Articles, Side Hustle, Starting a Business

16 At Home eCommerce Business Ideas

Written By: Katie Brenneman
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated February 20, 2024

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a woman working at home on her ecommerce business

Are you looking for at-home eCommerce business ideas? No doubt, secondary income streams can be a lifesaver for some people. Whether you need to pay off student loans or credit card debt, save up for something special, or want a little extra cash in the bank, finding ways to become financially independent through a “side hustle” can set you up for success. 

The e-commerce industry has been popular for a while, but thanks to advancements in technology and COVID-19 changing the way people shop online, it’s seen a more significant boom than ever. 

Currently, there are over 26 million e-commerce sites on the web. 

With so many sites designed to sell products, you might think you can’t enter the industry, but that isn’t true. If you have an innovative, unique product that people truly want and can market it correctly, you can earn a sizable secondary income from an e-commerce business. 

We might not be in a COVID lockdown anymore, but people’s shopping habits have changed for good, with more people spending money online than ever. Now is a perfect time to take advantage of that. 

At-Home eCommerce Business Ideas

Not sure where to get started or if you have a good business idea that would find success online? Let’s cover some of the best at-home e-commerce business ideas for a secondary income, whether you want a little extra cash or to turn your e-commerce site into a full-time career. 

16. Making Jewelry

Jewelry-making is a wonderful solo hobby, but have you ever thought of turning it into a career? 

One of the great things about custom jewelry is that the possibilities are endless, and no two pieces are alike. While thousands of online jewelry sites might be available, none offer what you can create. 

Nowadays, people are creating jewelry out of everything. Consider using unique items relevant to your personality or your location. Some material ideas include:

  • Rocks/interesting stones
  • Beach glass
  • Sand and resin
  • Shells
  • Beads

The more unique your jewelry is, the more likely it is to appeal to a target audience. The only trouble you might have is having enough stock if your store becomes popular. Work in advance as often as possible, and ensure you can always fulfill each order without biting off more than you can chew. 

15. Baked Goods

Do you have a talent for baking artisanal loaves of bread or sweet cupcakes? If so, and you’re willing to ship across the country, you could make a lot of dough from, well, making dough!

There are plenty of online bakeries specializing in everything from cookies to baguettes. Whether you have a specialty or a knack for coming up with all sorts of delicious sweet treats, consider selling your confections to those looking for everything from a showstopping celebratory dessert to a snack on a weeknight. 

One of the challenges you’ll face is shipping. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with it before you make your first sale. Shipping baked goods is possible, but they must be packaged correctly and shipped quickly to ensure freshness. 

14. Subscription Services

It seems like there’s a subscription service for just about everything these days, including:

  • Makeup
  • Snacks
  • Meal kits
  • Toys
  • Pet supplies
  • Fitness gear

Even digital subscriptions are popular, with 85% of American households subscribing to at least one video subscription service. 

We mentioned meal kits in the list above, but if you know how to cook using specialized ingredients (or work with a chef who does), you can offer a meal delivery service catering to a particular audience. 

You might even base your business on your own dietary needs. For example, if you’re part of the 6% of the population with gluten intolerance, you’re likely always on the hunt for delicious and nutritious meals. If you’ve developed some great menus, consider sharing them with others and creating a subscription-based meal service. Whether it’s for people with gluten intolerance, allergies, or any other specific dietary needs, you’ll immediately reach a target audience looking for something new. 

13. Custom Swag

If you have an eye for design, consider putting your creativity to good use on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs. 

Setting up an online shop with premade designs is a great way to attract the eyes of people who want to show off their personalities with unique items. 

You can also set up your online shop to allow people to create their designs. By letting them create their swag or giving them premade options and shipping out their order, you’ll never have to worry about staying fresh or relevant – your customers will do that work for you!

The best part? There are plenty of Print-On-Demand (POD) platforms available that make it easy to get started with this type of e-commerce business. 

12. Life Coaching

You don’t necessarily have to sell tangible goods to have a successful e-commerce business. If you have experience as a life coach or mentor, consider offering your services online as another subscription program. 

