The rise of ecommerce and online payment processing has made the dream of entrepreneurship more achievable than ever. While there are many benefits of being your own boss, one of the greatest hurdles of starting a business is figuring out what to sell. Additionally, all businesses must continually produce fresh ideas to stay relevant and make a profit.
However, there are still plenty of promising opportunities for those willing to put in the work.
If you are a novice entrepreneur seeking a successful concept or an experienced vendor looking to extend your product line, this article will give you a fresh look into the products you should consider selling in 2023.
Top 14 Product Ideas You Can Sell Online
In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, relying on both data-driven insights and intuition is the key to making informed decisions about what products to sell.
Let us take a closer look at the top product trends dominating the market in 2023.
Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, are aircraft that are controlled remotely or operate autonomously. The drone market has been growing rapidly due to increased demand, advancements in technology, and expanding use cases.
The market for drones spans various industries, including commercial and consumer applications. Commercial industries use drones for aerial photography and videography, surveying and mapping, and package delivery.
The global drone market was worth $29.86 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.6% from 2023 to 2030.
2. Air Purifiers
Experts predict the air purifier market will grow at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2022 to 2030, with a current market size of $9.24 billion. There are sound reasons behind consumer demand for air purifiers.
In the post-pandemic world, there is heightened awareness of the dangers of airborne infections spreading in poorly ventilated spaces. Additionally, people are becoming increasingly worried about the health hazards of pollution in urban areas and wish to protect themselves and their families.
More disposable income and higher living standards, along with growing health consciousness, translate to consumers being ever more willing to invest in air purifiers to support a healthy environment in their homes and workplaces.
3. Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes are a form of service that offers a recurring delivery of niche items. These boxes often have unique features such as the curation of products by customers, surprise items, and visually appealing packaging.
Between 2012 and 2020, subscription-based businesses experienced growth that was nearly six times faster than companies listed on the S&P 500 Index. Subsequently, subscription boxes have become increasingly popular across various industries, including food and beverages, personal care, health and fitness, childcare, clothing, books, and pet care.
Note: Read our article on how to create a subscription business model that brings recurring revenue, loyal customers, and more.
4. Outdoor and Camping Gear
The camping equipment market has grown remarkably in recent years with a projected CAGR of 7.7% from 2022 to 2030. This expansion trails the increasing popularity of camping and hiking among Americans. Research has shown that roughly 20% of Americans participated in camping activities in 2022, with over eight million doing it for the first time.
If you are looking to capitalize on this trend, offer a comprehensive selection of camping gear in a variety of sizes and styles, both for beginners and pros. That way you attract a wider customer base and set up your brand as the go-to destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
5. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Products
As consumers become more conscious of our collective impact on the environment, the trend of sustainability in products is rapidly growing. In a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 67% of consumers said they consider sustainability an important factor when making purchasing decisions.
Nowadays, almost any product has its “green” alternative. The desire for sustainability means that it is now possible to find smartphones, cosmetics, food and drink, clothing, toys, even pet products and fitness gear that boast eco-friendly credentials.
A concept that is growing in popularity is enabling customers to buy the packaging once, which they can later refill with just the product (e.g., cosmetics, household cleaning products, etc.). This not only reduces waste but is a surefire way of ensuring you have a wide recurring customer base.
Focus on high-quality, natural materials, and highlight the environmental benefits of your products. Additionally, be transparent about your sourcing and production practices to build trust with your customers.
6. Home Workout Equipment
An increasing amount of people are opting for at-home workouts as they are more convenient and cheaper. Researchers expect the market to expand at a CAGR of 4.6% between 2021 and 2028, increasing from $10.73 billion in 2021 to $14.74 billion in 2028.
Subsequently, selling home workout equipment has become a very lucrative business. Ecommerce stores tap into this trend by selling items such as yoga mats, dumbbells, resistance bands, exercise balls, and more. Likewise, they further differentiate themselves by catering to specific needs such as injury rehabilitation or prenatal exercises.
7. Pet Products
Pet ownership is on the rise. Approximately 66% of U.S. households own a pet, up from 56% in 1988, with dogs and cats being the most popular choice. In 2022, U.S. consumers spent $136.8 billion on pets, compared to $90.5 billion in 2018.
A point to remember is that having a pet other than a cat and dog has become more popular in recent years. If you plan to go into pet supplies, do not forget the needs of exotic pets and their owners. Reptiles, arachnids, birds, and small mammals such as rats, ferrets and the more unusual coatimundi also have owners who dote on them and are willing to invest in their health and comfort.
8. Children’s Toys
The worldwide toys market was worth $101.9 billion in 2022, with experts anticipating a CAGR of 4.8% from 2023 to 2028.
Toys are a vital part of a child's growth and development. Educational toys nurture a wide range of skills from an early age, including cognitive and motor skills, problem-solving, and creativity. Furthermore, cooperative games enhance a child’s communication and conflict-resolution abilities, which are essential life skills.
