10 Trending Online Products to Sell in South Africa in 2022 (And How to Market Them) - PART 1

To succeed in ecommerce, you need three things: high-demand products to sell, the skills to market them, and the drive to succeed.

You already have the winner’s mindset—you’re continually learning, researching, and preparing for success. But finding popular products to sell can be a challenge. That’s why we update this list every year to help you uncover new trending products.

In this list, you’ll find 17 online products in 2022 that will activate new business ideas or maybe give you an idea for a great product to add to your existing online store. Since each niche product is meant for a distinct audience, I'm also sharing relevant marketing tips for reaching new customers.

The products on this list were the most trending products and categories on the Shopify platform from February to August 2021.

Trending products to sell online in 2022

Browse our list of top trending products today to get ideas for what you can use to start your online business.

  1. Toys

  2. Shoes

  3. Pens and pencils

  4. Decorative bottles

  5. Drills

  6. Cutters

  7. GPS navigation systems

  8. Bras

  9. Motor vehicle parts

  10. Office chairs

  11. Projectors

  12. Kitchen towels

  13. Digital artwork

  14. Eyebrow enhancers

  15. Neon signs

  16. Tablet computers

  17. Water bottles

1. Toys

Global order growth (YOY): 1,239%

First on our list of trending products right now are toys. Valued at $110.97 billion, the global toy market saw explosive growth in the first half of 2021.

Product lines include action figures, arts and crafts, building sets, dolls, games and puzzles, infant and toddler toys, youth electronics, plush toys, miniature vehicle replicas, explorative toys, and outdoor and sports toys. Reading toys and flying toys also saw a global order growth of 294% and 275%, respectively.

Toys are a great way to build fine motor skills, encourage imaginative play, and distract kids for a bit while parents are working from home. With 1.8 million average monthly searches for the term “toys” it’s clear they are powering through 2021 and into the new year.

When it comes to promoting toys, think of the concept “friends trust friends.” Marketing toys rely on recommendations from influencers and friends, so you’ll want to collaborate with nano-influencers on social media. Customer reviews are always a smart move for selling items like toy kitchens and dolls. Testimonials can help shoppers decide if the product is perfect for them and encourage a sale.

Create an organic social media marketing strategy around kids using your toys. Show them in action with photo carousels and videos and include user-generated content from your followers’ accounts to build trust with potential buyers. If you have the budget, run a contest to give away free toys to grow your email or Messenger marketing subscriber lists. You can then create drip marketing campaigns that convert subscribers into customers over time.

2. Shoes

Global order growth (YOY): 1,086%

Shoes are one of the best performing products in the first half of 2021. Shoes are perfect for selling any time of year, especially around the holiday season, when you can take advantage of Christmas sales. You can sell custom-made shoes, resell popular brands like Nike or Air Jordan, or sell dress shoes. With a global market size of $365.5 billion, there is no shortage of opportunities to sell shoes online.

When it comes to selling shoes online, focus on finding a target market and selling to one group first. People search online for specific types of shoes, such as “shoes for men” (1.2 million searches per month) and “shoes for women” (823,000 search per month). There’s also opportunities in selling shoes that cure common foot problems like flat feet and plantar fasciitis.

You can sell shoes online from your own Shopify store, on third-party online selling sites like Takealot and Gumtree, and even on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. There are niche marketplaces for shoes, like StockX and GOAT. You can also sell shoes wholesale to other businesses.

3. Pens and pencils

Global order growth (YOY): 540%

Next on what’s trending in products, pens and pencils have cropped up recently. Over the past few years, new and innovative multipurpose writing instruments have played a key role in expanding the scope of these products. Manufacturers are coming up with new offerings, such as stylus pens, different color inks, and pencils in various sizes.

here are a few markets to consider in this $21 billion industry:

  • Students. Fancy colored pencils and pens are gaining traction among children and students.

  • Artists. Products in a wide variety of different color shades are attracting creatives.

  • Luxury. Brands specializing in high-end pens are attracting high-income groups for their designer finish and look.

  • Businesses. Whether working remote or in-office, people need something to write with.

The search term “pens” generates 673,00 searches per month, with related terms “fountain pens” bringing in 201,000 searches per month and “parker pens” generating 165,000 searches per month. Furthermore, “pencils” is generating 550,000 searches per month, with terms like “mechanical pencils” and “prismacolor pencils” generating 90,500 and 74,000 monthly searches, respectively.

This supports that pens and pencils can be a profitable business to start online. There are also many pen types available to sell, which gives you a lot of new product opportunities as you expand your line.

Start by narrowing down what type of pens or pencils you want to sell—felt tip, fountain, luxury, fine, etc. Then promote your products on popular roundups and gift guides. You can reach out to them online and ask them to link back to products on your website from their articles. (People are more likely to buy when they come to your site through an external blog post than an ad.) Then, to win back the sale, run retargeting ads to people who viewed the product but didn’t buy.

Another option is running search-based Google Shopping ads. You can run ads to people searching for specific keywords like “best luxury pens” to encourage sales.

4. Decorative bottles

Global order growth (YOY): 438%

Next on the list of products trending now are decorative bottles. These items are pieces of decor that add a rustic flair to your home. They come in many different forms, like vases, urns, and jars, to satisfy any style home. You can purchase decorative bottles from a wholesaler, find them in vintage markets, or create DIY bottle crafts with recycled bottles and sell them online.

If you want to turn your decorative bottles into bestsellers, there are a few places to sell them online:

  1. Through your own store built on Shopify

  2. Third-party marketplaces like Takealot and OLX

  3. Niche sites like Etsy and Gumtree

  4. Social media sites like Instagram and Facebook

Another path would be creating a Pinterest profile and posting tips and photos there. The Pinterest crowd tends to engage with DIY craft and home decor content, so you could connect with potential customers.

