Ecommerce is proving to be the best channel for selling niche products. Ecommerce brands are able to reach their intended audience regardless of location, which is vital for narrower niches and special products.
Why niche products sell so well online?
Ecommerce gives forward-thinking merchants a bigger reach to compensate for a smaller target group, and endless opportunities to educate about a new product. You can easily reach good niche markets.
We work with many entrepreneurs who make or have designed/ invented their own improved version of a product to innovate traditional categories like sports gear, food, baby care, personal hygiene and many, many others.
They often sell exclusively online and we see how successful they are for two main reasons: good, original products and effective communication with the customer group. The key is building a community around people’s shared interests and how an unusual product fits in the puzzle.
Here, we give you awesome popular products to sell online that are welcomed by customers and change their traditional niches so you get inspired to start working on your idea or push harder and grow your brand if you already have one.
The following are niche products that have started a fad of their own and see awesome results in sales. If you have a similar idea, go ahead and launch!
The pandemic has forced people to start shopping for groceries online. Even old-fashioned skeptics appreciate the convenience and safety now. So any food, drink, baby, and household products are a safe bet for ecommerce. This is the future of grocery shopping.
Healthy meal deliveries are a growing niche too as people working from home – and most probably stuck with kids at home – are still short on time. Zielony Puzzle, for example, a Polish meal delivery, lets you choose your diet and menu preferences to stick to your eating regime.
Ripayon in France, on the other hand, makes ordering family meals easier than picking a few different dishes.
Lockdowns or not, most people abandoned the gym and the yoga studio, and now work out at home. Home training equipment like Peloton are seeing unprecedented boom. Yoga mats and dumbbells are flying off the shelves.
If you can offer online classes or workout programs, you’ll be golden. Video tutorials and individual training schedules are here to stay.
Have an idea? Here’s how to validate your niche.
Great Jones and Equal Parts are just the tip of the iceberg. As millennials, the driving force behind DTC brands, are settling down and building homes, demand for “cool” and modern cookware is up. They want to set up their homes true to their tastes, not just go out to legacy brands their grandmothers used to have.
What’s more, now, as people stay at home a lot more and in may places restaurants are off limits, cooking is seeing a spike. It’s not just the baking obsession that seems to be trending on Instagram – people are simply realizing they need some new pots and pans if they’re going to cook for the whole family through lockdowns, home schooling and home office.
A bonus to offer is recipes or cooking classes to help all those who are not skillful. This will help product use and adoption, possibly increasing customer retention long-term.
Like it or not, younger generations are much more eco-conscious than their parents so many product categories are rethinking packaging as one of the most harmful to the environment. Beauty products especially are facing increasing demand for less and less harmful packaging since their use cycle is quite short and bottles, jars and brushes soon end up in the landfill.
Related: Winning customer loyalty when selling beauty products online
Some alternatives to plastic that are becoming mainstream are: bamboo toothbrushes (compostable), glass skincare jars (recyclable), ocean debris soap containers (upcycled), textile makeup tissues (reusable) and bar shampoos (no packaging needed).
Refill cosmetic products are also becoming popular because they save on packaging – like by Humankind deodorant.
Even big companies like L’Oreal and Chanel are slowly moving towards sustainable packaging so soon it will be more the outside what matters than the inside.
Read more: Modern packaging as a marketing channel for beauty brands
Mass cosmetics are not created for the special needs of some users, they are for the lowest common denominator. So customers with skin conditions and harsh skin problems turn to niche beauty products for treatment and reassurance.
One brand that restores the confidence of people with vitiligo is Zanderm. Another is MiSMo Body Care that sells body and beauty products for people with highly sensitive skin including rosacea.
We see a rise in more conscious buying – buying for life. It’s the opposite of buying cheap and poorly made products, only to replace them with other cheap buys when they break or wear out.
A year of restrictions has just showed us that many products go out of fashion before we even get to use or wear them. So the trend is to buy high-quality, timeless, classic items that will look good years to come. Plus, as financials are challenging for many right now, low-quality stuff that will soon need a replacement sounds like a bad investment. There’s a huge subReddit where people recommend such products made to last.
If this fits your philosophy and you already have a durable product that you can vouch will last to be inherited by your customer’s grandchildren, stick the “buy it for life” and “built to last” labels on it and go ahead.
If not – maybe it’s time to reconsider what makes more money. Many entrepreneurs joining the movement will tell you that premium products with a compelling advantage and a good margin is a much better business than pushing low-quality, low-margin stuff with no story to back it up.
Shoe care is not just for sneakerheads any more. More and more people are realizing proper care can give their (hard-earned-and-paid-for) shoes a longer life. Trends like minimalism and quality over quantity also help promote having fewer but better things so shoes obviously need to get some maintenance to last longer.
Most shoe care products come under dedicated niche brands like pioneers Jason Markk and artisan-approved Monsieur Chaussure.
