Entrepreneurs and Night Markets

Published: Jun 3, 2015
Last Updated: May 12, 2016

Ever wondered about testing your business idea at a summer night market? Night markets, based on the concept of open air-shopping that is fashioned after late-night street markets across Asia, have been making their presence felt in our urban communities.

Like day markets, night markets require a small amount of investment. This is great for new entrepreneurs who would like to develop their confidence, business and marketing skills (2012, Khursiah). From various news sources, night markets seem to be very successful in drawing a high amount of traffic. They also guarantee exposure to a wide range of demographics, getting frequent visits from young to old, individuals, couples and families.

While this might be an ideal setting for all start-ups, it is good to note that only certain small businesses perform well, due to the unique nature of night markets. Some of the industries where night markets work better for are street vendors – mobile food service, arts crafts and handicrafts and clothing retailers (2007, Couchen & Chicheng).

As with any business venture, it is necessary to do your research. Here are a few things to think about before jumping in:

Industry Analysis

The night market is a different channel to sell your products. Industry differentiation still exists and it is important to identify the opportunities and challenges as evidenced by your primary and secondary research. To get you started, the Small Business Accelerator has provided a Step by Step on Industry Analysis and each of our Accelerator Guides have a specific industry information page as well.

Customer Analysis

Different night markets have different themes depending on their location as well as the vision of the event organizers. Some are known for unique consumption activities, displays and bargain finds while others can be a day farmer’s market turned into a night-time affair. Nostalgic immigrants, foodies and people who want to experience the local culture are some of the customers you will find at a night market. Nevertheless, it is still important to identify which consumer segments your business wants to target.

Recognize the trends which shape the way customers behave in your industry. For example, if you are in the mobile food service business, this Consumer Food Trend  series will help you identify the opportunities in the market. In addition, the Small Business Accelerator has these resources to get you going in your customer research:

Customer Analysis: Step by Step
Cool Tools: Helping you find consumer data

Competitive analysis

In night markets, due to the objective of maximizing the event space by the event organizers, chances of two or more shops selling similar items are highly possible. This situation may be avoided by requesting the vendors list from the event organizers. It is also useful to know which shops have been consistently participating in the past so that you have an idea how to position your products.

Both direct and indirect competitors will have an impact on the success of your business. Our Competitive Analysis: Step by Step and Accelerator Guides will direct you to appropriate resources and directories for your competitive research.


Couchen, W., & Chi-Cheng, L. (2007). Exploring Crowding Effects on Collectivists' Emotions and Purchase Intention of Durable and Non-Durable Goods in East Asian Night Markets. Journal Of International Consumer Marketing, 20(1), 5-18.

Khursiah, A (2012). Exploring Night Market as New Business Opportunities for Local Traders to
Become Successful Entrepreneur. International Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 2(10), 1-11. http://cprenet.com/uploads/archive/IJBBS_12-1147.pdf

PHOTO CREDIT: Richmond night market, created on June 30, 2007 by Presley Perswain. Image made available under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License. Last viewed on June 1, 2015.

Richmond night market 2013, created on May 27, 2013 by GoToVan. Image made available under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License. Last viewed on June 1, 2015.