Congratulations, you want to start a dropshipping business!
Maybe you’re stuck on dropshipping business ideas or don’t know where to start. Don’t worry; this article is here for you.
Everything you want to know about the best places to sell geographically, how to find a niche, which ones are the most profitable right now, and tools for dropshipping research are here for you. Let’s get started.
It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of business ideas, and choosing a dropshipping business idea is the hardest part of selling online. It is easy to get overwhelmed with choices and fear that your product ideas won’t sell or quickly stop being on-trend.
So, how can you pick profitable dropshipping ideas? With some good research and accessible online tools, you can find dropshipping business ideas that will help you achieve ecommerce success.
Before we delve into profitable dropshipping products and ideas and call it a day, let’s first discuss what goes into choosing a business idea and how digital marketing works.
Prior to deciding what your ecommerce store will sell, you’ll need to do market research and choose where you will sell. Do you want to focus on consumers in your home country or go global? There are pros and cons to both.
For most dropshipping companies, it helps to analyze the country you live in as a place to start an online business. The benefits of dropshipping in your home country:
- You are aware of the cultural trends
- You know current product trends
- You are aware of the consumer mindset and buyer habits
- You can see which digital channels are the most popular
- It’s cheaper to gain market knowledge that you need
- Low-risk business model
Having said this, there are some advantages to tapping into international markets. Dropshipping in another country might be a good idea if you have noticed a gap in the market for those consumers, the population has a higher disposable income, or you have found an exciting business opportunity. Here are some statistics.
China is the largest ecommerce market in the world. In 2021, total digital retail sales amounted to $2.1 trillion, says GlobalData. By 2025, they estimate the Chinese ecommerce market will be worth $3.3 trillion. This is due to a massive number of digital consumers, new ecommerce platforms being introduced, and alternative payment options such as AliPay and WeChat Pay.
According to eMarketer, Asia-Pacific (all of Asia, Australasia, and the Pacific islands) was the biggest market in the retail ecommerce industry in 2021. That year, online sales reached almost $3 trillion. By 2022, they predict that retail ecommerce sales in Asia-Pacific will be miles ahead of western countries. Sales in this area should be “three times greater than in North America and nearly five times greater than in Western Europe.”
India is set to be the fastest-growing ecommerce market in 2022. Data from the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a Trust established by the Indian Department of Commerce, India’s retail ecommerce industry will reach $111 billion by 2024 and $200 billion just two years later. The potential for ecommerce in India is vast, with investors just taking notice. Experts predict rapid growth in the next five years due to this.
The top 10 countries for ecommerce
To further help you decide which country to start dropshipping, you can look at some research from eMarketer. The graph below shows the top 10 countries for ecommerce in 2021. Since 2018, the leading five – China, the US, the UK, Japan, and South Korea – have remained the global leaders.
If you are struggling to choose a country first for your dropshipping model, don’t worry. Part of your market research process for the best dropshipping business ideas will be looking for profitable products and the ideal consumer persona you are targeting. During your research stage, you might find an excellent product to specialize in and then decide which countries will have the best opportunities for sales.
Before we continue, let’s define the term “niche.” A niche is a specific group of buyers part of a larger market. They have particular traits, buying habits, and characteristics that allow you to narrow down these segments. A niche will have distinct features such as:
- Demographics (age, gender, marital status)
- Geographic location
- Budget (affordable to luxury)
- Values and interests
It is beneficial in business to focus on a smaller audience for several reasons. Engaging with a specific segment allows you to meet their particular needs better. The buyers can receive more attentive customer service, and it’s easier to create a community for your brand. There is less overall competition with dropshipping suppliers, and you can position yourself as an expert in the market.
Worldwide, the top three product categories for online sales for 2022 are electronics, fashion, and furniture. Electronics is a booming market and the number one ecommerce business this year says data from Statista. It is predicted that the total number of digital sales for electronics will be USD 1.043 billion.
