Unique experiences and unique products are the future of e-commerce. In fact, one in five customers today are willing to pay up to 20 percent more for products and services that are highly customized or personalized. This focus on individualized shopping means niche businesses have a great advantage over those with broader offerings or target markets.

One-size-fits-all stores simply can’t provide these types of highly-personalized products and services. It’s impossible for sites like Amazon to nurture every lead and build a customized shopping experience for each website visitor. Smaller e-commerce stores, on the other hand, can swoop in and fill this gap in the market by interacting one-on-one with customers customers and cleverly utilizing micro-niche marketing strategies.

If you’re running an e-commerce business but haven’t yet narrowed down what your niche is, now is the time to do so. Then, start implementing niche marketing techniques to help you perfectly tailor your products to your customers and provide a customized shopping experience. Read on to learn exactly how to grow a niche e-commerce business that will thrive.

Use niche SEO techniques to target the right customers

When addressing a small niche, you no longer need to attract every type of visitor. For example, if you sell dog food, you don’t target pet owners at large, you target dog owners specifically. Your main goal as a niche e-commerce business is to narrow your audience and attract highly-targeted traffic.

A good place to start is with keyword research. You should identify highly-specific terms that will let you reach a particular audience. Along with using keyword tools like Google AdWords, you can find the exact terms potential customers are using to look for products like yours by visiting question and answer forums, subreddits, and Facebook groups.

You can also visit competitors’ sites and ask yourself the following questions to determine which of their SEO techniques to replicate:

  • What social channels do your competitors use to drive traffic? What hashtags do they use?
  • Do they run paid search ads?
  • Do they frequently secure backlinks from other high-ranking sites?
  • What keywords do they target?
  • How much content—blog posts, articles, downloadable offers—do they produce?

Keyword and competitor research are excellent ways to learn how to grow your niche e-commerce business. You’ll be able to take inspiration from your competitors in the areas where they stand out, but also identify possible gaps and business opportunities that they’ve failed to take advantage of.

Implement conversion rate optimization best practices

Traditional conversion rate optimization (CRO) best practices can help you, but only to a certain point. Optimizing your CTAs and the length of your forms, rewriting your headlines, and adding videos to your landing pages are all practices that work, but in a niche market, you need to do more than that to keep your audience connected to your site.

Niche businesses typically have educated target audiences. People who are interested in gluten-free food, for example, have done research on how specific foods affect their bodies and know which foods to avoid. From companies that sell food, they’re now looking for information about ingredients, producers, and cooking methods.

This means that in any niche market, to keep a highly-educated audience engaged in your sales funnel you need to personalize your website and content to meet their expectations.

Build brand loyalty

As a niche business that deals with a uniform audience, you can take extra steps to build brand loyalty that most e-commerce businesses aren’t willing to. For example, you might provide your buyers with permanent customer support as part of your strategy to generate or increase brand loyalty. If a website visitor needs to ask a question before ordering, make them feel encouraged to do so. This kind of ultra-personalized shopping experience is what will differentiate you from Amazon and other giants.

On average, repeat customers represent around 8 percent of a company’s buyers, yet they are responsible for as much as 40 percent of the revenue. Think about how you could grow your niche e-commerce business if you convinced more people to come back for a second purchase.

But just remember, people don’t care about prices as much as the quality of your products and customer experience. Give them what they want, and they’ll love you!

Rethink business partnerships

Business partnerships are a great way to reach new, engaged audiences. As you look to expand your partnerships, there are two directions to consider:

  • Micro-influencers
  • Partnerships with brands that complement yours

Why micro-influencers? Because while they may not have the large reach of bigger influencers, their engagement rates are 60 percent higher. Furthermore, micro-influencers are more likely to reach the narrow audience you’re interested in—people who share the same interests, tastes, and buying habits as the influencer you’ve picked. Remember though: Niche markets are about quality, not quantity, so any social proof you bring to the table should be relevant to your area. Otherwise you could damage, rather than build, trust.

Brand partnerships

Brand partnerships can help you reach audiences you never even thought to target before. From launching a new co-branded products to cross-promotion on social media, there are plenty of ways to partner with other brands that will benefit both of you.

When you choose reliable partners, you win by association. You get to increase awareness and build trust all at once. Just be sure to always put your customers first and stay loyal to the community that surrounds your brand by choosing partners that share the same values and stand for similar causes.

Wrapping it all up

A business is more likely to register high ROI when it fits into a specific niche. However, you can’t build a niche e-commerce business and just hope the right audience shows up. Instead, you need to identify a specific audience, understand their needs, and develop a customer-centric marketing strategy.