Niche Marketing for Small Specialty Shops
Small specialty shops usually rely on niche marketing for their retail success. By targeting a small group of consumers, the specialty shop can weed-out many competitors. Niche markets are not usually serviced by large retail chains or mainstream providers.
Types of Niches
The types of niches are limitless. Even Wal-Mart filled a niche at one time because it offered what no one else did. Types of niches are:
- Specialty industries
- Ethnic groups
- Geographic areas
- Age groups
Most owners of specialty shops have recognized a niche and chosen to fill it. This may be initiated by the inability to purchase certain items in your area, such as dietary items. You may also have expertise in a certain area and find a niche that will pay for your unique skills, products, or services.
A niche can also be the result of changing industry. For example, the construction of a new dairy in the area may create a market for certain feed or services.
Your niche will be providing goods and services to a unique customer base, or to a part of the common customer base that has not yet been served.
Where to Get Ideas
Ideas for your specialty store can come from anywhere. You may be inspired because you can’t find a certain type of product in your geographic area. You can open a store and serve those who share the same needs.
You may be inspired by local ads. Check local newspapers, but also check special interest publications. University newsletters, print material appealing to certain ethnic groups or religions, and other types of material can identify needs in your area that are not being met by other retailers. Just remember that, if you do open a specialty shop to address those needs, you advertise in the same publications. You will reach the very group you intend.
If you have a hobby, you may find that you can create a niche. Skills with soldering jewelry, designing clothes, or baking gluten-free muffins can turn into a cottage industry.
Needs, Tastes, and Skills
Your specialty store may focus on one product, or on several products of the same genre. In these cases, join online forums, attend conferences and reunions, and establish an online presence to make sure people looking for your product can find you.
Did you invent the Post-it Note? Many people did, but only one actually made the idea come to fruition. The battery, the crescent wrench, and other essential items are the result of someone identifying a need for certain markets.
Your taste in décor or clothing can be an ideal springboard for your specialty shop. Victorian furnishings, hippie clothing, and other interests can be marketed to others with similar tastes.
Your skills may fill an empty niche. Take your love for all things Irish to the next level and market to demographics that would be interested. Be prepared to ship products, but your expertise can be appreciated by consumers in an ever-expanding market.
Your store may be your main income, but foot traffic does not have to be your only income. Your store for Irish mementos may not find much of a market in West Texas, but that is not the limit of your reach. Google analytics, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can help in many ways.
You can have the promote your products on a per-click basis, meaning that you only have to pay for the advertisement each time a person actually clicks through to your site. You can even set a daily budget for this type of advertising, and the ad will be turned off at the end of the day or the end of your daily budget.
These sites can also supply you with tons of customer information. They track purchasing history, demographic data, geographic information, and much more, all with the cooperation of the customers. They will provide this information to you, as well.