Why focus on niche trends?

The e-commerce business is not a race but a marathon. You have to be attentive throughout the year. The data and statistics are very promising for doing business on the big e-commerce events and festivals. But, you can generate an equal amount of profits by working around the clock for the whole year. All you need is an understanding of what products work regardless of seasons, celebrations or trends. If you are looking for answers you’ve come to the right place.  The challenge is to find those handful best-selling products to drive sales.

This challenge is not for new e-tailers, but even the established sellers are fighting tooth and nail to stay ahead across the year rather than performing only during the festive season. The e-commerce is growing at an exceptional rate of 24% per year. This growth has made it more important to identify those niche and trending products that help you stay ahead of other sellers in your category and provide your shoppers what they want. 

Here is a list of  ten products that are sold throughout the year. 

Denim:

Denims are probably the most evergreen product of all time. There is a whole range of products available from denim jeans, jackets, tops, shirts, dresses and so many upcoming options for clothing and even accessories. Denim is a product category that sells all year round regardless of season, events or occasions. Since it caters to all genders and ages, it’s easy to promote and even easier to sell. Any deals or promotions on denim is guaranteed to get attention from the shoppers. Over the past ten years, India’s jeans market catapulted to Rs 21,993 crore, according to Euromonitor, and last calendar year’s growth at 14% is the highest since 2009 stated Economic Times.  

Footwear: 

The Indian market is a constant consumer of footwears. From major brands to small sellers, this product is a favourite across the calendar. As per indiareadefair.com, we as a country produced over 2065 million pairs of different categories of footwear that include leather footwear (909 million pairs), leather shoe uppers (100 million pairs and non-leather footwear-1056 million pairs). India exports about 115 million pairs. Thus, nearly 95% of its production goes to meet its own domestic demand. Imagine the scale of the market and how much of it is covered by the e-commerce sector. If you are not promoting great deals on footwear, maybe you should start. 

Athleisure:

This is a hot category globally. Athleisure products market in India has grown from Rs. 24,000 crore in 2014 to Rs. 37,000 crore in 2016 at more than 50 percent over the past four years, according to  Euromonitor. A similar study has shown a 23.7 percent CAGR for the 2011-16 period with a forecast of 11.3 percent for the 2016-2021 period. There is a spike in the number of people participating in sporting activities and are more concerned about fitness. Hence this provides a huge potential to sell athleisure products.  

Health Supplements:

This is probably the most surprising product to make the list. But in recent years it was observed that health supplements was one of the fastest growing categories in the market. With huge pharmaceuticals behind the promotions, these supplements are taken as per the needs and it is unaffected by any season or month. It follows a basic chain of supply and demand. Vitamins and minerals occupies a larger share of the pie in the Indian dietary supplements market  at 40%, followed by the herbal segment contributing 30%, proteins segment contributing 25% and other segments contributing around 5% of the total market, according to Businesswire.  

Kitchen Appliances:

The life of kitchen appliances depends upon the user. People buy kitchen appliances when they are in need of the product or when the old ones are outdated, hence they are bought as per need and not occasion. Even though in a unique way, the Indian market shows a lot of interest in smaller appliances during the festive seasons. The revenue in the smaller kitchen appliances segment amounts to US$11,332 million in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 4.5% (CAGR 2020-2023), according to Statista

Makeup:

The makeup industry is one of the fastest growing industries. With multiple competing brands and new products there is always a race amongst the shoppers to get their hands on the latest item. As per the report the revenue in the cosmetics segment amounts to US$6,251 million in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 6.3% (CAGR 2020-2023), according to Statista

Office wear:

The formal wear or office wear is something that is also evergreen. There is an everlasting demand for these products in the market. You can be dealing in men’s or women’s wear, but formal attire is something that people buy across the clock. According to www.indiaretailing.com, men’s shirt category is the largest men’s apparel category, followed by men’s trousers accounting for 27 percent and 22 percent respectively and as for women’s apparels, the women’s tops/ shirts market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent in near future to reach Rs 8,036 crore from its current market size of Rs 2,830 crore.

Fashion accessories: 

Fashion accessories are not only limited to women now. The accessories market has grown and it is catering to men and even children. There are products like handbags, belts, wallets, etc. As per a report from italiaindia.com, Indian domestic market for bags, including handbags, college bags, office bags etc. was estimated at Rs 15 billion. 

