With more of us buying more online, you’re probably curious as to how to make money with ecommerce.
After all, ecommerce is expanding in every direction possible. On its way to becoming an inseparable part of customer experience, it is anticipated to make up 24% of retail sales worldwide by 2026.
With more and more people shopping online, there has never been a better time to venture into the eCommerce market space. There is little doubt that this trend offers massive opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs.
Whether you are already running an eCommerce brand or thinking of launching an online business, making money out of it is your cardinal goal.
In this guide, we’ve compiled ten real, money-making ideas that you can use for your eCommerce business.
Are these get-rich-quick money-making schemes? In a word, No. Do they work? Most definitely! They already are for millions of people out there.
So, let’s dive into the tried and true strategies that will help you earn a decent income from eCommerce.
P.S. For any of these methods to work successfully, you’ll have to invest time, effort, and some money.
10 Incredible Ecommerce Strategies to Help You Make a Killing
While this is not an exhaustive list of ways how to make money with ecommerce, these are the most popular methods that you should first consider!
Looking to make your way into the eCommerce space that allows you to sidestep all the hassles of the order fulfilment process? Try dropshipping.
It’s a retail business model to get started with your online business in the fastest and most low-risk way. Wherein you do not have to have a lot of product stock. Rather a third party or dropshipper purchases the product from the distributor, packages and then ships it on your behalf. At the same time, you do all the marketing parts – website, blogs, social media, email marketing, etc.
If you are unsure if this is the right time to launch your dropshipping business, here’s what the Google trend has to say about it–
As you can see above, the search term “Dropshipping” has shown a noticeable spike over the past five years. Barring a few lows, the trend is growing quite steadily.
To get started, all you have to do is to find a dropshipping supplier that stocks products that you want to sell online. In exchange, you have to pay the drop ship fees that could vary, but it’s usually around $2 to $5 per item.
This is besides the shipping costs and price of the product itself. You’ll earn money by adding a profit margin to the total price, albeit the margins are thinner. To acquire more profits, you can increase the product price. But be sure to keep the figures realistic as eCommerce is highly competitive.
2. Print on Demand
The global print-on-demand market size, valued at USD 4.90 billion in 2021, is expected to expand at a CAGR of 26.1% by 2030. One of the reasons that this business model is taking off rapidly is its lower overhead.
So, how does it work?
Much like the dropshipping model, the inventory and shipping are all managed by a third party. So there is no need to hold the products in bulk.
However, there is a significant difference, and that’s an advantage, too — here, your POD supplier allows you to customise white-label products with your designs and sell them under your brand name.
When a customer views the product on your website and places an order, the POD company you’ve partnered with will add your designs to the product, pack and ship it to the customer.
Most POD companies deal with easy to print on products such as t-shirts, tote bags, books, shoes, phone cases, laptop sleeves, mugs, and fan merch.
Overall, POD is a pretty straightforward choice if you want the creative freedom to design original products and put them up for sale quickly.
3. Subscription Boxes
If you are looking for a smart move to improve customer retention for your eCommerce business, a subscription box is the way to go. It’s one of the popular ways to satisfy the customers’ growing demand for convenient and low-cost methods to buy online.
A subscription box is a type of product kitting in which multiple products are shipped to customers on a recurring basis. It can be a very competitive market. However, by choosing a niche relevant to your skills and passion, you can give it your unique twist.
The following types of subscription boxes have witnessed massive growth in recent years:
- Beauty subscription boxes
- Food subscription boxes
- Shaving supply subscription boxes
- Pet subscription boxes
- Coffee subscription boxes
- Clothing subscription boxes
4. Sell Handmade Products
Not quite long ago, artistic people had to choose a 9 to 5 job over their passion. The monthly paycheck the job offered was the source of financial security which was lacking in the hobby as full-time work.
But would you believe it if we told you that art and craft could be more than an unwinding activity?
