You can find just about anything on the Internet nowadays. From expensive high-tech gadgets to cheap party favors, there’s bound to be an online store that has what you are searching.
That’s great for consumers, but what about business owners who want to start up an e-commerce business? For them, it means that they have the time-consuming task of researching business ideas that can work online and what actually sells well.
Consumers have the luxury of rushing to their smartphone and purchasing whatever piques their interest, without really having to deal with major repercussions later on. Though, when you are buying stock for your e-commerce store, you don’t want to find out too late that the interest in your products is less than you expected.
Your success in e-commerce will depend greatly on how well you understand your target audience. Before you make up your mind on what you want to sell online, first find out more about your potential customers.
A quick online search will reveal countless articles recommending products that you could sell online. We have gone through many of these articles and summarized some of the top recommendations for e-commerce product ideas that are currently trending, many of which are expected to remain in demand for the near future too.
Top 15 E-commerce Product Ideas for 2021:
- 1. Quality Tea
- 2. Planners and Notebooks
- 3. Craft Drinks
- 4. Facial Products
- 5. Eco-friendly Beauty Products
- 6. Hair Products
- 7. Board Games
- 8. Greeting Cards
- 9. Mobile Device Accessories
- 10. Pet Products
- 11. Bluetooth and Wireless Technology
- 12. Smartwatches
- 13. e-books
- 14. Stock Photography and Other Design Assets
- 15. Athleisure
1. Quality Tea
With increasingly more people becoming more mindful of mindfulness and healthy living in general, it makes complete sense why quality tea has made a comeback. As a matter of fact, some still view it as somewhat exotic, even a luxury. This means that you can get a good price if you sell high-quality tea.
People are interested in discovering new artisanal drinks from across the globe, and quality tea can help satisfy their need for something else than a product that’s consumed mindlessly by the masses.
To ensure you stand out, it can be a good idea to focus on the health and wellness benefits of tea. Nutrition and/or fitness influencers can help you to show how tea can play an integral part in a healthy lifestyle.
2. Planners and Notebooks
As mentioned, more people are practicing mindfulness. Another product that can help them on their journey is a personal planner, guided journal or notebook. What makes these types of products a great choice is that they are easy to sell, and affordable.
If you are searching for an avenue to try out your creativity, you can even create your own designs. After you have created a few, it also doesn’t require too much work to maintain them. Alternatively, you can stick to ready-made planners and notebooks.
As planners and notebooks typically boast pretty designs, visual platforms like Pintrest, and Instagram are great social media channels to market them. You can also even create videos showing how you others are using them in different ways.
3. Craft Drinks
Consumers are turning to the Internet to find non-mainstream products such as craft drinks. And, with increasingly more small, artisanal producers of beer, whiskey and gin entering the market, an e-commerce store can connect these producers to customers who will appreciate their craft.
4. Facial Products
As mass cosmetics in many instances don’t cater for special needs, many people turn to the Internet to find specialised facial products. From creams to help reduce acne to skin cleansers, facial products are great products to sell online. Peel-off face masks, in particular, are currently trending (Shopify identified this as one of the top trending products during 2020 on their platform). You can start with a trending e-commerce product idea like face masks and then easily grow your range to include other facial products and perhaps even eco-friendly beauty products.
One of the advantages of selling beauty products is that it works well on visual platforms like YouTube and Instagram. According to Keywords Everywhere, the top videos about peel-off face masks on YouTube boast an average of more than 5 million views.
You can either work with an influencer to create Instagram ads or use your own Instagram account to publish content. Either way, this is probably the only time that you don’t want to hide your face-mask-covered face.
5. Eco-friendly Beauty Products
Modern-day consumers are much more concerned about the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. Consumers want the opportunity to take care of themselves, but not at the expense of the environment.
As a result, it’s not just what is inside the jar that matters, but also the packaging. Consumers are searching for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic packaging. Innovative solutions include:
- Bamboo toothbrushes
- Glass jars for moisturizers
- Bar shampoos
- Vegan make-up
- Cruelty-free nail polish
Nail polish, in particular, are currently very in demand as younger people are beginning to play around with new designer nail styles. In fact, according to information from Grand View Research, it’s anticipated that the international nail polish market will reach more than $15 billion by 2024. Nail polish can be a great add-on to peel-off face masks. You can work with an influencer to advertise it on Instagram and even Pintrest.
6. Hair Products
Beauty is not only skin-deep. Also, beauty products are no longer just for women. While consumers are turning to the Internet to find specialized facial creams and cleansers, they’re also opting to purchase haircare products online. Good product ideas include:
- Luxurious, salon-quality conditioner and shampoo
- Beard oil
- Beard conditioner
- Clipping tools
On the other end of the spectrum, you can also consider selling products for hair removal. According to Transparency Market Research, the international hair removal market will generate more than $1 billion by the end of 2022.
