The industry of POD or print on demand is constantly growing and it’s no surprise why. With the ecommerce market being projected to account for 22% of the sales for global retail in 2023 and online clothing stores being one of the most popular categories, there is a lot of potential for growth in this industry.
However, while this industry growth is a good thing for POD businesses like yours, it also means that you’ll be facing more competition than ever before. This entails extra effort on your part to make sure that your POD business stands out from the rest.
One way you can do this is by finding and catering to a specific niche. But what exactly is a niche and how do you find one that will be profitable for your POD business? Let’s take a look.
What Is a Niche?
Your brand’s niche is like its specialty or the thing that it’s known for. It’s the specific market segment or group of people that you’re targeting with your marketing and it’s what makes your brand unique.
Ideally, your niche should be something that you’re passionate about as this will make it easier for you to show some personality in your marketing and connect with your target market on a deeper level.
Benefits of Niche Marketing
Print-on-demand is one of the most flexible and customizable business models out there. This already gives you an advantage over other businesses, so why further specialize your brand?
The truth is that catering to a specific niche comes with a number of advantages that can help boost your POD business.
Some of the benefits of niche marketing include:
When you focus on a certain niche, you’re automatically narrowing down your competition. This is because you’re no longer competing with all the other businesses in your industry, but only with those that cater to the same niche as you.
This gives you a better chance of being noticed by your target market and helps you build a stronger relationship with them since they know that you understand their specific needs.
Because you won’t have to cast as wide a net when marketing to your target audience, you can save on your marketing budget and focus on targeting those who are most likely to convert.
This also allows you to create more targeted and relevant content that speaks directly to the needs of your target market, making it more likely to resonate with them.
More Passionate Customers
When you know who your specific target is and you’re able to provide them with solutions to their specific problems, you’re more likely to develop a loyal customer base.
These customers are also more likely to be passionate about your brand who can potentially help your business to be more known organically or without you having to put in as much effort.
Once you have built a group of passionate customers, they can become your brand’s biggest advocates and help you to build a strong community around your business.
This community can contribute to your content, give feedback that can help improve your products or services, and even help with marketing your brand to their own network.
Higher Engagement Rates
With passionate customers and a strong community, you’re more likely to experience higher engagement rates on your social media, blog, or website.
This is because these people are more likely to interact with your content and share it on their own social media profiles which can help you increase brand awareness and reach.
How To Find Your Niche
Alright, now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of niche marketing, how do you actually go about finding a profitable niche for your POD business?
To help you get started, here are some tips you might want to take note of:
Research What’s Trending and Where You Can Add Value
With the internet and social media apps like TikTok and Instagram, staying up-to-date on the latest trends is easier than ever. You can always do a quick search on Google or your own social media feeds to see what’s popular at the moment. However, apart from just looking at what’s trending, you should also consider if there’s a way for you to add value.
This could be in the form of providing a new perspective, coming up with original content, or offering a unique product that meets the needs of your target market.
Consider Local Trends and What’s Popular in Your Area
Global trends are not the only ones you should pay attention to. There might also be local trends that are popular in your area that you can capitalize on.
For example, if you live in a place that’s known for its beaches, then selling swimwear or beach-themed items might be a good idea. Alternatively, if you live in an area that’s close to a certain university, then catering to students and knowing their interests might be a good option.
Learn the Difference Between Fads and Trends
While trends do provide businesses with opportunities, it’s important to know the difference between a fad and a trend. Fads are usually short-lived and only last for a few months or years at most. On the other hand, trends tend to be more long-lasting, with some even becoming permanent fixtures in society.
This is why it’s important to do your research and not jump on every new fad that comes along as you might end up wasting your time and resources. Instead, focus on identifying trends that have potential to be around for the long run.
Look For Gaps In The Market
Another way to find a profitable niche is to look for gaps in the market. This means looking for areas where there’s a need but not enough businesses catering to it.
For example, you might notice that there’s a lack of businesses selling environmentally friendly products in your area. This could be an opportunity for you to start a POD business that focuses on eco-friendly items. Or, you could also look at the type of products or services that are available and consider how you can improve them or make them better.
Look for Pain Points That You Can Help Solve
When looking for a niche, it can also be helpful to look for pain points that you can help solve. This means finding problems or needs that your target market has and offering solutions through your products or services.
