In 1993, you were a toy store owner and had just heard about these stuffed animals called “Beanie Babies” selling well. It’s not just adults who are into this kind of stuff; kids love it too.
Hindsight is always 2020, but the challenge lies in predicting the next big thing before it becomes a trend. Just like playing stock market games online or with friends, “investing” in e-commerce can make retailers win big — or lose everything.
Niches are trending more than ever before. In this article, we’ll explore 10 of the most popular places and give you a head start on how to break into them.
Niches are small, specialized markets. For example, there is a demand for products with pictures of dogs on them (like dog-printed pillows and blankets). Or even more specific niches like handmade jewelry or merchandise from a sports team.
Essentially, the more you can narrow down your target customer group, the better. The narrower your focus is on a specific niche market, the more focused and knowledgeable about that particular area of interest are.
A grocery store that sells food is less niche than a chain with only organic goods. A grocery store specializing in gluten-free, vegan foods has more specialization than one that offers an assortment of organic items.
When it comes to business, the more specific you are with your target market and product-service offerings, the better.
Niche stores may have fewer customers than large, department-style stores, but that’s the point. With fewer people to satisfy and a higher degree of personalization with your customer base, you can optimize sales strategies in ways that don’t work for larger companies.
There is no official definition for what a niche is, but most people think of it as something that has been heavily studied and experienced by the writer. You can divide these into the following categories:
- Demographic — Many people make the mistake of assuming that pay is enough motivation for employees. But other factors like age, gender, and income level play a role in an employee’s desire to work.
- Geographic — You should consider where your products are sold because it can be vital for certain kinds of items. For example, if you sell something that has to do with the weather or climate, people will buy more when it’s hot outside.
- Pricing — from expensive, luxurious items to cheap, generic brands
- Psychographic — Moral principles, religious beliefs, and attitudes are just a few personal mindsets that can affect one’s performance.
Niche groups may be smaller, but they’re also more likely to share similar characteristics and behaviors. General stores can’t keep everyone happy because of the wide range of people that come in – parents, children, elderly folk…
A niche store can only focus on satisfying its specific group of customers.
Are Niches Playing A Major Role in E-Commerce?
The main reason why people love to shop online; it allows them to find something they can’t get in their town or city.
Instead of spreading your resources too thin, focus on a specific market niche and invest in it. You can always branch out into other markets later.
The other benefit of targeting niche customers is that they are more predictable. For example, if you’re an exclusive swimwear retailer, your competitors will probably be offering clothing. This means it’s easier to predict which products people want and how much storage space you’ll need.
Pricing is a critical element of this optimization because it impacts everything from how much inventory to buy to when offers should be presented.
This customer outreach is essential. Take the Twitter account of Amazon, for example. They tweet to a broad audience that can be anywhere from casual customers who are interested in deals or research products up to hardcore fans and collectors.
It’s all very generically happy content and has nothing specific to it. It seems like they’re trying too hard for a broad audience, but no one will be impressed.
The Twitter account of Powell’s Books, a famous indie bookstore in Portland. Because they have such a niche audience and significantly smaller reach than Amazon’s customer base, their content is more specialized – it’s almost all about books or authors rather than other topics.
You can’t please everyone, so instead of trying to get the masses on your side, try contacting a small group who are willing to love you.
Pros of Selling Niche Products
- Optimized product selection — In a niche market, your products are more likely to sell because there is less guesswork in choosing what product to offer.
- Optimized pricing — A smaller customer base allows you to be more selective with the prices and estimates. It is easier for a business owner to create a proper pricing strategy using analytics from previous sales.
- Simpler brand management — Targeting your product line to a more specific audience will allow you to focus on that demographic and reduce inventory, making it easier for you as an entrepreneur.
- More effective content — it’s easier to create valuable content when you cater it to the preferences of a single group, rather than trying to please everyone at once.
- Sense of community — When you target specific niches, it makes you “in with the out-group,” leading to greater customer loyalty and more personal relationships in general.
- Precision online marketing — You can use a more specific approach to target the behavior of your potential customers by using SEO keywords and web design features.
- Lower storage fees — It is easier to predict what will sell when you can produce it faster, which minimizes the risk of having items that won’t be profitable.
- Less expensive campaigning — Targeting fewer markets will result in fewer ads, which means that the content and market research will also be limited.
Cons of Selling Niche Products
- Requires understanding of target groups — If you want to succeed in niche marketing, you must understand your customers personally. That way, they’ll feel like their needs are being met and, as such, will be more loyal.
- Limiting at first — Choosing one niche means you’re neglecting the others, but it’s not a big deal because if your business is stable enough, then you can continually expand later.
- Hit or miss — If you try to do niche marketing, your early campaigns may be either a hit or miss.
How to Find Your Perfect Niche?
The most crucial business decision an e-commerce owner has to make is choosing which niches they want their company to focus on. They have to be interested in the place and pick a profitable one that can support them.
Often, the only thing that motivates a customer to buy is if they want what you’re selling.
We’re not going to go into the details here, but read our guide if you want more information on choosing your perfect e-commerce niche. There we explain all of the considerations that come with choosing an excellent place for your brand.
Best Ecommerce Niches of 2022
There are still plenty of people who shop from their computers and phones, too – so you can take advantage by understanding what they want now in 2022.
1. Beauty Products
The beauty industry has always been a popular niche for e-commerce, so it’s no surprise that innovation is booming. Many people are tired of using their grandma’s makeup and skincare products, but luckily there’s an entirely new generation who have created some fantastic products.
The latest craze in hair care is the detangling brush. I’m not sure how this newfangled thing works, but it’s a great idea, and anyone with long hair should be interested.
Pimple patches have seen a surge in popularity throughout 2021, and it looks like they could continue to be popular into 2022.
