profitable niches

[2018 Update] Profitable Niche Selection Guide: Do Less While Earning More

Note: this post has been updated February 2018 to reflect the newest information about drop shipping and profitable niches.

Every year we update our guide to selecting profitable niches. If you’re familiar with digital and eCommerce trends, you know how fast things change. This is still good news for you though!

 

That’s because it’s only getting easier to research the profitability of a niche product before you start building your drop shipping store. This will give you a clear picture of market trends, releases, and ways to be profitable within a broad, over-saturated niche, hint: sub-niches!

Don’t Rush the Niche Selection Process

One of the first steps in eCommerce is choosing a niche… it’s also the biggest point where we see people get hung up. While you shouldn’t make niche selection harder than it is, it’s more important to not rush the process.

Niche selection is a common topic of discussion in our DSL Labs community. As you can tell from the conversations below, there’s plenty of help and advice shared as well!

To give you a little background, my very first eCommerce store started making money within 24 hours of going live.  I made a sale for $485 the FIRST night that my store was able to accept orders.  

I’m not telling you this to show off. I’m telling you because I want you to know the secret to my drop shipping method. The same secret  I used to make over $3,000 of sales in just over three weeks.

People are often shocked when they hear this because it sounds like I just threw together an online shop and starting making money through luck. But the truth is I spent A LOT of time prior to launching. In fact, it’s all about the preparation.

Before my store launch, I did a ton of market research in order to have the best chance of success once I was ready to launch. There was one reason that I made $485 within hours of launching. It was because I found a profitable niche that fit a certain criteria.

Keep reading to learn all the details, plus step-by-steps of my favorite methods to research the current profitability of any eCommerce niche.

4 Guaranteed Methods to Finding Profitable Niches in 2018

This guide will cover the first and arguably, one of the most important steps in building your own profitable eCommerce business: selecting profitable niches. Selecting a niche can make or break your drop shipping business making it one part of the drop shipping process you don’t want to rush.

Breaking it down, there are two types of niches the bad (non-profitable niches) and the good (profitable niches):

profitable niches

It’s not hard but there are quite a few methods that you need to know in order to select a profitable drop shipping product. When searching for a profitable niche that’s good for the drop shipping model in 2018 you’ll want to use these methods:

Method #1: Focused Brainstorming

[bctt tweet=”Like all projects, the first step is brainstorming.”]

Before you can test different niches for profitability you need to think of niches to test. This doesn’t mean you think about it on the ride to a friends house, you need to block off time and focus on brainstorming.

TIP: When first brainstorming profitable niches, make a list of at least 50 good niches that fit the criteria above.

 

Your Profitable NicheTo brainstorm new ideas, I often think of things that I’ve recently bought online. As well as asking family and friends what they’ve recently purchased. Also, think about what you’ve bought in the past. Think about all your family and friends and what they have in their houses.

Write everything down, even if it seems questionable at the time. I then take this list and begin  running them through my “tests”. Tons of niches are profitable, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into them.

Once you have your first list of niches, view them through these five lenses:

  1. Competition – Scout out other drop shipping stores and see what products are over-saturated. You don’t want to sell those.
  2. Loyalty – Don’t go for a niche or product that is dominated by a national brand(s).
  3. Pricing – It’s easy: the higher the price of the products, the greater your profit margin will be!
  4. Weight – Shipping is expensive but a winning combo is a high-priced product that has low shipping weights.
  5. Returns – Don’t pick a product with sizing and style preferences, they will have an astronomical return rate.

Method #2: Research and Evaluate Current Drop Shipping Trends

eBay is still a good place to check if items sell online but don’t base your prices off of eBay’s.  They’re far too low. Even though it’s not as relevant these days, it’s still a good place to brainstorm profitable niches.

Once you’re on eBay, you want to identify products in different niches that are expensive (to me, that’s $500 or more, but it’s up to you). Then go through different categories on eBay and change your search results to show “completed listings”.  If the completed listing is in red it means the item did not sell.  If it’s in green it means the item sold.

Look closer into the products that are shown in green and search for completed listing only for that specific product.  I used to do this over and over until I identified about 20 products within one niche that almost ALWAYS sold (10+ units per day).

TIP: Tons of niches are profitable, but that doesn’t mean you should rush into them.

When I started I wasn’t drop shipping. I was importing from China, so I contacted a few suppliers that I had found on Alibiba.com and requested price lists for these exact products.  I then contacted a customs broker and got shipping quotes for a container of the products. Next, I factored in all of my other expenses and learned I could sell these on eBay at the same price as many competitors and make a 50%+ profit on each sale! But that was back in 2006…

Method #3: Use Amazon’s Help to Select Very Specific Niches

Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer and they sell pretty much everything under the sun. That’s what makes it one of the best places to find profitable niches and the products that are “red hot”.

Here’s the step by step process to finding profitable niches using Amazon:

  1. Click on the ‘All’ tab at the left of the main search bar it will show a list of categories or ‘niches’.
  2. Click on a specific category, that interests you (or at random).
  3. Then leave the search box blank and hit ‘Go’.
  4. A new page will display and on the left-hand side a whole list of subcategories or ‘sub-niches’ will pop up.
  5. Click a subcategory and it’ll take you further down into the niche into a more specific sub-niche.
  6. You now have drilled down into specific niches and can even go further still.

Amazon is especially great to help you find a super specific niche and the products that sell best. Even better is you can choose ‘best sellers’ from the navigation bar at the top of the page just under the search box and see what’s currently selling best.

