Many brands choose Shopify for a reason: it’s a platform that helps entrepreneurs, crafters, and makers succeed in online business. Shopify provides valuable tools, including an easy website builder, attractive pre-designed themes, and 24/7 customer support. No wonder it’s an industry standard!
But making money on Shopify goes beyond selling products. You can use your Shopify skills in various ways, such as creating websites for clients or promoting the platform.
In this article, we’ll explore practical ideas for making money on Shopify, whether you’re selling handmade products, offering personalized services, diving into affiliate marketing, or developing apps. Let’s dive in and discover how you can start earning with Shopify!
13 Ways to Make Money on Shopify
Making money on Shopify is incredibly versatile. You can sell vintage items, offer specialized services, or become a Shopify expert to assist other entrepreneurs.
Now, let’s explore 13 top ideas for making money with Shopify:
1. Start an online store
One of the easiest ways to make money on Shopify is by starting your own online store.
Shopify is famous for its user-friendly platform, which makes setting up an online store a breeze. You can sell almost anything you like, whether it’s handmade crafts, services you offer, or products you’re reselling.
Here’s how simple it is:
- Choose a stylish Shopify theme to make your store look great.
- Add and manage your products effortlessly.
- Your customers can browse and buy without any hassle.
But remember, attracting and keeping customers takes some effort. So, don’t forget to explore effective customer retention strategies to boost your sales.
If you’re not quite ready for a full online store, you can start small with Shopify’s Starter option. This allows you to sell products directly from your social media profiles, like Instagram and Facebook, making it a convenient way to start making money online.
2. Start a dropshipping business
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a business without a big upfront investment, consider dropshipping. And guess what? Shopify is the simplest platform to help you kickstart and manage your dropshipping store.
Here’s why dropshipping on Shopify is awesome:
- Forget about dealing with excess inventory. You only order what you need to fulfill customer orders. No more buying in bulk or manufacturing products.
- If you team up with DSers, managing your inventory becomes a breeze with just a few clicks. Shopify makes dropshipping super simple.
- With Shopify, setting up your product catalog, prices, and order processing with your dropshipping partner is a piece of cake. They’ve even partnered with Oberlo to help newcomers in the dropshipping world.
The best part about Shopify dropshipping is that it can be a profitable venture. You won’t be responsible for making or shipping products – that’s all on your suppliers. This means you can enjoy steady profits without the hefty costs that traditional wholesalers face.
3. Sell print-on-demand products
Imagine a hassle-free version of dropshipping – that’s what a print-on-demand (POD) business offers. With this model, you won’t have to stress about storing inventory or handling tricky shipping logistics.
Print-on-demand (POD) is a clever business approach where products like clothing, accessories, or home decor are created only when a customer places an order. This means no more worries about stocking up on items or making upfront investments. In a POD business, you get to provide customized products, as designs are digitally printed as soon as someone orders them.
Here’s the best part: once you make a sale, you can relax because the production process, order fulfillment, and shipping are all taken care of by your POD supplier.
Another big plus of print-on-demand is how easy it is to fulfill orders once you’ve got everything set up. With just a few clicks, you can process an order and keep your customers satisfied.
For an even smoother experience, think about creating a branded storefront on an e-commerce platform like Shopify. This way, you can control the whole shopping experience, from how your store looks and feels to how customers interact with your brand and discover your products. Shopify also makes life simpler by seamlessly connecting with top POD services, so you can manage everything in one place. Plus, owning your own store often means lower fees, which is an extra bonus.
4. Sell handmade or custom products
Are you someone who loves crafting and making unique items? If you’ve ever thought about selling your handmade goodies on the internet but didn’t know where to begin, consider this your starting point.
Selling your handmade products directly through your own website means you get to keep more of the money you earn, without sharing it with other online platforms.
Many crafty folks choose to sell on both Shopify and Etsy to reach a wider audience. Here’s the lowdown: Shopify lets you build your own brand and have direct contact with your customers, but you won’t have the built-in audience that Etsy provides. On the other hand, Etsy has a ready-made audience of potential buyers, but it can be a bit tougher to promote your products and make your store match your unique style.
The good news is that Shopify makes creating a beautiful website easy, even if you’re not a tech expert or a design pro. They offer a bunch of great website themes that you can customize to match your brand.
