If you want to stand out from the crowd in the world of ecommerce, you need to find products that are sought after, but face little competition. This is often easier said than done, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Customers who buy within a niche are willing to pay higher prices, and are more likely to become loyal, long-term buyers, rather than simply one-off purchasers.
So what exactly are niche products, and how do you find them?
In this article, we’ll discuss what niche products are, while giving you some niche product examples for inspiration. Then, we’ll cover how to find the right products, plus how to sell them once you do this, so that you can bring engaged audiences the products they’re searching for and make a healthy profit.
What are Niche Products?
Niche products are those which target, or are relevant to, a small but specific target audience. Popular with ecommerce entrepreneurs, they allow sellers to tap into a market that is smaller, yet often more lucrative, than that of a general product. This niche market arises from the existence of a group that is part of a larger one, but that has different wants and needs.
For instance, the pet treats industry is huge, and many sellers create generic products that can be bought and enjoyed by any pet owner. For pets with allergies, though, there is a distinctly smaller audience of owners who would buy allergen-free treats. This niche area therefore provides a big opportunity for ecommerce entrepreneurs who can source and deliver the perfect product in this space – often, customers will be willing to pay more for them, too.
Examples Of Niche Products
Niche products are easier to understand through the evaluation of existing businesses who have nailed their sourcing and marketing strategy. Here are some of the best niche product examples that show the immense potential in this space:
- E.l.f Cosmetics
The cosmetic industry brings in billions of dollars every year, so it’s no surprise that there are lots of different niches and sub-markets that exist within it. However, a difficult task for welfare-conscious consumers is finding vegan products, especially on a budget. This is where E.l.f Cosmetics have done an exceptional job – unlike the vegan makeup stores that charge a premium within their niche, E.l.f’s success lies primarily in the fact that they are vegan and budget-friendly. For a target audience that prioritizes animal welfare but doesn’t have the funds to purchase from big name brands, E.l.f provides a solution.
- Burt’s Bees
In a similar fashion to E.l.f, Burt’s Bees recognized the niche markets that stemmed from the cosmetics industry. This time, it was in the lip-balm space. For customers of all genders who wanted a lip-balm derived from natural ingredients, rather than complex chemicals, Burt’s Bees offered a product that was catered directly to their needs. This led to huge success for the company, with the product now stocked in stores around the world, and thousands of 5-star reviews.
- Whole Foods
Whole Foods is a perfect example of a business who taps into a niche market, perhaps without many of their consumers even realizing it. Every household across the United States buys groceries, but instead of marketing themselves to this wide audience, Whole Foods focused their efforts on the niche market of affluent consumers who want to buy higher-than-average quality groceries. This up-market exclusivity led to an engaged niche market that became regular shoppers.
How To Find Niche Products
Successfully launching a niche product to a target audience is a rewarding end result, but one that might come after a lengthy process during which you need to identify a market and source a suitable product. Fortunately, there are a number of methods that you can implement to find niche products.
Utilize Website Sub-Categories
Whatever ecommerce site you use, such as Amazon or Etsy, you’ll typically be presented with the option to filter your product search by a number of categories. These categories will have sub-categories that allow you to narrow down the type of products that will be shown to you, and by utilizing this feature you’re more likely to encounter products that you could adapt and sell yourself.
You can even use the search feature to identify the terms or phrases people are already searching for, and what sub-categories are subsequently being created that have a clear, established need.
Understanding the importance of keywords is a great ability for entrepreneurs in any sphere, but it’s crucial if you want to find a niche market that you can launch a product in.
There are a number of keyword tracking tools suitable for ecommerce entrepreneurs that are available to show you exactly which words and terms are being searched by users on specific sites and search engines. You can use these to find and gather data on search results.
These tools allow you to input a certain word or term, to see how many users are searching for that exact phrase. Many will also give suggestions for similar terms searched by users that might have less competition, giving you some inspiration for new product ideas within a niche.
Use Online Groups
Another great way to find niche products is by getting involved with community groups online. These could be groups that target your local community, or specific hobbies like sports and special interests. By immersing yourself in these groups, you’ll get an idea of the types of products that are in demand, or could be introduced to a new market.
You can also use these groups to get feedback on product ideas, to see if you can drum up interest before you launch your product.
How To Test Niche Products
If you have an idea for the perfect niche product, and you think you’ve found an audience who’d buy it, there are a few things to consider before taking it to market. This can include:
How many people are actually interested in the product? If you are evaluating the potential of a niche product that is similar to another in the space, take notes of how popular it is, and how consistently it makes sales. If the demand varies, or only booms at certain periods throughout the year, then you might need to either look for an alternative product, or adapt your strategy to accommodate this.
