Written by Fara Rosenzweig

April 24, 2020

Before you roll out your eCommerce business plan, consider revisiting the niche market. There’s actually quite the “market” in niching down your business plan. Building an eCommerce business around a niche market isn’t impossible. As a matter of fact, finding and marketing a specific niche and doing so in innovative ways like Messenger Marketing makes your business stand out and stand strong. 

Customers demand variety, but they most often prioritize quality. Having the option to purchase 21 types of cereal is great on a surface level, but if the customers review 18 of those cereals as subpar then what is the point? With the right market research and customer reviews, your eCommerce store would likely pick the three types of cereal that loyal customers thought were outstanding. This is actually the beauty of online marketplaces. Your business can serve a specific niche and succeed.

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What Is an eCommerce Niche?

An eCommerce niche is a product category that your products or services fall into. 

Imagine taking a long document and editing it down until your message is clear, precise, and condensed into one paragraph. This is what picking a niche allows your eCommerce to do. Rather than being a “one-stop-shop,” your niche business gains a favorable reputation as being the best in a specific product or service. Large conglomerates can offer just about everything to everyone, but new eCommerce businesses should avoid implementing a business plan like that.

Once you’re finished finding a niche, your branding and the entire structure of your business will be built upon its foundation. The niche you have chosen will serve as your epicenter for all decision-making.

How Do I Know Which Niche to Choose?

Building a profitable niche business is a bit different than laying the foundation for a generalized market. There are three main things to take into consideration when finding a niche for your eCommerce business:

  1. Passion
  2. Skills
  3. Market

Passion – Many of us can notice a major difference when we are operating out of obligation and when we are operating out of passion. For your eCommerce business to thrive, it’s important that you be remotely interested in your product or the process of pitching the niche products to sell. Your passion, or lack thereof, can be what makes or breaks your new online business. 

If your business is a tech company and you resent every moment of providing technical support, researching the products to sell, and marketing them, then the chances of your eCommerce business fizzling out are pretty high. However, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing then the effort you put into your niche business increases naturally and so does its longevity.

Skills – What are the talents, skill sets, and resources that you and your team possess? This should play a major factor in the niche that you choose for your eCommerce business. You don’t have to have every skill necessary to succeed in your niche, but you do need a healthy head start. If you plan on gaining the required skill sets as your eCommerce business grows, then take this into consideration when planning future launches, marketing strategies, etc. 

Know the limits of your skills within the context of your niche market. Then commit to researching, learning, or delegating. It’s best to begin smaller than anticipated than overcommitting to a project that needs to be paced. 

Market – Do some intensive market research to determine if your desired niche is a feasible option. Search keywords that relate to your target market and see how you would stand up against the competition based on current eCommerce trends. Passion and skills are important as they will help you keep momentum and loyal customers in your eCommerce business. However, researching the competition is vital. Research may reveal that your niche is still too widespread. For example, you may want to exclusively provide printables in your eCommerce store. The keyword search may show you that there are 600 eCommerce shops selling  the same thing. That may be a bit too much to stand against even with the best marketing.

So, what should your next step be? Take your niche ideas and zoom in until you find a service that you can specialize in more. Perhaps exclusively offering printables related to fitness would be your best fit. That bumps your eCommerce shop up in SEO and helps your marketing efforts to be specific and on point. After some time offering fitness-related packages, you can reassess with your team and decide if it’s time to expand the products you sell online. 

Branding Your Niche 

You have discovered your passion, assessed the skills of your team, and zeroed in on your niche. Remember, niche marketplaces within the eCommerce realm aren’t just for physical products. ECommerce businesses can also sell  very niched services. You may have seen this with life coaching, nutritionists, or other service-based providers. Niching in these areas may look like a nutritionist that specifically offers vegan nutritional advice. A life coach may specialize in coaching those that have been recently divorced. 

Now that you have laid a foundation of passion and skills, it’s time to structure your eCommerce business.

Here are five eCommerce business ideas and tips to get your online store from paper to your niche market:

  1. Create an SEO-friendly name: The name of your business should be concise and descriptive. Revisiting our printables example—“Printables For Those That Want to Be Fit” is descriptive, but not ideal. Customers should be able to search your business name almost effortlessly. “Aly’s Print to Fit” is going to pop up easier in a search and create a personable and fun impression to potential customers.
  2. Simplify your message: Similar to the concise and descriptive name, your eCommerce business should also have a simple vision. This message to the target audience  should be easy to understand and indicative of the niche products or services your business is selling .
  3. Get social: Optimize your business influence on social media platforms. The goal is to get followers to your online store  and to remain in contact with them to promote product campaigns and steer traffic to site pages. You can do this within your ManyChat dashboard by testing various opt-in messages. Offering some kind of incentive helps prompt a conversation between online  visitors and your bots, and might even be enough to boost sales and add these visitors to your subscriber list. Just remember to aim your messaging at your niche and not the wider market. Do research to find the best copy guidelines that will resonate with your various audience segments.

ManyChat allows you to tag certain customers based on what they opt into. Let’s say you set up two different incentives that are meant to target two different audience  types. You can automatically tag your subscribers based on what they opt into and then create a flow to help nurture them with personalized messaging.

opt-in email
manychat tags
  1. Integrate appropriate tools: ManyChat loves to help businesses decide which integrations you should make on your website. We can help with the integration of MailChimp for your newsletters, PayPal for easy payment experience, or GoogleSheets for easy data retrieval. The list goes on! Having the appropriate tools isn’t just for your potential customers. It’s also to help you run your business as efficiently as possible!
niche ideas
  1. Personalize your customer experience: A specific niche also means that you get to really personalize the customer experience. If you’re operating an eCommerce store that targets the IT niche, then your newsletters can include popular tech terminology, trending products, and resources. Knowing your target market also allows you to measure the logistics of how the backend of your online store should operate. For example, the IT niche would be comfortable with a more complex website and advanced tech tools. The same website may not be profitable in other niches. If your business is like our example of Aly’s Print to Fit, then regular inspirational emails and posts on social media would be a natural fit. 

Key Takeaways

It’s entirely possible to run a successful eCommerce business around a niche market. The best thing is how you can work within your passion and skill set while running a successful business. The logistics will carry a lot of weight. Your passion will only carry your business so far before you run out of steam and need to rely on the data. Do your market research so that you know your niche well before laying the foundation of your business.

ECommerce businesses demand plenty of research, strategy, and measures of progress and sales. If you begin your business and decide that you need to expand your niche a bit more, make those changes with the guidance of research and customer feedback. Just like any other business, eCommerce businesses also need to carefully craft and implement excellent customer service. 

Choose your niche and build your business around it. Everything from marketing to return policies will easily fall into place once you have your focal point.

ManyChat is cheering you on and here to offer you outstanding ideas and support as you build your profitable niche business.