10 Best Online Business Ideas

While the Internet has made it easier to launch a business than ever before, there are so many options, it can feel overwhelming trying to settle on an idea. Got an itch for entrepreneurship, but no direction? Check out some ideas for online-based businesses below.

1. Subscription Boxes

A good subscription box offers a load of perks to the customer. After all, if we could have exactly what we want delivered to our house, why wouldn’t we? Subscription boxes offer convenience, a sense of luxury (you’re treating yourself!), and the gift-like thrill of discovering products that have been curated just for you. It’s no wonder that 15% of all online shoppers have set up subscriptions, with an average of two subscription boxes per subscriber.

Think about what niche interests you most. What are you passionate about? If you are, others will be. Check out some examples for inspiration on the Cratejoy Marketplace.

2. DIY/All Natural Wellness

Photo by shawnee wilborn on Unspla

2018 might as well be the Year of Wellness. People are starting to recognize that health isn’t restricted to the physical, but rather, can be a holistic, all-over experience. Why not lean into the cultural wave of self-care by offering customers natural, nontoxic solutions to ease their mind and body? You might offer handmade bath products or skincare, or lean toward the more spiritual side of wellness with crystals and hand-mixed tea blends.

3. Plus-Size and/or Vintage Fashion

In our post-body positivity era, fashionistas of any size expect well-designed, vibrant, and fun options to choose from. However, it can be difficult to shop online when your size isn’t considered “standard” – especially if what you’re into is a vintage style of dress from before we had vanity sizing. ModCloth is a successful example of an ecommerce business that latched onto the vintage niche in plus size clothing, and it certainly won’t be the last. Offering your customers the option to try on clothes at home – and only buy what they want to keep – will launch your business to the top of the charts.

4. Digital Fitness Classes

Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

This can be a great way to break into ecommerce if you’re not up for procuring physical products. Many people find it difficult to squeeze a gym trip between work, family, or other commitments, so the digital fitness market is booming. Yoga, in particular, is ideal for digital membership models; since it’s an individual exercise activity and doesn’t necessarily require much equipment to get started, it’s easy for subscribers to stream filmed classes and follow along in the comfort of their home. Check out YogaGlo and Crunch Live for inspiration.

5. Meal Kits

Much like going to the gym, cooking is something that people know improves their quality of life, but they either don’t have time to do it or feel intimidated at the prospect. Enter meal kits, an industry that has grown rapidly over the last few years. Make it easy for your customers to treat themselves right by selling pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe card for each meal. And if you need inspiration, take a look at our interview with Takeout Kit’s Rachael Lake.

6. Niche Snacks

Sure, this sounds similar to our last idea. But that’s because snacks are a necessity, just like meals are. If you can offer high-quality snacks that fit a dietary niche – like plant-based, nondairy, or gluten-free, any of which can be difficult to find in a standard grocery store – you’ll always meet a need. That means you’ll always have a customer base.

7. Planners and Stationery

Let’s face it: planners are having a MOMENT. Take a look at the “bujo” (bullet journaling) community on Instagram, or those expensive, well-made Moleskine notebooks you can now find anywhere from indie bookstores to Target. Specializing in stationery products like clever stickers, washi tape, colorful felt-tip pens, and more will appeal to bullet journal junkies, workaholics, and hyper-organized parents alike.

8. Girl Power Products

In the last few years, the mainstream acceptance of feminism has also been having a moment. As a result, it’s now very easy – and fun – to explore (or declare) one’s beliefs with subversive embroidery, guides on tarot and modern witchcraft, collected biographies of badass historical women, enamel pins, and so on. Check out Cratejoy’s collection of witchy subscription boxes and best girl power boxes for more ideas.

9. Beauty and Grooming

Photo by Diana Kadreva on Unsplash

Think about the first subscription box you heard of. Was it Birchbox or Ipsy? Dollar Shave Club? These subscription businesses have thrived because they identified something people already do daily – beauty or grooming routines – and offered high-quality products to accommodate those customers. This allows them to feel like they’re treating themselves to a luxury without being wasteful or self-indulgent. It’s the best of both worlds!

10. Custom or Luxury Underthings

Shopping for underwear or lingerie can be tricky for customers who feel uncomfortable with choosing such private clothing in public. The Internet makes this easy but offers a new problem: the inability to try anything on before buying. If you find a way to offer more accurate fitting (like ThirdLove claims to) or another unique option, such as more comfortable fabric (like MeUndies’ modal), you’re giving them high-quality luxury in addition to privacy. Help your customers treat themselves to confidence and comfort!

Still looking for advice?

Connect with over 10,000 subscription box entrepreneurs in Cratejoy’s private Facebook group for Subscription School!

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