The eCommerce world is vast and rich with opportunity for anyone with an entrepreneurial mind, but if you’re going to succeed in an industry so competitive, you need an edge. You can have exceptional products, of course, or provide an impressive service — but in the end, the largest factor is likely to be the niche you choose to target.
Pick an area that’s in the midst of a downturn, with consumer interest rapidly dwindling, and it won’t matter how good your products are or how proficient you can be at helping customers. No one will buy from you, and you’ll soon need to give up and shut down. But pick a niche that’s blooming, and you’ll have every chance to ride the wave.
So what niches should you consider? One that’s been picking up momentum at a rapid clip is the wellness sector. Through offering products capable of helping people lead healthier and happier lives, you can tap into this demand, but only if you approach it in the right way. Here’s how you can carve out your own piece of the pie:
Research health and fitness trends
It’s completely normal for products and product types to appear, grow in popularity, and disappear from view very suddenly (think back to the fidget spinner craze). The wellness industry certainly isn’t immune to this. A new healthy snack could be mentioned by a prominent influencer in the health world, rapidly leading to a lot of sales and a host of imitation products.
Use a combination of Google Trends and leading industry blogs to form a solid understanding of which products are the most in-demand and which products could be made popular if presented in the right way. For instance, if you can see that there’s a trend around jogging, you could find a good angle to pick up some footwear sales (as well as following trends, you can create them).
Set up a dropshipping-viable store
To sell online, you’ll obviously need an online store — one that provides stable performance and has a clear and efficient user interface (it’s hard to sell wellbeing products through a site that doesn’t look very well). However, you’ll also want to ensure that you can use dropshipping services. Dropshipping allows you to list products stocked by someone else and have them fulfill any orders you take: you don’t make as much money that way, but the risk is almost non-existent, and it can still be lucrative if done well.
There are plenty of viable platforms out there, but I suggest using Shopify’s enterprise-ready eCommerce service: it’s easy to set up, scales easily from the startup world to the big leagues, works well on any device, and (most importantly here) readily works with a wide range of dropshipping suppliers (here’s a list to give you some ideas). Once you’ve established your business, you can simply expand your range with products you’ve sourced (or even created) yourself — eventually, you can phase out the dropshipping.
Curate some high-margin items
When you’re running a new eCommerce business, you’re not going to have standout products you’ve painstakingly researched and developed — this means that your product range, no matter how it’s sourced, is going to consist of fairly generic items. This makes it tricky to make money: you need to have competitive prices on high-cost items to compete with other sellers, but lowering your profit margin will limit how much you can benefit from your sales.
What you need to do, then, is find products that you can sell with substantial profit margins. The best products for this are low-cost items that are extremely variable in the price. Suitable items in the wellness world include things like water bottles, nutritional supplements, pieces of clothing, and motivational posters — you can buy a water bottle extremely cheaply, yet people won’t think too much about paying four or five times the cheapest price to get a particular color or design.
Embrace the power of social media
Social media activity is incredibly effective for promoting wellness products because it has a community vibe that lowers people’s guards. Social proof is a core part of the eCommerce model, and when someone sees that their friend or family member recommends a wellness product, it will lower their skepticism and make them more likely to try it.
You need to know how to turn social media channels to your advantage, though, and that calls for suitable research. Learn how to cater content to context (e.g. how to benefit from Instagram visuals), pay close attention to other sellers achieving a lot of success, and commit to implementing and optimizing relevant PPC campaigns.
Give people a reason to buy from you
As noted, wellbeing products are quite generic for the most part, so it’s going to be a challenge to convince someone to buy from your store in particular. Why not one of the many other stores out there? Since it’s tough to stand out through pricing, I suggest standing out through your personal brand — if shoppers believe that you’ve invested in their health, and know a lot about staying healthy, they’ll be willing to spend exorbitant amounts on your products (even if they’re fairly sure they could get them elsewhere).
They’ll also be more willing to try new product types because they’ll reason that anything in your expertly-curated product range must be worth their time. To demonstrate your expertise, content marketing is the way to go: start blogging about fitness and health, offering sage advice to help people make good decisions. If you run a health coaching service, take excerpts from your materials to share with people for free. The more familiar people get with your personal brand, the more interested they’ll become in buying from your store.
If you follow these steps (deciding which trends you want to focus on, creating a decent store, finding some suitable dropshipped items, and using your personal brand to boost interest in your product range), you can get your wellness store off the ground fairly quickly. Everything after that is up to you — good luck!
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