The key to success in ecommerce is not necessarily to dominate the market, but rather to offer something that everyone else is not. Your online business success will hinge upon your ability to identify and explore a small
and potentially profitable market segment, and then demonstrate to your target consumer that your products are customized to fit their needs exactly.
Don’t be shut out by the competition. Here’s how to find and explore profitable online niche markets.
Find a market that you are passionate about.
Let’s say, for demonstrative purposes, that you are passionate about fire safety; particularly in the home. There is a strong online market catering products and services to homeowners who want to take every precaution to decrease the potential for loss of life and property in the event of a fire. Because you are new to the online market, and particularly to the fire safety market, you do not want to try to compete with the entire fire safety industry for online business. The profitable business model of niche marketing allows you to exploit the concept of supply and demand. Knowledge of the fire safety market in general will enable you to laser target the products and services that are sought after, for which the need is not currently being met.
Break it down into segments.
The online fire safety industry is a pretty broad market. While trying to carve out a niche for yourself you discover that some sites sell the latest in smoke and fire detection technology for the home, some offer safety information, and others offer fire extinguishers of all sizes and classes for the home and business. These market segments happen to be tremendously profitable niches because consumers are willing to invest in the best of what is available for fire prevention and damage control. So where do you and your budding company fit in? How do you choose your niche within this booming eCommerce market?
Conduct a keyword search.
Educate yourself about what your targeted consumers are searching for. You may search general phrases, but you should quickly focus upon optimizing your search using words your consumers identify with. By studying the patterns and specifics of these searches, you will be able to identify the problem that your consumers want solved now.
Find the problem and solve it.
Your keyword search has revealed a market saturated with products and information related to fire prevention, detection, and first-line-of-defence actions. Overwhelming for some, but you were diligent in your search and you have identified a product that there are few of, and that might in fact do very well: a fire-proof safe/ lock-box. The problem is, however, that your target consumer is not searching for a safe. When you build your ecommerce website, be sure to optimize the content to be relevant to your target consumers’ online fire-safety searches. When they arrive at your site, they will find that you are not selling them a lock-box, but rather that you are selling the benefits that owning your product will afford them. Your fire-proof safe keeps important documents and priceless articles away from prying eyes, day-to-day, but in the event of a devastating fire, your product has protected important material possessions and kept those articles intact in the face of rebuilding a life. When they buy your product, they buy peace of mind.
As you discovered, the fire safety market has a wide variety of segments, but you are bright enough to know it is neither wise nor profitable to attempt to offer it all. In our hypothetical business model, you marketed your product to the people who are looking for peace of mind and a sense of preparedness in the face of a tragic fire. Because you selected a niche with great potential and little competition, you stand to attract qualified traffic and gain larger returns on your investment.
Keep in mind that niche marketing is not limited to the realm of eCommerce. If the market segment you are most passionate about is saturated online, then consider the level of competition and demand in your local community. If all signs point to profit, then consider sinking your niche into your own bricks-and-mortar company!