E-Commerce: The 3 Most-Purchased Niches of 2018

Posted on December 7, 2018

We’re rapidly closing in on  2019, and your goal as an entrepreneur is to start an e-commerce business in conjunction with the New Year. You’re well aware of how to manage a brand in the e-commerce space and you’ve studied up on how to leverage the many secrets to success.

But what you’re not yet decided on is which niche you will use to build your brand around. You need something that is thriving and in demand within e-commerce. Well, have no fear, we’re here to let you know which e-commerce categories are the most successful and, very obviously, here to stay.

After looking over a recent study from Dotcom Distributions, we found the results you’re looking for. While those results may not have been all that surprising, there’s still plenty to take away from the future of e-commerce based on which niches are dominating online retail. So, without further ado,  here are the three most-purchased items of 2018 in e-commerce:

1. Clothing and Apparel

It’s officially a three-peat for clothing and apparel. For a third straight year, this was the most-purchased online item according to the survey with 77 percent of respondents claiming they made a purchase in this niche. That’s even less surprising when you consider clothing and apparel also topped the list among in-store purchases.

2. Technology

While it may not have been much of a shock clothing and apparel is still at the top, the two other top categories likely provided some insight into the future. Technology items were the second-most purchased among respondents with 52 percent claiming to have made an e-commerce purchase in the niche. It’s quite notable that technology comes in at No. 8 among in-store purchases. So while the clothing and apparel stats suggest there’s room for success in both online and physical stores, technology purchases are clearly far more success in the e-commerce space.

3. Beauty

If you’ve been paying attention, it’s not even a little bit surprising to see beauty on this list. There’s a wide range of brands in beauty having an incredible amount of success via online retail efforts. The survey revealed 41 percent of respondents say they purchase beauty products online. As is the case with technology, that’s an uptick from in-store purchases where beauty products have fallen to No. 6 among all categories.


If you are certain you’re ready for the challenge of starting your own e-commerce business, you should feel positive about your chances if you’re diving into one of these niches. If you’re looking to do something completely different, keep in mind there’s still plenty of room for success and growth in many other categories. For instance, a combined 71 percent of respondents say they purchased household or home goods online. Another 27 percent say they purchased specialty foods through e-commerce, and 22 percent say they buy their sporting goods through the same method. There is very clearly a wide range of niches that can be leveraged for success going forward as e-commerce continues to grow.