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Excuse Me, What is a Niche Exactly?

'Find Your Niche'.. So What is it and What Could it Mean for Your Online Business?

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It's one of those buzz words. It is mentioned so much but you ask yourself what it is exactly. Or how 'niche' is 'niche'? Right? Me too. To me, It sounded like something comfortable and right but what was it in relation to business and what could it mean for my online business?

First of all, if you look up 'Niche', the Oxford Languages Definition says a few things but this part is relevant to my purposes today.

'a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service'...

When used as an adjective..

'donating products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.'

In a nutshell it is about finding the right market segment or people, for want of a better word, to show your products to, in order to corner a part of the competitive market for yourself an so make your business viable. Finding the perfect niche or niches is essential to selling online. It is tricky and it can be changeable so you will need to be willing to adapt in order to be seen.
 Shopify says, 'Choosing a niche gives your online business a competitive edge.' They also say that 'focusing on a niche gives you a competitive edge.' If you don't choose a niche and simply cater toward a crowded category or market then you are facing an uphill battle just to be seen amongst the established competition. They also say that it helps not by selling different products but by doubling down on a specific part of the market.

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What is Niche Marketing and What's An Example of a Niche Market?

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Cute Tabby Cat Asleep In Handmade Basket

Let's say you want to sell photographic images of animals because you run an animal sanctuary and want to raise money for it. That is a massive market. Go ahead put 'photographic images of animals' into a search bar just to see what kind and how many listings there are. You will also see the hard hitters. The ads from bigger companies with lots of advertising power. This search result is way too broad to be seen in across the internet. However, since this is the product you have because you are with the animals a lot and you get great pictures on a regular basis, you have to think of a way of being seen above or through the crowd.

What do you do with that information then? If you sell your product simply as 'Animal Images' you compete against every other business doing the same. So you need to tighten up the description and pitch it in a different way. Specialise so to speak, in this broad market, by being more specific. Domestic animal images, domestic animal potraits, pet portraits, big cat images, cat posters, tabby cat images, siamese cat posters, pet snake poster etc..

When you decided which product titles better describe your product and it's attributes you can niche down even more. 'Framed tabby cat images'. If you facilitate a message being added to the prints then you could say, 'Personalised and framed tabby cat images'. 'Personalised and framed tabby cat images for small apartments' or 'Customised framed tabby cat images for small apartments sustainably printed on recycled paper. 
You might think that the further you niche down the less you'll be seen as fewer people will seek your particular product criteria. Only part of this is true. Yes, fewer people will see your ad or your product but this has a beneficial effect not a negative one..
The reason is that the broader you cast your net the fewer people will see your product as there are so many others casting the exact same net. You will not be seen in the croud. Be it the Google search results or other lists, you will appear so far down that you may as well not show up at all.
When you niche down then when a person types in the criteria relating to your product descriptions and titles etc, you will appear much further up the lists because there are fewer offering the specific description you are and you now have a fighting chance of catching someone's attention. You will at least be in the running.
I find it very hard to implement this in my own handmade business. I intend to keep trying harder and harder as the competition is only getting more sophisticated with Google ads and other promotion activities by the bigger brands with lots of financial backing and clout. I have beome aware that although I thought I was niching down by having a handmade business at all it is not enough. I have to niche down even more in the handmade business sector. Once you get the hang of it it gets easier. For further information on niching down in your business check out the link below.

Shopify - Finding Your Niche - Eight Niche Marketing Examples for 2022

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