The online shopping bandwagon has grown up to 83% in 2016. The consumer trends in India show a shift towards more number of online buyers and it is only meant to grow higher. What does not sell today? From top selling products like apparel, books and electronics to niche products like sports accessories – there is a market opportunity for everything online. In such a vast opportunity area, how do you find your fit?
1. Capture Trends Early on
Think of products that have been trending in recent years. There is a lot trending in technology, sports accessories, survival gears, vintage products, healthy living, organic farming, travel accessories, gym gears, etc.
Although trends die soon, you will be there to stay if you have captured the trend. By capitalising on the early trends, you establish yourself as a leader and carve out a space in your consumers’ hearts. Early trends usually have less competition to begin with. This means they give you the perfect SEO (Search Engine Optimization) opportunity. Once you start ranking for your products, you will open gates to organic traffic of people intending to buy your product genuinely.
Example: When internet became accessible to more than 50% of Indian homes, Goonjan Mall found a trend in Indian devotees for wanting to connect with their faith online. He came up with the idea of Online Prasad while visiting one of the temples in Bikaner, India. Today, Online Prasad rules the traditional category and devotees even outside India place orders with Online Prasad.
2. Sell Niche Products
A niche product or service means features that appeal to a particular market subgroup. A typical niche product is easily distinguishable from other products, and it will also be produced and sold for specialized uses within its corresponding niche market.
How do you find your niche product? Here is a technique that will be helpful:
1. Google Keyword planner tool:
Go to google’s free keyword planner tool and go to ‘get keyword volumes’. Enter your search term.
For example, I am searching for 3D art mural keyword.
You’re basically going to want to find keywords that pull in an absolute minimum of 100 local searches a month. You’ll also want to be sure that they are not overly competitive.
Our chosen example of ‘3D art’ has a local monthly search volume above 1k-10K. Perfect!
2. Competitiveness of the keyword:
Once you’ve spent some time finding niche market keywords that you want to work with, and subsequently figured out what keyword you’ll focus on, you can then check out how competitive is really is!
Do this simply by going to Google.com and typing in your chosen niche keyword. You then get to see how many other pages get listed in the results for the keyword, along with any PPC competition, too!
You should also spend a bit of time checking out the video and image search results too. Not for any major reason, but its nice to see what type of ‘competition’, other than the organic results and PPC customers, you are up against when finding your niche in general.
3. Going ahead with your niche:
Based on the results of the competitiveness test you’ll be able to figure out if you are going to move forward with your niche idea.
Here’s the deal – in our chosen example of ‘3d art’, there were just over 2.6M websites that popped up in a simple Google search on the keyword. Besides, there are no PPC ad’s for the same keyword. Meaning, there is NO or very little ‘paid for’ competition.
This leads us to believe that because the organic competition is low and there is very little paid advertising on the keyword, it would be a ‘GO!’ rather than a ‘No’. Had there been a boat load of PPC ads on the sidebar and at the top of the results page, we could probably chuck the idea as a potential niche.
Example: Kawita Thakur from Mumbai runs her 3D Art mural business where she teaches 3D Art and also sells 3D Art murals online. Check out her story: 3D Online mural .
3. Find an opportunity Gap
Innovation is the key to success. If you can create something that solves a problem – however big or small, you know you are there to capture the market. Ask yourself:
“What can you do differently or better from what everyone else is currently doing?”
Opportunities are everywhere. To help you go in that direction, here is a quora thread where approximately 100 people are telling what new product would they like to see in the market: “What do you wish someone would invent?”
Example: Here are 5 quirky ideas you can learn from, some are hilarious but you can see they work. 🙂
4. Pinpoint inconvenience
This is about finding frustrating problems in existing solutions and building on that.
A customer pain point is not just physical pain – it is also means inconvenience in experience. If you can provide a good experience, you will also get a captive audience eager to buy.
Example: Real estate renting has been a long lasting problem in Indian metro cities. Homigo saw a rising trend in people opting to live in fully furnished houses in the cities and came up with a solution for the urban youth. You can rent a fully furnished apartment using their service.
5. Go with your Passion and Experience
Passion beats competition – anyday. Believe in that.
If you have a skill and are experienced in the skill-set, go for a business that will thrive on your passion. This way you will always love what you do and no failure will put you down.
What are you passionate about? Art, Design, Writing, Music, Courses, Travel?
Passion + Business: Take your passion and build on it. If you do art, you can sell Art posters, Designed coasters, mugs. If you love to write, you can sell ebooks, or even publish your own book individually. Do you compose music? Sell CDs, Digital copies of song. Do you know something so well you can educate people about it? Sell Online courses. Do you love traveling? Blog about your wanderlust. Sell Travel itenaries and advise. For every passion, there will be a business opportunity.
Sell to the Passionate: This is how you start. You find an audience who is like you – it will be easier finding like minded people in groups and communities based online and offline. You can create a network easily and start selling to the passionate.
Example: Amruta Rokade is not from an art background, having done a dual degree in chemical engineering from IIT – Bombay. She decided to take up a career in the arts though, and began posting her artwork online. The response was so encouraging that she created a Facebook page to share the same. After getting requests for prints and originals, she decided to start an online store to meet the demand. Here is her Story: From IIT to Art.