Niche marketplaces
eCommerce Intelligence

Niche Marketplaces: 6 of the Best Hidden Gems

by Sarah Mehlman , Sr. Marketing Intelligence Specialist 9 Min.
July 13, 2022 | Updated October 11, 2022

When it comes to selling products online, mass marketplaces like Amazon or eBay usually come to mind. Sellers are flocking to channels like Amazon because these platforms offer a truly astonishing amount of traffic.

However, there’s a reason people say, “I found my niche!”

In the same way, by finding the right niche marketplace with the relevant target audience, you can position yourself as the go-to brand for that niche audience. You’ll be able to create brand awareness and visibility, exposing your business to a much wider audience, in a more interactive and engaging context.

What are niche marketplaces?

Essentially, a niche marketplace is a specialized market for shoppers who share a certain demographic audience, needs, or preferences. This could be a marketplace that is selling a particular category of product – for example, Airbnb is a niche platform for short-term rentals.

Alternatively, a niche marketplace may contain a range of product categories but share a particular attribute, like Etsy.

On the other hand, general marketplaces such as Amazon have a catch-all approach, offering as many different products to as many different types of consumers as possible.

Since the boom in eCommerce in recent years, general marketplaces are seeing a huge volume of clients. Amazon’s annual net sales revenue was a staggering $469 billion in 2021, up from $386 billion in 2020, and $280 billion in 2019.

Amazon’s annual net sales revenue was a staggering $469 billion in 2021.

However, there are also a large number of sellers seeking to take advantage of this huge market, making general marketplaces highly competitive. In fact, 3,000 new sellers join Amazon every single day.

Despite having more limited scope, niche platforms are growing in popularity because they allow specific sets of sellers and buyers to find each other.

Benefits of niche marketplaces

Niche marketplaces offer a number of deep-rooted, long-term advantages. Like many successful products, these types of platforms emerged in response to a common pain point: the general market in today’s digitally connected world was so huge that consumers couldn’t find the products they were looking for.

Furthermore, if they did manage to track down the specific product they wanted on a general marketplace, there was no guarantee that it was a high-quality item that met their criteria.

Niche marketplaces were launched to address this need. They serve a unique set of customers, and screen sellers to make sure products sold meet certain standards. In turn, this presents businesses with the opportunity to focus their efforts, target their marketing strategy, and build a strong, loyal customer base.

There’s a popular saying in the marketing world:

If you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one. Tweet this

The benefits of using niche marketplaces include:

  • Limited competition: Though extensive, these platforms typically have fewer vendors than general marketplaces.
  • Greater access to a targeted audience: The right niche marketplace will deliver you your target audience, and will do the heavy lifting of building a strong following that you can tap into.
  • Credibility: Because these platforms tend to have stricter screening processes than regular marketplaces, customers have more faith in the products sold on them.
  • Reduced marketing costs: By focusing on a niche, you won’t waste time and money marketing to consumers outside your target audience.
  • Brand visibility and loyalty: You can leverage the marketplace’s existing brand to give your business visibility and build a loyal customer base.

Top 5 benefits of niche marketplaces.

The best niche online marketplaces

Online marketplaces are now replacing in-person experiences, with consumers enjoying the convenience of shopping from anywhere and anytime using their digital devices.

The internet is packed with niche online marketplaces – so, which are the best?

Niche marketplaces to check out.

1. Etsy

Etsy traffic 2022-2022 year over year

Etsy traffic 2022-2022 year over year

While most people have heard of Etsy, we consider it the gold standard in niche marketplaces and had to include it in our list. If you’re not selling on Etsy already, you should probably reconsider this.

Etsy is easily the biggest online marketplace that specializes in arts, crafts, and custom or handmade products. It’s also one of the largest platforms for vintage fashion. This B2C marketplace helps people sell their handmade crafts that go far beyond hand-knitted scarves. Items range from printable digital art to custom high-end jewelry, and everything in between.

Sellers love this platform because it’s easy to use and offers a wide range of tools for monitoring and managing your store, as well as plenty of support to run and brand it. It’s free to set up an Etsy store, but sellers do need to cover fees for listing, payment processing, and transactions.

This marketplace not only has a creative focus, but it also is female-dominated. According to the figures published in 2021, 83% of Etsy sellers identify as women. As such, this niche marketplace for female business owners serves an audience of 60% women and 40% men, with the largest age distribution being 25- to 34-year-olds, making up nearly 29% of users.

Marketplaces based on audience and target demographic.

2. Chewy

Chewy traffic year over year (2021-2022).

Chewy traffic year over year (2021-2022).

Chewy is designed for pet owners looking for affordable pet food, treats, pet health care, and other supplies. This US-based niche marketplace has gained a lot of popularity in recent years thanks to its user-friendly site and mobile app. This is reflected in their device distribution, with mobile users making up nearly 69% of its user base.

Divice distribution on Chewy.

The brand has built a loyal following through understanding the problems of pet parents and offering trustworthy products to help them look after their fur babies.

Along with targetting pet owners, Chewy is also expanding its market by looking to connect veterinarians with clients. This innovative idea seeks to offer pre-approved prescriptions at set prices to provide rapid, affordable medical care for pets.

Chewy serves two key demographics:

  1. Pet owners who enjoy the convenience of online ordering pet food and home delivery.
  2. Younger demographics who want to treat their pets and give them every luxury.

