Everyone wants their business to stand out from the competition, but in the case of niche products, it is critical to differentiate yourself from others. The only way to survive in the market full of other ecommerce businesses long term is to differentiate yourself from your competition by establishing a brand and a product that people know, understand, and trust.
Use Content and Sell on the Back End. Successful ecommerce business owners are moving toward a content-first strategy. Essentially this means that they are utilizing interesting and aesthetically pleasing content to introduce their customers to the brand before attempting to sell them an item, product, or service. Think of it as the story behind the product or the cart before the horse.
When it comes to selling online, sourcing a profitable product doesn’t necessarily ensure that you will be able to maintain profitability in the long run. That is, unless you can help your consumer buy into the story of your product and find a reason to want to purchase it. Put time and effort into your content so that it tells a compelling story and serves as your company’s most important business asset. Make sure your consumers understand the backstory to your product like wanting to work from home to raise your children to your desire to meet the needs of a specific community or demographic.
Humanize and Visualize. As part of developing your company’s backstory, it’s important they understand and trust you. Developing the mission and vision of your company and putting a face with your name is a key component to helping your customer become educated about your product or service.
As part of gaining your consumer’s mindset and humanizing your company as more than just a business trying to sell them something, you might choose to offer free tutorials on how to use the products or items you sell. Developing a blog will provide you with a forum for sharing insight into or testimonials about the experiences of people who have successfully worn or used your product. Maybe your website utilizes one of the many online t-shirt templates that will make your product line stand out from the competition and show how the clothing looks when it’s worn on a person, rather than hanging on a hanger. Whatever you choose to do, find a way to connect with your customers and help them see your company as more than just a business and your product as more than just something to purchase.
Sell Unique Products. Unique does not necessarily mean completely different. Finding a niche that requires a small change to a product is all that is required. From developing a pet treat for dogs with specialized dietary needs to developing a thicker yoga mat that solves the consumer complaints about unsuitable thinner mats, distinguish your product from what is currently marketed.
As a smaller niche company, you will be better positioned to respond to changing customer preferences. Smaller stocks of inventory, fewer outlets, and smaller marketing commitments make it easier for your small business to add new products and respond to the advance warnings provided by your customer preferences. It also allows you to change pricing structures, alter your services, develop incentive programs, and experiment with a range of marketing techniques that many larger companies cannot do quickly and efficiently.
Provide the Best Customer Service. Focused and extensive customer knowledge is a critical component of a niche business. Developing the perfect website, including checkout processes, can be custom tailored to provide the ideal experience for a niche market. For many customers, the experience of buying is more important than the price, so niche companies are perfectly positioned to inspire loyalty.
Customer service is also not just about being nice. It also means going out of one’s way to provide the type of helpfulness consumers want, even if that means it will take a substantial amount of time. From providing live feeds to meet the request of a few customers to designing or developing a line of product specific to them, there is so much more to customer service than responsiveness to concerns, complaints, or suggestions.
Standing out from the competition can be easy if you utilize some of these guidelines and listen to what your niche demographic is looking for. All that’s required is differentiating yourself in product development, advertising, marketing and web design.
What are some unique things you’ve noticed about niche businesses you’re loyal to? What things draw you to their product and their site? Feel free to comment below.