- Potential Profit
With any ecommerce site, no matter the platform, your profit margins are what will grow your business, so it’s important that whichever product you choose has the potential to make money. Think about how much it will cost to source, create, market and ship the product, and then calculate this against your estimated selling price. Is it feasible?
Finally, a key part of your product analysis should be to seek out its competition. Are there lots of other sellers offering a similar product? Are there products in this niche that are frequently sitting at the bottom of the search results with no movement? If this is the case, it might be that the niche is too saturated with competition, even if the product is suitable for the audience.
By evaluating these factors before launching your product, you can lower the risk of investing your money where you don’t see results.
A Guide To Marketing Niche Products
Once you’ve found the perfect niche products to sell to a specific audience, you can start to market these to make profit and drive your sales figures most effectively.
There are a number of marketing strategies that you can implement to promote your niche products.
Choose The Right Advertising Platform
First things first, when you approach your niche marketing strategy, it’s vital that you choose the right advertising platform. Depending on your product, the best platform to use can vary significantly. For instance, if you’re selling on Amazon, then you should use a different marketing strategy to one you’d implement for your own online store.
One of the best platforms for advertising niche products is social media, but even then the way you do this should vary. For some products, you might see success with paid Facebook Ads, but as you’re marketing to a niche audience, you might see some of your investment wasted if the ads reach a more general audience. Instead, you could try group advertisement, by joining a specific community that is made up of your target audience, and advertising directly in the group, subject to admin permission.
Promote User-Generated Content
User-generated content is one of the most effective marketing techniques that ecommerce businesses can employ. It’s carried out 100% online, and relies on the positive experiences of your customers to be successful.
Effectively, user-generated content is any content that is created by people who’ve used your product. This could be a photo or video of it, or a blog post reviewing their experience. With this strategy, you’ll need to create a central page or account for your business on social media sites like Instagram or Facebook. From there, encourage your followers to share their own content with a hashtag. This way, any content that is shared will fall under the same group, and potential customers can explore the experience of others in one convenient place.
Customers are far more likely to buy your products based on evidence that others have had a positive experience with them, rather than through a direct advertising method that simply gives your definition of the product.
Try Influencer Marketing
Building on your online presence, influencer marketing is a great strategy to use for niche products. Although some are critical of this method, the weight that influencers carry on the opinion of their audience is huge, and you can leverage this for maximum impact as a niche marketer.
An influencer is someone who has a large following online, typically on a social media platform like YouTube or Instagram. While they might not be famous in a traditional sense, their followers are often highly engaged with their content, and want to hear what they have to say. With businesses seeing a ROI of $5.78 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, it’s no surprise that more and more niche business are utilizing this effective strategy.
A great example of a successful influencer marketing strategy has been the work of Gymshark, a sportswear brand who in their early days, honed in on the niche market of bodybuilding. Their founder, Ben Francis, was unable to find vests for the gym that suited his style, and so created and marketed his own products that worked well in the niche. To promote the brand further, and branch out into new niche areas, the company employed influencer marketing strategies through which they partnered with popular online figures, dubbed ‘Gymshark Athletes,’ to develop new ranges and advertise products. This created a huge buzz in the fitness community, and with the help of their athletes the company is now worth over $1.4 billion.
Carry Out Competitor Research
Although your business focus should always be your own products and promotion, it’s still important to carry out continued competitor research, especially in the world of niche marketing. Understanding who your competitors are, how well they are doing, and what their existing approach to marketing is, is a great way to not only grow your own business, but also tap into areas that they might not have done so well in yet.
For niche markets, the potential for product sales is limited in comparison to larger audiences, so it’s vital that you always stay one step ahead of your competition, and truly understand what your audience is looking for.
Take a look at the keywords, descriptions and search terms used by your competitors, to ensure that you’re never missing a trick. Occasionally, assess their customer reviews – what are they doing well that you can emulate, and what are they not doing so well that you can avoid?
Marketing niche products is one of the best ways to grow your ecommerce store and increase your profit margins. By taking a leaf out of the books of our examples, as well as adapting your strategy to specifically suit your products, you can see greater interest in your store from your target audience. Although niche marketing can be difficult to master, once your business’ reputation has improved, you’ll be glad you implemented these changes – you’ll have a thriving online store in no time!