Whether you want your own eCommerce business as a full-time job or a profitable side hustle, setting up an online store is a great way to go about it.
Learning how to make money on Shopify has changed our income!
Here are some of the best Shopify business ideas- which you could start today and be making money on Shopify within a month!
What is Shopify?
Before we get started, it will definitely help if we go over what Shopify is first and how you can use it to make money online.
Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms where you can create an online store- including a Shopify App store for more mobile versatility.
It enables pretty much anybody to set up an online store and create a business from their own home.
Shopify is great because they have so many instructional guides to help you through the process and setting it all up. You are able to customize your online store and get it looking really professional.
What Does Shopify Cost?
You can try out Shopify free for a 14-day trial but the plans on Shopify aren’t free.
Shopify offers 3 store options that you can choose from:
- Basic Shopify
- Advanced Shopify
Basic Shopify is $29 per month, where Shopify store owners get the fundamentals of an online store.
The main differences between a Basic plan and the others are that you can only have 2 staff accounts, and you don’t have access to professional reports and third-party calculated shipping rates.
The payment fees are higher as well – the credit card rates online are 2.9% + $0.30 and 2.7% in-person. Then all additional fees using payment providers other than Shopify payments are 2.0%.
The main plan is Shopify, which is $79 per month. The differences between this and the Basic plan are that you can access gift cards, get professional reports, and have 5 staff accounts.
At the point of sale, you also have register shifts, hardware peripheral support, unlimited Staff POS PINs, and 1-5 store locations.
The fees are slightly better as well. The credit card rates online are 2.6% + $0.30 and 2.5% in-person, and all additional fees using payment providers other than Shopify payments are 1.0%.
The Advanced Shopify plan is a whopping $299 per month. For the additional cost, you get 15 staff accounts, an advanced report builder, third-party calculated shipping rates, and up to 8 store locations.
The credit card rates on the Advanced Shopify plan are 2.4% + $0.30 for online and 2.4% for in-person, and all additional fees using payment providers other than Shopify payments are 0.5%.
They also have options for ShopifyPlus and Shopify Lite.
There are no setup fees for store owners, and you don’t need to enter your payment details to set up a 14-day free trial.
All of the Shopify plans are on a month-to-month basis unless you sign up for an annual or 2-year plan.
There are 10% discounts available on annual plans and a 20% discount available on 2-year plans.
How to decide what to sell?
You can’t just set up a Shopify store and expect the sales to come flooding in. Having a plan and business model is important before you set it all up.
You can do a lot on this eCommerce platform, but the key word is you! You have to pick what to sell and how to sell it.
Have a brainstorming session over the things that you could sell. Do you already have a business idea that you can use Shopify for? Or would you be selling purely on Shopify and directing people to it?
Think about the things you could sell that you think would do well in an online store.
I highly recommend starting with printables or digital downloads- they’re a great way to earn passive income. You work a little to create the products, but money just rolls in from then on without any extra work!
Learn how to create digital products from the free e-printables workshop.
7 Simple Ways How To Make Money On Shopify
We will look at some ways that you can make money on Shopify and start up an online business of your own.
This can be a great way to start a side hustle or even turn into your full-time income.
1. Start A Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is a great business model, especially for store owners who don’t have a lot of space for storing products.
A dropshipping store is when a supplier produces and ships on demand, and you just list them for sale.
Say that you are selling mugs, you don’t want to have a bunch of mugs lying around your home. A dropshipping business means someone else makes and ships the mugs for you!
This means you don’t have to carry any inventory or make many trips to ship them all out when you make online sales.
- You don’t need to hold any physical product
- You don’t need to worry about shipping it all out
- An online store with no storage needed!
- It can be passive income once you have it all set up
- Consistent cash flow as you make sales
- An online store has low start-up fees
- You will have less control over quality control as you don’t see the products before they are going out to the customer
- There will be less profit due to the fees, like processing and handling fees
2. Sell Digital Products
Selling digital products to sell within a Shopify store because there’s no shipping that needs to be done on your end.
If you are a blogger, this is the perfect eCommerce platform to sell products alongside your blog.
We have a Shopify store for our blog which has been very successful, so we highly recommend selling digital products.
But digital products can be any type of printables, which makes it possible to sell stickers and even art online. You aren’t limited to lists or spreadsheets!
