Ecommerce is a term that gets thrown around in a rather abstract context. There are many brands that use an online store to increase sales and generate new leads. But when it comes to SMME’s, there is never a lot of money to spare. Therefore, focus on the most productive niches must be established. Niche products and ecommerce marketing are the order of the day, but they don’t necessarily gain enough capital if the context is incorrect or misguided. Therefore, SMME’s need viable outsourcing that can guide them in the correct direction. There simply must be complete control over competition vs demand.
What is an Ecommerce Niche?
A ‘niche’ is classically described as a specific product or service pertaining to a particular market. It is a part of a large demographic that pertains to individual tastes or requirements. Since the sixties, it became very clear that certain demographics are harder to steer in a particular direction than others. This means that a lot of effort must be made to tap into a suitable market. SMME’s do not always have the funding to do this, yet these companies are successfully traversing the open economic and public market. SMME’s are the new specialised corporates – they provide employment and are very adept at hitting niche markets in the right place.
What makes Niche Online Online Stores attractive?
- It’s cheaper: Since SMME’s are smaller than corporates, their advertising budgets are smaller, and they need to be inventive in terms of how they deal with their marketing budgets. Niche markets are easier to deal with because the cost is lower – no large nets thrown into the sea and only drawing out a few fish! Various social media platforms can be used to measure great results! The objective is always to spend less for the best ROI. This can easily be achieved with a good ecommerce marketing strategy.
- Less competition: Niche markets (especially with SMME’s) have fewer competitors, which makes advertising, lead generation, and the identification of demographics easier and cheaper. Because only a small group of people are targeted, your online store has to be highly sophisticated and supported by the correct platforms. This is still cheaper and easier than any traditional marketing campaign.
- Better repeat customer rate: If your customers like your product they will return, again and again. If you only have a small demographic to dip into and they fall in love with the product or service, brand loyalty is immediate established. The product has to be unique, and your online store must show that.
- Higher inventory value: If products are targeted towards a specific (but small) market, they gain value. This means that less inventory will gain more value. Think about the luxury brands out there – Gucci only needs to sell 10 handbags online vs some popular but general brands that have to sell hundreds of bags for the same revenue or profit.
- Trend flexibility: SMME’s who target specific demographics are more aligned with client needs and have more influence over trends. It is, therefore, easier to redirect a brand, service, or product into a whole new stratosphere when it comes to online shopping. They literally create their own markets that are highly focused and appeals to the customer they are already selling to!
- Benefit from others’ successes: Trends come and go, and some of these carry over into the general revenue landscape. It is possible to identify these niches and follow them online to benefit from them. There is always a brand new online store in town, and following new trends can bring in a lot of viable business opportunities. It is, however, vital to trace trends even before they become visible to others.
Some viable examples of niche SMME products currently marketed via ecommerce:
- Organic beard-oil: With the trend of the “new man” identity with a full and glossy, well-kept beard, there appeared to be a succinct void of grooming products for this new man. While large companies were still focused on producing large volumes of shaving cream, small SMME’s focused on providing organic products for this niche market. And it rocked the world of the beard!
- CBD oil and hemp products: We have finally arrived at the stage where Cannabis is no longer seen as the international enemy, and the health effects and pure practicality of hemp and CBD have become desirable. That is a niche market in itself – but what is even more niche, is CBD products for pets! From calming drops to better skincare, CBD is now all the rage when it comes to looking after mans’ best friend. This is a true ecommerce niche that shows huge gains.
- Vegan and non-animal tested cosmetics: While the animal-friendly trend started in the nineties, it seems that most of these products still included animal oils and were tested on animals. Certain organisations stepped up and put stamps on approved products to provide more ethical manufacturing. Nowadays, the niche market is more in tune- they know a simple stamp cannot guarantee cruelty-free products, and they don’t want to use animal-related products. This includes shampoos, conditioners, soap, and even toothpaste! Niche markets have experienced a huge demand for vegan beauty products online.
There are various other niches that SMME’s have identified that large corporates tend to ignore, mostly because they are focused on their existing products and R&D that doesn’t include anything trendy. Having a niche online store is incredibly friendly towards SMME’s and having a solid ecommerce marketing strategy can help your business succeed online.