Fashion is second in the number of digital sales. It follows close behind electronics, with an estimated USD 1 billion to be spent by online shoppers this year. Furniture comes in third, with total sales expected to reach almost USD 5 billion.
Looking at more research from Statista, we can see the product categories that had the most cross-border sales in 2021. In a survey of 2,035 respondents from the US, Germany, Australia, and the UK, 56% of buyers bought clothing and footwear from another country.
This puts forward the business idea of selling in multiple countries, either at the beginning stage of your online store or later in the future after you’ve seen steady growth.
We have found some dropshipping niches from the market research reports that might be worth investigating. However, as trends change so often, it’s good to perform your market research to see where you can tap into the best markets.
Luckily there is plenty of information online that is free to access without buying expensive market reports.
These are some free tools to use:
Google Trends is the BFF of all dropshipping suppliers. A free tool from Google, Google Trends allows you to see what people have recently been searching on the internet. Search by country, year range, and category to filter your search. It’s a powerful way to see if a product you have in mind for dropshipping has interest with consumers online.
We entered the term “bracelet” into Google Trends in this example. The graph shows us the seasonal trend in the popularity of this search term over 12 months worldwide.
Christmas is the peak season for buying bracelets, with some increase in interest over summer. To improve this search for dropshipping, adding a comparison keyword such as “leather bracelet” or “silver bracelet” will give us more information about buying habits in the bracelet niche.
Google’s keyword planner tool is a dropshipping must. It offers you keyword ideas while showing the volume of keyword searches, how competitive these keywords are, and how much it costs to use that keyword in a paid Google ad.
You can see how Google Keywords displays the search terms and offers valuable data. It suggests similar and more descriptive keywords that you might find interesting. In this case, Google Keywords has recommended “garden parasol,” “cantilever parasol,” and “garden umbrella” as alternatives to the original search term “parasol.”
Updated hourly, Amazon lists the products sold the most in each category. This is useful to get an insight into what customers are buying and how it compares with research from Google Trends and Keywords Planner. A Statista report shares that there are 200 million Amazon Prime members worldwide.
Choose a department on Amazon on the left menu to see the popular products for that category. In the example of the baby department, consumers on Amazon are buying nappies (diapers) and baby wipes in bulk.
From this, we can learn the pain points and needs that newborn parents have:
- New parents don’t have a lot of time, especially if one parent is still working and if they also have other young children. Buying in bulk is preferred to save the number of trips to the supermarket.
- There is a desire for products that will be the most gentle to their child’s skin so opting for products labeled as hypoallergenic and unscented is popular.
- As consumers become more aware of toxins and skin irritants, water-based products for babies are in demand. For example, alcohol is commonly avoided.
- While needing practical and convenient products such as baby wipes, one-use, new parents are also environmentally-conscious. The number three best-selling baby item is biodegradable.
We can then use this information to narrow down a target niche:
Young green parents
- Under 35 years old
- Looking for baby products that make their life easier
- They want products that are kind to a baby’s skin
- They are reasonably interested in buying items that are kind to the planet
- Both parents have bachelor’s degree
- The budget is mid-range, but they like to take advantage of deals
As of April 2022, Instagram has a potential advertising audience of 1.45 billion (18.3% of the global population), according to Data Reportal. This is a considerable number of potential customers to target. Use the app to find the latest product trends by searching hashtags, seeing what influencers recommend, and what shows up on your “for you” feed.
Instagram is a perfect way to perform competitive market research to find dropshipping business ideas. What product types are your competitors selling? Who do they sell to, what makes them unique, and what selling strategies are they using to entice customers? All these questions will lead to a profitable business model.
TikTok follows closely behind Instagram, says Data Reportal, with an advertising reach of 884.9 million (11.2% of the global population). Searching this app for product trends is easy with hashtags like #Amazonfinds and #TikTokmademebuyit. Shopping hauls, viral novelty items, and valuable products for fashion or home hacks are popular.