5. Drills

Global order growth (YOY): 371%

Home improvement is shaping up to be one of the best evergreen niches to start a business in. By 2027, the home improvement market is expected to skyrocket to over $1 trillion in sales.

Retailers are also stocking their stores with top trending products in this niche, including power tools like drills, grinders, and saws. The power drill market alone is forecasted to exceed $13.6 billion by 2027.

While “hand tool cutters” generates only 1,300 searches per month, there are variations you could also target with an SEO strategy, including:

  • Cutter pliers: 27,100 per month

  • Metal cutter tool: 12,100 per month

  • Bolt cutter: 74,000 per month

To market bookcases and shelves, you can create a blog with home improvement and DIY tips and tricks with links back to your products. Then, run retargeting ads to your blog traffic on Facebook or Google.

You’ll want to run Google Shopping ads for high-intent keywords like “hand cutter price.” When running ads, test targeting longer-tail keywords based on your product description, like “stone cutter hand tools” or “hand cutting tools for wood,” to attract customers who already know what they want. If you show up in front of them, they’re more likely to buy from your ecommerce store.

7. GPS navigation systems

Global order growth (YOY): 323%

GPS navigation systems are trending selling products that are experiencing significant growth. The trend is hotter at some times than others, but people usually look for GPS navigation and gadget accessories throughout the year. The market is also massive and is projected to grow a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%.

Search volume for the term “gps navigation” gets around 3,600 searches per month, according to Keywords Everywhere. People are also searching for variant phrases like “gps navigation system for car” and “built-in car navigation systems,” which are getting 1,300 and 480 searches per month, respectively.

These top trending products give you a ton of opportunities to target different customer segments based on their car type (Dodge Ram, Toyota RAVv4, Isuzu, etc.) and system type (hunting, nautical, vehicle, etc.).

Some items you can sell under this category are:

  • Cases

  • Mounts and cradles

  • Chargers and adapters

Promoting this trending product with Google Search ads may be profitable. It can help you reach high-intent buyers and bring them into your store to purchase. Another option is using Facebook advertising to target specific groups based on your navigation systems design or functionality.

People who hike may need handheld GPS, while others may just want a vehicle GPS case. You’ll want to share product images on platforms like Instagram. There, you can partner up with micro-celebrities and influencers to get your products in front of established audiences.

8. Bras

Global order growth (YOY): 306%

Bras are one of those trending online products with consistent high profit margins. The lingerie market is also huge and is expected to reach $57 billion by 2026.

The term “bras” gets 1.5 million searches per month, validating the hype of this trending product. There are more opportunities for terms like:

  • Plus size bras: 49,500 searches per month

  • Pink bras: 22,2000 searches per month

  • Strapless push-up bras: 33,100 searches per month

  • Bras on sale: 27,100 searches per month

Plus, you can take this niche in several directions with a dedicated store or a product collection within a broader lingerie store, or you can market your products to one of the many fitness sub-niches. Depending on how you position your brand, there could be an opportunity to expand into related product verticals, such as sleepwear or body care.

Since all women are often the target market for bras, visual platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are ideal channels to grow your brand, whether you pursue organic growth or use their advertising options.

You can also look into driving growth with influencer marketing. Influencers can model your apparel and give your brand a shoutout for a fee or a commission of sales.

9. Motor vehicle parts

Global order growth (YOY): 326%

Over the past few months, we’ve seen motor-vehicle-part sales drastically increase on the Shopify platform. These new trending products continue to be popular as digital sales and services for replacement parts grow. The automotive aftermarket size was valued at $390 billion in 2020 and is expected to rise 3.8% yearly until 2028.

Motor vehicle parts include:

  • Tires

  • Batteries

  • Brake parts

  • Filters

  • Body parts

  • Lighting components

  • Wheels

  • Exhaust components

  • Turbochargers

When marketing top-selling items like tires and wheels, you really want to understand your target market. For example, if a customer is outdoorsy, they’ll likely want durable, all-terrain tires to drive through tough areas. If they are a family with a minivan, they’ll likely want all-around performance tires with handling stability, good tread life, and a good warranty.

You can promote these items in a number of ways:

  1. Create installation videos and live-action tips.

  2. Start a car blog.

  3. Sponsor a car build or car shows.

  4. Offer a price-match guarantee.

  5. Cross-promote with another automotive company.

You’ll likely want to explore Facebook ads to send traffic to your website and drive sales throughout the year. If you want to expand your product line.

10. Office chairs

Global order growth (YOY): 304%

Rounding out the top 10 trending products is office chairs. Similar to other trending products in the home goods department, we’re probably seeing an increase due to the recent work-from-home trend.

Good office chairs help people work more efficiently and productively. They can reduce chronic back pain and lower healthcare expenses related to poor posture from bad chairs.

Trend data from Keywords Everywhere shows the following search volumes:

  • Office chair: 1,220,000 per month

  • Office chair ergonomic: 90,500 per month

  • Home office chair: 49,500 per month

  • Office chairs for sale: 49,500 per month

Targeting your ideal customer depends on who it is. If you’re looking to sell office chairs for kids in college, then your marketing may need to target parents. The best place to target parents is through Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and Pinterest.

If you’re selling to business or working adults, then you’ll want to reach them directly with Instagram ads, potentially by sourcing partnerships with Instagram influencers and bloggers. You could also run LinkedIn ads targeting companies returning to the office or implementing a work-from-home mandate.

Office chairs for working adults aren’t as susceptible to seasonal ups and downs, so if you’re looking for an all-year-round product trend, this market could be a hit. You could also run Google Shopping ads for high-intent keywords like “office chairs for sales” to make direct sales.

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