The internet and the massive marketplaces like Amazon
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, eBay and Walmart.com have become efficient machines for sourcing commodities fast, efficiently, and cheaply. At the same time, when it comes to deep learning about a particular product, they fall short.

Similarly, most of today’s department stores and specialty retailers, once the bastions of product expertise and service, underwhelm. Increasingly consumers longing for in-depth product information and meaningful recommendations look to smaller, specialized niche retailers both online and offline.

Passions Drive “Solution-Based” Retailing

In fact, with the exodus from mass, mid-market retail over the last decade, the smaller well positioned niche market players have grown and prospered. Peoples’ passions and desires for self-expression are top of mind. Once more, the best retailers are effectively mining them. From culinary to crafts, fitness to farming, great breads to great beards, our passions have fostered and fueled a whole bevy of niche brands and retailers. This has become a growth driver for tens of thousands of Shopify retailers, and direct-to- consumer (DTC) retail brands, both online and offline.

One of the key differentiators between many old-line legacy retailers and well positioned niche retailers is that the latter are “solution based.” This means, they go beyond merely offering products, but focus on how those products connect with the customers, while fulfilling customers’ specific needs, wants, and aspirations. This approach is authentic and builds trust in the retailer and the brand. It is also key to building customer lifetime value, and a “tribal-like” following. Moreover, this gets to the heart of the consumers’ new mantra, “I want what I want.” Today’s customer will seek out the retail experiences that satisfy that cry.

Tribes, Trends and Passion Plays

In Seth Godin’s Ted Talk, “The Tribes We Lead,” he emphasizes that even a small group of loyal followers will get you to that next stage. Because the idea created is not for everyone, it is for the true believers (avid brand advocates) that want to create the change your idea (or product) provides.

Tribes are like-minded people that are bound by similar passions and ideas. Consumers love being a part of a tribe because they can talk to other people with similar interests, gain knowledge, share experiences, and make recommendations about a product. Social media has fueled “tribal-like” followings around people, brands, and retailers.

Niche brands are well positioned to build tribes. Regardless of whether a retailer is launching an online brand, or is an established Shopify retailer, knowing how to tap into the “tribal passions” of their consumers is essential. It can provide valuable feedback to enhance the customer experience.

Know Your Niche

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The website The Niche Guru heralds the benefits of niche retail on Shopify. They state, “An online niche store focuses on selling a narrow range of products—the more niche-specific, the better.” They offered a list of the “Ten best Shopify Niches in 2022,” they are:

  1. Beard products
  2. Minimalist jewelry
  3. Eco-friendly products
  4. Pet products
  5. Home office equipment
  6. Travel accessories
  7. Mobile gaming accessories
  8. Home security cameras
  9. Coffee accessories
  10. Women’s backpacks

In reviewing the list, it is easy to understand the “tribal” nature of the consumers being served. I also found it particularly interesting that all ten products invite solution-based rather than product-based selling. They open the door to building relationships with “brand advocates” while becoming trusted advisors, through their category expertise. This kind of personalization is both appreciated and expected by Gen-Y, and Gen-Z consumers. Moreover, customers are willing to pay a premium for the personalization.

Push Meets Pull Marketing

The success of any online, offline, or unified commerce retailer requires engaging in two core marketing principles. This involves making choices across organic and paid strategies, between push versus pull marketing. This can be complex, time-consuming, and expensive.

In push marketing, or “outbound marketing ” the retailer focuses on bringing the brand or store to the customer. It is more deliberate, initiative-taking, and aggressive, and is intended to drive traffic and create sales. Conversely, pull marketing or “inbound marketing” involves naturally accruing traffic, building mechanisms and/or content uniquely suited to the retailer’s target audiences. Essentially letting them come to you. This is where the paring of Shopify retailers and MyRegistry.com can have a tremendous multiplying effect, particularly around the holidays.

Personalization Prescription

MyRegistry.com is the largest gift registry software provider to U.S. and Canadian retailers. It is specifically designed for anyone running an ecommerce business and offers e-retailers the tools to create complete transparency around an individual’s wants and needs. Now Shopify.com sellers are able join MyRegistry.com’s gift registry network by easily installing customizable software that adds universal gift registry functionality to their website. This makes for a unique pairing and potential gift giving game changer.

By having the MyRegistry.com Gift List & Gift Registry tied to the retailers Shopify store front, as well as each individual project page, it marries the retailer’s push marketing efforts with a dynamic and organic pull strategy. This has the capacity to bring the Shopify.com retailer’s best customers and brand advocates back, repeatedly to refresh their gift list. It further motivates them to share lists with friends and family members year-round. It is a social media accelerant.

I Want What I Want for The Holidays

Once loaded, Shopify customers can create a Gift List, search for friends and family member’s registries, as well as manage their own registry. Additionally, each one of the retailer’s product pages will also get an “add to Gift List” button. The Shopify retailers also receive a dashboard which enables them to track signups.

Now every Shopify.com retailer can answer the question of what she or he wants for the holidays, as well as every occasion and milestone event. This is the most powerful way to connect to the retailer’s “tribal brand advocates” while facilitating the transition from push marketing to pull marketing, while closing the “gifting gap.” This creates a powerful new parity between even the most specialized Shopify niche retailers and the biggest gift-registry retailers. Happy holiday buying and selling!

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