Where do you go if you want to buy a glass frame?  Flipkart or Lenskart

Where do you go if you want to buy furniture? Flipkart or Urbanladder/ Fabfurnish

Where do you go if you want to buy gold and diamond jewelry? Flipkart or Caratlane/ Bluestone

A new trend is budding nowadays in online shopping with several e-tailors finding success in unique and specific services. Be it opening up of an apparel store, jewelry store or even shoe store, new creative ideas are flocking the marketplace in large number. What is really hitting the groove on e-commerce website is the increasing number of specific niche stores. Online portals like babyoye.com, Lenskart.com, Zivame.com and Fabfurnish.com have already been successful in making a name in such short period of time. However, the question is what is encouraging such emergence of niche e-commerce stores?

Source: Iamwire.com

Source: Iamwire.com

Well, the answer to this question pretty much revolves around ‘what the customers are demanding while shopping online.’ They want stores that specialize in their service and hence delivering something unique instead of general stuff. Today, when people are tired of going from stores to stores, they look towards e-market and surf their way online. And the product is at their doorstep just a click away! What this does is, gives them an endless variety of the specific product they want, which they might not get at a generalized store.

Although the idea of multi-brand stores, that sells almost everything and anything is quite a hit in real market space, but when it comes to virtual shopping the needle directs in different direction. The reason is a sudden rush of plethora of online shopping portals in the recent time and the following stiff competition. Thus, the new players in the field of online marketing need to offer something new, different and valuable to have a strong footing in the marketplace, which comes with intensely focusing on vertical product categories. In fact, when a shopper knows what they want to buy online; then why not give them particularly what they want? E-commerce is targeting exactly that kind of audience by selling the exact products.

Now, the question arises about the profitability of such expanding niche e-commerce sector.

The big names of this sector like flipkart, ebay, jabong, which specializes as general e-stores emerged with an aim to serve the audience at large with several products under one roof keeping in mind the customer convenience factor. However, the easy and simple steps to shop and providing the shopper with endless variety of products have scored a homerun for the niche online marketers. This way, they have created a strong base of loyal customers who come back again without a second thought.

Some other factors which work in favour of niche e-commerce stores are that SEO is more powerful with niche stores. In a variety store, the SEO is diluted because the pages are disconnected from each other thematically. This diminishes the chances of product specific individual pages showing up at the top of searches. However, the case is different with the niche e-commerce sites where all pages are closely linked. A focused ecommerce niche also has a benefit of advertising only in places that promote one thing. More the advertising in the same place, the more quickly the brand takes off and the advertising budget starts to pay off. The other way of looking at this is that a niche e-commerce website has smaller audience. Yes, it is very true but the important factor to be kept in mind is conversion – they do have smaller audiences but the conversion rate is much higher.

With so many lucrative benefits in hand, this sector of e-commerce is also gaining an upper hand when it comes to venture capitalists. After witnessing a sudden boom in the vertical category stores, the investors are chasing the niche portals fiercely. A niche enables an e-commerce business to gain dominance and make a name for itself in specific areas of the online retail market. Many experts, VC’s, economists etc. feel that a niche strategy is important to compete in e-commerce.

Niche stores funding

A variety of stores aim to cater the needs of everyone at a time, often at the lowest price. The strategy is based on range and price. The risk is that the variety could turn out to be too broad to manage. With a niche e-commerce store, one can specialize in that area and create a demand for its products. For example, Wallmantra with its new designs and innovations has really changed the way we look at our walls. However, a variety store may not even have wall decors as products and if they really had it, there would have been no variety of wall decors. Checkout some of the other emerging niche e-commerce stores: N-gal originals, Purplle, Dogkart.

Keeping you updated with the latest trends in the e-commerce industry. Serving you as always, Refiral.

[1] Evolving trends in e-commerce
[2] Niche portals not ecommerce biggies loosening vc wallets
[3] Niche online marketplaces

Article: Reetika and Gurkirat
Design: Salman