Before 2017 ended, I discussed 9 new business ideas – such as drones and urban gardening – that would be perfect for your new online venture. Don’t worry if you haven’t started. 2018 just begun and you’ve got nine more months to build an ecommerce business from scratch to top.
What Profitable Ecommerce Niches are there?
Apparel, food and electronics never run out of fashion, which make them profitable ecommerce ideas regardless of season or trend. The problem with traditional niches is that competition is tough, especially when major marketplaces like Amazon and China-based Alibaba (among others) offer everything under one roof.
But if you’re targeting a sub-niche – along with a special group of people who would be passionately interested in this particular sub-niche – then the rules become a little flexible with your goals and earning potential increasing tenfold.
For example, instead of just selling “kids clothes,” a sub-niche like kids formal would increase a store’s chances of attracting a highly-targeted audience whose main goal online is to find the perfect tux for a boy or an age-appropriate flower girl dress.
Finding the best market continue to be the #1 key to a successful ecommerce site, so for those just getting into this online business, here are must-try ideas this year:
10 Hot Ecommerce Business Ideas for 2018
1. “Buy it for Life” (BIFL)
People are shifting away from budget-buys and saving up money to buy a high-quality item that would last a lifetime. Whether it’s a briefcase, pair of boots, jacket, dog leash, or any other premium quality product that you could pass on as heirloom to the next generation, BIFL items are hot. So hot that they even have their own Reddit and sub-reddits by country.
As with most entries on this list, you can either earn money through affiliate marketing commissions, or build a business from scratch selling your own products.
Regardless of which route you take, the best thing about BIFLs is that it encompasses a wide niche, from kitchenware to fashion, bedroom essentials, and so much more. This niche ticks all boxes when it comes to earning potential, scalability, and profitability.
The awesome thing about focusing on ‘Buy it for life’ products is that affiliate marketing commissions are generally higher because of BIFL’s tag price and luxury-seeking target audience. Production of any BIFL product may mean higher capital, but you cannot buy the loyalty given by those who are passionate about BIFL.
2. Smart Clothes (Fashion Meets Technology)
This business idea isn’t new at all, but smart technology combined with the fashion industry is gaining traction and there’s no stopping it now.
From theft-proof backpacks that also serve as charging stations with Bluetooth and other gadget must-haves, to an unassuming beanie with headphones built into the woven fashion accessory, the smart fashion niche is on the top of its game with more new inventions being added on a daily basis.
Smart tech clothing merges with other industries as well. Health-related products, such as the OMbra that was designed to check your heart rate and breathing throughout the time you’re wearing the smart bra. There’s even a pair of leggings that check your measurements automatically and recommend where to shop for the best pants to fit you.
Brands are releasing their own tech-infused items as well. iPhone-charging bags, Rebecca Minkoff’s phone-charger keychain, or Jansport’s planned programmable backpack are great examples of technology making fashion smarter and connected to the internet.
You can either promote these branded products, or partner up with a tech startup to build your own invention to sell in the market.
3. Everything Unicorn
If you were studying in the 80s and were a fan of Lisa Frank, you’ve probably lived through the first unicorn fever and loved the splash of pinks, blues, and purples on everything from Trapper Keepers to posters and everything in between.
The love for unicorns have been slowly increasing and reached a peak in April 2007 when Starbucks released its 5-day limited Unicorn Frappuccino.
Since then, unicorns have invaded virtually every niche beyond fashion, accessories and jewelry. You can find unicorn-themed restaurants and cafes, books, home décor, toys, cosmetics and a whole lot more. And instead of just catering to the young (unicorns used to be targeted at teens and below), even adults have gone gaga over the unicorn trend.
Do note that this unicorn trend is expected to lay low sometime this year, as most fads do. However, unlike regular fads, this niche has the potential to get back into the limelight after a few months or years thanks to loyal fan base of sub-niches like My Little Pony.
4. Teeth Whitening or Anti-Snoring
If you’re interested in the health and wellness niches, teeth whitening and anti-snoring products continue to be the most sought after items in this category. You can choose either one, or tackle both embarrassing problems by offering a solution as the heart of your online business.
Even if these niches seem over-saturated, one quick look at the search history will tell you that their demand increased gradually since 2012 and the trend upward will likely continue for years to come regardless of season.
The teeth whitening niche includes popular products like bleaching kits, whitening strips, and charcoal powder. Meanwhile, in-demand anti-snoring items include sleep apnea kits, mouth guards, anti-snoring nose clips, chin support straps, and more. Because these items are focused on solving a serious problem, people eat them up until they find one that works.
Both teeth whitening and anti-snoring niches fit perfectly with a dropshipping business model. If you’re interested in selling products but don’t have the capital or resources to manufacture, check how you can dropship these products from AliExpress.
