Going niche in today’s online retail market
The Internet has been a major boon for most retailers. Unlike a physical location, which naturally limits your reach to nearby customers, anyone, anywhere in the world can shop on an eCommerce webstore. For merchants, this means they can find someone willing to buy almost any product or service.
As a result, online shopping has paved the way for the rise of niche retailers – people who sell obscure items that are made specifically for unique target audiences. These items could range from costumes based on movie characters to rare Chinese herbal supplements and medications.
With 87.5 percent of U.S. Internet users over the age of 14 – 178.5 million people – using the web to browse for products, according to an eMarketer report, there has never been a better time to open a niche eCommerce store. The sky's the limit, so long as you know that there is indeed an audience for the type of products you wish to sell.
Opening a niche retail store
Practical eCommerce recently noted a few considerations for starting and running a niche retail store.
First and foremost is the importance of entering a niche you know and understand. Because these markets are for highly specific audiences, it's absolutely critical that you are passionate about what you're selling and can speak at the customer's level.
On top of that, you'll also want to network more than you may be accustomed to. Retail is typically a highly competitive market, but when you're creating a niche, you'll need a fair share of avid supporters. Practical eCommerce suggests going conventions and gatherings that are related to your niche and connecting with people who could turn into potential buyers.
Finally, the source suggests testing for viability. Operating a niche retail store can be a challenge, and since you likely don't have any benchmarks, you'll need to constantly be testing new approaches. This could mean adjusting the scope of your enterprise, trading out slow-moving products for ones that may be a bigger hit and even investigating your options in terms of manufacturing your own items if need be.
In this regard, eCommerce software such as SalesWarp can help you track product sales and identify which items are popular among consumers. The solution may also assist in helping coordinate the logistics between manufacturing and shipping goods to customers.