The Best Ecommerce Business Ideas In 2021: The Definitive List

Ever wished there was a complete list of the best ecommerce business ideas in 2021 that you could just glance at, pick out your favorite, and then build the brand of your dreams?

Well, your wish is granted.

Inside this list, I’m going to lay out some of the best ecommerce business opportunities you can exploit. Some will be low cost ecommerce business ideas you can start tomorrow. Others will be some of the most profitable ecommerce business ideas you can ever jump on.

In all cases though, they are all ecommerce ideas to make money…

Because why else go through all of this trouble if you can’t use it to build your perfect life?

I’m going to post the best ecommerce business ideas in 2021 below. I’m going to explain what each ecommerce business opportunity is all about, why you should jump on it, and where you can go to learn more so you can start working on the idea of your choice.

So with all that said, let’s go through the best ecommerce business ideas in 2021 you can try…

Start A Premium Supplement Brand

If you’re into health and fitness, this is the category you want to be in. In this category, you get to work with all sorts of products like protein powder and protein bars to sleep beverages and anxiety drops. Depending on the route you go, you can even get started in the next 90 days. You can’t get away with your run-of-the-mill supplements, but you don’t have to be a nutrition nerd either to be successful here.

Why start a premium supplement brand?

  • It’s a high margin business. It’s common to see powder and capsule based products with margins of 70% or higher, which is critical for ecommerce.
  • It’s high in demand. It’s a massive category that is growing ridiculously fast. While this means it’s highly competitive, there are new niches popping up every day to dominate.
  • It’s a flexible category. You can start relatively cheap with powder and capsule products and then expand into higher volume, lower margin products like protein bars and energy drinks. 

Start A Trend Setting Clothing Line

Probably the most popular or at least most searched for ecommerce business opportunities is a clothing line. This can refer to anything from selling your own jeans and sweaters to selling high end shoes and trench coats. Everything goes. It’s definitely one of the toughest business models on this list, but when the biggest businesses tend to be clothing lines, then it’s safe to say it deserves to be on a list containing the best ecommerce business ideas in 2021.

Why Start A Trend Setting Clothing Line?

  • It’s a very fun business for creatives and fashionistas. There’s really nothing like getting to experience your own brand of clothing, especially if it’s designed with a strong message.
  • It’s the perfect business model for retail lovers. Starting a clothing line requires a strong wholesale operation. If that speaks to you, then you’ll like clothing.
  • It’s the most suitable idea for brand creators. Clothing lines are sold using identity. So if you are good at branding and community based marketing, it’ll fit your strengths.

Start A Profitable CBD Business

If there was ever a category that could be considered “all the rage”, it would be CBD. In this category, you can sell anything from CBD oil drops and capsules to CBD-enhanced food & beverage like CBD chocolate. Because the restrictions against it, it’s a hard and limiting business model, but it also means it’s early and ripe for disruption.

Why Start A Profitable CBD Business?

  • The CBD community is extremely strong. People who buy CBD absolutely love it, making it a lot easier for you to build your brand if you can reach them.
  • It’s early. Compared to today’s food & beverage brands or even supplement brands, you can easily differentiate a CBD product.
  • Eventually, CBD restrictions will drop. This will open the floodgates, so now is the time to get in. Even Facebook and Shopify have dropped their toughest rules against CBD.

Start A Luxury Brand For The Rich

When you take into account this entire list of best ecommerce business ideas in 2021, starting a luxury brand is at the top of the list. The reason is what regardless of your politics, the data shows that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. So, if you’re looking for ecommerce ideas to make money, then pick one where you sell something to the rich.

Why Start A Luxury Brand For The Rich?

  • Luxury products have some of the strongest margins in the game. And considering your margin is a key indicator of your chances of success, luxury becomes a no brainer.
  • It’s a smaller, more manageable business model. Unlike selling to the masses, you can get away with fewer sales of fewer SKUs to survive.
  • Luxury brands have stronger and longer lasting moats. It’s a harder industry to break even, but once you’re in, you’ll have a much easier time of staying profitable.

