Finding a Niche for Dropshipping
Dropshipping is undoubtedly the fastest, easiest and most economical home business you can possibly find to get started as an ecommerce entrepreneur with a home business, but first you must find a niche!
There is so much competition on the World Wide Web that it is all too tempting to think of some obscure niche such as personalized chopsticks or dog leashes made from recycled plastic drinking straws, but this is a bad idea.
You donít want to try and muscle into some overcrowded niche that has plenty of big name competitors, thatís understandable.
On the other hand, you donít want to try and sell a product that there isnít enough demand for to support a successful business, either.
You have to hit a happy medium!
If you can come up with a niche that you are knowledgeable about, and that you truly believe in---this is the optimal situation. But, if you canít do that and are completely stumped for ideas for a lucrative niche, turn to trusty old Google to provide you with ideas.
Google Insights for Search
If you are unfamiliar with Google Insights for Search, it is a fantastic and FREE tool to help you find a great dropship niche!
You simply go to Google Insights for Search and enter the search term you are interested in. For example, if you are thinking of selling Plus Size lingerie, enter that term into the search box.
You can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties. You can narrow data to specific categories, such as lingerie, Plus Size clothing, etc.
You can see results as regards seasonality, too, which is very helpful in showing you how well you can expect sales to go throughout the year within a particular niche.
You may also check on geographic distribution, and find out how search volume is distributed across certain regions and cities. This is tremendously helpful in finding and pinpointing your biggest target audience!
Google Insights for Search is a wonderful freebie and can prove quite useful in helping you find a niche, as well as researching a niche you are interested in.
Another place to get an idea of what products are hot is eBay.
Check the eBay Pulse and it will give you a peek at which items are very much in demand! There is an eBay Pulse for many different categories, so you can do a lot of looking around and learning here. The items that wind up on the eBay Pulse are the ones that have the most watchers, or people who are ďwatchingĒ that auction.
So, do some research and find a niche that is specialized enough that you wonít be competing with a lot of huge, household-name companies; while still being something that a lot of people would want to buy.
You donít want to select a niche that is made up of common household products that are available at Wally World or the Dollar Store. Many consumers do not buy this type of item online.
Think like a consumer!
Why would you buy something online and pay shipping when you could duck into a mass merchandiser and pick up the same thing for peanuts without paying shipping?
So, your niche needs to be something that is not commonly available or lining the shelves of every discount store coast to coast.
Think about the purchases that you have made online. In most cases, youíll discover that the things you have bought online are not things you would find locally. So, you need a niche that attracts a lot of online shoppers.
Donít Make Your Niche Too Narrow
You shouldnít make your niche too narrow. For instance, if you decide that you want to sell pet beds, donít limit your product selection to just one particular type and brand of pet bed. This will bring you to grief.†
For one thing, you might not be able to get that specific pet bed from your dropship product source. Besides that, you would be limiting your customer pool too much if you tried to narrow your niche to that extent.
Donít Make Your Niche Too Broad
While itís a very bad idea to make your chosen niche too narrow, itís an equally bad idea to make it too broad.
Especially in the beginning, when you are just starting out in your home dropshipping business, you donít want to get too much on your plate.
One of the greatest things about dropshipping is being able to sell as many different products as strike your fancy without worrying about paying for them up front, storage, or packaging and shipping; but you still shouldnít overextend yourself and have too broad a niche.
For example, if you wanted to focus on perfumes then your website should be all about perfumes, have lots of brands and types. It should talk about what all the details and abbreviations mean and what the difference is between cologne and perfume, etc. Basically, you want your customers to trust your opinion because you appear to be knowledgeable. †What you donít want to do is sell perfumes, vitamins, shampoo, and clothing. They are all related, but you will no longer be an expert in just perfumes, and your customers will notice.
Why is this a bad idea?
First of all, because if you try to do that, you really arenít targeting a specific niche in such a way that it would do the most good. As you get more solid experience and learn the ropes of running a home ecommerce business, you might want to branch out a bit, but itís better to start slowly.
Remember, you have to walk before you can run!
Another reason why you probably shouldnít jump right in there and try to sell everything but the kitchen sink is because there would be a lot more work involved in SEO, product descriptions, and photos, social networking to build your brand, web pages to be written, landing pages, Pay Per Click and display ads to be created and paid for, etc, etc.
When you are just getting your feet wet in the ecommerce pond, itís probably prudent to wade for a while before diving in headfirst!
