An eCommerce niche is a particular segment of the broader online market that specializes in a specific set of products or services aimed at a tight-knit audience. In a nutshell, the idea of an ecommerce niche is to monetize an interest that exists in a very precise category.
If it’s still not entirely clear, no need to worry. We give you a full list of niches for eCommerce below, along with useful tips on how to pick the ‘right’ ecommerce niche for your business.
Ready? Let’s go!
How to choose a niche for eCommerce?
Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all answer or formula to reliably pick the ‘right’ ecommerce niche. Even so, there are a few steps you can take to significantly increase the chances of picking an eCommerce niche that’ll work for you.
Assess the demand
Before you enter just any old eCommerce niche, you must be certain that there exists a demand for the products that you intend on selling. Instead of trying to discover a ‘winning product’, there’s a more methodical way of picking the products you’ll sell.
One way to go about that is to first define a problem that people commonly experience, and then choose the niche that has the products that provide the solution to that problem.
For example, lots of people have pets but find themselves spending a lot of money on food, supplies, toys, and so on. Luckily for them and their animal companions, there’s a market for pet products online. You can check ‘pet products’ off the list below!
Research the competition
Wherever there’s a demand, you can bet your bottom dollar that competition will follow. It’s inevitable and unavoidable, yet it shouldn’t be an obstacle that prevents you from pursuing profit. Competition is good for business – to an extent. Let us explain.
When there’s a healthy level of competition, you can find ways to leverage weak points in the competition’s business plan for your own benefit. For example, if you’ve chosen to sell kitchen equipment, you can implement a pricing strategy that sacrifices profit in the short term in order to undercut players that have been in the market longer.
The result is a dynamic marketplace where shifting pressures can open up new opportunities for you to grow your business both in size and complexity. The bottom line is this: find out what your competitors do well, and then either beat them at their own game or change the rules to your advantage.
Identify any/all restrictions
This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you start outlining a plan to start an online business. But it’s crucial that you investigate whether there are local, state, or federal regulations that impose restrictions on the niche you’re interested in.
For example, if you’re interested in selling CBD oil products, there are several states where it is completely legal, but there are more states where it is ‘conditionally-legal’ (meaning there are restrictions). You wouldn’t want to be caught on the wrong side of the law when it comes to the distribution of what some legal systems consider a controlled substance. Make sure to do your research!
On the other hand, you’ll also want to check what your ecommerce platform has to say about the sale of certain products on websites that they host. For example, many of the big name eComm platforms restrict businesses in their network from selling products related to medicine, alcohol and tobacco, weapons and firearms, adult goods, and drug paraphernalia (just to name a few niches).
The good news? It’s actually not a crime to violate a company’s online terms of service. So, even though they can shut your store down for breaking their rules, at least they can’t take you to court over it!
TLDR: If you’re not sure about laws & regulations related to your proposed eCommerce niche, do your research!
Measure true shipping & storage costs
We’ll keep this one short since it’s fairly intuitive. If you’re selling larger, heavier, or more fragile items, your shipping costs can take a real toll on your profit margins. Of course, you can always have your customers pay for those shipping fees, but you’ll just be giving your competitors a way to offer a better deal.
Likewise, depending on what you’re selling and how your business model is designed, you may need to invest in storage space for your inventory. Dropshipping is one way to avoid the need to pay for storage, otherwise you may end up owning or renting a warehouse to keep your store stocked.
However you do it, keep your shipping costs down along with your storage expenses, otherwise you’ll find yourself in a tough way when it comes to keeping your business in the black.
Confirm profit potential
How can you make sure that the specific eCommerce niche you’re looking into has the potential to make you a profit? Well, nothing works quite as good as trying things out for yourself. That said, there are some quick tips you can use to get closer to the bullseye.
First of all, check out what the most popular products are in that niche. Are they big ticket items? Or will you be just barely eking out an earning? Are customers purchasing frequently or are most one-off purchases?
Secondly, is there room in the market for you to get your foot in the door? In other words, can you claim some space and pull business away from your competition? How difficult will it be to get your name to stand out and gain a reputation?
Lastly, if you have the time and resources, test your ideas before fully committing. You can create a landing page on your already existing website and start flexing your SEO skills to figure out the level of difficulty you’ll have making your mark in that niche.
