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Criteria For Ecom Niche Selection in 2018



Hey guys,

This week I've been doing research on markets based on a handful of niches based on hobbies where people spend money on either products or supplies within that niche.

I've gone through a few of @biophase 's threads on ecom to try and get an idea of what to avoid and what I can use to greenlight a niche before diving into it and wanted to share in case its helpful for anyone who wants to try to launch something like me in 2018, and to get some feedback from the pros!

This niche I found sprouted from a couple of my friends who were doing a little DIY project this past weekend. I originally made fun of them for it because I personally found it funny. But since I spent the day hanging out, driving around with my best friend buying supplies from hardware stores with him locally, and proceeding to follow instructions from a subreddit to put it together, it dawned on me... There's a market for this stuff, and a nicely sized, active subreddit with new and old users who do this every day. I smell opportunity!

Without being too specific so I don't reveal my top niche, here's the criteria I came up with:
  • A Business where you can sell to both consumers and do wholesale through distributors / commercial / B2B (Multiple potential sales channels) - I don't want to be limited to just a single product that solves a single problem and can only be solid direct to consumer. It's important there is room to scale in the future. (For my niche: Green light!)
  • Market is big enough based on online research - My biggest competitor gets over 200,000 hits per month (but they cover several niches under my target niche), my 2nd biggest competitor gets about 11,000 hits per month and they only serve my niche. The search volume for the most generic keyword in this niche is in the hundreds of thousands according to SEMRush in the US, and the subreddit my friend was on had a subscriber count in the low 10s of thousands with an "online now" user count in the low hundreds. This market is definitely growing, but if I need to I can always expand to similar related niches like my top competitor. Also everyone's paid ads seem to suck a$$! The biggest challenge here is going to be doing SEO because my competitors have a shit ton of links and organic traffic. (I'm going to give this one a Green/Yellow light)
  • In a niche where you can solve a problem or improve upon existing product(s) - The biggest problem I saw was that when my friend and I went out to get supplies (even being located in a big city) all we could find was junk! I think he spent a total of $40 on everything he needed but just looking at the products I saw room for improvement. Now, some of my online competitors solve this problem, but I'm sure I can do it better if I focus on offering better quality products, faster shipping, better customer service. (For my niche: I'll give this a Yellow light.)
  • US Based Product Manufacturer (at least in the beginning to keep shipping times quick! - I personally hate waiting of packages longer than a few days). I still need to call up suppliers and see if they exist and whether they'd be willing to dropship directly to my customers. (For my niche: I'll give this another Yellowlight)
  • 30-40 or higher dollar profit margin after shipping and costs or 100-500 AOV - based on competitor research and their product pricing I'm going to assume the AOV is around 50-100 . This is out of range of what I found on @G_Alexander 's thread so (For my niche: Red light)
  • Try to avoid electronics — high return rates (but its ok if you do) - Not electronics, so (For my niche: Green light!)
  • avoid products that are super heavy (expensive shipping) - Not super heavy, probably under 4lbs for the heaviest bread and butter product, but can be heavy if bought in packs/bulk so (For my niche: Yellow light!)
  • Try to avoid fragile products (more expensive shipping? higher return rates?) - The bread and butter product(s) for this niche are unfortunately fragile, so (for this niche I it's another Red light.)
Does anyone have any feedback on this list? I'm thinking of starting an execution thread sometime this week once I start calling suppliers and solidifying my research, then throwing a store together by end of week. The goal is to just start even though it's not the perfect niche and learn what I need to along the way.

I'm not a total newbie at this (tried a me-too dropshipping from china shopify store and made sales but lost money about a year ago.) This time I'm just looking to take a different and more thought out approach with much higher barriers to entry.

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