So, you’ve landed here and probably are interested in creating an eCommerce store!
Well congrats, you are at the right page…
First thing first!
Why should you be creating your own eCommerce store?
One obvious answer is, because the global eCommerce sales has already touched 2 trillion dollars benchmark and by 2021 it is expected to be over 4.5 trillion dollars. So why not having your own store online with some awesomely cool products to sell to your customers and make some handsome profits.
Another good reason why you should be involved in eCommerce today is the fact that technology has made it possible that anyone can create an online store at a ridiculously cheapest maintenance cost one can imagine.
If you look at the recent past, not very long ago just a decade before, could you imagine that you can own a store at less than $100 even at less than 50 bucks a month?
At that time you needed huge financial resources to buy inventory, expensive web servers to host your store on, hiring a web developer or team to build it for you.
And once your store was ready you needed staff to manage your store not only at the technical side, but to manage your inventory, orders & deliveries and other daily routine operations.
So, a decade ago eCom wasn’t everyone’s game!
As we moved ahead with technology, things became lot more easier, streamlined and faster.
Now you can literally create an eCommerce store with just a few clicks.
You don’t even need to have technical expertise to set it up. And “above all” the best thing is that you don’t need to stock a single product to resell to your customers.
You can have hundreds and thousands of products list at your store and ready to ship to your customers, which you don’t even touch or see physically.
What Is shopify?
If you are wondering how to set up ecommerce store then Shopify.com is the platform for you. It lets you create store without going too deep into the technical stuff.
As I mentioned above that in past if you wanted to create an eCommerce store you need to buy a web server and you need to hire web developers. Now with shopify everything is taken cared at their end.
You don’t need to go and look for several different hosting firms to choose the best web hosting service for your store, b/c shopify offers you very affordable and reliable web hosting services.
You don’t even need to hire experts to design and develop a professional looking online store, as shopify has so many beautiful themes that are ready to intal at your store and give it a unique and professional look.
Besides hosting and designing, shopify also offers a wide range of utility apps that help you streamlining your stores operations as well as improve its efficiency and productivity.
Receiving payments is another a critical issue to deal with for most e-commerce store owners. One of the biggest concerns for most eCommerce store owners is how to deal with the security of their customer’s financial information.
Keeping that in mind Shopify offers plenty of payment gateways for their store owners. Unlike other eCommerce platforms, where you kind of left lack of options, shopify does provide secure and reliable integration of different payment processing solutions within its interface.
In specific countries shopify has its own payment gateway service, so your customers can process their funds in a secured environment through debit or credit cards. Besides shopify’s own payment gateway they have wide range of payment processors to integrate with your eCommerce store according to your convenience and liking.
How Much Do You Need For Starting A Shopify Store?
Well, shopify is one of the leading eCommerce platforms and it has everything for everyone. From a large size corporate store to a single product store, shopify has solutions for all. There are businesses that pay couple of grand$ monthly, but as a starter you are good to stick with its basic plan i.e. $29 monthly (see pricing for other plans).
Shopify is a hassle-free platform, even stores with sales of 6 or 7 figures a month don’t bother for upgrading from the basic plan. So, all of the following business models requires the same plans and overall monthly operating expenses won’t even pass 50 bucks a month.
Business Ideas For A Shopify Store
There are so many ways in which you can build your fortune with shopify, but I would focus on 5 main shopify business ideas that I think any person regardless of the background and financial position can easily continue with.
1) Conventional eCommerce Store With Physical Inventory
This is pretty straight forward that you have some products, which you want to sell online and you use shopify as an eCom partner. This can be any product that you think has a potential of growth in a specific market segment. It can even be some sort of handicrafts that you build at home.
It can also be a product that is a specialty of the area which you live in and it is famous in other areas, cities or even countries. So, with shopify you can create a professional eCommerce store to market such products in any part of the world.
Well this model does require some investments in case you are holding some inventory for the products you want to sell online. For shopify’s cost, you just need the basic plan to get it started, which is just $29 monthly. You may want to have couple of apps to add functionality to your store that aren’t expensive as well. So, for this model you can really have a fully functional eCommerce store at less than $50 a month.
2) Print-On-Demand Products Store
This is an exciting business model that a lot of shopify store owners are into. The idea behind this model is that you create a store with products, which you can printed on with different designs or quotes. There are so many good print on demand (POD) service providers that have partnered with shopify.
I personally love Printfull, though it is expensive as far as products pricing are concerned and your profit margin maybe a bit low as compared to other print on demand services providers available, but the quality of the products, which printfull offers is outstanding.