Our list of the 12 most profitable eCommerce niche ideas in 2021
- Fitness equipment/gear
- DIY home improvements
- Kitchen equipment
- Food and drinks
- Meal subscriptions
- Cosmetics and skincare
- Earth friendly products
- Home office equipment
- Pet products
1. Fitness equipment/gear
Not sure if you’ll be fit to compete in this niche? Don’t sweat it! If you go with fitness equipment, your online store will be in shape to reach success. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the home fitness equipment market has grown tremendously (CAGR of 40% from 2019-2020) – a trend that’s expected to take the niche beyond 8.5 billion USD by 2023.
Here are a few products you can sell:
- Foam rollers
- Resistance bands
- Jump ropes
- Slider discs
- Yoga mats
- Weight lifting gloves
And, of course:
- Massage guns
Since 2017, online retailers have claimed more than a quarter of all fashion retail sales in the USA and are projected to exceed 30% by 2022. This niche generated nearly $111 billion in 2020 – talk about being in vogue!
The best part about the online clothing retail niche? People always need clothes! You can target virtually any audience and still turn a profit.
Consider these more specific sub-niches:
- Baby clothes
- Custom dresses & gowns
- Denim only
- Print on demand t-shirts
- Workout apparel
- Seasonal gear
- Heavy-duty clothes (for outdoors, gardening, etc.)
Whether you’re threading the needle yourself or getting your inventory from a supplier, the clothing niche can be your ticket to eCommerce success.
3. DIY home improvement
When you’re stuck at home during lockdowns, it’s not long before you start spotting those parts of your home that could use a makeover. And even if everything is in ship-shape, boredom can be resolved with a new project. It’s for these reasons that do-it-yourself home improvement has become one of the best online store niches to pick.
In fact, throughout 2020, nearly 80% of Americans tackled at least one DIY project to freshen up their home. This has been a rising trend as more and more people have chosen to become homeowners throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. The year 2020 saw the addition of 2 million homeowners in the USA, amounting to an annual increase of 2.6%.
4. Kitchen equipment
Eating out gets to be expensive, and sometimes frozen meals just don’t cut it. That’s what makes kitchen equipment one of the best niches for eCommerce businesses to operate in.
Consider the fact that the kitchenware niche in the online retail marketplace has seen revenue growth at an average rate of over 8% over the past 5 years (and currently exceeds $7 billion). That’s enough to work an appetite over!
Kitchen equipment covers a great variety of products, from electronic food processing devices to non-stick pans, self-sharpening knives (whatever those are) to cast iron cookware and beyond. Claim your slice of the pie in this profitable eCommerce niche!
5. Food and drinks
Image source Naked Foods
Though it may not be the first on your list of niches for eCommerce, selling food and drinks is actually one of the best upcoming niches to consider. While customers aren’t typically jumping at the idea of buying simple things like bottled water and plain crackers online, unique brands that sell ‘not-your-usual’ snacks and drinks can do spectacularly.
Don’t believe us? Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, 50% of adults in the US increased their purchase rates of snacks through ecommerce – a decision that nearly 70% of those customers said they’d stick with even after the pandemic ‘ends’.
Of course, there are some limits as to what you can realistically sell online simply with respect to shelflife. That said, there’s still enough potential for you to get your fill of profit!
6. Meal subscriptions
Whether you’re aiming for newbies or culinary connoisseurs, selling meal subscriptions online is an ideal niche to get started in. As noted earlier, ordering food to be delivered from local restaurants gets expensive, especially when you’re stuck indoors and doing it so frequently. Meal kit services are an excellent alternative.
While it might seem like a far-fetched idea, success stories like that of Germany-based HelloFresh serve as great examples of the potential that exists in the meal subscription niche in ecommerce. In Q1 of 2020, HelloFresh had twice the number of customers compared to the same quarter the year prior. At the same time, Blue Apron reported an 8% increase in their sales.
This upcoming niche might be a little tough to break into at first, but if you start off small and stay at it, the end result can turn out to be one sweet deal!
7. Cosmetics and skincare
Can’t make up your mind about which eCommerce niche to enter? Make sure not to gloss over this one! Cosmetics and skincare are an absolutely huge part of the broader eCommerce marketplace; by 2024, the value of the world’s makeup market is expected to exceed $85 billion.
If you’re blushing at the idea of claiming some of that enormous revenue as your own, you’re not alone. Personal care sales make up nearly 7.5% of all ecommerce sales in the US, a percentage that’s only been growing for the last 4 years. There’s no covering up the possibilities that exist for you in this top e-commerce niche.
