Determining Your Niche in Ecommerce

    By | Small Business

    Your business is not just a bakery—or just a coffee shop, clothing store, consulting firm or photography studio. It has something special to offer the world. And, to survive in a competitive online marketplace, your business needs to stand out. That’s why determining your niche in ecommerce is so important. It differentiates you from the rest.

    The first step is figuring out where you fit into a broad marketplace. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll fail. But if you try to do something specific really well you can excel.

    Once you’ve carved out your niche, it’s time to convey it to the world. An attractive, functional website is a must-have in today’s marketplace. Using the small business website builder from Yahoo Small Business makes it simple to distinguish yourself.

    Keep reading to learn more about branding your business online.


    Consider Competitor Gaps

    First, you need to know how you stack up against the competition.

    Perform a competitive analysis with these questions in mind:

    • Which competitors are currently operating within your desired niche?
    • How much are they charging for their products or services?
    • What search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are competitors pursuing?

    If you notice any gaps within your sector, you can use them as a jumping-off point to craft your niche. However, overlapping with competitors is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means you’ll have to optimize how you do business to gain customer attention and loyalty.


    Craft Your Unique Selling Proposition

    It’s important to note that not every business within your sector is automatically a competitor. Let’s say you’re setting up a photography website so users can book shoots and buy prints online. The broad umbrella of “photography” contains many specialties: family, sports, wedding, editorial, nature, corporate, music, journalistic and more. It’s very rare to see a professional photographer succeed at doing it all. It’s smarter to become an expert in one or two areas—these specialties can play into your unique selling proposition (USP).

    At its core, your USP is the reason customers should choose your business over the competition. If you choose an underserved niche, this alone can serve as your USP. For example, you may choose to market yourself as a photographer of unusual pet portraits.

    Your USP may also relate to pricing or product characteristics. Here are a few examples:

    • Inexpensive products for price-conscious shoppers.
    • Luxurious or one-of-a-kind offerings for customers who value exclusivity.
    • Eco-friendly products or services for environmentally conscious customers.
    • Free or fast shipping/delivery.
    • A “buy X, get X free” sales model.
    • Lifetime warranty.


    Conveying Your Niche Where It Counts

    Customers can’t spend all day digging through a website to figure out what you’re all about—or even five minutes! That’s why the look, feel and messaging of your website matters so much. You want to convey what your business offers at a glance.

    Clearly state your USP on your website’s homepage and “About Us” landing page. Customize your website with high-quality photographs showing exactly what you do or sell. Make sure your website copy conveys your brand voice, while remaining straightforward and informational.

    Find your ecommerce niche. Then create an online presence to match it using the small business website builder from Yahoo Small Business. Get started today!

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