What E Commerce Business to Start? 10 Effective Ideas

12 mins read
A woman searching on what e commerce business to start
By Firmbee.com, Unsplash Copyright 2015

You would be familiar with what is an e-commerce business. But the main problem every young entrepreneur faces is what e commerce business to start. It is important to have an understanding of what product or service is worth selling online.

If you think about starting your own e-commerce business then you have come to the right place. This will be a perfect guide for young minds stepping into the world of e-commerce. E-commerce is a growing business that requires a lot of critical thinking to be successful.

Before setting up e-commerce you need to know whether people might be interested in buying it. Proper analysis of the current trend in the market will help you grow your business venture. E-commerce can be a perfect venture to buy and sell products online. This new trend gives an opportunity for young people to start their own businesses.

Many don’t have a clear picture as to how the whole process of setting up an e-commerce platform happens and how to plan the business idea for e-commerce. It not only includes what to sell but also studies the price range of competitors and many more. This article gives you insight as to what e-commerce business to start in the 21st century. And not just to start but also to become successful.

researching on what e commerce business to start
By Firmbee.com, Unsplash Copyright 2015

1. About E Commerce Business

E-commerce business has grown exponentially in this last decade. Buying and selling products online is the new method where people don’t want to waste time going to stores and buying them. Rather they’d be sitting at home ordering things online.

When you want to start an e-commerce, you need to set up some core principles as to what your business model will be like. Whether you want to have your own e-commerce website or use an established business website. This decision is important as it will change the dynamics as to what type of products or services you sell online.

When you compare it with traditional businesses. E-commerce business has a lot of advantages to cutting down the operational costs and ease of set up. Geography isn’t a barrier in the world of e-commerce. The online store helps the customer base to buy products and services anywhere.

2. What E-Commerce Business to Start?

Now before you start an ecommerce business it always comes down to what you want. You need to choose your potential customers to whom you want to sell. You need to set up the objective of starting this e-commerce business. It is never about earning money for all people. Some just want to try new business models and get exposure.

You would have heard of the big players in the field of e-commerce businesses like eBay, Amazon, etc. They are the first ones to predict how big this concept of e-commerce can go. In 2023, if you are planning to start an e-commerce. Well, you are late. But now is the best time to hop on before the competition gets even bigger. You have to choose which model is best suited to your business plan.

The below-mentioned ideas are some of the most profitable e-commerce business ideas that are tending in 2023.

A Person searching online about what e commerce business to start
By Roberto Cortese, Unsplash Copyright 2020

3. 10 Effective E-Commerce Business Ideas

3.1 Dropshipping

If you are new to the field of e-commerce and don’t have the resources to buy huge stock in the initial stage. Then dropshipping is the best way to start your e-commerce business.

In Dropshipping you just have to do the order fulfillment duty for your customers. So, you tie up with the supplier who is having the product and is involved in managing inventory. You promote the product and provide an e-commerce store where you can rope in customers.

The process starts when a customer places the order. Once they get the order confirmation, you have to send the order to the supplier. Now the supplier takes care of the rest of the process. The only thing you need to spend on is setting up your online store. Although there are many big players in the market like Amazon to whom you can dropship. But the competition is so much and also the fees would drain your profit.

In order to make a good online store by yourself. You need to create a good website and pull traffic into it. To do that you can use the help of search engines etc. Then people would come and place orders from your website.

You can sell generic products in your online store using drop shipping like home accessories, books, pet food, office products, footwear etc.

dropshipping is the best way to start your e-commerce business
By Melanie Lim, Unsplash Copyright 2020

3.2 Private Label Products

Selling private labels is the best way to know the real world of e-commerce. Here you can choose the products which you are gonna sell. You can create a brand identity for yourself by selling private labels and making some good money.

Here you create your own brand and the product in a way you want. And you have to seek reliable manufacturers who can produce your product in bulk. This is the independent business model where you are the decision maker as to what to produce and whom to sell. In dropshipping you cannot customize what product you want to sell. You can choose the type of product to sell but mostly it will be generic.

Selling private label products will cost you quite some money as you are taking care of the storage space and branding your product using digital marketing. Unlike dropshipping, you have to take care of shipping costs and make sure that the delivery is on time. If you build trust among the customers, you can build a huge brand for yourself and fight with the top players in the market.

You can sell any type of product which you wish to create a brand for yourself starting from beauty products, furniture, electronics, etc.

