How The Internet is Creating a Generation of Customers of Niche Market

The Internet is Creating a Generation of Customers that Expect Full-Service of Their Niche Market
The internet is a beautiful thing. It lets us share critical information, like cat photos, and blast them out to people that never asked for the 520th photo of Sprinkles. All we have to do is fire up a smartphone, tablet or computer and we're communicating with the rest of the internet-connected population, at the speed of light.

For businesses, the fact that Margie can share a picture of her cat with 530 of her closest "friends" represents an incredible opportunity. The flip-side of the coin is that Margie understands the potential that technology offers and will search for a customized solution to even her most specialized needs.

Let's say that Margie is passionate about cats and manga; a growing community of passionate readers of Japanese comic books and graphic novels. Before Amazon sold 71.8 trillion dollars' worth of items online in 2016, Margie would have had to try and find a solution using mail-order catalogues and local retail stores. Neither of these options were particularly convenient, and they certainly didn't specialize in cats and manga.

Sites like and allow for Margie to get her fill of her favorite manga and a daily dose of cat photos. These highly targeted, online solutions provide users with full-featured solutions to even the most unique need.

Retailers Have Taken Note of the Trend Towards Personalization

It appears the worlds of e-commerce and physical retail have taken note of the fact that customers like Margie have a new set of expectations. The vast number of options in the marketplace, according to an article in Forbes, has led retailers to find ways to stand out in new and innovative ways.

New, innovative and fast are buzzwords that have long been associated with the internet. But, in the e-commerce space, the fascinating thing is that consumers now have a hyper-sensitive sense of what's out there. To stand out, as Forbes mentions, companies are betting on personalization. Pepperidge Farms, for example, is allowing customers to design and custom-order their own goldfish snacks.

Big Data is Giving Companies Insights into Tiny Markets

While allowing customers to personalize individual items is a great marketing ploy, what's really exciting is the application of Big Data to segment consumers and identify smaller, underserved niche-markets. For example, the customization that's done on a product serves as a data-point.
Are there a lot of customers ordering custom prints of a new dress? Could there be an untapped market of customers that are in love with that pattern on that dress style? Personalization leaves clues.

In a macro-context, the more focused a website is, the better it's able to create a picture of the community it serves. If we can get e-tailers to cooperate, Margie's favorite manga service could share data with her favorite cat photo site. They could potentially join forces to create a cat-themed manga series aimed at the Margies around the world.

It's my opinion that the future of Big Data technology doesn't lie in the collection of data, but in the sharing of it across industries so that more informed decisions can be made. If you're only operating off the data you collect, you're missing out on the other 99% of activity your customer performs online. That other data is key to creating a product that perfectly fits into their lifestyle.
Will we see a rise in Big Data subscription services in the near future? Let's hope so!