Start A Popular Subscription Box

A few years ago, the subscription box industry was in an absolute gold rush. Once you had big players like Birchbox win, then everyone jumped into the fray. Today, while the enthusiasm has died down, the demand for monthly subscription boxes have not. This means now is as good a time as any to start one.

Why Start A Popular Subscription Box?

  • Subscription revenue is king. There is nothing that helps keep a business sustainable and achieve higher exit multiples than having a large chunk of your revenue in subscription form.
  • You don’t need your own products. So if you’re more of a curator rather than a creator, your strengths will fit better with a subscription box versus other ecommerce business opportunities.
  • Demand is high in the right markets. Right now, one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S is Loot Crate. There are other markets that can see just as great of results.

Start A Women’s Makeup Line

One of the best ecommerce business ideas in 2021 is a women’s makeup line. Examples of products you can sell are lipstick, concealer, and eyeliner. Even if you completely remove Kyle Jenner’s success in this market, you’re still talking about one of the most sustainable categories in all of business. In my opinion, it’s one of business models you’ll most likely succeed in.

Why Start A Women’s Makeup Line?

  • The margins are extremely strong. Cosmetics is one of the only categories where margins have not dropped for the past 100 years. People are willing to pay big bucks for good makeup.
  • The demand is skyrocketing. Even during times of crisis, the demand for makeup doesn’t drop. In fact, it’s only getting bigger as time goes on.
  • It’s ideal for ecommerce. Because many makeup products are small in size/weight, but expensive, it has the best economics behind it to work for ecommerce.

Start A Unique Jewelry Brand

Jewelry is one of the more iconic ecommerce business opportunities. You can sell anything from rings and necklaces to bracelets and earrings. For an amazing example of what a great DTC jewelry brand looks like, look no further than 31 bits. While it’s an industry that’s been around for ages, it has the potential to be one of the most profitable ecommerce business ideas.

Why Start A Unique Jewelry Brand?

  • It has a great shipping to price ratio. In other words, the products are cheap to ship, but you can charge a lot for your products. This is ideal for ecommerce, especially with paid ads.
  • You can start really cheaply. Jewelry is one of those low cost ecommerce business ideas you can start if you’re ready to make some of your own.
  • Seasonal, yet classic. Jewelry tends to do the best during holiday seasons, but if you build it right, you’ll make money year round.

Start A Delicious Tea Brand

Besides water, tea is the most popular drink on earth. You can sell anything from premium matcha to private label teas like Oolong tea. It’s an extremely easy and low cost ecommerce business idea to start. It also has a massive opportunity in some organic marketing channels, making it an exciting business model, particularly if you love tea.

Why Start A Delicious Tea Brand?

  • The organic opportunity is huge. For some reason, marketers have completely forgotten about tea. This means you can swoop in and build an audience of tea lovers for close to nothing.
  • Easy to differentiate. Most people who start tea brands stick to private label stuff. But if you’re willing to venture out to other categories, you can claim “blue ocean” spaces quickly.
  • It’s trending up and to the right. The next generation of beverage drinkers are looking for healthier substitutes to their drinks. Tea fits in perfectly with its taste and health benefits.

Start A Massive Streetwear Brand

If you’re into apparel, then starting a streetwear brand is one of the best ecommerce business ideas you can jump on. Here, you can sell your version of Yeezy’s or even your own version of Supreme. It’s one of those “hybrid” categories that take the best of multiple worlds and for that reason, are the biggest innovation in clothing in general.

Why Start A Massive Streetwear Brand?

  • It’s both a luxury and apparel business. This combination brings together the exclusivity of luxury and the newness of apparel. Hence why “drops” are the biggest thing in business today.
  • It’s the most modern of all apparel categories. So if you want to be in a category where the next generation of apparel buyers are flocking too, then streetwear is where you want to be.
  • It’s a business model that’s built on collaboration. This means it’s possible for a brand new streetwear brand to grow without needing tons of money in paid advertising.

Start A Beautiful Hair Business

This is one of the more niche ecommerce business ideas on the list. Yet, that’s the very reason to get excited about it. You can sell anything from virgin hair and whigs to hair extensions if you really wanted too. You’re probably not going to be the next Paul Mitchell, but if you love hair, then it’s an amazing business to start.