For example, themes like “Studio” are perfect for artists and makers. They come with cool features like image galleries and product videos, so you can show off your best work.
Don’t forget to pick a theme that lets you add pop-ups, calls-to-action, and promotions (like sales and events) effortlessly. These tools can help you market your products even better and connect with more potential customers.
5. Sell digital products and downloads
Selling digital stuff is a breeze, and it’s not just about e-books anymore. You can offer a variety of items like sewing patterns, spreadsheet templates, music sheets, and more—all without dealing with inventory, shipping, or suppliers. If you’ve got skills, you can even take orders for custom logos, label designs, and other digital goodies.
Shopify has handy apps, including one made by Shopify itself, that make selling digital downloads super easy. If you’re offering a service, be crystal clear in your product descriptions about what customers get for each price. You can also create custom email templates to keep your customers in the loop.
Here’s a list of common digital products and downloads you can sell:
- Online courses
Now, wondering how Shopify can make your digital product business a success? Here’s how:
- It smoothly connects with other tools and apps.
- You get free themes and templates to make your online store look awesome.
- Built-in SEO tools and a blogging platform help more people find your site.
So, whether you’re a writer, designer, or teacher, selling digital products is a great way to make money, and Shopify has the tools to help you do it well.
6. Sell thrifted or vintage goods
Reselling vintage or thrifted items is not only fashionable but also an eco-friendly choice.
Vintage items are typically products that are at least 20 to 30 years old, known for their unique and timeless qualities. They often carry the charm of a specific era, style, or trend, and people love them for their quality, craftsmanship, and historical significance.
The beauty of running a vintage store is that it can encompass a wide range of products, including clothing, jewelry, accessories, furniture, and home decor. You’ve got a treasure trove of options to explore.
If you’re looking to set up an online vintage store, Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that’s tailor-made for this venture.
- Customizable Storefront: Shopify lets you create a unique storefront that reflects your brand’s personality and showcases your vintage items in a way that resonates with your customers.
- Powerful Features: This platform offers a suite of powerful tools to simplify selling vintage items online. You’ll find a secure payment gateway, flexible shipping options, and an intuitive inventory management system, all designed to make your business run smoothly.
So, whether you’re passionate about vintage fashion or retro decor, Shopify can be your go-to choice for building a trendy and sustainable vintage store that appeals to eco-conscious shoppers.
7. Start your own clothing line or accessory brand
Here’s how you can turn your creative ideas into cash by launching your own clothing line:
- Connect with Printful or Printify: Link your Shopify store to one of these apps. It’s as easy as pie. Then, select the products you want to feature your designs on and upload your artwork.
- Print on Demand: When customers order a product, these apps swing into action. They deduct their fee from the payment and start creating the item right then and there.
- Shipping: Forget about dealing with shipping headaches. Apps like Printful handle both the printing and shipping, saving you loads of hassle.
And here’s a bonus: You can also strike gold on Shopify by launching your own accessory brand. Whether you make the accessories yourself, dropship them, or have them crafted elsewhere, you’ve got the potential to build a standout brand. With smart marketing, your accessory brand can really soar.
8. Start an affiliate business
Affiliate marketing is a smart way to make money with Shopify. It’s a commission-based model that can be quite lucrative. Here are two options you can explore:
- Create Your Affiliate Program: You can use some of Shopify’s top affiliate marketing apps to set up your own affiliate program for your store. With this approach, influencers, other websites, and stores will promote your products through their platforms. In return, you pay them a commission. It’s a win-win because it helps you reach more people and potentially boost your sales.
- Sell Affiliate Products in Your Shopify Store: If your store already has a decent following and you want to offer a wider range of products, think about reselling affiliate products. You earn a commission for each sale, which can add to your profits.
But there’s another exciting option: You can become a Shopify Affiliate yourself! The Shopify Affiliate program is open to content creators, educators, influencers, and anyone who wants to inspire others to start their own businesses with Shopify.
As a partner, you encourage your audience to sign up for a paid Shopify business plan, and you earn commissions for each sign-up. It’s a great way to promote entrepreneurship and earn some extra income in the process.
9. Monetize your social media
Using your social media presence to make money with Shopify is a smart move. It’s a bit like affiliate marketing, where you can change your social media followers into a money-making machine.
