Having a niche market can make or break your e-commerce business, and that's not being dramatic. No business or individual can check every single box, it's just not possible. If you try to be everything and market to everybody, you'll stretch your business too thin, you won't have a focus. You'll be chucking a handful of darts a the board and praying something sticks -- not fun, and not a likely way to hit a bulls eye.
By defining your niche, you're realizing that thinking smaller is bigger. You can target your content, your marketing campaigns, your social media. You can focus on bringing something exceptional to a small group of people who will share what they love about your business and your products to like minded potential customers, and your business will grow and thrive as a result.
Your niche can be defined in two different ways: it can be based entirely on the product or products you sell, or it can be based on how you market your products. Personally, I believe that the latter is the most effective way of viewing your niche because it offers several different perspectives on your particular set of products. A fresh marketing strategy can entirely shift the audience you're selling to through your business's content, advertising, and methods of organically reaching your customers through a targeted sales funnel.
Feeling a little lost about what your niche is and who you're selling to? Use these ten questions to help launch your thought process:
1. Who are your existing shoppers?
Study your current customer demographic, and dig deeper than the surface information. Who are they? When are they visiting your site? Consider setting up a brief questionnaire on your checkout page, gather information about why they're choosing your product. Is it a gift? Does it solve a problem they have? All of this information will help you paint a better picture of who they are and what aspect of their lives your product fills.
2. Who do you want to sell to?
If you're just starting out you might not have a specific sales demographic, and that's totally okay! Even if you do have existing customers, they might not be your ideal customers. When you envision your dream sales meeting, who's on the other side of the table? When you design your products, who do you picture using them? Are they young and outdoorsy? Are they a mom of three with limited spare time? Get specific with it, jot down a brief character profile of who your ideal customer is. Figure out how your product is marketable to them, and boom, you have a niche.
3. What are problems these people have?
Once you figure out who your existing and target customers are, you have to identify what problems they're faced with. To do this it might be easier to think about what problems you face on a day to day basis, big or small. Sometimes a product that solves your problem can also be used by someone facing a similar issue. Do you struggle keeping cords organized? Does your dog get bored during your workday and rip apart the throw pillows on the couch? Do you wish someone could talk you through the specifics of finances for milennials? Whether you're in a product or service based e-commerce business, finding solutions to these issues can help you define who your niche customer group is and target your products, sales, and marketing.
4. Who are your competitors marketing to?
While your business is unique and offers something that your competitors don't, it doesn't hurt to scope out your competition. More specifically, look at their marketing. Who are they talking to when they describe their products? What audience is their content reaching? What keywords are they targeting? They've defined a niche, and whether or not it's the niche you want to focus on, knowing who is buying products or services similar to yours will certainly help you narrow your target audience.
When you define your e-commerce niche, you're narrowing your target audience for marketing and advertising, and you're focusing your sales efforts. You can better define the needs of your customers and respond to them accordingly, and your e-commerce business will grow!
Do you have a niche for your e-commerce business? Are you interested in working to define one and focus your content and marketing strategies to sell? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on Facebook! I'm always up for chatting about how to grow your business through niche-focused content.
Interested in some more reading? I loved these articles about e-commerce content marketing and defining your e-commerce niche:
How to Master E-Commerce Content Marketing via Search Engine Journal
How to Find Your Ecommerce Business Niche via Entrepreneur