Creating your own ecommerce business is no simple feat. Naturally, you want to build a successful, unique, and profitable company that adds value to your life and your customers' lives.
With new ecommerce businesses popping up every day, it’s becoming increasingly vital to carefully select a niche in which you will be able to truly stand out and succeed.
With so many potential categories and product options to pursue, it can feel a bit overwhelming to make your choice and get started. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you make the best decision for you and your ecommerce business.
Read on for an in-depth exploration of ecommerce niches and how to pick the right niche.
When it comes to ecommerce, a niche is simply the category or type of product in which a business specializes. Obvious examples include clothing brands, skincare and makeup products, and online subscription services.
Within these broader categories, you can also drill down to super-specific markets. For example, maybe you’re still a clothing company, but you specialize in making vests for dogs. That way, you get to take advantage of the appeal and popularity of the clothing market while also narrowing down your audience and targeting customers for more effective marketing and limited competition.
As we mentioned above, choosing a niche for your ecommerce business is important for multiple reasons, but most crucially for limiting your competition, establishing yourself in your market space, and narrowing down your target customers.
As with most decisions in life, there are tradeoffs. So, while choosing a niche for your ecommerce business comes with quite a few pros, there are a couple of drawbacks you should also be mindful of.
Choosing a niche that’s too specific or narrow could severely limit your available customer pool. It could also be harder to market, as you’ll have to be extremely well-versed in the demographics of your ideal buyer persona.
With the cons out of the way, let’s dive into more detail about the fantastic benefits of choosing an effective ecommerce niche.
When you’re just starting out in the ecommerce world, you want your new business to stand out and grab people’s attention. With the growing popularity of ecommerce (not to mention the low barrier to entry), it can be easy to feel a bit lost in the crowd. To be successful, you must find a way to distinguish yourself and limit the companies you’re in direct competition with.
When you find your perfect target customer audience, it costs less to advertise. This is because you can tailor your ads to speak to these customers directly without worrying about making sure the ads have a broader appeal.
Dialing in to a specific audience and product niche will naturally allow you to find a more loyal customer base. You want to be someone’s favorite fill-in-the-blank—face wash, necktie, cookie cutter—you name it. Drilling down and perfecting your niche will help make that happen.
Another benefit of choosing a specific niche for your ecommerce business? You can price your products higher and maintain better profit margins, all because you don’t have to worry about pricing as competitively. Create a standout product people want but can’t find everywhere else, and they’ll be willing to pay a bit more.
These benefits translate to a lean business model that saves you time, effort, and money while capitalizing on success. Once you’ve perfected your product niche, you can focus your efforts on simply being the best.
Have we convinced you yet? Read on for more specific details about choosing the right ecommerce niche.
Finding a niche for your ecommerce business can be challenging. There are thousands of possibilities, and deciding what to focus on can be hard. If you're wondering how to choose an ecommerce niche based on your hobbies and interests, here are a few tips that might help.
First, think about what you like doing in your spare time. Do you love hiking or camping? Maybe you have a passion for dancing or art. Perhaps you enjoy learning new things and trying new experiences. Whatever it is, write down all the things that come to mind when you think about the activities that bring you joy. Then narrow down the list to just two or three things.
Once you've done that, look at each item on the list and ask yourself whether anyone would ever want to buy anything related to it. For example, if one of your favorite hobbies is cooking, could you write and sell your own cookbooks or kitchen utensils? Or if your hobby is biking, could you sell bike accessories or clothing? Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be something as tangible as food or equipment. It could also be an experience or even advice or tips for others who enjoy the same things!
One way to choose a niche is by thinking about what sets your brand and product apart. Find a common problem and offer your product or company as the solution.
How can you do this? First, identify a problem that needs solving, then find out how many people are experiencing it. If you can't think of any problems that need solving, start by identifying your frustrations with shopping online or in person—then figure out how many others are experiencing those frustrations with you! Once you know what people want (and don't want), it's time to get creative about how you will solve that problem.
Second, figure out what makes your business unique. It could be a different way of doing business, an interesting backstory or philosophy behind your brand, a specific type of product or service offered by no one else on the market right now…anything! Just make sure it's something that differentiates your product from all the others in your niche.
Hopefully, you’ve done some preliminary research on similar brands and products on the market, so you should have a rough idea of who your competition is. But maybe you want to go further than that (and you should)!
Here are a few ways to analyze competing businesses to ensure your competitive edge.
Earlier, we mentioned that one of the benefits of narrowing down your ecommerce niche is that it also narrows down your market and audience, but the flip side of this is also true. If you’re still figuring out your niche, you can also work backward from your target audience.
