Best Products To Sell Online For An Isolated Customer Base | Payflex

Best Products To Sell Online For An Isolated Customer Base

As an online retailer you must be asking yourself right now what are the best products to sell online. With strict social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future, consumers are going to be spending a lot more time at home, and are adjusting their shopping habits as a result.

While every retail sector has been impacted, consumers are still spending and it’s important to note where and how they are spending, and how their needs are changing. While spikes in sales of groceries and other essential items are to be expected, less obvious items are also flying off the shelves. We outline 11 of the best products to buy online for an isolated customer base.  

Exercise equipment

There really isn’t any better products to sell online right now than home fitness. With gyms across the country closed until Stage 1 of lockdown,  gym enthusiasts are turning to at-home equipment to help them stay fit and in shape, causing a significant surge in demand for home fitness items.  From weights and kettlebells to resistance bands, treadmills and stationary bikes, companies are racing to meet growing demand. Fitness-tracking gadgets are also selling out. This trend is here to stay with social distancing measures likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.  

Beauty & grooming essentials

Just because people are mostly homebound, doesn’t mean they don’t want to look good. There has been a global uptick in demand for beauty and grooming products, in particular haircare and skincare. Global cosmetics company L’oreal reported an increase of 6.4% in sales in China despite the country’s Coronavirus shutdown. The company reported that hair dye was in particularly high demand. At the same time, Nielsen reported a more than 160% increase in hair clipper sales.

Work-from-home products to sell online

With more people working and learning from home than ever before, in an attempt to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, demand is high for items that help support remote working, studying and teaching, including  laptops, mice, monitors, computers, printers, headphones and keyboards. Microsoft and Intel, reported surges of  more than 18% and 25% respectively from lows in mid-March. And with Covid-19 massively disrupting the world of work  as we know it, experts anticipate remote working to become part and parcel of day-to-day life, meaning people will need to equip themselves accordingly. 

Items that educate & entertain

Puzzles, arts and crafts, books and board games are all in high demand as people look for ways to entertain themselves and their children during self-isolation. Game and toy company Ravensburger saw puzzle sales soar 370% in April.  Similarly, book sales have seen a major increase. In the UK, fiction sales climbed by a third and children’s educational titles went up 234% in March. While, in the US there was a 66% lift in sales of children’s non-fiction books in the week ending 21 March. 

Winter essentials

With temperatures dropping across South Africa, sales of essential winter clothing, blankets and heaters is expected to heat up across the country, especially with people expected to go the extra mile to protect themselves and their immune systems from getting sick this winter. 

Virus prevention & wellness

Unprecedented demand for personal protective items such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and hand soaps has seen countrywide shortages and price hikes on certain items. Many retailers are struggling to keep up with demand. Similarly, with people trying everything they can to ensure their immune systems remain strong, sales of herbal supplements, vitamins and minerals have experienced significantly high levels of growth.

Gardening Products 

People are dusting off their spades and getting outside and into their gardens as they look for ways to de-stress. In addition, the pandemic is putting pressure on grocery supply chains across the world. As a result, people are thinking about how to make, bake, grow and preserve their own food. According to the World Economic Forum, urban farming is flourishing during lockdown and social isolation as people look to supplement their food by planting herbs, vegetables, and fruit trees in their backyards, gardens and even on their balconies.

Consumer electronics & home appliances

With people spending far more time at home, consumer electronics like gaming consoles, home streaming devices, tablets and TVs are expected to be in high demand. furthermore, kitchen appliance sales are expected to increase due to more people cooking at home. 

DIY & home improvement 

Consumers in self-isolation are using their extra time at home to complete home improvement projects. Therefore, demand for tools and hardware supplies is climbing.


Corporate workers are swapping suits for loose-fitting tracksuits, leggings and stretchy pants as they seek comfortable work-from-home attire. This trend is expected to receive a further boost from our colder weather, with people wanting to remain cosy, warm and comfortable.