One article in particular caught my eye in this month’s Internet Retailer magazine: By expertly tending their narrow online niches, specialty retailers fend off the mass merchants. Sound like a familiar concern?
It’s always interesting to see what our industry can learn from merchants in non-gardening categories. The Internet Retailer article offered a couple informative examples.
For instance, selling pet food online sounds like an uphill battle, but newcomer PetFlow.com is on track to reach $1 million in sales in its first 8 months in business. They credit their impressive growth to simplified website navigation, 24/7 customer service and a $4.95 flat rate shipping charge, regardless of order size.
Another example is online retailer Afloral.com, a website selling silk flowers to budget-conscious brides. They’ve grown 30% per year for the past three years by offering a huge selection (3,000 varieties) and packing their website with content designed to demonstrate the high quality of their product.
In addition to taking a peek at these niche websites, I encourage you to read the whole Internet Retailing article. It includes an interesting discussion of different strategies niche web retailers use with regard to online marketers such as Amazon and eBay.