Running A Business

12 E-commerce Business Ideas To Try

Mar 15, 2023 • 10+ min read
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      E-commerce is a popular business model in which buyers and sellers exchange a product or service for money through a process that takes place entirely online. Maybe you’ve thought about starting your own e-commerce business before through an online shop, but still haven’t narrowed it down to the perfect idea. 

      12 E-commerce Ideas To Consider

      There are tons of profitable options when it comes to starting an e-commerce business. The following 12 creative ideas are well worth considering.

      1. Fashion Products

      Selling fashion products, such as clothes, outerwear, t-shirts, and hoodies, is one of the most common types of e-commerce business ideas. However, there’s still plenty of room in this space to be creative and build a brand that people want to buy from. 

      Being a fashion designer is not required. You can partner with different suppliers to order products that can be marketed and sold under your brand. This is also known as a private label branding arrangement.

      Another option is to start a dropshipping business, selling clothing items directly from a manufacturer. With this option, you can still pick out products that you like and sell them through your own store. You just won’t have to worry about keeping up with inventory or shipping items. 

      Yet another option is to use a service like Teespring or Printful to design print-on-demand t-shirts, hoodies, and other products that you can sell online. 

      2. Jewelry

      The jewelry retail market is valued at $228 billion, and at least 20% of luxury jewelry sales are made online. A jewelry and accessories e-commerce store can include products like necklaces, watches, rings, bracelets, and even jewelry storage items.

      You can set up a private label relationship with a manufacturer whose products you want to include or consider using a dropshipping company. 

      3. Pet Items And Accessories

      Do you love animals and consider yourself pretty knowledgeable about their needs? Launching a pet items e-commerce store is another popular idea. Try to niche down and decide which pets you want to cater to and which specific products you want to offer. 

      You can visit wholesale sites to research product options and connect with vendors that have products you want to include in your store. 

      4. Wedding Goods

      People spend tens of thousands on their weddings each year. Traditional weddings require a lot of planning and lots of different items that can be purchased online, whether it’s:

      • Cake toppers
      • Paper goods
      • Wedding favors and gifts
      • Ring bearer pillows
      • Customized invitations and programs 
      • Flower vases

      Maybe you can design and sell customizable wedding invitation templates or take orders to print them yourself. Or, you can sell different types of wedding favors—a strategic way to sell dozens or hundreds of your products with just a single order. 

      An increasingly popular idea is ‘bachelorette party kits’, in which you can sell everything the bride-to-be needs to celebrate the big day with friends. 

      5. Planners And Journals

      As more and more people become interested in self-development and getting organized, the planner industry will only grow. Currently, it’s still a multi-million dollar industry and an ideal e-commerce business option. 

      Dropshipping companies like Art of Where and AliExpress provide different notebook, planner, and stationery products.  

      You can also design and print your own planner products using tools like Canva or Adobe InDesign. Narrow down a theme for your planner whether it will feature a weekly to-do list, space to organize meals, or pages to track a household budget. Then, you can print or sell your planner or sell the pages as digital downloads, so customers can print it on their own.

      6. Handmade Items And Crafts

      Selling your own handmade items and crafts can help you turn a fun hobby into an income-generating business. Whether you make homemade soaps, candles, or art, you can test out the demand for an e-commerce store by selling some of these items to people in your local area. 

      Once you get feedback from real customers, you’ll have more insight into how to sell your creations online. Plus, you may even have some raving customer reviews to help support your e-commerce store in the beginning stages.

      7. Fitness Products

      The virtual fitness market is set to hit $59 million by 2027, according to Global Newswire. This means more people are choosing to work out from their homes. These people will need various types of fitness equipment and so will small local gyms and fitness centers. 

      You don’t have to be a personal trainer to start your own fitness line or sell private-label fitness products. This includes everything from yoga mats and free weights to resistance bands and even workout supplements. 

      Research what’s trending in the fitness product world and build your brand based on items that customers need to succeed on their fitness journey. 

      8. Subscription Boxes

      Subscription boxes are fun and convenient because they deliver new products right to your door. A subscription box e-commerce business allows you to build loyal customers who can purchase your products regularly. 

      According to Statista, customers spend around $38.2 billion on e-commerce subscriptions. You can sell anything from snacks to beauty products and office supplies. Jot down some of your top ideas, then perform some market research to see who your competitors are and what they’re selling. 

      Don’t be afraid to niche down and cater to a particular audience. For example, Keto Krate is a monthly subscription box for people who have committed to a low-carb keto diet. Each month, customers get a variety of keto-friendly snacks from brands they love or are just getting introduced to. 

      It’s important to offer your customers flexible options when choosing their subscription box delivery date. Everyone might not want to get a box monthly, so offer other options like ‘every two months’ or ‘every three months’. 