Shopify has a handy influencer marketing program called Shopify Collabs. If you’ve got a decent following on social media, you can recommend products you genuinely like to your followers and earn a commission when they buy.
Here’s how it works:
- Join the Program: If you get into the program, you can apply to partner with specific brands. This can lead to receiving free products, creating content, and making money when your followers purchase those products.
- Cash in on Success: If your social media efforts are already paying off, this is a great opportunity to turn it into extra income.
So, if you’ve got a social media following and a talent for promoting cool stuff, Shopify Collabs can turn your followers into customers and put some cash in your pocket.
10. Develop a Shopify app or theme
Creating a Shopify app or theme can be a money-making opportunity. When you develop an app and sell it through the Shopify App Store, you get to keep a significant portion of the sales revenue. The exact percentage you keep depends on the pricing plan you choose. For themes, you retain all your revenue until you’ve made over $1 million, after which you keep 85% of the revenue.
It’s important to understand the distinction between apps and themes in the Shopify ecosystem. When we talk about apps, we’re referring to external software that integrates with Shopify to enhance its functionality.
These apps are usually created by third-party developers and are available for purchase through the Shopify App Store. They go beyond simply updating your shop’s theme with HTML snippets.
Shopify apps come in various categories, each offering unique benefits:
- Sourcing and selling products
- Store design
- Conversion optimization
- Shipping and delivery
- Customer service
- Store management
These apps can add special features that improve the seller’s experience and make it easier for customers to interact with online shops. For example, you could integrate an app that streamlines the checkout process or boosts your site’s SEO.
If you’re looking to go beyond the basics, you can even create your own custom app or theme from scratch. This allows you to tailor your online store to your unique vision and needs.
However, it’s essential to note that developing an app or theme doesn’t guarantee instant success. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You’ll have to cover all the development costs yourself.
- Your app may not be approved for the Shopify App Store.
- Even if it is approved, you’ll likely need to invest in marketing efforts to stand out in a competitive marketplace.
So, while creating a Shopify app or theme can be a rewarding endeavor, it also comes with its challenges and uncertainties.
11. Offer your freelance service
If you’re good at something, you can get paid for it. Building a Shopify website can help your freelance work look more professional and attract more clients.
As a freelancer, you can use Shopify to sell your services online by setting fixed prices for them, just like you would for physical products. You simply list your services as if they were products and turn off the shipping option. This approach works well for freelance writers, graphic designers, web developers, and app developers.
This approach is often called ‘drop servicing.’ Unlike dropshipping, you’re not shipping physical products to customers. Instead, they pay you through the platform for the services you provide. To make it a reliable source of income, you’ll still need to network and market your services effectively.
Whether you’re a freelance writer, designer, illustrator, or have any other skill, you can use Shopify to showcase your services without the need for physical shipping.
12. Help other business owners set up Shopify stores
If you’ve got the know-how when it comes to Shopify, there are some exciting opportunities for you to make money. Many business owners are willing to pay for your expertise in setting up their Shopify stores.
You can promote yourself as a Shopify developer on platforms where freelancers offer their services. Alternatively, you can consider teaming up with web development companies to provide your expertise.
If you’ve already achieved success with Shopify, you can officially become a Shopify Partner. This opens the door to helping other entrepreneurs establish and grow their online businesses. This assistance could involve tasks like design, development, marketing, SEO, image optimization, and more.
As a Shopify Partner, you can offer your services to store owners. You can either charge a fixed fee for your services or take a percentage of their future sales. This can lead to ongoing relationships with clients who will return when they require further assistance.
Shopify Partners can create profiles on the Shopify Experts Marketplace. This platform allows store owners to hire experts for various projects. You can set your rates for services, although Shopify does take a 10% commission.
According to Shopify, one in three merchants reaches out to a Shopify Partner every six months. So, this could be a nice side gig or even a full-time job for you.
13. Sell online courses
You can generate passive income by sharing your expertise through online courses on your Shopify store. Create these courses based on topics you are passionate and knowledgeable about, whether it’s SEO, social media marketing, music production, writing, acting, dance, or any other skill you excel in.
Upload your courses and tutorials as restricted pages on your website, possibly within your blog section. Then, offer memberships to your customers, granting them exclusive access to this content.