Make a smart product choice for dropshipping
Before settling on a niche, stop and make sure that the products will be suitable for dropshipping.
In theory, almost everything is suitable for dropshipping. But in reality, some items simply do not lend themselves well to being dropshipped.
For example, although there might be a large enough potential customer base for certain breeds of puppies, would you really consider a puppy suitable for dropship sales?
Or, along similar lines, people buy automobiles every day in most corners of the world. But, are cars and SUVS truly a good niche for dropshipping?
You get the idea.
One of the greatest things about a home dropship business is that you donít incur the hassle of buying and storing packaging and shipping supplies---a not inconsiderable expense---or the logistics of actually preparing the items you sell for shipping, and then schlepping them to the post office or UPS location.
If you choose a reputable dropship source, such as Drop Ship Access, all of the above will be taken care of for you!
Still, even though your dropshipping product source is doing all of the packaging and shipping, there are some items that simply wonít work. Dropship suppliers are aware of this, so even if you did want to try and use dropshipping to sell Great Dane puppies, you wouldnít be able to find a dropship source that could help you out with that.
So, when choosing a niche for dropshipping, be realistic about the feasibility of selling certain products!
Show Me the Money!
While itís vitally important to find a ďhungryĒ niche, which means a niche with lots of potential buyers who are searching for products within that niche; itís equally important to make sure that the niche you choose is profitable.
This means that you must do some more research to determine if your niche has a sufficient supply of paying customers who not only search and browse within a niche, but buy, as well.
For example, there wouldnít be a whole lot of point in choosing a niche that had high numbers of people searching within it, if the products were free.
If these folks could get the object of their searches for free, then why would they pay you for it?
Exactly. They wouldnít.
So, how do you find out if your potential chosen niche has a rich base of consumers waving fistfuls of money and willing to spend it?
Go back to eBay and search Completed Listings for the product you are considering selling. You can get a very good idea of the average sell through price, which will tell you if people are not only searching and window shopping for this product, but actually buying it, also.
Make Sure to Choose a Profitable Niche
It isnít enough to choose a niche with a big demand. In addition, in order to have a successful business that will provide you with the amount of income you need to make; you should choose a niche with good profit margin.
Many aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs have broken their business backs on this one thing alone!
You must do some research beforehand and determine whether or not your niche will leave you with enough of a bottom line to make a profit.
For example, if you are thinking of choosing the battery operated toothbrush niche, then there are several steps you need to take before committing to this particular niche:
ü First of all, check to see how much you will have to pay your dropship product source for each battery operated toothbrush.
ü Next, factor in your operating costs for such things as your website host, your shopping cart software, payment gateway costs if any, advertising, and any other expenses incurred in the running of your ecommerce business.
ü If you will be selling on eBay, you will need to factor in your Listing Fees, average Final Value Fees and of course Paypal fees.
The bottom line will be the price that the toothbrush sold for minus all of those expenses. You will have to break it down into the amount of expense per unit, naturally.
That final number will tell you whether this is a lucrative enough dropshipping niche for you, or not.
If there isnít going to be enough profit per sale, you should keep looking for a niche.
For instance, if you only wound up with a $.01 profit on each battery operated toothbrush, it wouldnít matter much if you sold them like hotcakes! Even if you sold 500 toothbrushes a day, you would still end up with only a $5.00 profit.
Obviously, selling something with a penny profit isnít a smart thing to do. It would be pretty difficult to stay motivated about working at a business if by the end of the day you hadnít even made enough money to get a hamburger and fries at Mickey Dís.
So, before choosing a dropshipping niche, do make sure that there is going to be a large enough profit, after all of your expenses are covered, to make it worthwhile.
The amount of money you need to make is up to you and your living expenses, dreams, and goals. There are people making a 6 figure income from an ecommerce dropshipping business with Drop Ship Access, and there are people who only want to pick up a little extra money now and then.
The beauty of a home ecommerce business in dropshipping is that you can basically write your own paycheck and make as much or as little as you choose to make IF you are careful to start your business the right way!
So, if you are sick and tired of a dead-end 9-5 job and making money for somebody else instead of yourself and your family---a work-at-home business in dropship sales is tailor made for you!
Itís an ideal situation for Work-At-Home-Moms, or anybody who is ready to start making a life, instead of just making a living!
Choose your dropshipping niche well and you will reap the rewards!