The Pros and Cons of Niche Stores

by Gooten Editorial Team on Apr. 4, 2023

One of the most important decisions you’ll make with regard to your ecommerce store is which audience you’ll court. The audience you choose will have a significant impact on the types of products you stock, the design choices you make, and the channels you use for marketing.

At Gooten, we encourage most of our print on demand partners to pursue niche or novelty audiences. For example, you might set up a store catering specifically to true crime podcast enthusiasts, to anime fans, to avid board gamers, or to Swifties. 

There are a number of pros and also a few cons associated with the niche marketing approach. Let’s take a closer look.

The Pros of Niche Marketing

First, consider a few of the primary reasons why niche marketing can be so advantageous.

Niche Audiences are Exploding

One thing to keep in mind is that niche communities are more prevalent, and more clearly defined, than ever before. This is the natural result of platforms like TikTok, where enthusiasts for a specific subject or lifestyle can easily find one another to share insights and recommendations. By setting up your print on demand store to reach a niche audience, you can potentially tap into some of these enthusiastic, tight-knit online communities that have already been formed.

Niche Marketing is Cost-Effective

A related benefit is that, when you seek a niche audience, you generally have a very good sense of where to reach them, what kinds of messaging to use, and what kind of offers are most likely to convert. In other words, you don’t have to cast a wide net, allocating tons of resources to advertising on different channels. You can use your marketing and advertising resources more narrowly, spending only to reach the customers who are most likely to convert.

Niche Audiences Bring Built-in Brand Loyalty

Let’s say you set up a store specifically to reach fans of the popular Magic: The Gathering trading card game. Magic players may not have any built-in affection for your print on demand store, but they do have built-in loyalty to the Magic brand. That means you’ll have a significant advantage as you try to earn their business.

Often, Niche Audiences Have Minimal Competition

By choosing a suitably specific niche, you can also minimize your competition. There are tons of print on demand stores that cater to readers, but probably far fewer that specifically target steampunk fans, or devotees of a specific author. Less competition translates into lower marketing costs and higher sales opportunities.

Niche Marketing Often Brings Higher Margins

Speaking of sales opportunities, it’s also worth noting that niche audiences typically lead to higher margins. This is because you’re specifically selling to an audience that has self-identified as having a high level of enthusiasm for a particular kind of product, making it far likelier that you can gain more repeat customers based on minimal marketing spend.

What About the Cons of Niche Marketing?

As for potential downsides to choosing a niche audience for your print on demand store, we’ll mention just a few things:

  • You potentially have limited growth opportunities. After all, your niche is only going to be so big. (Be careful to choose a niche that does offer some positive signs of growth, not one that seems increasingly insular or stagnant.)
  • While niches generally have low competition, niches that exhibit a lot of growth and success may attract new competitors over time.
  • For niche stores, good marketing is make-or-break. By getting your messaging or targeting wrong, you could jeopardize the entire trajectory of your print on demand business.

Looking for More Ecommerce Tips? Connect with Gooten

The bottom line: Niche marketing can be advantageous. With the right strategy, you can identify and reach an audience that fuels long-term print on demand growth.

If you have any questions about niche marketing or want to be the first to hear the latest ecommerce tips, we recommend you follow along with the Gooten blog.

Additionally, we welcome you to contact us directly. We’re always happy to discuss the benefits of partnership, and to explain the advantages we offer to our print on demand partners. Reach out to the team at Gooten any time.