It’s time to put the debate to rest. There is no such thing as a saturated niche when it comes to custom apparel. Many sellers believe that if there are a lot of products already being sold to a segment of buyers with a shared interest, that means the niche is saturated and you won’t be able to sell new products to them. In reality, the opposite of that is true. The reason why a niche can never be fully saturated with custom apparel options is easily explained with basic buyer behavior principles.

Understanding Consumer Behavior

There are two intersecting spectrums that are used to define the purchase behavior characteristics behind a given product. Knowing where the products that you sell fall on this spectrum can greatly help you understand the consumer’s decision to make a purchase.



Custom apparel purchases fall under the top left quadrant of Variety-Seeking Behavior. People own many t-shirts and buy new ones fairly often. There are also an infinite number of t-shirt designs available to consumers and people rarely own more than one shirt with the same design on it. Simply put, consumers seek to have many options in their closet.

There is one thing that makes custom apparel slightly different than most other variety-seeking purchase types. Unlike shampoo or potato chips, t-shirts are often bought as a reflection of a person’s interests or personality. Therefore, if the consumer doesn’t perceive your design to be unique or different than the other products they have already seen or purchased, they will be less likely to buy it.

Most Custom Apparel Purchases Are Impulse Buys

Let’s not forget how we are selling custom apparel to our customers. With most advertising tactics in e-commerce, we are trying to generate an impulse purchase. We hit them with an ad in their newsfeed, a message in their inbox, and follow them all over the internet with retargeting if they don’t buy right away. Moreover, most consumers aren’t exactly researching various vendors of t-shirts to decide which design they like best. These items aren’t purchased for utilitarian purposes either; consumers are making a hedonic decision to buy a shirt, hoodie or mug with a design that appealed to a very specific interest of theirs.

Items are being purchased in this way because consumers are passionate enough about the item to ignore the rational, need-based and economical aspects of the purchase decision and are driven more by emotional motivations that the product appealed to. As long as a niche still has an interest or passion for the topic you are creating products for, that motivation will never disappear.

Find Success in a Competitive Niche

There are undoubtedly many consumer niches that are more competitive than others for marketers but that will never mean that you wont be able to find success. In fact, there is a higher potential for large scale success in these niches if you can create the right products and market them effectively. To find success you must make the most of the variety seeking behavior with clever and original ideas. Stick to these principles to outperform the competition:

Be Original and Unique

Potential customers of any highly passionate and markedly competitive niche have already seen countless ideas get repurposed. If you’re going to impress these folks, being the first to market with an idea will go a long way. This idea generation process will come a lot easier if it is a niche that you are personally involved with.

Build a Community

A competitive niche is usually a very active one. Take advantage of this as a marketer by genuinely involving yourself and leading conversation online. Nurture and build these organic social media audiences by regularly publishing high quality, relevant content.

Nurture Customer Lists

If you’re selling on Viralstyle you already have a leg up on the competition using other platforms. We provide you with customer data starting with your very first sale. Email marketing is a simple way to squeeze out extra revenue for very little costs. These lists will stay with you from selling in the marketplace to a VS Premium account or your own Shopify store!

Establish Custom Audiences

Using a combination of customer data from your Viralstyle account and pixel event data from Facebook advertising, creating custom audiences and lookalike audiences has the potential to exponentially improve your marketing performance. Competitive niches usually have a total audience in the millions. When you establish custom audiences you are essentially creating your own sub-niche that nobody else can market to in the same way. See our case study for detailed strategy and results with custom audiences!

Never ignore the emotional connection that people have with the interest that you are targeting as a marketer. If you can show your audience something they have never seen before and appeal to the things they love most about their interests, you are on your way to finding success even in the most competitive niche.

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