10 Hot Online Product Niches for Canadian Sellers – 2020

It’s time to update this list of our hottest online niches for 2020!

One of the most challenging parts of starting an online business in Canada is choosing a profitable niche. We have less competition within our borders than we would in large markets like the US. However, we still need to select products that are trending and in demand in Canada, while not being in a saturated niche or easily obtained locally. We also have to stay away from items easily obtained from the US (such as those that ship inexpensively in an envelope).

My Secret Weapon – Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is the perfect way to lower the risk of choosing the wrong niche. With no inventory to worry about, we can test run virtually any product through a website, auction or sellers’ market like Amazon. Drop shipping is a business model in itself, so you may decide to continue with it or bring in the best selling products for resale and continue drop shipping other products. The most popular drop shipping suppliers among Canadians are accessed through Wholesale2B (for a complete solution) and World Wide Brands (directory of certified wholesale drop shippers). Ecommerce platforms like Shopify make it incredibly easy to add dropshipped products through apps. For more information about drop shipping in Canada, please read Drop Shipping / Wholesale for Canadian Sellers.

Testing the Waters with Affiliate Programs

You can also test product popularity through affiliate programs. Simply find a merchant selling the product (or something similar) and use direct linking options to see how it sells for you. Obviously, you will need to verify that they ship to Canada if they’re located elsewhere. Your margins will be considerably lower than with drop shipping, but it’s a less intimidating option for some. An easy affiliate network to start with is Share-A-Sale. Check out The Best Affiliate Program Networks for Canadians for more options. Learn more in our big guide, How to Start Affiliate Marketing in Canada.

My Hottest Online Niches in Canada

I’ve worked with a lot of products and merchants in various capacities for more than 20 years, which gives me unique insights into the online Canadian market. Following (in no particular order) are the most consistently-lucrative product niches for me (and those I work with) this year.  Some have held steady from previous years and have proven to be solid, long-term earners.  Others are new online niches that appear to be winners right out of the gate.

  1. Sustainable Fashion: The sale of pre-owned clothing and accessories has become a very profitable niche. Buying used clothing was always popular here, but the sector has grown as Canadians become more aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion. Luxury items will always fly off the shelves, but don’t miss the opportunities in children’s clothing, business attire and collectibles. Forbes recently reported that the resale of sneakers alone brings in USD $2 billion in annual sales. Consider anything that supports the distribution of sustainable fashion as well, including platforms, apps and information. Incidentally, recommerce (selling used or excess products) in general is growing 20x faster than the broader retail market and 5x faster than off-price retailers.
  2. Specialty Fashion: Attractive, trendy fashion in plus sizes, especially 2XL & up. Many Canadians are overweight, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to dress fashionably. Professional attire for the office has been especially popular in this niche lately.
  3. Entrepreneur: Home business items revolving around organization, space-saving and efficiency.  Mobility is still huge across the business niche. Anything that helps people work and communicate on the fly has major potential, especially if you find a gap in what’s offered by the larger B2B (Business to Business) stores.
  4. Health & Fitness: Natural supplements, with a focus on more obscure or trending items. Offering solutions for specific health issues can give you an edge. However, you must have legitimate expertise or experience in the category to ensure you rank well in Google’s search results. Also lucrative is the sale of anything that may be embarrassing for some to buy in person, such as adult incontinence products. Medicinal uses for Cannabis and it’s derivatives are huge right now.
  5. Subscription Boxes and Recurring Deliveries: Some things still surprise me and the popularity of subscription boxes in Canada is one of them. Eleven percent of Canadians have ordered an average of two subscription boxes in the past year. Twenty-three percent have over 41 subscriptions! Consumers love discovering new products, while businesses are finding success with the new channel for discovery and sales. Recurring deliveries, of course, facilitate customer loyalty and recurring revenue.
  6. Cannabis accessories have exploded as a niche since Canadian legalization. There’s still tons of room for novelty items, whether they’re already available or something you invent yourself. Additionally, it’s the new wine and with that comes the opportunity to serve the equivalent of “wine snobs” at the high end. Many people are looking for information, leaving the door wide open for content marketing. The business opportunities for anything related to Cannabis in Canada are practically endless at this point, but make sure you’re following the law.  You can stay on top of the Canadian cannabis sector by subscribing to the BNN Bloomberg newsletter, Cannabis Canada. North American Cannabis sales are expected to reach $47.3 billion USD in 2027.
  7. Pets: Natural everything, from food to toys. Note that Canada should reflect the American market per capita. The U.S. online pet food and supplies market is expected to reach USD 6.13 billion by 2025.
  8. Senior Citizens: Assisted living products and senior-friendly travel. Seventy-one percent of Canadian seniors used the Internet in 2018.
  9. Information Products & Online Education: eBooks, whitepapers and online courses. Online learning products do well for us because we can find or create downloads on virtually any topic, allowing us to slip them into any niche. It can be a primary source of revenue or add another revenue stream to your small business.
  10. Reusable Shopping Bags & Utensils: It’s a little tougher to find suppliers, but shopping bags do really well if you stick to novelty bags with nice designs in large sizes.  Reusable utensils are expected to be big as more cities ban single-use plastics. Anything that makes these items more environmentally friendly, including fast biodegration, has a lot of potential at the B2B level as well. This is a niche that requires testing though. For example, reusable utensils require more innovative solutions that make them easy to clean and carry. Otherwise, people dismiss them as too inconvenient.

