So you're interested in starting a print-on-demand business? That's great! But before you can start selling products, you need to choose a niche.
This can be a daunting task, but it's important to do your research and find a niche that you are either passionate about, or are at least willing to dive into headfirst and learn about.
In this guide we will discuss the steps you need to take to choose the right niche for your print-on-demand business. And whilst there is no such thing as a "perfect" niche, you can certainly find success in almost any niche if you plan well before launching.
We'll also provide some tips on how to find profitable niches that have plenty of potential for growth.
Here's what we are going to cover in this guide on how to discover a niche for your print-on-demand business:
- What is a Niche?
- Why is Choosing a Niche Important?
- How to Choose a Niche
- Where and How to Research Niches Effectively
- Top Tips for Choosing a Niche
What is a Niche?
A niche is a specific segment of the market that you will target with your brand. People in niches tend to congregate together and celebrate their common passion.
When choosing a niche, it's important to consider the needs and wants of your target audience. What are they looking for? What do they need?
Once you've identified their needs, you can start to create products that address those needs.
It's also important to choose a niche that you are interested in and are willing to pursue long-term. This way, you'll be more motivated to grow your business and reach your goals.
Why is Choosing a Niche Important?
Choosing a niche is important because it allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a specific group of people. By targeting your marketing towards a specific group, you'll be able to better reach your target audience and convert them into customers.
Additionally, focusing on a specific niche allows you to build up expertise in that area. This can help you create more valuable content and resources for your target audience, which will make them more likely to purchase from you in the future.
Over time, your print-on-demand store will be seen as the "authority" in your niche and this means making sales will become easier and easier.
How to Choose a Niche
Now that we've discussed why choosing a niche is important, let's talk about how you can go about finding the right niche for your business. The first step is to brainstorm potential niches that you could enter.
Firstly, write down things you're interested in or have some knowledge in. It always helps to know a bit about the niche first, but it is not absolutely essential. If you are totally new to a niche then you just need to be prepared to spend time learning.
Once you have a list of potential niches, it's time to start doing some research. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when researching potential niches:
- What are the needs of my target audience?
- What are they passionate about?
- What are their pain points?
- How can I help them solve their problems?
Now when we talk about the needs or the problems that a niche has, it is a little different with print-on-demand.
We're not selling a kitchen utensil that solves a specific problem, so our focus needs to be on tapping into a passion. A passionate niche brings our audience joy, happiness, pleasure and other strong emotions that influence us as humans.
Remember this: In order to sell anything to anyone, you need to move your customer further away from pain or closer to pleasure.
In our case, we are moving people closer to pleasure. This might sound strange but it's important to keep that in mind whenever you test new products in your niche.
An emotional response to our products is needed in order for people to make a purchase.
You want your customers to stop and say something like "I need that hoodie, I need it right now and I'm going to tell my friends about it too!" When you evoke that type of emotion in your customer, you have yourself a winning product.
So once you've got yourself a shortlist of niches, you need to start doing a deep dive into niche research.
Once you've made your decision, it's important to commit to it long-term and start creating products that appeal to your target audience.
If you're still stuck on creating a list of potential niches, here's a list to get your creative juices flowing:
- Hobbies & Past-times
- Sports & Fitness
- Food and Drink
- Technology, Gaming, Programming
- Art and Photography
- Charitable Causes
These are just a few ideas to get you started but they are quite broad. To be truly successful, you need to niche down as much as possible. This means instead of targeting pet owners, for example, you should niche down to specific breeds of animals so you can really tap into your customer's passions.
Where and How to Research Niches Effectively
There are a number of ways that you can research potential niches for your print-on-demand business. It can be overwhelming so make sure you start small with a simple Google search.
After you've spent some time heading down the Google search rabbit-hole, you can move on to some of these other methods of niche research.
Head over to trends.google.com and type in your niche. It allows you to see how popular certain keywords are and how they have changed over time. This is valuable information because it can help you choose a niche that is growing in popularity, or at least avoid ones that are losing popularity!
Google trends also reveals other related trending keywords and you can filter by demographic location.
Amazon Best Seller Lists
This is actually called Amazon Movers & Shakers and it's another great way to research potential niches. These lists show you the bestselling products in each category on Amazon. This is valuable information because it means that people are actually buying these products.
Make sure you think outside the box here. Just because the Amazon best seller's aren't print on demand products, this doesn't mean that they don't serve a purpose in your niche research.
Pinterest is one of the largest search engines on the web and it's also visually driven. This is great for not only researching niches, but researching specific products that you want to sell. You can find quotes, sayings, wall art and other great visual ideas that you can adapt to your own print-on-demand brand.
A word to the wise when it comes to researching on any platform - don't be tempted to infringe on trademarked brands. It's not worth it and you could end up in serious legal trouble!
Facebook groups are a great way to research potential niches.
You can join relevant groups and see what people are talking about. This is valuable information because you can get an idea of the needs and wants of your target audience.
Etsy is one of the world's most popular marketplaces and it is abundant with niche ideas. You can see what kinds of products are popular in your niche and you can get an idea of the prices that people are willing to pay.
Online forums and websites like Reddit are similar to Facebook groups in the way that you can immerse yourself in a community and see conversations about your niche.
My best advice when researching a niche is to expect nothing and approach your research with an open mind. Don't go into your research with even pre-conceived opinions, just explore and learn.
I guarantee you will find out some amazing insights if you immerse yourself in the niche for a decent amount of time.
5 Tips for Choosing a Niche
Now that you know how to research potential niches, it's time to start narrowing down your options so you can pick your niche and start selling!
Just to recap what we've covered in this article, here are a few tips to help you choose the best niche for your ecommerce business.
1. Find a Niche with Passionate Customers
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a niche is finding one with passionate customers. These are the people that will be buying your products and they need to be passionate about the niche itself.
2. Competitors Are Important
It's important that the niche you choose already has competitors on the space. The presence of competitors means there is a market of buyers. If you have no competitors in your niche then there is a good chance that the market isn't big enough and you won't sell much.
3. Trends are OK, Evergreen is Better
If you want to jump onto trends with your print-on-demand business that is absolutely fine, but it is a lot of work. You are much better off trying to combine current trends with an evergreen niche brand that you can sell all year round, for years to come.
For example, you might sell to passionate football fans which is an evergreen niche but you might also use quotes or slogans on your apparel that represents the latest breaking news or major events in the niche.
4. You Should Be Knowledgeable in the Niche
You should be knowledgeable about the niche you are going into. Not only will this make it easier for you to come up with product ideas, but you will also be able to connect with your customers on a deeper level.
5. Be Persistent and Think Long Term
The final tip I have for you is to be persistent and think long term when choosing your niche. It's easy to get discouraged if you don't see results immediately, but remember that Rome wasn't built in a day!
If you persist and put in the work then eventually you will start seeing results. And once you find a winning combination of niche and products, you can then start thinking about scaling your business to new heights.
That's a Wrap!
I hope this article has given you some valuable insights into how to choose a niche for your print-on-demand ecommerce business.
Remember to research thoroughly, think long term and be persistent and you will eventually find success!
If you'd like to network with fellow print-on-demand sellers then our Facebook group is the place to be! Click here to request to join the Subliminator Facebook community.