by Robbie Antonio
INSTEAD of casting a wide net towards a mass audience, solopreneurs have benefited from focusing on a specific niche — by identifying a gap in the market, becoming an expert in that, and offering a unique product.
So as the year draws to a close, let us take a look at niche products that trended and see how they appealed to the small and specialized segments of a market that is also now dominated by the values, choices and purchasing power of Generations Y and Z.
Remote work essentials
The younger generation prefers flexible work arrangements, leading to the boom of the gig economy and digital nomads: from influencers, web designers, and virtual assistants, to content writers, online English teachers, and digital event planners.
This resulted in growing demand for tools that help improve remote workers’ productivity, such as home office equipment, ergonomic desks and chairs, laptop stands, and video conferencing accessories like clip-on webcams, lighting kits, and noise-cancelling headphones.
This also spurred unexpected innovations for products that increase comfort and convenience: portable briefcase workstations, tech bags and electronics organizers, home office clothing, as well as armrests and footrests.
The hospitality and tourism sectors benefited from this trend, with the popularity of aesthetic coffee shops, as well as rentals in Airbnbs with co-working spaces that cater specifically to digital nomads from all over the world.
The rise of influencer commerce also gave birth to an industry focused on content creation and reputation management, opening opportunities in social media marketing, aerial and drone photography, video editing, blogging, and podcasting.
Since digital nomadism is possible anywhere with internet connection, this market should continue growing amid the development of 5G networks worldwide.
Studies show that Generations Y and Z are not only more environmentally conscious, they are demanding the same from the companies that they patronize and sustainability affects their purchasing decisions.
To capitalize on this trend, many startups are positioning themselves as champions of the environment and are highlighting how their processes and products are good for the earth.
These include small steps like using natural or recyclable materials and adopting sustainable programs within their organizations.
Eco-friendly merchandise items are also gaining momentum, from metal straws, bamboo toothbrushes, and biodegradable dental floss, to reusable feminine products, eco-friendly kitchen tools, and recyclable shopping bags.
On a larger scale, this includes big-ticket items such as electric vehicles and solar panels.
Companies said they plan to invest more on these initiatives so this niche should continue gaining widespread adoption moving forward.
Several studies show that the younger generation has been waiting longer to marry and delaying having children, with many opting to become “fur parents” instead. More people also adopted pets during the pandemic to ward off the lockdown blues.
Generations Y and Z have become the largest segment of pet owners and are spending more on them since the pandemic. Pet products have become consistent purchases, particularly food with new flavors, vitamins and supplements, treats, and interactive toys.
Eventually, the market further grew with unique offerings such as orthopedic beds for dogs, pee pads, and black light pet urine detector, as well as pet feeders and automatic water dispensers, grooming kits, and customized collars.
For generations Y and Z, strong is the new sexy.
Home gym equipment rose in popularity, driving online purchases of weights, rowing machines, and stationary bikes.
Workout attire or “athleisure” became commonplace, alongside a growing demand for fitness accessories such as trendy tumblers, abdominal toning belts, smartwatches, and fitness trackers.
These examples show that finding your niche may help your business stand out from competition amid the millions of stores available online. By targeting a specific audience and product line, you can reduce your marketing expenses, optimize your warehouse space, and control inventory storage costs.