7. Board Games
Shopify has identified board games as one of the most popular products to sell online in 2020. On average, board games get searched close to 700 000 times per month. Based on the data of Google Trends, the search volume is usually at its highest around the holiday season. Though, this year with many countries battling hard lockdown regulations, board games also received more searches during the second quarter of the year. As countries face second COVID-19 waves, there’s a good possibility that lockdown regulations will be introduced next year as well. So, hoarding up on board games is a trend that can continue in 2021.
Jigsaw puzzles in particular have also proved to be more popular in 2020 (and it makes complete sense considering how many countries implemented lockdowns in response to COVID-10). Apart from keeping people entertained during quarantine, puzzles are also popular among parents who are searching for games that can help them to get their kids away from the screens.
8. Greeting Cards
Greeting cards’ popularity never wanes. All you need is some design sense and few basic supplies like paper and ink. There are several easy-to-use software solutions available, such as Canva and Photoshop, that you can use to create your own custom designs. Another added advantage of selling greeting cards is that the items you need can be purchased in bulk from a wholesaler helping to reduce your running expenses.
9. Mobile Device Accessories
There’s a wide variety of accessories that you can sell for smartphones and laptops. Not only are they practical, but they also let us customize something that we interact with countless times every day. Some of the most popular accessories include:
- Phone stands
- Phone cases (protective and decorative)
- Camera lens kits
- Cable adaptors
- Laptop skins (according to Google Trends they made a comeback in 2020)
- Wireless phone charges
Brick-and-mortar stores can stock only a handful of designs, but an online store has the ability to stock loads more options. This is a huge advantage considering that each year new accessories are created to match the latest mobile device.
10. Pet Products
According to Global Market Insights, the petcare market was valued at more than $220 billion in 2019. It’s further predicted that in 2026, it will be bigger than $327 billion.
Examples of good pet product ideas are:
- Dog beds
- Electronic cat toys
- Slow-feeder bowls
- Pet grooming gloves
- High-tech collars
- CBD oils for dogs
- Pet food
Feeding bowls, in particular, are massive. From foldable bowls to customizable bowls, there’s a wide variety to sell. People who are buying dog or cat bowls will most likely also take extra interest in the nutrition of their four-legged family companion. So, you can easily expand your stock to include a variety of high-quality food to suit different dietary requirements. This is sure to bowl them over!
11. Bluetooth and Wireless Technology
More people are searching for work-from-home jobs and they’re searching for gadgets that will help them create comfortable home offices. Examples of popular items include:
- Smart bulbs
- Portable speakers
- Wireless earbuds
- Wireless headphones
- Wireless phone chargers
Smartwatches are still relatively new. Though, there’s already an increasing demand for them and it’s expected that their demand will still continue for years. Considering what they can do, it’s no wonder that so many people want to add a smartwatch to their family of mobile devices. Depending on your model, you can use your smartwatch to play music, count your steps, track your sleep and monitor your pulse rate. And, of course, they also tell the time.
The beauty of selling products online is that they do not have to be physical. Digital products, like e-books, are becoming increasingly popular. While reading is an old favorite pastime, thanks to e-books younger crowds are showing an interest too.
What makes e-books so popular is that you can read it on a mobile device that’s much easier to carry with you than a hard copy of 100+ pages. Also, as mentioned earlier, consumers are opting for products that are environmentally friendly. With e-books, there’s quite literally hardly any paper trail (not counting the writer’s failed attempts).
Not only are they easier to digest than a hardback version, but they are also easy to create. From guides to fiction, there is a wide range of e-books that you can add to the digital shelves of your e-commerce store.
14. Stock Photography and Other Design Assets
Another digital product idea is selling stock photography. Considering how many types of content marketing material is created daily, the demand for high-quality stock photography will not cease any time soon. Similarly to e-books, what makes them great product choices for starting out in e-commerce is that they have low overhead costs and offer excellent profit margins. After you have created a digital asset, you can sell it many times.
In addition to stock photos, you can also sell the following:
- Custom typefaces
Creating digital assets is a time-consuming process. As such, content creators and influencers will be only too happy to pay someone else.
Put simply, athleisure is activewear that people can wear regularly as everyday clothing. It is fashionable, yet comfortable. Examples of athleisure products that you can sell online include:
- Sports bras
It is especially popular among millennials, especially women. So, working with female fitness influencers on Instagram, Pinterest and other visual social media platforms can be an effective marketing strategy.
Wrapping This Up...
The products that you sell should be exciting, in demand and interesting. Niche products sell really well online as you can reach your target audience, irrespective of where they are based. This is why it’s so important really to know your customers.
In addition to selling trending items, it’s wise to keep a supply of products that sell consistently well. Ideally, you should identify trending product ideas that can link to the products that your customers already purchase regularly.
Fragile products are more difficult to ship. If the product gets damaged, so too will your customer loyalty. This is why digital products are excellent choices as you don’t have to worry about shipping at all! At the end of the day, as long as you have a concrete idea about what you’ll be selling and to whom, it doesn’t matter if you opt for something more concrete like a physical planner or a digital printable instead.