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Finding evergreen niches is the holy grail of e-commerce success. In order to find one, you first must understand the mechanics of what untapped niche markets look like, how to dissect and ultimately crack it wide open.
When you are first starting out it’s not uncommon to think that niches must be almost secret with no competition in order for you to succeed. This is actually far from the truth and finding profitable niches isn’t as difficult as you may think.
Finding a niche to put your focus on is as easy as just starting, spending some time trying to find different, unique products and learning from the data.
After all these years you’d think I would have a particular system for finding new niche markets to exploit. And, I do.
In this article, I am going to share with you how I go about finding a new niche to create a store, or to run new designs (with the likes of Teespring) into.
You will learn;
- Niche and niche product definition
- Definition of a sub-niche
- How to use Google trends to find a niche
- Tips on finding a Shopify niche
- How I find and test niches (it’s not as hard as you may think or as in depth)
By the end of this article, you will be chomping at the bit to get started, armed with the knowledge to take on any niche you desire.
How to Find Profitable, Evergreen Niches for Ecommerce
Niche Market and Niche Product Definition…
Every successful store operates in a niche market no matter who they are. So what is the niche market definition?
The Niche market definition by Google;
- a small, specialized market for a particular product or service.
- “the product is very much aimed at a niche market”
To give you a few niche examples take a look at the following;
Velocity Bicycle Co (one of my stores) is focused on quality cycling apparel for men aged 25-54. That is the primary target market for the group, however, on the fringes, there will always be customers i.e. women and people outside of that age group.
Having that age restriction helps to better understand the designs and wants of the actual market which makes it easier to provide a product that they would like.
Last Beer Standing obviously focuses on the Beer niche. I would suggest men aged 25-54 as well.
Need Those Sneakers is an example of a niche product. In both these stores (VBC & NTS), the niche is in the URL. In this case, Need Those Sneakers was created based on…you guessed it, Sneakers.
With the shoes being the product, it is about coming up with new, unique designs that look great on the sneakers across any number of niches.
Pura Vida Bracelets is another example of a niche product. Can you guess what it is…? These guys appear to be targeting women 18-34.
Definition of a Sub-Niche
Finding great niches for profitability often comes down to the sub-niches. A niche may become so large that it almost becomes mainstream.
If you look at Fitness, it is still a niche, however, it is so large that targeting with specific products may be too broad.
In order to make it easier to succeed in the Fitness niche, you would focus in on a certain demographic within it. For example, young girls who want to build their booty or young guys that are slinging weights for dates.
Sub-niches, as you can imagine, are as the name suggest. Simply a smaller segment of the market. It takes a broad niche i.e. Beer and breaks it down further into a “sub-niche” i.e. Craft Beer.
How to use Google trends to find a niche
Google Trends is incredibly important for determining whether or not you should be investing in any given niche. It can show you the search volume (interest) over time for some terms from 2004 to now.
There are 2 main things we will be looking at with Google Trends. Breakouts and Interest Over Time. By searching with your niche term you will be presented with a graph that shows the IOT along with any breakouts that Google has noticed.
The last thing you want to be doing is entering into a niche well after the party has wrapped up and moved on. Take for example the Fidget Spinner breakout of Christmas 2016. It is the perfect example of a breakout trend that went absolutely nuts for 12 months then died out as fast as it had come.
Jumping in on the trend like this late will make it very difficult to build a sustainable long-term business. On the other hand, if you had spotted the trend in the January-March window you may have been able to make an exceptional amount of money very quickly.
That is the beauty of breakout trends and why it’s so important to keep heading back to Google Trends to find a niche. If you notice a rapid rise, it may be worth your while to invest some time into building your own store to take advantage of it.
Sustained Growth with Interest Over Time
Funnily enough, I spotted this trend in the breakout section after searching for protein powder. What “Vegan Protein Powder” shows is the continued growth of searches since 2004.
This would suggest that once you have cracked the niche that you should continue to see your business scale into the future. This is the very reason we use Google Trends to verify we have a niche that we should look to start a store in.
Tips on finding a Shopify niche
Finding a Shopify niche needn’t be any more difficult than following your own interests. I always tend to gravitate towards things that I find enjoyable. Cycling for instance, whilst I don’t ride near as often as I’d like, I do have a fondness for the sport.
A few things to note with Shopify is that we want to be creating a visual experience for our customers. With that in mind, we need to be able to access products that are easily purchased online and look good.
Looking good, means making sure your images are crystal clear and high definition so your customers can see exactly what they’re buying. The reason we want the images to be visually appealing is for ease of marketing, i.e. think Instagram or Facebook.
Too much detail and the images are going to get lost in people's feeds. And with CPM’s at all-time highs right now, you don’t want to run the risk of losing a potential customer because they didn’t see your image.
From t shirt niches to Shopify, we either start with a Niche market or a Niche Product and build our store out around that focus.
But, this next section is what you came here for…
How I find and test niches (it’s not as hard as you may think or as in depth).
To say there is a science behind niche selection would be a myth. I would say the hardest niche I ever found was the first one when I was starting out. Why? Because I had no idea which was going to be profitable.
The actual science behind it is you just need to get started. Finding niches aren’t difficult, it’s just a matter of pulling the trigger and starting with something that you find interesting. What will happen is you will begin your massive learning curve and may find that the niche you start with isn’t the one that actually becomes profitable for you.
My very first profitable niche was bikers. I started on Teespring and both Suhail and I wanted to scale fast (I did have a pretty big debt so needed money). We got in, starting testing products and very quickly found that we were working with a handful of niches.
With every launch we found ourselves launching new designs to bikers, campers, nurses, sewers and so many more.
How did we find them? We had a scalable phrase that we skewed to other niches. One of our most successful launches was the “Weekend Forecast” series. Suhail came up with the phrase and we scaled it into every niche imaginable…
- “Weekend Forecast, Camping with a Chance of Drinking”
- and “Weekend Forecast, Sewing with a Chance of Wine”
- and “Weekend Forecast, Cycling with a Chance of Drinking”
That right there is how we would find new t shirt niches. It certainly doesn’t matter how many competitors you may have, what it comes down to is having a product/offer that that niche needs to have.
Niche Store or Niche Product Store
This certainly needs to be your next question. I fully believe starting out that a niche store is going to serve you better. The niche being as simple as apparel. What that allows you to do is remove any excessive variables.
If you focus on shirts, you already know they sell as so many other people are successfully selling them. What that effectively means is you won’t be going from mugs to pens to caps to cups and not knowing if it’s the product or the designs that are stopping the sales coming in…
After you find that you are getting success with a particular niche, that is when you can start looking to “niche” down by creating a store specifically for those people. You already know the targeting, you already know what sells, so setting up a specific Niche Store on Shopify is exactly how you will find profitable success.
If there is one takeaway from this article it's this. “JUST GET STARTED” Find a niche that you are interested in and then start having campaigns or products being launched so you can learn on the fly. You will quickly find questions you would never have thought of without the experience of being in the market.
Choose a product, get a designer and get moving. Every day you wait is a day you will never get back…and it could have been yesterday that gave you the product that you could have scaled to the moon.
Do you have any tips for finding profitable niches? Share them in the comments below! If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them as well!