What is a niche?
You have probably heard the word niche so many times! Yes? I hope so. Everyone these days is talking about a niche.
Niche, niche, niche…
But what exactly is a niche?
Without going to jargon busting “a niche is simply a business model that targets a particular segment of customer or audience providing them specific products or services in the target market.”
Let us break it in to parts to understand the whole idea.
- A niche is a business model
- It targets a specific group of customer
- It provides specific products and services.
How is the Niche model different?
As we have seen above the niche model is narrow in scope and having target audience narrowly defined. On other hand, a general business model is broad in scope and it targets customers of multiple profiles. The general model provides products and services in several areas. In other words, it is a multi-niche business where the business operates across several niches. This type of business is also called all under one roof model of business.
For instance, Amazon is a good example of a general model or all under one roof. It sells almost everything across so many niches. It is not limited to specific customers or specific products and services.
On other hand, a business operating in car insurance is targeting a particular class of people with only a particular type of product i.e. car insurance.
Advantages of Going Niche on eBay And Amazon
Easy to Manage
If you are just getting started, it is a lot easier to manage only one type of products. It does not require you to have expertise or knowledge of products across several segments. It is also more practical to carry research and find suppliers. Furthermore, you can easily import even small quantities from China, Hong Kong, Europe and other countries.
Low Startup Costs
Because you will be dealing only in a particular target area, you may not need to invest a huge amount of cash to get started. A few products are enough to test the water and then slowly build upon your success. On the contrary, in a general business model, you will need a significant amount of financial outlay even if you would want to source small quantity of products in several segments.
Visitors to products are highly targeted and hence the conversions rates are higher than in a general model. More conversions means more sales, which means more profit. Only a few conversions a day can set you on the road of success.
When you are dealing only with a particular type of product, people have more confidence in your service and expertise. They would like to call repeatedly and thus give repeat custom.
Long Term Success
Long-term success is possible only with long-term strategy. Choosing the right niche can guarantee you a long-term success in fairly shorter period.
You have more chances of expanding your business beyond eBay to places such as Amazon and others. You can even build your own ecommerce site or store to sell independently.
Long-term success depends on building relationship with your customers. Getting a sale is not the end of a transaction. It is just the beginning of a business. Dealing only in single niche products or services can build you the trust of your customers. They view you as an expert in your chosen area. They would love to build a long-term business relationship with you. They will not only stick to you but will even spread your message further.
Money is in the list. This is a popular concept among the internet marketers. A niche model is a great way to build your list of like-minded customers and monetize the list by selling them further products. In the untoward incident of your eBay account suspension or termination or your website being down for some reason, you can always communicate and connect to your prospects through your list.
How Big Should be A Niche?
The is one of the most complicated areas, especially for those new starters. Not complicated to understand but most newbies make mistakes in choosing the right size of a niche. They either go too broad or two narrow. Most people go too broad where they are unable to focus on a defined area.
This is a great question and it needs to be answered carefully. Let us see the different types of niches by size.
A micro niche is niche that is extremely targeted. In the Micro niche, the focus is on a very much narrow area, or a limited group of people. For instance when you try to sell Winter Gloves for Bikers, this shall be classed as micro niche. These target customers are extremely limited and the product line is very tight.
On the other side of the spectrum is broad niche concept. In this type of business although the product or service belongs to the same area but it is very wide in scope. For instance, sports is very broad niche, which will include almost any sporting goods on earth. Similarly, Garden and Household is a very broad niche, which will include many things.
So what is the right size niche?
The right niche is to strike a balance between the two extremes. An ideal niche should be neither too broad nor too tight. Ideal niche ideas could be like
Furniture: Which can be subdivided into categories such as bedroom furniture, kitchen furniture, lounge and kitchen and so on.
Kids Shoes: Further divided into categories such as boys, girls, sizes, sports, casuals etc.
Golf Equipment: Trolleys, Golf irons, Widgets etc.
And so on….
It is very difficult to establish yourself in broad niches unless you have sufficient resources. The micro niches are too tight and have limited scope in nature and little chances of future growth. On the other hand, the right niche strikes a good balance between the too. With the right niche, you get enough scope to expand your portfolio and establish yourself without a large financial outlay and large base of resources.
The niche concept applies equally to all models of businesses including eBay and Amazon. The real success lies in making inroads into small areas. Once you have established yourself in a particular area, you can always move on to other relevant areas and thus expand product and business portfolios slowly.
Most successful eBay and Amazon sellers start small and slowly expand. The beauty of platforms like eBay is that you can start as small as you wish. You can even start with a single product. You can start with as little as a few dollars. On the contrary, in the offline world this is very hard to establish a business without having quite a large inventory.
Unless you are a million dollars company, it is recommended to start with a niche model. There are several eBay and Amazon sellers who started very small in a particular niche and expanded their portfolio overtime. Once you have found a successful niche, you can either expand in related areas in the same niche or just start another niche. The niche model business is an ideal model, especially when it comes to selling on platforms like eBay and Amazon.