Imagine having a dropshipping store already built, with ads in place and SEO thoroughly locked down, when search volume for “fidget spinners” did this:
Anticipating that spike would have led to huge revenue – in the same way that winning the lottery leads to huge revenue.
Instead of crossing our fingers in hopes of catching the next fidget spinner, let’s look at some more reliable and, alas, likelier scenarios for building a profitable dropshipping store.
We dug into some data to identify the dropshipping niches that have had the most sustained success over the past few years. Not the dropshipping niches with the hottest trends. Instead, the ones that have been the most consistent.
Whether you’re a budding dropshipper or an experienced store owner eyeing something new, you can use this data to explore ideas, products, and strategies that tap into the most enduring niches.
Finding the Best Dropshipping Niches
Here’s how we identified the dropshipping niches with the most sustained success.
Step 1: Collect data about sales made with Oberlo since 2016, and divide those sales into categories. “Categories” come at this level:
And some more categories:
Step 2: Apply these time filters:
January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016
January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017
January 1, 2018 – April 25, 2018
(Clearly the 2018 data is lighter than the other years… but we just couldn’t wait.)
Step 3: Pinpoint the categories that have the most orders year after year. Here they are, with 1 being the best.
Step 4: Identify the dropshipping niches that had the most orders within the most popular categories. These niches make up the umbrella categories. So “Action & Toy Figures” is one of 12 niches that make up the “Toys & Hobbies” category:
This analysis will show us:
- The most popular niches
- In the most popular categories
- Over the longest periods of time
In other words, these are the most consistent dropshipping niches over the span of two-plus years. They are also a good bet to thrive for the next two-plus years.
The Highest-Performing Categories
Here, again, are the top 10 categories:
A few notes about these results.
- Women’s Clothing & Accessories ranked No. 1 in 2017 and 2018. It’s on fire.
- Beauty & Health was ranked No. 9 in 2016; No. 2 in 2017; and No. 3 in 2018.
- The Watches category comes in at No. 7 here, which might not appear all that spectacular but actually is. Watches isn’t nearly as broad as these other categories. Women’s clothing, for instance, contains items ranging from accessories to sweaters. Watches is just… watches. In that context, watches, which ranked in the top 10 each year, is a dropshipping product to keep in mind. At the very least, it can be incorporated into a store that features categories like women’s or men’s clothing.
Now let’s put the best performing categories under a microscope and look at the specific dropshipping niches that are fueling their success.
Dropshipping Niches in Women’s Clothing
Let’s start with the reigning two-time champion – Women’s Clothing & Accessories. There are lots of dropshipping niches that fall under women’s clothing, including some don’t move the needle much – like, say, Bodysuits and Jumpsuits.
There are, however, some annual winners.
- So, yeah, Intimates. This No. 1 ranking is no fluke. Intimates had the most orders of any dropshipping niche in any category in 2017, and it’s on track to do it again this year. If you aren’t sure exactly what the Intimates niche covers, it’s the sort of stuff:
- Accessories is a broad dropshipping niche that includes products ranging from headbands to scarf clips to gloves. Lots of small stuff, basically. The average order value on accessories won’t be as high as, say, dresses, but it’s a dropshipping niche that has a track record of high-volume orders.
- Bottoms is a broad niche whose ranking has increased each of the past two years.
Dropshipping Niches in Jewelry
Women’s Clothing & Accessories may be tops, but Jewelry has enjoyed plenty of success as well. This category has finished no lower than fourth during our three-year window, and it was No. 1 in 2016.
Let’s take a look at the best dropshipping niches within Jewelry.
- Necklaces & Pendants is the niche that performed best each year. Products within this niche are especially cheap for merchants. Lots of the time you could charge $2 and enjoy a 100% markup. Coupled them with matching earrings and you can enjoy an even healthier profit margin.
- Bracelets & Bangles was second place each year, and actually came pretty close to passing Necklaces & Pendants in 2017. If you’re not familiar with bangles, they’re a type of bracelet often associated with India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other South Asian countries.
- Rings are a mainstay in the top three of the Jewelry category. This is yet another dropshipping niche that is cheap for you and popular for shoppers.
Dropshipping Niches in Home & Garden
Home & Garden is where you’ll find items for your flowers, your living room, your bedroom, and more. There are plenty of products that will earn a chuckle, and also some practical items designed to make your customers’ lives easier.
Here are the dropshipping niches inside Home & Garden that have had the most sustained success since 2016.
- Home Decor has been solid for years. This niche includes items that add some life to your home, from gag decals for your toilet to fun scratch-off maps.
- The Kitchen, Dining & Bar niche is a combination of fun and practical. Fun like this gag mug, and practical like this pineapple cutter:
- The Arts, Crafts & Sewing niche gives us a good excuse to discuss the different filters you can use inside Oberlo. Here, you’ll see that the “Sort by” filter is set to “Lowest price.”
Meanwhile, here is the same niche, but with the filter set to “Order count” – that is, the products with the most orders appear first.
The products we see are totally different. The first filter gives us a handful of products that all cost $1 or less. The second filter shows us tapestries and a “Rose Wish Bottle Handmade Eternal Never Withered Flower.” (We’d probably want to tweak that product name when we import it into our store.)
Dropshipping Niches in Beauty & Health
Appearing in the top three most popular categories each of the last two years, Beauty & Health niches can roughly be summed up as “stuff you’d find in your bathroom.” Hair products, makeup, facial massage rollers, and other things to keep people looking and feeling their best.
- This isn’t “Health Care” like medicine and surgical tools. Instead, popular items include ear wax removers, anti-snoring apparatuses, posture correction belts, and other miscellanea.
- Makeup is more straightforward. Lipstick, fake eyelashes, powder brushes. This dropshipping niche is of course somewhat restricted to women, but that hasn’t stopped it from placing in the top three Beauty & Health niches three years running.
- With some of these products, it’s extra important to be careful with product descriptions. Anything that deals with health and physical well-being requires attention to detail – no wild promises. This foot and muscle roller, for example, is popular, but if you sell it in your store, you might want to dial back the out-of-the-box description: “Improve blood circulation and boost lymphatic drainage, give your metabolism a kick-start… treat headaches and migraine, offer good relaxation and regulation for your body, etc.”
Conclusions on Dropshipping Niches
The data we looked at today doesn’t show us everything. For example, we didn’t look at high-performing niches inside of low-performing categories. We also didn’t look at niches that performed poorly in 2016 and 2017, and are now pointing up in 2018.
There are more gems out there than discussed in this post.
But as you think about what you can sell at your new store – or maybe what you can add to your current store – keep these niches in mind. They have been moving the dial for years.
Want to Learn More?
- 10 Unique Dropshipping Products to Sell in 2018
- What Should You Sell Online?
- 20 Trending Products to Sell in 2018
- Best Dropshipping Products to Sell in Spring 2018