You can set your website up to offer different packages or even “a la carte” services for anyone seeking help. It’s often more accessible than charging by the hour, and you can meet virtually with new clients, so you can offer your services to almost anyone worldwide. It’s a great opportunity if you’re an introvert but want to take advantage of the opportunity to lead others. 

11. Personal Training

Maybe you don’t have mentoring experience, but you do have health, wellness, and fitness skills. 

Being a personal trainer at a gym can be taxing and time-consuming. Offering your knowledge and personalized plans as part of your own business is a fantastic way to share your knowledge and help others from the comfort of your home. 

Again, this type of business is a perfect opportunity to set up subscription services. However, you could also create a “store” section to include things like:

  • Supplements
  • Energy drinks/bars
  • Workout clothes
  • Small equipment
  • Pre-recorded videos

As your business expands, you could hire more trainers to work with you, growing your client base and offering personalized attention to everyone who wants to get healthy. 

10. Natural Products

Nowadays, more people are interested in products that are both good for them and the environment. One recent survey found that 60% of consumers find sustainability is essential when purchasing. 

By offering natural products online, you’ll tap into that niche market, and you’ll be able to grow with it. Consider offering all-natural cosmetics, self-care products, or even cleaning supplies, and you’ll attract a target audience looking to do better for themselves and the planet. 

9. An Online Thrift Store

Speaking of sustainability, online thrift shops are becoming more popular and profitable thanks to brands like Thredup and Goodfair. 

Thrifting is a great way for people to reduce their carbon footprint. It creates less waste, uses less energy, and can send a message to brands using unethical or unsustainable production methods. 

Online thrift stores will become even bigger as more people become interested in used items to live more sustainably. Now is a great time to jump on that train and offer beautiful, unique items that deserve a second life. 

8. Pet Products

Did you know that about 90.5 million households nationwide have a pet? Many pet owners consider their four-legged friends part of the family. So, they’re willing to spend money to ensure their pets are well-treated and cared for. 

That explains why the pet product industry is so lucrative. 

The industry reached $99 billion in 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down. You can tap into its success by opening up an e-commerce site selling pet products. The possibilities are endless, whether you make your products or get them elsewhere. Consider featuring items like:

  • Food/treats
  • Toys
  • Beds and blankets
  • Natural health products
  • Grooming supplies

Consider using your pet(s) as inspiration for your business, naming it after one of them or using them in your logo. Consumers are more likely to trust your brand if they know you’re a pet lover, too! Sharing photos of your pet (or others!) using the products you sell will also entice consumers to try them for their furry friends. 

7. Wedding Goods

The wedding industry is another profitable niche market to consider, especially if you have an eye for design and are always up to date on the latest trends. 

Wedding planning is often fun and exciting, but it can be a lot of work for the couples involved. You can take some of that stress away by offering wedding goods and accessible services people can purchase with a few simple clicks. 

Whether you want to sell men’s wedding rings, decor, custom invitations, or stationery or provide planning services, stepping into the wedding industry is a fantastic way to tap into a booming market immediately. There will always be couples looking for help and those who want their big day to stand out, so you’ll have a consistent built-in target audience. The more customizations you’re willing to offer, the better. What couple doesn’t want their big day to be unique and special? 

6. Online Educational Courses

Over the last few years, remote education and e-learning have become more popular. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, most elementary, high school, and college-aged students switched to remote learning to keep themselves and others safe. While most institutions are now back to in-person learning, some parents and adult learners have chosen to stick with virtual options. 

More schools offer online courses or hybrid programs for students who want to work from home. However, you can take things one step further by offering educational courses or tutoring sessions. 

If you have the proper credentials or build your business with people who do, you can sell specific courses or packages for personalized education opportunities. It’s a fantastic option for kids still learning from home or adults who want to continue their education or learn something new. 

This is also an e-commerce idea that will regularly experience the opportunity to grow. You can continue to bring in more teachers and tutors as needed, allowing you to offer a wider variety of courses and classes. The more you have to offer, the wider your audience becomes. 

5. Books and eBooks

There are thousands of bookstores across the U.S. and even more ways to buy books online. However, for avid readers, there can never be too many options!

