Back to All posts
find-the-niche
Beginner's handbook Marketing tips

How to Find a Niche for Your Online Store + 100 Niche Market Ideas

By on September 24th, 2019 Reading Time: 7 minutes

So you want to earn an income online but aren’t sure where to start. Or maybe you’re already running an ecommerce business, but have a feeling that something’s just off with your storefront.

One of the keys to small business success is targeting the right people and finding a niche.

A niche (pronounced as neesh or nitch) is a specialized market that attracts a specific audience. A niche-oriented business addresses the needs that aren’t being addressed by mainstream providers.

For example, office supplies is a broad niche that can have countless sub-niches like office supplies for left-handed people or notebooks from recycled materials.

Nevertheless, what truly separates one niche from another is the people who buy these products. For that reason, approach the niche-searching process with this in mind:

It’s not the product or service, it’s the people who use it that defines a niche. 

There’s a person behind every purchase, so think of your niche as a group of people who have at least one common interest, problem, or need.

In this post, I’m going to cover the 4 steps to finding a niche for your online store. And if you stick with me till the end, you’ll also get a free list of more than 100 ideas you can use in your brainstorming sessions!

Niche marketing vs. selling everything to everyone

A niche only focuses on a fraction of the market, so you might be wondering, Why would I want to target just a small section of the population? Wouldn’t I get more sales if I targeted everyone?” These are valid questions; after all, there are companies like Amazon and Target that are able to sell everything to everyone, and still be successful.

These companies, however, are an exception, not the rule. By targeting everyone, you end up targeting no one as a result, and your sales suffer.

Aim to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than a little fish in a big pond.

Consider these benefits of narrowing your niche down:

  • Better search visibility. Targeting a specific niche will get your store in front of online searchers who are almost ready to buy a specific product.
  • Less competition, higher profit margin. If people have less options to choose from, they’re less price-sensitive.
  • Lower advertising costs. Since you’ll be targeting only a specific portion of the population, you won’t have to compete with giants with unlimited advertising resources.
  • More dedicated audience. You’ll get more email subscribers and social media followers because a niche audience is more passionate about the product you’re selling.

Before you start building your online store, you need to know exactly who you’re building it for. This first step will help you understand which niche you belong to as a customer and help you make more informed decisions when you choose a niche for your own store.

Step 1: Draw the niche inspiration from your personal experience

Your personal taste, preferences, and needs put you in several sub-niches, making you a target for countless marketers. Take a look at your favorite brands and the online purchases you’ve made recently. Why did you choose the product from this company, and not from their competitors? What does your preferred brand offer that no one else does?

The Bad Dads Club clothing brand was started by hip dads who felt that the clothing and accessories available on the market did not represent their creative personalities and lifestyle.

Source: The Bad Dads Club

Many stores offer custom t-shirts, but very few brands target dads who love motorcycles and tattoos. So if you’ve ever felt limited in the selection of products or services in a niche you belong to, take The Bad Dads Club example and fill that space.

Step 2: Identify your passions and interests

If you base your brand on something you believe in or are willing to fight for, your business will build itself.

StomaStoma was started by Nick and Darlene Abrams. Their son Owen was born prematurely and needing a breathing tube and feeding tube. During the long hospital stays, Nick noticed other families wearing inspiring t-shirts and felt it was a powerful way to bring people together.

A graphic designer himself, Nick soon started creating artwork for his family and friends. Other people started noticing his eye-catching designs, and today StomaStoma has become a close-knit community with families raising medically fragile children.

stomastoma abrams family
Source: StomaStoma

This is an example of a niche that shows how you can build your brand based on something that’s very personal to you or the people in your circle. If you’re emotionally invested in your brand, it will give you the strength to persevere when you face the challenges of running a business.

Step 3: Research your niche market

It used to be that small businesses had no way to compete with big companies. Things have changed, and with the right amount of SEO (search engine optimization) and dedication, you can make your way into your biggest competitor’s space.

Competitor analysis

Before launching or scaling your store, find out what’s already going on in the market. You might be unaware of a competitor your potential customers are already interested in, or you may discover the market you’re looking to enter is much more saturated than you expected.

Some competition is OK because it validates that there’s money to be made in this niche for you as well. Your competitors will keep you on your toes which in turn will help you improve the quality of your products or services.

To keep up with (and, eventually, get ahead of) the established brands in your niche, you need to figure out your competitive advantage—the thing that makes your product stand out from the rest. What problems can you solve better than your competitors? What’s unique about your approach?