There’s no way you can’t find a profitable niche on Amazon, or at least have a good brainstorming session browsing the site. Amazon’s “Best Sellers” page is updated hourly making it a solid resource for profitable niche selection!

Method #4: Think Like A Marketer

Now, I know that I’m not selling on eBay anymore and I don’t think you should either. But, a lot of this advice is still useful in the world of drop shipping today. The first (and most important) tip I will share on finding a profitable niche when drop shipping is SELL EXPENSIVE ITEMS!!

Based on my experience, the average net profit when drop shipping is about 20% of your total sales. Basically, you’ll make 20% profit on a $1,000 item and a $10 item so you could either make $200 or $2 per sale. If you want to make money, you need to sell expensive items.

drop shipping methods

There’s nothing else to it. Not that complicated, right?

Once you’ve identified these items you need to find some potential “future competition”. Online retailers who are already selling these items. Unfortunately, there’s no way to find out how much money they make on each sale at this point. BUT you can find out if this niche is profitable by seeing if the suppliers enforce MAP policies.

map pricing

If your results show different prices, that are all over the place, then this supplier does NOT enforce MAP.  If the results say something like “$999 from 3 stores” and there are no other prices listed for the same exact item then you’ve likely found a supplier that enforces MAP!  You can now move onto the next step.

You can call these potential suppliers to see if they enforce MAP policies. But the easiest way to check if MAP policies are in place, is to go to Google Shopping and search for some random products in your niche:

MAP Enforced

Two More Tips for Niche Selection from Our Expert DSL Coaches:

Our elite group of Certified DSL Coaches, work hard with DSL members to ensure they never feel alone, frustrated, or confused in their drop shipping journey. We’ve got an incredibly smart group of coaches who love to help new members find drop shipping success. Here’s two tips they want you to know when researching profitable niches:

Tip #1: Think Just Outside the Box

Michael Coghlan has been a coach with us since we started the program and he’s the perfect example of a great coach. While Michael helps members grow all aspects of their drop shipping businesses, niche selection is one his specialties.

anton kraly
Michael and I grabbing sno cones in Hawaii while planning the 2016 DSL Retreat

 

His biggest tip for selecting a highly-profitable niche? You gotta think barely outside the box. Michael explains:

“When people pick their niche they often fall into one of two categories. Either people choose a very common niche idea or one that is too ‘out there’. The common niches are often over-saturated. Leaving you in a highly competitive marketplace that you’ll struggle to thrive in.

“The other mistake is choosing an outlandish niche. Something that is very specialized, making it very difficult to make consistent sales without a ton of extra work. Again, if you research properly you’ll see that niches like this feel more like a boutique than an automated business (the kind that will give you freedom).

“The real way to excel at drop shipping is to pick a product idea that is just outside the box. For instance, my best selling product ever was a portable ice maker. If you think about it, it was just barely outside the box. Not as common as a refrigerator, but not as UNCOMMON as say a walk in deep freezer for a restaurant. Finding that nice balance early on makes niche selection a much easier process.”

Tip #2: Get Out and Open Your Mind

[bctt tweet=”Get out and open your mind. It’s amazing how many potential winning niches you can find.” username=”ecomlifestyle”]

Brent William is one of our drop shipping coaches and is an expert at niche selection. His biggest tips for new members to the community is to not get overwhelmed with niche selection:

“Everyone struggles with this, but what you need to do is open your mind. Get out among the shops and big stores for a day, pay attention to what’s around you as you walk around. It’s amazing how many potential winning niches you can find.

“Also, when using Google Shopping you can search broad words like outdoors or furniture. Then on the left hand side, reduce the search down to items over $500 or $1,000 (Perfect Priced Items). You’ll get a ton of interesting ideas by scrolling through all the pages. By using broad keyword search terms can uncover things you never thought of.”

Getting Started and Finding Your Winning Niche

Finding a profitable niche is the most important factor that goes into building a successful drop shipping store. To help get you started brainstorming drop shipping products, here’s my list for the most profitable niches in 2018:

  1. Racing Bicycle Wheels (New Tires = Repeat Sales)
  2. Skeet Shooting Launcher (New Skeets = Repeat Sales)
  3. Grills / Smokers (Wood Chips = Repeat Sales)
  4. Video & Photography Lights (New Bulbs = Repeat Sales)
  5. Pottery & Ceramics (New Material = Repeat Sales)
  6. Automatic Pet Feeders (Pet Food = Repeat Sales)
  7. Mobile Bars (Restocking = Repeat Sales)
  8. Commercial Restaurant Equipment (Restocking = Repeat Sales)
  9. 3D Printing (New Material = Repeat Sales)
  10. Bow Hunting (New Arrows = Repeat Sales)

You’ll notice that these top 10 niches provide plenty of opportunities to create repeat (and loyal) customers. Repeat customers are the type of customers that continue to buy from your drop shipping store for years to come.

This means you’ll have a much higher customer lifetime value and a higher ROAS (return on ad spend). Keeping long-term strategies like this in mind when you’re researching profitable niches will not only help bring in a consistent cash flow, but will also increase the value of your drop shipping store over time!

Any questions? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and we’ll keep the conversation going!

If you’re looking more ideas for a profitable drop shipping niche, I put together an updated list of 187 profitable niches to sell online. This guide will help to take the guesswork out of niche selection.

