Outdoor products is another great niche you can start to dropship, that’s why we have decided to write about it for our next Top Niches Series article.
In case you are thinking this is only a seasoned-specific niche, well, think again. You can sell outdoor products all year long, people go outside all the time, not only in the summertime, right?
So, here’s our take on why outdoor dropshipping can be a great choice for your first or, why not, next online store. Below, we will talk about why dropshipping outdoor products is a great idea for an online store, the data that proves this or what are the most popular outdoor items in 2023, and many more.
Let’s start with the most important reasons for starting an outdoor online store.
Table of Contents
Why start dropshipping outdoor gear?
As we already said, there is this misconception that outdoor products are only great as seasonal items you can add to your store during the warm seasons. Well, that’s just not true. There is more to outdoor than just going for a hike in the summer. The outdoor product range is quite wide and there are items for every season and every outdoor activity, even for the winter season, for example, survival or camping gear.
The idea is to keep an open mind and add various trending items so you can have products for the whole year so that customers can come back to you for every type of outdoor activity or weather. Throughout this article, we will also show you what are some of the best outdoor products to sell in 2023 and beyond.
Let’s also look at some data that proves dropshipping outdoor products is profitable. In the USA, the outdoor industry amounted to approximately 11.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. And between 2020-2024, the market size is expected to have a $ 3.9 Billion growth increase
Now, let’s look at how some important terms perform on Google Trends. As you can see these are very popular on Google. We will discuss them in the next chapters.
In the next chapter, you will find a few important insights that will help you start a dropshipping outdoor business having all the right facts in mind.
Important outdoor niche insights and analytics
When we talk about the outdoor ecommerce market we actually refer to products linked to outdoor activities, and these can include clothing, shoes, as well as sports and outdoor equipment, for example hiking poles, backpacks, fitness equipment, hunting devices, sporting weapons, swimming accessories, and winter sports gear.
A Statista report says that the revenue of the sports & outdoor segment is estimated to reach $74.96 billion in 2022. And the number of people interested in these types of products is expected to reach 1,516.7m by 2025.
Let’s take this report about hiking, for example, according to it the global hiking gear and equipment market it’s estimated to reach $7.4 billion by 2027 from $4.5 billion in 2019. This means that the growth rate will rise to 6.3% between 2019 and 2027. Pretty great numbers, right?
Here are some more facts to help you better understand the outdoor market:
- China is the biggest market overall, expected to generate the most revenue in 2022. But USA and UK come in 2nd and 3rd places.
- North America is the largest market for hiking gear and equipment, having a 63.2% share in 2019. This means if you want to open a store for people who love hiking, then USA and Canada are the places for you.
- Everybody loves hiking, which means you can target some of your outdoor products to all age groups if that’s what you want.
- There is rising demand for outdoor activities among the younger people, especially millennials and Gen Z, so consider targeting these groups by adding outdoor products for newcomers.
- Due to the pandemic, there have been a few outdoor dropshippers affected and some still continue to be, mostly the ones that are into camping gear. So, keep this in mind, if you want your store to be profitable.
- The camping and hiking season got longer because camping during winter and spring is now more popular. July still remains the month with the biggest sales, but winter camping grew in popularity by 40% in 2022.
- The number of pet owners is increasing every year, and now more people that love to spend time in the outdoors prefer to go exploring with their dogs or cats. So, start adding hiking and camping gear for pets to your product range if you want to expand your audience.
Now, as we always do, let’s also have a look at how important keywords in the outdoor niche trend on Google Trends, Keyword Planner or other SEO tools, like Semrush.
We’ve already shown you how popular search terms like “outdoor equipment” and “outdoor gear” trend on Google.
Below you can also see how search terms like “camping gear” and “hiking gear” perform on Google Trends. And, as expected, both these terms are very popular too.
Here are also the search volumes for “outdoor equipment”, “outdoor gear” and other related keywords on Keyword Planner and Semrush.
Now, as you can see, the avg. monthly searches for “outdoor equipment” is between 1K and 10K worldwide, and in the USA that number is around 2.9K.
Also, “outdoor gear” has between 10K and 100K avg. monthly searches worldwide and 14.8K monthly searches in the USA alone. Another popular term is “camping gear”, as you can see above.
We will talk about specific products and how popular are they on Google in the chapter about best outdoor products to sell.
What are the best countries to dropship outdoor products? Well, as we always say that’s the country you know the best. But, if we look at the above data, we can see that the monthly searches for those terms are higher in USA and Canada. In the USA the most profitable outdoor category, that has the most sales, is apparel or clothing specifically created for outdoor people, according to this report.
Benefits of choosing to dropship outdoor products
Here are a few important benefits of dropshipping outdoor items:
- You can choose to open a general or specialty outdoor store, both can work great, but you will need to focus on different types of people and different marketing strategies depending on the store you open.
