If you’re planning to start an e-commerce business, your first thought would be how to compete with giants like Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart, and the ivy league stores. Nobody in their sane minds would dare to take on big e-commerce players, especially when they don’t have venture capital investments. So the question is, how to build a successful e-commerce business without getting thrashed by eCommerce giants? is it really possible? The answer is a big YES.
You can build a profitable e-commerce business if you focus to build the business around a specific niche, say an online store for senior personal care, or a store for natural health products or something in that league. The success formula here is to offer excellent products & services in a select niche that the giants can not match your sophistication. Thousands of online stores have followed this ‘niche formula’ to differentiate themselves from the giants and built very successful and profitable e-commerce businesses.
In this article, we showcase 15+ examples of niche e-commerce business websites, how they are built, estimated traffic stats, niche-specific inventory and other details.
Read: – We have published a guide on How to Start an E-Commerce Store under 100 USD. This guide explains how to setup a self-hosted (hosted on your own server) e-commerce store yourself(without the help of a designer/developer) under 100USD.
#1 – Medelita – Sells Lab Coats and Medical Scrubs
The medical field is notorious for its specialization and Medelita is no exception either. Medelita has specialized in uniforms for people working in the medical field. Its philosophy for business is predicated upon the belief that appearances reflect poise and confidence. If the doctor or nurse cares for his or her appearance then it is almost certain that patients develop confidence in them.
In this micro-niche market of uniforms within the medical care industry, Medelita has created products to enhance the appearance of the persons wearing the uniform. Uniforms are created with fabrics of the highest performance quality and functionality and finished with meticulous care to fit perfectly. Besides lab coats and scrubs, Medelita offers clogs, leather bags, and accessories. Though Medelita products are available through its website, it offers its products through retailers as well.
#2 – Afloral – Sells Artificial Flowers Online
It is difficult to imagine anyone not liking natural flowers. However, for those who like artificial flowers, there is a superb website, afloral.com. This is a niche market of the unique kind and Afloral is a classic niche e-commerce business example.
The website offers silk flowers not only for daily use but also for weddings and special occasions. It also sells vases, decorations, and lighting products.The website boasts customer satisfaction and highest quality standards as its main goals, and it achieves these goals quite effortlessly so much so that it is rated very highly in the industry.
If there is any doubt on the business model of this e-commerce business it should be laid to rest as Internet Retailer, the e-commerce authority, has declared Afloral.com as the largest online silk flower provider.
#3 – DogIsGood – Niche Lifestyle Brand
DogisGood is a great example of a niche e-commerce business that targets a very specific segment of the market which is huge – 70 to 80 million dog owner households in the United States. DogisGood touches the hearts of dog lovers who feel for dogs with great messaging that reinforces the feel good factor omnipresent with dog lovers. The dog loving sentiment is used cleverly to open up a business for lifestyle products across the country.
DogisGood products are sold through its own website online and through wholesale and retail nationwide. Further, DogisGood is licensed to manufacturing entities in the home product, gift and pet industries. DogisGood opens up another channel for sales through its Exhibitor Program in which its products can be sold at various events throughout the country.
Read: – Made up your mind to start an e-commerce business? You need a business plan now. Read our article on 45 action points to develop a business plan for your E-commerce Business. This article covers all important points including Market Study, E-commerce technologies to use, Sourcing and Shipping plans, Marketing & Brand building, Financial plans and Profitability.
#4 – ParentGiving – Products for the Aged
Parentgiving.com is a website that takes niche e-commerce business to a new high. Firstly, it identifies its target audience as the aged and the caregivers. Secondly, it focuses on products that are not sold in general sales channels. Thirdly, it sells only online through its website.The website offers products and services that are the refrain of the aged such as bariatric bathroom aids, overbed tables, and trays, walking aids, wheelchairs, and incontinence accessories.
The website sells products and services of well-known brands, including Abena, Poise, and Stander as well as products specially manufactured for it. The website is a great source of knowledge for elders and caregivers.
The website is a full-fledged one with all the features a website in the e-commerce business should have.
