People always ask me, where are the gaps in the market right now? – where are the business opportunities at the moment. Here’s a list of some of the gaps in the market right now. This is an updated article, based on where I see gaps in the market internationally in 2022.
Gaps in the market for health and wellbeing
The first wave of products for tracking health and wellbeing are established, with Fitbits, nutritional tracking and sleep monitoring. The market is already well covered at a basic level. But these apps and trackers are very broad and don’t allow consumers to go deeper into their self-knowledge. After all, is it enough to know how many hours of sleep you had or that you ticked off your 10,000 steps today?
These products have opened up consumer awareness of the benefit of tracking, but this leaves a gap for more nuanced products and services. I think 2022 will see significant opportunities for anyone who wants to explore a more niche option for helping consumers to be more aware of their habits and behaviours.
Some examples of gaps in the market for niche trackers:
- Medical trackers for particular groups of people who might worry about their health, e.g., pregnant women or heavily overweight people. Some of this might require hardware, and others might be through home blood or urine testing kits.
- Sleep trackers and biometrics with habit change feedback loops, going beyond what can be tracked on a watch or basic wearable.
- In-depth, individualised diagnostics for people who are serious about improving their lifespan or specific areas of their nutrition or fitness
Big data and data analysis
One effect of the Covid pandemic has been that consumers (and business owners) are much more comfortable with looking at data representation and discussing statistics. This was already becoming a growth area. Machine learning and business intelligence tools have become much more accessible and inexpensive.
But there are still significant gaps in the market for products and productised services based on data analysis. You could take this to the next level. For example:
- Deep data tracking for marketing – I’m seeing some companies doing this in particular niches, but the scope for capturing consumer behaviour online continues to grow. The data is available, but it requires some skills in data analysis and presenting this in an accessible way for marketing managers and directors—definitely many gaps in the market here.
- Diagnostic, dashboards and real-time information systems for businesses. Ten years ago, this kind of information was only available for the likes of Amazon. In 2022, you could have a business which sets this up for much smaller companies.
Explore data-driven products
When you’re serious about launching a new product, you need support from someone who has been on this journey before. Someone who has spent hundreds of hours researching the opportunities and the systems, knowledge and tech you need to make these ideas into a reality.
Up for exploring this further, with me as your trusted guide?
Pivot to Products
You’ll understand how to get started and work out who your products (and productised services) are for and what problems you solve for your audience. Highly recommended when you’re thinking about your first product
Product Format Guidebook
The Product Format Guidebook gives you a multitude of different ideas for different product types and formats. And it guides you through these ideas, pointing out which ones are good for certain people, the product formats that are fast to get going, and the ones that you should avoid, at least when you’re first starting.
Sustainability - the next gap in the market
Investors are actively looking for scalable companies with some kind of sustainability impact or (ideally) new cleantech. But the emphasis is on scaleable here, if you're looking for investment to get you to the next stage.
Consumers (and the B2B market) are increasingly aware of greenwashing, ie, packaging up your existing products in a paper bag and pretending that this is going to save the planet. It's just not worth the hassle in the long run.
Customers are actively switching to more sustainable options. But they also have to be assured that your product is also the best on the market in some other way before they will buy. In other words, you can't just rely on your product being the greener alternative, you still have to do all the marketing work even to make people aware of what you're offering.
Specific sustainability gaps in the market
Larger companies have to report on their carbon emissions. They are struggling to do this within their own operations as this hasn’t been tracked historically. But they are also required to report on carbon emissions in their supply chain, the Scope 3 emissions. For example, a UK bike manufacturer might be able to say how much carbon they used in their factory, but would find it difficult to know how to tell the carbon figures for the steel parts they bought from China. Or the shipping costs of getting those parts from China to the UK.
There’s an enormous gap in the market for anyone who can help to solve this problem. And of course, you’d also be helping those companies to pick lower carbon options for their processes.
Low carbon website development
Businesses are becoming more aware of their digital carbon footprint. But very few companies are able to design and develop low carbon websites. The few companies who do are cleaning up. But hurry, this is probably a gap in the market which will be filled in the next 18 months.
Courses, education and learning
People like learning. It’s the self-actualisation pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And people enjoy coming together with others who share their interests, which is the social part of Maslow’s hierarchy. And an increasing amount of people will happily spend money on online learning – this report estimates the global market for online learning will be $457 billion by 2026
You might want to take this to the next level and go beyond the online course to find your gap in the market in online learning. Consider programmes, community building for learning a skill together, courses that lead directly to career advancement, or mastermind groups.
Electric bike-based businesses
I’ll admit to a small bias here, I love my electric bike. But they truly are a game-changer for cycling because they open up the pursuit of cycling for people who are not super-fit or interested in cycling as strenuous exercise. There are numerous business opportunities and gaps in the market for electric bike-based businesses.
The obvious opportunity is in selling electric bikes, but this gap in the market has been filled in many parts of the country and by online retailers. Do careful competitor research here before setting up as a bike retailer. The gap in the market here may be more about electric scooter retailing.
But there are still gaps in the market for electric bike hire, holidays and day trips using electric bikes for touring. And as the range of electric bikes evolves, this opens up the market for small scale logistics, courier companies and tradespeople such as Snappy Landscapes, a garden maintenance company where the staff get around on electric bikes.
Gaps in the market for curated tourism
The tourism market has changed after the pandemic. Many consumers are now looking for more curated options for their travel. This accelerates pre-pandemic changes in tourism where the 55+ age group who have significant spending power were already looking for niche, specialist and curated trip opportunities.
With many people ready to travel now, there are gaps in the market for specialist holiday providers, offering more than the usual fare.
Rather than a market-based gap in the market, thinking about productising a service offering gives you increased opportunities in marketing and the ability to use a different business model.
A productised service is where you package up what you regularly do for customers into an easy to understand product. Customers buy your product and you have a set process for what you do for them.
Selling what you do as a productised service creates a gap in the market for you because you’re automatically differentiating what you do. And making it easier for your customer to buy from you.
Helping people change to productised services is one of my specialist subjects – read more about how to grow a business using productised services here.
52 ways to find your gap in the market
Other articles you might like
Where are the best business ideas based on helping people to choose what to buy? We all lead busy lives.…
This list of business ideas is my response to those blog posts called 100 business ideas you can do for…
Do you need to find business ideas? Maybe you’re looking for a new idea for your existing business. Or you’re…
I use the concept of curated collections for generating business ideas a lot. But it’s quite a new term, so…