Your dream of sitting on the beach and running a profitable online business starts with a viable ecommerce business idea.
Now, I’m talking about starting a legit ecommerce business. Not a churn and burn ecommerce business model.
There’s no real one best idea – each person has different interests, strengths and skills.
The key is to find the business idea that works best for YOU. Do you want me to help you with this?
The first step is to research business ideas, learn the business models and decide what niche to attach. You DON’T need a specific product to start an ecommerce business. But you do need to validate your business plan and monetization strategy. You can always dial in specific products later down the road.
You can make money selling products online with drop shipping, affiliate marketing, or private label.
With a million products to sell on Amazon, there are too many small ecommerce business ideas out there. We conducted our own analysis, and analyzed many niches to narrow down to the hundreds of ideas on this site.
For this post, we are highlighting the best business ideas but you can reference the articles below for more ideas to start selling:
- 99 Best Online Business Ideas for Beginners
- 29 Private Label Product Ideas
- 14 Print On Demand Ideas
- 7 Digital Product Ideas
- 21 Trending And Evergreen Niche Product Ideas
- 100+ Things To Make And Sell
If you are looking towards specific product ideas, be it digital, consumables, or crafts, we have other updated articles on those as well as free courses. If you are just looking for some inspiration, check out this article where we shared a list of top eCommerce business examples.
These products also work for brick and mortar businesses, if that’s what you are into, or you want to combine your ecommerce store with a brick and mortar store. We have tested these selling products for their niche market and profitable business model.
Idea #1: Monetized Niche Amazon Affiliate Site Selling Private Label Products
Don’t get stuck on the actual products, instead, capitalize on a niche market and grow your popularity and customer trust.
Combining physical products with affiliate marketing is my #1 ecommerce business idea.
To run an affiliate store, you need to be interested in the ecommerce niche you choose and have enough knowledge to guide people who visit your site.
If you can’t give them a sufficient guide, they’ll bounce. If you aren’t passionate, you may give up before actual income comes in.
It’s easier to build affiliate marketing income if you already have a website with some traction. If you don’t have one already, building it takes time.
Popular Product Amazon Niches With Low SEO Competition Are Perfect For This Idea
Get a feel of the market and see what your target market is willing to buy. You can choose popular software, apparel, or consumable goods. To start, get registered as an affiliate on Amazon, or on a manufacturer’s website.
After a while, you can use your affiliate store to catapult your brand. This is where you bring in your private label product. That is, something relevant to the niche of your affiliate store.
Both models together are a strong startup idea that can catapult your brand.
Dr. Axe is one example of a health niche site double dipping with affiliate marketing and branded products.
Business Idea #2: Private Label Natural Skincare Products For Women
This is a great blog niche. Organic skincare is on the rise.
People are moving away from chemical-filled skincare products as they become more aware of how some chemicals affect the skin and the environment. Their preferred option is natural products.
This is a top ecommerce niche; the margins are great and stats look good. The organic skincare products market is expected to ring in at $22 billion by 2024. The year on year growth rate is a 10%. This shows steady growth.
Trending products in this market include facial oil, body scrub, mineral sunscreen, and facial cleanser. The good thing is, you can sell any of them for the long term.
Unless you have the time, knowledge, and resources, the most logical way to ensure your products are truly organic is private label. Regardless of the products you choose there are private label manufacturers that can make them for you.
Radical Cosmetics is one. You can also use Alibaba and manufacturer directories to get more. While you are at it, you’ll see other ecommerce business ideas you can try.
Women love beauty products and natural ones are even better, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll easily sell immediately you drop down into the ecommerce world.
Choose a unique selling proposition that speaks directly to your market segment.
There are businesses already doing the same thing you’re about to do, nothing is new.
Idea #3: Sell Handmade Treats To Pet Owners
There is an increase in pet ownership. Cats are not only owned by old weird ladies, nor dogs owned by a family of four.
One thing that increased with all of that is the tendency to treat pets as members of the family. Good news for us though because pet owners are spending more and more on homemade pet food products.
If you already make treats for your pets or have some healthy recipes, make them and sell online.
The market grows at a steady rate, and there are opportunities to launch a boutique store and maximize customer lifetime value. You can offer subscription boxes for treat supplies, cross-sell with white label pet food or kennels.
Idea #4: Wholesale Baby Toiletries For Eco-Friendly Parents
By 2020, there will be 80 million babies in the US, accounting for 24% of our entire population.
As long as the earth is fine, this growth is good for ecommerce entrepreneurs.
Today, about 20% of baby products sales take place online—more than any other consumer packaged goods category – Scott Siders, Researcher and Writer at BigCommerce.
Kids influence up to $500 billion in household spending in the US every year. One big part of that is toiletries.
Disposable diapers end up in landfills where they stay for about 500 years emitting methane. They don’t degrade well and are not as cost effective as their more eco-friendly alternatives – cloth diapers or hybrid diapers.
With the rise in everything eco-friendly, biodegradable diapers and wipes are types of products you should use to start a business.
