10 Hot Online Product Niches for Canadian Sellers – 2019

It’s time to update this list of our hottest online niches for 2019!

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 in demand, 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 Wholesale2B and World Wide Brands. 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 at various levels 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 for) 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Health & Fitness: Natural supplements, with a focus on more obscure or trending items. 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.
  4. Easy Cooking: Instant Pot still rules, especially accessories and specialty niches, such as using it for specific diets (like Keto).
  5. Cannabis accessories have exploded as a niche since Canadian legalization last Fall. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Senior Citizens: Assisted living products and senior-friendly travel. Seventy-one percent of Canadian seniors used the Internet in 2018.
  8. Information Products: eBooks, whitepapers, and online courses. This niche does well for us because we can find info products on virtually any topic, allowing us to slip them into any niche.
  9. 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.
  10. Seasonal Decorations: This one can easily get out of hand so try to focus on truly unique items. Don’t be afraid to approach local artisans and crafters with consignment-type deals or the like. This is a great category for after-holiday discount shopping (retail arbitrage) if you have room to store items for the next season.  This past year, “old fashioned” replicas flew off the shelves, like the old red truck with a Christmas tree on it and handmade tree ornaments (or ornaments that look like they are handmade).

Tip:  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 and 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.


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25 Responses to "10 Hot Online Product Niches for Canadian Sellers – 2019"

  1. Will A  October 17, 2019

    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.

    • Admin: Melody McKinnon  October 18, 2019

      When we first started years ago, we always imported to the Canadian market or only served the US market with US suppliers. There wasn’t enough Canadian dropshippers to serve the Canadian market in any other way. Now, there is a growing number of Canadian suppliers who are willing to drop ship so we do a mix. With more fulfillment options in Canada, it’s possible to use suppliers from other countries to quickly serve the Canadian market as well. If not, importing is straightforward and most shipping companies have an automated system in place to guide you through the paperwork. Knowing the laws of the destination country as they apply to the specific product is often the biggest hurdle, but once you’ve cleared it legally it isn’t a big issue.

      It comes down to what will work best for your business, but more importantly for your ideal customer profile. If you already have a customer base, ask them questions about things like shipping delays and if they’d be happy to wait for something they can’t get in Canada or for a considerably lower price. Canadians are accustomed to that sort of thing and their answer may surprise you. The most important thing is to keep the customer fully informed so they know what to expect.

  2. Ian  September 4, 2019

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

    • Melody McKinnon  September 5, 2019

      The same way any retailer competes with Amazon: Be creative and unique. Amazon Canada actually has a very poor, overpriced selection these days, so it isn’t difficult to come up with unique products. Drop shipping makes it easy to try a variety of products without having to worry about being stuck with stagnant inventory. Set yourself apart by knowing your target market and fulfilling their needs. Get to know online Canadians in general and use that knowledge to provide what they’re looking for. You can start with our 2019 Multi-Source Report: What Canadian Online Shoppers Want.

  3. mamun  March 12, 2019

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

  4. Moira Llewellyn  January 15, 2018

    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!!

  5. Adnan Iqbal  July 5, 2017

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

  6. Stephen Burt  June 19, 2017

    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.

    • Melody McKinnon  June 19, 2017

      Hi Stephen,
      I’m not sure what you mean about GreenGeeks & Wealthy Affiliates. They’re unrelated. You might find our website hosting checklist helpful when making your hosting choice. If you start out with unlimited hosting like GreenGeeks you’ll be OK for while. They’ll let you upgrade when you need to but they won’t bother you about usage until you’re over a generous average (how they determine “reasonable use” for their basic unlimited plan). It sounds like an exciting endeavor, wishing you all the best with it.

  7. Mark  April 27, 2017

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

  8. Javeeth  April 23, 2017

    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!

    • Admin: Melody McKinnon  April 24, 2017

      That’s going to take some research to see what works for you. Any of the above niches should serve you well. Good luck!

  9. Deb  February 22, 2017

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

  10. Selena  February 16, 2017

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

  11. NikkiD  January 19, 2017

    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.

    • Admin: Melody McKinnon  January 19, 2017

      It’s a list of the hottest niches for drop shipping OR selling in Canada. Drop shipping is only one way to sell online, in addition to having your own inventory, selling in online marketplaces, etc. It’s also important to note that you can drop ship from American suppliers and have them ship to Canada. When something is hard to find here, people are more willing to pay for additional shipping and exchange on the dollar. The trick is sourcing unique items that can’t easily be found here. The more legwork it takes, the less competition you’ll have.

  12. Flowers4eden .  October 20, 2016

    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.

    • Admin: Melody McKinnon  October 20, 2016

      You can sell online as a form of self-employment. Laws and taxes can vary and they’re always changing, so it’s best to consult with an accountant & lawyer.

  13. Lesley Hoskin  September 16, 2016

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

    • Admin: Melody McKinnon  September 17, 2016

      When we do it as an online store we use a tax number as the transaction goes through us. If we’re selling elsewhere, like an online marketplace (eBay, etc) the taxes are handled through the platform. If you go with ecommerce software that’s set up for drop shipping it should all be set up for taxes already. Either way, it’s best to check with an accountant as the rules change frequently.

  14. Amber  July 16, 2015

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

    • huzefa Dossajee  August 27, 2019

      did this pan out

  15. Randy O  June 30, 2015

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

  16. Cheryl  June 28, 2015

    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!

  17. Josh Munroe  June 20, 2015

    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.


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