10 Hot Online Product Niches for Canadian Sellers in 2022

It’s time to update this list of our hottest online niches for 2022!

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 selling products that are 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). Alternately, we can sell to Americans or in many other countries.

Table of Contents

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Reducing the Risk

My Secret Weapon – Dropshipping

Testing the Waters with Affiliate Programs

Data & Analysis Reveals Solid Trends

Rolling with the Punches

My Hottest Online Niches in Canada

In 2022, I’m Keeping a Close Eye On…

More Tips

Reducing the Risk

Having a wide range of choices is one of the benefits of doing business online, but it can also make it harder to choose a promising niche. Nobody wants to bet heavily on products without a reasonable chance of success. Being stuck with stagnant inventory is a seller’s worst nightmare. Research and testing can help to mitigate that risk.

My Secret Weapon – Drop Shipping

Drop shipping is the perfect way to lower the risk of choosing the wrong niche or product. With no inventory to worry about, we can test-run virtually any product. Drop shipping is a business model in itself. You may decide to continue with it, or bring in the best-selling products for resale and continue drop shipping other products.

Some of the most popular drop shipping suppliers among Canadians are accessed through Wholesale2B and more recently, Syncee. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify make it incredibly easy to add drop-shipped 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. Before joining the affiliate program, you’ll have 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.

Data and Analysis Reveals Solid Trends

Your sales data is invaluable as you test new products, but when it comes to industry trends we rely heavily on Canadian and North American data for those markets.

“Analyze the market to uncover industry trends,” suggests SEMRush in What Ecommerce Trends Will Define 2022? “Capitalizing on some… trends depends on first recognizing how they relate to your business and being able capitalize on them. Studying markets and their audiences constantly will help you establish better strategies.”

Rolling with the Punches

Of course, everything changed in 2020. Online shopping soared and it isn’t expected to drop by any significant degree after the crisis has passed. Most Canadians were already enthusiastic online shoppers, but they placed more orders in 2020. Others started shopping online out of necessity, but will probably continue to do so now that they’re comfortable with it.

The biggest shakeup in 2020 and 2021 wasn’t the increase in online shopping, but the mass movement of Canadian businesses into the digital market. For whatever reason, most small businesses in Canada had resisted digital adoption and online sales until the pandemic forced their hand. The movement will continue into 2022, as businesses scramble to recover from offline losses and realize how critical it is to be online. It’s a crucial part of today’s contingency plans.

Additionally, new online businesses will pop up faster as Canadians look for their own backup plan, be it fulltime or a side hustle. There is a wealth of legitimate online opportunities beyond ecommerce, just waiting to be discovered.

My Hottest Online Niches in Canada

I’ve worked with a lot of products and merchants online in various capacities for more than 20 years. That gives me unique insights into the Canadian digital market.

Reacting to current trends with new products can be a dangerous game and is best left to those qualified to hit a moving target. The trick is in predicting what will change and how permanent those changes will be.

We saw an uptick in all ecommerce and website traffic and thought it best not to introduce a lot of new products for most of the year. While many have profited from items directly related to the pandemic, we chose to focus on its impact on long-term consumer behaviour.

For example, working from home is expected to continue for many positions. What do people need to work from home? Electronics, office furniture & supplies, and maybe renovate a room for a quiet home office. Those are the obvious trends. When we apply it to our niches, all sorts of opportunities present themselves.

Our natural pet care niche has steadily grown in online sales because people are working from home. Now they can be home to care for a new pet and they’ll enjoy the company, so they get one. As new pet parents, or those with a growing family of them, they need everything from dog beds to premium food. If they’re new at it, they’ll be interested in pet care books and tutorials. That can be turned into another revenue stream, increase traffic or be used as a free download to grow our email list.

“Canadians spent more than $5.7 billion on their pets this year, an increase of about $300 million compared to 2019, according to German market data firm Statista,” writes Pete Evans for CBC. “And that figure is projected to grow by more than $100 million next year, too. More than a third of all Canadian households now have a dog, and 40 per cent now have a cat, Statista says. Both figures are up from last year.”

That said, COVID has lingered far longer than anticipated. Some pandemic items will continue to sell well even after the battle is won, because they’ve become a part of our everyday life over time. For example, everyone is more aware of contagions and will continue to purchase hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes indefinitely.  We’re also considering recovery needs, from businesses roaring back to life, to mental health products to help people who are trying to deal with the trauma and loss.

In the meantime, our best-selling products within our niches naturally shifted to reflect the changing priorities of consumers trying to survive the crisis.

As always, we focus on what the market wants and how our product or service can benefit the people who want it. Trends are just another viewpoint to explore for longer-term opportunities. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some, but with practice you’ll get better at spotting the most profitable and lasting trends.

Turn to your ideal customer profiles and think about how this challenging year has impacted their life, and how your product or service can help. Head in that direction in 2022 for an increased chance at a profitable year.

