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How to find a niche market for your online store + 115 niche market ideas

By Julia Gifford on June 1st, 2016 - Reading time: 4 minutes

The science of a niche – what is a niche and how can you find one?

Pot-eh-to, pot-ah-to? Some people pronounce it in its original French pronunciation neesh, while others favor the americanized nitch. Regardless of your pronunciation, what they all have in common is that it’s essential to your online store’s success.

What is a niche?

When we talk about niches, we’re usually referring to a market niche.

A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused.

The products to be sold are adapted to the niche, the small market segment that was defined. This means making sure that the product suits the interests, the demographic and the economic status of the target group. For example, if your target audience is youth/students, then chances are they don’t have much extra money to spare, what with just getting started in the work force with likely large student debt. For that reason your product should be reasonably priced.

The sales sweet spot will be when you’ve achieved the perfect product-fit for a specific niche. When you’ve got a specific segment that’s very interested in the specific product you’re offering.

Danger zone: If your answer to the question “who would be interested/would buy your product” is “everyone,” then your niche isn’t defined enough. By making your target so broad, you end up targeting no one as a result, and as a result your sales suffer.

Keyword research

A foolproof way of finding a relevant niche is by using the recently popular method of doing keyword research to identify growing trends. This lets you 1) automatically validate your business idea, because you already see that people are interested, 2) know that you’ve got a good chance at receiving organic traffic, since it’s a popular search, and 3) know that you have targeted Adwords options that you can use to drive sales.

Rather than go into a step-by-step explanation of how to implement keyword research, I’ll point you in the direction of Shopify’s guide on how to choose what product to sell. Chapter 5 is all about keyword research.

Keep in mind that by using keyword popularity as a method to define your target audience, you’re looking more at making quick sales. Since you’re based on growing keywords, you’re basing your business on a fad. And as we all know, fads fade and get replaced with new ones. If you’re ok with that, then proceed. If not, you might want to find a niche more grounded in long-term elements.

Value-based and long-term niches

My personal advice would be to focus your brand on something that has some more staying power than matcha green tea. If you focus on something more global, then your brand can stay intact as fads change, and you can change your products as time goes by.

Think about what’s important to you, that’s sellable, and that people would want on their garments.

Not just a topic

It’s important to understand that a niche is not just a topic you decide on. The more specific you get, the better results you’ll have. For example, rather than targeting “dads,” you can target “stay at home dads” or “dad bods.” For example this store has targeted “bad dads.”

The Bad Dad’s Club

BAD_DADS_CLUB_BLACK_SWEATSHIRT_422_1024x1024

Photo courtesy of thebaddadsclub.com

115 Niche Ideas to Inspire Your Next Online Store

We’ve put together 115 topics that you can use to base your niche upon. You might consider combining two topics to create an ultra-specific niche, or building on one topic. For example, you could combine world travelers with coffee lovers to have a very specific target audience.

Animals

Photo courtesy of caninecaricatures.com

Photo courtesy of caninecaricatures.com

  1. Any dog breed
  2. Any cat breed
  3. Horses
  4. Birds
  5. Uncommon house pets (otters, hedgehogs, etc.) that people are proud to have

Fantasy & Mythology

6. Unicorns
7. Nerd Culture
8. Centaur
9. Elves
10. Greek & Roman mythology
11. Egyptian mythology

Heritage

Photo courtesy of vainags.com

Photo courtesy of vainags.com

11. Dying languages
12. Your heritage-based designs
13. Flags
14. Patriotism-based designs
15. National symbols

Occupation

16. Any occupation (ex. positive dentist)
17. Teachers
18. Firefighters
19. Medical workers (family members, etc. my daughter is a nurse)
20. Entrepreneur
21. Large corporation employees (ex. Walmart employees, Meijer employees, Facebook employees, McDonald’s employees)
22. Freelancers
23. Developers/ programmers
24. Designers
25. Startup employees
26. Biologists
27. Ornithologists
28. Sciences
29. Artists

Family Roles

Photo courtesy of www.thepoplyfe.com

Photo courtesy of www.thepoplyfe.com

30. Mom-boss/ mom-preneurs
31. Single dads
32. Aunts/uncles
33. Godparents
34. Grandparents
35. Sibling love
36. Twins
37. Custom family trees
38. Newlyweds
39. Young mothers/parents
40. Expecting parents

Uncommon Skills

41. Left-handed people
42. Underrepresented sports
43. Male dancer
44. Female programmers

Indulgences

Photo courtesy of http://www.shopwhiskeyginger.com/

Photo courtesy of http://www.shopwhiskeyginger.com/

45. Whiskey
46. Craft brews
47. Wine
48. Coffee

Food

Photo courtesy of www.makelovewithfood.com

Photo courtesy of www.makelovewithfood.com

49. Any type of cuisine
50. Food trends
51. Vegan/gluten-free/vegetarian
52. Junk food
53. Chocolate
54. Cheese

Geography

Photo courtesy of www.grafomap.com

Photo courtesy of www.grafomap.com

55. Landmarks
56. Maps (city maps, subway maps, favorite route maps)
57. Airports
58. Architecture
59. Climates (tropical, desert, mountain themes)
60. Up and coming districts/neighborhoods

Literature

61. Famous authors
62. Literary quotes
63. Inspiring quotes
64. Uninspiring quotes

Beliefs

65. Political affiliation
66. Presidential candidate support
67. Hipsters
68. Grassroots movements

Awareness

69. Disability
70. Rare illnesses
71. NGO support
72. Environment
73. Recycling
74. Access to clean water
75. LGBT
76. Civil rights

Fitness

77. Any sport
78. Cyclists
79. Wellness trends
80. Fad fitness classes (spinning, crossfit, barre3)
81. Self-help affirmations
82. Body-positive messaging
83. University Spirit
84. Spirit wear
85. Olympics/World Cups
86. Yoga
87. Golf
88. Whole30

Hobbies

89. Tech preferences (ex. Apple, Android, Linux)
90. Any hobby
91. Computer games
92. Programming/coding/math
93. Sci-fi characters
94. TV/Netflix shows/cult series fan art
95. Hiking
96. Photography
97. Hammocking
98. Rock climbing
99. History
100. Fashion
101. Cars
102. Hairstyles: iconic hair cuts, beard cuts
103. Motorcyclists
104. Dancing (ex. ballroom, ballet, hip hop, etc.)
105. Singing
106. Fishing
107. Camping
108. Aviation
109. Slack line
110. Gardening
111. Skiing
112. Astrology

Travel

T-shirt by Icon Speak

T-shirt by Icon Speak

113. Wanderlust
114. Travel quotes
115. Local quirks (ex. Riga Black Balsam)

 

We’ve compiled all of these niche ideas into one Google Doc that can be edited by anybody. Share your own niche ideas, and together we can build a huge collection of niche market ideas for online stores!

 

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  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

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