Think about who you want to sell to. Who would be interested in your product? If you’re starting from your hobbies or interests, you probably already have a good idea of the kinds of people who are similarly inclined, and you can use that as a starting point. If you’re starting from a problem/solution strategy, you can consider the people affected by that particular problem.
Note the demographics of who you want to target: age, location, gender, interests, behavior (in terms of internet use and online shopping), etc.
You might already know that search engine optimization (SEO) is important for ecommerce success. But did you know you can use various high-quality keyword research tools for more than just optimizing your web content? You can also use them to identify trending products, queries, niches, and more.
Taking note of what categories and products are trending and what people are searching for online will help you better understand your target audience and your potential ecommerce niche.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert or pay for expensive software to research keywords. There are plenty of free tools out there to help you get started.
Now that we’ve covered the importance of picking a niche for your ecommerce business and different strategies for choosing one, let’s look at a few solid examples to help get your creative business juices flowing.
The kitchen appliance market is already a multibillion-dollar industry, and it’s projected to keep growing at a rate of 6.5% over the next few years.
Here’s a graph from Statista highlighting a few different kitchen product categories and their sales figures to give you an idea of the top-performing categories.
Going off this graph, if you were looking to start your ecommerce business in the cooking niche, you’d see that dish detergent is by far the highest-selling category. Keep in mind, however, that this is also a product niche that would be hard to break into as a new business, especially an ecommerce one.
An easier choice might be to create innovative new kitchen tools or utensils—this is an area where you could set yourself apart while still bringing in plenty of revenue.
Subscription boxes are becoming a super popular ecommerce niche market. You can make pretty much anything a subscription service, which builds customer loyalty and increases your profits.
Consider Bespoke Post, a popular themed and curated subscription box with unique products for everyone. Even massive online retailers like Amazon now have subscription options for purchases.
So no matter what you’re selling, turning it into something your customers can subscribe to can be a great way to maintain a solid customer base. This model works great for staple products that people will want to order regularly or for products with a lot of potential for variety (flavors, sizes, brands, styles, etc.).
As regulations loosen and public opinion on hemp-derived products begins to shift, CBD is rapidly gaining mainstream popularity thanks to its host of alleged benefits. The online market for CBD is growing particularly quickly and is only projected to reach even greater heights as the market matures.
Now is a great time to jump on the bandwagon and make CBD your ecommerce niche. The product options are virtually limitless: You can sell oils, topical creams, gummies, candy, baked goods, and more.
The skincare and beauty niche has proven to be one of the most lucrative ecommerce markets.
With the rise of social media and influencers, skincare and beauty products are more popular than ever. Many people take a more holistic approach to their health and wellness, including better skin care.
There are many options for products you can sell: serums, moisturizers, cleansers, masks, makeup… the list goes on! If you have no experience making skincare products yourself, plenty of online resources will walk you through the process and dropshipping options.
Health and wellness is another popular ecommerce niche, and it’s a wise choice for new retailers for several reasons.
First of all, the market is huge. According to Statista, the global health and wellness market is worth over $4 trillion and is projected to continue skyrocketing over the next few years.
You can sell anything from vitamins to workout clothes to massage therapy services, and this abundance of product options means plenty of room for business growth.
Choosing this niche will also ensure you have an engaged audience. People who care about their health are willing to spend money on products that work and become fiercely loyal to brands they love, so ecommerce stores in this niche often have an easier time building brand loyalty and repeat customers.
Fitness is a great niche for an ecommerce store because it has a lot of growth potential. Many people are interested in losing weight, getting fit, or generally feeling good about themselves. If you can create a brand that makes people feel good about their bodies, you will have customers who come back repeatedly.
Fitness is also a niche where people are willing to spend money on products they think will help them meet their goals—which means you'll be able to charge higher prices than other types of products.
More and more people are becoming aware of how their actions affect the environment and are looking for easy ways to live more sustainably. This means there will always be a market for eco-friendly products.
Choosing an eco-friendly ecommerce niche is also good for business! Why? People who buy from businesses that care about environmental issues feel good about themselves. They want to tell their friends how awesome those companies are—and those friends will also want to shop with them. When you start selling eco-friendly products, you're not just making a difference in the world but also helping yourself out by creating loyal customers eager to spread the word!
If you’re a creative type that enjoys hands-on projects, you might be interested in making your own jewelry and selling it on your ecommerce store. Not only will this be fun for you, but it’s also a great niche: Your items are 100% unique, you can offer plenty of customization options, and you have complete control over all aspects of your business.
The arts and crafts niche is incredibly versatile (and often very lucrative). You can sell art that you make yourself (or partner with other artists), but you can also sell kits and guides that teach people to make their own artwork and craft projects. With this freedom, you can take your new business in any direction.
