Social sites on the internet usually take one of two tracks to success: One is to create products with mass appeal, and the other is to find a valuable niche.
Mass appeal strategies usually require something that appeals to multiple ages and varying needs or interests. Facebook or YouTube come to mind as social sites with mass appeal.
Niche strategies focus on a smaller number of prospects or demographic, and then gather their customers from a market with significant numbers. Entrepreneur magazine suggests that “A niche marketplace is a small, specialized market segment within a larger, viable commercial industry”.
The AlbinoPhant Party is built to satisfy customers within the DSGS niche, which is a portion of the well established $115 Billion dollar US Gift Sales Industry.
What is a DSGS? They are gift purchasers who shop for and share gifts with those they love from a distance, or a Distance Separated Gift Shopper. Regular gift shopper’s purchase locally, then they wrap the item and make the delivery in person at some event or party. On the other hand, Distance Separated Gift Shoppers tend to rely on internet resources for their gift shopping needs and have deliveries made by others. Or they purchase locally, box and ship the item using standard shipping services. They usually miss the actual gift unveiling because distance has restricted the more desirable personal attendance.
Sarah Christensen is a DSGS. She is a parent, a child and a sibling of individuals who live at least a day’s drive from her home. Sarah has a history of supporting her family and friends by purchasing gifts and personally attending events or parties with those she loves. Even when separated by distance, she continues to look for efficient and economical ways to share with this group. Because she is over 50 and an empty nester, the volume of family and friends who live a distance away continues to increase, forcing her to become a regular Distance Separated Gift Shopper in order to remain supportive.
The DSGS also relies heavily on social networks to stay connected to those whom they wish to support. They also rely on e-Retailers, UPS and other gift delivery services to facilitate the need to share these gifts and build memorable interactions.
The total percentage of the US gift sales industry included in the DSGS niche is not measured, but there are indications that it is large and getting bigger. We know that Sarah’s age and family demographic group is joining the social networks in ever increasing numbers. And we also know that American family units are dispersing in larger numbers with each passing day. But the DSGS niche is so much more than just an older age group. Gen X and Y both are experiencing the same problems of gift support from a distance. They have their parents, grand parents, siblings and college friends who are dispersing at an ever increasing rate.
There should be no argument that the growth in social networks and online retail sales is partially a result of the needs of the DSGS niche. Online activities that can combine gift giving support with a uniting conversation can flourish as they serve the Distance Separated Gift Shoppers.
What other resources are the DSGS’ers looking for?