#5 – PrintingForLess– Online Print Shop
PrintingForLess.com (PFL) claims it is the first e-commerce commercial printer. Judging by the way the business is showcased and the amount of products and services it offers it may well be true.The niche that PFL has carved out for itself is in the realm of printing and mailing needs of customers. PFL not only offers some great advice for print marketing programs but also implements them.
PFL is perhaps one of the rare businesses that take customer service to a new level claiming real-life people answer customer phone calls.PFL is able to provide its products and services through its state-of-the-art centralized production facilities through its customer-centric strategy that offers ‘local print shop’ services with high-quality printing.
#6 – ForYourLegs – Niche Online Store Selling Socks
Considering that For Your Legs is a niche e-commerce business it could hardly be accused if it did not have a wide range of products. Surprisingly, it offers a number of branded products that take care of legs.The website is highly functional and provides easy navigation under three categories – by brands, by compression, and by the condition. Customers can quickly zone in on their requirement choosing from a wide variety offered.
The website’s ‘Lowest Price Guaranteed’ offer is a niche within a niche as it is directed to those customers who are price sensitive and don’t mind putting in efforts to compare prices.Launched in 2005, For Your Legs is a division of Aleva Stores. It leverages the massive customer base provided by its parent.
Read: If you are looking for online business ideas other than e-commerce, read our guide on Top Websites Business Ideas to start in 2017-2018.
#7 – DiscountDance – Dance Accessories
Dance can be placed under many categories. It could be a profession or a hobby. Dancing allows people to experience a sense of achievement or provides a means to express themselves.DiscountDance caters to the niche market represented by dance lovers and practitioners by offering a variety of wearing options from performance dresses to leotards and unitards, from skirts and tutus to pants and leggings and from undergarments to shoes.
The website offers a host of other services including a program for dance teachers and a facility to link them with students. It also provides a wide choice of gifting options that includes among others accessories such as toe ring replacements, sequin leg warmers, and ruffle shrugs.DiscountDance targets kids specifically to catch them young and make them stay with the brand through adulthood.
#8 – IDWholesaler – ID Badge Products
Providing expert advice to those seeking photo identification products is a niche segment and IDWholesaler has notched up an impressive 100,000 + customers in its twelve years of existence.The website idwholesaler.com is a navigation delight and customers are quickly taken to pages they seek such as visitor badges, id cameras, id cards, photo id systems and id card printers. They can also easily look for data capture products, badge holders, reels, and lanyards, software, and card printer supplies.
IDWholesaler prides itself on its customer driven services provided by trained experts who guide customers through the buying process understanding their needs. It provides links to blogs that talk about ID related issues. It claims it is the only entity to stock a large inventory, unlike its competitors.
#9 – BuildASign – Custom Signage
BuildASign is an e-commerce business that can be emulated by others simply because it is a business that has identified custom signage as its niche and it promotes this business to attract customers from a large spectrum of users.
BuildASign makes ordering products very simple. Its online interface allows customers to create their own products and order them with designs of their choice, including colors, fonts, graphics and text. Its template for design is very accommodative and user-friendly for customers to iterate. What is more, it does not charge a set-up artwork fee.
BuildASign’s customer list runs like a who’s who in every industry segment requiring signage to express themselves. No industry is a pariah for this great brand that has taken the custom signage business to lofty heights ever since the first signboards were created in ancient Egypt.
#10 – PropertyRoom – Online Auction of Used Goods
Propertyroom.com is a rare kind of an auction website so unlike others. What makes this website stand out is the fact that all the products sold on this website are the ones confiscated by government authorities or left in various locations under the care of some statutory authority or the other.
The website has evolved since the time it started auctions in police stations over the years and diversified (if you can do that in a niche market) into auctioning products for other entities such as fire departments, liquidators and even wholesale merchants wanting to reduce their inventory of unsold products.
The availability of such confiscated goods provides an opportunity to create a niche market. It is an eye-opener to see products such as electronic items, jewelry, vehicles, watches, coins and bullion and, can you believe it, even art being auctioned on the website.
