Marketplace eCommerce

Balance Having Your Niche with Expanding Your Market

Updated February 3, 2023  |  7 min read

Step 1: Build Value in One Market Niche

When developing an enterprise eCommerce marketplace, focusing on a particular niche has significant benefits, as listed below.

Benefits of a Niche Market

  • Focus on a particular set of visitors
  • Build strong subject matter expertise
  • Tailored presentation and consistent messaging

Focusing on a particular niche and owning that niche magnifies the value you can bring through your eCommerce marketplace, because when you allocate your resources around one subject of interest, you can build a lot of expertise within that area.

Step 2: Expand to Related Niches in Your Market

Once you get to a certain point where you’re saturated in the edge, the next step is to expand. This expansion would be into related areas that provide more value for your current niche.

Related niches.

Marketplace Niche Example

For example, let’s say that you offer custom tire sets that are extremely reliable in the winter, and allow people to use their vehicles in snow and ice conditions.

You work with different manufacturers and distributors to source, rate, and review these tire sets, and you provide resources to make it easy for customers to purchase tires. You also have a trade program for the tires.

It’s advantageous to become the best in a particular niche like that, because then people know they can go to you for custom tire sets for safer travel in the wintertime in areas that get snow or ice.

Then you ask yourself: “What would be a way to expand without diluting the value that I’m providing to the market?”

How to Expand to Additional Market Niches

Here's how to expand to additional market niches once you have a good foothold in one.

Have Supporting Infrastructure for Your Additional Niche

The first step is making sure your eCommerce marketplace can handle the additional operations necessary to expand, and that your business can operate optimally with multiple niche value areas.

The different niche areas ought to support a structure and process for delivering value to the market, and this boils down to governance in the long run. Governance includes getting processes and systems in place that get the most valuable and useful information to the top of the visitors’ view organically.

Therefore, you need the infrastructure to support this endeavor of expanding to a new niche. This is what helps a business go from being a single niche-focused marketplace to an operator that’s putting the governance in place to expose multiple related niches where you can provide value.

Essentially, then, you’re looking to replicate what was a manual process when you took over your first niche. You want to put it into processes of standard, repeatable activities, and wherever possible make it automated and self-service.

Provide Guidelines and Resources within Your Market

You can enable the community in the marketplace itself to self-govern, and have guidelines and resources that are gamified to reinforce the right behaviors. Then the eMarketplace platform can generate content and resources through the users, make suggestions, and enable the buyers and sellers to find and present the most valuable offerings, based on:

  • What people find helpful
  • What products are getting the highest reviews
  • Useful resources and subject matter expertise provided further up the funnel
  • Articles, videos, resources that are getting a lot of traction and leading to a purchase within the marketplace
  • How the post-purchase process goes for the users: Are there a lot of returns for a particular set of items, or are the returns really low?

Typically, when there’s a thorough education process and the ability to transfer knowledge upfront, the number of returns will be significantly lower.

Sellers will be better equipped to handle the fulfillment process, but also, the end user is sometimes convinced, on their own volition, that these items are what they need, and they narrow their options.

By providing the resources for the end user, you can let them know about other options within your marketplace, so they can be sure to buy the correct item. This is a key way to expand beyond a single niche.

Keep Data Organized within the Platform

Expanding to other niches can dilute your marketplace if you’re not careful. Keeping the categorization, site architecture, and overall indexing of this information organized and automated is critical.

This applies to not just your marketplace eCommerce platform, but also to your internal data management, your internal fulfillment, and your ability to source and fulfill items for purchases. Therefore, this is something you want to be careful about as you expand from an initial niche to multiple niches.

Maintain Your Marketplace’s Reputation

One of the biggest challenges when offering a niche within a particular market is inadvertently expanding too quickly, and not working out the logistics, customer service, and fulfillment needs for the new niche area or areas that you’re expanding to.

This can decrease the trust and integrity that you’ve built up in the eMarketplace and make it a negative experience for the buyers and the sellers. So you have to be careful to balance adding niches with making sure you can still deliver.

Moreover, you should always test repeatedly to ensure the system is working as expected. This can be a challenge when working with different types of manufacturers, even though there may be many related aspects of working with different tire manufacturers and then moving into wheels, for example.

Marketplace reputation.

These processes may be very different when it comes to fulfillment and managing costs and inventory. So here, you could inadvertently create a negative experience for the customers. This can be mitigated by setting up clear communication with your customers so they know this is a beta, and you’re experiencing some delays.

There are different ways to cast it, but the fundamental aspect is that by providing some transparency and good expectation management, you’re setting the tone so that the existing marketplace users are not taking their trust and credibility that they have with the marketplace and dumping it because of this bad experience.

As Warren Buffett said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

And that's very true. So the integrity of your marketplace is absolutely critical for helping you expand from a singular niche focus to multiple.