Selling access to your website’s content is a simple way to profit from your courses using Shopify. You can create web pages and blog posts containing videos and audio files and charge customers for access.
To provide a more comprehensive course experience, you can also incorporate external tools. For example, you can use platforms like Skype or Zoom for one-on-one sessions, or utilize tools like SurveyMonkey for students to take tests and quizzes.
Learn more: How to Create an Course That Sells
Tips for Making Money on Shopify
1. Find Your Niche
In the competitive world of e-commerce, it’s crucial to stand out.
Start by identifying your unique niche. Research your target customers, understand their preferences, and learn where they shop.
Then, offer products or services that cater to their needs on the platforms they frequent.
2. Promote Your Store
If you want to attract more customers to your Shopify store and start earning quickly, you need to develop a marketing strategy.
Here are some popular ways to promote a Shopify store:
- Optimize for Search Engines: Enhance your online visibility by following a Shopify SEO guide.
- Leverage Social Media: Combine your social media presence with SEO strategies to monetize it effectively.
- Email Marketing: Create automated email campaigns to showcase your products and engage your audience.
- Paid Advertising: Run well-planned paid ad campaigns for quicker results.
- Affiliate Marketing: Launch affiliate programs using top Shopify affiliate apps.
- Referral Programs: Encourage customers to refer others with a Shopify referral app.
3. Write clear product descriptions
Providing comprehensive product information is essential for keeping customers satisfied and minimizing returns.
To achieve this, use high-quality images, precise measurements, and detailed product descriptions to help customers make informed decisions.
Besides, you should clearly explain the functionality of your products and highlight any unique features that set them apart from the competition.
If you offer products in various colors and sizes, ensure that these options are easily accessible on each product listing for a seamless shopping experience.
4. Offer Outstanding Customer Service
Great customer service plays a crucial role in cultivating customer loyalty and encouraging repeat business. To achieve this, follow these guidelines:
- Accessible Communication: Make it effortless for customers to get in touch with inquiries while they’re shopping. Offer a variety of communication options like live chat, email, and phone support.
- Transparent Policies: Clearly explain your return and exchange policies to customers, ensuring they understand what to expect.
- Utilize Shopify Apps: Consider using Shopify’s store management apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, to provide efficient customer support and monitor order progress.
- Showcase Satisfied Customers: Actively gather reviews from happy customers and prominently display their testimonials on your store. This helps establish trust with potential buyers.
- Consistency is Key: Maintain a consistent level of excellent customer service. Respond to inquiries promptly and ensure orders are shipped on time.
Is Shopify good for beginners?
Yes, Shopify is beginner-friendly. Simply create a Shopify account and let Shopify walk you through how to build pages, pick a theme, and add products to your catalog.
How much does it cost to start a Shopify store?
Shopify pricing plans vary depending on your needs. The simple pricing breakdown is as follows:
- Basic: $39/month
- Shopify: $105/month
- Advanced: $399/month
Figuring out the best Shopify pricing plan for your store can be tricky. Keep in mind that you can upgrade at any time if you feel your store needs more than the basic plan, like inventory locations, staff accounts, etc.
How long does it take to make money on Shopify?
There’s no hard and fast answer to how quickly you’ll start to make money on Shopify – it could be days, weeks, or even months. It would be reasonable to expect your first sale after 30 days of opening. You can increase your chance of making money by having a solid business plan and a strategic marketing plan in place.
How much does Shopify take in per item?
The amount Shopify deducts depends on your plan and the payment method used by customers. The fees also vary for online vs. in-store purchases.
How long does it take to build a Shopify store?
All things considered, Shopify is a pretty user-friendly ecommerce platform. However, the amount of time it takes to build a Shopify store varies based on variables like:
- Your familiarity with Shopify
- How many products you want to add to your store
- How much customizing you want to do to your store
How much money can you make dropshipping on Shopify?
An average estimate for Shopify dropshipping businesses is $1,000-$2,000 per month.
However, with a long-term strategy and one of the top Shopify dropshipping apps, you can scale your Shopify earnings from dropshipping quickly.
What to sell on Shopify to make money?
The most common products to sell on Shopify and make money include clothing (especially print on demand), cosmetics and accessories, sports products, and home decor. That being said, if you have a niche you know inside and out, don’t be afraid to venture into other options and build something truly unique.