worked to correct the problem and their products are gaining popularity again. But during that first fiasco, if your turnkey e-commerce store online was selling the dangerous (yet trendy) hoverboard, you were probably ready to pull your hair out.
Now that you know more about sub-niches and their many advantages go ahead and narrow down your focus even more and see what lucrative and refined topic you can come up with!
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