Marketplace model wins a battle for customers nowadays as compared to conventional businesses like classical service or product providers. This fact has been already proven by eCommerce giants like Airbnb, Uber, Caviar and many others. But everybody started with something and didn’t grow overnight. While your marketplace conception is only in your mind, what would be your first steps? Here we’ve collected some tips for marketplace beginners with some ideas that promise to be the trends of 2020 based on statistics.
Marketplace start-up dilemma
As the term states by itself,
A marketplace business is one that connects demand (people wanting to buy something) with supply (people that have that thing), and simplifies a financial transaction (for example, by providing a common platform where the buyer meets the vendor).
Digital marketplaces perfectly suit those who don’t want to deal with their own inventories, warehouses, or products. Instead, they usually provide a digital space with handy commodities like all-in-one software with built-in payment and shipping methods and other easy-to-use tools to release the vendors from the operational routine and please the customers’ eyes with a great choice of products supplied by multiple vendors.
While starting your marketplace, you as a digital entrepreneur have got only a platform, but no buyers, nor vendors. Your first challenge is how to find both.
In his post, Lenny Rachinsky, the former AirBnB officer, states that to resolve this chicken-and-egg problem you constraint the marketplace or in other words to choose a niche:
- Constrain the marketplace;
- Decide which side of the marketplace to concentrate on;
- Drive initial supply;
- Drive initial demand.
Let’s focus on the first part.
Non-trivial and cost-effective solution with niches
Generally, niche markets are simply more focused markets. The more you narrow down your target customer group, the more niche-specific you are. A nation-wide grocery store with all kinds of food is less niche than a chain with only organic goods. A chain that offers only gluten-free food is more niche than just organic items’ shop. The more specific the market is, the more is its niche.
Niche-specific shops may have fewer customers than large stores, but that’s what a start-up owner needs. With a smaller audience, you can more precisely optimize your marketing campaigns without getting involved in fierce competition with the already established giants. Your customers interested in a particular category of products have a lot in common. Consequently, you can easily predict their shopping behavior.
In the eCommerce world, niches are often grouped by the following types:
- Geographic: – niches are determined by customers’ location (e.g., local weather conditions and climate). See food delivery online stores like Instacart that initially targeted Chicago (bad weather and high income).
- Pricing: – niches are grouped by price (you decide whether to focus on a premium segment or to target cheap, one-dollar brands);
- Demographic: – niches are defined by persona (the target audience age, gender, revenue, etc);
- Psychographics: – niches are classified by the customers’ moral principles, religion, attitudes, etc.
Niche products to sell online in 2020
We’ve scanned the top queries on Google about what products will be trending this year. Here is what we’ve got:
- Healthy food and drinks on the go;
- Reusable food wrap;
- Zero-waste beauty products;
- Eco-friendly feminine products;
- Craft beverages (mocktails included);
- Subscription boxes;
- CBD products;
- Buy it for life (BIFL);
- Men’s engagement rings and wedding bands;
- Journal notebooks and personal planners;
- Pet food;
- Cruelty-free beauty products;
- Camera and photo accessories (e.g. drones and tripods);
It’s not a surprise that our top clients operate in these particular niches:
No matter how successful the others are. You can’t repeat anybody’s success but create your personal success story. In fact, you can make your own compilations based on this ideas’ list but you’ll need to know how to find what’s in trend.
How to find trending products?
Actually, there are some online tools that can help you to define the most popular items in a specific niche. Below are some tips on how to find trending products totally for free. Let’s start!
Our tips will equally help you if:
- You know approximately what to look for;
- You have no idea what is included in the list of trending products to sell
Suppose, you know that reusable wraps are highly likely to be in strong demand this year. So, you go to Google Trends and check whether it is right or not.
Google Trends will show you how popular a particular search request is. Moreover, the settings allow choosing a location (the US, worldwide, etc.), time span (past 12 months, since 2000, and so on) and other parameters.
So, due to this tool, we can make a preliminary conclusion of whether an item is really trending or not, what the geographical distribution is the most popular, and related searches.
Assume, you don’t know the trends, but, at least, know what you want to sell. Then, move to one of the most popular online sites (Amazon, eBay, etc.) and select the required category and look for your wanted query. When searching, filter the search by popularity. You will see the products with the biggest number of orders or the highest amount of reviews.
By doing that, you will also catch some common keywords related to your search. You can use them while composing your niche product description.
Choosing a platform to start your journey as an eCommerce business owner, you can consider Multi-Vendor. Apart from a handful of options out of box featured with multiple stores or a mobile app, it is easily customizable with certified developers, and you can expand it with features and plugins over time based on your marketplace growth.