The end of the year is upon us and it’s the perfect time to start sourcing new products to sell online.
Each year we bring you a list of niche products that are trending and this year is no different. Here’s our guide to the top ecommerce niches of 2019, including a bunch of tips to help you find the best niche for your ecommerce business.
What is an Ecommerce Niche?
For starters, you may be wondering what an ecommerce niche actually is. It isn’t a complex strategy at all. An ecommerce niche is just a specialized market of shoppers.
For example, let’s say you sell jewelry. The broader jewelry category could include so many different types of products. From diamond earrings to mood rings, the market is massive! It is difficult to sell your product line to both a 13-year-old girl wanting a mood ring and also a 30-year-old man looking for an engagement ring. How do you even find something in common with these two types of buyers?
The solution is to find your niche.
In this case, an example of an ecommerce niche within the jewelry market would be handmade wooden watches. Choosing this type of niche means you can narrow your market to shoppers that are interested in unique, handmade items, most likely in a certain age demographic (25-45 years old), and predominately male.
Selling in an ecommerce niche has many perks.
Pros of Selling Niche Products
One of biggest mistakes ecommerce businesses make is selling an excessive number of products. Doing so can cost a ton of money in inventory, storage, resources, and marketing, especially for small businesses and ecommerce startups.
The good news is that focusing on a popular ecommerce niche has many proven benefits:
1. Less Expensive
Selling niche products saves you money across the board. From cheaper marketing to less operational resources, you’ll save heaps of cash by being the big fish in the small pond:
- Cheaper Marketing. Developing an ecommerce marketing strategy for a particular group of people is much easier than marketing to the masses since you know who the customers are, what they like, and where they shop. Not only does this make marketing painless, it makes it much more affordable since you aren’t wasting money advertising in the wrong places and to the wrong people. Here is a great image that shows the difference between marketing to the masses and niche marketing:
- Lower Storage Fees. Unless you drop ship products, storing 100s of SKUs in a warehouse isn’t economical, especially with storage fees on the rise. Be selective about what you sell so you aren’t spending your weight in gold to FBA.
- Fewer Listing Fees. Listing hundreds of products on 5 different channels that charge listing fees isn’t a smart strategy. There is less risk when listing a limited product line that you know will sell.
2. Better Profits
Not only do niche products save you money, it can make you more money. Aside from the obvious point of lower costs meaning higher profits, there are other ways your pockets will benefit:
- Higher Prices. Highly competitive items can lead to price wars which means selling products for little to no profits. Niche products usually have less competition. Not only does that benefit your SEO strategy, it also helps your pricing game plan. Calculate your cost of goods and determine the best pricing strategy for your audience.
- Brand Loyalty. Selling to a niche market allows retailers to build a brand, which is harder for the liquidator-type retailers. Merchants can focus on building more personalized content and customer experiences for their target customers which leads to stronger brand loyalty. Studies show that a 5% increase in customer retention leads to a 95% increase in profits.
- Better ROI. Once you’ve developed a brand, you can build a network of influencers to push your products. Influencer marketing can bring 11x higher ROI than traditional marketing.
3. Reduced Resources
Trying to manage 100s of SKUs for 15 different categories isn’t reasonable for SMBs. Not only do you have to manage the storage of said products, you must keep track of all the product identifiers, and the tasks of listing them for sell on each platform.
- Less Management. Managing accurate product counts for a catalog with 100s of SKUs isn’t for the rookie retailer. More employees or an ecommerce inventory software is needed to keep your stock levels up-to-date. Selling a modest number of products in a niche can be advantageous for retailers just starting out. It gives you time to learn about the industry, the cost to sell the products, and more. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, expand to more channels and add new products within your niche.
- Lean Staff. Multichannel selling is a great way to build brand visibility and increase sales. But, it can be a nightmare for sellers with a laundry list of products. From listing attributes to product identifiers to product descriptions, you need an army of employees to prepare your product listings. Start small with a niche segment and build your catalog over time. It will save you a ton of payroll dollars and sleepless nights.
