Running a successful business online takes brains—and a ton of hard work. There’s a lot to get done:
- Create a visually compelling logo to attract the right customers
- Develop a marketing strategy for your product idea and target market
- Hire employees who can identify the hottest social media trends, such as live online selling.
- …And the list goes on.
Whether you’re new to selling products online or have been at it for some time, selecting the best products to sell online is perhaps the most critical piece of them all—and can make all the difference for the longevity and success of your brand. Along with choosing the right online selling platforms for your business, you’ll also want to ensure you have stellar customer service for when new or existing customers have questions or concerns about your products or online business.
What Makes A Great E-Commerce Product?
In a sea of online products, from timeless staples—like toilet paper and kitchen shears—to niche items and some of the coolest online products—it can be hard to carve out a space on the Internet for your business, vision, and products in an online marketplace.
The same can be said for what benefits consumers. Ensuring your potential product listings match your target audience’s needs, desires, and preferences will ensure your brand best represents those you are trying to reach.
When weighing options regarding inventory, we recommend keeping the following top of mind:
When considering what selling a particular product will cost you, first find its value to ensure it aligns with your profit margin.
Value = Benefits/Cost.
This means you can calculate the total value of the product by taking the benefit (or the financial return) and dividing it by the total cost. When considering cost, think about the price of the item and the fees associated with shipping, warehousing, maintenance, staffing, etc.
Do you warehouse your items yourself? Certain products require special care and must be stored in a temperature-controlled environment or stacked in just the right way. This is less of a concern if you take advantage of a full-service drop-ship program, but it is still something to consider when you’re selling products. Is your product perishable? What is the shelf life of this inventory? Does it require special handling? If you’re new to warehousing, check out the most important warehouse essentials you will need to get your business started.
Offering shoppers the best shipping rate available can often make or break an online sale. But at what cost? The same goes for packaging. How does the item you’re considering need to be packaged and shipped safely? It’s important to factor in what low shipping fees or the cost of packaging will take away from your total earned revenue—and whether or not the equation is sustainable in the end.
If a brilliant product exists, but no one is there to hear about it…does it really exist at all? Whether you’re selling a niche product or a trending item, you’ll want to lean on marketing. Ah, marketing—arguably one of the most critical pieces of any successful sales strategy to help drive high demand. From product photography to mastering social media, marketing takes time and a fair amount of resources to consider when you’re operating an online business and trying to bring in more potential customers. Some tactics you can lean on include running Facebook ads and Google ads to build awareness among your target audience.
Social media is vital to successfully marketing your large or small business. Learning tips for the best time to go live on Facebook or any of your social channels can help you understand how to get more views on Facebook and increase customer engagement online.
Product discovery is just the start, whereas product marketing can start a trend and turn any useful item into a popular product, to build a lucrative business. Make sure the products you choose to carry will offer endless possibilities for your marketing and communication efforts.
How To Find Products To Sell Online
It’s essential to recognize whether the e-commerce market is hungry for what you hope to sell. There are five key things to consider when determining if an item will drive high demand and if it is a good choice for your business moving forward:
Is the market saturated with similar product options already?
If so, you may want to consider another alternative to an already popular item. If not, how does your product stand apart from the rest and how can you make it the best product in that category?
Is the product something people will need to repeat purchase often?
Commoditized products are items, like toothpaste, that everyone needs and buys often. Choosing such products wisely ensures repeat purchases more often than niche products that shoppers will likely only buy once.
Does the product solve a problem or serve a distinct purpose?
It’s essential to think about why someone might consider buying your product. Shoppers and potential customers tend to search for solutions, not for products. If what you’re selling helps make someone’s life easier by solving a problem or addressing a specific need, shoppers will pony up without question.
Does the product exist simply for pleasure?
In contrast to the last point, many shoppers often buy for pure enjoyment. Brands today are offering unique and exciting ways to sell to their customers. Consumers look forward to making purchases because they enjoy shopping. They look forward to getting a product they don’t necessarily need but simply want—just because.
Are you able to brand the product in a unique way?
Building a memorable brand involves deep consideration of the senses—how does your brand name sound when said aloud? How does the logo look on your online store and across your social media accounts? The products you decide to sell should be easily and uniquely branded to their given product category and draw the right kind of attention to your business and elicit excitement and interest. One thoughtful way to make your products stand apart is to factor in seasonal branding opportunities in addition to your day-to-day design and marketing efforts.