Give people a reason to choose you. It might be product quality, outstanding customer service, or the number of products you offer—whatever it is customers in your niche care about the most.

Small business SEO

SEO is the process of making your website rank higher in Google in order to bring in visitors. Here’s an outline of the basic metrics you should be looking at, as well as some great tools you can use in your research.

Search volume and search queries

Search volume is the estimated volume (or number) of searches for a particular keyword in a given timeframe, and it’s one of the most important metrics that can help you evaluate the interest in and profitability of your niche.

Don’t build what you think people want. Build what they ask for. 

Take advantage of the marketing tools out there and pinpoint what is it that people are searching for online. Tools like Ahrefs and Semrush will find the data behind Google searches. You can also use free tools like Answer the Public or Ubersuggest to find information about people’s search queries. 

If the search volume is high, it means that there’s a lot of interest in this niche. A lot of interest also means a lot of potential—and a lot of competition. Ideally, you should target keywords with the search volume of 1,000 and higher.

If the search volume is very low, it doesn’t necessarily mean the niche doesn’t exist or it isn’t profitable. Low search volume may indicate that you’re about to be a pioneer in the niche. And if the product doesn’t exist, people don’t know to search for it. Use this to your advantage as your business continues to scale—the search volume will increase with the popularity of your niche.

Online shoppers get very specific, so pay attention to long-tail keywords. “Rose gold custom bracelet” will see a far fewer searches that “women’s jewelry”, but it’s a search performed by someone who knows exactly what accessory they want.

Trending niches and niche products

When choosing products for your online store, keep an eye on what’s trending. Don’t fall for a fad though—use Google trends to help you to find out which of your niche ideas have a steady and growing trend. If you want your store to thrive as fads change, focus it on something that has more staying power than a fidget spinner.

Step 4: Propose a solution to your niche audience’s problem

Now that you’ve done your research, you need to get a better understanding of what exactly your potential customers need.

Create your store for people, not products. 

If you’re going to give your niche audience just another product, you may end up not getting anywhere. What you need to think about is how to solve their problems. Find the issues your target customers might be having, then determine whether you can actually provide a solution.

For a more in-depth look at your niche audience, explore forums on websites like Quora and Reddit related to your niche, then take a look at the discussions taking place. What questions are people asking? What problems do they have?

Iconspeak, a brand selling t-shirts for travelers, is a great example of a niche that has emerged from a problem-solving process. Iconspeak co-founders Georg and Florian came across the idea of their main product by accident. 

During a trip across Southeast Asia, their motorbikes broke down frequently, and they had to find a way to communicate with the locals to find repair shops. Images speak a universal language, so they started drawing pictures of what they needed on paper. Georg and Florian realized that they kept reusing the drawings all the time, so they decided it would make more sense to put them on a t-shirt. And that’s how Iconspeak was born.

Source: Iconspeak

This is a textbook case of a niche: Georg and Florian discovered a niche (independent travelers) with a specific need (an easy way to communicate when words fail) and provided a unique solution with their niche t-shirts.

100+ Niche Market Ideas for Your Online Store

As promised, here are 100+ ideas you can base your online store upon. This list is not exhaustive, so feel free to mix and match these topics to create a unique niche for a t-shirt store, art shop, or any other form of ecommerce business.

  1. Fashion (Brand example: District of Clothing)
  2. Wanderlust (Iconspeak)
  3. Parenthood (Classic Dad, The Bad Dads Club)
  4. Rare conditions (StomaStoma)
  5. Beliefs (PAL Campaign)
  6. Districts and neighborhoods (#muhoov)
  7. Woodworking (Nick’s Wood Shop)
  8. Parks and green spaces (Love MPLS parks
  9. Workout gear (Kettlebell Kings)
  10. Social media for pets (We Rate Dogs)
  11. Virtual and augmented reality
  12. Wearable technology
  13. Zero-waste lifestyle
  14. Civil rights
  15. LGBTQ+
  16. Body-positivity
  17. Recycling
  18. Vegan cuisine
  19. Paralympic sports
  20. Stay-at-home parents
  21. Single parents
  22. Expecting parents
  23. Newlyweds
  24. Solo-traveling
  25. Tiny house
  26. Van life
  27. Animal welfare
  28. Dog & cat breeds
  29. Unusual pets
  30. Animals with special needs
  31. Animal sanctuaries
  32. Birdwatching
  33. Pet accessories
  34. Specialty coffee
  35. Homebrewing
  36. Local cuisine and delicacies 
  37. Artisan foods
  38. Mixology
  39. Meditation and relaxation
  40. Posture devices
  41. Cycling
  42. Grooming
  43. Internet memes
  44. Demotivational quotes
  45. Hand lettering and calligraphy
  46. Left-handed people
  47. Tech preferences
  48. Sailing and canoeing
  49. Geocaching
  50. Biohacking

If you didn’t yet find the topic that makes your eyes light up, we have 50 more ideas prepared, you can download them below.

