19 Best things to sell online in 2022 [And what to avoid selling]
Tips / 14.02.2022
Before you think of a name for your online store or even think about your website and its design, you need to know what you’re going to be offering. Selling online these days is a popular trend that’s unlikely to go anywhere soon.
With so many products available on the market, it may become daunting to make your choice of product portfolio and to narrow things down. However, if you keep your interests, skills, knowledge and experience in mind, you’ll be able to pick your ideal product and start selling.
There are various ways to find the best products to sell online to make money. These include brainstorming ideas by starting with your area of expertise. You can also start out by researching ideas on Google and on social media platforms. Then, there’s always the option of finding market data to determine if and how the industry is growing.
Ultimately, though, you’ll want to find low-competition niches within growing industries and collect data from various platforms. However, why do all that when we’ve done most of it for you?
Here’s a list of best products to sell online to help you pick your niche and get started faster.
Table of Contents
Top products to sell online
In no particular order, here are the top product categories and their associated products you can choose from to sell online.
Home decor items
They say that there’s no place like home and this really rings true for so many people who have had to spend more time in their homes owing to the pandemic. Decorating one’s place of living by adding personal touches to make it cosier, homelier and unique is a big trend that’s bound to continue on an upwards trajectory.
Items to look out for here include lamps and shades, accessories for the kitchen and cooking (including mugs and wooden spoons or interesting cutlery), wall art, watering cans, LED lights, weighted blankets, indoor plants and gardening supplies.
Basically, some of the best items to sell online are small touches that can really make a living space come alive. For the garden, bird feeders have become a much-wanted accessory and if you’re good with your hands and can produce something unique and appealing to the eye and that’s also functional, you’ve got a great niche to get into.
Fashion and clothing
Some people are dead set against purchasing clothing online while others absolutely love the experience and variety of ecommerce shopping offers. In addition, it’s even more convenient to make payments, choose the colours that you like, and enjoy great shipping options.
Some examples of fashion and apparel include shapewear, sleepwear, dresses, pants, t-shirts with funky or humorous prints on them, hoodies, bras and underwear, cardigans, and basically anything you can think of under the sun. There are also footwear items to be included in this category and they range from flip-flops to more formal men’s and women’s shoes.
First-time motherhood is a unique experience for many women and they’d like to add a touch of comfort and convenience to both themselves and their newborns. Therefore, baby products such as baby sling carriers, buckled baby carriers and baby wrap carriers have become so popular.
This is a huge category of best-selling online products because many people around the world are taking to the comfort and convenience of getting in shape in their own homes. This means there’s demand for fitness equipment in general, sports apparel such as yoga pants and tops, yoga mats, water bottles, headbands, armbands and more.
Pet and animal care products
Most people have powerful bonds with their pets. They are practically a part of the family and taking care of pets has become a tremendous business opportunity.
This opportunity manifests itself in items such as grass-growing kits for cats, cat and dog bowls, dental care treats and kits, dander-reducing wipes, brushes, litter boxes, purring cat toys, eyewash kits, personalised collars, harnesses and more.
Parents need to keep their children entertained and away from screens for as much as possible. With Covid-19, many parents were left with their children at home, meaning the need to entertain them.
This has resulted in skyrocketing demand for children’s toys, both handmade, electronic, remote-controlled and others. Some of the most popular children’s toys on the market are remote-controlled cars, boats, helicopters, planes, trucks, robots, dinosaurs, snakes, spiders, submarines, sharks and mice.
Technology, consumer electronics and accessories
With the vast proliferation of smartphones and computer technology, it’s no wonder that demand for these products and their associated accessories has boomed. Mobile accessories such as phone covers, screen protectors, cases and skins, projectors, tablet computers, GPS navigation systems, items for home protection and security and smartwatches are becoming a colossal hit.
With easing restrictions around Covid-19 slowly making travel possible once again, whether paying a visit within the country or to other destinations, travellers require travel items to help make their journey a pleasant one.
Travel items that have gained in popularity are suitcase sets, travel pillows, hiking bags and rucksacks, backpacks, etc. Also to be added to this category are bags and totes, which can be personalised and add more value to your customers.
Health and beauty products
Health, hair, and skincare products are a huge category all on their own. Some of the most trending products here include skincare creams, natural beauty products, products for DIY beauty and pampering, moisturising hand sanitisers, mask-friendly make-up, scalp care, and more.
Wigs and hair extensions are another group of products in this category that you can try out selling, too, as are eyebrow razors, enhancers, shapers, pencils, and more.
This is a huge category as well and it’s an excellent way of getting creative with personalised, unique designs. From earrings to rings, necklaces and bracelets, toe rings, ankle chains and others, jewellery is about making a very personal fashion statement and is a great way for people to show their individuality.