Yes, you can turn your artistic skills into a money-minting online business by selling handmade products.
A Research and Market report expects the global handicrafts market size to reach US$ 1,296.6 Billion by 2028 from US$ 752.2 Billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 9.5%.
With such an upsurging demand for handcrafted products and the ease of launching an online craft store, the do-at-home craft is undoubtedly a viable business opportunity.
However, to make the extra cash, you first need to develop product ideas that customers are more likely to buy from you.
Here’s the list of the profitable handmade goods in 2023 to help you get started based on what interests you the most.
- Handmade jewellery
- Aromatherapy candles
- Kitchen and home decor pieces
- Soaps, bath bombs
- Beauty care
- Office and productivity products
Further Reading: 7 Types of eCommerce Videos Your Website Needs to Increase Sales
5. Create Digital Products
Digital goods are intangible products delivered as digital files or streaming services online. Some examples of digital goods are PDFs, presentation videos, templates, plug-ins, graphic designs, mobile apps, and many more.
Selling digital products is a lucrative business idea if you are looking to:
- Invest less in the inventory.
- Save time on shipping and logistics.
- Earn high-profit margins because there is no recurring cost of goods.
- Sell highly scalable products.
- Leverage the opportunity to automate and deliver instantly.
The list of ways you can use to create and sell your own digital products online is countless.
- You can turn your expert knowledge in a particular topic into educational digital products such as ebooks or courses.
- You can create digital assets such as stock images, videos, software templates, etc. and sell licences to the customers who want to use them.
- Instead of selling the products, you can offer paid subscriptions to the exclusive content and generate recurring revenue.
6. Sell Your Services
While the idea of selling products on eCommerce sites is becoming more mainstream, you should also consider selling services online. As long as you can provide customers with something valuable, selling services does not have to be complicated. If you have a distinguishable expertise in a niche, you can monetise it to create a reliable source of revenue.
Some services you can get paid well for are:
- Freelance content writing
- Virtual Assistant
- Web Designing
- Personal training
Further Reading: Instagram for Ecommerce: An 8 Step Guide to Making Sales on the Gram
7. Ecommerce Reselling
Reselling is the business model you want if you do not have the time or expertise to produce your own merchandise but have an eye for value items.
As a reseller, you purchase goods, mark up the price, and sell them for profit. These days, many resellers also sell used items they no longer use.
You’ll ask– how are resellers different from the distributors?
A distributor collaborates with manufacturers and makes the first sale to a wholesaler or a retailer. On the other hand, a reseller buys products from retailers, just like a customer would, and then resells to other customers.
Because of the low barrier to entry, reselling is easier for the average person to start as their side hustle. And if you have niche expertise, your reselling business may even enable you to quit your day job. For instance, if you have a thing for fashion, you could start reselling trending apparel and earn fat profit.
How much you earn depends on how well you resell, what you resell, and how much time and effort you put into it.
So, how do you make money by reselling?
- Price your products to cover the cost of goods, marketing, expenses such as marketplace fees and more.
- Research selling pricing points by tracking which brands are selling at the fastest price.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is promoting other brands’ products on your website in return for a commission. As an affiliate, depending upon the agreement with the merchant, you can put up ads for the product and services of the brand.
When someone clicks on the affiliate link and purchases a product, you receive credit for the referral and a commission. The commission is generally a percentage of the profit made by the merchant. Its amount depends on the affiliate program and the product.
Further Reading: The Definitive Guide to Instagram Affiliate Marketing
9. Sell on Third-party eCommerce Platforms
Starting an eCommerce business is a tall order in itself. There are thousands of tasks to perform – creating a website, selecting products, managing shipping, payment options, marketing, and many others can all be exhausting, especially if you are an amateur.
Powerful third-party eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, etc., can simplify this for you.
They do this by taking the major hassle of setting up an independent eCommerce site off your plate- displaying products, taking orders, collecting payments, shipping orders, and tracking the delivery. Many biggies employ cutting-edge eCommerce tools, expert marketers and savvy developers to showcase your products across the world of millions of customers.
