5 tips for finding niche products to sell (with examples)
Selling online is a tough business. There’s no shortage of competition, and shoppers are bombarded with product offers everywhere they turn on the internet.
But niche products may be your saving grace.
By ditching the one-size-fits-all-approach and offering specialized items in your eCommerce store, you could potentially reach a stronger, more passionate group of consumers with your business ideas.
That said, selecting the right niche comes down to thorough research, planning, and testing. Before you begin the process of brainstorming product ideas, it's important to understand what "niche" entails and how to go about discovering a new audience.
Read Also: How to start a business
What is a niche product?
In the world of retail, a niche product is one that caters to a very specific group of customers. It targets a subset (aka “niche market”) of a larger market, with the goal of satisfying a unique need or demand.
3 examples of niche products
There’s nothing more important than giving your child the best products possible. Hence why there are tons of niche items to explore within the baby category.
Products such as baby-wearing products also serve as good high-ticket products to sell, with some parents shelling out hundreds of dollars on baby slings and wraps. Moreover, baby-wearing communities on platforms like Reddit and Facebook have tens of thousands of members, all eager to exchange information about the brands and products that they love. As far as niches go, this community is fairly large and extremely dedicated.
As another example, Wix vendor Bonsie sells skin-to-skin babywear developed by a mom and therapist. Bonsie's products are dedicated to parents who value skin-to-skin time with their baby—a practice known to boost a baby's brain development, build a mother's milk supply, and regulate a baby's body temperature.
Skincare and beauty products
The market is ripe for beauty and skincare products that use natural and organic ingredients and/or cater to specific needs (like sensitive skin). This category already attracts a lot of big-name and emerging players, but if you can get your positioning right, it can be a very lucrative space to be in.
For example, skincare retailer Crystal Clear Skin & Beauty sets itself apart by curating products for different skin types, including combination, acne-prone, and mature skin. This Lemon Cream Cleanser is geared towards people with dry and sensitive skin. It features “Vitamins C and E [that] penetrate deep into the skin to help neutralize free radicals and brighten your complexion while jojoba oil smooths your skin's surface,” according to the brand.
Something else you can do to position yourself well in skincare is to make sure you have a logo that represents your brand and attracts new customers. Use a Beauty Logo Maker to give you inspiration and to help you create your own.
Unique food products
When it comes to niche food products, the list is almost endless.There are niche grocery stores that cater to special diets (gluten-free, paleo, vegan, etc.), subscription boxes that serve specialty snacks from all over the world, and online stores selling exotic ingredients and spices.
When sourcing niche food products, consider selling items that have a long shelf-life and/or can be dropshippped by their manufacturers. Products like coffee, chocolate, honey, and syrup sourced from local suppliers can be an excellent place to start.
Sol Cocao, a specialty craft chocolate vendor, sells just a few products through their online store—all of which feature chocolate with ingredients sourced from different South American countries. The packaging for each product features a gorgeous combination of nature and bird drawings from the regions where the cocao beans are sourced. Product descriptions list the taste of each bar (earthy, nutty, savory, etc.) and recommended food pairings for customers to envision.
Benefits of selling niche products
Niche products are a gateway to many long-term benefits, including:
Higher price points - Whether it's a specialty baby carrier or locally sourced honey, niche products generally have higher price points than mass market items. People are often willing to spend more for an item that's unique and hard to find (which equals higher profit margins for you).
Less competition - Niche products, particularly those that are locally sourced, tend to have fewer competitors, allowing you to establish your brand as a resource for a given item.
Better targeting - When you focus on a specific product niche, you can enjoy an easier time targeting your messaging to a more well-defined and receptive audience. By understanding the preferences and needs of your niche, your overall marketing strategy becomes more effective.
Builds credibility - By becoming an expert in your niche, you can build your brand’s reputation among customers and partners. By mastering your craft, you can additionally build higher quality, more thoughtfully designed products and content for your audience.
