Discovering your niche within a crowded marketplace can give even the most seasoned entrepreneur a tension headache.

With good reason—it’s difficult. But, difficult problems can always be tackled with a combination of ingenuity, research, and good ol’ fashioned elbow grease. Here, we’ll show you the steps to discovering your niche, and how you can capitalize on it. 

Research your competitors

Propose new solutions

Whittle down

Determine profitability

Utilize analytics

Run tests

Rinse and repeat

Propose new solutions Whittle down Determine profitability Utilize analytics Run tests Rinse and repeat

1. Research your competitors

Smart marketing within your niche requires information. Being able to outmaneuver your competitors and pull in new customers relies on your ability to evaluate the field. That means competitor analysis. You don’t have to build out a complicated spreadsheet with pivot tables, graphs, and formulas, but knowing who you’re competing with is the first step to determining how you can behave differently.

Find them

Finding competitors is usually pretty easy, and your primary tools are going to be Google and Amazon. Running searches for your niche will give you a good idea of who is top ranking in both areas. If you’re starting a business selling specialized, highly technical outerwear, searching with keywords that become more and more specific will get you closer and closer to your true competition. Don’t just stick with “outerwear,” add more specific adjectives, like “technical outerwear,” “low-temperature technical outerwear,” and see what comes up.

Categorize them

Imagine your business at the center of a bunch of expanding concentric circles, and place your competitors in orbit around you. 

  • Main – These are the competitors who are selling the same thing you are, likely to a similar audience. 
  • Outside the circle – These are competitors who might be selling a similar product, but in a different price category, or to a different audience entirely. 
  • Tangential – Competitors who aren’t competitors yet, but you might be adding products later that will bring them into your competitive space. 

What’s their CX

Look at your main competitors. What is their customer experience? Pretend you’re one of their customers and walk yourself through their buyer journey. Where do you see obstacles? What works well, what doesn’t? These sorts of questions will be integral to defining your own position within the niche. Thinking about how you can differentiate can often start with CX, and it might just be as simple as adding a store to your popular blog

What’s their market position

What do your competitors sell the most of? Why do people gravitate towards their products instead of other products? If we’re talking outerwear again, people purchase from Patagonia and Mountain Hardware for entirely different reasons. This is a market position. If you don’t think you can outcompete a competitor on a particular area of market position, try to fill in a gap. 

Pricing, shipping

How do your competitors price their products? If you can position your product as a cheaper, higher quality option, that might be a way in. Going the luxury route is viable too. The key is to determine what might set you apart, and moving your business towards that. 

2. Propose new solutions

Now that you’ve done quite a bit of competitor research, you can start shaping your messaging and potentially tweaking your products to match. This is where the research you’ve done comes in. Look at your main competitors. What does your product or service do that theirs fails to?

That isn’t to say that you need to do the opposite of your competitors in every possible area, that might lead you tying yourself into knots. But, if your competitors don’t have the best customer services, or one of their products has a reported problem that hasn’t been resolved, that might be your in. Here are a few examples of businesses that saw a problem and proposed a different solution:

  • Rheos Sunglasses – Sunglasses that are designed to float, especially useful for people who fish who often drop their glasses into the water. 
  • Untuckit – Men’s dress shirts often look a bit goofy and billowy when untucked, so this company made shirts that are designed to be worn untucked. 
  • Quip – Electric toothbrushes aren’t anything new, but Quip pairs sleek form factor with an accessible subscription model.

Finding a niche and selling within it doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel! Sometimes you’re just trying to find a way to make it a bit smoother. 

3. Whittle it down

Part of finding a good niche is specificity. It’s not enough to just say things like “we do things differently from our competitors.” What things? And how do you do them differently? 

One of the best ways to whittle down your ecommerce store and your products to suit a particular niche is to try and boil down what makes you different and interesting into a single compelling sentence. This doesn’t have to be your tagline or anything, but it can be the pillar that you build your brand presence around. 

As a silly example that demonstrates this idea, let’s say your business makes modular customizable purses. You can swap out the strap with different colors and patterns, you can add different accessories, the whole shebang. Essentially this business turns around a simple idea, and here’s the sentence: “Our company lets you build your own purse.” This is a niche idea, as purses exist in the world of designer fashion, so the audience is going to be likely small, but anyone who’s looking for a DIY or custom purse is going to find you right away. 

4. Determine profitability

Profitability is a crucial part of any store creation/product research process. If you search for products of a similar type to those sold in your ecommerce store, and you don’t find anything, that might be a bad thing–that means that nobody has yet been able to monetize the niche. You might be the first, but it could also be a warning sign that nobody’s biting. 