While shoe brands can add care kits to their product range, it’s not the same as having a stand-alone brand, exhibiting real expertise and focus. Inbound marketing based on valuable content works great for such ecommerce stores and customer retention should be easy to stimulate.
Read more: Customer retention & DTC brand report
With legislation of CBD in many countries, the use of CBD oil products is growing. Studies suggest CBD has positive effects on many health conditions and we expect it to become mainstream health product just like any supplements soon.
Guide: Marketing and advertising of CBD products
Cannanine is one brand that offers CBD oils for dogs in case of epilepsy, joint pain, tumors, anxiety, and more. It’s important to note their oils are completely THC-free, meaning without the psychotropic and addictive effect of marijuana.
So even if you are far away from wine making, an online wine shop is still s good business idea. You can sell local wines from your area or import from another country. Subscriptions can work great here, too.
Related: How to reap the benefits of a subscription without offering one
The more time kids are stuck at home, the more help parents need to keep them entertained. Toys, games and educational activities are in high demand to fill in for school, daycare and play dates.
Kiwico, for example, offers monthly science kits and STEM toy subscriptions. In The Book makes reading even better with personalized books and stories for every kid.
If you have a solo hobby that can be practiced at home, now is your time to share it with the world and start a successful business around it! Knitting, embroidery, sewing, paper cutting, calligraphy, and the like are hot right now because many people are bored by inactivity. Puzzles, 3D models, painting kits also see a lot of attention as entertainment is quite limited.
DIY is another area of raising popularity (if that’s even possible :)). Home decor and making things by hand (like hand-knitting giant throw blankets) are huge because people want to add pleasant elements to the homes they now spend so much time in. Any supplies, kits, instructions and tutorials can make you sales.
Mindfulness, mental health ans self-care are a top priority now that many aspects of life have slowed down or paused.
Old-school products that bring back focus and connection to self – notebooks for handwriting aspirations, ideas, and plans. It sounds cheesy but journaling is making a comeback as all gurus tell their followers to write down for 10 minutes each day and chronicle their path to success.
You can either create your own planner designs and run a brand or import some ready-made notebooks. When deciding, think about the language your customers speak (English may not be best for everybody) and check for silly spelling mistakes if you’re buying a ready product.
As Millennial women are at their peak now, they’re changing feminine care, too. They’re more environmentally conscious than their mothers and care about the amount of waste their monthly periods produce.
This has led to many innovations in period hygiene products such as reusable menstrual cups, washable period panties, and biodegradable panty liners. It’s a great time if you have such an idea, too. Anything that makes women’s lives easier during that time of the month and takes the discomfort off their heads is going to be appreciated, really. Don’t forget to mention the convenience of not having to go out and buy supplies in case of quarantine.
The home suddenly need to be more comfortable and better organized to accommodate not just relaxing, but working and studying as well. People need more space, new arrangements and a quiet nook for each member of the family to get things done.
So if you’re in the home goods space, anything that makes a home more pleasant to spend who-knows-how-much-time in is a trendy product. Textiles are an easy add if you don’t carry them because they create a homely feel and are comparably cheap for customers to splash on.
Another category to explore is home office – it’s not going away as many companies plan on working remotely throughout 2021. From desks and chairs, to lamps and stationary, it’s a great opportunity for the ecommerce entrepreneur.
As the impacts of the textile industry become clear, more and more people start looking for natural and eco-friendly fibers. No real fur, no polyester. Allbirds, Rothy’s and many more are leading the change by producing shoes out of recycled plastic.
Brands are also expected to adhere to ethical manufacturing too – Boden has built their entire fan base around that, for example.
Just like human food, pet food is getting a makeover. More and more pet owners are concerned with the quality of traditional kibble so they turn to companies that use human-grade ingredients and good production practices to make nutritious dog and cat food like Pure Pet Food, for example. This brand goes even further and freeze-dries its food to keep longer without preservatives and make the raw meal closer in texture to the convenient kibble.
Raw and no-grain diets are also on the rise so if you’re in that niche, add some variety to the core meat-rich range.
The need for some extra space and a safe hobby that still grants time outside shot gardening and yard’s popularity through the roof. The lucky ones to have some outdoors space on their property are making full use of it.
Barbecues, inflatable pools, trampolines are huge. Gardening items, seeds and all are making a comeback making our grandmas proud. Outdoor heating appliances and winter garden materials are popular in Northern parts of the world to extend the use of the backyard into the cold months.
Related: The new consumer trends staying beyond the coronavirus pandemic
You see the habits and needs are changing, lots of innovative products find their loyal customers and your wild idea might not be that wild after all! We encourage you to launch that original product of yours if you think it will make people’s lives easier and better – so many entrepreneurs are already doing it in disrupting the sleep of big corporations.
Metrilo’s mission is to help you build your ecommerce brand and win your place in the customer’s heart. We share what we learn from our daily work with product innovators and founders here. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the freshest lessons and conquer your niche.
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