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.
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:
Write 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 – 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.
You will want to create a massive list for your market research to give you an awesome head start for your store.
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.
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!
What this page does is show you all Shopify stores hosted on the IP address range from 220.127.116.11 through 18.104.22.168. 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 22.214.171.124 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 126.96.36.199 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.
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.
What are your favorite research tools and methods? Leave a comment below and let our readers know!
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).