But, if there’s a reasonable amount of products within the niche you’re looking to compete in and it isn’t oversaturated, that’s a good sign. Take note of what people are charging for their products, and see how you can price yours competitively. 

5. Utilize analytics and algorithmic advertising

If you’ve already got an ecommerce store up and running, utilizing analytics drawn from services like Google Analytics can be invaluable for discovering and defining your niche. See where your traffic is coming from. If you have customers coming in from a particular demographic or from a specific traffic source, see what happens when you pivot towards those customers. 

You can also use data to create marketing and advertising campaigns that are targeted to your niche. Shopping, a service from Google, can create and manage machine learning-driven ad campaigns that can draw new customers toward your products. Some ecommerce services even offer this as part of a paid plan, reducing your overall costs. 

6. Run tests

Nobody’s an expert on their products, business, or niche on the first go around. Part of developing and discovering your niche is trying out new ideas and making mistakes. Fear of failure keeps many business from success, and the only true failure is not taking the things that you learn and using them to grow. 

Run tests! Try different versions of copy in product descriptions. Use different photography for product images. Anything and everything about your product can be changed, and finding and leveraging what works is an essential part of growing, especially as a small, untested business. 

7. Rinse and repeat

One of the hallmarks of a successful business is continuous iteration. You’re going to be constantly evaluating and tweaking your business and products to ensure maximum ROI and maximum customer satisfaction, because both of those directly translate to sales. Once you’ve found your niche, the journey doesn’t end. Perhaps you can refine even further? Maybe you’re ready to start competing at a larger scale. The possibilities are endless, and with enough creativity, your business endeavors will be a success. Good luck!


What’s included in an ecommerce website

We looked at 100s of ecommerce sites to distill down what the optimal structure for a successful online store is. The most important pages we discovered are the Homepage, Products, Our Story, and FAQ. We’ll dig into the product pages in a bit.


The homepage of your website is meant to be the summary of your offering. A successful homepage makes it easy for customers to understand what you’re offering and access ways that they can purchase your product.


Noteworthy features of your products

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Clear links to pages to purchase your products

Homepage Checklist

Descriptive headline

Large visuals that showcase your product

Obvious calls to actions (eg. Shop now, Buy now)

Clear links to pages to purchase your products

Noteworthy features of your products

Testimonials, quotes or social proof on why someone should buy your product

Unique incentives such as guarantees

Soft lead capture (eg. Newsletter form)

Our story

You’re selling more than a product, you’re selling your brand. A story page helps communicate to your customers what you believe in and why they should purchase from you. If potential customers align with your values, they’re more likely to purchase from you.


A FAQ is a simple way to quickly organize and present common concerns and questions someone might consider before purchasing your product. Pay attention to the common issues people have and write convincing answers to their hesitations.

Writing your brand story

Writing an honest brand story that connects with your audience can be an overwhelming task, it requires a balance of introspection and pragmatism. With any type of writing, it’s important to just start writing and improve as you go. Your story may not be perfect the first time, but it will improve and maybe even change as you and your company evolve.

When beginning your story, think of these three questions as a beginning framework:

What do

we value?

Think of why you started the company. Why this business or this product? In an ideal world, what impact or effect does your company have on your customers?

What are we

creating and what

makes us different?

Describe what it is you’re selling, is it a product, an experience, what’s the thing that makes you unique? Don’t just list features, think about the problems you’re solving.

How do we

approach this?

Beyond your product, is there anything unique about your business or the way that you approach creating or selling your product?

The three objectives of a

successful checkout experience are:

Maximize revenue, maintain focus, and remove hesitations.

After all of that effort, without a thoughtful checkout experience, you’re going to lose out on your hard-earned customers. Keep your shopping cart simple and to the point—make it easy for customers to understand what they’re buying and what to do next—click that check out button.

You can also take advantage of impulse buying by providing relevant suggestions. Don’t get greedy and throw high priced items at them, keep relevant goods similar to or lesser value than the item they’re purchasing.

I feel the need, the need for speed.

Not just a great Top Gun reference—speed is one of the most overlooked factors of a successful ecommerce site. For every second someone waits for a page to load, your conversion rate drops.

Everything is a compromise and page speed is not the whole story, however, you need to determine if what you’re putting on a page is worth the extra load time. Be pragmatic with your choices. Your checkout page should be one page where you’re very strict, make sure load time is in tip-top shape.

Optimize your assets and remove unnecessary code. You might think using all the analytics software is a great idea but it can result in a bloated page, prioritize what’s important and remove anything extra.

Getting the word out

Turns out “If you build it and they will come” was exclusive to cornfield baseball diamonds—you need to find ways for people to discover your ecommerce site. Depending on the sales and marketing channel, you may see results immediately or they may require longer-term investment.