For example, if you’re selling custom clothes, you could focus on offering items that are specifically designed for people with certain body types or those who are looking for more comfortable and affordable options.
Know Your Own Likes and Where You’re Good At
At the end of the day, it’s your business and you should be selling products or services that you’re passionate about. This can make it a lot easier for you to market your business and connect with your target market.
It’s also important to know your own strengths and weaknesses. Then, you can use this knowledge to find a niche where you can excel and provide value.
Top Profitable Niches for Your POD Business
And we’ll cut to the chase. If you still don’t have any idea about what niche to pursue for your POD business, then here are some of the most profitable ones that you can consider:
With awareness about mental health on the rise, this niche is becoming more and more popular. And there’s a good reason for it. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in every 5 adults in the US experiences mental illness every year. Thus, it’s important more than ever to destigmatize mental health and make it a more open topic of discussion.
One way you can help do this is by selling products that focus on mental health and wellness. This could include items like journals and clothing that promote positive mental health messages. You could also sell products that are specifically designed to help people with mental health conditions, such as custom fidget toys for those experiencing anxiety or stress.
Animals & Pets
If you love animals, then this could be the perfect niche for you. Animals and pets are a huge part of many people’s lives and there’s a lot of opportunity in this niche. This is because there’s always a need for pet products, whether it’s food, toys, or clothes.
What’s great about this niche is that you can cater to a wide range of customers, from those who have pets to those who work with animals. For example, you could sell leashes and collars for dogs, bird houses, or even clothes for cats.
There’s also a lot of room for creativity in this niche, so you can really let your imagination run wild with the products you offer.
With the current political landscape, it’s no surprise that activism is becoming a more popular topic. And there are a lot of ways that you can get involved in this niche, whether it’s through selling products that support a cause or raising awareness about important social issues.
For example, you could sell t-shirts with empowering messages or encourage your customers to donate to a cause with each purchase. You could also sell products that are made from sustainable or recycled materials.
No matter what type of products you sell, it’s important to make sure that your business aligns with your personal values. This way, you can be sure that you’re making a positive impact with your business.
Fitness & Working Out
During the start of the pandemic, fitness influencers like Chloe Ting and Emi Wong dominated YouTube and the IG stories of many. People were looking for ways to stay active while stuck at home, and these fitness influencers provided valuable content that helped people do just that.
This trend has continued even after the lockdowns have lifted, which means there’s still a lot of opportunity in this niche. You could sell products like personalized workout clothes, fitness equipment, or even healthy snacks.
What’s great about this niche is that there’s always a need for fitness products, as people are always looking for ways to improve their health and well-being. This means that your business can continue to grow even as trends come and go.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of food? Is it ice cream? Pizza? Burgers? No matter what it is, chances are there’s a market for it.
And for a print-on-demand business like yours, food is a great niche to get into. This is because there’s always a demand for food-related products, whether it’s kitchen supplies, cookbooks, or even clothes with food designs.
What’s also great about this niche is that you can really get creative with the products you offer. For example, you could sell pizza-themed phone cases or t-shirts with burger designs. You could even sell aprons with funny sayings for the amateur chef in your life.
Jobs & Hobbies
Hustle culture has taken over in recent years, with more and more people striving to find their dream job or side hustle. And with the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever to share your passions with the world.
This presents a great opportunity for businesses, as you can tap into this trend by selling products that relate to jobs and hobbies. For example, you could sell t-shirts with motivational quotes for the aspiring entrepreneur. You could also sell mugs and phone cases with images or slogans related to popular jobs and hobbies.
What’s awesome about this niche is that there’s always an audience for job- and hobby-related products. This is because people are always looking for new ways to express their interests and passions. So, no matter what type of products you sell, you’re sure to find an audience for them.
Ready To Explore Your Niche and Make Some Money?
Choosing a specific niche to focus on for your POD business can be quite tricky. But once you have identified what purpose you want your brand to serve and who your target market is, the rest will come easy. Just don’t be afraid to get creative with the products you offer and constantly find ways to better connect with your customers. After all, that’s what makes POD businesses so unique!
And once you have settled on a niche, Awkward Styles is here to help you get started on your POD journey. With our wide range of products and easy-to-use mockup generator, we can help you create and sell custom products that your customers will love.
So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring your niche today and make profits tomorrow!