Click the image below to get your free copy of 187 PROFITABLE Niches plus 3 of my favorite techniques for advanced niche selection.

ecommerce niche ideas

[thrive_link color=’orange’ link=’https://www.dropshiplifestyle.com/lp/niche-selection/’ target=’_blank’ size=’big’ align=’aligncenter’]DOWNLOAD: 187 Profitable eCommerce Niche Ideas[/thrive_link]

Niche Selection
Top 10 Niches Of 2018

The Top 10 Niches Of 2018

Welcome to your top 10 niches of 2018.

Niche selection is the first step to creating a profitable eCommerce business. That’s why we focus on it heavily in the Drop Ship Blueprint!

It’s also why every year we analyze which niches are giving the most return and why. That leads us to new profitable strategies and finding the top 10 niches that work with these strategies.

top 10 niche searchtop 10 niche search

This is the fourth year of our analysis and that means another 10 of the best niches for eCommerce, totaling to 40 niches! It’s really a niche timeline, and if you’re following along with my course, any year’s niches could work for you.

Top 10 Niches of 2015:

2015’s top 10 niches were all about hobby niches. People are passionate about their hobbies and will gladly spend top dollar to support that passion!

Hobby Niches Dominated The Top 10 List of 2015

The best part? These passionate people can be targeted over and over again with new content that can be loaded into your email autoresponder. You can target the same customers repeatedly by delivering real value that they’ll love and want to share with their communities.

For you, this means less advertising costs, more qualified traffic, and more loyal customers. Out of all the hobbies that are popular right now, we found that these top 10 niches (in no particular order) were winners:

  1. Aquariums
  2. Backpacking
  3. Deep Sea Fishing
  4. Home Brewing
  5. Bowhunting
  6. Model Trains
  7. Arts & Crafts
  8. Gardening
  9. Doll Houses
  10. Scuba-diving

These top 10 niches have a lot of opportunities to use smaller offers for building trust with your customers. That way they’re comfortable buying your main offer. Also, you can make some great free content with these niches to attract potential customers.

Top 10 Niches of 2016:

2016 was the year of the upsell. We chose niches that make you more money through selling add-ons with your main product. That means you make even more money per transaction.

Here are the top 10 niches of 2016 and some ideas for upsells:

  1. Power Tools -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Woodworking Plans
  2. Drum Sets -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Drum Lessons
  3. Gun Safes -> Value Added Upsell Idea: NRA Membership
  4. Wall Paper -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Interior Design Consultation
  5. Snowboards -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Snowboard Bags
  6. Trampolines -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Safety Net
  7. Fireplaces -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Fireplace Screens
  8. Desks -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Office Chairs
  9. Home Bars -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Bar Stools
  10. Above Ground Pools -> Value Added Upsell Idea: Pool Covers

Top 10 Niches of 2017:

Each year we are learning and building on what we found out the previous year. So not only are we looking for passionate segments of customers, but we want to have a high upsell value to get more money with each transaction.

In 2017, we focused on passion-based niches that you can create Facebook groups around and become a leader in. If you build a thriving community around your products you’ll get a ton of organic and referral traffic, which means you’ll be able to sell more to your customers!

Facebook Communities

 

These top 10 niches are broad while still being specific. Meaning there are a lot of associated products you can sell with/after they purchase your main offer. Which means you’ll have huge upsells on the main offer AND be able to continually sell to them after!

Why Build A Community?

Building a great community will turn you into a trusted authority to your customers and newcomers alike.

[bctt tweet=”Building a great community will turn you into a trusted authority to your customers and newcomers alike.” username=”akraly”]

Facebook is a destination, a habit, a way of life. So if you can tie your brand to their Facebook AND have them interact, then you become more than just a drop shipping store. You become a destination, a habit, and a way of life.

Just look at the average daily social media to see the potential:

Average Daily Time Spent on Social

Facebook comes in second place with an average of 35 minutes per day! That’s huge. You could have people’s attention tied up with your brand for 30+ minutes EVERY DAY.

So what niches are perfect for building Facebook groups?

Here are the top 10 niches of 2017 for building communities with:

  1. MMA Training Equipment: Take advantage of the buzz created around fights
  2. Spelunking: It’s a competitive hobby, think photo bragging rights of “who climbed into that really really small hole”. Plus it’s usually a group activity. 
  3. Survival Prepping: Think “Doomsday” Preppers.
  4. Exotic Pet Supplies: People, LOVE their pets, and they also LOVE talking about their pets.
  5. RC Cars & Planes: Not just for kids. Adults pay some serious bucks for this niche.
  6. Rock Climbing Equipment: Also a group activity. Many rock climbers join local climbing Facebook groups to meet fellow climbers & talk “rock”!
  7. Lawn Care: These are the type of people who win “Lawn of the Month”.
  8. Robot Building: Another expensive “toy” for adults. There are even robot competitions!
  9. Bio-Hacking: Huge trend that has grown in popularity over the past few years.
  10. Amateur Photography: So many accessories to talk shop about: light boxes, stands, green screens, filters, etc.

With these top 10 niches, you can build up an active Facebook group that your customer will love to interact with. More importantly, you’ll have a brand that they’ll love to buy from!

Top 10 Niches of 2018:

Can you believe it’s already 2018?  Time keeps flying and we keep selling, which means our top 10 niches list keeps growing!

Now if you scroll up to the top of this list you will see we started sharing our top 10 niches back in 2015.  You’ll notice that some of those items are great for one-time purchases, but many provide opportunities for repeat customers.

