Are you planning to open an online store?
Do you already have a product in mind?
Or perhaps you are looking for a new product line?
If you want to realize higher margins, you have to serve a niche market.
A generic e-commerce shop is not a smart move and merely a race to the bottom with high-competition, low prices, and even lower profit margins.
So let’s discover how and why to structure your e-commerce venture for a specific niche and sell online to a particular group of consumers with products carefully selected to meet their needs.
What is a Niche?
A niche market is a targeted segment of a broader market, providing a product or service for a specific need or problem.
This could be products for left-handed people, smart technology for the sight or hearing-impaired, or humane mouse traps and domestic pest control devices.
The Importance Of Finding A Niche
Niching down enables you to focus all your resources to provide the best solutions to your customers and position your store as dedicated specialists for that specific market sector. And when you are seen as the specialist, you can play at a higher price point = more significant profit margins.
You can carry out two methods: you can choose a group of niche products or target a particular group of customers.
Specific Niche Products
You can choose to sell just a single category of products to solve a particular problem or need, which does not have to consist of initial,
distinct, or unique items.
Specific Niche Customers
You focus on a model or a variant of a regular product and only sell shoes in large sizes, for example, and not cater to the mainstream,
to target a specific section of prospective buyers.
The essential thing is to specialize, not fall into the trap of online shops that offer numerous items on which they have little margin, competing with many other identical businesses and ultimately having to charge low prices to increase sales.
Fads come and go by their very nature – fidget spinners anyone?
A true evergreen niche never goes out of fashion and doesn’t require aggressive marketing tactics to generate demand.
These will be products or services that are always required.
A great example is the DIY domestic pest control market. As the worldwide population grows, so does the need for home pest control products, both indoor and outdoor.
Just check out the growth in Google Trends for Rat Trap searches:
If you can find an evergreen market growing year on year, you have a stable and proven foundation to build a long-term business.
And the best thing about an evergreen product is profit stability, due to the ongoing demand.
Finding a niche, be it a product or a group of consumers with the same need, requires some legwork and analysis.
There are free and paid online tools that can help you understand if there is demand, the most used keywords, and the potential size of the market.
- Google Adwords
- Google Trends
Once you have identified a possible niche, you then take the analysis one step further and determine if there is a deeper niche fragmentation.
For example, if your research tells you the extra-large size shoe niche is looking good, further analysis could uncover the demand for extra-large shoes made from sustainable materials.
And if you already have a store, but with a more generic focus and yet to determine a niche to pursue, take a good look at your existing sales data for the products with more margin and/or buyers, as you may find one or sub-niches worth exploring further.
Ideally, your e-commerce site or Amazon Storefront should stand apart from the competition to make your voice heard, and choosing a narrow niche focus is the best method to achieve this.
When you are specialized in a specific niche, consumers will trust your brand and, ultimately, the products you provide to them: expertise is a synonym of quality and a byproduct of focusing on a specific problem or need in the market.
Let me draw you a picture – if you are shopping for an engagement ring, would you rather buy one from Walmart or a specialist jeweler?
Once you become an expert in a niche, it also becomes easier to market your brand, and the consumers who are yet to purchase your products will now understand who to rely on when they do require them.
And for this reason, certainly, for specific niche items, you can charge a higher price point – we can say with confidence that your target audience anticipates a higher price point, increasing your profit margins.
The partnerships you forge and the providers or manufacturers of the products you sell are crucial to your venture’s success.
And although the price of goods is an essential factor to consider, always remember that quality should be of equal, if not greater importance during your supplier discovery and validation phase.
Clearly, it is essential to discover trusted suppliers who can show you as accurately as possible their capabilities, production capacity, item seasonality, and what they will do to accommodate any special requirements you may have, which can then guarantee you a consistent supply of products.
X-Pest has over a decade of experience building long-term relationships with our customers, helping them grow their businesses, some of which are now national brands in their respective territories – no mean feat!
Even niches have rivals. And you must do thorough research to understand them and also the market you are going to enter.
Once again, you can use the tools mentioned above to gain a clear view of the competitive landscape, the products they stock, the price-points, keywords, and marketing channels they use to target prospective buyers.
Understanding how your competition is operating will help you shape your approach to the market. Ultimately it will allow you to make considered assumptions and more accurate financial forecasts for your business plan.
And through all this research and analysis, you may even discover a market segment that is inadequately served (or not entirely served by your competitors).
Starting an e-commerce venture is simple. The tricky part is deciding what to offer.
To succeed, you need to concentrate on a specific niche target or product.
Or ideally, you do both selling a particular product that attracts a buyer with specific needs.
Either way, finding and forging strong relationships across your supply chain is critical to your online store’s success.
Here at X-Pest, we have helped many entrepreneurs, both established and those starting out, realize the domestic pest control niche’s evergreen potential.
Drop a comment below or reach out through our contact form to learn more about what working together towards your success could look like.