Time to pick your niche

We have now covered the main aspects of finding your place in the ecommerce world. To recap, here are the 4 things you should do to find your niche:

  • Find out where you belong as a customer
  • Decide on an area in life you care about deeply
  • Research the interest in your niche
  • Identify a problem and propose a unique solution.

And now it’s time to implement these steps in real life. Taking action is the scariest part for any entrepreneur, but fear not: if you go through these steps thoroughly, entering the market will be a calculated risk, not a shot in the dark.

Tell me in the comments how it went, I’d love to hear from you!

100 Ideas for Your Online Store

Subscribe to our blog and get access to the list right away!

Madara is passionate about the little details that make content great. She loves witty puns, fluffy cats, and devotedly studies the fine art of getting to the point.
  1. Make Love With Food

    I was so excited to see our brand included in this post! Thank you so much using Make Love With Food as an example.

    I definitely fell into the “danger zone” when I first signed up with Printful. I thought I needed to market to every foodie and farmers market fan in the world. This caused a lot of stress on my part because I was spending more time stressing about online marketing and less time creating the art and the fashion that directly promoted the Santa Monica/Los Angeles farmers market/restaurant community that I love. Now that I have re-focused my niche, I am much happier and having more success.

    A suggestion of another niche to add to your list is to be region specific i.e. neighborhood, city, state or country. There are many cultures that exist in specific neighborhoods or cities like “Haight and Ashbury” in San Francisco or the “weird” indie culture in Austin, Texas. Printful has many employees who share the tech culture niche in Latvia! I have found combining a niche with a region is very helpful 🙂

  2. Danny

    Great article! I found you on Twitter and am very happy I was able to. You have a very unique writing style that just catches our attention. Keep it up! I have a niche idea generator tool your readers may be interested in. Let me know if you’d be willing to check it out!

  3. Pingback: How to choose your t-shirt design: Examples on a $0 budget | Blog - Printful

  4. Richard Wolf

    #69 is disability. Why is there a line partially crossing it out? Why is there no attempt to get the disabled involved as a niche market? $270 Billion to spend in the US and no one wants our money.

    Fine.

    We always find someone who does

    NOne of these services include the disabled seriously as a niche market to send to sites. Pathetic.

    1. Liva Spandega

      Hey Richard,

      The idea with the crossed out “dis” part was to emphasize the opposite – it’s certainly meant as an idea for a niche market, but with a focus on celebrating the things that people with disability can achieve, how they can be inspired and inspiring, etc. instead of focusing on the limitations that they face. It’s about turning DISability into an ability to do good and inspire others.

      I’m really sorry for this misunderstanding. I hope that you now see what we had meant here instead.

    1. Liva Spandega

      Hi Jim,

      These are just some ideas for niche markets that we’ve listed here – the possibilities are practically endless. And, of course, religions of all kind can also be used as niche markets.

  5. Denise

    Wow a great list. But I have a question though. For instance do you think selling dog portraits, map arts and abstract paintings on the same shop is a bad idea? Is it too broad?

    Art/print niche is not so big. So going for specific subject may not be a good idea? What do you think? As an artist it’s hard to ignore big part of my designs, which I have spent so much time.

    What’s wrong having 5-6 different subjects/styles in a art shop? At the and they are all wall art and targets specific group with different interests. (Dogs, travel, pop culture etc.)

    1. Nora Inveiss

      Hey Denise! No, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea. You can target different niches and segments and drive them back to the same place. I would set up different collections though. It would be confusing for a customer looking for dog prints to find only abstract prints.

  6. Yawar

    hi ,

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and research with us its realy very helpful for newbies to get right niche idea from your niche list given above . newbies can get right blog/affiliate site idea to start their own site .

  7. Linda Edward

    Hi Julia,
    Just want to acquire from you, if for e.g. i take netflix shows as my niche and take the photos from their website or from other online sources, do i need to get their permission? Or i can just go ahead with it anytime?