Fewer Options May Lead to More Sales
According to the American Psychological Association, making choices can help empower individuals—but too many options may have the opposite effect. The idea is that with more choices comes more missed opportunities. The fear of making the wrong choice or the stress created when trying to decide often leaves individuals choosing nothing as the safer option.
The same article states that shoppers are 10 times more likely to make a purchase when choosing from only six options than they are if choosing from 24 options in total. The takeaway? Sometimes less really is more when it comes to retail and determining what your brand will offer its customers. When considering your options for the best products to sell online, really think about your brand and target audience and what they’d most like to buy from you.
Trending Products to Sell Online in 2022
Given the above, how do you select the most profitable products to sell online? For one, you’ll want to become a trend hunter and utilize Google search to scope out what people are searching for regularly. However, here are several factors to consider, starting with the top online shopping categories. Below are CommentSold’s top picks for the best products to sell online in 2022.
Best in Tech
- Smart Home Technology – Popular housing sites like Zillow and Realtor.com have even more to showcase these days than your average pool or walk-in closet—homes now boast smart technology that transforms the human experience. Smart appliances can detect zero movement in the house and will turn off hot stove tops left on by accident; outdoor lighting can illuminate your driveway while you’re on your way home. These are just a few examples of tech products that are nice to have and help keep homeowners safe.
- Wearable Fitness Trackers – Smartwatches and fitness monitors are among many popular and trending tech devices flying off the shelves for fitness fanatics. Technology has made wellness transparency available at the ready, with health gurus able to track calories, blood pressure, and respiratory rate—as well as how often they sit and stand, or how well they slept.
Most Profitable Pet Products
- Pet Maintenance – Animals will never go out of style. Many of the best-selling pet products include staples for pet parents like grooming gear, fur removers, travel bags, and car seat protectors. Considering commoditized items like these will ensure your products are always in demand.
- Pet Indulgences – Almost as popular as the staples are indulgent items for our beloved pets. Unique pet beds, outfits, and treat-dispensing toys are among this category’s top pet dropshipping products. Custom cat castles and designer dog duds are just a few trending products pet owners are willing to splurge on for the ones they love.
What to Sell in Health and Wellness
- Air Purifiers – Air purifier popularity has been rising since COVID-19. The increase in clean air awareness has skyrocketed sales for bipolar ionization, activated carbon, and ultraviolet light purification found in homes and wearable devices. House plants have also become a trending product for retailers and consumers alike. Air-purifying plants, like peace lilies, help keep our lungs free from toxins.
- Sleep Aids – The same can be said for sound sleep. The uncertainty and stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic created an uptick in sales for wellness products that promote a good night’s rest. From popular apps, alarm clocks, and essential oil diffusers to supplements and chocolates that help prompt a restful night’s sleep, these items are worth exploring as you expand your brand’s product offerings.
Fashion is Always in Fashion
- Underwear – While styles come and go, good underwear will never falter. With the body positivity movement gaining more traction over the last few years, there has been an influx of brands focusing on more inclusive bra sizing, body contouring shapewear, and an emphasis on color inclusivity, comfort, and function when it comes to undergarments overall. These body-positive brands have changed the game in fashion and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Because undergarments are essential, this could become a repeat-purchase category for your business, thus making underwear one of the most profitable products to sell online.
- Swimwear – Bathing suits are becoming significant players on the beach and the runway. Designers are blending traditional swimwear with high-end fashion trends to create original, playful, colorful resort wear that can be worn poolside or even out to dinner.
Home Goods for Your Retail Brand
- Coffee Makers – Can you imagine a world without coffee? Neither can we. From traditional drip to french press, stovetop, and pour-over, there are a variety of coffee makers for every caffeine drinker. If your brand is looking to branch into home goods or kitchen supplies, there are endless possibilities by way of coffee.
- Vacuum Cleaners – Similar to humans needing coffee, floors will always need to be swept. According to Consumer Reports, with vacuums ranging in price (under $50 to well over $1,500), design (cordless to quiet), and serving a variety of needs (from carpet to hardwood), there is ample opportunity to integrate these household staples into your product offerings.
Knowing how to start an e-commerce business can be overwhelming to say the least, but very rewarding. Product selection is a critical part of the retail journey—but it should also be seen as an exciting challenge. With the right amount of research, thoughtful consideration, a touch of analysis, and some energetic execution, there is a limitless amount of potential for your e-commerce brand to branch into new categories or simply get its start.
The idea is to match the best products to sell online with the best products for your brand. Keep in mind what your audience is looking for and whether your potential product listings meet their needs. Do this, and your brand is good as gold.