Imagine if you started with one of those niches back in 2015 and still had the same customers coming back to your store to buy more. You’d still be making money off a customer you acquired over 3 years ago!  

Here are the top 10 niches of 2018 for gaining repeat buyers:

  1. Racing Bicycle Wheels (New Tires = Repeat Sales)
  2. Skeet Shooting Launcher (New Skeets = Repeat Sales)
  3. Grills / Smokers (Wood Chips = Repeat Sales)
  4. Video & Photography Lights (New Bulbs = Repeat Sales)
  5. Pottery & Ceramics (New Material = Repeat Sales)
  6. Automatic Pet Feeders (Pet Food = Repeat Sales)
  7. Mobile Bars (Restocking = Repeat Sales)
  8. Commercial Restaurant Equipment (Restocking = Repeat Sales)
  9. 3D Printing (New Material = Repeat Sales)
  10. Bow Hunting (New Arrows = Repeat Sales)

With these top 10 niches of 2018, you’ll be able to acquire customers that will buy from your dropshipping store for years to come. This means you’ll have a much higher customer lifetime value and a higher ROAS (return on ad spend).

Top 10 niches return on Investment

Keeping long-term strategies in mind will not only help bring in a consistent cash flow but will increase the value of your store over time. Meaning, If you decide to sell your store, it will be worth more.

Now you have 40 of the best drop shipping niches from the last 4 years! With these ideas, you can get started creating your own eCommerce store. And finally, live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

 

Drop Ship Strategy, Niche Selection

3 Tips To Narrow Down Your Niche

Introduction

One of your very first steps in eCommerce is to figure out how to find a niche. This can be daunting for those new to drop shipping, that’s why we cover niche selection so often.

Today we have some awesome insights from one of our most successful DSL coaches, Michael Coghlan. In this article, he shows you his 3 tips to narrow down your niche. That way you can find a profitable niche with less competition.

As many calls as I get every single day, one of the most common topics is how to narrow down your niches. People usually think of 50-100 niches and are like “How do I narrow these down? These all sound pretty good.”

Thankfully, there’s an easy method I use to narrow down niches.

But I can’t take credit for this method. My business partner, Nathan (he’s on the right), showed me this after my second store. After using it, my next 3 stores were very profitable.

Michael & Nathan

This method is perfect for when you are just starting out or on your second store. It’ll really help you focus down to the least competitive niche!

Basically, what you do is go through every single niche idea you have. Then go to Google Shopping and put the main keyword in.

In this example, I went with air purifiers. We want to go to Google Shopping in the U.S. (if that’s where you want to sell your products).

Tip #1 If You’re Overseas Use A Personal VPN

If you’re overseas trying to sell in the U.S. always make sure you have a VPN. I have personally used WiTopia as my VPN when I was overseas.

Just type “personal VPN” into Google and you’ll find one to use. This is just to make sure you’re getting the right search results by appearing to be in the U.S.

Tip #2 Look For Niches With 10+ Stores Or Less Per Product

Narrow Down Your Niches Quote

To narrow down my niches I use Google Shopping. I look for 10 stores or less per product on the first page of results. These niches have less competition. If there are 2-3 listings are over that amount, that’s usually okay.

If you see 5-7 listing over the store maximum, that’s usually when niches get a little too competitive. Again 10 stores or less for 85% of the first page. You can find the number of stores right next to the price point.

Google Shopping Number Of Stores Selling

If the majority of the products on the first page have 10 stores or less then the niche is only moderately competitive. Which makes it easier to succeed.

When you get at 25 stores on a product you start to see big competitors and big box stores like:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Lowe’s
  • Kohls
  • Home Depot
  • Best Buys
  • Wayfair
  • Overstock
  • Hayneedle

It gets pretty competitive and that means it is more expensive to advertise.

When you get into products with 50-100 stores, what you’ll actually see is big box stores competing against themselves for the exact same product.

For the same exact product – you’ll get sellers like Walmart Dallas, Walmart Atlanta, Walmart LA, and Walmart Omaha. And you’ll see the same thing for Target and Best Buy. This is a sign of a very competitive niche. Way too crowded for someone new.

Crowded Niche

The reason I like this method for your first or second stores is that it narrows ideas. I don’t ever eliminate ideas, just put them aside for later down the road. This just weeds out ideas that are too common and probably too competitive.

Again, not saying you can’t do these niches. It’s just if you see 50-100 stores on the majority of the page you’ll:

  • Have higher cost per click
  • Burn through your ad budget really quick.

You’ll probably have a ton of clicks, but you’ll spend a lot of money fast.

If this is your first or second store and you haven’t optimized your page for conversions OR you’re just getting used to the DSL AdWords course… then you will have a much better chance of succeeding by using this method.

It’s a much safer and mild route to go and you can still make your store very profitable. With that in mind, you can see that 9/20 on this page are over the 10+ stores.

Too Many Stores On Air Purifiers

Much higher than that 15%-20% range that we’re looking to be over the 10+ stores.  

If you’re ever looking for a specific niche that I’d NEVER recommend, check out air purifiers. You can see the “10 stores or less” method not being applied. You can see it doesn’t fit the criteria.

If this is something you’re looking at, maybe you should skip it for your first or second store. Have a little bit of money coming in from your other drop shipping stores to back you before going with something more competitive.

Piggy Bank Quote

Tip #3 Only Use “Sort By Price” As A Measure For Average Price

The last thing I want to mention is that I don’t sort by price. The biggest reason is that I’m never selling under $200, I only use it as a quick scan of the average price in the niche.