Chewy is a human-centric marketplace that understands the critical role emotions play in customer purchasing decisions, as well as the emotional connection people have with their beloved pets.

The platform uses effective digital marketing to reach its audience and builds on established relationships through personalized experiences. Sellers can leverage this ability to create compelling customer connections to drive sales and build a loyal customer base.

3. Teachable

Teachable traffic year over year (2021-2022).

Teachable is a popular B2C marketplace offering accessible online courses and learning opportunities. It’s essentially an online school where professionals can sell training sessions, individual coaching, and online courses.

As a trainer, you can use Teachable to translate your specific expertise into a revenue source. It also provides businesses with the opportunity to monetize their knowledge and experience. One of the advantages of Teachable is that it allows you to narrow down your niche and focus on a specific audience through selecting specific categories of students to target.

The platform handles everything from online features to payment and transaction processing, so you can focus on creating engaging courses that serve your target cohort. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to create a trainer profile, with plenty of options for personalization.

Teachable has a worldwide audience, with the highest traffic share by country being the United States at 33.78%.

Country distribution for teachable.com.

4. Fiverr

Country distribution for teachable.com.

Fiverr traffic year over year (2021-2022).

Fiverr is a well-known platform that connects freelancers and other service providers with clients. This platform was created to narrow the bridge between service providers and their target audience in today’s massive, hyper-competitive marketplace.

Vendors on this niche marketplace offer a wide range of specialized services, from creating business cards to web designing services.

Fiverr is ideal for service providers that are just starting and are looking for their first clients. A strong, optimized Fiverr profile can help you stand out from the competition and build your burgeoning client base. Fiverr’s system is designed to protect both parties by holding payments until the order is successfully completed.

Of course, you’ll have to pay for this service – Fiverr keeps 20% of the job total as commission. However, the more gigs you land as a service provider, the easier it is for you to build a compelling seller rating and potentially charge more for the services that you offer.

As you can see in the chart below, Fiverr blows its largest competitor Upwork out of the water when it comes to visits over time.

fiver.com competitive analysis on Similarweb.

5. Airbnb

Airbnb traffic year over year (2021-2022).

Airbnb is one of the most successful examples of marketplace niche targeting. Originally a network that connected couch surfers with somewhere to sleep, Airbnb now gives people all over the world a space to offer homestays and affordable lodging. If you have a spare room, holiday home, or any other type of accommodation, you can list your property on Airbnb and reach short-term renters.

It is free to list your accommodation on this online niche marketplace, though you’ll be charged a 3% fee for each reservation. As a seller, you control the price of your listing and set the terms of the rental.

Airbnb has a multi-segment approach offering various service packages to target different markets. For cost-conscious customers, it offers affordable rentals. However, the platform also has a plus package that is designed to serve customers who are willing to pay more for certain facilities and a higher level of comfort.

According to SimilarWeb data, Airbnb has an incredibly loyal customer base, with almost 30% of its audience exclusively visiting Airbnb and no other websites of its competitors when looking for accommodation.

6. Booking.com

Booking.com traffic year over year (2021-2022).

Booking.com is another leading niche marketplace for accommodation. Although the platform is moving into private homes and hosted stays, it’s prominently catered towards hotels.

As a seller, you list your hotel rooms or other accommodation on the platform, and Booking.com takes care of the rest. Through this online marketplace, guests can make bookings, pay a deposit or the full stay (depending on the hotel’s preference), and leave reviews.

The platform charges a variable rate of commission, generally between 10% and 20%, depending on the property’s location.

As a seller, listing your accommodation on Booking.com gives you visibility on one of the world’s best-known platforms for booking hotels. It also has a trusted rating system that allows you to leverage guest reviews to make more bookings.

Booking.com is one of the biggest industry leaders when it comes to accommodation websites, as shown in the image below.

Top competitors in the travel and hospitality industry in May 2022.

Niche down to scale up

By finding the right niche marketplaces with the relevant target audience, your business can focus its efforts, drive more sales, and build a strong customer base.

The world of eCommerce is more competitive than ever, making it critically important for businesses to differentiate themselves and effectively target the consumers that will become their long-term, loyal customers.

By combining the right niche marketplaces with targeted marketing and a niche-driven business model, you’ll set your business on the road to success.

Get More eCommerce Insights

Stop guessing, start analyzing. Grow your business with Similarweb.

Book a demo

FAQs

What is the difference between a mass market and a niche market?

A mass-market is a more traditional concept around approaching potential customers.
Traditionally, sellers would try to reach as many consumers as they possibly could. Think about a large store offering every kind of product imaginable, like Walmart, or generalized online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.

Niche marketing is a more focused approach that caters to a specific group of people. Niche marketplaces serve specific groups of customers who share a common need or attribute.

What are some popular examples of niche markets?

Niche marketplaces serve certain target audiences. Popular niche markets include: travelers, pet owners, Gamers, health-conscious consumers, the LGBTQ+ community, remote workers, ethical consumers, eco-conscious consumers, and vegans.

Do I need a license to list on niche marketplaces?

Most niche marketplaces don’t require you to have any particular license or qualifications.

Having said that, many of these marketplaces do have rigorous application processes, so you will probably need to demonstrate that your business has a certain level of experience to show it’s relevant to the niche.

This post is subject to Similarweb legal notices and disclaimers.

Wondering what Similarweb can do for you?

Here are two ways you can get started with Similarweb today!