- You can sell outdoor products the whole year; people are interested in outdoor activities all the time, be it winter, spring, summer or autumn. There are sports enthusiasts who love the be outside, regardless of the season or if it’s cold or too hot. This means you can offer a product range that will be in demand all year round.
- There are so many outdoor product categories you can choose to sell, for example, products like outdoor gear, camping, and survival equipment can be marketed for campers or hikers and cyclists, but also for those who just love long walks by their local park or a nearby river.
Now, here are a few things you need to be aware of when dropshipping outdoor products:
- This niche has products that are basic, like backpacks or water bottles, but also complex items that will require you to have some knowledge about their specific features.
- You will need to know quite a lot about the outdoor industry and its consumers, such as what are some important features a product needs to have (from materials and durability to what’s the correct way of usage).
- You should spend a bit of time researching what are the best suppliers that have the highest quality products; this is a niche where a product’s quality is very important for customers, as their health and life depend on these products having the highest standards.
- We recommend avoiding products that can potentially be stopped at customs (such as knives or other sharp objects).
How to build an outdoor dropshipping store?
The main steps you need to follow to start an outdoor dropshipping business:
- Read all you can about the dropshipping business model and the outdoor niche
- Create your business plan specifically for selling outdoor products online
- Choose an outdoor category – as the outdoor niche is quite vast, the best way to start is to choose to sell only hiking gear, for example
- You need to choose a name for your business and online store
- You have to incorporate your company if you want to pay taxes and receive payments as a dropshipper
- Now is when you need to start building your ecommerce store – you can choose to work with Shopify or WooCommerce, depending on your website building skills
- The moment you have your online store ready, you also need to sign in for a dropshipping platform that has lots of outdoor products from suppliers that can ship fast to your region
- After you have the right products added to your store, you can start building a marketing strategy and then advertising your products – so that you get traffic to your store and start selling.
Check our detailed guide for starting a dropshipping business.
How you can setup an outdoor online store properly?
Yes, you will need to set up your online business properly, which means that you will have to read about all the legal issues and requirements for such a business.
So, start by checking what are the legal obligations in your region and then, together with an attorney or another legal professional, you have to decide what type of company you need to setup for your dropshipping business.
Keep in mind that most dropshippers choose to go for a sole proprietorship or LLC.
If you want to dropship in the USA, this article on how can you setup a dropshipping business in the USA can help you on your journey.
Want to dropship in the UK? Then you can check this guide on how to start a dropshipping business in the UK
What are the best outdoor products to dropship?
Before making any final decisions, you need to do extensive product research and see what is trending in your area or what is missing from your region.
To help you start, we did our own extensive research on Google, using tools like Google Trends, Semrush and Keyword Planner, and put together these next lists of outdoor categories and popular products
Let’s start with some of the most trending outdoor subcategories at the moment:
Camping gear or equipment
has been often seen as a seasonal subcategory of the outdoor niche, but in fact, camping is done throughout the year. These days, more and more people prefer to spend time outdoors no matter how cold or hot it is. Don’t forget to include pet camping gear in your range of camping products.
This is a category that can also be trending all year old, as people hike all the time. So be sure to include hiking shoes and jackets, travel backpacks, sleeping bags or multipurpose tools in your range of hiking gear.
This is the most trending and profitable subcategory in the USA, as we said before. Now, of course, outdoor clothes can be added as complementary products to your specialized stores, such as a hiking or camping store. Or you can build your store just around outdoor clothes and offer clothes for all types of outdoor activities.
A trending category of outdoor products that you can build an entire store around, as there are lots of products for fishing and a huge audience out there.
These types of tools can also be a great addition to your outdoor store, let’s say camping or hiking store. This way you can attract customers that are into climbing too.
Safety and survival equipment
This is another popular subcategory that can be added to a hiking and camping store, for example. You could also add tactical gear as a complimentary category to this type of outdoor store.
Now, what specific outdoor items are the most popular and should be considered when setting up a dropshipping store dedicated to outdoor gear? Here’s a list of best-selling and trending outdoor products. As we always do, to prove that these are really popular, we added the Google Trends and Semrush results for each of them.
– Backpacks are a great addition to any type of outdoor store, as there are backpacks for all sorts of activities, from hiking to climbing or biking. Add backpacks for people who are casually camping but also for enthusiasts, and be sure to have them in different sizes.
– Rain ponchos or jackets can also be for different types of outdoor activities, from camping or hiking to people who want to enjoy a casual walk in the park even when it rains or snows.
– Camping items for pets are getting more popular these days, as we said before. Try adding backpacks made for carrying pets or small backpacks that people can put on their dog’s back.
– Camping kitchen gear are those specialized utensils you need when you go camping and want to cook food. So, add different types of cookware, from travel mugs to folding pots or camping stoves.
– Cooler bags are great for people who camp, hike or just go to a picnic in the summer. So, you can either add them to your general outdoor store or to one specialized in hiking.
– Lights and lanterns can be great additions to your range of outdoor products for camping or hiking.