TikTok is particularly popular with the younger generation, with 43% of 18-24 years old users. The second-largest segment is users aged 25-34 (32% of users). An eye-popping statistic worth knowing is that TikTok saw USD 2.3 billion of consumer spending on the app in 2021. This was 77% higher than in 2020.
The graph below from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence shows the incredible jump in sales, which means the app is a tool worth using for product research and perhaps as a sales tool once you are selling from your dropshipping store.
Utilizing Meta for product research is a must. This tech giant owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, so it has enormous data on its users. You can use Facebook Hot Topics to see the most popular topics on Facebook and Instagram each month. Search by country, category, age, and gender.
This platform allows you to quickly see the top five trending topics in different categories in the US, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, the UK, and Brazil. The category for brands and products is beneficial to see what Meta users are interested in purchasing.
The 11th most popular social media platform, according to Data Reportal, April 2022, Pinterest is another helpful tool to use. Pinterest Trends is free to access information on what 444 million active users worldwide are trying to find.
In this instance, sunglasses are becoming a hot topic as the weather warms and summer approaches. Currently, it’s possible to search for trends in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Pinterest Trends also rounds up the latest trends and topics to inspire you. You can then explore related searches and pins associated with the subject.
Using the spa example suggested by Pinterest, we can see the popularity of “luxury spa design interiors” over the last 12 months and similar searches such as “spa interior design” and “luxury spa.”
Pinterest then shows this feed of the most-favored pins for the search “luxury spa design interiors.” This is an excellent visual for dropshipping entrepreneurs looking for a niche market.
A free weekly newsletter, Trends.co rounds up the latest startup trends and business ideas to your email. It is comprehensive, well researched, and with extensive resources. You can expect to receive information such as market opportunities, how the trend originated (the need), who are the leading players, and predictions for the trend.
There are also paid tools such as Buzzsumo or Feedly if you want to monitor trends and research in a comprehensive dashboard.
This is a top tip. Adding fashion accessories to your online store to complement your main dropshipping products will boost profits.
Let’s say your main product offering is sold at $50-100. Your customers may likely spend time researching the brands in the market for this product to make sure they invest in the best option. Types of products at this price point are usually bought less frequently.
Accessories, however, are a way to increase spending per visit, encourage repeat business, or give an option to consumers with a smaller budget. The good thing is that accessories apply to many niches.
Humans like collecting things by nature, so offering this option is perfect for tempting buyers to keep coming back and purchasing more accessories. These might be accessories in different colors, sizes, and features in a range of quality. They can be functional accessories such as camera lenses with various specs or aesthetic accessories such as phone cases.
Niche: Kayaking and SUP
The kayaking market is due to grow to USD 105.37 million by 2025, as per PR Newswire. Meanwhile, the stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) market is predicted to increase by USD 112 million by 2028, says Global Newswire.
Factors for the rising interest in these two watersports are a higher number of people with disposable income and awareness of the sports. Accessories to sell alongside a kayak and SUP board would be:
- Dry bag
- SPF sunscreen
According to Companies Market Cap, as of May 2022, the company Crocs is worth USD 4.18 billion. The brand sells rubber footwear for men, women, and children. The intelligent marketing strategy of Crocs, and the reason they have sustained a profitable position, is they have innovative products and accessories.
In 2006, Crocs bought a niche cottage business called Jibbitz, which created fun charms to customize Crocs shoes. Charm accessories are a genius idea. They keep customers coming back to collect more, make every Croc-wearer’s shoes unique, are affordable, and have new designs released to keep customers interested.
Keeping the range of accessories small to focus on the R&D budget for their footwear, Crocs also offers socks in addition to Jibbitz.
Product: Leather goods
The trend for high-quality and timeless pieces has come back. Buyers are more interested in investing in leather items such as belts, shoes, jackets, and bags. The global leather goods market is predicted to be worth USD 624.08 billion by 2028, says Grand View Research.