Which you choose depends on your objectives, skills, and capacity. Don’t invest heavily into a blog if you’re not willing to commit.

Content creation

With 55% of consumers having made a purchase after discovering it on social media—Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are worthy investments. Consider what content your audience would appreciate—with a competitive online landscape, it’s important to create something unique. Don’t expect the same results from copying others.


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Make your product unboxing share worthy

Suggest customers tag you in posts to be featured

Contact magazines and blogs to be featured in their gift guides

Build a blog with valuable content for your audience

Partner with relevant companies to create giveaways

Work with micro influencers with relevant followers

Create a referral marketing program that incentivizes sharing your product

Make a viral video that explains your product or story in a completely new way

Partner & referral marketing

Similar to the value of reviews on your website—people are four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend. Explore different ways to incentivize your customers to share your product with others and think beyond cash incentives.

Influencer marketing

While many will balk at the term influencer, it’s a valuable resource into crafting customer connections. Instead of focusing on the bigger names, find smaller influencers to work with that have good engagement and a relevant audience.

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Every e-commerce website constitutes a fully-fledged business, and there is no good business without a well thought out marketing strategy.

When it comes to marketing strategies in the e-commerce sphere, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, promotional email newsletters. They are powerful tools in luring subscribers into the website and increasing your revenue. However, they are not the only ones that can turn subscribers into loyal customers. Transactional emails can be invaluable too.

Transactional Email Builder

Transactional emails are newsletters that are mostly generated automatically. They are used to notify users about their actions on the website. A concise list of transactional emails that are essential for e-commerce platforms is presented below:

  • Email Address Confirmation email
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment email
  • Order Confirmation email
  • Shipping Notifications
  • Customer
  • Feedback email
  • Thank You email
  • The Purchase Receipt email
  • Customer Information email
  • The After Purchase email
  • Welcome email
  • The Cross-sell/Upsell email
  • Lead Nurturing Email
  • The Customer Feedback email
  • The Re-Engagement email

I believe everyone has met them once or twice in their life. Generally, we are glad to see them in our inbox. Some of them are even highly anticipated. Have you ever bought an item online and seen that your card has been charged, but the receipt for your payment hasn’t arrived? Ah, wonderful moments of waiting (sarcasm is implied).

So, the key takeaway is that transactional emails are keenly anticipated. As research shows, their open rate is incredibly high as well as the click-through rate. So why not to use that to your advantage?

How to benefit from the e-commerce transactional emails

There are many transactional emails, and if you’re enthusiastic, then you can probably make all of them work for you. However, if that is not the case, then you should focus on the essential transactional email newsletters. Let’s take a look at them.

Welcome Message and Email Address Confirmation email

Both these email newsletters deal with newcomers to your site. While the first one is generated whenever a new customer makes a purchase (it could be a one-time purchase or a start of a long relationship), the second one signals that the user is ready to become your client.

In the case of welcome messages, it is time to make the first impression. And as we know, we will never have a second chance to make it, so we need to go the extra mile here. It should establish a proper atmosphere, show your company’s best side and include something that will butter up users. Also, it should have all the contact information and some helpful links for example to your blog, favorite products, or some instructions. Do not forget to make it personal and add some support.

Transactional Email Example

An address confirmation email is where you can try some sales tricks. You can offer a discount coupon, free shipping for a newcomer, etc.

Thank You Email

Thank You email is integral in building a healthy relationship between business and client. They are must-haves, even though you may think that it is trivial. Such tiny details can make people’s day, so use them to cement your unique kind of friendship. Here you can write a simple text version of your gratitude, use GIFs to cheer things up or even make a short video using Bonjoro. You can easily adopt one of the fantastic templates available in Postcards to produce a lasting impression.

Order Confirmation Email

This is one hundred percent e-commerce email. While it is self-explanatory, nevertheless, there are some details that you need to bear in mind. First and foremost, it is highly anticipated. People have just paid their money, so they need to know what is going on on the other side. So tell them explicitly. Therefore, it will help to enhance your credibility, reinforce your relationship and reassure them that everything is fine. Here you need to provide all the helpful information, for example when the order will be ready, when the order will be shipped, etc.

What’s more, as studies show you have a better chance to sell to an existing customer rather than to regular onlookers, so it is time to apply some marketing tricks. You can try to

  • suggest related products
  • familiarize a customer with referral programs
  • or give away a bonus for their next order

However, do not be pushy. Remember this customer has already bought something in your store so give him or her time to enjoy your product. Always leave them wanting more.

