Published on January 15th, 2015 | by james0
Six Serious eCommerce Business Ideas That Could Take Off In 2015
We are in the era of the Internet of Things – or the Internet of Everything, the Smart Planet or Industrial Internet. Whatever you choose to call it, hyper-connectivity, mobile and cloud, sustainability and affordability are the order of the day. Based on these trends, here is a look at some potentially profitable eCommerce business ideas 2015 that could very well be your next Amazon.
- Smart Home Products
The Consumer Electronics Show just wrapped up in Los Angeles and there were plenty of new smart appliances that will appeal to a certain category of buyers. Products like face-tracking cameras that turn on surveillance depending on who is at home, lights that control brightness depending on who enters the room, smart programmable Nest heating systems that can connect to Whirlpool dryers and instruct operations during off-peak hours for energy saving, home theaters that communicate with each other – these are some of the products that can attract smart home owners and the elite.
- Mobile & Cloud
Services that link mobile and cloud together will have plenty of applications in the coming year. Think mobile device in hand and web app on the cloud, linking the real world with the Internet in a way that has rarely been done so far. Some ideas could include apps that link people with peer-reviewed local services; something like TaskRabbit does in helping customers find handymen and cleaners to carry out household chores. Alternately, take pointers from successful mobile-cloud integrations like Airbnb, which connects customers to holiday rentals around the world, or Lyft for rideshares.
- Surveillance & Tracking Technology
Tracking technology may be of many kinds – fleet tracking for transporters, tracking tools for surveillance, personal health tracking etc. They’re all likely to be good products for eCommerce, with more RFID-embedded technology becoming mainstream. There are products to let customers track everything from their keys, to pets, to other people, to even their lost socks (a la BlackSocks) via sensors and mobile. Want to keep track of when your kids get home safely while you’re at work? Video surveillance is ever popular and it will continue to be so in 2015, whether in-built in security systems or as independent units for home and commercial use.
Ever since Amazon announced its drone delivery, one of the most popular selfie trends in 2014 was a #dronie, taken with a drone. It made it possible to take shots from perspectives that would otherwise need helicopters or crane hires. Drones and RC helicopters have always had a cult status among certain hobbyists, but they are taking off commercially only recently. It’s telling that at the Build a Business contest run by Shopify, one of the top winners this year was a drone supplier.
- Alternative Energy Production
It will come as no surprise to anyone that alternative energy products will very likely continue to dominate the home systems, appliances, décor market etc. This is one area where ‘alternative’ has gone really mainstream. Stores like Sears already list solar panels and off-grid kits along with energy-efficient LED lighting, even solar-energy powered address sign. It won’t be long before customers in the mainstream will want to purchase more heavy duty products like residential wind turbines or sustainable building materials for DIY-ing the zero-energy home.
- 3D Printed Products
3D printing reared its head in 2014 with a number of design software and 3D printers, but in the coming year, new products are expected to woo eCommerce customers. Move quickly to enjoy first movers’ advantage. Begin with engraving – remember that personalized is better than mass produced in the coming year. Or move on to more ambitious projects, like life-size toys for children, game paraphernalia, TV Show paraphernalia (maybe the Game of Thrones throne?), wearable fashion like 3D printed nails and sweaters etc. With super lightweight and strong carbon-fiber technology available in 3D printing, there is a lot you can do now, and profitably.
Other areas that could very well be explored by new eCommerce businesses include printing photos from smartphones, augmented reality products, counter surveillance, life assistance of any kind, etc. There will of course be other areas that will appeal to the banking & insurance sectors, agriculture, FMCG and other industries, etc. But these were my two cents on an area I understand – people are more connected today via their mobile phones, they want more access to data and be able to connect the web with the real world easily.