how to market to multiple niches ecommerce

If You Sell to Multiple Markets, You’re Probably Doing it WRONG

by Heidi Anspaugh
December 14, 2016

Say you’ve got a product that you think appeals to a few different demographics, but it’s only really selling well to one. Women ages 35-50, making $50K+ per year, who live in big cities, and do yoga several times per week are scooping up your product in droves.

But you want millennial women to buy it as well.

Short answer – don’t convolute your audience.

It’s always better to focus on a highly targeted audience.

Otherwise, you risk confusing your market about what your brand stands for, and even worse, losing revenue. But if you DO want to sustain multiple niche markets, it’s best to get really specific about how those markets differ and see if you can identify any common threads between them.

So now it’s time to take a look at the new group you want to sell to – “millennial women” – and learn more about them just as you did for your “age 35-50 women” audience.

Where do they live?

How much money do they make?

What do they do during the week?

What’s important to them?

As you can imagine, once you begin answering these questions, the two audiences begin to look very different. And that’s where marketing to multiple target audiences becomes tricky.

If you’re trying to market to multiple niches and it’s not working, it’s possible that you’re making one of three mistakes.

We’ll help you think through the steps to work toward a solution.

Mistake #1: You’re Trying to Attract Too Many Customers, & It’s Actually Hurting You

Following the High-Converting purchase funnel we use with our clients (below), when you are in ATTRACT mode, it’s imperative that your customer acquisition strategies are unique and relevant to each audience.

Multiple markets may help load up the top of your funnel, but getting them to buy and come back is another story.

purchase funnel Blue Stout

For many new businesses, a common problem with the customer acquisition funnel is that they don’t have product/market fit.

By casting your nets too wide, you may end up seeing potential sales slip right through and get lost.

Mistake #2: Your Ads Speak to One Niche, But Their Landing Pages Don’t

If you’re running several different versions of ads, each one targeting a different market, your goal is probably to direct traffic to your site from as many sources as possible, right?

The problem is, this becomes ineffective if your targets aren’t landing on a landing page that’s optimized to meet their needs.

A common mistake is running an ad with a product image and/or copy that’s specific to one market, and then directing it to a very general landing page.

For example, this carousel Facebook ad for men’s apparel brand Travis Mathew shows me a blue shirt in the first image.

TM marketing to multiple niches

But, when I click “Shop Now”, I’m taken to the “New Arrivals” category page…not exactly what I was looking for.

TM marketing to multiple niches 1

The original ad served was created for a specific niche: a target avatar who wants this blue shirt.

The landing page serves several avatars: men who want shirts, men who want shoes, or fans of the brand who want to see “new arrivals.”

Instead of inspiring potential buyers to shop the category, this buying journey might just end up causing this shopper frustration and cost Travis Mathew a sale.

By doing this, you’re essentially expecting your customers to do something they’re not motivated to do.

Cotopaxi, on the other hand, has done a great job of developing a focused landing page. Here’s an example of an ad:

Cotopaxi ad marketing to multiple niches

And here’s the landing page that follows:

Cotopaxi landing marketing to multiple niches

Their initial ad can work for multiple audiences, but it converts because the landing page matches the ad – there’s no confusion when the customer clicks through.

Mistake #3: Your Brand Messaging Is Confusing Your Customers…Who ARE You?

If you do decide to market your brand to multiple niche markets, you run the risk of confusing your customers. If your customers don’t know who your brand is, they won’t buy from you.

Having only one niche market means that you’re shrinking your potential pool of buyers. Having multiple niche markets can grow your pool of buyers, but only if done correctly.

Some benefits to this method are that you once again have the opportunity to do focused marketing. Multiple markets also means a larger customer base and faster growth rate… and more $$$.

If you go this route, you’ll have to make sure that your marketing takes a different approach for each niche. Think in terms of personalization again – to provide the best experience for your customers, it might make the most sense to open an additional store to target a different audience (or even gender) than the one you’re currently marketing to.

(Fortunately, platforms like Shopify Plus allow clients to run multiple stores.)

A downside to this approach is that you will end up spending MORE on marketing since you’ll need a different plan and budget for each niche market. Multiple streams of revenue = multiple ads and campaigns. You’ll also need to spend more time researching each niche, and just more time on marketing in general.

The good news is that if you do build out multiple marketing approaches for each of your niches, you can clearly determine what’s working and what’s not.

Nix what’s NOT working and double-down on what is… you’d be surprised at what you can achieve with your existing site and traffic.

Want to convert more from your existing traffic? Sign up for our FREE Conversion Training and learn how to increase sales with your CURRENT website and existing traffic. Register here for FREE >

If this seems like too much to manage, another option is to really dial in your brand (maybe this means just one niche market) to avoid causing confusion.

Dollar Shave Club did a good job of this by differentiating themselves from giants like Gillette because of their price and brand personality. Even their name puts forth the idea that they are offering low prices to their customers.

Razors are cheap… it’s buying all those expensive cartridges every month that kills you. They compete on quality too, they just do so with humor:

Dollar Shave Club marketing to multiple niches

Should You Sell to Multiple Niches?

If you’re confused about whether to steer your brand into multiple niche markets, consider signing up for a strategy session with our CEO, Allen Burt.

He’ll walk you through how to solve each one of these 3 common mistakes and you’ll walk away with a solid strategy for navigating multiple niche markets…or dialing in your brand messaging.

The strategy session is FREE – just click below to pick a date and time, fill out a short application and you’ll be on your way to a 45-minute session where you can ask all the questions you want!

FREE Strategy Session CTA

From the biggest pitfalls to the billion dollar success stories, we help ecommerce entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Subscribe to get it all.
Heidi Anspaugh Heidi is a digital marketing professional and copywriter with over fifteen years of combined experience in the ecommerce, tech, entertainment, and advertising industries (among others). She has written for many publications, including company blogs like InsideView and Streethawk, and led ecommerce content marketing strategy for shopping search platform TheFind and artist marketplace Redbubble. She loves entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital nomadism.