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How To Change Your Business Niche When Your Store Is Already Running

By Timur Y.

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What if the business niche you have chosen turned out to be not as profitable as you expected? Don’t give up! In this article, I will show you when and how you can change your niche without having to build a completely new online store

Table Of Contents

When starting a business, your very first concern is finding a niche that will attract enough clients to make your store profitable.

A specific niche is the key to success, and it usually has a number of advantages over general stores. When you know exactly what kind of product or service you’re going to offer, it’s much easier to define your target audience, promote the business and select products to sell.

However, it doesn’t mean that just any random niche will guarantee a success. Entrepreneurs all over the globe come up with thousands of business ideas, but not all of them get worldwide attention. To find a good niche, one needs a proper market analysis, and a bit of luck won’t hurt either.

Furthermore, even after a thorough research, you may find that things aren’t going smoothly.

Nevertheless, there are ways to change your business niche even after you’ve launched an online store. But first, let’s find out when you really need to change it.

4 reasons to think about changing your business niche

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#1 Sales drop

If you start losing money, it’s an obvious sign that something’s wrong. However, one must be careful here because sales drop can be the result of different factors. The problem may lie in other fields such as promotion mistakes, wrong marketing strategy or seasonal demand fluctuations. That’s why if your sales drop, you’d better not jump to conclusions.

#2 Same efforts bring worse results

If what used to work a year ago is now working poorer, it clearly indicates that the market has changed. To keep doing the same thing and expect different results is madness. Nevertheless, many companies hold on to the methods that became traditional. ‘We always did it like this, and we’ll keep doing it like this!’

That’ll lead you to nowhere.

#3 You see opportunities

If you see something with a potential for growth, which you didn’t see when you started the business, it could be your chance for improvement. However, before doing something, conduct a proper analysis to make sure it wasn’t your imagination. 

#4 You don’t feel satisfied

Also, don’t ignore your personal feelings. In online business like dropshipping, a lot depends on passion. If you don’t feel inspired anymore, maybe it’s time to make changes?

Again, it doesn’t necessarily mean you definitely need to change your niche. Maybe, you’re just tired and need a vacation. Or you’re going through a hard period of your life. But giving it a thought won’t hurt.

How to make adjustments to your business niche

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Generally speaking, changing the niche is not a good idea because everything in your dropshipping store should correspond to it. The store’s name and design are defined by what kind of products you sell. However, there are more or less harmless ways to change a niche.

Here are some examples of AliDropship team’s experience with our self-owned stores.

1. Broadening

When a business focuses on a niche, promoting it becomes relatively easy. But at the same time, you miss other opportunities.

One of our stores used to sell paintings. It’s not like people didn’t buy stuff like this, but after the initial success, the growth stopped. The team tried different things, but nothing helped.

Then a manager noticed that a few customers asked about other art objects such as statues and decorative dishware. These categories were never presented in the store, but the team thought – if some customers expected to find something like this here, why not offer it?

During the next few weeks, the team created a number of additional categories, found and imported new products. Some of them didn’t sell well, but statues were a success.

Now the shop sells paintings and statues, and we want to try yet another category.

As you can see, we didn’t actually change the niche by switching to something else. Instead, we broadened it by including other closely related categories of products.

2. Narrowing

The opposite way to improve your dropshipping business is to narrow the niche. You do it for the same reason as why you avoid general stores in the first place, but this time you go even further.

Another our self-owned shop was devoted to cute clothing. We had various models with lovely and funny prints, but the managers noticed some models sold well while others were never in demand.

After a thorough analysis, the team found out that people mostly buy clothing with cats. Therefore, we decided to start adding even more stuff with kittens. This way, our potential customers were given more choice of what they really wanted, which resulted in sales rise.

Thus, the store became more focused on ‘cat clothes’ rather than ‘cute clothes’ in general.

3. Getting beyond your niche

A business niche is defined by people, and it’s not strict. What seems like a clear category of products can be easily expanded if you look at it from a different perspective. In other words, in certain situations, you might want to expand beyond the original niche and combine it with a related niche.

One of our stores was originally devoted to anime merchandise such as clothing, accessories, figurines and other stuff for fans. But to reach for greater audience and increase sales, the team decided to add Harajuku fashion clothing.

Of course, these two niches are related, but they’re not the same. Still, those who were interested in anime and Japanese culture in general gladly accepted the new products.

4. Pricing, delivery, etc.

Sometimes, it’s not the products you want to change, but another important aspect of your business. Prices are a good example.

The original idea for one of our shops was to offer low-cost items. But eventually, the managers decided to cut all the prices to only $5. As a result, we had to remove all products that were more expensive and add new goods to replace them.

The niche didn’t really change as the theme was still the same, but we had to focus on a limited range of products for a slightly different audience.

The same can happen if you decide to switch to the subscription business model, for example.

5. Complete rebranding

In a desperate situation when nothing works, you may want to completely change your store’s specialization.

Obviously, such a radical solution is a huge risk, and it’s not always possible. The store’s brand and domain name is the biggest problem as they usually reflects its content. So, if you suddenly change the niche, the name may look really weird. But if the name is vague enough, it may work.

There’s a store in our collection that used to sell accessories of all kinds including those designed for fans of popular movies and video games. Geek accessories, so to speak.

Promoting the shop was really hard, but the geek things sold really well. After a while, it was decided to completely rebrand it and start selling only geek stuff. Fortunately, the name wasn’t a problem and the decision proved right in the long term.

While finding a profitable business niche is very important, one should also take into account their own passion and interests. Our experience shows that starting a dropshipping store is much easier when you do something you sincerely enjoy.

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By Timur Y.
Timur is a content creator at AliDropship. He likes to keep it simple and straight.
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