Niche electronic commerce is a highly specialized and focused product category aiming to survive among the competition from super companies. It specifically deals with a single product category and provides a large amount of range in that category. Niche Ecommerce is an upcoming trend as it is easy to establish & low capital intensive when compared to an all product marketplace model which needs massive structuring & funding.
Why do it?
It’s a hard time to compete in the global Ecommerce marketplace model. Companies like Alibaba, Amazon, EBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal are shedding billions of dollars for customer acquisition & retention. In this segment though the rewards are humungous but sustenance is directly proportional to the funding appetite of VC’s. On the other hand Niche Ecommerce is much simpler and easy to penetrate. A customer who knows what he needs would prefer to buy from a niche store where there is higher variety & quality control. An online survey states that mature Internet users prefer buying from niche e-stores than from marketplaces having millions of products online.
Finding a niche is simple. As an entrepreneur you should see what’s your passion. Once you find that do a deep due diligence on it and come up with a way to make sure that people like you would like to buy from your store. The fact that your e-store is less cluttered and more structured, people would like to buy from you. Being successful in a niche business is all about giving a personalized experience to your customer with supreme product quality. I agree you would not play in numbers but eventually once a niche business is successful in one country you can replicate that worldwide. With options of easy shipping & reduction in duty and fast courier facilities, Niche retailing is becoming a big trend worldwide.
The only challenge is choosing the correct e-tail for you. The product should be a repeat usage good, so that you get a customers wallet for a longer timespan. A beautiful example is that of www.diapers.com now acquired by Amazon for a whooping 500 million $. They took a product that had high usage turnover and high margins and then did the best in the market. Another, important fact in niche ecommerce is the service. Large multibrand marketplaces play on the numbers and on cost budgeting and schemes, but niche players have to focus on the quality & service of the product.
Indian Niche Ecommerce Scenario?
Lately Indian VC’s have loosened their wallets to a lot of niche ecommerce ventures such as Zivame (Lingerie), Lenskart (Eyewear), Urban Ladder (Furniture), Bluestone (Jewelry) & GreenDust (Refurbished Goods).
Hitting the market?
Hitting the market with a niche product has become much easier than it was before, with all the focused targeting by social networks such as Facebook & LinkedIn, it helps niche e-tailers to gauge their product on the eyeballs of the prospective customer. It’s all about being right with the marketing strategy, search engine metrics & social media hitting. Niche e-tailing is hard to start but eventually turns into gold if the product quality & experience is amazing. To start with if the traffic on niche platform is minimal smart strategy is to list on marketplaces such as Flipkart & Amazon. This ensures the regular revenue, which you can invest on bringing the e-store up.
ThinkPot is a niche merchandise store focused on motivational & inspirational goods. Based out of Mumbai, the store is an amalgamation of great designs & quotes. Conceived by a team of 3 from diverse fields Sumit Ranka, Ritesh Malik & Raghav Gupta, ThinkPot is a brilliant example of niche ecommerce concept. Within a month of launch since September 2014, the motivational merchandise store is doing well particularly in the cities of Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi & Hyderabad.