As far as products go, I normally stick with anything over $200 (some people go with minimum $500 products). One exception was my best selling product, a portable ice maker. It was a $180 product with 50% profit margin, so it was well worth it.

But normally you have to stick above that $200 range at minimum. Again, the reason I don’t sort by price is that I see really cheap products. If you see a lot under $200, it’s a mini red flag.

If everyone is searching for air purifiers every single day, what percentage of people are just looking for the cheap crap?

Now it’s different if the cheapest item you’re selling is $200, that’s the low end… and the middle range is $500… and the high end is $800. That’s an ideal product because even on the low end you’re meeting Anton’s minimum price criteria.

But on something like air purifiers, it’s a red flag with all these really cheap $50-$70 products. Just keep that in mind as a bonus tip.

Whether you’re starting out or are on your fifth store, using Google Shopping is the best way to find niches with lower competition.

[bctt tweet=”Using Google Shopping is the best way to find niches with lower competition.” username=”akraly”]

To narrow down your niches just follow these tips:

Tip #1 Use a VPN if you’re overseas to access the U.S. Google shopping.

Tip #2 Look for niches that have their first page mainly filled with 10 stores or less per product

Tip #3 Only use the “sort by price” feature to get an idea of average price and to spot red flags

Through the power of Google shopping, you’ll have a niche with less competition and lower cost per clicks.

Let us know how this worked for you. Also, If you have any question ask them in the comments below.

Drop Shipping Business Tutorials, Niche Selection

How to Choose a Profitable eCommerce Niche + Winning Niche List

[2018 UPDATE]

(Click Here to Scroll to The Transcript)

Have you ever wondered what the first 3 rules of picking the right niche for drop shipping are? If so, Anton has you covered in this video and article. Discover the 3 criteria he uses to find profitable niches that will have you making a full-time living off your eCommerce store. You may be surprised at what they are…

Profitable Niche Selection Explained

Niche Selection can make or break your business…

So, you’re ready to start an eCommerce drop ship business.  Congratulations!  The first step is the biggest one of all.  That step is not just saying that you “want to start an online business” but actually taking action and moving towards getting your first sale.  The first step of this process is called “Niche Selection”.

drop shipping blueprint step 1: niche selection

This post will cover the first step towards building a profitable eCommerce business.  Choosing your niche.  A good niche will meet three prices of criteria:  it will fall into our target price range, it will appeal to the upper-middle class, and consumers will have no brand loyalty.

Choosing your Niche

choosing your niche

When choosing a niche for a new eCommerce store I look for a set of products that meet certain criteria…

Pricing:

[bctt tweet=”The products you choose to sell must be expensive. “]

The average product price should be $200 or more.  This is because your average profit margin (when you are drop shipping and using our method) will be about 20% of the gross revenue.  The same amount of time will go into processing an order for $20 as it will for processing an order for $200 or $2,000.  If you’re going to be doing the work you might as well have a chance of making some real money on each sale.

It is important to note that although I do have websites that sell products for $999 and up, I have noticed customers placing an order that large prefer to call in to place their orders.  If you are comfortable on the phone then this will not be a problem, but if you want to run an online store where the majority of orders come in before the customer even contacts you, I would recommend selling items priced between $200 and $700.

Target Market:

I have sold products online that appeal to the wealthy, products that appeal to the middle class, and products that appeal to lower income households.  From all of my experience, I have learned that it is best to appeal to the upper middle class, meaning online shoppers who have a household income of $100,000 or more.  It’s sad to say but if you sell products that appeal to low-income households you will have a lot more work to do.

eCommerce Target Market

After over ten years of experience selling products online, I’ve realized that low-income household products require much more pre-selling, much more interaction with the customers, and more complaints/returns.  The same can be said about selling to the wealthy.  They expect more personalized service and require much more of an effort to close the sale.  [bctt tweet=”We are not looking to start a business that requires a lot of individual attention to customers. “]

We are looking to start a business that requires as little effort as possible while generating the most sales possible.  We are looking to sell to single people or families with disposable income who are used to shopping online and comfortable making large purchases over the internet.

Generic Brands:

howard shultz brand loyalty

 

What kind of computer or cell phone do you have? Is it the same kind of brand as your last one? Chances are if you own a Mac, the next computer you buy will also be a Mac. Why? Brand loyalty.

When selling online, you want to avoid selling products that customers already have brand loyalty for…

For example, I would not try to sell TVs online.  Most customers who are buying a TV do the research on which TV is best for them or purchase the same brand TV they have had in the past.

They already have researched which TV brand has the best picture quality, the best warranty, and the best reviews online.  If I wanted to sell the TVs that people are actually buying (Sonys, Panasonics, LGs, etc) there is no way I would get approved for an account with the same payment and pricing terms as Best Buy or any other big box stores.

So, what type of products do I look to sell?  Products that customers are thinking about buying but do not already know which brand they should buy and products that customers would be comfortable buying from any manufacturer.

Here are some examples of markets that I would want to target:

Let’s say I live on a lake and I decide I want to get into stand-up paddle boarding.  I know I need a paddle board and a paddle but I have no prior knowledge of this sport or what brands are well known.  I can care less what company makes the board as long as I can find some good reviews and the price is right.

