In 2020, there’s no bigger story in ecommerce than COVID-19. This pandemic is having a massive impact on just about every aspect of daily life — especially the way that people shop.
With non-essential businesses closing down and everyone encouraged to stay inside as much as possible, products that are designed to be used outside the home (luggage, swimwear, sunglasses, etc.) are struggling, while the performance of household items is surging.
The household items category is quite broad, though. Below, we’ll review some specific ecommerce niches within this category that you should consider catering to with your online store.
Top 8 Ecommerce Niches for 2020
The trend-tracking service Glimpse has provided some particularly illuminating insights into which products have become more popular due to COVID-19. Online stores that sell these products can expect to see a significant increase in their sales for the rest of the year.
So, if they fit into (or are at least adjacent to) your store’s established product line, you should strongly consider investing in product launches and marketing campaigns for the following items.
1. Work-From-Home Equipment
Offices are closing their doors, forcing workers to instead use email, video conferencing and other work-from-home technologies to collaborate with their colleagues and get their assignments done.
Indeed, home offices have suddenly sprung up by the millions, which has led to the recent popularity of products such as mice for laptops (Glimpse shows that, as of April 6, interest in this topic has increased 84% over the past 30 days), routers (37% increase in interest), keyboards (31% increase in interest), DVI cables (100% increase in interest), external monitors (105% increase in interest), desks (39% increase in interest) and standing desks (83% increase in interest).
A lesser-known, yet also popular, product in this niche are blue light glasses (43% increase in interest).
Without getting too much into the science of it, the blue light rays emitted from digital screens contain a lot of energy compared to green, yellow, orange and red light rays. Visible blue light is powerful enough to pass through the structures of the human eye and go straight to the retina, which can cause soreness and eventually vision loss.
Now that no one can collaborate on non-essential work assignments face-to-face or leave their home for entertainment, people are generally spending more hours per day looking at screens. Blue light glasses help prevent the damage that can be caused by digital screens. Their lenses filter out blue light rays, and users report that their eyes are less red and tired at the end of the day.
Green screens (96% increase in interest) are another somewhat unexpected trend. This item is popular because Zoom (which happens to be another top trend — 1,285% increase in interest) is a common telecommunicating tool and the Zoom app has a virtual background feature.
Zoom users can have some fun with these backgrounds by placing themselves, for example, in front of a famous landmark or within the set of a classic sitcom. But depending on the technical specs of their computer, users may need to own a physical green screen in order to use this feature.
2. Home Gym Equipment
With public gyms shutting down, fitness enthusiasts must invest in their own equipment to continue their workouts.
Resistance bands (550% increase in interest), pull up bars (506% increase in interest), yoga mats (147% increase in interest) and dumbbells (611% increase in interest) are now much more popular.
3. Musical Instruments
Being stuck at home has apparently led to many consumers crossing “learn how to play an instrument” off their bucket lists.
Ukuleles (57% increase in interest) and guitar tuners (66% increase in interest) have been trending since the COVID-19 quarantines went into effect.
4. Arts & Crafts
Watercolor (32% increase in interest), drawing paper (16% increase in interest) and paint brushes (76% increase in interest) have also become more popular recently — and the growth of sidewalk chalk (4,200% increase in interest) has been nothing short of explosive. Like musical instruments, this is likely due to people picking up new hobbies to pass the time during quarantine.
Another factor (especially for sidewalk chalk) is that schools and childcare facilities have closed, which means parents now need to find ways to keep their kids occupied all day, every day.
Sewing tutorials (222% increase in interest) are another top trend. Sewing is a popular hobby, and many people have also taken to sewing their own antiviral face masks since they are out of stock from most suppliers.
5. Lawn Activities
With their lives now limited to their homes under quarantine, people are attempting to improve their surroundings as much as they can.
Bird feeders (87% increase in interest) allow nature lovers to compensate for the hikes and camping that they’re missing, while inflatable pools (235% increase in interest) provide yet another way for parents to entertain their children.
6. Hair Cutting Tools
Different states have set their own guidelines for what qualifies as an essential vs. non-essential business — but wherever you are, you can expect barbers and hair salons to be considered non-essential. So, whenever it’s time for a trim, people have been taking matters into their own hands.
With DIY haircut (662% increase in interest) trending, stores in the cosmetic industry should be stocking up on trimmers, scissors and other items used to cut hair.
7. Cooking Supplies
Baking bread has emerged as one of the most popular quarantine hobbies, so it should be no surprise that bulk flour (494% increase in interest), yeast for bread (1,392% increase in interest), cornmeal (96% increase in interest) and bread makers (410% increase in interest) are trending.
Other types of cooking seem to be drawing interest as well, as recipes (45% increase in interest) are also trending.
8. Gardening Supplies
In many ways, COVID-19 is taking society back into the past. The virus has been compared to the 1918 influenza pandemic, and it’s sending unemployment up to levels that haven’t been seen since the Great Depression.
Another similarity to the first half of the 20th century is that it seems like everyone is starting their own garden, echoing the victory gardens that were common during World War I and World War II. Tomato seeds (248% increase in interest) and cucumber seeds (232% increase in interest) are particularly popular.
It will be interesting to see which of these trends continue to remain popular throughout the rest of 2020.
Adam Ritchie is a writer based in Silver Spring, Maryland. He writes about ecommerce trends and best practices for Shogun. His previous clients include Groupon, Clutch and New Theory.