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10 Profitable E-commerce Business Ideas For 2023

Krutant Iyer
November 4, 2022
8
min read

Starting an e-commerce venture is like embarking on a Road trip. You can plan all you want, but you can never be certain about how it will turn out. Nevertheless, if you ever dreamt of being your own boss, you are knocking at the right door.  

Believe it or not, there are a whooping 20+ million e-commerce stores active around the world at this very moment. Soak it in, but don’t let it sink your heart just yet.  

As more and more individuals adapt to digital shopping, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the share of e-commerce market is well on its way to capture 20.8% of the global retail sales, projecting to reach US$6.3 trillion in 2023. The opportunity is as vast as the ocean. Now all you’ve got to do is find your North Star, your raison d'être – an idea for your online venture.  

If you’re facing a creative lull, fret not. This article will not only help you in kickstarting your online venture, but also shed light on some lesser-known secrets to scaling your business quickly and profitably.

E-commerce Trends Driving the Commerce In 2023

Just like the artists visualise a finished painting in their mind, it is important for budding entrepreneurs to foresee the key factors that could influence their customers’ behaviour in future, along with the external factors that may impact their operations and supply chain.  

  • Get ready to embrace social commerce: Customers already rely tremendously on their social feeds for product recommendations, reviews, and shopping. Social commerce is poised to generate $30.73 billion in sales in 2023, accounting for 20% of global retail e-commerce sales. Build deeper connections with your customers with shoppable Instagram posts, and list your top selling products on TikTok shop, etc.
  • Customer service will make or break your business: At least 87% customers will abandon an online store if they don’t provide exceptional customer service. The logic is quite simple – if your online store operates 24/7, you need to be able to serve your customers 24/7, and backed with the right tools, it is easily achievable. More on that later.
  • Embrace Interactivity and Immersion with AR: The future is here. 63% customers already believe augmented reality would improve their shopping experience. When customers are able to preview products or experience services in their everyday environment they are more likely to go through with the purchase.  
  • AI trends to pave the road for e-commerce: From customised shopping recommendations to real-time data analytics and improved fraud protection, adoption of AI in e-commerce will result in over 25% improvement in areas like customer satisfaction, revenue, and cost efficiency.

10 Profitable Ideas for E-commerce Businesses

10 Profitable Ideas for E-commerce Businesses

1. Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping is an order fulfilment method that does not require you to buy, store, or ship products. As a Dropshipper, you will work closely with a supplier, who will be responsible for procuring, packing, and shipping the products to your customers on your behalf.  

Here’s how you can start your Dropshipping store from scratch.  

Top Dropshipping niches to consider for 2023:

  • Coffee
  • Pet supplies
  • Gaming accessories
  • Baby products
  • Oxidised Jewellery
  • Hobby items

2. Print-on-demand Store

Print-on-demand or POD is an order fulfilment method where designs are printed on items as soon as an order is received. While POD stores share many similarities with Dropshipping business, the vastness of the business requires it to be categorised separately.  

You can start on-demand printing services without needing to hold any inventory in reserve. You don’t even need the printing machineries to start a POD store. Tie-up with a fulfilment partner like Printful or Printify and you are good to go.

Customisable products that you can sell on your online store includes:

  • Cups and Mugs
  • Clothing
  • Accessories (Keychains, Jewellery, Phone cases, etc)
  • Furnishing products (wall arts, blankets, candles, canvas prints, etc)
  • Sports accessories (Baseball caps, shoes, posters, Bats and batons, socks, etc)

3. Create Online Courses

E-commerce business is not just limited to selling products and items, it also includes selling services.  

Global e-learning market is poised to reach USD $300 million by 2028. Monetise your skill by creating online courses around a subject that you have profound knowledge in. From photography to cooking, you can share your knowledge and skills with the world.

4. Sell NFTs

NFTs or Non-fungible tokens can represent ownership of unique items such as art, collectibles, or even real estate. Simply put, NFTs are digital files that can be bought and sold online.  

You can use your online store to sell your NFT projects under various categories:

  • Games
  • Concept Arts
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Photos
  • Event Tickets, and more...

5. Sell eBooks

Do you have a flair for spinning stories? eBooks cover a variety of categories from non-fiction to fiction content. If you are a blogger and specialise in writing about gadgets and other tech products, you can curate all your helpful articles and self-publish an eBook that could prove beneficial for your readers.  

eBooks can be published on giant publishing portals like Amazon’s kindle direct publishing, more commonly known as KDP, or you can sell the eBooks directly on your e-store as a downloadable product.  

6. Meal Delivery

You can start a meal delivery service without even creating a website. If you are selling home-cooked food, all you need is a direct channel like WhatsApp for business to receive orders from your customers and keep them informed about the delivery timeline.  