This is a great example of a product to sell online.  The average cost of a stand-up paddle board and the paddle is over $700, the average customer does not care what brand they are buying, and this sport is likely to appeal to the upper middle class that would be purchased with disposable income.

paddle board niche research

 

Here is another example:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith move into a new home, there is a huge chandelier that hangs in the entryway.  Mrs. Smith hates it.  They go to the local Home Depot & Lowes but can not find a replacement that they agree on.  They know what style they are looking for but they can not find it locally.  Mrs. Smith goes online and searches for a 30” x 30” entryway chandelier.  She finds a website with hundreds of options including one that she and husband can agree upon.

This is another great example of a product to sell online.  Chandeliers are expensive, they appeal to the upper middle class, and the average customer does not care what brand they are buying as long as they like what they see.

Good Product to Sell Online Example

Take some time now to think about other products that meet these criteria.  Write a list of as many product types as you can think of.

If you’re crunched for time, let us help you by providing you with some niche ideas. Click here to get the niches.

 

Video Transcript

The Importance Of Niche Selection

Anton here from Drop Ship Lifestyle, and in this video, I want to talk about niche selection. More specifically, how to do it profitably. How to choose profitable niches and how it can actually be easy.

Niche selection is obviously the first step that everyone takes whenever you build an eCommerce store. There are definitely ways to do it right and there are ways to do it wrong. Now, the problem is you can still make money if you do it the wrong way. Except it will be a lot harder to get to your desired outcome. Which I guess is making a full-time living, right? Making a lot of money with eCommerce.

Criteria #1: Price

I am going to share with you 3 tips for profitable niche selection, how to pick niches that will actually make money. Now, here are a few pieces of criteria I look for. The first thing is always the price. That means product’s price, what you’re going to sell this product for.

When we are doing our niche selection, we always look for niches that are $200 or more on average. What does that mean in practice? Well, if you sold something like a water bottle, that’s not at least $200. So that is not going to be a niche that I get involved with. Now, on the other hand, if it is something like a cell phone, that’s more than $200. That would pass the price test, but it would not pass the third test that you’ll hear about later. Something like the office chair I am sitting in, again it’s over $200, that would be a good product. It passes the first test when it comes to niche selection.

Criteria #2: Target Market

Once we make sure our price is above $200, we look towards our target market. Now, if you are involved with marketing at all (if you ever studied marketing) you’re familiar with demographics. And the truth is you could break up the world into probably a billion different demographics. But the purpose of this nice selection video is to learn how to find profitable niches, so I am only going to talk about 3 of those demographics.

Now the first will be the lower income people. The second will be the upper middle class. And the third will be the wealthy. When we are looking into products and trying to find our profitable niches, we stay right in the middle. We want to sell to the upper middle class.

There are a few reasons why. If you sell to people who don’t have money or to people that have too much money, what you’ll find is the amount of customer service that you (or your employee) have to put into your business is going to skyrocket.

When people don’t have enough money or spend their last dollar to buy your products, you better believe they are going to have more questions. They are going to be inspecting the items more carefully. If anything is wrong or even if they think anything is wrong, you are going to hear about it non-stop.

With the wealthy, it’s the same thing. When they are investing money or buying products, they expect a certain level of customer service that requires really a different type of business owner. And there is nothing wrong with that. But, just expect that if you’re going to go that route, you are going to be more of a concierge rather than someone that makes money online.

Again, that is why when we are looking at demographics. Remember, stick with the upper middle class. I define that as having a combined household income of above $100,000 U.S. dollars. When people have that kind of money, they are very comfortable with spending online. They are used to buying items that are $200 or more. They are not going to be calling or emailing you as much. They are going to be comfortable with the order process. And from what I have experienced, they are generally happier with the products. You are going to deal with fewer returns.

So again, this demographic makes niche selection a lot easier. It makes your business run a lot smoother. It makes it a lot more profitable if you choose niches that fall into that target demographic. If that’s who the products appeal to.

Criteria #3: Brand Loyalty

Now, finally the last tip I want to give you out of these 3 tips. Remember, it was price, then it was the target demographic. Now, I want to talk about brand loyalty. I mentioned earlier that while cell phones fall into the price range criteria, they don’t meet one of my other criteria and that is because of the brand loyalty.

When someone is going to buy a cell phone, in general, they are going to buy an iPhone or they are going to buy Galaxy or another Android phone, Right? But they already have a brand in their head of what product they want.

Same thing with people that are going to buy headphones. There is probably four or five big headphone companies. Right? There is Sony, there is Bose, there are Beats, and there is Sennheiser. There are all these big companies and people already know what they are going to buy.

So the third thing that you are going to look for when trying to choose a profitable niche is to pick an industry that has no brand loyalty. It’s going to make a big difference. That’s because if you try to sell in a niche where people already know what company they want to buy from, it’s going to make it that much harder for you to get suppliers. Harder for you to actually be able to sell these products, for you to be able to compete in terms of price. It’s impossible.

Conclusion:

I hope you guys got value from that. I know it was a quick video, but remember my 3 rules for niche selection: the target price, the target demographic, and brand loyalty cannot exist – because if it does it’s going to make your life a lot harder. If you want to do things the easy way, you want to do things the right way, and you want to start making money early on with Drop Shipping then definitely check out Drop Ship Lifestyle. Join version 5.0 of our program, and I will see you in the member’s area. Thank you, everybody.

Now that you have the 3 criteria you can start tracking down your own profitable niche. To help you absolutely nail niche selection download our 187 niche ideas. With this idea-packed resource, you’ll find the perfect niche for your store and start your journey to a better life through drop shipping.

