“It’s Better to be First than to Be Better.” And so goes the First Law of Marketing in the bestselling book, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”.
We’ve all seen businesses that played by this law and achieved phenomenal success. Examples are Tide the first laundry detergent, Gillette the first safety razor, and HP the first laser printer. Experts argue that playing by this rule is the only way you can succeed.
But then, what do you do if all the niches are already taken?
In that case, the Second Law of Marketing kicks in:
“If all the niches are taken, create a new niche you can be the first in.”
So, what exactly is a niche market?
A niche market is essentially a small part of the market at large, consisting of an audience with its own unique needs and preferences.
Consider the weight loss market, for example, which makes up a huge market with massive demand. However, not all weight-conscious people have the same needs and preferences. Some people want to lose weight fast and are looking for quick fixes. Others prefer a holistic approach that gives them long-lasting results.
Now, in the above example, we have two different groups of people – each creating a new niche market within the Weight Loss category.
In this post, we’ll take a dig at how to create a new niche market and give examples and ideas of some of the best eCommerce niches that you can tap into.
How to Create a New Niche Market
Here are some common ways businesses niche down and choose a beachhead to conquer before entering the mass market.
- Price Differentiations: Products with high, mid-range, and low-price points – termed as luxury, moderate, and discount respectively.
- Products targeted for different demographics like gender, age, income level, and education level: For example, you can create a learning website with courses specifically for college dropouts.
- Quality differences: Differentiate a product by its level of quality – premium, handmade, and economical.
- Products targeted towards specific interests of people: for example, an apparel brand for Active people.
- Products for people belonging to a specific location: Offer products/services specifically for the people in your city, for example.
5 Market Trends You Can Use To Create New Niches
Another interesting way to create a new niche is by looking out for what’s trending in the market and how customers’ behaviors and interests are changing.
Innovating a new product that’s one of its kind isn’t always that easy. But capturing a new trend and creating a product that serves the new emerging market might be more doable.
The following trends have been spotted in the market recently – each presenting an untapped business opportunity.
1 – Products for Environmentally Conscious Consumers
According to a 2020 study by IBM, today’s consumers are becoming increasingly purpose-driven. They want products that align with their values and are even willing to pay a premium to brands that stand for what they consider important. Reducing environmental impact and sustainability are some of the biggest social causes consumers believe in.
This trend has created an amazing niche opportunity. Every product with a reasonable market ought to have an environmental-friendly, cruelty-free, or vegan alternative that the conscious consumer will readily embrace. If other players haven’t already created one, you can easily be the first.
In the past, purpose-driven businesses meant donating a portion of proceeds towards a cause shared with your customers. But today’s highly-informed customers want more than that. They look for products that have been responsibly sourced, produced, packaged, and distributed.
2 – Products Serving The Value-Driven Customer
Another trend identified in the same IBM study is the rise of value-driven consumers. These consumers want the best value for their money and they look for convenience and good prices over anything else.
Again, this trend has shaped a new niche within every category. Every product with a mass-market ought to have an economical alternative that provides the best value for money.
Multiply Eyewear is an example of an eyewear brand that offers designer-quality sunglasses without the designer markup. They noticed the gap between cheap gas station sunglasses and the expensive $300 ones. The founders jumped in and filled the gap with their own eyewear brand.
3 – The Rising Niche of the Omni-Present Consumers
IBM also identified another trend shaping the eCommerce industry – the rise of the omnipresent consumer. Today’s customers are always online. They’re either hanging out on social, talking to friends on a messenger app, watching a video on YouTube, reading blogs, or browsing websites. The cool thing is, these customers want to be able to shop anywhere they want.
They don’t want to leave their social feed or abandon a video to buy something. They are looking for omnichannel shopping experiences in which they can buy anything, anywhere they want – even if it’s directly from a TikTok video they’re watching.
This trend has shaped a niche market within every category. And since the trend is new, not many businesses are making the most of it, giving you the perfect opportunity to be the first that serves that omnipresent consumer.
If you’re starting a jewelry business, for example, you can probably be the first omnichannel jewelry shop by integrating all your social channels with your eCommerce store.
4 – Targeting Remote Workers
Though originally influenced by the pandemic, remote work is here to stay as determined by a PwC survey of 669 CEOs. Another recent study by Gartner found that 80% of company leaders are open to letting employees work from home.
This trend has shaped a whole new market and created a new category of business. Remote workers have their own unique problems and needs and not many businesses are specifically serving them. If you’re looking for a business idea, this is the perfect niche to be first in.
You can further niche down in this category by targeting the people in your local area or a specific group of remote workers like freelance writers.
5 – The Rise of PC Gamers
Another trend that’s really on fire these days is PC gaming. It got a major boost during the pandemic as people had more time to pursue their hobbies. But even as lockdowns are easing, the trend isn’t faltering anytime soon. The IDC has predicted that the demand for PC gaming products is likely to increase over the next four years.
Though PC gamers have been around forever, demand has only recently surged. Meaning there aren’t yet a lot of businesses that are specifically targeting PC gamers. And even if the larger market share is already taken by someone, there are bound to be some niche markets within the category where you can be the first in.
Today’s business landscape has become highly competitive. There is so much noise out there that it has become increasingly hard to get your prospects to pay attention. If there is a big audience out there and you try to talk to everyone, there is very little chance of having anyone pay attention to you. But if you select a small group of people – say people wearing red hats and yellow sweaters, and speak directly to them, there is very little chance of getting ignored.
That’s why targeting a niche market always works.