New Year’s resolution: start a business. Sound like you? This week we’ve got a collection of online store ideas that are trending upward in 2018. Each of these stores is extremely customizable and can vary depending on your interests. Rather than focusing on a single product, these online store ideas allow you to fill a broader niche and build a brand that can continue to grow throughout the year.

10 Online Store Ideas for 2018

1. Sell Posters & Wall Hangings
2. Sell Candles, Lotions, & Balms
3. Start an Online Clothing Store
4. Sell Digital Downloads
5. Sell Workout Plans Online
6. Sell Cosmetics Online
7. Sell your Art Online
8. Teach an Online Course
9. Get Weird
10. Create a Store with a Purpose

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online store ideas

1. Sell Posters & Wall Hangings

Photographer, designer, painter, or just generally interested in creating exciting visuals? Consider building a store specifically around wall decorations. Cross-stitch art is popular right now, as are knit-wool wall hangings. Maybe you enjoy finding art at thrift stores and playing with existing work- you can upsell these pieces at low cost to you. Consider carrying tacks, frames, wall hangers, and anything else you need to make your store a one-stop-shop for exciting, unique decor.

Instagram and Pinterest will be valuable resources for you because they are centered around attention-grabbing visuals. Push your social media presence hard, and consider including process videos on Insta.

2. Sell Candles, Lotions, & Balms

You’ll need beeswax. Lots of beeswax. The upside of selling these products together is the range of different ingredients they have in common. You can buy herbs like lavender and sage in larger quantities, then create unique scents and flavors across your product line.

online store ideas
There are a ton of directions you can go with this kind of store, so think specifically about the niche you want to fill. Will your products be organic? Aimed at a certain age group? Restorative for particularly dry skin? In a nutshell, what need are you trying to meet with your store?

3. Start an Online Clothing Store

Okay, we talk about this one a lot, but for good reason. The world of eCommerce can be confusing and messy, but one thing we know for sure is clothing stores are consistently one of the most popular online store ideas out there. Whether you make your own products by hand (we’re looking at you, master knitters) or print your logos on clothing items, this trend isn’t going anywhere.

Because this is one of the most popular online store ideas, the market can feel saturated. It’s still possible to stand out; you just need a little creativity to find your perfect niche. Will your products be made by hand? Will a portion of your proceeds go to charity? Look at your passions to find a unique angle to promote your new online store idea and hit the ground running.

Read: How to Start an Online Clothing Store in 7 Steps

4. Sell Digital Downloads

This is an extremely broad idea, but it’s worth noting- plus, we’ll go into some more specific examples of digital downloads later in this post! Selling digital downloads is a great way to start making some money on the side without investing a ton of time and money. The biggest benefit of selling digital products is the upfront costs (or lack thereof).

Whether you create and sell a graphic novel, a book of family recipes, Lightroom presets for photographers, or video tutorials, offering your products in the digital format is one of the easiest ways to jumpstart a new business venture. All of the hard work is at the front-end of your process. Spend time creating your digital products, perfecting them to your liking, then toss them up on a shiny new online store.

Once your products are up, you don’t have to worry about things like inventory or shipping. You can focus all of your energy on marketing your new online store and getting people interested in your product, then watch the sales roll in. It’s so simple, seriously.

 

5. Sell Workout Plans Online

If you’ve been on any social media platform in the past year, you’ve probably caught onto a major trend: 2017 was the year of the Fitspo. From yogi’s promoting intro relaxation courses to bodybuilders selling their ultimate guides to building a J.Lo booty, virtual training is a booming industry.

Despite the internet being overwhelmed with squat tutorials and mirror selfies, it’s not too late to get in the game (especially now). With the New Year comes the resolutioners– people looking to make major changes to their health and fitness routines. But in-person training is expensive and hard to manage.

online store ideas
You can create general online workout plans and sell them as digital downloads, offer individualized plans and one-on-one coaching, or sell your workouts as videos. Make sure to you are knowledgeable, passionate, and most of all enthusiastic about helping others reach their fitness goals. Content marketing and social media are great ways to promote yourself as an expert in the fitness-niche you choose to dive into.

Read: How to Sell Workout Plans Online in 4 Steps

6. Sell Cosmetics Online

Content marketing is the name of the game here. Whether you’re working with an outside provider like Avon or building a personal brand line, the trick is finding ways to stand out in a crowded market. Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest are all valuable tools because of their visual focus.

Alongside your physical product, consider selling tutorials, helpful materials like matching color palettes and skin-care how-to’s, plus anything else that will help your customer look and feel their confident best. This online store idea can expand pretty broadly, so spend some time brainstorming complementary products and services.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Selling Cosmetics Online

7. Sell Your Art Online

There’s a huge range of ways you can sell your art from an online store, so don’t feel limited to traditional canvasses. T-shirts, pillows, posters, stickers, stamps, buttons, and more are all fantastic ways to get your artistic vision out into the world. Creativity is the key here. Take the unique elements of your style and compare them to styles and trends you see around you.

online store ideas
You can blend in a freelance element as well- designing eBook covers or taking wedding photos or putting together logos or running Instagram accounts for businesses. The opportunities are endless.

8. Teach an Online Course

You’d be amazed at the specialized knowledge that you have. Whether it’s teaching English as a second language, giving music classes, or making video cooking lessons, there are a ton of ways to put your talents to use in a rewarding side hustle. One benefit of teaching courses online is the front-loaded nature of the work- once you’ve created the course, you can set it running and kick back.

Building an online course can also be a great add-on to an existing store. Consider pairing with your video content with other products, like eBooks, worksheets or one-on-one coaching.

9. Get Weird

One of the hardest aspects of starting an online store is finding a way to stand out from the crowd. How can you tackle this? Get a little weird with it. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your online store ideas. Do you like unicorns and dogs? Create unique dog accessories with unicorn printed fabric. Interested in mermaids, but don’t have time to sew hundreds of mermaid-tail blankets? Create a sewing pattern for your genius idea and sell it as an eBook. Obsessed with your cat and knitting? How about selling handmade blankets just for your furry friends?

online store ideas
There are unlimited opportunities to turn your quirky passions into fun online store ideas. If you can tap into a niche audience (say, dog lovers, for example) and create a one-of-a-kind product that’s silly and unique, you’re bound to find customers who fall in love with your new store.

10. Create a Store with a Purpose

There are a huge range of ways that you can use your business to create a positive impact in the world around you. Sourcing your materials and labor in ethical, sustainable ways is a great start. Donating a portion of your profits to charity and investing in local communities are a couple other ways to build a broader sense of purpose for your business and give back.

Think about the business you want to start, and what related needs you see in the world around you. In general, the closer you can tie your mission to the product you sell, the better. Storytelling is a great way to evoke an emotional response, so consider blogging as a way of sharing your impact and getting others involved.

Read: 5 Ways Your Online Store Can Give Back


Inspired? We hope so! Invest in yourself this year and start a business to add to (or replace) your day job. Don’t worry if none of these online store ideas are exactly what you’re looking for- check out this massive list of 105 side business ideas for more great starting points. Suggestions, corrections, stories from the entrepreneurial frontlines? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Ready to get started on your new online store? Sign up for Selz today and get a FREE 14-day trial of the platform (no credit card required)!