With the realization that toys are more than just entertainment, modern parents are looking for items that promote the well-rounded development of their offspring. Experts predict that toys that teach children new skills and promote deep play will top trends in the coming years, creating a promising business opportunity for the savvy entrepreneur.
9. Home Office Equipment
The home office equipment market has become very lucrative as an increasing number of people work remotely. The market experienced its biggest surge in demand in 2020, but analysts forecast that it will continue to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% over the next five years.
When it comes to stocking your home office equipment store, there are the obvious products such as ergonomic chairs, desks, monitors, keyboard and mouse sets. However, with the growing emphasis on wellness, you could also offer office equipment that helps people stay healthy and active, like standing desks, exercise balls, and desk bikes. Finally, consider offering generic stationery and office supplies such as pens, notebooks, and planners.
10. Beauty and Wellness Products
The Covid-19 pandemic led to a rise in skin issues, which were attributed to the frequent use of soaps, hand sanitizers, and personal protective equipment. In response, people began prioritizing their skincare routine and investing in beauty and wellness products to combat these issues.
This trend has continued well into 2023, with the global beauty and personal care market projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2020 to 2025. Millennials, in particular, use beauty and personal care products regularly, with an increasing preference for natural, non-toxic, and organic cosmetics.
11. eLearning Platform
eLearning provides interactive, flexible, and convenient learning experiences. eLearning courses in particular have become immensely popular in recent years by offering a convenient and accessible platform for people to gain knowledge and skills. The global eLearning market was worth $648 billion in 2022 and experts predict it will expand at a CAGR of 13.5% from 2023 to 2030.
While eLearning has been around for a while, the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated its adoption. With traditional schools and universities switching to online learning, the border between traditional education and eLearning platforms was eliminated.
Today, with the vast potential applications of eLearning and the numerous benefits it offers, it's no surprise that businesses are already taking advantage of this lucrative opportunity.
12. Sex Toys
Sex toys have become mainstream for both male and female consumers. Subsequently, the sex toys industry is booming with opportunity, with an estimated global market size of about $32.7 billion in 2022 and expanding with a CAGR of 8.5% from 2023 to 2030. Generally, the industry has proven to be recession-proof.
If you're looking to sell adult items in your ecommerce store, consider stocking up on vibrators, as they are the most popular sex toy among US consumers, with 47% of survey participants reporting owning one.
For online payment processing, partner up with a reliable payment processor that has experience in working with high-risk merchant accounts. The industry is prone to having a high chargeback rate, and not all payment processors can offer adequate support to merchants.
Note: Learn what a payment processor is.
13. Smart Appliances
Smart appliances are home devices that are connected to the internet and remotely controlled. These devices also commonly use sensors and can automate various household tasks. Smart appliances typically involve gradual improvements that introduce new functionalities to pre-existing products rather than producing completely new devices.
Smart appliances include a range of products such as:
- Robot cleaners that can autonomously navigate around a home and clean floors.
- Voice-controlled lighting and curtains.
- Smart thermostats that learn user behavior and adjust the temperature without user input.
- Security systems that alert homeowners to potential threats and allow them to monitor their homes remotely.
Led by the demand for convenience and efficiency, the global smart appliance market was worth $45.2 billion in 2022. Market analysts predict the market will grow to $87.9 billion by 2027, with a CAGR of 12.9% from 2022 to 2027.
14. Online Video Content
Online video content has exploded in popularity, driven primarily by the increasing prevalence of 4G network infrastructure and a growing consumer preference for high-quality digital video instead of traditional cable TV. Additionally, advertising budgets continue moving towards online platforms, driving further demand.
The global streaming media market was worth $171 billion in 2022, and researchers expect it to grow at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2023 to 2028. Businesses and individuals covering various niches benefit from this trend, using platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, OnlyFans and TikTok to deliver content.
How to Choose Products for Your Business?
The process of selecting a product to sell is complex, and it is crucial to create on a comprehensive business plan. Below are strategies to consider when deciding on products.
Search for Products with a Greater Profit Margin
Choosing products with little overhead is a smart tactic for those looking to start a new, low-risk business.
- Opting for products that require minimal investment (e.g., drop-shipping) means you can focus on achieving higher profit margins with each sale.
- Expensive to produce products require a significant amount of upfront capital investment, which can limit growth potential.
- One of the most significant factors to consider when selecting products with low overhead is their weight, as lighter products tend to be cheaper to ship.
- While inexpensive products may be available for purchase wholesale, this does not necessarily mean they will yield the highest ROI when sold.
Note: Accounts payable outsourcing help reduce overhead costs since the outsourced bookkeepers work remotely and do not require the company to provide accounting software, hardware, and office supplies.
Take Advantage of Emerging Trends Early
Being able to identify a trend at an early stage is a key advantage. Being an early adopter allows you to secure a spot in the market and establish your position as a leader before the competitors catch up.
