Do you like to sew, knit, cook, or model in clay? Any hobby you have can become an extra income by selling online. Demand for handmade items is on the rise: the size of the market for handmade products is constantly growing. In this article, we’ll show you which products are the most popular, where to sell them, and what to consider when starting an online business.
What can be sold on the Internet
Choosing a product line depends on two factors: first, your skills and hobbies, and second, the needs of your target audience. Below, you’ll find a few dozen ideas for selling online.
People want to decorate their homes with unique designer pieces, not just standard baskets and pillows sold at any store out there. In 2020, due to the quarantine, the interest in decorating homes around the world has peaked in the last five years. These things are also bought as gifts, which increases their popularity. You can sell:
- blankets: knitted or made with the patchwork technique, long or short pile, from natural or synthetic materials;
- decorative pillowcases: embroidered or printed, for children or adults, in bright or laconic colors;
- candles and candlesticks: odorless or scented, regular or molded, solid or granulated.;
- scented toothpicks and their holders;
- frames for paintings: wood or plastic, normal size or large;
- rugs: for the entrance hall or bedroom, kitchen or balcony.
Clothes & accessories
This industry is very competitive, so think about finding a specific niche. Currently, stay-at-home clothing is especially high, demand for which increased sharply in March 2020 and remains high until now. Other popular things include:
- T-shirts with original prints;
- Hand-made bags and backpacks;
- Bags with fabrics with unusual inscriptions;
- Legal socks;
- Scarves, hats, gloves, shawls;
- Leather belts, bow ties, suspenders.
To sell cosmetic products, it is worth considering some details. First, all ingredients must be safe: check the requirements for selling homemade cosmetics in your area. Second, these products often have high production costs: calculate everything carefully before starting the production process.
The product line may include makeup, skincare, or bath products, for example:
- Lip protectors;
- Body scrubs;
- Effervescent spheres and bath salts;
- Solid perfumes;
- Bath gels and salts;
- Cosmetics for skin/hair care;
- Manicure and pedicure products.
Selling food online is a great idea, but it has an important limit, which is storage time. If you don’t sell durable goods (like chocolate or lollipops), the geography of sales should be limited to your city or country.
Remember that this industry requires additional training: be aware of the rules you must follow when producing these types of products and ensure they do not spoil during transport. There are many options for this type of business: Christmas gift baskets, catering with delivery, “healthy” treats or delicacies for children such as:
- Baked goods;
- Marmalades and jellies.
Interested in photography? So we have two suggestions for you to sell online: stock photography sites, where your photos are bought by third parties in order to promote their business ( Shutterstock, iStockphoto, Depositphotos ), or decoration sites where people look for photos to decorate the interior. from their homes or stores.
Select a genre (portraits, landscapes, collages, etc.) and think about related products, for example:
- Pictures for frames;
- Accessories (mugs, plates, postcards, magnets).
Despite the popularity of digital technologies, demand for stationery remains high. Some people buy these products for their individuality, others buy them as gifts, and many simply prefer to be able to write by hand. You can sell:
- Business diary;
- Creatively themed notebooks;
- Pencils, pens, markers;
- Postal cards;
- Accessories (pencil pots, sharpener, eraser);
- Stickers for notebooks or laptops.
This is a universal category. Firstly, the demand for kitchen accessories is on the rise almost all year round, so you don’t have to worry about the seasonality of sales. Secondly, such products are sought after by foodies and restaurant fans as well as people who cook at home, for example:
- Cups for various drinks;
- Original plates, bowls, teacups;
- Boards for cutting and decorating;
- Kitchen accessories (spoons, spatulas, pliers);
- Textiles (coffee cups, aprons, towels, napkins, tablecloths);
- Knife holder;
- Spice jars;
- Detergents and others.
This market is one of the most competitive. Think about how you can differentiate yourself: choose a specific niche and present a strong value proposition (eco-friendly products, innovative development, solution to a problem). Search for knowledge about safety requirements for children’s products and choose a category from the list below:
- Clothes (such as pajamas, sportswear, winter jackets, and stylish clothes);
- Shoes (sports, for everyday life, for dance classes);
- Textiles (bedding, curtains for children’s rooms);
- Toys (soft, wooden, developmental toys).
Another popular category, which has grown a lot in 2020. People want their pets to always feel comfortable. It is worth remembering that the main criterion of products for animals is safety. The following products can be offered:
- Leads and collars;
- Bowls and mats;
- Cookies and snacks;
- Pet houses.
Boxes with Gifts
In this case, you will ship boxes with a certain set of products to your customers. Think about what products you will be offering and how often people will be able to receive them: by subscription or by request.
Subscription kits mean that every month you will ship products to customers. And you will be able to assemble kits on request based on:
- Occasions (birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween);
- Theme (cosmetics, textiles, home decor, children’s items);
- Who the gifts are intended for (mother, friend, boss, colleague).
How to Start Selling Online
Step 1. Analyze the market
Explore your target audience’s needs and make sure they need your product. To do this, analyze the most searched keywords using Google Trends, statistics on the selected industry, competition, and development trends. Consider the price to make a profit.
Step 2. Develop your brand identity
Your logo, company colors, and fonts will help customers remember you. They should be used both on online websites and on product packaging. To create a brand for your business, you will need internet access and a little time. shopify’s online generator offers dozens of logos, colors, and fonts to choose from.
Step 3. Choose online platforms to sell and promote your business
You can sell handmade products at:
- Well-known marketplaces ( Amazon, Etsy, eBay );
- Popular online platforms in your region;
- Your own website.
It is also worth thinking about a promotion strategy to make you known to as many people as possible. Pick one or two social media that your target audience uses most often, for example:
Put your brand in all the places where you will sell and promote your products. Use your logo as your profile picture and also your corporate colors in your posts. Take quality photos of products from different angles and add detailed descriptions.
Step 4. Packaging Design
There are two factors to consider at this stage:
- Transport. Goods must not be damaged during transport: cookies cannot be broken, photos cannot be wrinkled, clothes not dirty. Think about whether you will need thermal packaging to keep the product warm, super strong, and moisture resistant materials. It all depends on product specifications and shipping time.
- Branding. The packaging must be pleasing to the eye and to the touch. In addition, it must serve the product properly. For example, craft paper is suitable for craft soap and candy boxes. Think about the best materials to use, and don’t forget to add your brand’s colors, fonts, and logo to your packaging.
Step 5. Earn customer loyalty
To establish a successful business, creating a product and just putting it on a website will not be enough:
- Ensure quality: choose responsible suppliers, safe components, and durable materials.
- Stay in touch: Quickly respond to questions from potential customers, resolve issues, and respond to feedback.
- Promote your products on social media: Don’t just advertise, but also post useful or entertaining content related to your products. Reply to comments and personal messages.
We wish you many loyal customers and success in sales!