- Passive income once you have it all set up
- Can sell products to the audience that you have already attracted with your blog
- Adds an additional income stream to your blog that requires little work
- There is a lower perceived value of a digital product
- It’s a very competitive market, with a lot of other bloggers potentially providing the same products- you will have to stand out a lot more
3. Start Your Own Clothing Line
Starting a clothing line has never been easier to do than now. There are apps out there, such as Printful, which you can use to design your own custom clothing.
You can get online t-shirt mockups for your clothing line from places such as Place.it T-Shirt Mockup Generator or ShirtMockup.com.
There are downloadable t-shirt template files out there, too, although you will need a basic understanding of editing programs to use these.
You will need to create your own artwork to put on the clothing and make it unique. It helps to have a theme in mind or a specific target audience.
- You can make money from your creativity and artwork
- People will be wearing your designs in real life, which is pretty cool
- You could be making money without a physical storefront (save money on overhead costs!)
- There is a lot of competition out there in this area
- You can’t advertise via foot traffic as you would be able to with a physical store
4. Create Online Courses
Teaching an online course is one of the most popular and lucrative ways to make money online right now.
You can create a course on pretty much anything, and someone will want to buy it! It will of course help if you create a course in a subject that will be really popular.
Think about the kind of things you would be able to teach someone- some Shopify merchants stick with business-related topics, but you have unlimited potential!
What do you have a lot of knowledge on, or what do you have slightly more knowledge on than the person that would be taking the course?
It’s important to remember that you need to have applicable knowledge to create online courses, though you don’t need degrees or anything.
- It can be a passive source of income once you have it all set up
- You don’t need to have any other sort of business in order to launch an online course
- You already have the knowledge and skills to do this
- Creating the course will require a lot of work upfront before you launch it
- Sales will depend on digital marketing and reviews
5. Start A Freelance Service
Creating a Shopify store isn’t just for selling digital products that people download or get shipped out to them.
You could offer freelance service in your Shopify store, including freelance writing, graphic design, or web development. These are all well-paid jobs.
When you’re a freelancer, you’re in charge of how much work you take on and how often you do it. Setting your services up in a Shopify store can be a great way of taking control of this.
It will also be useful for potential clients to see straight away how much you charge for various services.
- Easy to set up in Shopify, just make sure that you disable shipping
- This is a great way of building up your portfolio, especially if you are just starting out
- If you aren’t connecting this to your current business, but as a standalone product, you’ll have to do a lot of digital marketing
6. Marketing Affiliate
If you’re involved in social media, create YouTube videos, or run a blog, you could use your existing website to make money on Shopify.
Affiliate marketing means sharing an affiliate link among multiple sales channels and earning a commission when people use those links to sign up.
We recommend signing up for more than one affiliate program to have multiple income streams.
For example, we use Bluehost as a web host for our blog- they make all this possible! So we joined the affiliate program to earn commissions.
To be successful in affiliate marketing, you need to have a platform to connect with people and actively keep promoting yourself and your affiliates to your followers.
You won’t be creating an e-commerce store for people to check out and buy, your link needs to be promoted, so people sign up.
You can also become a Shopify affiliate, so you can recommend people start a store and sell their products as well, and you’ll earn a commission when they sign up.
- Passive income at its finest- once you have a video or blog post made, it’ll be active as long as you’re a Shopify affiliate
- You can sign up and start sharing your link in a day
- You need to actively have platforms people follow/interact with- otherwise, your links won’t have conversions
- You may need to form social media marketing strategies to get more conversions
7. Flip Flea Market
Flipping used stuff can bring you a surprising amount of money- just ask our friend from Flea Market Flipper!
You can pop into Goodwill and find cheap stuff to resell for a profit, including dishware, glasses, clothes, kids’ toys, and more.
You want to find things that are priced low but can be sold for more; otherwise, you won’t make much money.
For example, glasses are an easy win for me. I’ve found pint glasses for $1 each and can sell a set of 4 for $20 – $40- that’s a big profit margin!
I learned how to flip stuff from Flea Market Flipper, and you can get started with their free flipping workshop.
