Considering Ecommerce as a Side Hustle? Here’s How to Nail Your NicheTiffany Ruder
If you’re looking for a way to boost your income with a profitable side hustle, look no further than the ecommerce industry. Thanks to our increasingly digital world, setting up a store and selling online has never been more accessible than it is today.
In fact, TrustRadius estimates that 90% of ecommerce companies saw revenue growth of 10% or more over the course of the pandemic, and the industry is expected to only continue growing.
Even though the competition is as fierce as ever, and many product categories have grown saturated, there is still plenty of potential for new entrepreneurs to make a decent living from their side hustle – as long as you adopt the right strategy, of course.
As a matter of fact, many people have been able to accomplish full-time results while just working part-time hours, but if you want to join them, you must first nail your niche and find a way to provide value to your consumers by selling the right products for their specific needs.
What are ecommerce niches?
An ecommerce niche is a specific subset of a larger market. To put it another way, it’s a segment of an industry that sells a certain sort of product with a unique distinction and is usually an area that is overlooked by larger businesses.
Some examples of especially hot ecommerce niches in 2021 include:
- Meal replacements and protein powders
- Vegan products
- CBD products
- Disinfectants and home cleaning products
Many newcomers to the ecommerce industry make the mistake of creating an online store that is too broad, such as selling items of clothing or beauty products. They offer hundreds of products in a variety of categories and areas of interest, making it difficult for them to establish a footing as a business.
While non-niche stores may have larger addressable audiences and more opportunities to go global, they also have a lot more competitors, and that’s not ideal when you’re the new kid on the block.
Instead, niche store owners can enjoy many perks, such as:
- Building an audience community based on specific shared values and lifestyles
- Less competition and therefore lower advertisement costs
- The ability to limit inventory and storage costs
With that out the way, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can find and nail your niche with your new ecommerce store.
Where are your areas of expertise?
First and foremost, it is almost always beneficial to begin in an industry with which you are already familiar.
If you’re new to ecommerce, there are going to be a lot of unknowns and unexpected obstacles ahead of you, so the last thing you want to do is get caught up in selling items you don’t know about or aren’t interested in. This is especially true in the case of side hustles, where entrepreneurs have limited availability, due to their day job responsibilities.
Many of the most successful ecommerce businesses started as extensions of people’s hobbies or areas of interest outside work. They understood the target market better, had a grasp of the nuances of the products and the industry, and knew the best way to engage with their consumers.
Figure out where you already have a head start, and go from there. When you do, you will be surprised at how many ways there are to monetize your expertise online.
Here are a few questions to get the wheels turning:
- What are you passionate about? Think about your hobbies, interests and areas of expertise.
- Where can you generate added value? What is your unique selling proposition?
- Is there an area where you can leverage any special connections or knowledge you have?
- What are some common problems that you and your niche communities encounter that could be solved with a product?
Consider the niches with the most growth potential
While it’s all well and good opening up an ecommerce store in an area you’re passionate about, you still need to make sure it has the potential to make a profit.
No, you don’t need your niche market to be huge, but you still want to make sure that there are enough potential customers out there who would be willing to buy your products – and that you can attract enough traffic to make sales. This requires a bit of due diligence.
A good tip for assessing the popularity of your niche is to use Google Trends to search for common keywords and phrases in your industry. This will give you an insight into how many people are searching for these phrases and whether or not demand is in decline, or a period of growth.
Research the competition
If you want your business to succeed, you must first understand who and what you’re up against. Keeping an eye on your competitors allows you to predict market movements, detect new trends and highlight effective approaches that would have otherwise taken many years of trial and error to discover.
With this knowledge, you can go into your new venture with your eyes wide open, and hopefully, you can implement a thing or two you picked up that’s working for your competitors along the way.
Take a look at how the successful ecommerce brands in your niche approach things like social media engagement, website design, content publishing, and sales copywriting tactics. This is also a good way to determine the right pricing for your products.
Finally, get your store out into the world
Now that you have your niche and you’ve eyed up the competition, you must develop a marketing strategy that will help drive traffic to your store so you can start generating revenue.
As a niche store, you have a very limited and specific target market that you need to cater to. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Engage in direct conversations with your customers on social media platforms and email marketing
- Invest in hyper-targeted paid advertising
- Create video content to demonstrate your products in use
- Optimize your website with high quality copywriting
- Create hyper-targeted article content that speaks to your community
Remember, the most important aspect of setting up any new business is putting your plans into action. While there is a lot to take in and many moving parts to manage, try not to overthink things. Get super specific with your niche and focus on creating as much value as possible for your consumers, and then make adjustments accordingly along the way.