How Do I Choose My eCommerce Niche

How Do I Choose My Shopify or eCommerce Niche?

Hey Scott. Someone told me you know a thing or two about Ecommerce. I want to get started dropshipping but how do I choose my eCommerce niche?

I get asked this question a few times a week these days and it is the inspiration for this post. This post should be considered a guide that will guide you to the pathway that both fits YOU and is very likely profitable.

I’m sharing the exact process I use when considering a new niche Shopify store.

I do not favor the general niche store concept. A general store gets very messy with online advertising, especially Facebook Ads.

eCommerce Niche Research Planning

It’s time to get busy.

Open up your favorite note taking software (I use Microsoft OneNote). Get your ideas together in a single location and start breaking down the details first. Ask yourself:

What are MY passions, interests, hobbies and skills?

Niche Ideas MapWrite each one of these down. Try to get a list of 10-20 niche ideas based on the question above. All that doubt and crap in your head? Ignore it. You’ll have an outlet in “Cons” in your planning I explain below.

After each item, you will want to create multiple subsections like this:

Idea 1 (use a large font and bold it)
Notes: General notes and original concept.

  • Pros – Under this section, bullet-list a couple pros like product selection concepts.
  • Cons – Again, a bullet-list of cons will go here. If you can’t think of any cons, the Research Execution section below will DEFINITELY add lots of bullets to this list.
  • Market Research – I’ll explain this section in research execution below.

Once you have the basic outline down, copy it about 10 times and break it out in your note software.

Start filling this out with your basic passions, interests, hobbies and skills. Feel free to start listing immediate pros and cons you can think of.

If you tend to fill your head with doubts, you should notice that you feel relieved after this step. All your “junk” is on paper. It’s all acknowledged.

With a clear head. Let’s move on.

eCommerce Niche Research Execution

The above is a bit of a pain in the ass but worth doing before moving on to this section. If you could only come up with 2-3 niches to start with, it’s perfectly normal and OK to proceed to this step.

These execution steps below will start giving you multiple ideas, sub-niches and offshoots that will help fill out your notes.

Filling Out the Pros and Cons

You are going to need to ask yourself questions that will assist with your pros and/or cons list. Most likely, you’ve already got some pros because it made it to your research list for some reason or another. Here’s some quick questions to help you on your way:

  • How skilled / passionate am I in < eCommerce niche here >?
  • How popular is < eCommerce niche > with custom print on demand shirts?
  • How popular is < eCommerce niche > with AliExpress orders?
  • How many products are in < eCommerce niche > on Clickbank?
  • How easy do I think this niche will be to advertise on Facebook Ads, Google AdWords and Bing?
  • Is there a ton of products with lots of product reviews on Amazon?
  • Is there tons of competition in < eCommerce niche >?
  • Does < eCommerce niche > have a ton of blogging topics I could write about?
  • Is there a continuity program (monthly billing) that I could operate in < eCommerce niche >?

The above questions are just the beginning. There are going to be obvious questions that you should answer that are specific to your niche. Even if you can’t think of these right now, you will come across challenges and issues that should be noted during your research.

Great Scott! What the hell is a Clickbank or AliExpress?

You may have noticed that I dropped some company names above that you may or may not know about. There’s a reason I included them as questions because these sites will help you execute your plan!

  • AliExpress – This is the most popular dropshipping platform. When you hear about people DropShipping from China, this is most likely the site being used. The idea here on Shopify is find a list of XX products, add them to your store, mark up the price 500%+, advertise it, get sales, order it for your customer and take the profits. Fulfillement with ePacket usually takes 2-3 weeks for the product to arrive to your customer with complete tracking.

Fishing Lure eCommerce Niche Example

All you need to do is product research. If you were going into the fishing eCommerce niche, then eventually you will likely search for fishing lures and literally find thousands of lures. If you sort by “Orders” then you will see some of these lures have over 10,000 orders! Nice!

  • Print on Demand – There’s literally hundreds of companies out there that will connect with your Shopify store that allows you to come up with your own designs, slap that on a shirt, mug, necklace or even shoes. If you see some nice looking shirts on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media sites, you’ve got an indication there that print on demand will likely work in your niche.
  • ClickBank GravityClickBank Marketplace – The ClickBank Marketplace has a plethora of categories and most likely, your niche has a category with products being sold. The marketplace allows you, the affiliate, to promote products and/or services and earn a commission on each order. Check out the filters under each category, switch it to 5 gravity and a $20 price and see what is available. Gravity gives you an indication of popularity of the product and price, well, price x commission percentage is what you can earn sending traffic to the offer.

What I do with these services is basic intelligence. If your niche has a lot of products available, then there is likely a lot of demand and therefore, there is likely a decent chance to make money.

Future Potential –  Not only can these market places indicate popularity, they also indicate growth avenues. Once you are dominating your niche, you can release programs on ClickBank, ebooks on Amazon, launch an affiliate program on an affiliate network or launch a topical blog that capitalize on SEO keyword traffic.

My Big Mistakes – Learn From Them

I made a lot of mistakes when I got my start that set me back a couple years. These are painful to write about but I’d rather short-step you on the right pathway then for you to experience what I did.

