What is a niche and how do you define yours?

What is a niche in e-commerce and how do you define it?

How to define your niche, your audience, for your e-commerce site?

The Print on Demand (POD) journey can be a rocky road for some. It will be difficult to avoid them entirely; the competition is numerous and the industry is unforgiving. However, you can prepare yourself to get through the difficulties by consolidating your brand project as much as possible, especially with the right definition of your niche.

So, what is the niche?

Simply put, this is a specialized market in which you will choose to illustrate yourself to attract the attention of a specific audience. For example, pet products are a market; geeky pet products, on the other hand, can be designated as a niche. The same goes for eco-friendly baby clothes or water bottles with motivational messages for running enthusiasts.

You can choose between two distinct types of niches: the product niche, devoted exclusively to a single product that can be declined in your shop around different themes, and the subject niche, the latter focusing on a particular theme illustrated by a varied range of products within your shop.

Given the scale of the giants that are currently present in the online retail market, it is important for any fledgling business to stick to a specific offering to better reach consumers. We've all tried to please everyone in our lives, right? During our teenage years, for example. We all learned quickly that it's not possible.

In the case of Print on Demand, this statement is very true. It will be much easier for you to reach a small audience in need of ultra-specialized products, which are normally difficult to find, rather than selling common products and not being visible because you can't offer attractive prices compared to generalist suppliers and their unbeatable prices. Moreover, your product being rarer than others, you will be able to increase your margin in a significant way, a very (very) unpleasant prospect.

Targeting the right audience is therefore a major aspect of building a profitable business; let's take a look at how to define an effective niche.

Find your Print on Demand niche with TPOP.

Your life: the most important source of inspiration

What could be more fulfilling than working in a sector you are passionate about? Even better: being your own boss?

This is exactly what you can do if you choose a profitable niche based on your life, your passions, your experiences. What are the tastes that make you special? Are there particular products that you have searched for on the internet, in vain (or found results but too rare or too expensive)? All these questions should be asked when choosing your specialization. You yourself are part of many niches, so why not be inspired by them? Moreover, taking part in them will be a real motivation to get involved in the development of your brand. It will also be much easier to understand the nuances of your niche if you already know it from the inside.

Make yourself your biggest influence, your Print on Demand experience will be all the more rewarding and sincere. Go for it, I promise, there will be no regrets.

Market research: your best ally

In Wonderland, you would follow your instincts and choose an ideal niche in a few minutes, then end up in fortune and total joy following a dazzling success. But that's not where we are: here, the competition is tough and consequent, so it will be essential to carry out a market study before launching your brand.

Market research is a way to take the temperature by conducting your own survey in order to define promising niches. Obviously, you don't have time to scan the entire web, that's normal; don't worry, some tools have been specially designed to help you in this process.

For example, we can't talk about market research without mentioning Google Trends; very useful and easy to use, this tool will allow you to know which subjects are the talk of the town recently, and even in which countries, since when, etc. You can also test certain keywords to see how popular they are. One of the topics you're interested in has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years? Get started: be responsive before it's too late.

In another style, the Trendhunter website lists the latest products, concepts and other innovative business ideas that are popular with the public. The goal here is not to copy, but to be inspired by themes and market segments that seem to be popular with consumers lately.

TPOP, the ecological Print on Demand, helps you define your business

Keep an eye on your competitors

It's perfectly normal to have competitors, even when you're in a niche: if you didn't, you'd have something to worry about. This rarely means that you had the idea of the century before anyone else, but rather that the idea has already been exploited but did not work for one or more good reasons. Conversely, avoid choosing a niche where your competitors are too numerous. In short, the goal is: not too much, not too little. It's a balancing act, but once you get it right, your foundation will be solid.

Your competitors can also be a useful source of inspiration. Pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of those you will be facing: in their business, what would you improve? What would you do differently? What are the points you find satisfactory? You can also ask forums and groups on social networks to find out the needs, opinions and criticisms of communities passionate about your niche. From these findings, you can gradually build the values and qualities that will define YOUR business.

Print on Demand is a sales mechanism that can bring a lot of resources, but also a lot of frustration. It really depends on how it is used.

Our daily mission? To make sure that you have all the cards in your hand in order to tame the POD system and take advantage of it. We hope that this guide has helped you to clarify your e-commerce project and to venture on the right path. To go further in the development of your brand, do not hesitate to consult our more general guide at this address.

Have a good trip and good sales!