Private label products in e commerce business
By Mnz, Unsplash Copyright 2018

3.3 Subscription Boxes

The subscription e-commerce business model has grown exponentially in the last few years. The number of customers who has subscription boxes has increased by 90 percent. In this e-commerce business, you need to segregate a product or service which a customer will need on a regular basis. The subscriptions are usually per month. You offer them your product and convince them to subscribe.

The main reason for some people failing in this industry is not finding the right product. You need to convince the customer that the product they are going to buy should be bought on a regular basis and offer them a doorstep delivery. In this way, you can earn regular income monthly for the same product.

Another advantage of subscription-based products is that you are turning a single customer and making them buy it again and again. In this way, you are creating a loyal customer as well as it reduces the effort of searching for potential customers. But retaining the existing customers is important in this model.

You have to take care of the payment process in order for smooth operation. Usually taking credit card payments are lot common in this model. Once they subscribe to the product it will be periodically sold until it is cancelled by the customer.

The most common products sold in subscription boxes are groceries, personal care products, games, books, etc.

3.4 Hand-Made Products

You don’t need to think big in terms of what products you want to sell. If you are someone who is good at creating handmade items and artisanal products then your own products in e-commerce. They have a huge market among customers who love handmade items. It is preferred by customers as it is unique and has a human touch.

For this too choose a specific product that you wanna sell and make sure you have money to cover upfront costs for buying raw materials for making the product. Here inventory management is key as you are manufacturing the product and you need proper space from the time you make them till you sell it to your customers.

Setting a proper price range is important while selling handmade products. Even though you have the liberty of the uniqueness of your product compared to other types of e-commerce products. You need to look at the making costs, shipping costs, retail prices, and mainly prices of similar products sold online by other online stores. Separating your personal finances and business finances is important. Since these are handmade items, sending discount codes, and bulk order offers will help boost your initial sales.

Apart from having an online store, marketing products on social media are the best way to induce more customers. Here social media influencers play a crucial role in reaching more people depending on your target audience.

Handmade products can include anything like jewelry, accessories, artwork, craft supplies, embroidery, etc.

3.5 Clothing Line

If you have a taste in the world of fashion and have the passion to grow your business in the fashion industry. Then choosing to sell your own clothing line is the best way to venture into the e-commerce business. It is important to choose your niche in order to excel in this business. If you plan to sell all in one then you are not offering anything unique comparing your competitors.

Once you choose your specific target, you have to make arrangements for manufacturing. Whether it is in-house manufacturing or having partnerships with manufacturers who are going to produce for you the way you want. Here make sure that the quality of the product is good.

Apart from creating their own brand, some people tend to buy clothes at thrift stores and resell them in their separate e-commerce stores. This is called Fashion reselling. But in this way having a shipping strategy is important since you are buying from a different place and selling in your ecommerce store.

Setting up your online store for your clothing line is important as it is what will drive the customers from buying them. You need to have an attractive web design to gain traffic. Having a good quality image of the clothes and a proper model posing will boost your sales.

The provision of an exchange policy will induce the buying motive of the customer as it provides a sense of credibility and trust. And posting customer feedback on your website will also prove to be useful in roping new customers.

Your clothing line can be sports collection, casuals, formals, E-commerce, etc.

3.6 Vintage Collections

Especially in e-commerce, there is always a high demand for vintage or old collections. So, if you are someone who has a lot of vintage products in your home or has access to get many old collectibles. Then setting up your own e-commerce business store is a perfect way to make some good money.

This is not only for those who own their own collectibles. This can also be done by searching for vintage collections in thrift stores or even estate sales where you can find many sellers of old items. You can find some extremely rare pieces and sell them for healthy profit margins.

Now it is important to see the value of the item. Just because it is old and no one has it does not make it collectible. It should have a sound demand in the market. More research about the product is important since it will give you the power to market it with all the unique details you have about the product.

It is important for quality assurance since we are talking about handling collections that exist for years. You must have a proper shipping strategy to ensure delivery of the product.

Vintage collections can include antiques, rare action figures, records, historic pieces, etc.

3.7 Natural Cosmetics

There will always be growing demand for natural products. Since people are becoming self-conscious in maintaining their body and environment friendly. If you are someone who is an expert in producing natural cosmetics, then you have a great venture in e-commerce.

Although your products need to be in regulation to what the FDA has provided in terms of production. People usually prefer products that have FDA labels on them. Also before getting into business make sure that you find out what business licenses are required in your state. In this way, you can create a sense of trust among the customers.