Here are some ideas for meal delivery services to get you started:

  • Mid-night food delivery
  • Healthy meals delivery
  • Daily essentials delivery
  • Food delivery for pets
  • Meal Kits or set meals

7. Subscription Models

People love subscribing to products and services that they consider essential to their lives. This relieves them from the cycle of repetitive purchasing. Think Netflix or Disney+, or even a bundle of services like Amazon’s prime that allows subscribers to access prime video, eBooks, priority shipping, etc. A more recent example of this would be the $8 per month fee for blue check mark or verified profile on Twitter which was recently introduced.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to huge budget to start a subscription model for your e-commerce business.  

For example, you can start with something as simple as your blog. Put your paywall behind your blog and you are good to go. Charge a nominal fee from your readers for monthly subscription.  

8. Coaching and Mentoring

If you have already had a successful run as an e-commerce entrepreneur and now wish to share your knowledge with the world, then this route is for you.  

Like many self-proclaimed ‘Gurus’ out there, you can consider taking few budding entrepreneurs under your wing and take on the mantle of a coach or a mentor to guide them in their entrepreneurship journey.

9. Wedding Services

No. We are not asking you to play cupid. When we say wedding services, we mean bringing together all vendors onto your website or platform to provide a comprehensive wedding planning service.  

From event planner, photographers, to caterers, and decorators, you can bring all your local vendors under one roof.  

10. Mental Health and Wellbeing Services

Pandemic induced lock-down has made everyone take stock of their well-being more than ever. Without an option for physical getaway, people turned to seek escapism through Yoga or practicing mindfulness techniques etc.  

If you are an expert practitioner or certified teacher, you could consider hosting physical classes or even virtual sessions over video conferencing for a fee.

Tips To Scale Your E-commerce Store Sustainably

1. Upgrade Your Digital Experience

First and foremost, build a robust and secure webstore that’s optimised for mobile shoppers as well.  

Customers don’t just land on a store, purchase an item and leave. They take their time, explore their options and find out everything they need to before adding an item to the cart. Take the opportunity to proactively engage with these shoppers and guide them through the buying process on your store.  

Don’t rush the customers. Add a CTA button under the product description page to allow your customers to connect with product experts who could assist them over live chat, call or even video call.

2. Tailor Product Pages to Match Customers’ Needs

Improve product page experience to match your customers’ expectations from your store. Here are some tips for doing that:

  • Use high-quality product images, write descriptive information about your product, and allow your customers to see the product from all angles.
  • If possible, make use of AR or augmented reality and allow the customer to experience the product in their regular environment. For example, IKEA allows users to virtually place a true-to-scale 3D model of their furniture in their environment.  
  • Provide real-time stock updates to your customers. If an item is out of stock, then place a ‘notify me’ CTA button to alert the customers when the product is back in stock.

3. Create Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Your customers are everywhere. Just updating your social media feed with daily promotional posts isn’t going to cut it. You also need to open the channels for dialogue to flow seamlessly between your customers and your business.  

From Facebook Messenger, and Live Chat on website, to providing self-assistance through IVR, and the option to reach your customer support team over call or video, you need to tool-up with the right CX solution and get out there to create opportunities for your business.

4. Build A Community

The journey to convert a prospect into a paying customer is never easy. But what’s even tougher is to retain the business of the paying customers and turning them into brand advocates. That’s when you know you have truly won their loyalty.  

But what happens next? How can you keep the brand advocates engaged with the right content for them to voluntarily spread your key messages through word-of-mouth promotion?  

Build a community of die-hard followers and brand advocates. This could be something as simple as getting your loyal customers to join a dedicated WhatsApp group or a Chatroom on CINNOX or create a forum for the community members on your website.  

Share early-bird offers, host pre-release surveys, prioritise delivery timeline for the members of the community, and incentivise their engagement efforts from time to time to keep the community active and growing.

5. Personalise Customer Experience

Most businesses fail to make a personal connection with their customers as they adapt the town crier’s communication approach of carpet bombing their customers with announcements and promotions, without opening the door for a dialogue.  

Your website may receive thousands of website visitors, but it is imperative for your business to create an individualised experience for every one of those visitors to stand a chance to retain their interest.  

You can do this by engaging with your customers proactively, optimising their buying experience, providing real-time personalised communication through live chat, offering additional discount via pop-ups that gets automatically triggered when a visitor decides to bounce or abandon cart.


You don’t need to be a millionaire to start an online venture. You can easily monetise your skills or work with third-party suppliers and vendors to fulfil on-demand orders and run a fully functional e-commerce store from the comfort of your home. This leaves you more time to concentrate on your core competencies and create exceptional shopping experience for your customers.

