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1. The best products to sell on Shopify: what are online shoppers buying?

What to sell on Shopify: Six best products for maximum profit

Shopify leads competitor Wix Stores as the most popular ecommerce platform in the US, commanding 28% of the market as of January, 2024, according to Yaguara.co. This data paints a profitable potential for creative artists selling products online. But to seize this opportunity, you need to know what sells on Shopify.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • To select your product line for Shopify, consider popularity and demand, profit margin, seasonality, competition, and your product knowledge. These factors help estimate revenue potential, plan marketing strategies, and assess the feasibility of sales.

  • To select the right product mix for your own online store, conducting thorough market research is crucial. It includes understanding target demographics, analyzing competitors, and assessing market demand.

  • Six product categories on Shopify for 2024: fashion and apparel, health and wellness, sustainable and eco-friendly, personalized and customizable products, tech gadgets, and pet products.

  • Leveraging tools like Gelato for customized and print on demand products can enhance a Shopify store's success. Gelato offers a wide range of products and integrates with Shopify, providing a seamless solution for selling and fulfilling orders.

Let's start by considering what makes a product a good sales prospect for Shopify sellers:

Criteria for choosing the best products to sell on Shopify

best products to sell

How do you decide what to sell on your Shopify online store? Five main criteria can help you pick out the best products to sell online:

  • Popularity and demand

  • Profit margin

  • Seasonality

  • Competition

  • Your product knowledge

Popularity and profit margin helps you estimate the revenue potential of a product. Seasonality helps you estimate annual sales potential as well as plan the timing of marketing campaigns. Competition and product knowledge help you evaluate the feasibility of making sales.

Popularity and demand for products

Demand defines the size of your market. Your potential sales revenue is a function of your market share and the price you earn per sale. Because of this, demand is a crucial consideration when evaluating a product's profit potential to sell on your online store.

Conduct market research to verify product demand and popularity with specific target audience segments. Use resources such as your internal sales data and analytics, customer surveys, Think with Google, market research reports, and Census Bureau data.

Profit margin

Revenue potential is only part of the story because you must cover the cost of producing and selling your goods through your online store. The portion of your sales you get to keep is your profit margin. There are several formulas for calculating profit margin, depending on whether you focus on the cost of goods sold or other expenses such as operating expenses.

All formulas boil down to a ratio of the difference between your sales and costs divided by your sales. Look for products with low production costs relative to the selling price to earn a good profit margin from your online store.

Seasonality

When estimating a product's annual sales potential, one factor to consider is whether the product has any seasonal sales peaks. Seasonality affects the volume of your annual revenue from that product and when cash from sales of that product will be coming in to cover the costs of your operations.

Consider whether your product will be in demand year-round or fluctuate in different seasons. As a marketing strategy, you may wish to sell different products at different times of the year to compensate for seasonal cycles.

Competition

Even if a product has high demand, making a profit from it may be difficult if competition is intense. You should evaluate your ability to sell your product in the face of potential competition. Use your market research to identify and analyze your existing competitors and gauge how difficult it would be to break in.

Look at how your competitors position their products with their marketing strategy and which features and benefits they emphasize. Consider the uniqueness of your product and whether it brings any differentiating features or benefits.

Your product knowledge

Selling your product requires knowing it well enough to present its benefits to your market and persuade them it meets their needs. Consider your familiarity with your product and its target audience. Review your product's features, applications, and benefits, and how these align with your target audience's wants. Use this to gauge whether you have the knowledge to compete successfully in the space and promote the product through your online store.

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How to conduct market research to choose the right products

Finding your golden goose in the vast sea of online products requires robust market research. Your success on Shopify largely depends on understanding your target customer base and analyzing market demand. Here's a strategy you can follow: 

1. Identify your target customer demographics

It's of utmost importance to understand who your products are specifically for. Knowing which demographic groups are most likely to be interested in your products helps you tailor your sales and marketing strategies. 

You can use online tools like Google's marketing Insights or even Shopify's own customer demographic data, which is available in your store's analytics dashboard, to help identify your target audience. 

2. Analyze your competitors

Studying your competitors is as much about learning from their successes as it is about finding gaps that you can fill. Look for trends in the types of products they sell, their pricing and marketing strategies, and customer reviews.

3. Understand the market demand

Gauging the current demand for a product category can help forecast its future potential. If a product is trending up, it shows promise; conversely, a downward trend should raise red flags. But remember, trends can be fickle, so it's essential to continually monitor them to adjust your product portfolio accordingly.

Leveraging Shopify tools and integrations for market research

Other than popular research tools like Google Trends, Shopify offers a plethora of tools and integrations to simplify market analysis for you. With these at your disposal, you can identify market trends and consumer behaviors and outsmart your competition. Let's delve into how you can use these tools and integrations to your advantage. 

  • Shopify Analytics: This comprehensive tool provides an in-depth view of your store's performance. You can track sales and visitor behavior and even identify the products with the most interest. This valuable data can guide you towards the right products to sell, maximizing profits. 

  • Google Analytics integration: Shopify integrates seamlessly with Google's powerful analytics tool. By connecting your store, you can monitor key metrics like sessions, bounce rate, and conversions by product or category. Gauging these statistics will place you on the path to selecting profitable products. 