By offering your customers custom-made high-quality jewellery, you’ll be able to drive more sales as you’ll have a unique selling proposition to lure customers in.
Hobbies and crafts
Covid-19 rekindled our passion for hobbies and crafts. There was a great boom in this sector as well. From puzzles and board games to books, music and movies and even art, there’s a bit of everything in this category to suit pretty much any age group.
Handmade products to sell online
If you’re an artsy person who loves to make things with their hands and you don’t mind spending some time making the best creations, then there are some great handmade products, which you can sell online, too.
Here’s a brief breakdown of some ideas you might pursue:
- Bath and beauty: items in this category include bath bombs, handmade soap, natural cosmetics, lip balm, etc.
- Home decor items: as mentioned above, you won’t go wrong with throw pillows and candles, digital printables, magnets and enamel pins, art and prints, coasters, picture frames, posters, planters and ceramics.
- Apparel: t-shirts are a huge selling point because they can come in almost any shape and colour with a variety of fresh prints that can be customised and personalised.
- Gift baskets and subscription boxes: showing someone you’re thinking of them is best expressed through a gift basket. These can range from boxes for those in quarantine, for groomsmen and brides, gift boxes for him, gift boxes for her, mom gift boxes, dog gift boxes, Christmas baskets, etc.
- Food: many people have a sweet tooth that they’d like to appease and selling your coveted sweets online can be a great way to make some more sales. Just be careful with the shipping, as food typically has an expiration date.
- Pet supplies: homemade dog treats are just one of the many types of homemade products you can make to shower pets with more affection.
- Sewn items: these can include home items that are typically purchased in retail stores, such as curtains, tablecloths, crayon aprons for children, tote bags, etc.
- Courses & tutorials: and, of course, if you have expertise in a certain area, you can always sell it online as well. This can include offering services such as freelance writing, web and graphic design, photography, drawing, proofreading or editing, showing people how to play on the stock market, teaching a foreign language, and basically, anything that you are skilled at.
Products you should avoid selling online
It may seem that we’ve listed practically every product under the sun here, but it’s worth mentioning some products which you should avoid selling online.
These include items such as furniture. If you’re starting a small business online, then you will want to avoid high overheads such as warehousing and storage. Let’s face it, furniture pieces are big and bulky and you’ll need somewhere to store them. To avoid such hefty costs, consider staying away from this product category.
Another item you should steer away from is skinny jeans. This is because the chances of returns are so great because of incorrect fittings and sizes ordered. Whichever platform you choose to sell online on, a high rate of returns is likely to get you poor reviews and, worse, be banned from selling on the platform in the future.
As a final word here, we’d like to add the category of vitamins and weight loss pills that are often found for sale online. Unless you’re a medical practitioner, who is licensed to sell these products, it’s best to avoid them. This will save you some trouble further down the road.
Factors that make a product suitable for online sale
Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or a novice in the business world, almost the same principles of economics apply to online trade and in-store, physical trade. These principles are demand, pricing, uniqueness, and competition.
There is, however, one extra feature online entrepreneurs need to consider, and that’s storage and shipping. Unless you’re doing print-on-demand or pursuing a dropshipping model, you’ll need to think of warehouse and storage space as additional price factors in your offering.
Then there’s shipping. While with a physical retailer, shipping is not required, it’s actually a big part of online shopping and customers will look for the most competitive shipping options to help them make the best purchasing decision for themselves.
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How to choose the best product to sell online
In this article, we’ve given you plenty of categories and product options to choose from. And now it’s your turn to make that choice. But how do you do this when it can all seem so overwhelming?
There is a solution. And that is based on the following principles:
Identify your areas of expertise
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your areas of expertise and your knowledge base will go a long way to selecting the right product to sell online. This is because your expertise can help you drive more sales due to all the knowledge you may have about the product. Ask yourself tough questions and you’ll get to the answer.
Solve pain points
Another important element of online selling is the ability to solve pain points, not just jump on trends when they arise. Demand and supply are crucial for this.
When there’s demand for a product and you come in to solve it, you’re ultimately resolving your customers’ pain points. This is one of the most important things you can do.
Choose between commoditised or niche products
This will drive your sales and marketing strategy. Commoditised products are those that are freely available on the market, including retail stores. Niche products are created for a particular group of people who require a particular solution to their problem.
Niche products are a substantial gap to get into because, although your customer base will be smaller, you’ll have a greater chance of reaching the right audience with your marketing efforts and you’ll have a stronger returning customer base.
Spend time on branding
Branding refers to how you market your business and products. As a starting point, you need to figure out what the voice of your business will be like and this will be determined by your clientele’s buyer persona.