The luxury leather goods niche is a notable subcategory. Statista suggests that the luxury leather market will be worth almost $74 billion in 2022. Of this, more than 20% of sales are made online. The key players are LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (30%), Kering (20%), and Hermès (10%), among others.
As leather is a natural product, it needs to be well-taken care of to ensure it lasts. Accessories often sold alongside affordable and luxury leather goods include:
- Gentle leather cleaner
- Leather conditioner
- Soft brush
- Cleaning cloth
Niche: Pet parents
Many pet owners love to dote on their furry companions. Millennials and Gen Z without children especially are willing to spend more of their disposable income on their pets. An article in Psychology Today, 2021, found that 72% of Millennial women prefer the company of a pet rather than a child. Many pet parents spend more money on their pets than themselves.
Research from Fortune Business Insights expects the global pet care market to reach almost USD 223 billion in 2022 and USD 325 billion in 2028.
Accessories to sell in the pet niche:
- Pet collars
- Collar tag
- Food bowl
- Pet comb
Finding a niche around a hobby or interest with die-hard fans is perfect. Customers that have a passion for something are willing to invest in their hobby to purchase equipment, accessories, clothing, or materials. Finding a low-competition niche with a stable trend is the ideal goal to tap into a profitable market.
These are some examples.
The global gaming market is a big industry as technology improves each year and gaming experiences keep getting better. There are currently around 3.09 billion players (40% of the world’s population). Newzoo reported that the industry will hit a record-high in 2022 and reach an estimated value of USD 203.1 billion.
Possible niches to explore:
- Mobile phone gamers
- PC gamers that prefer warcraft games
- Console players that prefer e-sports
- Gamers that stream live
Dropshipping ideas for gamers:
- Gaming chair
- Gaming desk
- Ergonomic mouse
- Mechanical keyboard
The gardening boom that started during the Covid-19 lockdown hasn’t fizzled out. The demand for gardening supplies has had an upward trend since 2020. In The Guardian, March 2022, an article reported news of seeds selling out and tools and plants sales rocketing in the US.
A survey from Market Watch found that 75% of their 3,700 respondents in Germany, Australia, and the US, found tranquillity when gardening during the early stages of the pandemic. Many of those that started during the virus decided to continue the hobby as it gives them therapeutic and psychological benefits.
In addition to flowers, plants, and seeds, there is also the garden furniture market. This crosses over with gardeners and includes people who enjoy socializing or relaxing outside but may not spend much time with horticulture. “Interiors outdoors” involves creating a comfortable area in the open air to maximize the living space and bring it into the garden.
Possible niches to explore:
- First-home young gardeners
- Retired gardeners
- Vegetable growers
- Outdoor living area lovers for parties and relaxation
Dropshipping ideas for the gardening niche:
- Patio tables, sofas, and chairs
- Garden lighting
- Sail shades
- Retractable awnings
Pets and animals
Many pet lovers want to spend money making their fur (or scale/feather) babies happy! We mentioned this earlier in the article, but there are many niches to branch into with this market. It can be as specific as a species of animals such as reptiles, a sport with an animal such as horseriding, or competitions with pets like dog shows.
Possible niches to explore:
- Exotic pet owners
- Cat owners
- Dog owners
- Owners of a smallholding
- Horseriding hobbyists
Dropshipping ideas for the pets and animals niche:
- Chicken coop
- Cat hammock
- Dog outdoor kennel
- Parakeet cage
- Bicycle trailer for dogs
- Shipwreck ornament for a fish tank
- Rain sprinkler system for reptiles
As covid restrictions ease with masks, limited numbers indoors, and covid passports are unnecessary for the gym in many countries, people worldwide are keen to head to the gym, classes, and life before the pandemic. Since the virus began, fitness trends have changed.
The Health and Fitness Journal discovered the top trends for 2022 according to 4,546 survey participants worldwide who are professionals in the fitness industry. The top five trends are:
- Wearable technology
- Home exercise gyms
- Outdoor activities
- Strength training with free weights
- Personal training
We can decide which niche to research further and settle on for a dropshipping business from this information.