How to find the right niche products to sell
01. Define your niche market
First thing’s first. Before honing in on a product idea, you must define your target buyer.
Niche markets come in all shapes and sizes. A good place to start is by consulting your sales team, support team, and customer data to identify your most valuable or engaged customers. Then, see if these customers share any traits, such as:
Values and important causes
Alternatively, you can look for a new audience that’s related to your current customer base but remains untapped.
If you’re just starting out with your business, it helps to evaluate your current passions, skills, and community too; it’s typically easier to pick a market that you’re already familiar with, though you’ll want to make sure to look outside your immediate circle and avoid operating from assumptions.
Niche markets can be further boiled down into buyer personas, which get you into the habit of thinking from your customers’ shoes. Using wearable baby carriers as an example, your ideal buyer could look something like this: A 25- to 35-year-old new mother living in an urban area where strollers are difficult to manage. She's interested in how baby wearing helps mothers bond with their children and allows more freedom of movement. She and her partner both work from home and have a household income of about $120,000. She's looking for a carrier that reflects her unique style, is comfortable, and is easy to take on and off.
As you zero in on your niche market, consider the market size, the level of competition, and gaps in product offerings.
02. Research social platforms
Conduct research on the social platforms that your niche market uses regularly, like Facebook Groups, Reddit, or TikTok. Search hashtags, follow influencers, join groups, and check out brand accounts to see what trending products people are talking about.
Keep your eyes peeled for any problems or complaints that regularly come up in forums. Reddit is a particularly great place to engage in raw conversations around any topic related to your niche. For instance, you can search for a subreddit on the best baby products—or simply baby wearing—to find relevant communities.
03. Look at existing sites
Big retailer sites like Amazon, Wayfair, and Target already feature an abundance of products—both general and niche.
Find inspiration by digging through their product categories and navigation menus. Wayfair, as an example, offers various subcategories of products all aimed at homeowners. When it comes to its Lighting category, you can filter for certain subcategories like outdoor lighting. From there, you can further narrow down your search to find products that satisfy various needs (e.g., outdoor lanterns versus post lights versus landscape lighting).
This practice not only helps you to find product ideas, but also points you to potential customer segments to target within the larger market.
Beyond this, take the time to research individual competitor websites. This will help you to understand how smaller store owners position their products and market them to the same (or similar) audiences.
04. Choose your suppliers
Just because a product idea sounds interesting doesn’t mean that it's a viable (or profitable) one. Do your due diligence by identifying potential suppliers and understanding the costs, materials, and processes associated with producing your items.
You may naturally run into the names of suppliers and manufacturers as you research ideas. If not, you can always check dropshipping suppliers, manufacturer directories (read: how to find manufacturers), and other product sourcing resources.
Carefully vet potential suppliers by evaluating things like:
Delivery and lead times
Costs (including delivery fees, restocking fees, etc.)
Minimum order quantity (MOQ)
Private label services
Custom labeling and packaging options
Reputation in the industry
The answers to these questions will help you to verify that the numbers work, plus anticipate any challenges from an operational perspective.
05. Test your product
Validate your product idea by engaging potential buyers. Consider offering pre-orders. Or, order products in small batches and test them with a select group of consumers.
Focus on gathering honest feedback, and don’t be afraid to get your customers involved in the process of selecting or further developing your products. Make sure that your test group isn’t simply made up of friends or family; tap consumers who don’t have a personal connection (and therefore bias) when evaluating your product.
Pay attention to other important data points as well, including conversion rates, average customer spend, and customer retention rate once putting your product up for sale.
Stand out with niche products
Identifying the right niche product takes time, but it's an excellent way to reach a passionate community of highly motivated consumers. With some research, testing, and the right suppliers, you can begin building an eCommerce brand that lasts.
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Allison Lee Editor, Wix for eCommerce
Allison is the editor for the Wix eCommerce blog, with several years of experience reporting on eCommerce news, strategies, and founder stories.