Why Start A Beautiful Hair Business?

  • It’s a hyper niched industry. While most business ideas force founders to compete, people who start a hair business will find an easier time of getting to profitability.
  • It’s an untapped category with demand. Put plainly, there are a lot of buyers in their categories, but not enough businesses to serve them.
  • It’s a category where marketing alone can win. It’s not a category that’s filled with marketers. This is a massive opportunity because it means you can win purely on how you market the business.

Start A High End Candle Brand

Candles are one of the most popular “home” products out there. It’s also a very intimate product, just like all fragrances. Now, while candles are pretty straightforward, there are a lot of variations to it from how it’s packaged to even super customized product lines. In all cases, it’s a great, low cost ecommerce business idea.

Why Start A High End Candle Brand?

  • It’s super low cost. In fact, it’s probably the most affordable idea on this entire list because the materials are so cheap and can all be made from the comfort of your own home.
  • It’s a low competition niche. Even though candles have been sold for thousands of years, there is very little innovation in the industry. This means it’s ripe for disruption.
  • It’s perfect for presentation experts. Because fragrances are hard to see, anything you can do to make a candle visually appealing helps a ton. So if that’s your strength, try it.

Start A World Class Beverage Brand

Beverages are one of most expensive categories you can get into. It’s also one of the most difficult to market because it relies so much on wholesale. However, it’s also one of the biggest categories in the world. You have everything from Coke to Mike’s Hard Lemonade and even Liquid Death. It’s one of those categories where if you hit big, you’ll hit really big.

Why Start A World Class Beverage Brand?

  • It has a high barrier to entry. This means that the cost of starting is so high, it actually becomes a good thing because there is less competition from the masses.
  • There are untapped categories. While there are tons of energy drinks, there are plenty of categories where there aren’t any huge players, such as sleep beverages.
  • It’s an old, stale industry. The biggest players still market their products like if we lived in the 70’s. This means opportunity for new marketing strategies and angles not normally seen.

Start A POD T-Shirt Business

Probably the most popular business idea people search for on Google is the T-shirt business. It’s where a lot of entrepreneurs get their start because it’s so easy to get into. Just slap a design on a t-shirt and you’re in! Hence why in this category, you’re pretty much in the graphic tee business. 

Why Start A POD T-Shirt Business?

  • No inventory. You don’t need to worry about anything on the product side. Just put up your designs, sell the hell out of them, and let the manufacturers worry about the rest.
  • No cash flows issues. Because there is no inventory, you don’t have to deal with trying to juggle between marketing or inventory. Just put it all in your marketing.
  • Super easy to start. It’s possibly the easiest ecommerce business idea on this list to start. Hence why so many people get into it!

Start A Luxury Watch Business

If you love watches, then there really is no other choice. You can build a watch business like MVMT or even a luxury watch business like Patek Philippe. In any case, watches have gone up in popularity despite not being needed today because they’re critical in the men’s style game.

Why Start A Luxury Watch Business?

  • Extremely high AOV. Watches are one of most expensive accessories you can sell, which makes it possible to do well with advertising.
  • High demand. Watches switched from becoming a functional tool to an aesthetic one. This pivot has allowed it to increase demand over time.
  • Community based. Unlike most categories, watches are one of the few that have a die hard fan base that collect, share, and even pass down watches.

Start A Sunglasses Business

Sunglasses are one of the first categories to explode online because of brands like Warby Parker and others. Today, they’re still one of the more durable categories. It’s almost like they were built to be sold online. Best of all, there is still a ton of opportunity to innovate here.

Why Start A Sunglasses Business?

  • High margins. Sunglasses are one highest margin products you can sell online, which makes it super profitable.
  • High demand. As a category, the demand for sunglasses hasn’t gone done. It’s still an accessory that everyone wants.
  • Amazing packaging to shipping ratio. Because sunglasses are so small and lightweight, yet expensive… they were built to be sold online.

Start A Sock Business

There are few categories that had a boom like socks. In fact, it’s arguable that we’re still in the golden age of socks. It’s a business that has many of the best benefits of apparel, without much of the downside. This goes in almost every category, whether we’re talking athletic or everyday socks.