  • Shopify’s POS System integration: Maximize your market reach with the Shopify POS system. This tool syncs your online and offline sales, allowing you to track and analyze all your data in one place. Combining online and brick-and-mortar insights offers a more complete picture of market demand. 

  • Product review integration: Customer reviews are an invaluable resource for identifying product trends and customer preferences. By integrating a product review system into your Shopify store, you get direct feedback from your customers, guiding you in optimizing your product selection.

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Top six Shopify product categories to consider in 2024

So, what are some of the most promising product categories for Shopify merchants to sell through online stores in 2024? In terms of demand, six of the best products to sell on Shopify are:

  1. Fashion and apparel products

  2. Health and wellness products

  3. Sustainable and eco-friendly products

  4. Personalized and customizable products

  5. Tech gadgets

  6. Pet products

Let's see what market conditions look like for each of these categories:

1. Fashion and apparel products

fashion products

The global apparel market is rebounding from restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. The market is on track to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2023 to 2028, projects market research firm Mordor Intelligence.

The growth of online shopping is driving this growth and making it easier for merchants to expand their geographic reach. Other factors encouraging the growth of the apparel market include rising per capita income, demographic trends, and preference for branded products. As millennials' purchasing power grows, many are turning toward luxury brands.

Here are some products within this category that can make your Shopify store a tremendous success with your customers:

  • T-shirts and tank tops

  • Hoodies

  • Sweatshirts

  • Sportswear for men and women

2. Wall art and poster products

wall art

The global wall art market was worth an estimated $48.50 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $72.61 billion by 2028, according to strategic market insights provider Fortune Business Insights. It will grow at a CAGR of 5.9%. A leading driver of this growth is the increasing amount of time people spend at home, leading to more money invested in creating a comfortable and aesthetic space. Other factors propelling the market growth include:

  • The growth of ecommerce platforms like Shopify makes it easier than ever for artists to sell their designs online.

  • An increased demand for personalized home decor to express individuality and style.

  • The growth of the real estate market and an increased need for wall art to be used in home staging.

Some popular products in this category include:

  • Acrylic prints

  • Canvas prints

  • Wooden-framed posters

  • Metal-framed posters

3. Sustainable and eco-friendly products

eco friendly products

Consumer demand for eco-friendly products is growing, a trend reflected in the thriving market for sustainable fashion products, also known as ethical fashion. The ethical fashion market was worth $7,548.2 million in 2022, reflecting a CAGR of 6.5% since 2017, according to The Business Research Company.

Over the period between 2022 and 2027, the market will grow at a CAGR of 8.1% to reach a value of $11,122 million. Market growth is being driven by an expanding population's demand for innovative solutions. Man-made and regenerated fashion products currently lead in popularity, while organic fashion products will see the most significant future growth.

Leveraging these sustainable products to cater to eco-conscious customers, you can easily skyrocket sales:

  • Activewear

  • Tote bags

  • T-shirts

  • Bio phone cases

4. Personalized and customizable products

personalized products

Demand for customized products such as personalized gifts is on the rise. The personalized gift market will grow at a CAGR of 5.83% between 2020 and 2027, on track to reach a value of $38.66 billion, projects Market Research Future. Key drivers of this market growth include gift exchange's increasing popularity and demand for 3D-printed gifts.

Shopify store owners can capitalize on this growing demand by selling a variety of personalized items such as: 

  • Custom clothing like t-shirts and hoodies

  • Personalized drinkware like mugs

  • Phone cases

  • Custom calendars

These products can be easily created using Gelato's seamless integration with Shopify without the hassle of inventory and shipping management.

5. Tech gadgets

an array of modern tech gadgets

Driven by continuous advancements in technology and a growing consumer interest in leading-edge devices, there is assured demand in this category. Combining this with the global shift toward online shopping, selling tech gadgets on your Shopify store could well prove to be a game-changer. 

But remember, the world of tech gadgets is fast-paced and continually evolving. Staying relevant will require an understanding of the latest trends and the ability to spot the next big thing. Offer gadgets that help enhance your customers' everyday lives. Think home automation devices or wearables that track health metrics. Gear that resonates with the savvy, tech-driven customers of today can quickly become best sellers, bringing you the sought-after maximum profit.

Some relevant offerings in this category of products can be:

  • Fitness trackers

  • Smart speakers

  • Virtual reality headsets

  • Drone cameras

6. Pet products

a variety of pet products

If you're on the hunt for a booming sector, don't overlook the pet products category. Anticipated to experience substantial growth this year, the estimated global market value for pet products is projected to reach a staggering $359 billion by 2027. With almost 70% of U.S. households owning a pet, there's an untapped market waiting for innovative ideas. 

Fur parents are seeking out more than just the basics of food and beds. They are investing in high-quality, niche products, indicating clear areas of opportunity for Shopify merchants. Think quirky dog clothing, natural chew toys, and stylish pet accessories – a substantial market willing to pay for their furry friend's comfort and happiness. As a Shopify store owner, focusing on pet products means you can capitalize on a robust and expanding market.