[thrive_link color=’orange’ link=’https://www.dropshiplifestyle.com/lp/niche-selection/’ target=’_blank’ size=’big’ align=’aligncenter’]DOWNLOAD: 187 Profitable Niches[/thrive_link]

Niche Selection
Narrow Your Niche With Keyword Research

Narrow Your Niche With Keyword Research

Part 2 In Narrowing Your Niche Series: Mike (DSL Coach) Demonstrates How To Use A DFY Service To Help You Determine Which Niche To Enter

In this video you will learn:

  • How many niches Michael has prepped before starting this process
  • How the process helps find lower search volume terms and lowers PPC
  • The exact service he uses to get a “Done For You” Keyword List and Report
  • The 4 things he gets in that report that helps him get to the best niche
  • A breakdown demonstrating how the report will save you time and money
  • The criteria that will help you determine if it’s a niche you should enter

Links from this training:

If you have any questions let me know by commenting below this video!

Drop Shipping Business Tutorials, Niche Selection
Jose 100k milestone

Crossing the 100k Milestone with Drop Shipping

A Successful Drop Ship Lifestyle Student Discusses How He Found Success with His Store

Welcome to the second chat with a successful Drop Ship Lifestyle student on YouTube Live!

In this edition, you’ll learn:

  • The mindset behind Jose’s success
  • The SEO method backed by a solid content strategy to get blogging partners to leverage to get targeted traffic
  • Ways to think about and approach niche selection
  • How to be customer focused
  • The importance of setting goals

Links from this edition:

If you have any questions just let me know in the comments section below!

Drop Ship Success Stories, Niche Selection, Traffic, Videos
niche selection

eCommerce Niche Selection

Today we will be talking about eCommerce Niche Selection.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to choose what products to sell online
  • Whether or not to use supplier directories
  • What to do after you’ve found your ideal product

Links from this episode:

If you have any questions just let me know in the comments section below!

Drop Ship Weekly, Niche Selection, Videos

Solving the Ecommerce Puzzle: 3 Steps to Carving Out a Winning Niche

You are poised to launch your own eCommerce business…

You have crafted your business plan. You have your infrastructure in place. But you’re just not sure which products will fly and which will flop.

You realize that you can’t sell everything – yes, that’s Amazon looming over your shoulder – and want to carve out a niche for your enterprise. Smart move.

Here are the three steps to take in making your decision.

1. Choose a Category that Fuels Your Passion

There are 11 top-level categories of niche markets that are primed for eCommerce success:

  • Sports
  • Kitchen
  • Office
  • Pet Supplies
  • Health & Fitness
  • Medical & Elderly Care
  • Maternity & Parenthood
  • Hobbies & Recreation
  • B2B
  • Patio & Garden
  • Home Goods

Nestled inside each of these categories are products that consistently outperform in online platforms, so one category isn’t inherently better than the next

However, these 11 categories are head and shoulders above the countless other categories where the market is oversaturated.

Because these 11 categories are all fair game, it makes sense to choose a category about which you’re passionate. If you have to stifle a yawn every time you think about cooking, baking, and entertaining, then “Kitchen” is the wrong category for you. But if you’re a gym rat or relentlessly training for your next triathlon, then “Health & Fitness” is right up your alley. If your spine tingles when you step into an office supply store but you feel faint when you think about a doctor’s visit, skip “Medical & Elderly Care” and instead go for the “Office” category. The bottom line: Select a category that will keep you interested and excited.

2. Get into the Mind of Your Potential Customer

mind-reading

If you are passionate about your category, you probably already know what makes your customer tick, but give it some thought nonetheless.

Once you understand that moms-to-be want only the best for their babies, you can source uber-appealing high chairs and cribs.

Folks who cook and entertain are always on the hunt for the latest kitchen gadget, so by keeping your finger on the pulse of restaurant trends, you can anticipate customer demand and ride the sales wave to profitability.

Playing sports is intergenerational, meaning you can seek out products that your customers are likely to purchase for themselves, their children, and the entire family. The knowledge you gain by getting into the mind of your target customer will guide you in both product selection and your marketing efforts.

** Note **

You may thinking “wow, Anton… this all sounds great, but I don’t have any passions!”.  Don’t worry. While I do you believe that having a passion can help you build a better store from day one, I absolutely know it’s not necessary for long-term success. I’ve sold (and still sell in) many niches that I knew nothing about one first launching stores.  Choosing a passion is one technique for niche selection – you can also click here to see some more.

3. Carefully Choose Your Products

Take each product you’re considering and view it through five lenses.

  • Lens 1:  Competition
  • Lens 2:  Loyalty
  • Lens 3:  Pricing
  • Lens 4:  Weight
  • Lens 5:  Returns

First, scout out the competition.

If everyone is selling the same set of patio lights or is offering the same shower bench, it may not the product for you. Instead, seek out harder-to-find products – especially those that can’t be stocked by big box stores due to a number of styles or options available.

The second lens is brand loyalty.

Your most profitable products will be those that aren’t dominated by a national brand. In other words, forget the food processor (Cuisinart’s cornered that market) and instead opt for high-end blenders or juicers.

bigbrands1-300x201

Third, seek out products with high price points.

The higher the price, the greater the profit margin.

A 30 percent markup on a $10 item is just $3, whereas a 30 percent markup on a $1,000 item is $300.  This is where your knowledge of your potential customer is critical.

What big-ticket items are pet owners likely to purchase?