They also offer quite a few fantastic branding options. So, it’s indeed not a really bad bargain against your low profit margins.
If you talk about the products, which you can offer on your store, these include different clothing items such as t-shirts, long sleeve shirt, skirts, hoodies, trousers or pants and accessories like hats, caps, shoes, jewellery, items and etc.
You can also sell different household articles such as bed sheets, curtains, pillowcases, coffee mugs, smartphone cases and even pet accessories.
Your job in this model is to get good and attractive designs for your target market and have them on the appropriate products for sale.
Your customer will see a finished product as if it’s printed and then displayed at the store. However, the fact is, your store will be displaying only mockups of different products with the designs on that you have added.
When someone purchases something on your store and you will receive the payment from your customer, the order will automatically be sent your chosen print on demand vendor for fulfillment.
Information regarding particular item, design, quantity and sizing will be sent automatically to your vendor. This perhaps one of the few totally “hands off” business models with shopify that literally needs no routine work whatsoever by the store owner.
While having a print on demand business using shopify, your job is to create designs, have them on appropriate products at your store and promote them to your target market, that’s it.
One thing, which you need to do as POD store owner, is to keep an eye on the available funds at your vendor’s site for your orders fulfillment. All other printing, shipping and stock management hassles will be taken cared by your print on demand partner.
Another good thing about this business model is shopify does have quite of few POD vendors that are regional as well.
So, if your market is not United States or perhaps you want to sell your products in countries located in Europe, you can choose a print on demand partner based in Europe. This will make product deliveries much cheaper and faster to your customers.
As far as designs are concerned, you don’t need to be the world’s best graphic designer and don’t even need to be a person with creative mind like an intellectual.
I have personally seen a lot of successful print on demand campaigns having just a simple text-based designs and they sold like crazy.
Why some of the most popular shopify stores went with business model is the fact that you can literally produce a product for virtually any audience.
What if you know nothing about designing whatsoever, in that case, you can hire an expert from fiverr.com and have your design ready to put on different print on demand articles as low as just 5 bucks.
Now let’s talk about the operating cost for this business model, well most of the print on demand apps that you find on shopify’s app store are absolutely free. All you need is a basic plan with couple of utility apps (optional) and that all be costing no more than $50 per month.
3) Dropshipping Store
This by far is the most used business model by shopify store owners. The idea behind dropshipping is quite fascinating that’s why most people love doing it. With dropshipping you can literally resell any product without having to buy or even touch it first.
What happens with dropshipping is, you create an eCommerce store and install an app that helps you adding products to shopify store and links it to a larger eCommerce website such as aliexpress.com.
Once you have successfully installed the app, it not only lets you import pictures and descriptions of your desire products from your supplier’s website, but when someone purchases those products from your store the app helps you fulfilling the order with your supplier.
With just a few clicks required to complete the fulfilment process, you can fulfill 100s of orders with ease using dropshipping app. So, the app saves a lot of time listing products and fulfilling orders for your customers.
Well that was the process part, what makes this whole dropshipping model fascinating is the idea behind, i.e. you can literally have hundreds and thousands of products on your store ready to resell for profit.
You will buy all products on order based scenario. Means, you will only be buying these products for your customers when they have already bought it from you on a higher price.
This makes dropshipping business model significantly profitable and no wonder why most successful shopify stores are taking huge advantage of this exciting business model.
No matter you have just $100 to your name, you can start a shopify store and put wide range of products that has resell value of maybe $300 or even $500 each while you are sourcing them for 50 bucks from the supplier.
You can imagine how much potential this whole dropshipping model has. There are so many online entrepreneurs who have been successfully running their online stores based on this dropshipping model. And there are easily making 3x, 5x or even 10x margins on different products.
Now let’s talk about the operating cost to run a dropshipping store. To setup a fully functional dropshipping store with shopify, you just need the basic of $29. Besides this you will also need a dropshipping app for importing products and fulfilling orders.
Shopify has quite of few good apps for dropshipping. I personally like Dropified app, because it lets you import products not only from just Aliexpress, but you can also import from several different sites such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Etsy, DHGate and others.
One of the most import features of these dropshipping apps is automated price and stock management. And this comes really handy when you have hundreds or even thousands of products listed on your store.
Let’s say, you list a product on your store and its stock is no more available at your vendor, so you can pretty much get rid of that particular item automatically from your store. You can also link that product to another vendor who has it in stock.
