It is January 1st 2009 and you finally wish to take the plunge online. You’re thoughts are since we’re in the middle of the worst credit crunch since the great depression that the best way to do this is to start your own e-commerce business as you’ve read or heard of countless statistics that point out that this is still continues to grow, and to grow strongly!
So first things first; the web is a massive place and you keep hearing that the successful companies are those that find the right niche market. So what is a niche market? Well a niche market is simply a group of consumers that have a specific need or interest that you are targeting. These consumers tend to be into similar actives requiring similar products and or services. By creating a niche that caters to their needs you are automatically creating a connection and affinity with these consumers making your online sales and marketing process easier.
So what should one look for? Well you need to find a product that consumers need and are looking to purchase before you start marketing. Many online store have failed because they’ve focused on marketing a product before finding out if there are people interested in it, and whether there was sufficient demand, or if there are already competitors out there with a strong market presence.
Niche markets have been around since the dot go, whether its guilds, or craftsman or Microsoft focusing on the needs of PC users with their operating systems, or Coca Cola, or Nike. All these are niche brands that have become ubiquitous.
Finding a niche market
Selecting a niche market is more straightforward than it first appears. It is always best to start by focusing on a market that ties into your area of expertise or interest as you will always be more successful in something that you are passionate about. It also minimises on the inevitable frustration and learning curve of start ups that means instead of viewing it as tedious monotonous work you will find it quite fun and are constantly growing both your knowledge and your online business.
Researching your prospective market
Once you’ve found a product and niche that you wish to tackle its always best to undertake some deep research into the market you are looking to break into by checking out the competitors, finding out what sort of demand there is for your products and or services and how your prospective customers would go about finding these items online, what key words they’d search under, etc., etc.
Social networking and finding your audience
Forums, news groups and chat rooms are good hunting grounds for specialist niches. By monitoring the activity and traffic flows on these sites you can determine what is in high demand and what your prospective customers are looking for.
So as you can if you are interested in setting up an online e-commerce hosted website in 2009 then setting up a niche market is the first and most important step. Take the time to find out what your consumers may be looking for and use that to determine how you should market your site should significantly increase the probability of your businesses success.