What to sell online: free e-commerce niches in 2019

Technically, creating an online business is easy. You can build a full-fledged online store within a day or two, or even in a few hours. But! The idea is important. You have to understand how it can be implemented and, ideally, how to occupy your own niche. Bilderlings gives several examples of creating a successful online business.

Her Majesty’s Fashion – and trillions of dollars

Niche fashion communities are something that can be built quickly, changed easily and sold well. In the virtual world, sales of fashion items grow every year, while in the real world stores are being closed. According to the agency WWD, in 2017 thousands of physical stores in the U.S. selling fashionable clothing and shoes were closed for a variety of reasons even more than during the 2008 financial crisis.

But when it comes to the virtual space, the picture is completely different. For example, according to shopify.com, e-commerce, when it comes to selling fashion items, is actively developing. The data collected in the “Fashion and apparel industry report” are as follows: from 2018 to 2022, the growth in online sales of fashionable clothes, shoes and accessories will amount to from 481.2 billion dollars up to 712.9 billion. And this is just in the United States. Likewise, the statista.com agency predicts that the global growth of online sales in the clothing market will amount to as much as 1.52 trillion dollars by as early as 2020.

In 2018, Gucci, Balenciaga, Givenchy and D&G were also among the top 5 best brands in the fashion e-commerce segment. At the same time, thousands and thousands of new brands emerge every year and strive to gain a foothold in their fashion niches.

Anything fashion-related can be the basis for creating a shop: from handmade woven bead brooches to luxurious costumes.

Tip: if you don’t plan to sell stock, think over your pricing strategy carefully. For example, frequent discounts can be detrimental to the brand, and, as a result, often have a negative impact on sales. According to Retail Week / Connect data, 11% of male consumers and 8% of female consumers doubt the quality of one or another brand if stores have discounts on their clothes too often.

Choosing the right niche and product prices is just one part of success. Other important things are a convenient website and reliable payment tools, high quality customer service, guarantees, cashback, the opportunity to return goods and many more.

Ideas for subscription trade

These days, subscription goods, as well as themed boxes are becoming increasingly popular. For example, in the UK, BEAUTYBOX is booming right now. It is a “goods of the month” set of changing beauty and body care products. These boxes might contain products for fitness and sport, items targeted “for children” and “for seniors”, “for Christmas” and “birthday”, boxes for fans of poker and music.

You subscribe for a particular group of products, like the aforementioned “beauty kits”, and companies deliver them. According to Forbes, 15% of online shoppers use a service like this, and over the past five years, the e-commerce market for subscription goods has grown by more than 100% per year and now amounts to almost 3 billion dollars. Almost 60% of subscribers are women. This is a  growth area worth learning about and taking on board!

Men, in their turn, according to Forbes’ data, make purchases in online stores to save time and money. Indeed, in the physical world, goods are usually more expensive, and it can be more difficult to find exactly what you need, especially when you have to do it fast. A typical subscription customer is a busy person with an above average income. It is worth mentioning also that, in most of Eastern Europe, this niche is far from saturated.

Tip: provide clients with appropriate subscription boxes, looking at their contents through the eyes of the buyer.

Kids – the “reason” for a good business

Parents will never deny themselves the pleasure of buying something really beautiful and necessary for a child (or even unnecessary, but just pretty). Online retail trade in goods for children is growing rapidly: from dozens of always-needed sundries to beautiful clothes, baby carriages and bicycles.    

Online sales of children’s goods are 20% higher compared to any other category. It is expected that child care products sales’ revenues on the global market will exceed $13 billion by 2021.

The largest brands in the Baby & Kids e-commerce segment are: SpearmintLOVE, TwirlyGirl, Scentos, Le Petit Kids and Redsbaby. Scentos, for example, holds the niche of flavored markers, crayons and gel pens, notebooks, stickers and related products presented on their colorful interactive website. There are thousands of products there, as well as videos about products and instructions for crafts, colouring tips and parental chat. Of note, this brand has become an Amazon partner.

Tip: remember that you sell products to be chosen by and for children, but it is their parents who pay for them. Make the website colorful, and its offers necessary enough that even the most rational hearts will melt.

I will spare no expense for my beloved cat!

Oddly enough, online shops with goods for pets are still quite an open niche. Although offline stores for our pets earn only a little less money than stores for children, with every year sales of “everything for pets” in the virtual space are growing. And this is reason enough to think it over.

For example, Pets.com started doing business during the dotcom boom in 1998 with the idea of selling pet care products via the internet, with home delivery. Many dotcoms went bankrupt, but Amazon and many other major marketplace products still sell pet products under this brand.

According to Statista, online sales of pet products around the world over the past year have increased by 3.4 billion dollars – to nearly 80 billion. According to a study by Pet Product News, it is expected that by 2030, people who sell “everything for animals” online will be bringing in 8.4 trillion dollars.

Tip: The main consumers of pet products online are Generation Y; Bilderlings previously wrote about them in its blog. They are independent and picky, for them all the details of a flawless transaction, from speed of payments, to prompt feedback are important. By the way, why not offer them a subscription box?

... I will eat everything and drink the rest

This segment of online sales is consistently at the top. Pizza and sushi, healthy food with “bio” and “eco” badges, food supplements, online wine boutiques and even fresh fruit and vegetables – all of these and a million more food and drink products are being sold in large quantities in virtual stores. But with all this, the niche of “Food & Beverages” is, oddly enough, never completely filled.

In this “edible field” various original ideas are being born. For example, a Polish company specializing in food delivery, Zielony Puzzle, offers customers the ability to choose their own diet to help them more easily stick to their eating regimen. And so many people are prepared to order Ripayon smoothie kits for the next two days, instead of making them themselves from fresh fruit and vegetables, with the addition of chia or flax seeds bought in a regular store.

Tip: if you decide to run an e-commerce business related to food and drink, keep in mind that there are a lot of nuances in this area. It is not only about the price/quality ratio, but also about the speed and convenience of courier delivery. Everything is fine when the client gets the burgers and wok noodles immediately and still warm, but not tomorrow and with yesterday’s taste. Customers even pay attention to eco-packaging, such as Lillybee Wrap, which is made from beeswax and safe for the environment.

So, if you decide to do something mentioned in the list above, don’t delay. The main thing is to study the virtual world first – and how much it can bring to the real one.

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