If you have decided to open an eCommerce store, is it going to be a general store or a niche store? If you are unsure what the difference is, it’s simply that a general store will sell to any market, and a niche store will focus on selling products which relate a specific subject.
An example of a general eCommerce business could be one that sells t-shirts, caps and other printed goods across all sorts of subjects such as pets, sports, types of employment and hobbies. A niche eCommerce store which also sells t-shirts etc will only sell them if they are within the niche the business targets, such as dog lovers, golfers, teachers or camping enthusiasts, for example.
The main benefit of starting an eCommerce business which targets a specific niche, rather than across general markets, is you can very easily identify those who have an interest in your niche. You will also find that people within a niche can be very passionate about it, and often buy everything they can which relates to it. This will not be the case if your products are more generally targeted.
Another advantage is that your resources, particularly for advertising, can be focussed rather than be spread too thin. Think about how many ads, target audiences, and keywords you would need to research and create to market a general online store, rather than one that only sold products relating to fishing for example. The differences in time, effort and costs are significant, as are the chances of success.
So how do you choose a niche for your eCommerce business?
The first thing is not to pick a niche that no other eCommerce store or business is targeting. It might seem to you that you’ve uncovered a hidden gem, but the chances of that are very remote. It can happen, but it is more likely that no one else is targeting it because it is either too small or simply not viable. If the niche is very narrow or small, you might want to try widening it a bit to see if that helps, but even then, you would still need to research thoroughly to determine if there was a viable market.
Choosing a niche which you have an interest in is always preferable than the one you know nothing about. The first benefit is your knowledge of the niche, the sorts of people who are interested in it, and the type of products that are likely to prove popular if you were to make them available for sale. It could be you are already active in some of the forums or Facebook groups where these people share ideas, thoughts, and best of all recommendations. Where better to do your market research?
Using this information, instead of trying to find products that you think ‘might’ be popular, you can source products that you know there is already a demand for within the niche. You’ll also have a better knowledge of the language or ‘buzz words’ used in the niche so that when it comes time to create content or paid ads, you will be using vocabulary that fans of the niche are familiar with.
The last point to make about using a niche you know or enjoy is if your business ever hits a bump in the road, you will be more likely to stay positive until you are able to overcome it. If the subject is one you are passionate about, this passion can transfer over to your business and give you the determination to keep going, even if things are difficult for your business at that point.