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The science of a niche – what is a niche and how can you find one?

Pot-eh-to, pot-ah-to? Some people pronounce it in its original French pronunciation neesh, while others favor the Americanized nitch. Regardless of your pronunciation, what they all have in common is that it’s essential to your online store’s success.

What is a niche?

When we talk about niches, we’re usually referring to a market niche.

A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused.

The products to be sold are adapted to the niche, the small market segment that was defined. This means making sure that the product suits the interests, the demographic and the economic status of the target group. For example, if your target audience is youth/students, then chances are they don’t have much extra money to spare, what with just getting started in the workforce with likely large student debt. For that reason, your product should be reasonably priced.

The sales sweet spot will be when you’ve achieved the perfect product-fit for a specific niche. When you’ve got a specific segment that’s very interested in the specific product you’re offering.

Danger zone: If your answer to the question “who would be interested/would buy your product” is “everyone,” then your niche isn’t defined enough. By making your target so broad, you end up targeting no one as a result, and as a result, your sales suffer.

Keyword research

A foolproof way of finding a relevant niche is by using the recently popular method of doing keyword research to identify growing trends. This lets you 1) automatically validate your business idea, because you already see that people are interested, 2) know that you’ve got a good chance at receiving organic traffic since it’s a popular search, and 3) know that you have targeted Adwords options that you can use to drive sales.

Keep in mind that by using keyword popularity as a method to define your target audience, you’re looking more at making quick sales. Since you’re based on growing keywords, you’re basing your business on a fad. And as we all know, fads fade and get replaced with new ones. If you’re ok with that, then proceed. If not, you might want to find a niche more grounded in long-term elements.

Value-based and long-term niches

My personal advice would be to focus your brand on something that has some more staying power than matcha green tea. If you focus on something more global, then your brand can stay intact as fads change, and you can change your products as time goes by.

Think about what’s important to you, that’s sellable, and that people would want on their garments.

Not just a topic

It’s important to understand that a niche is not just a topic you decide on. The more specific you get, the better results you’ll have. 

115 Niche Ideas to Inspire Your Next Online Store

We’ve put together 115 topics that you can use to base your niche upon. You might consider combining two topics to create an ultra-specific niche or building on one topic. For example, you could combine world travelers with coffee lovers to have a very specific target audience.

Animals

  1. Any dog breed
  2. Any cat breed
  3. Horses
  4. Birds
  5. Uncommon house pets (otters, hedgehogs, etc.) that people are proud to have

Fantasy & Mythology

  1. Unicorns
  2. Nerd Culture
  3. Centaur
  4. Elves
  5. Greek & Roman mythology
  6. Egyptian mythology

Heritage

  1. Dying languages
  2. Your heritage-based designs
  3. Flags
  4. Patriotism-based designs
  5. National symbols

Occupation

  1. Any occupation (ex. positive dentist)
  2. Teachers
  3. Firefighters
  4. Medical workers (family members, etc. my daughter is a nurse)
  5. Entrepreneur
  6. Large corporation employees (ex. Walmart employees, Meijer employees, Facebook employees, McDonald’s employees)
  7. Freelancers
  8. Developers/ programmers
  9. Designers
  10. Startup employees
  11. Biologists
  12. Ornithologists
  13. Sciences
  14. Artists

Family Roles

  1. Mom-boss/ mom-preneurs
  2. Single dads
  3. Aunts/uncles
  4. Godparents
  5. Grandparents
  6. Sibling love
  7. Twins
  8. Custom family trees
  9. Newlyweds
  10. Young mothers/parents
  11. Expecting parents

Uncommon Skills

  1. Left-handed people
  2. Underrepresented sports
  3. Male dancer
  4. Female programmers

Indulgences

  1. Whiskey
  2. Craft brews
  3. Wine
  4. Coffee

Food

  1. Any type of cuisine
  2. Food trends
  3. Vegan/gluten-free/vegetarian
  4. Junk food
  5. Chocolate
  6. Cheese

Geography

  1. Landmarks
  2. Maps (city maps, subway maps, favorite route maps)
  3. Airports
  4. Architecture
  5. Climates (tropical, desert, mountain themes)
  6. Up and coming districts/neighborhoods

Literature

  1. Famous authors
  2. Literary quotes
  3. Inspiring quotes
  4. Uninspiring quotes

Beliefs

  1. Political affiliation
  2. Presidential candidate support
  3. Hipsters
  4. Grassroots movements

Awareness

  1. Disability
  2. Rare illnesses
  3. NGO support
  4. Environment
  5. Recycling
  6. Access to clean water
  7. LGBT
  8. Civil rights

Fitness

  1. Any sport
  2. Cyclists
  3. Wellness trends
  4. Fad fitness classes (spinning, crossfit, barre3)
  5. Self-help affirmations
  6. Body-positive messaging
  7. University Spirit
  8. Spirit wear
  9. Olympics/World Cups
  10. Yoga
  11. Golf
  12. Whole30

Hobbies

  1. Tech preferences (ex. Apple, Android, Linux)
  2. Any hobby
  3. Computer games
  4. Programming/coding/math
  5. Sci-fi characters
  6. TV/Netflix shows/cult series fan art
  7. Hiking
  8. Photography
  9. Hammocking
  10. Rock climbing
  11. History
  12. Fashion
  13. Cars
  14. Hairstyles: iconic hair cuts, beard cuts
  15. Motorcyclists
  16. Dancing (ex. ballroom, ballet, hip hop, etc.)
  17. Singing
  18. Fishing
  19. Camping
  20. Aviation
  21. Slack line
  22. Gardening
  23. Skiing
  24. Astrology

Travel

  1. Wanderlust
  2. Travel quotes
  3. Local quirks (ex. Riga Black Balsam)



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