Step 1. Choose a niche

You have decided to start your own e-commerce business – that’s great! And you have already found out that dropshipping is the easiest and most convenient way for running online stores. Savvy you are! But where to start? Let’s figure it out.
BONUS: Watch a video with more details at the end of the Step.

In search of inspiration

Niche is a subset of the market in which specific products are focused. Or, in simple words, it’s the theme of your store. If your niche is home decor, then you’ll sell candles, vases, pillows, posters, and other home stuff. And choosing a niche is not an easy task for e-commerce newcomers. You cannot just take any random product to sell – you risk facing too sharp competition or lack of demand. And you shouldn’t create a general store – they have very few chances of success.

First, you should get some ideas. It means that it is time for brainstorming.

  • Think of what you, your friends and family have recently bought online. Imagine what you would like to buy. Think of all these things that you need and cannot buy in-store.

This is a very important point. Your proposal must be unique. Why would a person go to buy goods on your website? Maybe he can buy everything he needs in a brick and mortar store across the road?

Think of your hobby. Things that you love and know well can help generate lots of ideas. Your favorite sports, games, comics, and movies may be very inspiring.

  • Visit some popular dropshipping directories and study the markets, categories, and products. Big retail platforms like AliExpress and Amazon are also useful. Examine the sections with popular products and interesting finds.

  • Go to Google AdWords and choose Keyword Planner tool. In the section “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” enter your request, for example, “women clothing”. Then push the button “Get ideas” and study the results.

  • If your dropshipping store will comprise several niches, they should not conflict with each other. For example, Islamic clothing does not match mini-skirts and bikinis. It would be great if niches will intercross. Don’t try to combine, for example, jewelry and electronics in one store. Choose related products: watches and bracelets, pet clothes and toys and so on.

  • Before making your choice, think a bit – will you clients be ready to wait for an order? Is it worth to wait for this product, will this product keep its value for the customer in a month? Delivery may take long, so don’t select time-sensitive products or items with seasonal demand.
  • Finally, make a list of several dozens of niches. Avoid tricky and slippery niches, such as goods with marijuana symbols. You can have problems with the payment system and other obstacles. So watch for legality.

Evaluating niche’s potential

When you have a certain idea, it’s time to check its potential. There are different ways to do that. You’d better combine them all.

  • Visit AliExpress and check product’s quantity and popularity. Searching for various products, you can compare how many items are available there. You’d better tick the boxes “Free Shipping” and “4* & Up” we need only quality goods!

Another important thing here is the number of orders. It shows how popular the chosen product is.

  • The success of the business often depends on the ability to react quickly to the trend. So you’ll have to visit Google Trends to find out if the niche is promising. Enter the name of the chosen niche in the search field and check out the result.

If you see an ascending trend in the USA and Europe, the niche is promising. These regions have more solvent buyers. But if you are going to target other markets, check them as well. Anyway, flat or descending trend is a bad sign. Don’t waste your time.

  • Do you remember how we got ideas in Keyword Planner? Now we need to return there to check search volume. The best results for you range from 5000 to 50000.If the figure is less than 5000, the niche is not popular enough. Low demand means difficult promotion and few sales, who needs such aches and pains?And if the search volume is more than 50000, the market is already oversupplied. It will be too hard to compete with other sellers. Such niches don’t really worth trying.

  • Use social media to estimate your niche. Facebook and Instagram are great for that purpose. If you can find at least 10 groups with 30K+ followers devoted to your dropshipping niche, it is a positive sign.

Finally, you found what niche is quite popular, but not too competitive. Congrats! Now you are ready for the next step that will help find your place in the dropshipping market.