Eco-friendly diapers have become a point of passion for many parents; they save money and save the environment while at it.
You can buy high quality biodegradable products in bulk and either sell online to retailers or consumers. There are many upsell, cross-sell opportunities, subscription service, and chances to expand your shop products as you go.
Idea #5. Print On Demand Lifestyle Apparel
T-shirts are easily the first clothing item you’ll think of for print on demand. No wonder plain t-shirts are harder to see these days with the variety of design-printed shirts everywhere.
Since the t-shirt market is saturated, you’ll have more chances of selling when you have a niche target market.
Lifestyle products make up one of the top ecommerce niches. With print on demand lifestyle apparel, you can easily piggyback on a community or trend that already exists. We have:
These are broad category niches that you can look into for a micro niche. Say, designs for nurses who CrossFit, highly detailed city maps on shirts, or look into the dog or cat community for inspiration.
“A micro niche makes this [standing out in a crowd] possible and leads to an increase in business growth”…Jackie Nagel, President of synnovatia
There are many other categories and products that you work your ecommerce idea around. As long as there is a passionate audience, you are set for the road.
Idea #6: Dropship HIIT Equipment And Sell Training Programs To Beginners
The fitness niche is one of the top ecommerce niches. It is evergreen, stable and profitable for the most savvy ecommerce entrepreneurs. HIIT workouts keep rising in popularity; you’ll hit a home run with this niche if you choose to start an online business selling HIIT equipment.
You can dropship armbands, jump ropes, medicine balls, and other smaller items with less shipping cost. This is a great idea for a small business startup.
This ecommerce idea has been trending upwards for a while now. Start your online marketing first by analyzing the competitive space.
Workout equipment (generally) is a competitive keyword but ranking for HIIT equipment is not as competitive. You have high demand, ad success potential with video marketing, and a lot of cross-sell opportunities.
Better still, add training programs for beginners to this startup idea, be it videos, lists, or both. They also do well as lead magnets. Work all of that with excellent customer service and good marketing.
Idea #7: Launch a Beauty Subscription Box For Men
There’s a lot of hype around subscription and subscription boxes. This shows in the industry’s growth which is about 200% since 2011.
I won’t deny that business-to-customer subscription services are sprouting up everywhere. Nevertheless, there’s growth potential for new entrants.
You just have to find either trending products, hard-to-find personalized products, or products people regularly need that you can group in a niche market.
Choose a targeted audience; in this case, men are a good option. There are e-commerce subscriptions for women everywhere already.
Beauty product for men is not only the one-in-four shower gel. Considering that we often shave or groom beards, certain products are necessary. You can get products like post shave balm, beard oil, acne wash, face wash, facial moisturizer, and cologne.
One good thing about subscriptions is recurring monthly income, which contributes to customer lifetime value.
Idea #8: Rent High-End Fashion To Budget Minded Fashionistas
Give people the chance to rent high-end fashion from brands like Kate Space and Nicole Miller at a retail price.
My wife is loving Rent the Runway, and there are others who love apparel from the runway and the collection of high-end brands.
The idea of renting out dresses online may seem odd at first, but the success of rental platforms like Rent the Runway and Le Tote have proven the potential of this ecommerce business idea. They are hot topics in the fashion industry.
There are many online marketing opportunities in this niche. Social media marketing is effective. You can also add a subscription service, say $100 a month for a certain number of dresses and accessories. Also, you can cross-rent with a ‘complete the look’ section for accessories on your online store.
As much as this great idea is profitable, it’s also very demanding to run. Preparing your strategy and organizing a good business plan will help you. Also make sure you know your break-even point.
Idea #9: Deliver Organic Food On Demand To Clean-Eating Enthusiasts
The US online grocery sales have brought in about $17.5 billion this year. By 2021, that amount is expected to rise to nearly $30 billion. That’s a lot of money. And still, online grocery in the US is not even as good as that in the UK.
This is a great idea for anyone interested in selling food and beverage.
The market is wide, so specializing in an organic grocery store is one profitable way to niche and cash in on this market in the long term.
The profit potential is good; you can get about 20 – 40% from sales if you build alliances with people who grow organic food.
Another place to get supplies would be your local grocery stores, but that might not be as profitable. When that step is ticked, you can go marketing aggressively. Let people know what you deliver.
To increase customer lifetime value, you can add monthly subscriptions as part of your package.
If you choose this idea, you should know that you’re limited to locations that you can sell to. You can’t deliver much farther than your state or country, unlike a clothing store for example.
Idea #10: Create Online Courses For Computer-Savvy Students
Do you have an expert or enough knowledge about a subject, industry, or a new way to do/achieve certain things? Then make a course around it.
With expected sales at $286.62 billion in 2023, a whopping 80% growth from the figure recorded in 2017, this is a good product to build an online business on.
Although, there many online courses, the market cannot be saturated. Even if a platform like Udemy, or other online stores have millions of courses, there will still be unmet needs.
People would buy as long as it’s relevant and they know it exists.
However, you have more chances of selling if you’re known as an expert of some sorts. You can prove that through social media or showing up on search engine results – your website and interviews elsewhere.