Did you know that it’s projected that 25% of all US jobs will be remote by the end of this year? More and more people are working from home and need supplies for their home office setup.
You can sell specific office supplies like paper, pens, organizers, or software, or you can focus more on the design and decor—think furniture, desks, chairs, and more.
Print on demand is similar to dropshipping in that it requires little to no inventory and has low overhead costs, making it a fantastic entry point for new ecommerce businesses.
This model is especially popular with clothing brands because it allows creatives to design custom shirts and other items, offer them for sale on their website, and only print them when an order comes in.
It’s also growing in popularity, having gained 12% in the market from 2017 to 2020. This niche caters to people’s desire for customization, something a growing number of consumers want (at least 36% expect customization options for products by default).
So far, we’ve focused a lot on physical items and product categories, but you have plenty of digital niche options. Believe it or not, these can be just as (if not more) lucrative!
Online courses, for example, are extremely popular. It’s incredibly convenient to learn new skills online instead of attending in-person classes, and everyone values an opportunity to continue learning and building their skill sets.
If you have a valuable skill to offer, consider jumping into this market and selling your own online courses. They can be about any topic—whatever you’re good at, and others might be interested in learning. Art, dance, music, programming, writing, marketing, you name it.
Ebooks are another great way to use technology to your advantage when picking your ecommerce niche. You can skip the cost and hassle of working with physical publishing with ebooks and target the digital market directly. You can write books yourself if you’re so inclined or hire ghostwriters and freelancers if that works better for you.
Pet care supplies is a great ecommerce niche for a few different reasons:
Toys are for everyone, not just kids! There’s so much variety in this niche that there truly is something for everyone. There are many different types of toys that appeal to different demographics, so there's no risk of being pigeonholed.
You can sell anything from board games and puzzles to stuffed animals and science kits. Also, it's easy to find suppliers who can sell wholesale or dropship directly from their warehouses to your customers, so you won’t have to spend any money on maintaining inventory.
Vintage clothing is becoming super trendy, but it’s not too late to adopt this as your ecommerce niche and cash in on its success.
The best way to do this is by going to local thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales and snatching up any vintage clothing you can find. Then, just resell it all at a premium from your website. Make sure you pick high-quality items that justify higher prices and design a website and brand that set you apart from the crowd.
Okay, now you have plenty of inspiration for different ecommerce niches. Hopefully, you’ve weighed your options and chosen a category and product to start with. So now what?
Now it’s time to make some sales and market your company! Here are a few tips to get you started.
You have a significant choice to make at this stage. Do you want to strike out on your own and build your own ecommerce website, or do you want to set up shop on a pre-existing platform (like Etsy, for example)?
Creating your own website requires more work, but it provides you with more creative control, and you don’t have to worry about anyone taking a cut of your profits.
There are plenty of options for building your own ecommerce website, all with comparable features and price points. Shopify is probably one of the most well-known platforms, as it’s used by over 2.1 million people daily and accounts for over $300 billion of global economic activity.
But Shopify is far from the only option, so check out a few other popular choices.
Once you’ve chosen your ecommerce platform and created your site, it’s time to craft killer copy to grab people’s attention and drive sales. If you enjoy writing and have the skills for it, you can tackle it yourself. But you can also consider hiring a freelance copywriter to take care of this task. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are good places to look.
There are many ways to advertise, from social media to paid ads. A good starting point is running a Google Ad campaign—they even offer a $500 credit to new businesses (after you spend an initial $500). You might not have the budget for this initially, but as you scale, you’ll want to incorporate this into your marketing strategy for maximum results.
Another way to increase traffic to your ecommerce business is by developing a content marketing plan for your blog. By hosting a blog on your own website or linking to an external blog, you can regularly promote your products and services with relevant content that your customers are interested in. You can also get more exposure by contributing posts to other blogs in related niches.
When marketing your ecommerce business, don’t forget to ensure that your website is optimized for search engines. To get started, you can research which keywords, product descriptions, web copy, and blog posts are most likely to rank well on search results and use this information to target ways in which you can improve.
Need a helping hand? Try using Copy.ai’s Product Description Generator for some fresh ideas!
Finding the perfect ecommerce niche for your business can be a struggle. You have to analyze the competition, identify your target audience and market, explore your hobbies, interests, and skill sets, and develop specific products you will enjoy (and excel at) selling.
Hopefully, this guide gives you a clear idea of how to get started and some inspiration for niches you might enjoy. No matter which niche you choose, you don’t have to go it alone—Copy.ai’s free tools can help you whip up landing page copy, product descriptions, and more to get your new ecommerce business up and running!
Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.