It is also important to build your brand which has a series of cosmetics under one name. This will help in expanding your business to more than one product. The natural cosmetic industry is set to be a $56 billion industry by 2030. So, if you have what it takes, then start this soon.

Also collaborating with social media influencers might help you grow your business. Since there are a lot of people who market for cosmetic products. If people hear it from someone they know then the value for the product will increase.

Natural products can include handmade soap, body wash, cream, house cleaning products, essential oils, etc.

Natural cosmetics idea used for e commerce business
By Brooke Lark, Unsplash Copyright 2016

3.8 Coaching And Mentoring

E-commerce is not only a platform to sell products. If you have the desired skills and knowledge then you can make money by selling your service to the customers. But for this, you need to build a network where people have a sense of trust in acquiring your service. This needs to be personalized and specific.

It can include services like online fitness coaching, online education, consulting, etc.

Online fitness coaching has boomed after the Covid pandemic where people have the practice of not going out. Personal trainers use this platform to build a network and train their clients online. This model is not only for live sessions. Even many eCommerce businesses have video materials, books, etc.

But for starting this online business you need to be a certified trainer in the field in which you are training. And proper website helps in attracting customers. Here it is important for you to market your service rapidly. Because they would only get access to the coaching once they pay. So they would take decisions after thinking in every way possible. So, you need to anticipate the needs of your target customers and have everything with you to satisfy them.

Since this involves live interaction with the customers. You need to ensure that you treat them properly and feel welcome. The quality of the service is key to success in this business model.

3.9 Affiliate Marketing

If you are someone who is not interested in manufacturing your own product or building your brand. Still, you have a great chance of becoming successful in the e-commerce business. Affiliate marketing is the new trend in e-commerce where you partner with a brand and promote their product or service.

As per your interests, you can choose with whom you want to partner and work with. You need to drive traffic to your partner’s website. For this, you need to grow your social media profile. Since you need to attract traffic and make people buy your partner’s product or service. When you share posts of your partner’s campaigns, reviews, discounts, etc.

You will receive a commission from the items which your audience buys. This is a great way to make easy money in e-commerce. But the rewards which you earn are performance-based.

Common affiliate marketing practices are influencers, bloggers, media websites, etc.

Affiliate marketing is another option for what e commerce business to start
By Laura Chouette, Unsplash Copyright 2020

3.10 Home Décor Products

After the long pandemic where people spent most of their time in their houses. The concept of making their homes aesthetically pleasing and buying more appliances is grown. Selling these unique décor products online has a massive market.

This includes products that make daily activities easier with improved technologies, decorative items, personal safety equipment, kitchen, and dining mats, etc. These are some of the niche examples in terms of selling décor products online.

With the trend of smart homes, there are a lot of new tech products which have great demand in the market. If you have access to drop ship these products. Then it would really improve your business. Business idea video doorbells are gaining popularity with the rise of video calls. People want to know who is at the doorstep. This might be a good example of a niche product that has a demand.

Home decor products are another example of e commerce business idea. Home decor is in demand for e commerce as it is convenient for delivery and selection.
By James Yarema, Unsplash Copyright 2021

4. Closing Thoughts 

In today’s world, it is important for young business minds to unlock the full potential of e-commerce. This is only possible if you know what type of business is trending in the market. If you want to make your ecommerce business idea live then you need to focus on how well you can execute your business plan.

The good thing about an e-commerce business is that you can even start with zero capital and work your way through. Also, there are certain cases where you need more money just to start an e-commerce. But businesses can’t exist without capital be it money or time. This formula is the same for online as well as traditional businesses.

Proper business study and market analysis should be conducted to grow a successful business venture. The important thing which people often fail is the logistics part. If you feel like you do not have the ability to ship products by yourself. Outsource the work to someone who is an expert in the field. If you think about saving money in this, then the potential to lose your business is high.

Also, no matter how good your product or website is. If it is not promoted then you would not have any customers to sell the product. You need to excel in digital marketing in order to grow your e-commerce. To check whether you are reaching more people and whether they like your service. You can start to monitor the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) as you grow your business.

E-commerce has the potential to grow more than you expect thanks to digitalization. Whether you want to start a serious business or a side hustle. E-commerce is something that you can give a try. Major players in the business are utilizing every aspect of selling things online to their favor. Well, you can achieve your dream of having a business of your own easily through e-commerce.

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