Why Start A Sock Business?

  • High margins. Unlike most categories in apparel, socks have a profit margin of 70%-90%, which is almost unheard of.
  • High demand. It’s one of the fastest growing categories in all of apparel because there is so much room for differentiation and mass appeal.
  • Customizable. One of the best ways to target niche customers is through customization. You can do this with ease through socks.

Start A Perfume Business

Perfumes are one of the oldest categories on this list, yet one of the most profitable. It’s a little harder to sell any type of fragrance online, but if you can crack the code, then it’s the business with the best profit margins. Plus, there’s ton of room for growth by adding personal care in the backend.

Why Start A Perfume Business?

  • Crazy high margins. Because perfume is so cheap to make, you can see a 80%-95% profit margin, minus the packaging. This is next level huge.
  • Early in the game. Despite perfumes being an old category, there has yet been a fully online winner. This means there is time for you to be it!
  • Easy to make at home. If you’re on a budget, you can make your own perfume products before spending thousands in manufacturing.

Start A Swimwear Line

Swimwear is one of the most popular seasonal businesses around. It’s also one that has the potential to go viral, such as how the red swimsuit giveaway went. If you’re someone who’s into more summertime apparel, then this is the category to be in.

Why Start A Swimwear Line?

  • Huge in summer. For obvious reasons, swimwear does amazing summer. Not to mention year round sales in places like Florida.
  • Potential for customization. It’s a category where designs rule, which is cheaper and faster than making new swimwear all the time.
  • Better margins than apparel. Depending on what you’re selling and what price point, swimwear has the potential to have a higher profit margin.

Start A Shoe Business

Shoes are the most important part of your outfit. It’s also quite possibly the most popular article of clothing. Whether you want to launch your own Allbirds or your own Yeezy, this business is ideal for any sneakerhead. Not to mention the economics behind it are amazing.

Why Start A Swimwear Line?

  • Iconic. Shoes are by far the most iconic piece of clothing you can buy, own, wear, share, and collect.
  • Amazing margins. Shoes have fantastic margins, especially when you’re selling them at luxury prices.
  • Competitive, but niche. While most shoes are generally the same, it’s still possible to build a highly lucrative shoe brand by going hyper niched.

Start A Skincare Line

Skincare is quite honestly one of the best businesses you can start. Like cosmetics, the economics behind it are amazing. Plus, there is now a massive growing men’s category to go alone with the already fast growing women’s category. It’s also a budget friendly business.

Why Start A Skincare Line?

  • Budget friendly. Some skincare products can be made at home. So if you’re on a budget, look at what you can do with skincare.
  • Great margins. Depending on the category, skincare can be cheap to make, but priced really high. Can’t really go wrong with that.
  • Bundling. While skincare can be relatively cheap, it’s one of the most “bundable” categories, which can lead to super high AOV.

Start A Soap Business

Soap is the ultimate “start at home” ecommerce business. It’s cheap to start, relatively simple to make, and has a huge soap making community behind it. Plus, it’s a category with so much customization options, there is plenty of space for anyone willing to be take chances.

Why Start A Soap Business?

  • Budget friendly. Soap is one of the only categories where you can realistically keep all manufacturing in-house, which keeps costs super low.
  • Customizable. Whether it’s different designs or scents, it’s a business that you can easily differentiate without breaking the bank.
  • Leads to other products. Many soap brands eventually expand to all toiletries, so there’s huge room for growth even if you tap out on soap.

Start A Furniture Business

If you already spent time making your own furniture or you’ve got a new twist on a certain category of furniture, then it might be worth looking into starting a furniture business. While it’s a category with high shipping costs, it’s also one of the few ecommerce categories with massive average order values.

Why start a furniture business?

  • Average order value. One of the biggest factors that lead to profitable Facebook ads is a high price. Furniture products are naturally high priced.
  • Handmade. Some furniture categories can be made at home, which means low startup costs and premium positioning
  • High barrier to entry. Other furniture categories, such as mattresses, have a high barrier to entry, which makes it harder for new competitors to take your position.

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