Structure Your Website Optimally

One of the most important factors in all of this is considering the structure of your different niches within the primary sections of your website. These can be formulaic, such as a tree structure for each of these where you have expanding trees of more and more detail, and starting out from a very high level.

By doing this, you can maintain the integrity of your niche focus areas while allowing users to quickly move between tires and wheels, and then eventually you might go to brakes and then other automotive parts and then to entire cars.

Gather Expertise within Market Niches

One of the most fundamental aspects of a marketplace platform that’s competing in a niche to gain an edge is the value that you’re bringing. Users are going to have a lot of loyalty toward a marketplace eCommerce platform that’s providing consistent value to them. This often boils down to being an expert in the area that you’re providing products or services in.

Being an expert takes time, and you’re not trying to be an expert at everything—so a challenging aspect of being the best at a niche is saying “no” to just about everything.

However, you don’t have to have only internal experts or be the expert yourself. You can also take advantage of processes and systems to empower your end users and make a platform for the users; this can be the manufacturers and distributors, experts within the field, etc. This can be monetized and gamified so there’s recognition for different vendors and experts in the field.

You can go really far with this method to enable different subject matter experts to provide value to your marketplace within their respective niche area that they’re credible in. This could look like videos, training and support videos, resources and how-to guides, best practices for completing different processes, how to evaluate purchases, etc.

For instance, evaluating products might look different for different areas, so they could provide information about the kinds of tires to purchase near the equator versus more northern or southern regions. In their videos, they might say:

  • “Near the equator you’ll want to purchase this type of tire that will have good performance all year round, but can do well it gets snowy.”
  • “Near the North or South Pole, you’ll want to purchase this type of winter tire because you’ll be experiencing winder maybe more than half the year.”
  • “These are the types of tires we recommend for that environment, and here’s why…”
  • “Here’s the different material that these are made of… If you’re in the mountains and have lots of elevation changes, these are the tires to go with.”
  • “Here are the recommended accessories for these types of tires. For this one, you’ll want these types of chains…”

You can expand on this analogy for any industry, and provide valuable information within your marketplace. To be successful, you want to provide the information and resources far up the funnel. Before people are ready to make a purchase, they’re doing lots of research and assessments.

It’s beneficial to be a hub for them to come to for this particular niche area that you’re expanding into, while continuing to funnel into the niche areas that you're already dominating in. Especially if the niches are related to each other, the expertise feeds on itself and becomes an upward spiral.

You’ll be more successful with search engine results because of people referencing you within industry publications, attending different events and getting the word out about this valuable resource.

With marketplace eCommerce, people can underestimate the value of providing free resources on their site. But these free resources help people become aware of your company and build trust and credibility with the marketplace, which makes this a powerful strategy.

Targeted Digital Marketing

It's also possible to focus on niche expansion and balance with current niche focus areas by doing some really targeted digital marketing. Depending on your marketplace and what your margins might be, it may make sense to do some direct sales or direct marketing strategies.

Utilize the Platform’s Analytic & Other Features

There’s really no limit to how you can approach it. Fundamentally, if you’re looking for a long-term strategy, you want to think about how you can provide value to each of the niche areas and how you can organize the site so there’s incentive for this value to increase and rise to the top, whether it’s from internal or external experts.

To do this, you need to leverage your platform’s analytics and tracking capabilities, and have automated operations and AI, to push valuable resources and products to the visitors’ view and make suggestions for users based on the data accumulating within your marketplace platform.

Choose Your Software Development Partner

Software developer.

This can all be pretty overwhelming depending on you know what decisions you're making and where you're at in expanding your marketplace eCommerce platform.

We do a lot of work with mid to enterprise level marketplace eCommerce platforms, as well as some select entrepreneurial and startup marketplaces.

If you're looking for a partner who has completed an extensive number of marketplace eCommerce projects and helped them expand and grow, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss our experience with you and how we can help you with your upcoming project.

Expand Your Marketplace eCommerce

To learn more, feel free to navigate to other pages on our website, or click below to schedule a free demo and talk to one of our experts.



To develop your marketplace niche and expand, you need to have the right infrastructure and governance, provide guidelines and resources to your users, keep your data organized, maintain your marketplace's reputation, optimize your website structure, gather expertise from experts, do targeted digital marketing, and use platform analytics.


A market niche is a specific group of customers with unique needs and wants. Companies can target this group by offering specialized products and services not found in the larger market. By focusing on a narrow audience, businesses can offer high-quality products and customer service and gain a competitive advantage. By serving a well-defined market niche, companies can build a loyal customer base and potentially expand their offerings.


To incorporate niche markets into your marketplace platform, you can partner with niche market sellers to expand your platform, offer targeted marketing options to sellers on your platform, develop a feature-rich platform, consider customer feedback, and showcase curated collections of products from different niche markets.

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Autumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures who stays up to date on the latest trends in eCommerce, software development, and related topics to provide readers with the latest and greatest. She strives to help people like you realize the full potential for their business.