Kurtis:

The traditional market is mostly dependent on festivals and wedding season. But in the indian context kurtis are a trend that keeps on growing across the year. Women wear it for work, for parties and even for regular use. The market for kurtis is huge, hence you see so many e-commerce and individual websites selling casual wear kurtis. 

Shapewear:

The list of trending products will be incomplete if we don’t mention shapewear. This apparel has gained massive popularity and has been growing steadily. In fact, it is so popular that there are eCommerce stores that start their business selling nothing but shapewear

Reference Links: 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/fashion-/-cosmetics-/-jewellery/be-it-work-or-party-denim-is-in-demand-domestic-jeans-market-grew-14-in-2018/articleshow/72269238.cms?from=mdr

http://indiatradefair.com/uploads/About_Indian_Footwear_Industry_14_05_2019.pdf

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180803005466/en/Indian-Market-Dietary-Supplements-2018-2023—CAGR

https://www.statista.com/outlook/16020200/119/small-kitchen-appliances/india

https://www.statista.com/outlook/70010000/119/cosmetics/india

http://italiaindia.com/images/uploads/pdf/market-research-on-accessories-in-india.pdf

Brand Equity vs Brand Value

 

Both parallels measures the estimate of how much the brand is worth. Brand equity reflects on the importance and value in the eyes of the customer and brand value is the financial magnitude the brand has. There is often confusion between the two as there are very few differences so let’s break it down to understand the significance. 

 

Brand Equity

The Prophet defines it as “Brand equity is a set of assets or liabilities in the form of brand visibility, brand associations and customer loyalty that add or subtract from the value of a current or potential product or service driven by the brand. It is a key construct in the management of not only marketing, but also business strategy.” Any organization’s need to develop its brand equity over a period of time in the mind of the customer before it starts being effective. There are high chances that the buyer has already seen the advertisements through multiple media platforms and even bought the product before registering the brand. This can create complications in the estimation of brand equity. 

 

Brand Value: 

To understand the value of the brand, companies need to make an estimation of how much is the brand worth in the current market. In simple terms it could be concluded in a simple question; if someone would be purchasing the brand today, how much will they pay? There is always a chance that a company has high value and low equity. This can happen when a company is in the process of coming up with a product or service and is paying the employees but the market is not aware about it yet. The company has to keep track of these developments and costs to cement value before equity. 

 

Brand Equity vs Brand Value

Brand equity increases brand value. Even though calculating value is really simple, getting a hold of the equity value is much more complex. There are assets and liabilities involved, there are factors like brand visibility, associations, loyalty that plays a major role in determining the value. Let’s contemplate these factors in detail:

 

Visibility and association:

Brand visibility is pretty self-explanatory but its association entails that brand awareness and its reliability is in direct relation to customer need. If a customer is looking for a product and the brand name is not a part of the process when the customer is digging for options, it means that there is an issue with the visibility. If there is any reaction towards the brand, it involves in brand association. This reaction can be positive or negative.  

 

Loyalty

Big brands stay in the market due to the customers loyalty. The brands have faith that whatever new products/services they have to offer, there is already a market for it with a handful of dedicated shoppers. These shoppers will buy only because of the brand name. 

 

Conclusion:

If the brand wants to build a long-term value in the market then it only makes sense to start building equities. If brands keep on focusing on sales and profits (which is the driving force of the company), you cannot make any plans for the long term. There are multiple steps that companies can take like make an estimation about the impact the brand will cause in generating business or observe closely what investments in brand equity worked for similar business models. 

 

There are a lot of new measures taken by small scale companies which are planning to stay in the market for long term. There can be a debacle about the ROI (return of investment), in hindsight it is observed that advertising does not contribute to brand equity even though its expenditure and budget has always been high. So if you have short term goals for your company, you can focus on brand value, but if you have plans to stay in the market then you have to observe the assets and liabilities and build them for the perpetual growth of your company. 

 

References:

Aaker, D. A. (1992). The value of brand equity. Journal of Business Strategy, 13(4), 27-32.

Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. the Journal of Marketing, 57(1) 1-22.

https://www.prophet.com/2016/09/brand-equity-vs-brand-value/ ')}