Think of them as a win-win. Whereas websites host and manage third-party sales in exchange for a small fee, vendors connect with the intent-driven audience to sell products.
Further Reading: 13 Ways to Use AI in Ecommerce in 2023 (with Tools Recommendations)
Yes, blogging has always stayed in vogue. Especially for eCommerce entrepreneurs who want to make the most out of their online business, dishing-out superior quality and niche content is the trend you should always take advantage of.
The reason is simple – If your eCommerce site blog starts delivering the answers your audience is looking for, you are bound to attract a loyal reader base. The nurturing content you provide for free builds confidence in your brand and your products.
It will eventually transform readers into leads and leads into sales. They are compelled to keep coming back to find out more and buy more.
Needless to say, this also thrusts your eCommerce site to higher positions in search engine rankings.
Here are few ways you can leverage to monetize your blog:
- Sell products or services.
- Offer digital products such as courses, designs, templates, etc.
- Provide consulting and freelancing services.
- Tap into influence marketing to promote brands.
Again, blogging won’t make you rich overnight. But if you have the right content and focus, making money blogging won’t be a pie-in-the-sky idea for you.
Further Reading: 14 Simple Yet Powerful Ways To Make Money From Blogging
Time to Put These Ecommerce Business Ideas on the Front Burner
Creating a stable revenue stream without needing a formidable upfront cost is absolutely possible.
All you need is to chalk out a business plan using any of the above money-making online business ideas. They can open many doors for your eCommerce business and let you experience growth in a low-risk environment.
Whether you are looking to tap into them to earn a living or build up a profitable side hustle, these online business ideas could be the answer.
So which idea did you find most appealing for your upcoming eCommerce business? Let us know in the comments!
Further Reading: 15 Important Ecommerce Tools You Need to Know in 2023
Tim Robinson is Digital Marketing Manager at PACK & SEND, a 25+ years old and respected brand in ecommerce, logistics, and freight delivery solutions. Tim has 20 years of combined experience in sales and marketing. Logistics, D2C, franchising, business planning, and operations management are his core expertise. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn.
Hero photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash
How To Make Money With Ecommerce FAQs
E-commerce is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world, with over 2 billion digital shoppers and $4.2 trillion in global sales in 2020. Because more people turning to online shopping, there’s no surprise that businesses are tapping into this industry. The ability to sell products across geographical borders through an online platform has allowed businesses to reach a much larger customer base than ever before.
One type of e-commerce business that is known for generating significant revenue is B2B (business-to-business) e-commerce. This type of e-commerce involves selling products or services to other businesses rather than to individual consumers. By serving as a middleman between different businesses, B2B e-commerce companies can generate substantial profits, often with higher margins than those seen in B2C (business-to-consumer) e-commerce.
Here are a few tips on how to be successful in e-commerce:
1. Have a solid business plan in place. This means researching your target audience, identifying your unique value proposition, and setting clear goals for growth and profitability.
2. You’ll want to invest in a high-quality ecommerce platform that provides you with the tools and resources needed to manage your business effectively.
3. From there, it’s all about staying adaptable and responsive to market changes, while continuing to refine your online presence and build customer trust through exceptional communication and service.
These are the 3 types of e-commerce:
1. Business-to-business (B2B) – this is where companies sell their products or services to other businesses.
2. Business-to-consumer (B2C) – this is where business offers products or services to end consumers. 3. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) – refers to transactions that take place between two individuals who are not affiliated with any business.
As ecommerce continues to grow in popularity, there is no doubt that it can be a challenging undertaking. While setting up an online store has its benefits, it also requires a great deal of strategy, planning, and execution. Key considerations range from selecting the right platform, to managing inventory, shipping, and fulfillment logistics, to building and executing a successful digital marketing campaign.