Digital products are a good source of passive income. If you don’t fancy online courses, see these 7 other digital product ideas.
Idea #11: White Label Prepackaged Gluten-Free Food
Gluten-free food is not new, but there’s an increased growing craze for it. The celebrities talking about it are increasing interest as well.
Gluten-free enthusiasts are hardcore about their diet and are careful to buy only food and snacks that carry the “gluten-free” tag on it. Since a lot of prepackaged food and snack contain gluten, you have a good chance. Sell to one customer and your name gets out there fast.
The easiest way to sell gluten-free food is white label. You could make them, but that requires more funds and personnel.
Idea 12: Dropship Handmade Jewelry To Women
You have more chances of differentiating as a dropshipper when you sell unique products.
Unique = handmade, custom, antique.
Also, the price of handmade jewelry is hard to guess easily so you can set a reasonable price and have a good margin. Selling on your online store also puts you in more control than marketplaces.
Concerning supplies, you have better chances when you don’t use AliExpress. Many sellers are already dropshipping the tons of jewelry on AliExpress; competition is fierce.
Go directly to the craft maker’s website and ask if you can retail the product. While this isn’t entirely necessary, if they know that you are dropshipping, you could get a discount especially if you are bringing in many sales.
Handmade jewelry is not the only craft you can dropship, make, or wholesale. Check out these selling 100+ handmade product ideas that we’ve brought together in this article. They have good enough search volume and a stable trend.
Idea 13: Private Label Bamboo Toothbrushes
If you are still unsure of the products to sell, bamboo toothbrushes are a good choice for a small business.
The interest in all things eco-friendly and minimalism turned bamboo toothbrushes into a trendy product. These ecommerce lifestyle niches are on the rise and you should always be on the lookout for these types of trends.
The only way you can be sure that you differentiate and your products are unique and genuinely eco-friendly is private label.
There’s one mistake some sellers of this product make, and that is plastic packaging. That misses the whole point of sustainability, and you can leverage on that. Some manufacturers deliver in sustainable packages, but the market hasn’t reached the apex yet, so there’s much space for you to cash in.
After a while, you can add other niche products like toothpaste, storage containers, and dental floss. You can white label those.
Do your market research to find any other product you want to cross-sell in your online store. Look out for low competition, high volume, stable trend, and good future projections. Google trends, search, Ahrefs, and Junglescount are relevant to that.
Idea 14: Dropship High-Ticket Items
There is a lot of interest in drones and more units will take off in the coming years. The whole industry is expected to be worth $127 billion by 2020.
There are different level of users and different types of drones. For an ecommerce business idea, camera drones are products you can scale with.
People use camera drones in agriculture and wedding. They also use them to record aerial shots of cities. Target your customers on social media with high quality videos and images that represent your brand. You can go with serious, funky, or fun.
Idea 15: Private Label Men’s Bags
The female bag niche is saturated. It’s possible to sell, but a better opportunity is in the men’s bag niche.
This is a viable niche because you have a diverse selection and styles of bags you could bring into the market.
When you start, choose an audience. You have students, employees, and retirees to target. This will help you in choosing exact products to fill your online store. You could start with laptop bags and add in regular backpacks.
There are backpacks and other styles of men’s bags already on the market. You don’t want to look like every other store. Think. Things like anti-theft or charging ports that are on flowing in. Or go lower with tech by choosing a shoe compartment.
As you grow, you can add in other styles of bags like drawstrings, purses and sling bags.
Market on social media and use blogger and influencer marketing.
Not Enough Ecommerce Business Ideas?
You’re not limited to these ecommerce business ideas. We also have tons of other selling ideas. If you go through all them as well, you’ll have more than 100 validated business ideas that you can use to kickstart a profitable ecommerce brand:
- 29 Private Label Product Ideas
- 125 Print On Demand Ideas
- Digital Product Ideas
- 21 Trending And Evergreen Niche Product Ideas
If you see an ecommerce niche idea that you are passionate about that’s not on our list, do your market research and be sure that there is growth potential.
- 21 Product Research Tips To Uncover Legit Ecommerce Market Opportunities
- What Shopify Pricing Plans Will Really Cost You
- How to Sell Your Ecommerce Website for the Best Value
- 90+ Must-Know Blogging Statistics for Better Blog Decisions
- How to Sell A Shopify Store and Turn a Profit for Your Business
The best ecommerce niches have:
- market & sales growth
- growth on Google trends
- strong Amazon sales
- bloggers and influencers
- a clear niche type
- an identifiable niche audience on Facebook
Another thing that is important for any product you sell online is your marketing. People are not going to whip out their credit card if you have a generic brand.
You can start online marketing before you make or get products from your suppliers. As you deliver, focus on product quality and customer service. If you give out crappy products or talk rudely, your customers will bounce.
You’d be surprised how many new brands don’t respond to customers online.
If you have any questions, send them in and I’ll answer as soon as possible. If you want more guidance, consider my course, Ecommerce Business Blueprint.