- Better Supplier Relationships. Lastly, staying within a niche means you have less supplier relationships to manage. That means you have the time to build better connections with all your suppliers and possibly receive better deals down the road.
Tips for Finding the Best Ecommerce Niche
When it comes to finding the right niche products to sell, many ecommerce sellers don’t know where to start. Here are three important tips to help you find the perfect niche for your business.
1. Do your research
If you already have an idea of which niche products you’d like to sell, you should do research to see if they are viable options. Try following some online trend publications, find data on Google Trends, and check selling opportunities on the Amazon platform.
Using Amazon is a great way to learn a product’s popularity. See the Best Sellers Rank results below when we searched for Paw Patrol Puzzle:
As you can see, this product ranks #4,069 in the Toys & Games category. This tells us that the Toys & Games category might be too broad for your niche online store. However, it ranks #52 in the Jigsaw Puzzles sub-category and #55 in the Pre-Kindergarten Toys sub-category. So, it is popular, you just need to list the product in the most relevant categories.
2. Choose wisely
There are a few simple rules you can follow to help your chances of finding a great ecommerce niche. Here are some things to consider:
- Sell niche products that list at more than $15, but don’t go much higher than $200. This usually helps you arrive at a good balance between profitability, average order values, and demand.
- Be wary of seasonal products that only bring in money during a certain time of the year. While you can make a lot of money selling seasonal products, doing so is more challenging than the alternative, and quite a bit more risky for small businesses.
- Only sell items that don’t lose value as they sit on shelves. For example, electronics lose value fast, and unless you already have an active customer base that’s interested in those products, you probably want to avoid those products.
- Sell products with more ambiguous pricing. Everyone knows what most electronic items should sell for, but informational items and jewelry are more subjective in pricing.
- Choose items that are easy to ship and not fragile.
- Smaller products work best for niche stores.
Following these guidelines can help narrow down the choices of the best niche products for your business.
3. Look at existing sellers
Try using various keywords in Google searches to find out who else is selling the types of products you are interested in.
Pay special attention to any seller that shows up over and over again in your searches. Take a peek at their online store, social media, and customer reviews. You want to learn:
- What are they doing that makes them successful?
- What type of content are they posting on social media and blogs?
- What are the strategies they employ to engage customers?
If you don’t find many retailers during your search, it could either be a good sign or a bad sign. On one hand, you may have low competition, but on the other hand, there may not be much of a demand for that product. This is where free tools like Google Trends and Google Shopping Insights can help you understand how much interest a specific product or category may have.
The 10 Best Trending Niches For 2019
To help you in your search for the best products to sell online, here is our list of the top ecommerce niches for 2019.
- Subscription Boxes – Subscription boxes continue to be a popular niche for ecommerce sellers. In fact, the market for subscription products and services has increased by more than 100 percent a year for the past five years. Because the subscription market has expanded, you’ll need to focus on a niche within a niche. For example, staples that households typically shop for (think local food and beverages, specialty cookies and snacks, organic toiletries that are replaced regularly, etc.) are very popular, and the market isn’t yet saturated with them.
- High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT targets maximum fat loss and is the biggest fitness trend of the last few years. Specifically, the equipment that supports HIIT is definitely trending. Products such as fitness trackers, mats, medicine balls, foam rollers, and other items that people need to perform HIIT are best sellers right now.
- Planners – In the last couple of years, personal planners and specialized journals have increased in popularity. The Five-Minute Journal, The Bullet Journal, The Happiness Planner, The Anxiety Journal, The Passion Planner, and the SELF Journal are all crowd-pleasers. If you have a unique idea for a planner or journaling system, now is the time to get it out there.
- Super Niche Health and Wellness – For this niche, think about gluten-free products, specialty teas (matcha tea is on the rise), and exclusive detox products. Vitamins and supplements continue to be a hot trending niche to sell in, as well.
