In one of the previous articles, we told how to find your niche for eCommerce, taking into consideration the needs and problems of your target audience. Let’s assume that your niche is found. What’s next? What products will you choose for your catalogue? Consider these 4 key factors while selecting categories and separate items:
You want to sell popular products that are always in need and have stable (ideally positive) trend, don’t you? But how to study the popularity of a whole niche or a separate item through a long period of time – and make forecasts?
Let’s use an example of a fan merchandise store. We know that we want to sell some popular series related merch but cannot decide what series to choose. What should we do?
We should go to Google.com/trends and examine the ups and downs of different series’ popularity curves. Let’s take such hits as “Game of Thrones” and “How I Met Your Mother” as examples.
As you can see, the popularity of the first one grows every year (with annual spring peaks marking the new episodes start), while the second one seems to be losing its positions since 2015. No wonder, “How I Met Your Mother” series is over and the intrigue is over, too. Which is not the case with “Game of Thrones” with its two (?) most tense and sensational upcoming seasons. We do love “Mother” series which will live in our hearts forever, but for the commercial goals, it’s more reasonable to choose “Game of Thrones”, at least for the nearest two years.
Popular niches with good trends have one big disadvantage – high competition. That’s why you should make a serious research of your competitors and estimate if you have chances to push through this business rivalry. If Google shows that your niche is crowded “wall-to-wall”, and some competitors are offering lower prices than you were planning to offer, it’s a good reason to think of another niche. Or, to find a sub-niche of less available products. Define a product category which is not so easy to be bought online – and work in this narrow direction.
3. Availability on your supplier’s stock
Before making your final decision make sure that your supplier has enough products of the chosen niche. Your assortment should be rich enough and the items shouldn’t go out of stock unexpectedly. As for our example, we are going to work with AliExpress as a supplier and check if there are enough Game of Thrones related goods on the stock:
16,628 Results – not bad! We’ll definitely collect a good variety of GOT merchandise for our webstore’s catalogue.
Also, study your competitors’ prices for similar products. If their items are cheaper, none will want to buy from you. In our case AliExpress offers $1,76 for a House of Starks pendant, two competing stores want $9,99 and $9,97 for the same item, and the official Game of Thrones merchandise store sells premium quality authentic pendants for $58,99 (they are awesome but too expensive for most fans).
Thus, we make the conclusion that we can sell the pendant for a price three or even four times higher than that of AliExpress – and it still will be the best offer in the market. We definitely include it in our catalogue.
Make the same research for at least a dozen of your most important products, and if the price issue is also OK, it’s high time to begin building your webstore!