How to Define Your Niche Market When Running a Print on Demand Business?
From T-shirts to backpacks, books, and accessories, you can personalize even the most casual goods with your brand's handwriting.
And if it seems to you that in print on demand, all items are too typical, and there is only a way out for ideas on Shopify, then this is a delusion. E-commerce has skyrocketed to the peak of popularity, providing a personalized approach and unique products that can fully meet all population segments' demand. But how to create a POD business that would be profitable? To do this, choose the right niche that would attract a specific audience.
From a pragmatic standpoint, a niche business is more likely to create powerful branding than cover many areas. Different POD niches represent other possibilities, and of course, your talent as a designer determines the demand. Therefore, in this article, we’ll discuss finding the right products for a specific audience.
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What is niche market?
POD business niche is an assortment that targets a specific demographic group. That can be determined by the product type and identity (e.g., dad t-shirts), aesthetics (oriental-inspired clothing), purpose (camping gear), category (kids rompers), or a combination of these subcategories (tie-dye beachwear). The market also depends on unique preferences and needs: for instance, women's shoes are divided into many segments: home and nursing slippers, oversized shoes, vegan slippers, etc.
Suppose a niche store is focused only on a specific part of the print on demand market. In that case, a universal store will solve various types of problems for many people (Costco positions itself as a store where you can find everything from clothing to cosmetics and electronics).
Why is it worth ignoring a large part of the market and targeting a separate small one? If you’re not yet a reputable corporation with substantial profit margins, you’ll likely find it difficult to achieve growth in the print on demand market. Of course, small convenience stores can produce great results, but only with the right strategy.
The print on demand market size is determined by the budget, store type you want to open, digital marketing skills level, and scalability. The decision to limit the customer base has several advantages, which we’ll discuss next.
Benefits of focusing on specific niche
By segmenting your audience, you’re less likely to make mistakes when choosing your marketing tactics. In addition, print on demand niches implies the production of limited quantities of goods, which also allows you not to spend money from the budget.
When the market becomes less saturated with various goods, people are left with few options to get their ideal product. E.g., selling women's dresses with boho designs reduces competition with the industry giants. Interestingly, as a result, buyers become less price sensitive.
Potential customers who know what they want are immediately ready to buy. By raising your SERP rating, you’ll indirectly increase brand awareness.
Unequivocally, the target audience is fascinated by the offered print on demand services and products. These are genuinely loyal people, and if you fully satisfy their needs, their number will grow and patronize the brand. Moreover, the lifestyle affects the demand in a niche, and the most loyal customers will recommend your products to others in their circle. Don't underestimate word of mouth - referrals sometimes perform better than marketing and sales efforts.
So, how do you find your niche market?
Before you open an online store, give it a reason to exist - something that determines why you want to do this particular business. Profit is also worth considering as a result of what prompted your customers to buy a specific product.
By sifting out most of the market, you’re getting closer to building an established and recognizable brand. This approach is like an idiom "be a big fish in a small pond - rather than becoming a little fish in a big pond". Therefore, let's figure out where to start if you’re a newbie in POD and decide on a niche.
Find what is close to you
If you build your brand based on what you’re well versed in, this is the recipe for success. Your interests and talents can be a great start. Let's say you’re obsessed with sports and lead a healthy life. Therefore, develop an idea from this very place:
- create the best niche for print on demand in fitness products;
- find inspiration for your products from personal experience;
- agree, it won’t be difficult for you to delve into the nuances of the selected market if you already know it.
Explore your niche
In an ideal world, you could capture any market and become the perfect seller with huge profits, but you still have to do a feasibility study of the chosen industry in reality. So if you want your business to be successful, check the market's viability, determine the target audience's demographic composition, geographic location, income level, lifestyle, and gender. The more relevant information you collect, the better the niche marketing strategy will be. Use the following helpful tools for analysis:
This site is a great starting point to research trends in topics and user queries. It's free and easy to utilize.
Once you have created a business account on Google, you can advertise it using this paid tool. This way, you can increase brand awareness.
Find viable and competitive keywords - by filling content with them, you'll achieve positive results in attracting organic traffic.
Be sure to check out this resource for inspiration - you'll find tons of articles on a wide variety of topics.
Conduct a competitor analysis
Find competitors who perform well in your chosen niche: their customer service, product range, features that differentiate them from other sellers of similar products, marketing strategies, design ideas. Mark the gaps in their work, and fill them in when you enter the market. To understand what problems people can solve with your niche, apply the following print on demand niche research tool:
The research will help you understand how to break into a particular market, what the brand's zest allows it to stand out from the rest. Consider that competition is a normal process, which firstly indicates that there is economic potential in the industry, and secondly, it motivates to work better.
Define your competitive advantage
When you’re a new player in the market, it can be tough to gain attention. But when the store receives it, prospects pay attention to absolutely everything: from site usability to products, delivery. By identifying competitive advantage, you immediately show what sets you apart from others. You’ll eliminate any confusion about your brand by offering a carefully curated range of products that make sense in your customer's eyes.
Identify existing problems and find a solution for them: whether it’s a higher quality product, a wider range of products, or various designs. Give your customers a good reason to choose you by offering a solution based on their desire.
When searching for a market, don’t forget that this is not a product, but people who need it. So act in the best interest of your audience by finding new ways to interact with them.
The decision to occupy a particular niche in the market is a strategic decision, but it’s worth getting stuck in forever. Having strengthened your name and authority in the niche, created a loyal customer base, you could grow and develop your POD business.