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  2. The Search for Niche Products and Getting Started Online

Author Lim Wan ErLim Wan Er

5 min read
E-commerce

The Search for Niche Products and Getting Started Online

The Search for Niche Products and Getting Started Online

Launching an online business is not an easy achievement, with increasingly more entrepreneurs entering the online market space. Competition is fierce, product ideas are saturated, and consumers are getting more well-versed in sieving out the best prices for online products. So, how can you make your online store successful?

In this article, we go through what niche products are, what kind of products sell better online, how to choose your niche, and ways to get your online business started.

We know you have a hundred ideas to grow your online shop. At the same time, there are a lot of routine administrative tasks to do too like accounting. Our service automates accounting for e-commerce businesses with a touch of human experts. Why not leave that to us while you find ways to sell more.

Why You Should Sell Online

Get to Know E-commerce Trends

Find out more about what's the trends in this segment and make an informed decision when selling online.

E-commerce is the way to go in this day and age, with brick-and-mortar stores facing less retail human traffic and more rent liabilities. Firstly, with the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are ordering necessities and other products online more often. Secondly, technology is allowing consumers to surf for products on both mobile and laptops. There are published statistics on the e-commerce landscape if you’re interested in taking a look.

Nonetheless, starting an e-commerce business is not as simple as it sounds. Luckily for you, here at Osome, we have a guide you can refer to on how to start an e-commerce business from the comfort of your home.

For e-commerce, the business models are somewhat similar to opening a traditional business, although there are some differences. There are 4 major business models you can consider - make, manufacture, wholesale or dropship. Each of these models has its pros and cons, so it is important to make sure you know which e-commerce model you plan to go with.

What Products Can You Sell Online?

To rise above the competition, you have to find niche product ideas and choose an e-commerce platform carefully. So, what exactly is a niche product?

Niche products are services or goods that cater and serve a very specific customer base and target audience. These can include unique handmade products that are one-of-a-kind, hard to find in your usual stores, and low in quantity count.

On the other hand, commoditized products are often essential goods and services that the common man needs. These products are usually in high demand and can be physical or digital products. Examples can include fruits, vegetables, meat, T-shirts, shorts, kids toys and more. You get the picture - commoditized products are what people buy as necessities and are actually what makes up the majority of online sales numbers.

How A Commoditized Product Can Become A Niche Product

Ideas for niche products are usually spontaneous and if you have an existing business, try finding a commoditized product you can work with.

Example: Cameron has a business selling perfume for both men and women. He realised that his sales are getting lower with each passing year, and it has been at an all-time low point during the pandemic period. He recently realised that hand sanitisers are selling like hotcakes and regret not getting onto the trend sooner. Nonetheless, he comes up with an idea - to merge his current perfume business with the popular hand sanitiser market.

His current perfume business has been around for years and he has garnered many loyal customers. He can sell hand sanitisers that carry the scent of his most best-selling perfume fragrances. To spread the word, a mass email blast can be sent out as an advertisement for his new product - “Hand sanitisers in your favourite scent”. He can also offer consumers the choice to make their perfume scent, then adding it as a hand sanitiser. In this way, Cameron can create an online business catering to both a niche and commoditized product, diversifying his sales in the long run.

How To Choose Your Niche Product?

Now that you are familiar with a niche product, how do you choose one? Niche products can be based on demographics, industry, price, location etc.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  1. What are you passionate about personally?
  2. Does your product solve a problem that your audience is facing?
  3. Is it niche enough to appeal to enthusiastic hobbyists?
  4. What is your main, secondary and tertiary target audience?
  5. Who is already selling your product idea or a similar product?
  6. Read customer reviews on existing products
  7. Stay on top of trends on both retail and online marketplaces
  8. How profitable is your niche?
  9. Incorporate trends into your product
  10. Spot business opportunities in everyday life

Truth is, new ideas are hard to generate in today’s already saturated product market. However, some marketing ideas just have not been invented yet.

To give you some brainstorming ideas, here are some of the better selling niche products online.

  1. Conscious consumers
    1. Cruelty-free health products and cosmetics
    2. Reusable tumblers and straws
    3. Vegan-friendly inner and outerwear
  2. Pet owners
    1. Organic pet food
    2. Special pet accessories and clothing
    3. GPS tracking pet collars
    4. Easy to use pet cameras and interactive feeders
  3. The LGBTQ+ community
    1. Pride-themed clothes and accessories
    2. Makeup for certain skin types
  4. Avid travellers
    1. Translation apps
    2. An app that gives perks to frequent flyers

The list goes on. The point of the story is to find your target audience first, then dive in from there.

How To Start Up My Online Store?

Start Selling from Anywhere

Here's how you can start selling online from anywhere, even at home.

The big question is how to get yourself started?

Once you have your product idea, you firstly need to incorporate your online business. It is a common misconception that e-commerce stores do not require incorporation.

If you’re a new entrepreneur and are unsure of how to get started, Osome can help with our incorporation services for both foreigners and locals.

Here are some tips to get the ball rolling:

  1. Do your due market research on major consumer sites like Amazon, eBay and see what are the products that tend to have higher sales numbers.
  2. Zoom into your target audience and choose your niche product to sell.
  3. Identify both your commoditized and niche product.
  4. Analyse if your product idea is profitable.
  5. Begin research on what e-commerce platforms you’d like to sell on.
  6. Start manufacturing a small batch of your niche product.
  7. Always test out your product before investing further.
  8. Conduct surveys and focus groups to get feedback on your product.
  9. Finalise your final product.
  10. Create a marketing strategy to target both existing and potential customers.

Where to Sell Online?

Here are the 7 best places to sell online.

There are many e-commerce platforms you can choose to sell these days. This depends on what business model you are choosing to go with, and how big your target market is.

Takeaways

Always remember: planning is key for a successful business. You should always have a certain plan on how to run your business before diving into the details. One way to ensure you’re on the right track is to stick to what you are familiar with and passionate about, instead of blindly catching onto whatever the current trend is. Furthermore, no matter which country you are in, there are regulations to follow, and tax laws to adhere to. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with the tax regulations, look for professional help.

At Osome, we have a group of experienced and dedicated professionals who help entrepreneurs like yourself handle all the paperwork needed to incorporate a company, take care of all accounting and bookkeeping matters, and make sure you are free to run your business the right way.

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