These statistics will vary from country to country. For example, the news outlet, Nine, found research that 40% of Australians in 2022 are doing “hybrid workouts.” That is, working out from home and going to the gym.
Possible niches to explore:
- Male gym goers
- Female gym goers
- Bodybuilders and powerlifters
- Beginners at the gym
Dropshipping ideas for the gym niche:
- Barbell squat rack
- Multipurpose gym machine
- Exercise bench with weights
- Two cast iron weight plates
- Women’s sports bras
- Women’s training shorts
- Barbell and dumbbell rack
Again, after covid, the world is ready to travel and set sail for adventures abroad with procedures made easier now than two years ago. The New York Times suggests that summer 2022 will be the “rebound” season when travelers en-masse will make the most of the accessible globe-trotting come-back.
Possible niches to explore:
- Single, childless, young travelers
- Retired travelers
- Luxury break holiday goers
Dropshipping ideas for the traveling niche:
- Wheeled laptop bag
- Hiking backpack
- Baby travel bag
- Set of packing organizers
- Wireless headphones
- Wireless power bank
Kitchen gadgets are perfect for dropshipping as there is an almost endless array of products within this category. TikTok and Instagram especially make cooking and baking more enticing. These platforms show easy-to-follow short videos for recipes, food hacks, Amazon and Wish hauls, Mukbangs, “what I eat in a day,” and the latest foodie trends. Does anyone remember the infamous Dalgona coffee and mug cakes during the lockdown?
Possible niches to explore:
- Amateur bakers
- Professional and advanced chefs
- Millennial foodies
- Empty-nesters with more time for cooking
Dropshipping ideas for the cooking niche:
- Baking mixer
- Kitchen compost bin
- Stainless steel French press
- Coffee machine
- Vacuum sealer
- Luxury oven mitt
Clothing and footwear is a broad market with many possibilities for finding a small, focused group of target consumers. Fashion for many is a hobby with people choosing to spend thousands. There’s a reason why fashion is one of the top categories online shoppers buy.
Niches to consider:
- Thrifters (vintage lovers)
- High-end luxury shoppers
- Contemporary fashionistas
Dropshipping ideas for the fashion industry:
- Vintage clothes/accessories
- Designer bags/jewelry
- Streetwear jeans and t-shirts
- Frilly dresses
- Trench coats/petticoats
The 2000s and 90s trend
For the last year, a current fashion statement has been the 1990s and 2000s fashion. Gen Z, in particular, is enjoying the modern retake on the 2000s and 90s-inspired looks. Data from Agility PR in 2021 found that Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) has considerable disposable income to spend on hobbies such as clothes, accessories, and beauty products. In 2021 this young cohort had a collective disposable income of USD 360 billion.
Current trends in this niche:
- Beaded necklaces, chokers, and phone charms
- Brightly-colored resin jewelry
- Vibrant or pastel hair clips and hair claws
- Cargo trousers
- Belly chains
Items in this niche are primarily on the affordable side, but you could see an increase in revenue if you have many orders. There is room for luxury and a higher-priced variety of products for Gen Z consumers with a more significant income.
Now that you have read every dropshipping business idea we have gathered, now it’s your turn. The information in this article is a perfect starting point for you to perform your own research and find a niche you want to explore.
One of the age-old truths is to find a niche you are interested in yourself. Perhaps you are an avid gym rat, and you enjoy researching and purchasing these products yourself. Or maybe you have an interest and experience in keeping animals. Once you understand a market, especially from the buyer’s perspective, it is easier for you to navigate as an entrepreneur.
Find a dropshipping program
When you are set on your niche, the fun part begins, and you’re ready to go ahead and find a supplier. dropshippingXL is a recommended international dropshipping program that sellers around the world trust. Choose from over 90,000 products in niches across home and garden furniture, sports equipment, children’s toys, and baby products. Signing up is quick and easy.
Good luck with your dropshipping!