Following (in no particular order) are the most consistently-lucrative product niches for me (and those I work with) this past year. Some have held steady from previous years and have proven to be solid, long-term earners. Others are newer 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 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. Having recognized a new/old opportunity, select retailers are adding used products when they had only sold new products previously. Others are taking it even further, such as the H&M Rewear Canadian recommerce marketplace.
  2. Specialty Fashion: Attractive, trendy fashion in plus sizes, especially 2XL & up. Many Canadians are overweight or have put on weight during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to dress fashionably. Professional attire for the office has been especially popular in this niche, but it has temporarily shifted to more casual, comfortable clothes in 2021. Sportswear and streetwear are all the rage right now.
  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. As you’ve probably guessed, tools and services that facilitate online communication and working from home have exploded in popularity in 2021.
  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, as are proven ways to boost immunity.
  5. Subscription Boxes and Recurring Deliveries: Some things still surprise me and the popularity of subscription boxes in Canada is one of them. Sixteen percent of Canadians had an online subscription for physical products in 2020. Twenty-three percent of them have over 41 subscriptions! Consumers love discovering new products, while businesses are finding success with the new channel for discovery and sales. Recurring deliveries facilitate customer loyalty and recurring revenue.
  6. Cannabis accessories have jumped as a niche since Canadian legalization and the pandemic has increased demand. 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. For example, CBD is legal in Canada but only from authorized sellers & suppliers.  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 by 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. Canadians spent more than $5.7 billion on their pets in 2020. Many people have added pets to their family during the pandemic, causing an uptick in sales of staples, necessities, novelties and premium products.
  8. Senior Citizens: Assisted living products and senior-friendly travel options have been growing steadily in recent years. Don’t underestimate or dismiss this segment of the Canadian market as too lacking in tech expertise to shop online. Seventy-one percent of Canadian seniors used the Internet in 2018 and like the rest of consumers, the pandemic forced more of them to shop online.
  9. Information Products & Online Education: The demand for ebooks, whitepapers and online courses has skyrocketed since 2020, when 25 percent of Canadians participated on online learning, building on the already healthy market for digital learning products. In fact, 11% of Canadians did online training or learning for the first time in 2020. Digital 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: 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. This is one product that saw a drop in 2020 because stores were concerned about hygiene. However, demand has picked up again as more stores move ahead with plans to go plastic-free due to changing city laws. Promoting them as practical gift bags over the holiday season brought in more sales. We took a tentative step into print-on-demand shopping bags in 2021, introducing unique, trendy and even personalized designs. Early data indicates they have the potential to be one of our best sellers, but I’ll know more when I update this post for 2023.

In 2022, I’m Keeping a Close Eye On…

The metaverse! There will be all sorts of related opportunities that pop up, including accessories, specializations, content, virtual real estate development, and virtual versions of almost everything ‘in real life’. The metaverse is really just the natural evolution of the internet and how we use it. What it will look like specifically is still up in the air, but there are already online businesses and creators who are doing well within it. For example, we recently learned of a 28-year-old Canadian on Asia’s top Metaverse platform making six figures as a virtual fashion influencer.

“But it goes beyond fashion,” writes Mariko Oi, an Asia business correspondent for BBC. “You can just as easily start a career as an entertainer or architect in the metaverse.”

Watch for unique metaverse opportunities in both B2C & B2B. Keep an eye on related news and what developers are up to, so you’re ready to pounce when a door opens.

More Tips

If you need a website with Canadian currency, shipping options, data centres, and other Canadian functionality & features, 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. Eighty-two percent of Canadians shopped online in 2020, spending $84.4 billion online. In 2018, 73 percent of Canadians shopped online, spending $57.4 billion. Factor in the growth acceleration caused by the pandemic and the 2022 potential is astounding. Opportunities to generate revenue online in a wide variety of ways, will 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!

Note: This list of top selling product niches in Canada is updated annually. It was first published in 2015.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | 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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Muhammad Bilal

Hello Melody,
I loved your Article because I am about to start my e-commerce business and this article helped me a lot. I need some more guidance if you could help me. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Looking forward

Simone

Just starting out, looking for a niche in decor. It quality products that are difficult to find.

ashiq

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.

Havvie

Just a note to thank you for sharing this intelligence with the online biz community. Your experience and understanding of ecommerce in CA is hard to find. I don’t know if it’s rare or other experts just aren’t publishing or aren’t willing to share their secrets. Either way! Thanks!

Rz

Trends are a scary thing to chase but the people who took a chance in some health categories are cleaning up right now. I like to play it a little safer but I still do longer living trends. I wonder what the future will bring too! Always a surprise or 2!

Jay

I’ve been using these as a starting point to find solid niches IN Canada and it all looks promising. If only we could get rid of the pandemic and get on with business again!!

Youssef Chaqchaq

@Melody, I really like the structure of this website!! The topics are well diversified and in your short bibliography, you are in-depth knowledge of the online business. What do you suggest to a newbie where to start from scratch? Is a certificate in digital marketing required to be familiar with the online business?

Mildred

I heard there’s a need to sign up for a drop shipping “club” of some kind to start a drop shipping business? A friend of mine tried this via
amazon in the US market and she stopped because of the 24/7 need of supervision.
Do we need to pay membership of some sort to start drop shipping?

Patrick Devaux

Where would i find the dropshipping guide?

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.