#11 – Shindigz – Party Accessories
All parents stuck up with a party to be organized can heave a sigh of relief as shindigz.com website, with a 90-year lineage, is here to help them solve their ‘party to be organized’ issue. The support staff at Shindigz will give ready and actionable inputs to make the party unique.
The website offers products not found in competing companies with an accent on customization. The website offers 34,000 items to choose from. It claims it has been a part of 13 million events so far and is poised to participate in a minimum of another 13 million events in the future.Shindigz runs a wholesale program aimed at photography studios, caterers, decorators and event planners, and an affiliate program as well.
#12 – TFAW – Kids Store
ThingsFromAnotherWorld hosts a website tfaw.com to sell products in the genre of comic books, superhero apparel, statues, toys and graphic novels.The website should appeal to the niche segment of people wanting to reminisce about their childhood and carry forward reading their favorite heroes and make a hobby out of collecting merchandise from such heroes.
ThingsFromAnotherWorld sells items produced by its own publishing entity Dark Horse. It also sells products from other publishers such as DC Comics and Marvel. Some of the other items sold on tfaw.com include products from Bluewater Productions, Zenescope and Top Shelf.Besides the website, ThingsFromAnotherWorld sells through strategically located retail outlets and through a well thought out affiliate program offering over 20,000 pop culture products.
#13 – Folica – Hair Care Products
If ever anything can be described as quintessential it is the Folica website. The Folica website itself heralds ‘Folica is your go-to destination for all-things-hair.’ How true!
The website is aesthetically and functionally evocative providing all the features of an e-commerce website with ease of navigation as its main feature. It hosts a number of products and services ranging from tools (with a special section for Sedu) to hair care to hair growth/loss and hair style. It offers products from almost all the top brands associated with hair care and beauty.
The ‘Top 10’ section helps customers to reduce search time. The blog section is replete with information on a number of issues related to hair care, even men’s hair care.Folica is a great website for those who care for their hair deeply.
#14 – V2 – E-Cigarettes
The v2.com website is probably one of the rare websites that motivates users to sign up for the V2 e-cig forum. The V2 forum is a veritable storehouse of knowledge on all things e-cigarette. Tobacco smokers intending to give up on their habit can turn to e-cigarettes.
But before starting on e-cigarettes new members are encouraged to participate in the highly interactive V2 forum. The forum enlightens members new to e-cigarettes on a number of issues that will help make up their minds after interacting with actual users who are from various countries with different backgrounds.
Once members decide to switch to e-cigarettes they will then appreciate the website for its classiness. If they have tried cigars earlier then they will enjoy navigating through this website more as the style and tenor are similar to scores of cigar websites.
#15 – SparkFun – DIY Electronic Kits
For those parents who are tired of ferrying their children to and from various extra-curricular activities, SparkFun comes as a breath of fresh air. SparkFun is an online retail store that specializes in selling components for electronic products that children can build in the comfort of their homes.
Children can plan to build almost any kind of electronic product such as a robot that can do homework (just kidding) or a hearing aid for their favorite grandmothers by choosing the appropriate components from the website which boasts 3,500 components and widgets on sale, including Arduino development boards and breakout boards.
In addition to the online retail store SparkFun also educates children on embedded electronics through their classes and online tutorials.
SparkFun is a promoter of open source technology which works beautifully for children as they don’t have to worry about copyrights.
#16 – WheelSkin – Steering Wheel Covers
It is said that man and his car are emotionally intertwined. So, when it comes to the steering wheel of the car, where the hands are always on them, it holds a special place in a man’s heart.
Recognizing this universal truth, Wheelskins produces individually hand-crafted wheel covers from genuine leather, carving out a special niche for itself. The company protects its image, built over 39 years, by being very choosy about its offering with manufacture only in the U.S.A. It stays with genuine leather and offers just 3 styles in 15 colors but aims for sizes that fit any steering wheel.
Wheelskins offers customers the facility of mailing color samples within 24 hours. It also promotes a robust reseller program. The two propositions are perfect for niche market strategy.