Top Ten Online Markets

A profitable internet business model needs a huge target market. The larger the market, the higher the upside.

The Maslow’s Pyramid shows a good starting point. Every product or service addresses a need. The main message behind the pyramid states that every step can be achieved after the previous step. Fundamental levels of needs at the bottom and the need for self-actualization at the top:

  1. Body needs (heat, drink, eat, sleep, sex)
  2. Safety needs (material and immaterial security)
  3. Social needs (communication, partnership, friendship, love, belonging)
  4. Individual needs (accomplishment, self-esteem, prestige)
  5. Self-actualization (enable the person’s full potential, become the most that one can be)

This pyramid can be very helpful in life. Every man stands at a certain time point somewhere in this pyramid. For example if you are in a bad mood in any way, usually a basic need is not satisfied. You are hungry for example. One way to analyze and diagnose yourself, is to go through the needs from the bottom and to stop when you know that this need is not fulfilled. You will know where you are standing and what can be next. Further, out of this set of needs, the following ten largest internet markets can be derived.

  1. Health (nutrition, movements and sports, mental state)
  2. Relationships (starting, holding and ending partnerships, friendships, family relations)
  3. Motivation (self-motivation, motivate others)
  4. Working & Leading (productivity, special knowledge, self-control, controlling, feed-back)
  5. Entertainment (passive, active, TV, music, games, videos, books, articles)
  6. Money (investing, consumption, cash)
  7. Business (start-ups, established companies)
  8. Marketing (online and offline marketing)
  9. Spirituality (belief systems, religions)
  10. Business-to-Business (B2B) markets (higher parts of the supply chains)

Every market serves a need or a problem in some way. It comes always down to the needs of the pyramid. Some markets are not served online, especially when direct physical actions are necessary. Like direct heating, drinking, sleeping… etc. But, all kind of virtual and supporting needs can be found like food home delivery services, sleep consultancies or flight booking (market 7.).

The last aggregated market 10. shows the largest out of the mentioned ones. Every market has a B2B supply chain. In B2B markets margins occur usually higher, because the product or service demand can be seen clear and in a structured way. Deliveries in the B2C markets (1.-9.) tend to be less concrete and more risky.

Some business man like B2C markets more. A high service and product variety based on the emotion driven customers define the market. Further, market entry barriers are on a lower level, so everybody can easily start within minutes. Just open a Facebook, YouTube, twitter account and start. Or even easier, just open a commercial Amazon account and start promoting a product you know for a specific use case somewhere on the internet (blogs, forums, chats, …). Such affiliate marketing show a good starting road for online entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, the kings road are usually or affiliate marketing. Some successful and young entrepreneurs went through a backward integration and started to sell their own products. Especially coaching products occur very often. You just sell your knowledge in any market as a PDF-file. Everybody has any kind of special knowledge gained by studying or learning by doing. The charm comes with the low marginal costs. You just have to write an excellent virtual article / booklet and this costs do not go up with the sales amount. It does not make any difference to sell one or 1 Million virtual PDF copies.

In order to identify the right market for you, a market segmentation for yearly revenues can be interesting. Out of the online B2B markets (1.-9.) dating and entertainment have the highest growth rates in the US as shown in the figure below (source: statista). Especially dating can be a very interesting market – people are ready to pay high amounts of money for services and products here, since the need behind occurs directly on the first step in the need pyramid shown above. The revenue inside the entertainment sector nearly doubled in five years. But, in absolute numbers people spend more on online games than online dating and online entertainment together.

For establishing successful online businesses, the respective target market and its detailed market segmentation can be crucial. You have to know your competitors and theirs products and services. Often you can easily order at the competitor and analyze the marketing, sales funnel and the product by your own. For this market segmentation we will write a detailed blog post covering the crucial questions you want to ask therefore (work in progress).

All mentioned markets 1.-10. are sufficient for earning billions! The question is, which one is most suitable for you personally. This has also to be assessed individually. You cannot be magnificent in all areas in life. This will be also discussed here in future postings (work in progress).

3 Responses to Top Ten Online Markets

  1. Slava says:

    Great thoughts! It would be also interesting to see how big those markets indeed are. How can one determine which market suits you best?

    • EY-Team says:

      Good evening Slava!

      That’s a good question. Hard to measure. We think, in all mentioned large-scale markets, sales go into billions or even more. For entrepreneurs, thinking about the usually smaller firms’ market segment, can be quite individual and ambiguous.

      The question about how to identify this market segment, can also be very insightful. This could be derived from the personal profile. Strength, weaknesses, value systems or motivation considerations offer a good starting. We will write a posting covering that topic soon.

      Thank you, goodbye and until next time!

    • EY-Team says:

      Dear Slava,

      we added a graph showing the market sizes in the US in terms of revenue.

      Happy Easter!

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