  8. Victor

    Is funny t-shirt considered as niche or it is too broad? I have a funny t-shirt website that covers different kinds of topics for example, pets, coffee, tacos, fitness, Wine, Father, Mother etc… everything funny way on t-shirts. Just need your expert opinion…

    1. Giedrė Kronberga

      I’d say that funny t-shirts isn’t exactly a niche market. Remember, if your target audience is everyone then your niche isn’t defined enough. Try narrowing down your audience to, for example, funny t-shirts for pet owners. Or even better – funny t-shirts for pug owners. Hope that answers your question!

      1. Victor

        Great, I think I got your point. My store name is focused on sassy t-shirts but started to promote t-shirts in different areas. So I believe, instead of promoting funny t-shirts in all area, I should stick to sassy statements. Can you provide your feedback about the idea?

        1. Giedrė Kronberga

          I’m not sure what you mean by sticking to sassy statements. One thing I can say is that your overall store concept should target a specific audience that is not too wide 🙂 Hope I could help!

  9. Jamie Spink

    Hi, I was wondering if it is possible to have my customers upload their own images to my site, which I then pass on to printful, for them to print on garments, as opposed to having predetermined images in my store…
    Thanks

  10. Christina

    I’m planning on starting a new clothing printing business . I come up with the name of Star For All Seasons Shop. Is this too long for a name? My niche is for photographers and Vloggers/Youtubers ! Thanks

    1. Edward Zarins

      Hey Pat, not at all! You can create separate collections on your store end. But, if you prefer it that way, it’s also possible to have more than one store under the same Printful account. 🙂

  11. Allen Kimble Jr

    Greetings! I have a Shopify web store and I Printfil is my fulfiller.
    It is my intent to also provide bulk to dropfillers in need of products. I’m planning to list with Oberlo. My question is how can Printfil assist
    me with regular sales and bulk accounts. Thanks!

  12. Chen

    Is beard a good niche? Is it not to broad? Though on the other hand i don’t find too much of shirts really different designs/sentence. I have a beard shirt design i bought before i thought of what niche i want to choose, and now I’m not sure what to do with it, and what niche should i create my Instagram page.. should i choose an other niche and upload this shirt there first?

    1. Giedrė Kronberga

      Hi Chen! You should pick a niche that you’re interested in and know how to contribute to. There’s no golden rule to follow that will guarantee success, you’ll just have to try. And if I were you, I’d try to narrow the niche you’re thinking of targeting 🙂 Best of luck!

  13. Michael Gordon

    Hello everyone, I’ve been struggling finding a niche for a T-shirt brand that is meant to inspire, uplift and encourage people who are going though a hard time to become empowered and motivated to live their best life. I will truly appreciate any feedback, I’m totally lost on finding a niche

  14. Adarsh Ak

    My niche is Inspirational and motivational Quote Designs, is that a good niche?? can you tell me how to target audience who love inspirational and success quotes?

    1. Giedrė Kronberga

      Hi Adarsh. Before you start marketing your niche products to your audience, you need to define who’s going to buy these products.

  15. Debra Gold

    Hi Julia…awesome article. I am planning on starting a women’s clothing and accessory boutique. Is that too broad of a niche? How could I narrow it – just sell one type of product?

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Hi Debra,

      It’s important to understand that niche market isn’t a product, but people who will buy your product. In this case, you need to specify what kind of women will shop in your store.

  16. Darice

    Thanks for the helpful and informative article. I have a passion for inspirational words and heritage/cultural pride. Do you think having store that targets men, women and kids with these types of messages is still too broad?

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      I think you’re moving in the right direction. But if I were you, I’d try to narrow down the niche even more.

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Hi Sybil,

      Try not to spread yourself thin. By targeting many different audiences you might end up targeting no one.

  17. Rick Sainvil

    This was a dynamic article, very impactful and practical. My brand is focusing on middle to upper- middle class consumers. Both men and women that share the passion for creativity and art but also are hardworking indiduals that may be tested buy the “concrete jungle life”. Or love by the mysterious outdoors. They they’ll know that this brand recognizes who they are. And is evidenced in the designs and the marketing. The brand is “IronMonkee”. Was that focused enough as far as a niche? Please give me any advice.

    1. Gundega Sāmīte

      Hi Rick!
      Sounds like you have really figured out who you want to sell your products to and what your customers’ passions would be. You’ve narrowed down the price range, age (you didn’t mention children), and a certain appeal that other brands don’t have. Looks like a good niche!