Same goes with price, if your wholesaler increases or decrease price of a particular item you get notified immediately. You can also set percentage based profit margin in Dropified setting, so whenever price of a product goes up or down it will automatically be changed accordingly at your store.
Almost every dropshipping app has either per-sale charges or a monthly subscription fees, so in case you use Dropified app, their elite plan is $47 per month.
Adding $29 of shopify’s monthly charges, your store’s running cost will be $76. If you use some utility apps like, email marketing or card abandon notification to improve productivity, you can pretty much run all under $100 per month.
4) Syncing Shopify With Other eCommerce Sites
This for sure is the least known and used business model. Not many people are aware of this amazing shopify feature that they can actually link and streamline other e-commerce businesses with their shopify store.
Starting with Amazon, if you are already selling on Amazon you can sync your shopify store with your Amazon sellers account. I have just discussed print on demand and dropshipping business models above. You can use both of these models with this feature.
Let’s say you have a print on demand store and you sell custom smartphone cases. You can have custom smartphone cases for sale on your shopify store and you can also have the same inventory listed on your Amazon’s seller account.
The best thing about this business model is that you will have a completely new e-commerce business setup on a separate platform with the same products that will be sold on the same order based buying business model.
As it’s through shopify’s integration, so you can really rely on this setup with complete peace of mind. Once you have successfully linked your Amazon sellers account with your shopify store, your stock management and order processing operations will be completely streamlined.
Whenever someone purchases a custom smartphone case from your Amazon sellers account you will not only be notified in your Amazon account, but it will also be shown as an unfulfilled order in your shopify store’s dashboard.
With just a few clicks you can then pay your print on demand vendor to ready and ship that particular cellphone case to your customer.
There are quite of few online sales channels that shopify offers, such as, Buyable Pins for Pinterest, Buy Buttons to sell products on facebook shop. If you are a blogger and want to sell any product or services to your audience you can also have a Buy Button for your blog.
Apart from different online sales channels provided by shopify, there are quite of few third party apps, which you can use to sync other eCommerce sites including eBay, Wish and etc with your shopify store.
Operating cost for this business model is just a basic monthly plan, because sales channel service by shopify is completely free. Even if you are using any third party apps to sync other sales channels with your store most of them also have no charges.
If you are just selling on shopify I would highly recommend you to explore other eCommerce platforms as well. This will help you grow your business and add multiple income streams.
Platforms like Amazon or eBay are absolutely free to join and when you have good products ready to ship, it won’t be a bad idea trying them out.
You can list products either from your print on demand or dropshipping business, because in both business models you own no inventory and you only buy a product when someone has already bought it from you.
5) Selling Digital Products
Just like physical products market, the market for digital products is no less by any means. If you look at the past two decades people have been creating various different digital products for different target markets and have been making handsome money.
Take an example of Amazon Kindle, hundreds and thousands of people have published their ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle store and majority of the Kindle Publishers have turned ebook publishing as their main source of income.
Ebooks aren’t the only product that you can sale as a digital product. There are so many things that you can produce for a particular target market. If you are an expert on a certain topic you can create different video based courses for people who wants to learn what you are expert in.
You can also do different printable products that sales like crazy. These are mostly premade templates that people buy for different occasions or purposes with custom text or messages. They may include templates for business cards, flyers, resumes, wedding, birthday and party invitations and a whole lot of things you could imagine.
You can even sell services on shopify store, my purpose for writing this article is to let you know that how you can an eCommerce store with minimum financial and technical resources.
However, if you are really serious in this business model and have some investment as well then you can hire good developer to create different software, apps and plugins etc, which solve certain problems for any target market.
I have personally seen many websites built on shopify that sell themes, apps and plugins for for shopify and other eCommerce platforms such as WordPress. So, with this business model sky’s the limit.
From just an ebook on different food recipes to the complex software for corporate organizations, you can pretty much sell any digital product on your shopify store.
Unlike other business models, where you sell physical products to your customers, selling digital products has an added advantage of instant and free shipping. When customers receive your product instantly, there is low to none customer complaints regarding shipping and deliveries.
Another good thing about this business model is, you need to put one-time work or investment to create your digital products. After that whatever you sell is hundred percent yours. Whereas, in other business models there will be an ongoing product cost involved.
For this particular business model basic $29 plan is more than enough. With an option of using additional utility apps, you can run a digital product store with shopify at literally under $50 a month.
I hope will above information you’ve got some basic understating about different ways of starting a shopify store. If you are still curious about anything, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help you out in whatever way I can. Cheers 🙂