More Tips

If you need a website with Canadian currency, Canada Post shipping options, Canadian servers, etc., please read:

A Canadian Guide to Finding the Best eCommerce Platform Software

Checklist: Choosing a Website Host for your Canadian Business

You can learn more about starting an online store with our Checklist: How to Start an Online Store (eCommerce Business) in Canada

E-commerce is the fastest-growing segment in Canada’s digital economy, going from $4.2 billion in 2010 to over $13.6 billion in 2017, according to Statistics Canada. The opportunities to generate revenue online continue to be there, for anyone who keeps their finger on the pulse of consumer demand.

??? Any questions about selling online in Canada? Please feel free to ask in the comments below or discuss this and other online business topics in the Online Business Canada Facebook group!

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In over 20 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and eCommerce websites.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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Kacey

Have you noticed a big difference in 2020 niches? More or less sales in yours? I know it’s a hiccup and it’s going back to normal but I don’t know if now’s the time to start or if I should wait until 2021. Thanks lovey!

Mekdes

How much money do I need to resale online?

Arman

Hi
I want to canadian brand product, in this regard if I buy shelves pull and open box branded products by 3rd party like liquidators how I can resell these branded products because I am not authorized seller please advise
Arman

jit

Greetings!!
We are in interest of launching our own E commerce Platform, in canada, we at the moment researching canadian online market: like what products,service are sold online. It was great to read the blog.
It would be great if we knew about the laws and regulation of online selling in canada.
We are India based at moment, and further looking to expand in UK, CA, USA.

Vasav

What product range you would like to expand in to Canadian market. Please share if you can.

Bianca

Thank you so much for those great information, I was planning to start my home business in Canada and I was really excited about that, but when I got the shipping rates within Canada from all shipping companies I got really frustrated, the shipping rates are really high it costs like 17$ or more for shipping an order which makes it impossible for me to make free shipping or make earnings, could you please help me with any information if you have about shipping!! Many thanks 🙂

Will A

Excellent info here, thank you!
Question: I’ve heard from some very successfull drop shippers that high ticket domestically sourced items are best to go with. (Don’t have to deal with border issues/taxes, shorter ship times, etc) Is this what you do too? Or do you use international suppliers and just deal with the tax and import stuff.

Ian

How can a dropshiper compete with Amazon? Amazon is in all niches in Canada.

mamun

I think it was some great advise for a beginner such as myself….thanks for sharing….

Moira Llewellyn

Wow…thanks! I want to build a couple of niche sites this year and this really helps. One will have something to do with AI but I didn’t decide on the other one yet. Maybe there’s something here that’s unique but getting more popular? Time will tell!!

Adnan Iqbal

I really appreciate for helping the peoples from this website and guidance for new entrepreneurs

Stephen Burt

Hi Melody;
Thanks for creating a great site with great information.
If you use Green Geeks and have an ad for Wealthy Affiliates do they use them as well?
I am confused about whether to just get another host like I had (but with Canadian servers) on a single plan or a larger plan since we are anticipating an explosion in volume in and out and don’t know hosting like you do and talking to the sales team is not always the best source whereas you are independent.
Any thoughts will help as I don’t want to have a big jump that my plan can’t handle and lose participants.
Want to be on our board of advisers?
Thanks, Stephen
PS I filled out the info below and it didn’t like my URL but it is my URL and it works.

Mark

Great for your detailed instructions, I will apply it for my hot product search

Javeeth

Hi Melody,

I am India and I have an Import/Export firm in back home.I am planning to import the goods from India which is high demand and good profit for my firm. I have all the licences to export (Including perishable goods). Could you please advice in which item I can focus and do my R&D? Your help is highly appreciated! Cheers!

Deb

This was some great advise for a beginner such as myself…thanks for the advise:)

Selena

I guess these are the product list which is not so outdated even now. Many of the products are still hot in online business.

NikkiD

You listed “Specialty Fashion: Trendy maternity” as 2 in your list of hot niches however, this is exactly the kind of site I am looking to set up yet can’t seem to find any drop shippers for this niche – especially not in Canada. So just wondering at this made it to, pretty well, the top of your list.

Flowers4eden .

Great read. Thanks so much, for sharing. Ifor I use a US dropshipper and sell in Canada (on ebay or amazon), do I need to register a business name? Or aNY paperwork from the US etc.?
Also, if I use a US dropshipper and sell on ebay, in the US, what sort of paperwork, would I need for that? Thanks in advance.

Lesley Hoskin

Do you need a business number for taxes when you drop ship?

Amber

I’m so excited! Hoping to be up & running by fall for Christmas shoppers.

huzefa Dossajee

did this pan out

Randy O

They’re not so different from anywhere else but there’s lots less competition here and opportunities. Agreed!

Cheryl

Thanks for sharing your experience Melady! You can tell you have a lot of it to base your opinions on. I know who to come to with ?’s!

Josh Munroe

Most people won’t share this info…you’re very generous or crazy LOL. OK in the spirit I’ll share one of my best, it’s electronics accessories and custom packages of accessories for electronics. Profit margin isn’t too high bt they sell pretty fast. I make the most on the packages. People like to buy everything they need at once especially when they’re not sure about what they need in the first place.