      9. Refurbished Smart Home Products

      Smart home products are another increasingly popular product niche, with an estimated 87.7 million Americans having a smart speaker in their home. People love having personal assistants (Ex: Alexa by Amazon) to make their home life more convenient and stress-free. 

      Smart home products tend to be more expensive, however, making it harder for some families to obtain them. In addition, stocking an inventory of smart home products can be costly for small business owners. For this reason, buying and selling refurbished smart home products can be a more viable solution for small business owners. 

      10. Plants And Gardening Equipment

      The search phrase ‘buy plants online’ hit its highest peak back in April 2020 and is still a popular search today. Seasoned and beginner gardeners may choose to buy plants and seeds online if the e-commerce store is more convenient and offers plenty of variety. 

      You can sell things like succulents, herb plants, flowers, soil packs, and even gardening supplies. In addition, selling gardening supplies (Ex: pots, stands, and pruning shears) will help you diversify your sales. 

      In this category, as well, you can choose to purchase your products from wholesalers or use a dropshipping program. VIP Home and Garden is one of several garden-themed dropshipping companies. When you make a sale on your website, they handle your inventory and ship products directly to customers. 

      With drop shipping companies, it’s important to watch out for fees and to price your products accordingly to ensure you still earn a profit. Some drop shippers even reduce the fee per order as you start selling a higher volume of products.  

      11. Natural Cleaners And Toxic-Free Home Care Products

      Natural cleaners and toxic-free home products can be difficult to find in regular stores sometimes. If you’re interested in clean-ingredient cleaning products, this could be the perfect opportunity to start an e-commerce store.

      Haus Naturals is a successful e-commerce store that sells online cleaning products and has 380 verified customer reviews. A couple started the business after actively trying to eliminate toxic chemicals in their home. Currently, Haus Naturals sells only about five different cleaning products, but customers seem very happy with the quality of these products. 

      You can always try to start making your own cleaning products and test out how they work before packaging these items to sell online. Or, you can consider a private-label company that creates toxic-free cleaning and home care products that have ingredients you approve.

      12. Educational Materials And Courses

      In 2021, the online education market brought in $15 million in revenue and is projected to grow by 6.5% from 2021 to 2028. Selling online courses allows you to monetize your expertise in a particular area and even generate some passive income. 

      Are you good at photography or sewing? Or do you love graphic design? Some people may not feel qualified enough to teach an online course, but many of us possess valuable skills that are in demand, without even realizing it. 

      If you’re looking to create an online course, narrow down some of your skills and experience to determine what type of valuable content you could create.

      Another option is to sell educational materials. This includes study guides, workbooks, flashcards, and other supplies. If you’re really good at writing research papers, for example, you can create a guide to teach students your methods and improve their writing. 
      Platforms like Teachable, Udemy, and Skillshare make it easy to create and sell your educational content online.

      What Makes A Good E-commerce Business Idea?

      Starting and running an e-commerce business can be a lot of work, from finding the right website design to marketing to ensuring a solid customer experience. Unfortunately, none of that really matters without a good business idea that you can execute. 

      To help you narrow down your ideas to the best business idea, first think of what you would truly enjoy selling and take an interest in. If you’re not actually interested in the product or niche, you may not have the dedication or motivation to become an expert on your product and stay on top of industry trends.

      Next, consider what’s in demand—not just now—but over a period of time and into the future. For example, gardening became very popular during the peak of the global pandemic when most people were stuck at home and looking for a rewarding hobby. However, many people continue to garden today, proving this is more than just a fad. For this reason, an e-commerce store in this niche can likely count on long-term demand for gardening products and plants.

      Another thing you may want to be mindful of is how crowded your space is competitively and how that compares to your profit margin. You may have an interesting idea, but does it pan out on paper when you make a business plan?

      If you’re considering dropshipping or private label products, make sure you can set your prices at a reasonable amount and still earn a profit.

      Get Started And Focus On Growth

      E-commerce businesses generally have lower startup costs than other types of businesses. Once you have an idea and a financial plan, it’s important to take the first steps to launch your business so you don’t stay in the planning stage for too long. 

      When it comes to growing your small e-commerce business, check out these five revenue growth tips to start implementing for success.

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      About the author
      Choncé Maddox

      Choncé is a personal finance freelance writer who enjoys writing about credit, business loans, debt management, and helping people achieve financial wellness. Having a background in journalism, she decided to dive deep into the world of content writing in 2013 after noticing many publications transitioning to digital formats. Considering herself a long-time personal finance enthusiast, Chonce’s work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, Lending Tree, Fox Business, RateGenius, and more.

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