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Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Starting an e-commerce venture is like embarking on a Road trip. You can plan all you want, but you can never be certain about how it will turn out. Nevertheless, if you ever dreamt of being your own boss, you are knocking at the right door.  

Believe it or not, there are a whooping 20+ million e-commerce stores active around the world at this very moment. Soak it in, but don’t let it sink your heart just yet.  

As more and more individuals adapt to digital shopping, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the share of e-commerce market is well on its way to capture 20.8% of the global retail sales, projecting to reach US$6.3 trillion in 2023. The opportunity is as vast as the ocean. Now all you’ve got to do is find your North Star, your raison d'être – an idea for your online venture.  

If you’re facing a creative lull, fret not. This article will not only help you in kickstarting your online venture, but also shed light on some lesser-known secrets to scaling your business quickly and profitably.

E-commerce Trends Driving the Commerce In 2023

Just like the artists visualise a finished painting in their mind, it is important for budding entrepreneurs to foresee the key factors that could influence their customers’ behaviour in future, along with the external factors that may impact their operations and supply chain.  

  • Get ready to embrace social commerce: Customers already rely tremendously on their social feeds for product recommendations, reviews, and shopping. Social commerce is poised to generate $30.73 billion in sales in 2023, accounting for 20% of global retail e-commerce sales. Build deeper connections with your customers with shoppable Instagram posts, and list your top selling products on TikTok shop, etc.
  • Customer service will make or break your business: At least 87% customers will abandon an online store if they don’t provide exceptional customer service. The logic is quite simple – if your online store operates 24/7, you need to be able to serve your customers 24/7, and backed with the right tools, it is easily achievable. More on that later.
  • Embrace Interactivity and Immersion with AR: The future is here. 63% customers already believe augmented reality would improve their shopping experience. When customers are able to preview products or experience services in their everyday environment they are more likely to go through with the purchase.  
  • AI trends to pave the road for e-commerce: From customised shopping recommendations to real-time data analytics and improved fraud protection, adoption of AI in e-commerce will result in over 25% improvement in areas like customer satisfaction, revenue, and cost efficiency.

10 Profitable Ideas for E-commerce Businesses

10 Profitable Ideas for E-commerce Businesses

1. Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping is an order fulfilment method that does not require you to buy, store, or ship products. As a Dropshipper, you will work closely with a supplier, who will be responsible for procuring, packing, and shipping the products to your customers on your behalf.  

Here’s how you can start your Dropshipping store from scratch.  

Top Dropshipping niches to consider for 2023:

  • Coffee
  • Pet supplies
  • Gaming accessories
  • Baby products
  • Oxidised Jewellery
  • Hobby items

2. Print-on-demand Store

Print-on-demand or POD is an order fulfilment method where designs are printed on items as soon as an order is received. While POD stores share many similarities with Dropshipping business, the vastness of the business requires it to be categorised separately.  

You can start on-demand printing services without needing to hold any inventory in reserve. You don’t even need the printing machineries to start a POD store. Tie-up with a fulfilment partner like Printful or Printify and you are good to go.

Customisable products that you can sell on your online store includes:

  • Cups and Mugs
  • Clothing
  • Accessories (Keychains, Jewellery, Phone cases, etc)
  • Furnishing products (wall arts, blankets, candles, canvas prints, etc)
  • Sports accessories (Baseball caps, shoes, posters, Bats and batons, socks, etc)

3. Create Online Courses

E-commerce business is not just limited to selling products and items, it also includes selling services.  

Global e-learning market is poised to reach USD $300 million by 2028. Monetise your skill by creating online courses around a subject that you have profound knowledge in. From photography to cooking, you can share your knowledge and skills with the world.

4. Sell NFTs

NFTs or Non-fungible tokens can represent ownership of unique items such as art, collectibles, or even real estate. Simply put, NFTs are digital files that can be bought and sold online.  

You can use your online store to sell your NFT projects under various categories:

  • Games
  • Concept Arts
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Photos
  • Event Tickets, and more...

5. Sell eBooks

Do you have a flair for spinning stories? eBooks cover a variety of categories from non-fiction to fiction content. If you are a blogger and specialise in writing about gadgets and other tech products, you can curate all your helpful articles and self-publish an eBook that could prove beneficial for your readers.  

eBooks can be published on giant publishing portals like Amazon’s kindle direct publishing, more commonly known as KDP, or you can sell the eBooks directly on your e-store as a downloadable product.  

6. Meal Delivery

You can start a meal delivery service without even creating a website. If you are selling home-cooked food, all you need is a direct channel like WhatsApp for business to receive orders from your customers and keep them informed about the delivery timeline.  