Another trend making waves in the beauty industry is cruelty-free makeup products. Although this idea has been around for a while, it’s recently taken off with more people looking to purchase eco-friendly items.
2. Phone Accessories
I’ve been noticing a trend with phones and phone accessories lately. With the rise of TikTok, people are going crazy for anything that will improve their camera quality or make it easier to do other things on their phones.
The newest trend in selfie and video chat photography is ring lights. They’re perfect for adding professional-tier lighting to your selfies or filming a call without holding the phone.
Magnetic phone accessories like chargers and mounts may have lost their appeal to the general public, but they are still enough of a draw for some that it is worth considering them in 2022.
The vaping industry has grown to be an essential part of the economy, and now that it’s stabilized enough, there are many more products available for vape enthusiasts.
The vape pen market is thriving because it’s such an easy way to get your fix.
There are many different options when it comes to e-cigarettes, and they range from $30-$100. It’s easy for any business model because the price is flexible.
As such, you can sell different flavors of vape cartridges to cater to your customer base.
The best part for retailers is to tailor these new lighting products to any niche by choosing suitable styles and tastes. Falling into the category of home decor, chic new lights rise.
One trend that we’re seeing is the increase in interest in neon signs. Although LED lights are down from last year, there’s still a lot of good going into this new year with searches like “LED tree” and “fairy lights.”
5. Hardware Supplies
Since people spend more time at home, they’ve taken up DIY crafts and minor household improvements. But while the basics like hammers might seem necessary for any job, some power tools have also started to get attention.
Shopify’s top trending products included power drills and hand-tool cutters this year. And in 2022, this trend will continue to grow.
What’s more, when it comes to the materials of your product (plastic or metal), there are also different pricing tiers.
6. Decorative Items
Household items are pretty general, but if you focus on particular styles and artistic tastes, you can target your audience even more. This way, people will find what they’re looking for no matter who their customers are.
People forget that pillows and kitchen towels have always been a staple in households. It turns out people are starting to get back into these items after years of neglecting them for more trendy products like weighted blankets.
As a result of the interest in sportswear, it seems that this trend will be sticking around for quite some time. We’re not just talking about gym clothes here either – these trends have been showing up on our street style blogs, and Instagram feeds.
One of the most popular trends is athleisure wear, such as designer sweatpants and activewear. Sports bras were initially designed for sports, but now they’re being worn daily.
Shapewear is an oldie but goodie. It was a hit back in the day and still has strong demand today.
8. Reusable Bottles
Reusable bottles have gained popularity over the years because they are a cost-effective option for people who want to avoid bottled water. They also make sense for environmentally conscious consumers since there is less waste.
One of the great things about abstract art is that it can be used in any style or genre.
There are tons of options for your customers to choose from, whether they’re looking for a standard metal or plastic reusable water bottle. Some people prefer vintage decorative bottles such as glass vases and mason jars that work well with the Etsy crowd, but plenty of mainstream options are still available.
9. Home Office Equipment
As more and more employees have been working remotely during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that home office equipment is on a tear. As many of them return to their offices now that the bulk of this outbreak has passed, there are still plenty who want remote work permanently – which means they need furnishings for their homes.
As we become more and more sedentary, the search for office chairs has increased. Along with that trend is a demand for footrests to help stretch out tired feet after long hours of sitting in front of your computer.
In addition to their paychecks, these remote workers need various stationery supplies and office equipment. Things like ergonomic mouses or an extra monitor will differentiate your employees being content with what they have versus asking for more from you.
10. Products of Pets
The newest niche in e-commerce is the dog product. General pet products have been around for years, but lately, they have seen a rise in interest.
It’s not that the pet industry is declining, but dog owners are driving sales in a way a cat or other animal lovers don’t.
The usual dog products like bowls, toys, and treats are still popular, but demand for supplements seems to be increasing recently. This is probably because of the increased popularity of human health supplements that has been gaining traction lately.
Dog beds have been a massive success in the past, and it looks like they’re going to be doing well this year too.
Source of Niche Products
You might think that picking a niche is an easy decision, but it’s not. You need to find a product that has enough demand and make sure you have the right supplier for it too.
If you’re new to e-commerce, there are a few different product sourcing methods that may interest you. Here’s a list of the most common ones with links to how-to guides for each one.
- Wholesale — Buying in bulk and storing the products until they are sold is a time-honored tradition.
- Subscription Box — Another great niche marketing technique is curating product collections on a subscription payment model. While more difficult for the company’s finances, this system can make it easier for them to estimate what their customers want.
- Liquidation — buying products in bulk from another store that needs to unload them fast (at a significant discount), typically from going out of business.
- Private and White Label — Many companies out there have great products, but they don’t have the budget or time to invest in branding. You can purchase these products and rebrand them as your own! This is a fantastic way for those who want their brand recognized.
- Retail Arbitrage — If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there are ways of getting products at a discount (e.g., buying two items for one price) that you can then resell online with profit.
- Dropshipping — If you’re looking to get into e-commerce, you must know the best products to dropship. While selling online will be less profitable than owning your store and doing all of the work yourself, there are some benefits.
- Artisans — Handmade goods are a small niche in the industry, but they’re always more specialized. For example, handmade jewelry is just one of many types you can find.
- Second-hand, Thrift, or Used Goods — One of the most popular types of buying and selling online is for used goods. Either people are looking to purchase something on a budget, or they want an item that looks vintage.
One of the most critical aspects of choosing a product sourcing method is to satisfy these five criteria.
The process of choosing a niche is just the beginning. Once you’ve picked your field, it’s time to take care of all those other issues like inventory management and maintaining financial records.
When you start an online retail store, there are many things to keep track of.