- You can find the best stuff to resell online, in flea markets, or even in your own house
- There are many free platforms to use- including Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
- You can even find free stuff to resell- meaning more profit for you
- You’ll need storage for the items you find- the bigger the item, the more money, BUT it also means more storage troubles
- Items can sit around before they sell
- You need to research before you buy- you don’t want to waste money on something that won’t make money back
8. Flip Shopify Stores
You can start your own e-commerce store and sell just about anything and everything, but you can also create and sell profitable stores on Shopify.
The business model for flipping stores is to build a strong online business, make a profit, and sell it off when you want to move on.
You can start a Shopify store selling printable art, build a customer base with repeat buyers and a following, and then sell it to someone else.
You’ll have to dedicate time to creating good products and growing your brand, but the bigger your business, the more successful it could be.
When you create a Shopify store that grows so well, you’re more likely to get more cash for it!
- Flipping has become very popular
- You make money while you own the store and make sales
- Some Shopify stores have sold for over 6 figures!
- Building a successful eCommerce business can take time
- Not every idea is a money-maker
- The effort you put in affects the money you get out of it
9. Monetize Your Social Media
Some people become Shopify merchants to sell to their social media following. Have you followed anyone on YouTube and wanted to buy merch from them?
That’s how you can make money with Shopify!
If you have a blog or Instagram account that’s growing a strong following, you can create products your audience wants to buy.
For example, our Shopify store has budget templates and other printables to help moms organize their lives and make money management easier.
- Monetizing your social media is great passive income
- Good products can help you spread awareness of your social media
- You need to have a following on some online platform first for people to be interested in your merch
Shopify stores offer many features to make sure that you get the most out of your experience with them and make online shopping easy for your customers.
There are over 70 professional themes for you to choose from for your Shopify store. Store owners can also easily customize their storefronts if they want to match certain aesthetics.
The online Shopify App store will also be mobile commerce ready. This means that your potential customers can use it whilst on their phones.
Shopify merchants can accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express with a Shopify eCommerce store. There are also over 100 external payment gateways that Shopify can integrate with.
Customers can also pay without a credit card, including PayPal, Apple Pay, and more.
You can offer flexible shipping rates or even offer free shipping rates. You can get automatic shipping rates from carriers such as UPS or FedEx.
You’ll also be pleased to know that Shopify will automatically handle your tax rates (depending on where you live).
You may have to wait for the money to hit your bank account, but we’ve been set to have our money in about 24 hours.
Customers can set up accounts to make things easier for them and to encourage repeat shopping. Alternatively, they can have the choice of checking out as a guest.
You can set up custom fulfillment solutions or connect to some such as Amazon or Shipwire.
There are other features, such as customizing store emails and being able to use the Shopify app to manage everything when you’re out and about.
You can get Shopify apps to make running your store even smoother- there are even free Shopify apps, like Oberlo, to track inventory, get detailed reports on trending products, and more.
Marketing & SEO
Marketing your Shopify store is really important if you want to get a lot of visitors to your site.
Shopify stores will use meta tags and other SEO practices to help you with marketing on Google. Your sitemap will also be automatically generated, and you can get Google Adwords credits.
Another great option for your customers is that you can generate gift cards, discount codes, and promotions.
If you want to find more ways to drive people to your Shopify store, you should explore other sales channels- people use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more not only to make more sales but to intensify their marketing strategy.
Products & Listings
One of the best features is that you can have different variations of your products on the listings e.g. different colors and sizes.
There’s no limit to how many products you have in a Shopify eCommerce store.
Within the Shopify features, you also get access to analytics and the mobile app and have 24/7 support available.
Shopify advises using a unique password for each account and ideally using a password vault such as Lastpass.
You can also turn on two-step authentication for your account, and your staff members can do this too.
You get an SSL certificate with your web hosting to keep customers’ information secure. It’s worth noting that Shopify is level 1 PCI compliant.
Final Thoughts on Making Money on Shopify
We highly recommend Shopify to start making money online, for any small business idea or side hustle. It can even be your way out of your typical 9-5 job!
We personally love our Shopify store, and it has changed how we make money.
We started using it after one of our friends recommended it (who makes millions on the platform!), and they taught us step-by-step how to make money on Shopify.
The potential for earning a lot of money on Shopify is huge and very doable with the right small business idea. There are all kinds of products that you can sell, and it’s fun to figure out which you want to go for.
Hopefully, after reading through this article, you will know what Shopify is and how to use it. You could easily start a dropshipping business or sell your own digital products starting today!