Online marketplaces, in general, have proven to bring a ton of potential sales for multichannel sellers. However, more specific niche marketplaces have become even more successful in recent years.
Marketplaces of any kind allow vendors to reach customers they may not have access to otherwise. For a long time, access was limited to the big ecommerce behemoths that dominate the industryâ€“marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or Walmart.
While these brands may lead the industry in overall revenue, vendors have seen that they can also have access to selling on other, more niche platforms.
We want to help you think through the decision to sell on niche marketplaces, so we’ve put together this guide to help you make the best decision.
What are Niche Marketplaces?
Niche marketplaces are a subset of the larger online marketplace industry. Instead of trying to sell everything to all customers, a successful niche marketplace will focus on the specific needs of a smaller target audience.
Those target customers typically enjoy shopping on a niche market because they can find their desired product more easily. The products and services are less overwhelming than a more traditional online platform. The customer knows what to expect when they enter the site because the offerings are more focused.
Benefits of Selling on a Niche Marketplace
The specific scope for niche marketplaces brings unique value to multichannel sellers looking for new opportunities, including:
- Access to an invested, targeted audience: Niche marketplaces come with niche customers. They’re on the site because they’re looking for products like yours.
- Less competition: Brands that don’t fit the niche don’t make it onto the marketplace, so you have fewer companies with which you'll contend.
- Reduced marketing costs: Customers are already showing up on the marketplace because they want something within the niche. This traffic means you can spend less time drawing customers in and more time giving them what they want.
- Greater customer and brand loyalty: Niche marketplaces tend to cultivate a sense of community more than a traditional marketplace because people enjoy finding others who like the same unique products they do. Brands can use that connecting point to foster long-term relationships with their customers.
What Does a Successful Niche Marketplace Look Like?
Hearing a couple of success stories might help you see the potential value of selling on a niche marketplace. We’ve worked with several great brands that sell on or operate niche marketplaces. Three companies, in particular, stand out among different niches.
Chuck Levin’s (Music Equipment)
Chuck Levin’s is a longstanding brick-and-mortar music store that has been in business for over 50 years. In response to the continuing rise of ecommerce, the store decided to add an online component to their business.
Since then, they have had great success with their own website, but also on niche marketplaces like Reverb.com, so they can expand their brand and reach more customers.
StoreAutomator’s channel management solution helps them monitor and manage their listings on both channels, so they can spend more time focused on their business and less time worrying about administrative hassles.
Beauty Bridge (Beauty and Wellness)
Beauty Bridge is an online marketplace focused on selling beauty and personal care products. Established in 2004, the company has become an established leader in its industry.
Early in their development, the company leaders realized that they had a better chance to scale as a marketplace than a standard brand that tries to buy and sell their own product.
Since that change in their model, they’ve transformed from selling a product to building their marketplace that empowers various brands to sell through them.
Such marketplaces thrive on relationships between vendors and marketplace. A platform like Beauty Bridge will work with you to succeed because the better you perform, the better they do, too.
In this way, Beauty Bridge models how selling on a niche marketplace requires a partnership between you and your chosen platform.
Everest (Outdoor Products)
The adventure-seeking lifestyle is growing, and Everest is there to serve those customers.
Their marketplace sells camping and hunting equipment, apparel, and other gear for people who love the outdoors. They work with all sorts of brands that fit this niche business model and have created a great online community for their customers, too.
Their “Caliber Membership” is an excellent example of how selling on a niche marketplace can give you access to loyal customers who already trust the site you’re selling on. The membership perks include:
- Free express shipping
- Early notice on sales
- Travel discounts
The best part?
These perks are all built into the marketplace. Sellers benefit from the community and the marketing efforts the Everest team has put in to keep those members happy.
What are Other Types of Niche Marketplaces?
Music, beauty, and outdoors are just a few examples of popular niche markets. Other key examples of niche customers include:
- Conscious consumers
- Pet owners (even more niche would be specific pets)
- Remote workers
- Health and fitness fanatics
Buyers in these different niches are looking for products and services. The trick is finding which one is the right audience for your brand.
How Do You Pick the Right Niche Marketplaces for Your Brand?
Ironically, the niche marketplace industry is becoming a bit saturated. In 2019, Forbes magazine reported more niche marketplaces than ever before.
The growth trajectory has shown no sign of slowing down, either. It seems this is the new normal for online marketplaces, which can make it hard to identify with which you should partner.
One ecommerce product director summed up the problem well, “As the sheer volume of options may be overwhelming, it's important to choose your marketplaces wisely. Instead of listing across as many platforms as possible, it's more sensible to first identify the best marketplace match for your product catalogs.”
Asking the Right Questions
You can best identify a match by asking the right questions. Here are a few that can help you get started:
- Do your product or services align with the niche?
- Does the marketplace show that they care for their consumers in a way that builds community?
- Do you see signs of successful marketing efforts?
- Are other vendors happy with their relationship with the marketplace?
- Will this help accomplish your business goals?
How to Optimize All Your Sales Channels with StoreAutomator
There are all sorts of multichannel sellers with different business models, products, and backgrounds, but all of them share the same fundamental goal.
Each wants to grow their business and reduce the headaches that come with scaling. Selling on a niche marketplace is a great way to make this happen.
Using multiple channels allows you to reach more customers more efficiently. You widen your reach with every new marketplace or sales channel you adopt, but you also increase your workload.
That’s where StoreAutomator comes in.
Our solution helps modern sellers thrive by offering flexible and straightforward channel management software. The platform empowers you to:
- Create, edit, and monitor your listings across all your channels
- Manage order fulfillment and inventory
- Keep track of your product data
- Automate dropshipping processes
- Gain key, actionable insights into your channel performance
Whether you’re selling on niche marketplaces or more traditional channels, we want to help make your job easier so you can focus on growing your brand.
If you’d like to hear more about how StoreAutomator can optimize your channel management, book a free demo with a member of our expert team. We would love to hear about your business and see how we can help.