What about sports enthusiasts who live by the water?

profit per sale
$3 profit per sale or $300 profit per sale. Which do you prefer?

The fourth lens is the weight of the product.

Shipping is expensive. Charging your customer for shipping a heavy item can be a disincentive for purchasing while offering free shipping on that same product can cut deeply into your profit margin. The winning combination is offering high-priced products that have low shipping weights.

At the same time, think about how you can beat your competition. The high shipping costs may dissuade them from selling certain products. Their fear could be your strength.

As a rule of thumb, we will not sell items that must ship via freight carrier for any less than $500.

The final lens through which to view products is the potential rate of returns.

Absolutely avoid selling clothing. Because of sizing issues and style preferences, apparel has an astronomical return rate.

Contrast the likelihood of clothing returns with the likelihood that a fitness buff will send back a high-priced stair climber. It’s apples and oranges.

While many product categories are flooded with sellers, the 11 categories we’ve pinpointed have tremendous potential for profitability.

When you follow your passion, know your customer, and filter out probable underperforming products, what remains will become the foundation of your successful eCommerce venture!

Niche Selection
Leave Value Optimization

Lead Value Optimization: The New Trick For eCommerce Niche Selection

More upsells, more sales. Choose your niche wisely.

If you’ve been following drop shipping for any amount of time, you already know the cardinal rule to success: Pick a winning niche.

[bctt tweet=”But the rules for “winning niches” has changed.”]

If you would have asked me for advice about niche selection a few years ago I probably would have said something like:

“Pick the niche which the most suppliers and the highest average price point.  More suppliers typically means more products which usually drives more exposure, traffic, and sales.  It also means you have a better chance of getting approved with more suppliers which is extremely important when just starting out… and obviously the higher price point typically leads to a higher $ amount earned per sale…. which means you do not need to do lots of work to make lots of money.”

Well, moving forward into 2016 I’d like to add something else to continue building on this criteria…

Before selecting the #1 niche on your master list, you should narrow it down to those that have the potential for Value Added Upsells.

A value added upsell is something that you can sell your customers in addition to your core offer that will provide value to them and that will make you much more money per sale.

So why am I adding this to my list of criteria for 2016?  Because finally (after 10 years in this business!) I’ve learned the golden rule:

spend on traffic quote

 

[bctt tweet=”He who can spend the most on traffic wins”]

I’d like to add two quick notes here:

  1. This does not mean you need to invest a lot on traffic to profit.
  2. Yet, if you do build a strong “upsell funnel”, you can easily scale your business!

Now back to the golden rule. In the past I would often wonder how some of my eCommerce competitors were able to be everywhere on Google – some of them would literally have multiple ad spots on the same pages!  While I was still able to get traffic and sales I had NO chance of competing with them for bidding on traffic…. my ads just did not convert into sales…

For YEARS, I was baffled by how they were able to do this… I honestly thought they were losing money by paying for advertising.  

However – I continued to optimize my stores and continued to test different offers until one day everything clicked… my competitors weren’t buying all the ads and losing money… they were just earning their profits on the back-end of their sales funnels!

Here is an example to help you visualize how this works:

product upsell gif

More on Lead Value Optimization:

At this year’s Drop Ship Lifestyle Thailand Retreat I actually gave a presentation on how to best apply this concept to drop shipping stores. Here is a video clip:

The full 90-minute training video is available to all Drop Ship Lifestyle coaching program students.  Here is a slide that covers the framework for the talk:

lead value optimization techniques

I hope this all is starting to paint a clear picture of why finding niches with Value Added Upsell potential is so important in 2016 and moving forward…

To help you visualize how this works, take a look at this sample niche:

Sample Niche: Drum Sets + Value Added Upsell Idea: Drum Lessons
Sample Niche: Drum Sets + Value Added Upsell Idea: Drum Lessons

This niche has GREAT value added upsell potential that I think anyone can make a killing in for 2016. Yet, there are literally thousands of other niches out there waiting to be explored!

If  you follow a proven system, put in the hard work, and believe in yourself, you can succeed. Opportunity is all around you but you have to reach out and grab it.

I’d love to hear from you! What other value-added-upsell niches can you think of? Post in the comments below!

Niche Selection

Why Share The Niches?

Video Transcript

Hey everybody, Anton here from www.dropshiplifestyle.com. Today I want to answer a question that was asked on Twitter.

This is in regards to a niche report I was giving out about the top 187 niches and they ask: if they are so great, why aren’t you doing them?

This is a question I get all time. We put out lots of information about different niches and different products that sell well online and people say: well if they are so good why aren’t you doing them? The truth is there are more niches out there than I would ever want to get involved with. The list we give out of 187 seems like a lot but, when you have been in ecommerce as long as me, you’ll see there are literally thousands of niches. The reason that I am not building stores in all of them is because I want to live a certain lifestyle. I have a lifestyle business, that’s why my ecommerce website is called www.dropshiplifestyle.com. If I wanted to become the next wayfair.com or the next hayneedle.com, drop ship websites that do 500 million to 1 billion in sales a year respectively, they have hundreds of stores in all different niches and huge corporate offices with hundreds of employees. I don’t want to do that, if that’s the route I wanted to go in life I probably would do them all but there’s more than enough niches for everyone and that’s why I am not in all of them.

If you want this list of niches or you want any other information on: drop shipping, niche selection, traffic, webinar design and conversion optimisation tips head over to my website at www.dropshiplifestyle.com and you will find everything there.

Drop Ship Strategy, Niche Selection