Online shopping has been incredibly popular for years now, especially since stores began offering services on mobile apps. While the Covid-19 epidemic has undeniably affected all of our lives and has cost many people to lose their jobs, the e-commerce industry is still going strong. In fact, the e-commerce market grew even more in 2020, as so many people were forced to stay home and order products online. In the United States, online shopping already accounts for 10% of total retail sales, and sales are expected to grow by 15% each year moving forward.
With statistics like this, it isn’t hard to see why so many up-and-coming entrepreneurs see online retail as their golden opportunity. Starting an online store requires less capital compared to a brick-and-mortar business since you won’t have to build or rent shopping space. It also lets you attract customers from all around the world, and it’s generally easy to scale your operations with reliable software and a good distributor. All of this isn’t to say that e-commerce is a sure way to find success, however. There is fierce competition online, and many markets are saturated, so you’ll need a good idea and a reliable way to reach customers to become a successful business owner. Here are just a few ideas to start your online shop.
1. Dietary Supplements
It’s hard to overstate how popular supplements have become in recent years. In fact, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, at least 77% of U.S. adults are taking some form of dietary supplements. It’s also a wide market with a range of possible niches. Possibilities include vitamins, nutritional supplements, weight loss supplements, protein for muscle mass, and even hormone supplements to increase energy levels or improve libido. It will be difficult to stand out, at least in the beginning, if you try to sell all of the possible options, so it’s probably best to choose a niche that you think you can fill well and focus on that.
Unless you want to go through the process of getting properly licensed and dealing with FDA guidelines yourself, you’re going to need to partner with a softgel manufacturer or a supplement and vitamin distributor. A good manufacturer will be able to assist you with product development, including helping you come up with custom formulations, mixing your formulations to FDA standards, and even designing custom packaging. Your products can be made in several different forms as well, including soft gels, tablets, capsules, gelatin, powders, and more. You can even use an enteric coating on your oral products. You’ll also be able to get your suppliers to ramp up production once you begin securing more customers.
Beauty supplies are always in high demand, so an online beauty shop can definitely be a safe option. Popular products include hair straighteners, moisturizing creams, makeup products, and plenty more. As with the previous idea, you’ll likely want to choose a niche to inhabit at first instead of trying to sell everything.
A surprisingly varied and in-demand niche you can be a part of is faux lashes. These popular lashes are used by women all over the world, and they’re made with a variety of materials including faux mink, silk lashes, and other great options that convincingly mimic natural lashes. You’ll want to find a way to stand out from the other sellers out there, and that may involve selling more comfortable lashes or ones that are easier to put on and remove.
Forget about faux lashes that require you to use glue, which makes for difficult removal. Instead, try offering magnetic lashes. This simply requires the use of a waterproof and reusable magnetic liner that faux mink lashes can be attached to. There’s no more worrying about hot glue, and you can even find vegan products that can appeal to anyone. Look for unique products like these to really boost your shop.
3. Alcoholic Beverages
Most people enjoy a good drink now and then, especially in difficult times. The pandemic has made it more difficult to hang out at the pub, but what if you could have been delivered to your house? There are many subscription boxes and other business models that do just that, and this can be a great idea for your online shop.
You do need to realize that you’ll have to get your alcohol selling license if you wish to start a beer delivery service providing products like fine wines or liquor. You’ll also need to find an alcoholic beverage distributor, likely in the form of a brewery or a winery. Look for a wholesale beverage distributor who can keep your shop fully stocked. It’s even better if you can find a private label supplier who can help you build your brand with unique packaging.
4. Pet Supplies
There are plenty of pet parents out there who need supplies, and pet ownership has only gone up since the pandemic started. Since many pet owners may be wary of going to their usual brick-and-mortar shops right now, an online pet store is a great idea. You can always sell the usual items like cat food, dog, food, leashes, and crates, but it’s always a good idea to offer something that helps you stand out.
You can do this by catering to reptile owners with products like a Dubia roach colony. A roach colony is arguably the best option for reptile owners who only have a few ways to feed their geckos or chameleons. Dubia roaches breed slowly, and their life-cycles can vary depending on diet, enclosure, temperature, and other factors. This life-cycle keeps the roach colony from being overrun and provides a steady source of food. Each colony comes with roach breeders, and a 3:1 male to female ratio is recommended for owners. Selling quality Dubia feeder insects can be what puts you above other online shops in your niche.
5. Online Courses
Sometimes, you don’t even need to sell a product other than your own expertise. If you’re knowledgeable on a high-demand subject, you can customize your own online courses on that subject and sell them to online learners. Take a look at this tax strategies course, for example. You can follow this template to create your own courses, though if you intend for them to be good for college credit, you’ll need to work with accredited schools.
You may even want to look at these strategies for your own education. The last thing you want is to owe the IRS fees when tax time comes. These are just a few ways that you can jumpstart an online business. If you’re knowledgeable about other niches, you’ll likely come up with your own ideas as well.