Consider these more specific sub-niches:
- Organic cosmetics
- Skin peels and masks
- Youth rejuvenation products
- Makeup for artists
- And so on
8. Earth friendly products
We’re fairly certain that your goal in entering eCommerce is to make a profit (see the profit motive for a refresher). But that doesn’t mean you should be putting money above all else. Indeed, being environmentally conscious with your online shop’s plan and operations is one of the best things you can do as a business owner (and as a human!).
If you’ve never really given it much thought, here are a few examples of ‘green’ products you can sell:
- Metal water bottles
- Reusable straws
- Tote bags
- Organic soaps
- Biodegradable garbage bags
- Water faucet flow controllers
Side note: Even if this isn’t the eCommerce niche you decide to go with, you can feel good about starting a business that inherently reduces waste (more specifically, paper waste). In fact, the average cost of a case of copy paper runs around $1,200, so going paperless is better for the environment as well as your profit margins!
If you’re running your onlines business on Shopify, you can make sure your profit margins are as precise as possible with one easy choice. Use the BeProfit Profit Tracker app to effortlessly track and analyze all of your shop’s profits & expenses (including how much you’re spending on paper!).
BeProfit gives you the power to accurately measure your marketing performance, monitor your COGS, create and export custom reports, and much more.
9. CBD oil
CBD stands for cannabidiol, the oil extracted from the cannabis plant. Controversial as some might find the industry to be, according to Harvard Medical School CBD oil has been found to be a helpful medicine in extreme medical conditions such as childhood epilepsy syndromes.
In more recent years, CBD oil has found applications in the pet industry to help furry friends that also suffer from debilitating conditions like osteoarthritis.
Whichever direction you choose to go within the CBD oil niche in ecommerce, please be sure to conduct thorough research into any/all legal restrictions that may apply in your area. Regardless of what those studies find, we do not recommend that anybody breaks the law!
10. Pet products
This eCommerce niche is piggy-backing a bit on the example we provided just above, but bear with us. We have some data here that might just get your tail waggin’!
- 2 out of 3 (67%) Americans have at least one pet – approximately 85 million households
- In 2020, more than $103 billion was spent on pet supplies across the USA
- Owners report that their total annual expenses for dogs amounted to ‘ruff-ly’ $1,400
Clearly there’s a market for pet products and supplies, but what about online? It turns out that, as a percentage of all sales, pet supply sales through online stores have been steadily increasing over the past 5 years (9% in 2015 to 20% in 2020) – a trajectory that’s expected to continue for at least the next 5 years.
The niche is clearly growing, so what’re you waiting for? Help keep our pets happy and turn a profit at the same time!
11. Home office equipment
We know, we know. You’ve heard more than enough about how Coronavirus has impacted our lifestyles – but this is the last time we’ll mention it, we promise.
The fact is, surveys have found that, right now, 30% of workers in the US are working entirely remotely, and the remaining 70% are largely embracing some degree of working from home. It didn’t take very long for this to become the new norm, and that has naturally resulted in a great increase in the demand for home office equipment.
Most of us probably tried to get away with plopping our laptops down on the kitchen table when COVID had just begun, but your back can only endure so much stress before you really start feeling it (we’re speaking from experience here!).
Home office equipment is a new necessity that’s part of the new normal. Here are some quick examples of products that could be sold in this ecommerce niche:
- Ergonomic office chairs
- Adjustable work desks
- Laptop stands
- Desk lamps
- And much more
Get your customers amped with this best niche for eCommerce. Now, depending on what you’re selling exactly, the electronics market can be one of the more expensive niches in e-commerce to get involved in – but you know what they say: you’ve got to spend money to make money!
And boy oh boy is there money to be made. In 2020, the online market for consumer electronics stood at $70 billion – and that’s just in the United States! Part of the reason why electronics is such a great eCommerce niche is that there are so many different products you can offer your customers.
Here are a few electronic products you should consider selling:
- Gear for gamers (e.g. computers, monitors, ergonomic keyboards & mouses)
- Items for influencers (e.g. ring lamps, microphones, cameras & tripods)
- DIY hardware (e.g. power tools, vacuums, lawn care equipment)
- Gadgets for musicians (e.g. instruments, noise cancelling headphones, editing equipment)
- Home products (e.g. massage chairs, voice activated speakers, air filters)
Take the in-niche-iative
The right e-commerce niche for you exists, you just need to get out there and find it! We didn’t mention it earlier, but one of the best pieces of advice we can leave you with is this: if you already have a specific niche of personal interest, try turning it into a professional enterprise. As they say, “When you do what you love for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Plus, you’ll give yourself a productive way to express your interests, share your passion, and exhibit your expertise. Get at it!