Whether you’re an ecommerce veteran or just starting out, differentiating your business can be difficult. By selling niche products with a more targeted audience and ecommerce marketing strategy, your chances of succeeding are much higher. To help you get started, here is our guide to the best ecommerce niches for 2018.
Pros of Selling Niche Products
Selling a wide range of products to reach different consumers may seem like an attractive option. However, this is not always the best approach (especially if you’re a small business), as it often requires a big marketing budget. On the other hand, focusing on a popular niche and taking advantage of multichannel selling has many proven benefits:
- Easier Marketing: When selling niche products, there is a defined customer and value proposition. Creating a marketing strategy for a target market is much simpler, cheaper, and more effective.
- Higher Search Engine Rankings: Unless you’re a very well established website with an authoritative digital presence, your SEO strategy will be more effective if you focus on niche topics and long tail keywords. With this approach, you’ll be more likely to reach your target audience, which means customers will have an easier time finding and buying your products.
- Lower Competition: Gaining a competitive advantage is a more straightforward process when selling niche products. With specific product offerings, a targeted audience, and a defined value proposition, you can focus on building a reputation as an expert in your field. It is easier to build trust and brand loyalty.
- Increased Chance of Success: Begin with a small, well-defined product range rather than casting a wide net. Selling a couple of niche products allows retailers to take the time needed to understand cost, pricing, and potential barriers to scaling sales. They can research their target audience and build a good marketing plan. With a focused marketing strategy, higher organic search rankings, and lower competition, niche retailers have the perfect recipe for a lucrative business. From there, they can then expand and diversify.
Trending Ecommerce Niches of 2018
Finding and selecting a niche market can be challenging. If you aren’t quite sure of what you want to sell, here are the top ecommerce niches of 2018:
- Organic and Natural Beauty: In 2018, the organic and natural beauty category is predicted to become a 2 billion-dollar industry. The industry growth can be attributed to the overall consumer shift toward healthier alternatives. Selling products like natural face masks, deodorants, and body scrubs will attract the health-conscious consumer.
- Baby Equipment: With more than 6,000 businesses selling in this niche, baby equipment is a booming industry. With babies being born each day, there will always be a high demand for baby equipment like diaper bags and cribs. Target not only the parents, but also the extended family and friends who may purchase products for the baby shower.
- Vitamins and Supplements: As people shift their focus to choosing healthier lifestyles, the market for vitamins, powders, and supplements will continue to grow. Sales for these types of products are expected to reach $13.9 billion by 2018. When choosing products to sell, focus on plant-based and organic products.
- Matcha: The market for Matcha tea has rapidly grown for brick-and-mortar stores in the last couple of years. With its incredible health benefits and matcha-exclusive tea bars popping up, it continues to be a long-lasting trend. When searching for a supplier, be wary of any cheap imitations. Matcha tea originates in Japan. China is now producing powdered green tea that is ‘Matcha-style,’ but, depending on the manufacturer, it can taste bitter. Be sure to do your research and ensure your supplier is offering quality products.
- Handmade Items: Cater to those looking for a unique gift or product by selling one-of-a-kind, handmade products. Offer local artisan goods or from other countries such as home décor, jewelry, purses, and other accessories. Typically, the quantity of handmade goods is limited, which means that competition will be lower.
- Pet Supplies: This is a large market in the United States. The pet industry is expected to reach $96 billion in the US in 2020. Pet owners view their pets as family members. Focus on selling high quality products for their furry friends. Natural food and treats, supplements for older pets, and accessories will continue to trend in 2018.
- Travel Accessories: As travelling becomes more affordable and accessible, this market will continue to grow. Capture the travel bug’s interest by selling travel accessories, worldly products, and global foods. With majority of travelers being tech savvy, focus on digital organizers, luggage scales, WIFI hotspots, chargers/power banks, and GoPro cameras.
- Subscription Boxes: The subscription box model is beneficial for the seller due to its high customer lifetime value. Visits to popular subscription box sites have grown 3,000% since 2013. Join this trending niche by selling a box containing pet supplies, fitness products, or snacks.
- Men’s Grooming Products: Projected to be a $43.6 billion market by 2020, this industry will continue to grow as men’s perceptions toward self-care evolves. Market products such as moisturizers, anti-aging creams, and beard oils.
Sourcing Niche Products
Not interested in any of the above options? You can discover other profitable niche products by using Google Trends, conducting market research, reading publications such as Trend Hunter or Trend Watching, and looking at the most popular products on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
Ecommerce Fulfillment Options
Once you’ve picked a product range, here are a few different fulfillment options to consider:
- Self-Fulfillment: Self-fulfillment is a great option for sellers looking for 100% control of the shipping process and lower costs. This is a giant undertaking, depending on your business model. You must have a warehouse to store the inventory and the resources to handle today’s shipping expectations. Fulfilling orders is time consuming and can become a burden as your business grows. Only choose this option if you want complete control of the fulfillment process and have the resources to do so.
- Dropshipping: Dropshipping is a low risk, low cost option, as there is no inventory or overhead costs. When a customer places an order, you send the sales order information to your supplier and they fulfill the order for you. You never handle any of the inventory. Dropshipping is an easy way to start an online retail business. It is great for those retailers who are looking for a hands-off approach and not interested in storing their own inventory. The downside to dropshipping is the lower profit margins and staying on top of communicating with your suppliers after every new sale. Make this option an even easier business model with dropshipping software that automates supplier communication and order management for you.
Related: Learn how to start your dropshipping business.
- Third-Party Fulfillment: With third-party fulfillment, you own the inventory, but do not store it. You purchase the product from a manufacturer and store it at a third-party fulfillment center. Once a purchase is made, they will ship the product to the customer for you. A great example of a third-party logistics company (3PL) is Amazon FBA. Using a 3PL is convenient and offers higher profit margins than dropshipping, but quality can decrease and become compromised when entrusting fulfillment to a third party.
- Combination: Consider combining the self-fulfillment, dropshipping, and third-party fulfillment options to meet your customer expectations. Using a mix of these fulfillment solutions is great for sellers focused on making smart shipping decisions and improving profit margins.
No matter which option you choose for order fulfillment, if you sell online you should consider investing in inventory management software. With ecomdash, inventory is automatically tracked and synced across all your sales channels, giving you more time to focus on growing your business.