The retail landscape is in constant flux, consumer trends change throughout the year and it can be tricky to land upon a rising star product at the right moment. Especially when there is endless competition with other e-commerce stores all looking to follow a similar strategy.
So, if you’re looking to expand your dropshipping offering, or starting from scratch and want to hit the ground running, we’ve compiled a list of the categories and few products we think are worth investing in, or at least getting curious about for 2020.
It should come as no surprise that the pet industry is massive – $70bn in the US – some pets even rival children in the home for a place as ‘top dog’. This is due in part to a behavioural change in how we treat our pets; novelty items will always have their time and place, but pet owners are more conscious than ever about the health and nutrition of their animals.
Whilst there are constant best-sellers like collars, grooming and selfie tools, a standout product on the rise is a Slow Feeder Bowl which adds a few minutes to mealtime and has shown a steady rise in interest over the past five years. So, it’s worth finding a product niche within this sector, acquiring a unique angle and capitalising on it with solid content marketing across social media.
Sports & leisure
Leisurewear has been battling high fashion on the high street for a few years. It’s crept into our wardrobes and out onto the pavements as people are now wearing it in their day to day lives, not just at the gym. Pay attention to trends, provide choice and availability and you'll run away with it. Noteworthy 'athleisure' brands to be mindful of are Girlfriend Collective, Sweaty Betty, Vuori and ADAY.
There seems to be no sign of pumping the brakes on the need for car accessories. A steady rise in this area is due mainly to consumers being priced out of purchasing a car direct from the forecourt with all the options attached. Instead, car owners are modifying their automobiles with aftermarket auto products.
Rear cameras, LED lights and mobile phone extensions such as USB chargers, holders and wireless chargers are all relatively low cost, high return options to explore if you're looking to rev up your product line.
Similar to owning a car, home ownership is becoming harder for younger generations. The UK is already experiencing a rise in a rental economy but this doesn’t halt the need to personalise what you do have. Home furnishings like plants, pillows and throw blankets allow Generation Rent to create a home atmosphere, however temporary the surroundings. So, if your niche is in this area, look at what items will make your business stand out for others to make their homes do the same.
2019 was a time for climate action. Slowly but surely people are doing their part, and trends suggest that sustainable products that align with the circular economy are on the up for 2020. If you’re simply looking capitalise on a trend rather than build sustainability into your own brand ethos, then items like Stainless Steel Bottles, Reusable bags and hygiene accessories like Bamboo toothbrushes are all small items that are sending a big message, and profit for those who market them well. Alongside the products themselves, it's also important to consider sustainable logistics in your 2020 plans.
While the traditional goal of home ownership is something of a pipe dream for some millennials and other generations, this hasn’t diminished their disposable income. With more ways to travel than ever before, and Instagram lending a hand in sending people further afield to snap and share with the world, travel is a lucrative area for products.
It’s worth taking note of travel accessories beyond suitcases and neck pillows (although strong in their own right) for fair-weather travellers and assess what the more adventurous might be after, specifically looking at whether hiking equipment could boost your sales. Backpacks and boots have risen worldwide along with other lesser expected items such as travel organisers and waterproof trousers.
As mobile phone technology advances year-on-year with higher fidelity cameras, clip on phone lenses are helping capture better photographs and have shown a slow but steady rise over the last couple of years.
Out of the pocket and into the sky, drone cameras are also an interesting area to inspect. Advancements in tech have brought the price down while improving the quality of the pictures. So, keep photo quality a top priority and stock up for seasonal sales, as this is generally the best time drones fly off the digital shelves.
While you can’t always look to the catwalk to accurately dictate high street fashion. Paris Fashion Week's Fall/Winter 2019-2020 collections hinted that neon will be shining bright in 2020. A steady rise of interest in neon clothing since 2018 shows that you may get a surprising return if you’re looking to expand your apparel offering.
From surprising items to the steady-going, denim is still a strong and safe bet to stock and an evergreen item that isn’t restricted to seasons with year on year growth. Just keep an eye on the styles so as not to get caught out if Bootcut starts to lose out to Slim fitting.
Jewellery & watches
Less is more when it comes to this category in 2020. Minimalist jewellery has seen strong sales growth for online retailers, with an expected annual 2% growth within the US until 2021. This doesn’t make for easy sales though – jewellery requires attention to social, pushing out visual content in the form of images and film to attract the customers and provide a competitive advantage. Eco-conscious facial jewels and gems are particularly popular in festival season, with alternatives to glitter makeup predicted to be big winners over the summer months.
Another minimalist niche worth looking at is watches. Steady growth in sales and search volumes makes this a lucrative area to explore. Watches vary in style, so carve out an untapped area, but maintain a focus on minimalism in general as it is picking up steam.
Health & nutrition
Consumers are getting more up to speed with health benefits and looking for more ways to introduce the right about of vitamins into their diet. Products like portable blenders are showing strength, but a slightly curve ball area to look at is tea.
Moringa and Matcha, might be new to you, but Moringa has been steadily added to teapots due to its health benefits all over the world since 2013 and Matcha has been playing catch-up with green tea for a decade. More consumers are waking up to Matcha, which has created a $300M market that is expected to grow 8% each year. This is just the tip of the iceberg here, but worth noting as the health-conscious consumers look for better serving alternatives to the standard offering we expect.