- Niche Apparel – Clothing has long been a fixture in the ecommerce industry, so you have to find a niche within the category. Specialty clothing niches that are performing well include sustainable clothing, athleisure apparel (activewear worn as everyday clothes rather than only for athletic purposes), shapewear, and clothing that supports specific causes or charities.
- Survival Gear – Survival or “prepper” gear is a niche that isn’t saturated and has tons of marketable products. For example, survival backpacks, lighters, knives, footwear, flashlights, camping equipment, dehydrated foods, multipurpose tools, water purification kits, survival guides, fire starting tools, tents, and much more, are survival products that are selling like hotcakes.
- Mattresses – This might not seem like it belongs on a list of niche products for ecommerce, but the boxed mattress trend is growing online. And, there is still room in the market to carve out your own niche. This is a product that would be ideal if you want to start a dropshipping business. Storing and shipping mattresses can be costly, so having them sent from a manufacturer or supplier directly to your customers can be easier and cheaper.
- LED Lighting – It’s expected that nearly all lighting will convert to LED lighting within the next few years. That means the demand for this niche will continue to grow. Currently, colored LED lights and smart LED lighting (controlled by smart devices and apps) are both niches worth considering.
- Drones and Accessories – Specialized drones, like underwater drones and auto-follow drones, are becoming more popular, as are drone accessories.
- DIY – Selling handmade items or materials to create those items are continuing to trend. In fact, the DIY industry is predicted to be worth more than $13.9 billion by 2021, and it’s just the beginning. The demand for DIY kits, supplies, and projects is massive, so if you have an idea for an original DIY project that can be made into a kit, get it on the market soon.
Ecommerce Fulfillment Options
Once you’ve picked a niche and product(s) to sell, you need to find the best way to ship them to your customers. Here are a few different fulfillment options to consider:
- Self-Fulfillment: This is the best option for saving money, but you have to put in a lot of sweat equity. Self-fulfillment gives you 100% control over the process of shipping products, but it also gives you 100% of the responsibility. Depending on the number of products you have, you may need a warehouse to manage the storage and packing process. On top of the warehouse management tasks, you must have an impeccable shipping procedure to keep up with today’s impossible shipping expectations. Choose this option if you have the resources to support shipping in today’s “I want it now” landscape.
- Dropshipping: This option is great for retailers since you don’t have to buy inventory and store it. When your customer places an order, you send that order to a dropship supplier, and they ship it to the customer. It is a great low risk, low cost option since there aren’t any overhead costs. However, since it is a low barrier to entry, you will have a ton of competition. As we mentioned earlier, high competition means low profit margins. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it can be hard routing each sales order to the correct supplier after every new sale in a timely fashion. Only choose this option if you’ve researched your suppliers and can sell products at a profitable price, and make sure to use dropshipping software that automates the order routing for you.
Related: Learn how to choose the best products to dropship.
- Third-Party Fulfillment: A third-party logistics company (3PL) is a great option for sellers who don’t dropship, but also don’t have a warehouse. With this option, you buy the inventory, and have it shipped to a third-party warehouse. From there, they store and ship the products for you. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a great example of a 3PL. These types of services are great because they handle the shipping operations, giving you time back in the day to market your products. The key to success with this option is to do your research. Make sure you choose a reputable warehouse that will uphold your brand standards.
- Combination: It isn’t rare to have a combination of the above options. It allows retailers to develop a custom fulfillment solution that works for their business. Maybe you have your own warehouse and self-fulfill 65% of your orders, largely the products within a certain region. You can choose to outsource 30% of your orders to a 3PL that is exceptional at handling international shipping needs. From there, you can use a dropship supplier for the other 5% to see how well your target audience reacts to new products before buying them in bulk. Like we said, once you get the hang of it, start expanding to more channels, smarter fulfillment options, and new products.
No matter which ecommerce niche you choose we hope you have a wonderful (and profitable) 2019.