Shipping Notifications

Even though we all have busy lives with lots of stuff going on, nevertheless when it comes to waiting for something that we have already bought it can be difficult to hide an excitement as well as shift your attention. Therefore, shipping notifications are highly appreciated. They can make our fixation less irritating. Use customers’ excitement to your advantage. For instance, you can

  • encourage them to buy a gift for their loved ones
  • encourage them to share the news via social media
  • engage in a referral program
  • provide them with a special offer
  • suggest products that complement the previous purchase, etc

Also, remember that shipping notifications require some customization. They are not regular alerts; they are newsletters, so they need to be carefully treated. They should include a prominent call-to-action to make your offer more powerful and build your brand identity, a well-formatted message and so on. If you do not use an online email newsletter builder like Postcards where everything can be done in a few minutes just by dragging, dropping and editing, then be ready to bury your nose in coding. This email requires your undivided attention.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Email

Cart abandonment emails are the platforms for practicing sales tricks. These newsletters are used to bring the customers back and encourage them to complete the order. Be ready to come up with something that will help to reignite your customers’ interest. So what can you do here?

Transactional Email

  • Make the newsletter visually appealing. Remember, people eat with
    their eyes. Pale text copy with barely perceptible links won’t do the
    trick. Make the customers feel like they want to click on the «view
    order» button right now.
  • Remind the customer about the products they left. Organize them in a
    list, including images and names. Make them an eye-catcher that lures
    the customer in with its fantastic appearance. If you use Postcards,
    then make the most out of hand-crafted templates that were built with
    customers in mind. Choose the best option and quickly customize it
    using intuitive interface.
  • Offer incentives: a discount on an order, free shipping or some
    bonuses on the next order. However, be careful with overdoing it. You
    can make an offer but do not turn it into a regular practice. People
    are smart and will recognise if an “offer” is simply the norm.
  • Establish a sense of urgency. Do not be pushy – instead, make people
    believe that they could miss out. For example, notify users that the
    product is running out of stock, the mid-season sale ends or current
    discount is time sensitive.

The Re-Engagement Email

Also known as “Come back” or “We miss you” emails, they are great tools to win the clients back and restore your relationships. Marketers use them all the time since they’re proven to be effective. Here you can use various sales techniques to engage customers. You can start with something unobtrusive, like sending cross-sell products based on the customers’ previous purchase(s)and ending with bonuses and time-sensitive offers.

Other transactional email newsletters

As we have mentioned earlier, there are dozens of e-commerce email newsletters. While we focused on the most popular ones, there are some other valuable tools that can help to improve your online business. For instance,

  • The Customer Feedback email is an excellent opportunity to enhance
    your company, product selection, and overall experience.
  • The After Purchase email lets you unobtrusively remind customers that
    you still care for them.
  • The Receipts email show customers that you keep up with the trends
    and prefer digital proof of purchase instead of paper-based.

Depending on your strategy and things that you want to achieve you may exploit some of them or even all of them.

How to customize e-commerce transactional email newsletter

If you use some kind of CMS – like WordPress – where WooCommerce stands behind every e-store, then everything is done with this tool. You are still able to interact with your emails even though they are created and sent automatically. It requires some coding skills and of course lots of time. If you do not want to waste your precious time or just lack in coding skills then you can address your issue to one of the email newsletter builders like Postcards. It will solve all your problems. The intuitive drag-and-drop interface will help you to build an ideal e-commerce email newsletter in no time.

The last preparations

There are several things you can do to improve your e-commerce email marketing strategy.

Target your audience

First of all, target your audience correctly. There are several categories of customers:

● New customers:

o New subscribers

o Guest buyers

o First-time buyers

● Active customers:

o Steady buyers

o Occasional buyers

● Declining customers (those who have stopped interacting).

Each group should be treated differently. Thus, a group with new customers requires a hand-crafted, personified Welcome email newsletter that will draw them in. After that treat them with a friendly Email Address Confirmation email, as well as a Customer Information email and Lead Nurturing emails.

The group with active customers is the biggest and as a rule sees numerous standard transactional email newsletters including Upsell emails, Delight emails, Reminder emails, Feedback emails and so on.

And last but not least, the group that includes the declining customers requires your proper attention since it is here where you need to figure out how to win the clients back. And that means that you need to seek help from the re-engagement email newsletters in the first place.


Correct timing is always the key to success. Although it is quite tricky to catch the opportune moment for everyone, since customers vary in their preferences and behavior, nevertheless there are several tips. For example,

  • Wait for 12-24 hours before sending a Shopping Cart Abandonment
  • Wait for 30 days before sending a Re-engagement email.
  • Wait for several days before sending Cross-sell emails.
  • Act immediately when it comes to sending Order Confirmation emails as
    well as Shipping Notifications.