Here are ways to conduct market research for your ecommerce store:
- Keyword research. By analyzing search engine queries people use, you get a rough estimate of what products customers are looking for. An added benefit is that linking product demand to existing keywords effectively captures consistent organic traffic from search engines. However, this also comes with risks, as relying solely on search engine traffic leaves you vulnerable to changes in search engine algorithms.
- Identify your target market. To identify your target market, analyze customer data, and organize surveys and focus groups to gain insights into customer needs and preferences. You can even create a buyer persona, a semi-fictional personality representation of your ideal buyer. Establishing who your ideal customers are helps tailor product offerings to their needs. Once you have a clear understanding of the target market, develop effective ecommerce marketing campaigns that will resonate, and drive sales for your store.
Note: Are you struggling to boost sales and increase traffic to your store? Our article highlights the 14 best ecommerce marketing strategies to help you reach your target audience.
- Research ecommerce trends and patterns. Follow industry blogs and publications that cover your target market. Attend trade shows and conferences to gain firsthand knowledge of the latest products and trends. Market reports and publications are another effective research tool. These reports give in-depth analyses of market trends, consumer behavior, and the competitive landscape, and are a valuable source of information for ecommerce store owners.
- Do not confuse a fad with a trend. A fad is when a product explodes in popularity because of its novelty. A trend, on the other hand, is something that fulfills an existing need in a new way. While fads may provide excellent marketing opportunities, it is vital to remember that building your business on a fad means that demand will eventually drop.
Examine Your Rivals
Identify industry competitors and evaluate their products, pricing, marketing strategies, and customer reviews. This information will help identify gaps in the market and areas where there is room for you to stand out.
Additionally, make a habit of observing successful companies and taking note of their offerings. By studying trending products and identifying potential gaps in the market, you gain insights into what is in demand and what customers are willing to pay.
Most importantly, do not get demoralized when analyzing competitors. View them as examples of what can be achieved rather than obstacles blocking newcomers from entering the market.
Note: Learn about the various ecommerce business models and how they can be applied to your online business.
Consider Local Laws
States and countries may have varying regulations that need to be adhered to before you start selling products. These regulations often have an impact on the availability of products and may require stores to obtain specific permits or certifications.
For instance, in the U.S., FDA regulations prohibit the sale of certain food products. Similarly, state laws regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages. Additionally, ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products such as phthalates and parabens are restricted or banned in some countries or states due to their potential health risks.
Also, consider online payment processing rules and regulations. There is a set of payments compliance rules merchants must adhere to, such as those stipulated by PSD2, PCI, and GDPR. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a reputable payment provider who can help you set up secure online payment forms.
Tap Into Your Experience and Passions
Although there are potential downsides to selecting a niche that aligns with your interests, using your own experience and passion has unique advantages.
Do you possess industry-specific knowledge due to work? Perhaps you have skills that have given you a deeper understanding of a particular topic than the average person. Leveraging your expertise is a way to enter the market with an advantage that is difficult for others to replicate.
Similarly, tapping into your passions helps carve out an offering that specifically targets likeminded hobbyists.
Solve Your Target Audience’s Pain Point
Pain points are unmet needs and unresolved issues that inconvenience customers and negatively impact sales. Before you start selling a product, it’s a good idea to understand the target audience's pain points and common issues so you can develop and market a product that provides a solution.
When it comes to identifying pain points, qualitative research methods such as in-depth surveys or focus groups are ideal. Quantitative research, on the other hand, relies on measuring variables using numbers and is often overly restrictive and ineffective at uncovering nuances.
A common pain point with drones is that they can be awkward to control, especially for beginner users. After seeing several bad reviews for a particularly unwieldy drone, an ecommerce store specializing in unmanned aerial vehicles decided to investigate further. They conducted a survey and interview recent customers, particularly those who identify as beginner operators. The store asked these customers about their experience with controlling the drone, the difficulties they faced, and any frustrations they encountered.
Based on this feedback, the store worked to solve this pain point by offering tutorial videos, live chat support for troubleshooting, and in-person training sessions for local customers. The store also started stocking drones with features specifically designed for beginner users, such as built-in obstacle avoidance technology or simplified controls.
By successfully identifying and solving a customer pain point, the ecommerce store improved customer satisfaction, but also increased sales, fostered brand loyalty, and all together gained a competitive edge in the market.
To successfully launch and manage an ecommerce store, it is vital to be creative with both product selection and marketing strategy, especially if you lack significant starting capital. Jumping into the fray with generic products means your business is likely to be overshadowed by established brands.
In the beginning, it is best to focus on specialized and trendy niche products where the competition is less fierce. Figuring out what qualifies as a trendy product requires a combination of intuition and diligent market research.
Ultimately, success in any business venture requires a combination of hard work, planning, inspiration, and a bit of luck. Nonetheless, by being adaptable, persistent, and believing in your vision, you can turn your idea into a thriving business.