Know who you’re marketing to, in order to have more targeted communications. Spending time on market research determining your buyer persona will ultimately help you with your branding efforts.
Decide if you’re going for trends or evergreen products
Also important to consider, apart from commoditised versus niche products, is whether you’ll be opting for trends that are popular right now but which could fade because of various circumstances, or whether you’ll go for evergreen products.
One example of a massive trend that has taken the internet and online shopping by storm is the sheer variety of handmade face masks that are on sale on platforms such as Etsy. While this is a trend that is likely to continue into the future, depending on the duration and span of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s also likely to have a cut-off date soon.
However, there are also evergreen products that you can tap into that will always be in demand, no matter what the circumstances of our lives may be at present.
And lastly, try new things
As a last word of advice, try new things and experiment with your product offering when selling online.
This may include experimentation with your choice of copy and product descriptions to bring it to life for your customers. After all, they don’t have the ability to physically touch your product, so everything you say online when marketing your product will be an important bonus for your customers.
This includes your product images. Experiment with images and copy. Also, consider varying your prices. Besides this, there’s the ability to advertise on various platforms and social media channels. This may be a worthwhile strategy going forward as you experiment and try new things to reach more customers.
How to market your products online?
Now that you’ve chosen the ideal product to sell online, your job’s not over yet because it’s time to market it.
Marketing is another world unto itself but is something that should not be omitted from your business strategy because this is the process that will drive more eyeballs to your products and ultimately lead to more sales. Therefore, the following marketing strategies are worth pursuing:
Build and use your email list:
Email is undoubtedly one of the best ways to reach your customers and share the news with them about your business, what’s new, what’s hot, what new deals you’re offering and more.
You, therefore, need to consider building your email list by asking your customers to subscribe for updates from your online shop and then use it by sending them periodic updates and information about new products, new discounts and sales and other developments in your business.
One bit of advice here is to ensure that your copy is catchy and personal. No one likes to read drab copy. Rather, try to engage with your customers and get them to take action. You can achieve high ecommerce email marketing CTR, or click-through rate, through appealing, interesting, and actionable calls to action (CTAs).
Increase your presence on social media platforms
Jumping on the social media bandwagon is great for gaining more exposure. And it’s absolutely free. You can choose platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and others to reach out to your audience.
Remember, the more people see your products on social media, the higher the chances of you actually driving more traffic to your online store and making more sales. So this one is definitely worth a try.
Optimise your website content for SEO
Keywords, keywords, keywords. The crux of search engine optimisation (SEO). Remember that Google’s algorithm these days is not only looking for keywords to bring the top results to the first page of the SERP for your customers to find you. It is also looking for quality content.
If you specifically answer customers’ questions, show how you address their pain points, have a blog with different articles to show expertise in your niche and gain the trust of your customers, you’re more likely to lead them to the checkout basket.
Use paid advertising on social media platforms
Here, it gets a bit more technical and costly. This is because, as the name implies, you pay for paid advertising. You may need to carve out a budget for your needs and once you’ve got this, it’s really worth it to reach more customers on social media platforms.
Why social media marketing? Because this is where most of your customers are. Millions of people spend over 30 minutes per day on social media and if you catch their attention and get them to click on your ad, you’re on your way to making a sale.
It’s worthwhile mentioning at this point that you should experiment with different copy types, different channels, and, of course, evaluate your budget so that you do not spend more than you earn. Ultimately, though, paid advertising is a successful way of getting more leads and sales.
Experiment with Google Ads
Google is undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest search engines and advertising on it can yield some fruitful results. Similar to paid advertising on social media platforms, you will need a budget to work with before you bid on certain keywords. However, if done successfully, you can appear at the top of Google’s search results as an ad and this will give your online business more visibility.
Reach out to influencers
The last point is about engaging the services of influencers. You might think that this could be a costly endeavour because you’ll need to spend money on paying them. However, you can always negotiate your relationship with the influencer in such a way as to trade or barter a product for a service they offer.
One important consideration with influencers is choosing the right one for your business. The influencer must speak to your target audience, otherwise, your efforts will be diminished.
And there you have it – plenty of product categories and products to choose from to sell online. You also have some basic principles of online selling to consider as well as some marketing strategies to try out.
Armed with this information, you can make a more informed choice and get your online business off the ground. And if you want to build a free online shop with beautiful pre-defined themes to choose from, why not give myPOS Online a try?
Online hosting and security are taken care of for you and you only need to choose your theme to match your brand, upload your products with images, descriptions and prices, add your contact details and you’re ready to go.
You can also take advantage of issuing promo codes and offering upsells to your customers to take advantage of this marketing strategy, too. Ultimately, myPOS Online is continuously expanding to make it that much easier for you to learn how to sell products online.