9 Profitable E-Commerce Businesses to start in 2021

9 Profitable E-Commerce Businesses to start in 2021

E-commerce businesses have become very lucrative and vibrant. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global market in many ways. One of the ways the world has changed, new opportunities have arisen and people have realized that they can work from anywhere. Additionally, jobs that people were doing to get a passive income have become their main job. These unprecedented trends have no signs of slowing down and, if anything, e-commerce will soon take over a large percentage of sales in general.

Most e-commerce businesses are easy to set up and require little to no capital to start. The successful rate of e-commerce businesses is quite high. It requires patience in learning the current market trends. Some are easy to implement, while others require some specialized training or education. Here are 12 e-commerce businesses that can add to your bank balance within a few months.


Affiliate Marketing

This business model requires a person to promote a brand’s products and services for a commission once a purchase is made. If you already have an established online presence in a specific niche market, you can promote products and services to boost your income. Brands use affiliate programs, also known as referral programs. Once you sign up with a brand that aligns with your niche market, you can start promoting their products to your audience, followers or subscribers at discounted prices. 

The products can be shared on Blogs, Websites, Podcasts, Social Media platforms and Youtube using a code or link. The link tracks the sales and clicks made from the platform and the owner earns a commission from the brand each time a  sale is made. 

The most important step is to form affiliates with brands that share the same interest as your followers. Learn the market trends by being up to date with trending topics and research products to earn some good commissions.


Online Teaching

Learning online offers flexibility for students to learn from anywhere. Education has no end, whether it’s highly specialized learning or how to do lessons. If you are an expert in an area, you can start making money by creating courses and teaching students online. Websites like udemy, teachable, and Coursera offer classes in a range of subjects. People want to learn without the hassle of going to physical classes. It is because of the flexibility that the lessons offer.

Today more than ever, people are searching for content on “how to” do anything, from how to make the perfect cheese sandwich to how to change a car tire. Whatever your area of expertise, you can make a simple video showing people how to do something. It’s a win-win as they learn a skill and you make some money. One of the ways is to sell your courses online to different websites, or you can start your teaching channel on youtube with the end-goal to monetize your videos.


Meal Delivery Service

People require food for nourishment and the pandemic has restricted movement. People have stopped going out to eat in restaurants, and more and more prefer to order take-out. A meal business can be very profitable. One can make a decent income by delivering meals to people at home. 

More companies are partnering with restaurants to deliver meals. For example, Uber-eats is an independent company that deals with meal delivery from various food outlets. You can register as a delivery person with the company and make a commission from the delivery. Alternatively, you can start your own food prep business and make food for selling. The social media platforms available are excellent for marketing and getting leads for your business.



If you want to start a business selling products online without the hassle of sourcing, manufacturing and distributing products, then the answer is dropshipping. You need to have a website and research on profitable products that you want to sell. 

As a dropshipper, you will source products from the supplier or manufacturer, who will then ship the item directly to your customers. The biggest advantage of dropshipping is that you do not need to store products or keep an inventory. You are the middle person who facilitates the movement of the products.

Some initial capital may be required when starting. Some companies, such as Shopify, have a platform already set up for such businesses. There is no limit to the range of products that one can sell. The risk is also very low as you do not have any contact with the products. Dropshipping is an excellent way to earn some extra money.



Blogging has been used over the years, and it’s still a viable way of making money online. Initially, blogging started more of a diary-style of writing about various niches. However, it has grown to websites with people making a good income. Writing about a topic you are familiar with can be a way to make money.

In 2021, many big brands have blogs incorporated into their websites to connect more with their customers and clients. Such relationships generate leads and convert readers to buyers. Blogs can make money. However, it requires one to have a good following to sign up for affiliate programs to make money. Another way to make money with blogs is through advertisements on your website by utilizing Google’s Adsense program.

To start a blog, you need to decide on a niche market that you will thrive in, start a website and actively engage with your followers.


Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has become a very lucrative business the world over. Online businesses require digital marketers to promote brands and connect with customers. The success of companies depends on the relationship with the client and whether they can retain the customer. How information is passed on to the customer is critical as it determines whether the customer will be a return customer.

The future of business is online and more businesses are opening shop every single day. The market scope can only get bigger. One way to carve yourself a piece of that market pie is to offer services as a digital marketer.


Content Writing

The world wide web is a go-to for people searching for information on practically anything. Content writing is not limited to what a person can write about. Companies use content to pass information to customers. As a content marketer, you will be creating content through email and the web for brands. As a content marketer, you must have a passion for writing on a preferred topic and start engaging people.

There are many websites where you can get writing gigs, such as upwork and Fiverr. These platforms offer freelancers a platform to sell their skills and earn an income. 

It does not require any capital to start. However, patience is required. A lot of practice is required to hone your skills and also market yourself to potential employers.


Selling Second-hand Products

One of the largest selling sites for selling second-hand items is eBay. Products sold are generally in good condition, and it’s possible to find new products that have never been used before. Items fairly used cost much less compared to buying the item new. One way to make money is to buy items from people and resell them for a profit.

You can buy products from people and list them for selling on a platform like eBay. One thing to be cautious about is to ensure the products are in good condition and the electronics are working.

Another way to resell products is by buying products during a sale. Products are sold for a good bargain during a sale, and you can invest in some products and resell them to make money. One of the lucrative niches is selling antique products such as jewelry. Once you open a store on eBay, you can list your products and start selling. Good customer service is necessary to build a good customer base.

Selling Face Masks

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, using face masks has become a necessity for people. Face masks are either from manufacturing companies such as those used in hospitals or customized pieces.

Selling masks has become another way to make an extra income. You can sell masks as a wholesaler or retail through social media platforms or create a website.

Using masks will carry on for some time, and you can make some money selling them. Face masks have become one of the most sold products in the last two years. Many are being used as a fashion statement and are tailored to suit people’s tastes and preferences.



There are many ways to make money through ecommerce. The most important thing is to decide what works for you and then do your research. Check the current market trends and how you can contribute. Whether you have the capital or not, there are various ways one can make money, even with limited resources.

Whatever talent, hobby, passion or knowledge you may have, you can turn it into profit. Build a following or an audience and create trust. Learn your competitors, what they are doing and how you can improve your business. The best time to start your business was yesterday, but you can always start today. 

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