5. iPhone Repair Kits
Fortune.com reported last year that over 700 million iPhones are currently being used worldwide. And because Apple is gearing up to its 1 billion sale in the near future, the iPhone niche will continue to be a money-earning ecommerce idea for years to come. If you’re looking for a lucrative product for your dropshipping business, check out iPhone repair kits.
The selling power of iPhone repair kits can be seen with a quick search on AliExpress. Even those priced at only $3 or below can become your number 1 money-maker, especially if it leads to thousands of sales.
What’s great with this niche is that it can be expanded into a whole lot of iPhone-related accessories, including iPhone cases that are always in-demand. The only problem with this niche is the fierce competition, which means you’d have to double-time your marketing efforts if you wish to make a dent in this business and compete with ecommerce heavyweights like iFixIt.com.
Matcha is a finely ground green tea characterized with a more concentrated taste because it came from tea leaves powdered to perfection (instead of steeped as regular teas are). Traditionally, matcha is a type of tea used in ceremonies, but since it exploded in 2015, matcha has been made into a wide range of hot and cold drinks.
Today, matcha has been adapted into various desserts, pastries, and even savory dishes. Even brands like Starbucks, Haagen-Dazs, and Jamba Juice have incorporated matcha into their menus.
In 2016, the global market of matcha was valued at $2.62 billion, which is expected to grow annually at 7.6% until 2025. And since consumers have been increasingly conscious about healthy food and drinks, matcha fits right in with current buyer behavior.
Outlook for matcha as an ecommerce niche is promising, especially since experts don’t consider matcha as just a passing fad. Instead, the “rediscovery” of matcha could lead to an enduring trend and anyone interested in this business has the opportunity to cash in for several years.
7. Specialty Coffee
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, next to crude oil. Many people couldn’t start their days without drinking a cup of their favorite coffee. For several years now, coffee lovers have been slowly letting go of traditional mass-produced brands and making the switch to premium-grade coffee even if it is more expensive and more difficult to find.
Of course, the difference in quality and taste are enough reasons for people to choose specialty coffee over store-bought coffee. More local and smaller roasting companies are taking advantage of this increasing demand, which means availability wouldn’t be a problem anymore.
In fact, several subscription-box companies already operate successful coffee stores online.
Even entrepreneurs without a roasting company can build an online store dedicated to specialty coffee. All it takes is a good amount of passion for high-quality specialty coffee, a reliable supplier, and marketing skills to pull off this business.
8. Kitchen inventions
When it comes to the home and living category, the best-selling items are always the tools that make food prepping easier. This is the reason why portable juicers, spiralizers, vegetable cutters, and other task-specific kitchen items sell like hotcakes. And if you check out Google Trends, you’ll discover that this niche is stable all year-round.
What’s interesting with buyers of these kitchen inventions is that they don’t really seek a particular brand, which mean you’ll be able to explore more items without getting limited by certain brands. This niche can also be marketed to a wide range of target audience, from full-blown moms to young adults living on their own for the first time.
Unlike big-ticket kitchen items like stand mixer, espresso machine, and the like, going with smaller kitchen tools encourage more people to buy from your store.
If you’re planning to dropship kitchen products, check out the best-selling kitchen items at AliExpress to get an idea of what other similar items to sell.
9. Electronic Cigarettes
You don’t have to be a former smoker to know the value of electronic cigarettes in this world. And because more and more governments around the world are banning smoking in public, the appeal of vapors, e-cigs, vape mods and electronic cigarette accessories grows by the day.
Not only do e-cigs serve as a legal alternative to smoking in public, they also have been proven to decrease or totally remove a person’s smoking habit.
The debate as to the effectiveness of e-cigs or vaping continues, but many smokers who turned vapers attest to how their lungs improved with vape use.
Do note that if you ever decide to build an ecommerce site focused on electronic cigarettes and sell vaping products and e-juice, you can’t add Google AdSense to the site. As of 2018, AdSense still lists e-cigs under the tobacco category, which unfortunately, is included in Google’s banned topics.
10. Fake Nails
For those looking into the beauty niche as an online business, consider starting an ecommerce store featuring fake nails. These nails received extreme feedback when it first arrived on the scene, with people either loving them or hating fake nails with a passion.
But today, fake nails already have a special place in the nail design industry and they continue to be a growing trend.
Fake nails sell convenience to its users, since anyone can just “press-on” the nails even without going to the salon. And because there are now hundreds of designs to choose from, you won’t run out of fake nails to sell on your store. Afraid you won’t have the capital to feature as much fake nails as possible? Go the dropshipping route instead.
Ecommerce Ideas with High Profit Potential
Everyone wants to find the most lucrative business idea for their ecommerce site, so I hope these 10 niches help you jumpstart your creative juices.
Remember that most ecommerce ideas with high profit began with just a noble idea. With continuous work and relentless marketing, the idea has blossomed into successful businesses that operate with just minimum work required.