Consider opening an online bookstore for independent authors or those who haven’t been able to work with major publishing companies to get their work off the ground. There are many wonderful authors out there who might not have the funds, marketing skills, or resources to get their work into the hands of big publishers. By working with these authors and dedicating your site to their work, you could help to launch countless careers or help people discover the following New York Times bestseller. No one should have to give up on their dream due to a lack of resources. By providing an outlet for authors to sell their stories, you’ll help to bring those dreams to life. 

If you want to go a different route, consider selling used books. Many people still love the feel of an actual book in their hands rather than reading a digital version. However, books can be expensive. You can cut the price for your audience by selling gently owned copies and still make a profit. 

4. Content Writing

Have you always had a talent for the written word?

If so, you might consider offering your writing services to others. Not everyone is a writer, and not everyone has time to create content when trying to run a business or attract new customers. 

As a freelance writer, you can create an e-commerce site that allows people to purchase specific writing packages or “a la carte” items for a set price. You could offer things like:

  • Blog posts
  • Web content
  • Scripts
  • eBooks
  • White papers
  • Press releases

Get specific about the content you’re willing to offer, and be sure to include a portfolio or examples of your work on your site and reviews. The more positive reviews you get, the “word of mouth” advertising will improve. 

3. Smart Home Products

Smart home technology continues to grow and become more popular in homes nationwide. As of 2021, about 43% of U.S. households had at least one smart device. It’s a trend that’s expected to continue with the advancement of technology. 

Despite the popularity of these devices, there aren’t a ton of online retailers selling them. People can go to big box stores or specialty electronics stores for some devices, but those often lack the personal experience and expertise consumers seek. 

Your e-commerce store could become a trusted source for smart home products by researching smart home technology and working with reputable brands. Not only can you offer a variety of products for sale, but you can create a central “hub” of information for consumers to learn more about the products you sell and how they can make life more convenient. 

2. App Development

Apple may have coined the saying “There’s an app for that” back in 2009, but nowadays, it truly does seem like an app for everything. 

However, there’s always room for more. 

Most consumers rely on their smartphones daily to help them with various tasks. Many people start their day by turning off the alarm on their phone, using a fitness app to track their morning workout, or listening to music on Spotify or iTunes while they get ready for work. 

Apps have become such a major part of everyday life that most people don’t even realize how much they rely on them. 

If you have development and coding experience, you can create an e-commerce business selling apps. 

Even though millions of apps exist, so many businesses still don’t have one, and they’re on the hunt. By offering design and development services, you can create custom apps for businesses or bring someone’s innovative idea to life. 

1. Baby Products

The baby care market is always booming as innovative products come out that new parents can’t wait to try. 

If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to use trustworthy items that make life easier for you and your little one. Why not showcase that passion and knowledge on an e-commerce platform? 

By using your baby care expertise to help other new parents find the right products for their bundles of joy, you can tap into a niche market that will never go out of style. 

Yes, there are plenty of baby product stores online. However, as we mentioned with smart home products, many places that sell them don’t offer much support or advice. 

Let’s face it, many new parents want to know exactly what to expect from a product and how to use it properly. Combining a baby product store with a blog or weekly podcast, video, etc., creates a central space for all things baby. The more parents start to trust what you have to say, the more likely they’ll buy products from you and tell others to do the same. 

Why E-Commerce Is the Ultimate Side Hustle

Whether you want to be your boss full-time or just looking for extra monthly cash, e-commerce can be a perfect solution

Nowadays, so many side gigs require a lot of time and attention. While some business ideas here require active work, many will allow you to make passive income by selling products and prepackaged services. 

Suppose you can give people access to hard-to-find products or services, provide knowledgeable advice, or use your unique skills to give consumers something they can’t get anywhere else. In that case, there’s no reason why your e-commerce site can’t be successful. This list isn’t exhaustive. Think about your passions, what you enjoy doing (and what you’re good at!). You might be surprised to find that your favorite hobbies can be monetized. 

No matter what you decide to sell, it’s easier than ever to get your products and services into the hands of consumers. Keep these business ideas in mind for a little extra spending money, and you might quickly see that you can make a living from your e-commerce efforts. 

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