– GPS trackers are also very popular these last couple of years. Be sure to also add first aid kits or safety whistles to your range of safety and survival equipment.
There are many other products you can choose to sell on your outdoor store, but the ones above are trending in the last couple of years. Just be sure to do your research based on the region you’re dropshipping in and choose just a few products in the beginning to test your market.
Now, let’s say you have decided on what type of outdoor products to sell, now you need to find the best suppliers that can offer the highest quality items on the market.
So, let’s see how you can find the best products and suppliers to dropship outdoor gear.
How to find outdoor gear suppliers?
As with all top niches, the outdoor gear industry is also a highly competitive one. And one way you can stand out and win over customers is to find the right outdoor suppliers for your online dropshipping store.
So, after you know what type of outdoor products to sell, where you want to sell them, and also built your online store, you will need to start researching to find out which are the best suppliers or dropshipping platforms you can use for your online store.
If you’re just starting your first dropshipping business, try testing multiple platforms (most of these platforms, just like AppScenic, have a trial period or even offer a Free Account) to see which are more reliable and offer products of the highest quality. And always choose more than one supplier so you have a backup in case one of them runs out of stock or closes down.
By working with more than one supplier, you can check which products sell better and which suppliers have a better delivery time or return policy.
As to where you can find suppliers, you can choose to work with specific suppliers found on a marketplace like Amazon or eBay or just go for dropshipping platforms like AppScenic.
The best way to find out the best suppliers is to just take your time and test them out. Besides being reliable and having high-quality outdoor products, you need to check their delivery times, as most customers expect you to have a 2-day shipping option available.
How to start advertising for the outdoor niche?
The moment you have finished importing and publishing a few products on your store, you can start doing keyword research and optimize your online store for Google. These are the most basic ways you can gain organic traffic and then some customers.
Check which keywords are the most competitive and therefore hard to rank for on Google and then find easier ways (keywords) that your audience is searching for (like ”GPG trackers for dogs” and “kitchen for camping”). These last keywords aren’t so difficult to rank for, as they are long-tail keywords.
One way you can rank for these types of keywords is to start a blog and write articles based on what people are searching on Google. You can use free tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner or go for paid tools like Semrush to find out what is your audience interested in.
You need to also open 1 or 2 social media pages and build up these pages by creating Ads and engaging with your audience. The best social media channels for an outdoor store are Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, these platforms have huge outdoor communities.
Now, besides setting up Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest Ads to gain more followers and get your products in front of the right people, you should also try to engage with your audience by following outdoor groups on Facebook or Reddit. These are great ways to find out what your audience is searching for in a product and what you can help them with. Are they looking for a certain type of product in their country and can’t find it? Or maybe they are unhappy with the prices, quality or delivery times?
People that are interested in purchasing outdoor products rely more and more on other customers’ online reviews and word of mouth. Outdoor people will also look for advice in specialized communities before deciding what camping gear to buy, for example. So, you need your customers to be happy with your products and you need them to give positive reviews and become your ambassadors.
On top of all this, as we always recommend, try setting up a few Google Shopping Ads campaigns, if you have enough budget.
How much budget should you have for advertising your outdoor products? Well, as this is not such a competitive niche, not like the fashion industry anyway, you can start with a $500-$1,000 budget and see how that works.
How much money do you need to start an outdoor dropshipping store?
To build an online store, source and test different outdoor products (around 10-15), and advertise and fulfill orders, you will need around $1500-2000 to start with. Now, this can be a highly competitive niche, depending on the outdoor category you choose and the region you dropship in, plus some outdoor products can be quite expensive, for example camping or hiking products or even fishing.
So, the final cost depends on what products you decide to go for. If you want to sell outdoor accessories, these are low-ticket products. But if you want to start selling high-ticket products, like tents for camping or outdoor clothes and shoes, then you will need to have a bigger starting budget.
Why dropship outdoor products from AppScenic?
With over 12,000 sport and outdoor products, AppScenic is not only a great dropshipping platform for sourcing high-quality products from suppliers that ship to USA, CAN, EU, UK and beyond, but our app will automate everything for you, like importing and syncing products, orders, payments, tracking numbers and more.
On the AppScenic product catalogue, you can find products for all kinds of outdoor activities, from hunting and fishing to camping, hiking, and outdoor accessories.
Ready to start an outdoor online store?
The outdoor industry will always be trending, even if there will be times when people can’t go out so much like it was during the pandemic. As we’re back to our normal life, more or less, and people are starting to enjoy the outdoors again, at the moment there is a huge demand for outdoor products.
What is even more awesome about this niche is there is still a lot of space for new products and stores, much more room than if you try selling fashion products and pet supplies. And the outdoor audience is much more open to purchasing their products online than other audiences.
We give a rating of 9/10 to the outdoor niche, for all the reasons we just mentioned. It’s a very popular niche, yet not so competitive and your audience is much more inclined to buy online than the one that buys furniture, for example.
So, now that you have read all these, we hope you know if you’re ready or want to dropship outdoor products.