You can target pet-owning customers by offering a delightful selection of personalized pet products such as:

  • Custom pet collars and

  • Leashes

  • Personalized pet food bowls

  • Customizable dog or cat apparel

Another trending product is personalized pet portraits, which can be printed on canvas or incorporated into products like cushions, mugs, or calendars.

Best-selling products in each category

how to sell products

Each of the broad categories above includes multiple product niches. Here are some of the best products to sell on Shopify in each niche market:

Fashion and apparel products

  • Men's clothing: The men's clothing market is growing at an estimated CAGR of 6.3%, thanks to greater fashion consciousness among millennial men. Men's clothing offers a profitable opportunity for Shopify store merchants, commanding a higher price point than women's clothing. Popular items include jackets, blazers, coats, suits, trousers, jeans, shorts, and sports apparel.

  • Women's clothing: The women's clothing market is growing at a CAGR of 3.5%, driven by demand for luxury, premium, and eco-friendly products. Best-selling items include tops, dresses, bottom wear, sleepwear, innerwear, suits, coats, jackets, and ethnic wear.

  • Kids and baby clothing: The kid's clothing market is growing at a CAGR of 6.8%, driven by increasing fashion awareness. Meanwhile, the baby clothing market is growing at a CAGR of 4.2%, prompted by parents' awareness of fashion trends on social media. The most popular kid's clothing category is casual, followed by semi-formal and formal. Demand for boys' clothing is growing faster than for girls' clothing due to higher birth rates. For babies, the most popular items include top wear (such as bodysuits) and dresses and bottom wear (such as trousers and leggings).

Besides these broad categories, there are many popular apparel items to sell online. For instance, Gelato's product catalog features customized phone cases and print on demand tote bags.

Health and wellness products

  • Personal care, beauty, and anti-aging products: The beauty and personal care market is growing at a CAGR of 7.7%, driven by consumer consciousness about appearances. Skincare products, especially cosmetics with natural and organic ingredients, lead this growth. Other strong growth categories include haircare products, such as shampoo, conditioner, and gel, and anti-aging products, such as anti-wrinkle and anti-stretch products.

  • Nutrition and weight loss products: The personalized nutrition market is growing at a CAGR of 11.48%, propelled by increasing concerns about obesity and unhealthy diets. Popular products include active measurement tools and customized foods. The weight loss market is growing at a CAGR of 7.0%, driven by growing awareness of health issues and fitness consciousness. High-demand products include better-for-you meals (such as low-salt, low-carb, and low-fat meals), meal replacements, weight-loss supplements, green teas, and low-calorie sweeteners.

  • Preventive and personalized medicine products: The preventive healthcare market is growing at a CAGR of 9.6%, supported by government initiatives and consumer awareness. The personalized medicine market accounts for the largest segment of this growth. While much of this market comprises services, you can sell preventive products such as herbs in your Shopify store.

Sustainable and eco-friendly products

  • Organic clothing line: The organic clothing market constitutes the fastest-growing segment of the ethical fashion market, with a projected CAGR of 40% over the next decade. Popular organic cotton products include shoes, socks, pants, and t-shirts.

  • Tote bags: The tote bag market is thriving, with a CAGR of 6.37%. Personalized tote bags are driving demand. Tote bags serve as an eco-friendly replacement for plastic bags.

  • Mugs: The mug market is growing at a CAGR of 9.50%. Consumers are turning to mugs as a replacement for one-time-use plastic cups.

Gelato's product catalog includes eco-friendly tote bags and mugs perfect for selling online.

Personalized and customizable products

Among products that lend themselves to personalization and customization, categories that stand out include:

  • Photobooks: The photobook market is growing at a CAGR of 3.1%. Wedding photobooks represent the most popular product, followed by kids and family photobooks.

  • Calendars: The wall calendar market is growing at a CAGR of 5.4%. Both electronic wall calendars and paper wall calendars command popularity.

  • Cards: While COVID disrupted the greeting card market, the outlook for personalized greeting cards is optimistic. Folded cards lead in popularity. Valentine's Day cards are the biggest seller.

  • Stationery: The personalized stationery products market is growing at a CAGR of 9.6%. High-demand items include storage and filing products (such as boxes and folders), paper-based products (including greeting cards, calendars, and notebooks), and drawing and writing instruments.

Gelato's online catalog features personalized and customizable stationery products suitable for selling online.

Start your own business with Gelato. Sign up for free today

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Shopify + Gelato: A recipe for success

The success of your Shopify online business depends heavily on choosing the right products for your target market. Here, we've identified some of the hottest-selling items in the fashion, health, sustainability, and personalized product markets.

To help you start putting this information to use, Gelato makes it easy to offer customized and personalized products on Shopify. We sell print on demand products in many profitable niches, including clothing, phone cases, wall art, wallpaper, mugs, photo books, cards, calendars, stationery, and tote bags.

Gelato integrates with Shopify, making it easy for you to connect your existing ecommerce store to our site and start selling online. We take care of order fulfillment and shipping, so you don't have to worry about it. Sign up for Gelato to start selling print on demand products on Shopify and see how much you can earn.

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