  • Started with a General Store for Facebook Ads Marketing – At first, I liked the concept. I had a general store, picked a ton of products at random, started testing and failed over and over again. The problem with this strategy is focus and inability for Facebook Ads to optimize. If you throw a ton of product ads in tons of niches at Facebook, you will have multiple issues right out of the gate:
    • Facebook Pages – Without a focus niche, you are going to end up creating a ton of topical Facebook Pages just to try products. You’ll immediately suffer from jack of all trades, master of none. Meaning, you’ll create no thriving FB pages and end up with tens to hundreds of pages that have no engagement. You (or outsourcers) will spend hundreds of hours scheduling posts for each page all for a product theme that just won’t work.
    • Facebook Pixel – Facebook Ads needs time to optimize at the campaign and ad account level to deliver you the best traffic that is likely to purchase. When you create tens or hundreds of campaigns that advertise to all the pages and niches, you will likely fail, even after thousands of dollars spent.
  • Focus on a Product Type and Not a Niche – Had I followed this guide, I would not have made this mistake. You need to understand that there are product types and then there are niches. If you focus on a product type (necklaces, fidget spinners (a hot thing in 2017) or phone cases) you are going to severely limit your growth potential. Why? How many books, affiliate programs, blog posts or ebooks can you write about fidget spinners? There’s exceptions this rule, but for the most part, you are going to lock yourself in with no way out. All you can do is launch more of that product type and eventually it’ll reach an end point where you’ll need to move on and you’re stuck in a brand that has nowhere to go.

Does My Niche Have Products that Sell?

Luckily there’s market research tools that you can use to identify products within your niche. Use these tools to get a general idea of what products work, find similar products and start your marketing with those first. No sense in re-inventing the wheel here.

Whether it’s jewelry, print on demand or some other product type, there’s always going to be newer versions or styles that you can find or have made.

If you plan on using Facebook Ads, you’ll find these especially useful. I’ve taken these tools, found similar products, thrown them up on my store, advertised and started making big money right away. If you don’t plan on advertising on Facebook but have some other traffic strategy, these tools are still quite useful.

NicheMiner

NicheMiner eCommerce Niche Mining

NicheMiner – This tool is amazing! Type in your niche in the keyword field, select a term like “Just Pay Shipping,” select “When” like “This week” or “this month” and let ‘er rip. You can play for hours with this tool, change the keywords, the length of time and the “Site” selector to multiple marketing phrases and find lots of posts that have huge engagement.

Remember that market research section you made for each niche idea? Here’s the fuel for the fire.

You will want to create a massive list for your market research to give you an awesome head start for your store.

  • Facebook Pages – Save every Facebook Page you can find in your niche to your notes for monitoring. Don’t be afraid to like the page, mark the page “See First” and scan their entire page for highly engaged posts with products.
  • Facebook Posts – When you uncover Facebook posts that have hundreds of comments, likes and shares, go ahead and right click the date of that post and copy URL. That URL is the permalink to that exact post where you can visit later. If you also write down or screenshot the post comments, likes and shares, you can revisit later and see if the activity changes drastically. If you see massive changes, you are likely looking at an active advertisement.
  • Stores – You will want to copy stores to this list, especially if the store is specific to your niche. Check out the “tool” below for a little URL hack that will surprise you…

Best Selling Products on Shopify

Are you sitting down? This one is an eye opener!

For any Shopify store, there is a little URL hack that you can add to find out the store’s best selling products!

Is the site you are visiting Shopify? Easy. In your browser, view source code by pressing CTRL + U. Once you are in the view source, a quick search for cdn.shopify.com will show you if the site is hosted from Shopify.

If the answer is yes, just add the following to the store’s URL.

/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling

If the store was mysuperfancystorexyz.com then you’d pull up mysuperfancystorexyz.com/collections/all?sort_by=best-selling and you’ll be presented with that store’s lifetime top sellers.

There’s tools out there that want to charge you to do this but why pay when you can do this manually for almost every Shopify store!

Remember: The results are for the life of the store. Just because you see a product ranked #1, that could have been a hot item from 2015. What I like to do is take screenshots of this page and watch for changes that indicate new hot items over time. 😉

Find Hundreds of Stores on Shopify in Your Niche!

Shopify eCommerce Niche Stores

Head on over to this MyIP.ms internal link.

What this page does is show you all Shopify stores hosted on the IP address range from 23.227.38.0 through 23.227.38.255. If you’ve ever setup a Shopify store on a custom domain name, you may know that Shopify’s instructions ask you to point the CName to 23.227.38.32 which is included in that IP address range.

If you type in the Full/Part Website Name with a single word from your niche, you will see a massive list of stores along with a popularity rating. Obviously fishing isn’t the greatest example here but you will likely find stores ranked 200,000 or better which indicates massive popularity!

Should my link above break, you can still head to MyIP’s main site, put the 23.227.38.32 IP address under whois lookup, click the “Other Sites on IP” button then click “View All Records” under one of the tables and pull up the same page where you can search for your niche. Let me know in the comments so I can update the link if needed.

Get to Work – Do Your Research – Launch

Your notes should start exploding in length as you do all of these steps for each niche.

With all of this information structured in your note-taking software, you should be able to narrow your focus to a single niche to start with.

As long as your eCommerce niche has proven products on Shopify stores, AliExpress, Amazon or ClickBank, has lots of marketing potential to expand such as topical blog posts, books you could release and/or a continuity offer that you could rebill, then chances are likely you are on to something huge.

Did you find this useful? Please like, share, rate it 5 stars and comment below! Your participation will indicate whether or not I share more on eCommerce!

What are your favorite research tools and methods? Leave a comment below and let our readers know!

How Do I Choose My Shopify or eCommerce Niche?
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About the Author Scott Buehler

Owner and editor of Impact Now Academy, the ultimate resource for your business education needs. Scott has been an Internet marketer for over 20 years and is here to help make a massive impact in the success of your Internet business(es).

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