Starting a niche online store is an excellent way to earn a living, but it’s important to remember that no two e-commerce presences are the same. All entrepreneurs who are in e-commerce have varying levels of success, based on a number of factors. When you are aware of the factors for e-commerce success and can honestly face the reality of the niche e-commerce world, then you have a much better chance of being a successful online entrepreneur.
French Knot, Aussie’s premier homewares and home decor online store, shares these 11 questions you should ask yourself before starting a niche online store.
1. Does it solve a problem?
For a niche online store to be successful, you have to be sure that your products are truly going to solve problems. People turn to the internet to search for solutions, and if your niche can solve those problems, then you stand a better chance of making sales.
2. Can you find it nearby?
If people can simply go tIo the store and get the items you’re selling, then they might not ever find your niche online store. The truth of the matter is that you’ve got to be offering something really unique and helpful that’s also a little bit obscure. People come to the internet to search for things they can find locally, and if those items can’t be found nearby, then they are going to turn to online means to find a solution.
3. Will it inspire customers to come back?
If you really want to be highly successful as an online entrepreneur, then you have to be selling something that customers will need time and time again. A one-time sale is nice, but it’s not going to help you much down the road. If your niche products are consumable, meaning they are used once and needed again and again, and you are offering high quality products and support, then you are setting yourself for a nice future of repeat sales.
4. Is this niche in demand?
Some niches arise because they offer a solution people didn’t know they needed, but the most successful niche for you to base your online niche business on is going to be something that’s already in high demand. A quick online search should help you determine whether or not the niche you are interested in is already in demand. If it’s not, then you might have better luck if you find something else.
5. Can these products be easily, reliably sourced?
Even if you have a great niche, you have to be completely sure that you have a supplier that can really deliver. Since you’re offering products online, your inventory has to always be ready to go. You don’t want items to go out of stock, if at all possible, so it’s important to have a reliable supplier. For instance, many niche online stores use dropshippers to ensure continuity, but they key here is to research and make sure that you are finding a great dropshipper.
6. Does this niche have a lot of accessories?
A single, standalone product is simple, and that can be a benefit, but the best advantage comes from a product where you are able to sell accessories. Accessories might be used for normal operation, upgrades, or add-ons. In any case, it’s important to find a niche where accessories are needed because this can help drive your sales higher.
7. Are you a customer?
This is a hard question to answer for many entrepreneurs, but it’s important. Were you a customer before you found this niche? If you were looking for a business opportunity and then found the niche, then you might not be truly passionate about the niche. If you’re going to invest the time, money, and energy that such a business entails, then you have to be sure you’re all in. If you don’t enjoy it, it’s probably not going to work.
8. Can it be marketed with SEO?
In today’s digital world, you’ve got to be able to leverage digital marketing, and if you’re a niche online store, then you definitely need to have a hard hitting SEO campaign going. For that reason, you must ensure that your niche can rank high with the right keywords. If people can’t find your product, then they will never buy from you.
9. Can you compete?
If your niche doesn’t have any competitors, then that can be great – as long as there’s demand. If there are competitors already in the market, then you’ve got to figure out what your market share is like. Is it worth going into this business for just a small slice of the pie?
10. What’s the price point?
Many people get into a niche and aren’t aware of the price point they’re looking at. If you’re somewhere in the $100-200 price range, then good job – you’re in one of the best price points for a niche online shop to be in. Keep in mind, selling more products isn’t always a good thing. While having accessories available is good, your main focus should always be clear. Your main products should have a higher price point that entices customers.
11. What’s the USP?
Your USP is your “Unique Selling Proposition”, and this formula is used to measure the strength of a niche. In this formula, market needs, strength, and passion are measured to see if the USP is well within sight. Knowing your USP can help you ensure that you are on the right track with your niche online business from the beginning – otherwise, your online business will only be like the rest in the industry.
Your niche says a lot about who you are and how successful your business will be. If you want your company to be successful, you’ve got to cultivate it and keep it strong. With a concise USP, the right niche product in the right market can propel your online business to success.