Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to Statista.com, about $1.86 trillion was generated from ecommerce sales globally in 2016, with the figure expected to rise to $3.9 trillion in 2020. If you are planning to launch an online store, the first thing you need to consider is what to sell. However, with the many ecommerce business ideas out there, choosing the right niche can be a very stressful and confusing affair.
Here are some guidelines that will help you choose a viable and profitable ecommerce niche:
- Check market demand
Before you begin selling any product, you need to look at the market demand. One of the best ways of doing this is by checking Google Trends. Find out if the products you are thinking of selling are related to the currently trending topics. You can also learn about people’s interests and unmet needs by following popular topics on social media. Tools such as Trendsmap can come in very handy for this. Finally, you can get an idea of what is hot by checking the best selling products on sites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy.
- Drop-shipping considerations
Drop-shipping allows you to sell items without actually storing inventory. This means you can run an online store from any location with a minimal investment. In addition, you can sell a wide range of products at no extra cost. Therefore, be sure to look for items that can be drop-shipped from the wholesaler or manufacturer. This will help lower your costs and increase your returns.
The main aim of any online shop is to make a financial profit. Therefore, product pricing should be one of the main considerations when choosing a niche. Make sure the products you are selling have a decent margin. If you are starting a new store, it would be advisable to sell items priced at $100-$300. Avoid higher priced products since they offer much lower margins.
- Upselling or recurring sales potential
When choosing products, avoid items which customers are likely to buy only once and never return. Instead, focus on products that you can cross-sell, bundle-sell or upsell. When prompted during the checkout process, buyers are likely to add extra items to their main purchase thus increasing your profits.
- Growth and scalability
When it comes to growth and scalability, there are several questions you need to ask. Does the product have mass appeal? Would it work as well in a brick and mortar store? Can it be adapted or changed in any way? Can you find and add similar products to your store? Having a product that is scalable allows you to make more profits in the long run.
- Potential to add value
One of the best ways of adding value is by providing information about the products you are selling. It would be advisable to choose products that you have actually used yourself. You can then explain from personal experience how it works and why it will improve customers’ lives. Such personal testimonials will help build trust with your customers and could enhance your sales significantly.