  18. Kaye Hewins

    I think I have my niche, but am I too broad with horses and ponies. I paint pastel drawings of different breeds, Exmoor, Welsh etc. I also paint dog breeds, so far I have Springer Spaniels and planning to do more!

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Hi Kayle,

      As I mentioned before, a niche market isn’t a product, but people who will buy your product. So in your case, who are the people who will buy your drawings? Answering this question should help you define your niche better 🙂

      1. Brian Gilad

        Hi ~ I unfortunately have a great deal of personal experience in an area that has a huge potential audience. I’ve long thought about creating a blog, but it’s a hard conversation and extrodinariy personal and I’m having difficulty to think of products to sell beyond books, courses and public speaking. I’m hoping you might have some ideas where I can best research beyond the usual suspects like Google Trends, SEMRush, Ubersuggest…

        I’m a three time violent crime survivor and activist. I’m presently looking at becoming a certified Health Life Coach which I’d add Advocate. There are several potential audiences including crime survivors, their supportive communities and then there are professional Victim Advocates.

        I’d appreciate your thoughts. You can learn more by Googling: #49PlusMore

  19. David

    Hi & thanks for that, I hope this is not to late to get advice

    This is my vision even I’m just a beginner

    I’m thinking to launch a store on this niche :
    Dog fictional movie posters (The movies don’t exist) with design describing the special relationship between the owner & the dog

    It will be a kind of “movie of your life with your dog” if I can say like that

    I’ve already seeked high quality graphic resources
    I lived with a dog (my love for 14 years) myself and I will add a blog based on my experience

    My “problems”
    – Target Audience :
    Do I have to narrow to a specific popular breed to be more accurate ?
    As dog owners ages are very different do I have to narrow to a specific group (or gender) ?
    – Products :
    Do you think I will be able to apply this ideas on several products ? (I think so but an advice will not be too much)

    If you can help me a little that would be great

    Thanks anyway and see you soon I hope

  20. Keylani

    Hi!
    I want to start a store with quotes about kindness, and positive quotes. Would that be considered the muche of “ inspiring quotes” ?

  21. Gabrielle Gray

    I am wanting to design homemade phone cases. I’m thinking about doing pressed flowers phone cases but also map phone cases for our local area. Do you think these 2 different ideas would be okay? How could I expand my designs further?

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Hi Gabrielle,

      You need to think about your designs keeping your target audience in mind. Ask yourself who would be interested in buying your product, then adjust your ideas based on the answer 🙂

  22. shana

    so Im having a hard time determining if my niche is even a niche at all…. I am a mom of six, all boys but one (plus my so)… so i started with the intentions of scarcastic, fun, witty-type things based on what its like being a boy mom. we are honestly a group of loud mouthed crazy wakkos. im attempting my KraZyThreadZ shop/concept but like i said… im totally unsure of everything really… any advice?

    1. Giedre Kronberga

      Hi Shana! You’re moving to the right direction 🙂 Since your store is built around sarcastic puns about being a mom, your audience is moms. However, not all moms are the same, so take time to define what kind of moms you’d like to reach and sell your product to.

  23. Lynne Jones

    Hello…….I am interested in selling “horsey” Tee shirts but am sort of lost as to how to and where to get the shirts. Is there a way to actually talk to someone and ask questions? Thank you.

  24. Kay

    Hi, I want to start a online store in the Christian niche but somewhat unsure how to narrow down Christianity any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks

    1. MC

      Hi Kay,

      You may consider looking at a niche in parenting kids the Christian way…niche on books devoted to business/financial success using Christian principals…marketplace for Christian marriage/relationship counsellors

  25. Jeff

    I am presently creating my online store through Shopify and I have added your app plugin for my future store. I am interested in joining your affiliate program if you have one available, so is this possible to do even though my store is not published?

    Jeff

  26. alejandro jenteroy

    I love books.
    I find that some covers have cool artworks.
    can I print that on t-shirts?
    if ever, is there any legal problem on that?

    1. Madara Zute Post author

      Hi there Alejandro,
      This sounds problematic—you need to either own the content you submit for printing, or have the rights to use, display, and resell it.
      Take a look at our acceptable content guidelines and make sure to consult a copyright specialist if you’re ever in doubt about your designs. Better safe than sorry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published



Back to All posts

Ready to try Printful?

Connect to an ecommerce platform or make an order

Get started
shares