Here are some ideas for meal delivery services to get you started:

  • Mid-night food delivery
  • Healthy meals delivery
  • Daily essentials delivery
  • Food delivery for pets
  • Meal Kits or set meals

7. Subscription Models

People love subscribing to products and services that they consider essential to their lives. This relieves them from the cycle of repetitive purchasing. Think Netflix or Disney+, or even a bundle of services like Amazon’s prime that allows subscribers to access prime video, eBooks, priority shipping, etc. A more recent example of this would be the $8 per month fee for blue check mark or verified profile on Twitter which was recently introduced.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to huge budget to start a subscription model for your e-commerce business.  

For example, you can start with something as simple as your blog. Put your paywall behind your blog and you are good to go. Charge a nominal fee from your readers for monthly subscription.  

8. Coaching and Mentoring

If you have already had a successful run as an e-commerce entrepreneur and now wish to share your knowledge with the world, then this route is for you.  

Like many self-proclaimed ‘Gurus’ out there, you can consider taking few budding entrepreneurs under your wing and take on the mantle of a coach or a mentor to guide them in their entrepreneurship journey.

9. Wedding Services

No. We are not asking you to play cupid. When we say wedding services, we mean bringing together all vendors onto your website or platform to provide a comprehensive wedding planning service.  

From event planner, photographers, to caterers, and decorators, you can bring all your local vendors under one roof.  

10. Mental Health and Wellbeing Services

Pandemic induced lock-down has made everyone take stock of their well-being more than ever. Without an option for physical getaway, people turned to seek escapism through Yoga or practicing mindfulness techniques etc.  

If you are an expert practitioner or certified teacher, you could consider hosting physical classes or even virtual sessions over video conferencing for a fee.

Tips To Scale Your E-commerce Store Sustainably

1. Upgrade Your Digital Experience

First and foremost, build a robust and secure webstore that’s optimised for mobile shoppers as well.  

Customers don’t just land on a store, purchase an item and leave. They take their time, explore their options and find out everything they need to before adding an item to the cart. Take the opportunity to proactively engage with these shoppers and guide them through the buying process on your store.  

Don’t rush the customers. Add a CTA button under the product description page to allow your customers to connect with product experts who could assist them over live chat, call or even video call.

2. Tailor Product Pages to Match Customers’ Needs

Improve product page experience to match your customers’ expectations from your store. Here are some tips for doing that:

  • Use high-quality product images, write descriptive information about your product, and allow your customers to see the product from all angles.
  • If possible, make use of AR or augmented reality and allow the customer to experience the product in their regular environment. For example, IKEA allows users to virtually place a true-to-scale 3D model of their furniture in their environment.  
  • Provide real-time stock updates to your customers. If an item is out of stock, then place a ‘notify me’ CTA button to alert the customers when the product is back in stock.

3. Create Seamless Omnichannel Experience

Your customers are everywhere. Just updating your social media feed with daily promotional posts isn’t going to cut it. You also need to open the channels for dialogue to flow seamlessly between your customers and your business.  

From Facebook Messenger, and Live Chat on website, to providing self-assistance through IVR, and the option to reach your customer support team over call or video, you need to tool-up with the right CX solution and get out there to create opportunities for your business.

4. Build A Community

The journey to convert a prospect into a paying customer is never easy. But what’s even tougher is to retain the business of the paying customers and turning them into brand advocates. That’s when you know you have truly won their loyalty.  

But what happens next? How can you keep the brand advocates engaged with the right content for them to voluntarily spread your key messages through word-of-mouth promotion?  

Build a community of die-hard followers and brand advocates. This could be something as simple as getting your loyal customers to join a dedicated WhatsApp group or a Chatroom on CINNOX or create a forum for the community members on your website.  

Share early-bird offers, host pre-release surveys, prioritise delivery timeline for the members of the community, and incentivise their engagement efforts from time to time to keep the community active and growing.

5. Personalise Customer Experience

Most businesses fail to make a personal connection with their customers as they adapt the town crier’s communication approach of carpet bombing their customers with announcements and promotions, without opening the door for a dialogue.  

Your website may receive thousands of website visitors, but it is imperative for your business to create an individualised experience for every one of those visitors to stand a chance to retain their interest.  

You can do this by engaging with your customers proactively, optimising their buying experience, providing real-time personalised communication through live chat, offering additional discount via pop-ups that gets automatically triggered when a visitor decides to bounce or abandon cart.


You don’t need to be a millionaire to start an online venture. You can easily monetise your skills or work with third-party suppliers and vendors to fulfil on-demand orders and run a fully functional e-commerce store from the comfort of your home. This leaves you more time to concentrate on your core competencies and create exceptional shopping experience for your customers.

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