Professional sports represent one of the biggest niches not only in POD but everywhere in apparel. However, with many sports either on pause or in peril today, the global appetite for sports isn’t being reflected at the moment in the clothing world as it otherwise would in normal times.
I am asked daily why a new baseball or hockey tee isn’t selling. Some of them, quite frankly, are amazing. They’re creative, well targeted, and listed masterfully. But the typical mood for sports – which is generally lighthearted, enthusiastic, and devoid of worry and controversy — just isn’t there right now.
When it comes to scoring big wins on Merch By Amazon or anywhere in POD, it’s extremely important to consider not only the historical sales and viability of niches but also the tangible moods and appetites for those niches at the present moment.
This is especially important for seasonal designs in the pivotal three-month period that is Q4.
As we inch closer to Q4 2020, I’m not only evaluating niches and their general sales potential, I’m also giving careful thought to the timely “moods” of both the masses and micro-niche audiences interested in these niches.
My point is that we can’t just target niches that usually sell. We also need to consider niches that people are in the mood for and factor the reason for this mood into our designs and listing language.
One thing that audiences far and wide are in the mood for today is renewal and rejuvenation — particularly when it comes to mind and body. Just about anything that falls under the categories of “self care” or “self healing” is in a stronger sales position today than it was a year ago.
2020 has taken an enormous toll on the physical and emotional well-being of many. Niches that help people in mind and body have been performing exceptionally well across the apparel and novelty product landscape in recent months and I believe this trend will escalate through the end of the year (and perhaps beyond).
One of the most overlooked messaging and thematic opportunities in POD (that people are in the mood for) is the “healing” aspect of countless niches. Not everyone, for example, works out to build muscle, does yoga to lose weight, reads to pass the time, or does karaoke to amuse oneself. Many of these hobbies and activities are enjoyed for the purpose of self-comfort and self-care in order to help soothe or heal the mind and body.
I fully anticipate that the “healing” theme will be successful in POD this fall and winter, as stress levels accelerate due to everything from holiday and election anxiety, to the lingering global effects of the Coivd-19 pandemic.
This means that making designs with messaging that speaks to “healing” will be a smart move. For the life of me, I’m stunned that tees of this nature aren’t easier to find. “Yoga Heals the Brain and Strengthens the Body” is exactly the type of design message I’m alluding to (which doesn’t exist on MBA, by the way).
To get cleaned up, we take a fast shower. To relax, we take a long hot bath. Yet “hot bath relaxing tshirt” returns just 50 results on Amazon.com. When it comes to healing and hobbies/activities, Merchers have long disregarded this important relationship in their creations.
In a nutshell, use some of your allocated design slots to tie hobbies and pastimes to their ability to comfort, assist in coping, or aid in recuperation. Any activity that can heal mind, body, and spirit should be addressed in a tshirt with these intended beneficial effects at the core of the design message.
So as you prepare for Q4 and evaluate niches, consider if and how moods, conditions, and environmental facets facing that niche’s target audience might help or hurt your chances of finding buyers. This is the social psychology aspect of eCommerce/POD. And it’s a really important factor to consider in times of great turbulence and turmoil.