Online sale volumes have been skyrocketing over the last few years. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on businesses and consumers. In June 2020, the global retail eCommerce traffic hit a record high of 22 billion monthly visits, including online sales of products ranging from groceries to high-end mobile phones and designer wear.
This bodes well for those planning to venture into eCommerce as well as those already in the sector who are now trying to grow. However, an increase in online sales doesn’t directly translate into eCommerce success. With fierce competition, more eCommerce businesses fail than succeed. This failure is most often the result of wrong product selection and/or ineffective marketing strategy.
Build your website
Before you get started with finding the right product to sell, you must first build a beautiful storefront where you can sell that product. In the online world, this is your website. It’s where you will showcase the products and engage with customers. One of the key aspects of your website that you must get right is your domain name. This will be your business’s online identity and it must make you stand out. For example, if you’re selling online, you could opt for a .store domain name such as www.name.store where ‘name’ can be your brand name.
Not only does it give you a unique domain name, but it’s also a great way to tell your customers what your website is about before they even visit it. Once you have the perfect website, you can start finding the products.
Selecting the right products for your online store requires finding a trending category and then establishing yourself as a unique player in order to stand out from your competitors. Here are 5 trending product categories to consider selling in your online store in 2021.
1. Mobile accessories
Cellphones and tablets have permeated every aspect of our lives. We’re using them to connect with our loved ones, coworkers, and clients, but also to watch videos, listen to music and read books and articles. We’re recording our adventures by shooting videos and clicking photographs without the hassle of carrying bulky cameras. The fitness enthusiasts are tracking their every step, every calorie expended, on their phones.
The market for mobile accessories is huge and this is one sector that will never stop growing as we become increasingly dependent on our mobile devices. It’s no surprise that it’s projected to reach $284.06 billion by 2026.
The most exciting part is that you can go as niche or as broad as you want while also feeding your passion for technology and creativity. If you love photography, you can sell selfie sticks and stick-on lenses. If you love music, you can explore Bluetooth headphones and speakers. If you want to cater to a larger market, go for power banks, phone holders for bikes or cars, cases, and screen guards.
The pandemic has been the perfect time to catch up on reading. Most of us are working from home. Social interactions and outdoor adventures have been severely limited. The image of us curled up on a couch with a warm blanket and a book, sipping on tea, hot chocolate, or coffee, has always been alluring, but in the last year, we actually got to experience that simple joy.
Numbers concur: eCommerce platforms selling books and literature material saw a 16% increase in global traffic from January 2020 to March 2020. Pandemic notwithstanding, some of the world’s biggest eCommerce giants, Amazon included, started their journey selling books online. The market is a competitive one, but you can find a lucrative niche by researching your audience.
For instance, as so many people are now pursuing their hobbies, you can sell books related to interests such as cooking, arts and crafts, photography, and music. Self-help books are also immensely popular as people try to cope with the rapidly-changing world order. Everyone from schoolchildren to adults is turning to eLearning, making course materials a thriving market as well.
3. Home office must-haves
Work from home (WFH) isn’t just the domain of freelancers anymore. Most of us have been working from home for a greater part of 2020, all the way into 2021, and we don’t know how much longer this will go on.
As convenient and liberating as it sounds, many people struggled with adapting to the WFH life; the biggest challenge being creating a conducive work environment at home. Home-based workstations require desks with optimal height and space to accommodate computers, office stationery, filing space, and other knick-knacks that we use to personalize our space (such as desk plants, action figures, and photo frames).
We also need ergonomic chairs so that we can have the correct posture while we sit for hours hunched over our computers. We may need lamps and other fixtures to ensure adequate lighting during work hours.
The global home office furniture market is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of 7.5% between 2020 and 2026. While stores such as Amazon and IKEA are leading online furniture sales, you can choose to partner with local furniture stores to sell their goods online to a more local market and use social media to promote their craftsmanship and garner support for buying local.
4. Fitness equipment
The need to stay fit had many of us substitute gym classes and outdoor fitness activities with home workouts. This saw the global home fitness market grow to $9.49 billion in 2020, up from $6.76 billion in 2019.
Treadmills and cycles have been popular among people with the luxury of large homes. But during the ongoing pandemic, even those living in small apartments have been purchasing yoga mats, resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, blocks, skipping ropes, and pull-up bars to create home gyms.
Fitness enthusiasts are an active online community, which means that there are several ways in which you can find and market to your target audience. You can team up with fitness centers and influencers offering virtual online classes for cross-promotional campaigns such as giveaways for equipment and free subscriptions. You can also co-market your products with activewear brands to increase your reach and offer greater value to your customers.
5. Outdoor adventure equipment
If the need for fitness had us pivoting to home gyms, the need for adventure had us hitting the outdoors even more than before, in the absence of bars, restaurants, theatres, festivals, and sporting events.
Being outside is a great opportunity to have some safe socially-distant fun while exploring nature and fueling our passion for thrill-seeking. There has been a noticeable uptick in the sales of outdoor activity equipment. In the USA, for instance, bicycle sales increased by 63% in June 2020 compared to June 2019 while paddle sports sales grew by 56% in the same period.
Adventure sports also have thriving communities online ranging from avid campers to kayakers, skiers, boulderers, and everyone in between. If you yourself are an adventurer, you can join such groups on social media and platforms such as Quora and Reddit to showcase your expertise and build the credibility of your products. Show your products in action by posting enticing user-generated videos to prove how they can be valuable companions on adventure trips.
This list of trending products is in no way exhaustive. There are thousands of products to choose from for your online store. As part of your research, can use Google Trends or check out bestsellers on Amazon to look for products that are doing well. In the end, a lot of your success boils down to how you market what you are selling. By using the right social media channels, creating informative, entertaining, and engaging content such as blog posts and how-to videos, partnering with other brands and influencers, and building a great website with superior user experience, you can set up an eCommerce store that will succeed not only in 2021 but also in the many years to come.
Alisha is a Senior Content Marketing & Communication Specialist at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .ONLINE and .TECH. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.