Ecommerce is proving to be the best channel for selling niche products.
There are so many hip products now nobody had heard of before and they’re an awesome way to start eCommerce business with differentiation in mind.
Many of the eCommerce entrepreneurs who work with us sell such niche products online and we see how successful they are.
Psst. Check our quick Valentine’s day marketing strategy for 2017. It’s a must read!
Why niche products sell so well online in 2016?
Ecommerce gives forward-thinking merchants a bigger reach to compensate for a smaller target group, and endless opportunities to educate about a new product.
Actually, it might be even easier to cater to a more specific target customer group online – you have better targeting tools and traffic efforts can be really well-focused. Otherwise, physical locations rely on foot traffic and location definitely shrinks reach.
The key is building a community around people’s shared interest in an unordinary product. It’s better if you, as a seller, are interested in the specific product or have expert knowledge of it. This would make it easier for you to create a following.
Examples of niche products seeing great sales this year
The following are the 16 niche products that have started fad of their own and see awesome results in sales.
1. Healthy food and drinks on the go
You won’t believe how many people are ready to order a selection of smoothies for the next 2-3 days instead of making them. That’s proof people will pay for convenience.
Especially with all things healthy on the rise, any product that saves them time and helps them eat well on a busy schedule should be successful – given that quality and freshness are really as promised.
2. Detox tea
These are the rage – in some offices, if you don’t drink them, you’re an outsider. Sellers score repeat purchases by offering subscriptions for a monthly supply. The fad is huge on Instagram because chic thermo bottles and cool tea strainers are offered to complete the branded experience.
It’s green tea powder, which is more concentrated and gives you all the good things that are in the leaves. The health trend catapulted this particular kind of tea to celebrity status. Overall, the tea and tea related products niche is huge and surely interesting offerings are still to come.
4. Beard oil
Who knew men were so into pampering? The rise of the lumberjack certainly helped the never-seen-before cosmetic products and accessories especially for beards to come to being and find a place on the bathroom shelf of so many men.
The niche even splits for narrower target groups: there are brands for the trendy professional who is overlooked by other brands targeting hipsters. Niche product to the core, and yet – the customer base is big and growing since facial hair is not a taboo in the office any more.
5. Coconut oil based products
Pinterest claims it’s healthy and miraculous both when eaten and when used in cosmetics. Products that include its range from smoothies and raw desserts to homemade hair conditioners and lip balms. The interest in the raw substance is so huge, we wonder if there are enough coconut trees out there to supply it.
6. Coffee scrubs
Used as an exfoliant for face and body, that’s another example of eCommerce catering to the healthy trend.
Plus this one sells waste – leftover coffee grounds – which is in line with the “no waste” and “reuse” philosophies that are gaining momentum. When you think about it, it’s an awesome way to earn a little bit extra from your coffee shop leftovers.
7. Specialty coffee
Talking about coffee, it’s another product niche that’s changing. People care more and more about the quality of their morning brew.
With organic, fair trade or just fresh selection, local roasting companies are overtaking the market. Fast delivery and monthly supply bundles help them stay competitive to store-bought mass coffee.
8. Craft drinks
That product niche is a great example how eCommerce can respond to the growing demand for craft, non-mainstream products.
Connoisseurs of cider, whiskey, beer, wine and others rely on small online shops to supply them with their favorites that are hard to find in traditional shops.
The beauty of those niche online shops is that they carry a large variety and often connect customers with small, artisanal and local producers.
9. Chalk paint
Maybe it’s Pinterest’s influence or people are just tired of telling their kids to stop drawing on the walls, but it seems like every house features at least one chalk-painted wall.
Hard-core DIY-ers make their own and yet, there are enthusiasts who prefer buying the ready toned paint. With the upheaval DIY home improvement is seeing and the breeze shoppable pins are, no wonder this niche product is doing great.
10. Sustainable and ethical clothing
As environmentally-friendly lifestyle is spreading among the wealthier, the clothing industry is shifting to more sustainable manufacturing and attention to materials. Brands focus on very narrow customer segments like environmentally conscious surfers or highly sensitive to synthetic fabrics mothers-to-be.
11. Wood glasses
Yes, it sounds rough and bulky, but they are not. Technology has allowed eyewear to be shaped and polished beautifully out of wood and complete with any kind of lenses people need.
The trend started with artisans crafting them themselves and now you can dropship from China. Price varies, but it’s affordable generally, which helps the fad spread.
Who likes them, you ask. In fact, modern young people arekind of fed up with plastic and wood adds a crafty whimsical touch to their look.
12. Subscription boxes
This niche within eCommerce has its niches too! Since it makes economic sense to apply the model to products people buy regularly, shopping for staples will never be the same.
Artisan/ local food and drinks; cookies; natural food; recipes plus ingredients; ready cooked meals on a nutrition plan
….the options are endless.
13. Pet food + accessories
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense – instead of putting dog food on your grocery list every two weeks, you can save the effort subscribing for a box.
Not kidding. Ingenious entrepreneurs figured out that we buy socks fairly regularly and in bulk, but don’t want to spend time on it – their product takes the task off the plate.
Another example of eCommerce taking convenience to a whole new level. How niche is it? Do you own a pair of mustard-colored socks? Exactly.
15. Vapors (electronic cigarettes) and accessories
With the ban on smoking in public spaces spreading worldwide, people turn to the legal alternative. The variety of flavors has its appeal and the niche seems to be thriving.
Maybe reports of heavy smokers who managed to decrease toxic intake thanks to the vapes help. Or maybe it’s the convenience of a quick draw without having to go outside and smoke the whole thing.
16. Fandom items (mugs, T-shirts, etc.)
Fan wearables are always cool. Some communities (DIY moms, vegans, dog lovers, Game of Thrones fans, you get it) are so strong and so well-established niche markets that whole businesses can be built around them.
If you know the typical member of such group or you belong to one, it’d be way easier to enter the niche and reach those people without seeming like an imposter.
Are you switching to niche products to sell online?
Of course, we’re not saying you should drop what you’re doing and start selling products from the above-mentioned. These are just to keep you informed what’s trending in the industry.
If you’re happy with your current range, you can keep an eye on individual product performance and just update where needed.
As we said in the beginning, entering such a niche would be easier if you are an enthusiast and/or expert on the product. Or eager to learn because you’ll have to make happy people with very special preferences who know a lot about the product.
What’s your niche that we missed? We always appreciate examples of eCommerce innovation. As for other eCommerce trends to expect in 2016, check out our article on hot UX, strategy, design, and customer service this year.
If you need more inspiration what to do with the products you already are selling, you might find it in our idea guide to content.