When you try to start an eCommerce business online, you have several options. First you have your physical goods. Things like books, gadgets, furniture, and appliances are popular choices. Then, there’s the digital goods like software, e-books, music files, images, and so forth. Finally, there are the service-based eCommerce businesses that offer things like insurance, event tickets, writing, or web design.
You could follow a well-worn path in any of these areas. Those who opt to sell physical goods often use drop-shipping, so they don’t have to house any tangible items. Within this category, shop owners can sell everything from cookware to candles; books to Blu-rays. And the business model is a pretty well-worn path. But what’s interesting is how more and more businesses are cutting their own roads through the backwoods of eCommerce possibilities.
Within eCommerce right now, niches are dominating—people enjoy unique items. Buyers like the handmade, the interesting, the original. Mass-produced items just aren’t appealing when you can buy something beautiful that’s one-of-a-kind.
Don’t follow? Don’t worry. Here, I’m laying out 10 of the top shop niches that are currently proving themselves to be forces to be reckoned with. And with intel like this, you can pick your next eCommerce store’s theme and build something designed to dominate.
It seems like handmade jewelry was probably one of the first shop niches to really take off, I think in large part due to its versatility.
Custom jewelry crafters can create all different designs and styles that encompass a wide range of motifs from vintage style pendant necklaces to charm bracelets to steampunk accessories.
Handmade Cuddly Toys
Another popular niche for eCommerce shops is crocheted and knitted toys. These handcrafted cuddly items are made with love and are often knitted or crocheted over many hours. The variety currently available is astounding!
There’s the traditional teddy bear, of course, but you can also find mini stuffed versions of cartoon characters, animals, TV show characters, and more. I mean, check out the selection of toys and accessories available from Anne-Claire Petit.
Posters from Designers
Designers have always offered prints of their works but the typographic and/or logo-style poster is a relatively new craze. The almighty T-shirt is still insanely popular, but the graphical poster has gained some serious traction recently and allowed artists and designers to make their mark in people’s homes.
We recently featured Glennz Tees in our Made By Series and while his emphasis is on t-shirts, the poster and art print side of the biz is booming.
Buiding an eCommerce site is all about those little details that at times may go unnoticed, but are so important to the success of your site. We have recently published an article that takes a look at some of those details, and also shares some ecommerce design ideas you should consider implementing: Modern Design Ideas & Trends for eCommerce Websites.
Unique & Decorative Pillows
Home Decor is a hot commodity these days online, including decorative pillows. Something that used to be just a way to add a pop of color to your couch can now make a statement.
Wild Rabbits Burrow creates pillows in the shape of a variety of animals and objects from pink frosted donuts to clouds. While Industry Home offers custom created home decor items, including pillows in a rustic style.
Hand-Made Accessories for Digital Devices
Just because you rely on digital devices all day doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of creativity or handmade style to it. That notion is precisely why accessories for phones and tablets are increasing in popularity.
iPad slip covers, handmade leather phone pouches, and pillows with accessory pockets (great for plane rides!) are all in demand.
While it was always customary to get invitations created for big events like weddings, you can now choose from a much wider range of options for personalized stationary. You can even purchase custom designed stationary that you print yourself.
Or, opt for handmade letterpress invitations. You can even indulge in stationary with your custom letterhead for writing longhand letters to your friends.
One the most popular platforms for building an ecommerce site is using theWooCommerce plugin with WordPress. If you’re new to WooCommerce, Tuts+ have published a tutorial series that will show you how to install and configure the plugin, and also how to add both physical and virtual products to your site. Check it out here: Getting Started with WooCommerce.
While you can find a ton of free recipes online, some have tried to monetize their efforts outside the typical advertising revenue you’d expect on a food blog. Some are selling their recipes individually and as a part of subscription-based services.
It might sound like a novel approach but it’s increasing in popularity and honestly, a pretty clever way to turn recipes into an eCommerce industry.
Clothes for Pets
Pet clothing as a trend didn’t stop when Paris Hilton stopped carrying around that dog in her purse. No, people still adorn their pups in sweaters and there are plenty of independent online sellers making handmade creations to fulfill this need.
Take PupRWear, for instance. This online pet clothing shop offers handmade clothing, harnesses, collars, and other puppy accessories for outfitting your dog for all occasions.
Jam & Preservatives
Make no mistake, the niche eCommerce shop craze isn’t limited to just textiles. No, it also extends into the food industry. Homemade jams and preserves are growing in popularity with stores like SuperJam leading the way.
The last type of niche shop we have room for here is handmade ceramics. People have been making their own dishes and mugs for a long time but the ability to purchase these creations so readily online is relatively new. Take the mugs and bowls from Decorator’s Notebook , for instance.