of the earliest and most fundamental decisions you'll make when you
decide to take the plunge into Ecommerce is simply, 'what should I
sell?' It's a question that sees many potential entrepreneurs fall at
the first hurdle.
course, it's possible
simply begin selling mainstream products and grab a piece of those
established markets. But it's often much smarter to identify a
niche in which you can excel.
are essentially small, nuanced market segments...and finding the
right one can deliver a bunch of great benefits:
easier to identify and target potential customers.
significantly less competition.
easier to drive organic and paid traffic to your website.
since your users are generally looking for something pretty
specific, this traffic often converts well, too.
how do you find a product niche that works for you?
with something that fits you
Cuban ruffled a few feathers when he called following your passion
'easily the worst advice you could ever get.' But, while we wouldn't
recommend choosing a product niche solely
on your own passions without validating the idea first, it can be a
good starting point.
all, selling online should be a source of enjoyment as
well as extra income, and choosing an area you already know a little
about can be a great head start. It can greatly diminish your
learning curve and help you identify hidden angles and opportunities.
a look at your own background – your experiences, skills, interests
and hobbies. If anything stands out, make sure to validate the idea
with rigorous research before going any further!
remember that you can be just as successful in niches you were
previously totally unaware of, so don't worry if nothing stands out
at this point!
your point of difference
definition, niches are all about specificity, and points of
difference. It's important, then, to identify at an early stage
exactly what makes you different. The best niches are all about
identifying needs or opportunities, and delivering products that
others can't (or won't.)
it's your price point, product quality, personalization options or
any other factor, niche marketing requires you to be different!
This gives you the best chance to access untapped markets and
differentiate yourself from the competition.
is a great tool for generating a bunch of different ideas to explore
further. You just enter a keyword and hit the 'Find Profitable
Niches' button. This generates a list of hundreds, if not thousands,
of potential ideas you can investigate to see if they're viable.
are generally targeted towards very specific customers. It's vital
that you zone in on exactly who this is – creating buyer personas
can be a good way to do this. Some factors to consider when
identifying your target customer are:
– factors such as age, gender, location
power – this ensures you can choose a niche with products that are
habits – this makes it that much easier to know how you can reach
them and promote your brand and products
the Market Size
definition, niche markets are small – but it's important that
they're actually viable. You don't want to limit yourself to a niche
that is prohibitively small and has little potential for growth.
you commit to an idea, make sure to do adequate market research.
There are a number of ways to do this.
a fantastic starting point. You can use Google's Keyword Planner Tool
to generate ideas. This tool allows you to order keywords by how
competitive they are, how often they're searched for by users, and
the suggested bid price for PPC campaigns. This will help you gauge
how much potential traffic you could expect from a particular niche.
often a good idea to go after
long-tail keywords. These
are keywords with a lower search volume, but which are typically much
easier to rank for on search engines. They also tend to convert
higher than other keywords, simply because they're so specific.
another useful tool. This can help you identify whether your market
is growing or shrinking based on how often keywords have been
searched for over a period of time. In other words, you can identify
markets that are genuinely growing vs. temporary fads.
5. Brokerage Directories
listing sites, like, are a great place to look for potential niche
product ideas. Head to a website like BizBuySell.com
and select 'Websites For Sale'.
can also do some market research based on the revenue and valuation
of these e-commerce websites. Some properties are even listed for
sale by owner. In these cases, the owner will often post the website
url and whether the products are drop-shipped or stocked. In many
cases, a nicer website and a little bit of work could make for a
successful start-up selling products you have researched on brokerage
Check out the competition
always a good idea to make sure to do your homework on your
competitors. This involves checking out which stores are already
ranking for your chosen keywords and assessing which other products
are already available in the market.
is a good chance to assess what others in the field are doing well
and identify any areas you could improve and do better.
sure it's commercially viable
all want to make
through selling online rather than losing it! It's crucial, therefore
– however appealing and untapped your niche is – that you make
sure your numbers add up and make you a nice profit. This involves
answering questions like:
much will it cost to buy or manufacture your product(s)?
much do similar products sell for currently?
are a number of good places to look for products at wholesale prices
– Alibaba and Made-in-China are just two! This will help you
establish product availability and cost prices. The rest comes down
to market research which will help you establish what is the going
rate in the industry and how much you can realistically expect to
make from each purchase. Remember, the little costs can eat
significantly into your margin, so make sure you take a thorough,
holistic approach here!
the right niche as an ecommerce entry point takes no small amount of
research and hard work, but it can be a great way to really make a
splash in a particular market, which otherwise might not be possible.