What to Sell Online: Find Top Trending Products for Your Niche
You’re ready to build your online store—but what will you sell?
The products you choose will be the core of your business. They’ll shape your brand’s look, sales and even your marketing plan. Whether you have an idea or you’re starting from scratch, read this guide to pick the right products for your online store.
Here are 5 steps to help you decide what to sell online:
Start with Your Audience
Discover Trending Products
Fill a Need in the Market
Factor in Your Profit
Niche Products to Sell in 2020
01. Start with Your Audience
If you take away one thing from this guide, let it be this: listen to your customers.
Step into the shoes of your target market. Based on their gender, age and interests, understand what motivates them to buy.
Think like your customers:
What are their pain points?
What are their interests?
Do they prefer desktop or mobile?
What social networks do they use?
Take a look at the top online magazines for your target audience. What topics are covered? Learn from data-driven sites like New York Magazine’s The Strategist. Your customers’ wants are built into their product roundups. Check out which items are featured to find the best products to sell online.
Learn more about your niche market:
02. Discover Trending Products
Now that you’re thinking like your customers, it’s time to find trending products with sales potential. The key: get in early. Do your research to get ahead of upcoming trends. Choose a product that will stand out and stay profitable, especially with viral trends.
Pay attention to fresh trends featured in your industry’s top online magazines. Because these sites publish in real-time, you have a good chance of discovering products as soon as they start trending.
You can also learn about trends as they form. Scan trending topics on social media and check Google Trends to see what people are talking about and searching. Keep in mind, buying behavior varies depending on region. To get the right data, filter Google Trends by location.
Explore large eCommerce sites like Amazon and eBay for valuable insights. Look at their best selling products lists and promoted products. In addition, use tools like Algopix to analyze market demand for niche products. This research will help you find trends that will also make a profit online.
03. Fill a Need in the Market
The best products directly answer a consumer need. Niche products appeal to enthusiasts, like bandages for avid gamers or chlorine-proof hair dye for swimmers.
Enthusiasts are a smaller demographic with unique benefits. Through targeted research, you can better understand your customers’ pain points. These specific insights will help you build a niche product that directly answers a specific audience’s needs. This data can help you shape your marketing (think mailing lists, Facebook Ads and Google SEO).
In theory, a larger audience means more sales. However, niche products have shown that specific markets can pay off.
Choosing a niche product
Check online reviews of competitors’ niche products to see what people are missing. YouTube reviews are especially helpful because they tend to go into more detail. Read through the comments for even more perspective on the product.
Look out for these points in reviews:
Who does the product appeal to?
What do customers like?
What aspects need fixing?
Is there an accessory that would make the product better?
Build on the competitions’ strengths and brainstorm improvements. Ideally, you’ll identify with your niche market. If you’ve been passionate about soccer for years, now’s your chance to sell unique cleats. Excitement and expertise will help you navigate the industry and product you choose.
For more innovation inspiration, scan the Kickstarter most popular lists. Train yourself to notice the problem that each product solves. Take this workstation backpack, for example: it’s a clear solution for people who work on the go. See if you can solve related issues with your own product.
04. Factor in Your Profit
At the end of the day, you want to choose products that generate sales. Here are some practical questions to consider:
Should you create your own product?
Are handmade products, like soaps or necklaces, right for your online store? On one hand, you’ll have control over the quality. On the other hand, crafting your own products requires time and effort. Consider how much inventory you’ll need to produce and how much you’ll be able to sell.
Should you choose a product to manufacture?
If you’re using an outside manufacturer, make sure you’re getting a return on your investment, or ROI. Estimate your profit margins using sites like JungleScout and Omni Calculator. Once you find a product worth selling, set aside two to three months for manufacturing.
What will ship best?
Unlike a brick and mortar store, selling online involves shipping products to your customers. With shipments across states and internationally, this can get complicated. Choose product materials with packaging and shipping in mind.
Types of materials that ship well:
Contain few moving parts
Work without magnets or batteries
05. Niche Products to Sell in 2020
Want to sell in a niche product category? Look into manufacturing your own trending products, or use dropshipping to avoid fulfillment costs and risks.
Learn more about dropshipping in our guide: How to Start Your Dropshipping Business.
Here are 9 ideas for niche products to sell in 2020:
Reusable Home Items
As plastic waste increases, consumers are changing their purchase habits. Join the sustainable product wave and earn more than good karma—66% of shoppers spend more on mission-driven brands. Sell reusable versions of everyday products, like water bottles, soap dispensers and straws.
Mobile tech accessories are among the best-selling products online. Whether it’s because we lose them all the time or want a change of scenery, tech accessories are in constant demand. Sell practical accessories like chargers or lightning jacks, fashion tech like phone cases, or music tech like Bluetooth headphones.
The luxury activewear market is predicted to reach $83B in revenue by 2020. Stock your online store with high-quality, beautiful athleisure and exercise equipment. Sell clothing customers will want to wear from their body-sculpting sesh to brunch.
Thrift Store Clothing
Vintage fashion is on the rise. Give shoppers a more organized experience with filters and categories, compared to in-person thrifting. You can source clothing from your own closet or from secondhand stores in your area.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
It turns out that digital screens emit blue light, which can negatively impact vision and sleep. With increasing screen time, many are searching for blue-light blocking lenses. Sell the lenses in trendy frames to make everything easier on the eyes.
Sports fans love supporting their teams, and students love representing their universities. Sell hats, jerseys, tumblers and more with team insignia and colors. Focus on one target market, like Florida sports teams or college football teams.
Kids’ Gear and Toys
From babies to school-aged, children require a lot of niche products. Parents are always on the lookout for useful products like baby carriers and onesies. You can also sell gifts for kids, like toys or clever bibs.
Pet parents are no less enthusiastic than those with kids. Pets also need plenty of maintenance. Sell products for pets like beds, dog jackets or treats. Alternatively, sell products for pet owners like themed jewelry or apparel.
Next Step: Create Your Online Store
Whatever you decide to sell, make sure it’s backed by thorough market research. Once you’ve decided what to sell online, you're ready to start building your online store.