The Internet And Niche Markets
It has been said that the Internet is the great equalizer where small business can compete with giants of industry. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. The key to succeed online is to find the right market. While the Internet has done a lot of equalizing, it doesn’t mean that you should try to compete with the Wal-Marts of the world. If Wal-Mart can afford to sell a digital camera for $50.00, it is unlikely that you will be able to compete.
Your goal shouldn’t be to compete with giant corporations. Instead seize the markets that are too small for them. Yes, there are more niche markets than you need. The perfect niche market is small enough so large companies will ignore them, but big enough to support your business. An excellent example of a niche market is wedding favors.
Don’t laugh. It’s true. When it comes to the bridal market, most people think of the big-ticket items such as the bridal gown, the ring, catering, etc. Wedding favors make the perfect niche market. Think about it, you don’t need a storefront, because you can ship to all US states. Retail stores are unlikely to carry favors because they are low-ticket items. Many favors are personalized that makes them very unattractive for large retailers. Because there are over 2 million wedding each year, it is a large enough market to support your business. The key to succeed in a niche market is to avoid commodities. Big box stores, chain stores, or fortune 500 companies are at an advantage selling name brand mainstream products.
If you plan on competing with large companies selling digital cameras, plasma TVs, Nike shoes, Toys and such products you are in for a rude awakening. Instead of focusing on mainstream brands, focus on specialized products. You can’t compete with giants such Wal-Mart selling toys, but you can kick their butts selling trains hand carved out of wood. To make it even less appealing to a big business, you could offer personalization, hand carving names and dates in each wooden train. I guarantee that no big box store will have any interest in selling such a products.
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