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8 e-commerce categories that will be hot in 2016

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Nov. 4, 2015
Which e-commerce categories will see increased sales and opportunities in the next 12 months? E-commerce and digital marketing pros share their early 2016 predictions.

5. Handmade products and crafts. “There are several indicators that point to handmade products and crafts as one of the biggest opportunities for ecommerce growth in 2016,” says Parag Mamnani, founder & CEO, Webgility, a provider of multichannel ecommerce solutions. “From Etsy [going public] to the recent launch of Amazon Handmade, 2016 [should be] a great time for makers [in ecommerce].”

6. Pet care products. The pet industry is estimated to take in over $60 billion in the United States in 2015, up over $2 billion from the previous year. And pet-related sales are expected to continue to climb in 2016 as Americans continue to spend on their pets.

“Pet care is a wonderful opportunity to start an ecommerce business because it isn't just a trend or a seasonal sale,” says Todd Handler, owner, Hot Dog Collars. “Pet owners will always be in need of new pet toys, pet grooming, pet food, etc. There’s also a wide range of specialized pet products and care that entrepreneurs can specialize in, such as organic food and healthcare, luxury pet accessories and gift boutiques,” he explains. Moreover, “people who treat their pets as family are usually willing to give their four-legged friends the best of the best—and that’s something that can be capitalized on.”

7. Specialty foods. “There is a strong sentiment about knowing where our food comes from,” says Shah. “Brands that provide niche [think organic, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, etc.] or unique products will be big winners in this category.”

“As customers continually seek out healthier, organic food, they are looking to connect with companies that share their values,” adds Daniel Burstein, director of editorial content, MarketingSherpa. “Ecommerce sites that can sell customers not just food, but connect with them by sharing the story behind how that food was grown or made, will seriously shake up the staid grocery industry.”

8. Travel. “As more and more travelers journey around the world, ecommerce has quickly become the primary means of booking travel,” says Dominique LeBlond, senior vice president, product management, SDL, a provider of customer experience solutions. In 2014, there were over 1.1 billion international tourists, according to the World Tourism Organization. And, as SDL research revealed, “nearly 80 percent of modern consumers book their travel online.”

With travelers always looking for a travel deal and ways to make traveling easier, “ecommerce growth in the travel industry [should really] take off in 2016.”


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