Have you dreamed of starting a business of your own? For many aspiring entrepreneurs and side hustlers, that dream has become a reality by making money on Shopify. Ecommerce is a booming business — statistics show online retail sales increased by 30% in 2020, a trend that was accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting a Shopify store can give new business owners access to global markets and the opportunity to create and sell goods at scale.
As online stores gain momentum, many are starting to wonder, “How can I make money with Shopify?” If you’ve dreamed of starting a business, or using Shopify as a side hustle, here’s everything you need to know about getting started.
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store contemplating a pivot to digital or a business-minded individual looking to get into the ecommerce game, Shopify can remove many of the roadblocks to getting started with selling online.
What is Shopify?
Selling goods online wasn’t always easy. Creating a website connected to an online store that could securely process payments was once a task that required significant technological savvy. Shopify simplifies this process by creating a platform that easily allows business owners to create and manage an online store.
Shopify can’t make you rich, but it can provide you with the appropriate tools to build an online business. It is a platform that serves your business goals. Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar store contemplating a pivot to digital or a business-minded individual looking to get into the ecommerce game, Shopify can remove many of the roadblocks to getting started with selling online.
Ways to Make Money With Shopify
Small business ideas come in all shapes and sizes. Keep in mind that Shopify is a tool for your small business, you can find ways to incorporate it into a business you already have or use Shopify as the starting point for a new business. There’s more than one way to make money with your Shopify store. Here are several popular ways to approach making money with Shopify.
1. Create an Ecommerce Store
Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer looking to pivot to digital, or an online seller, setting up a Shopify store is simple. You can sell both goods and services, and Shopify makes the checkout process simple for your customers.
If you already have a website, you can add a Shopify store to it. Or, you could create a store directly on Shopify using one of their templates that will become its own website. If you’re not sure you have what it takes to get started, you could also consider purchasing a store that is already running from a current Shopify user. This can be done on Shopify’s official Exchange Marketplace.
Keep in mind that setting up your store is just the beginning. Once you get it running you’ll need to focus on optimizing it to ensure you’re maximizing your revenue. One of the first optimization techniques online sellers tackle is reducing abandoned carts. Statistics show communicating with your customers after they’ve exited your store before checking out can reduce your abandoned cart rate by 58%, which equated to more than $156,000 for one company in a 30-day period. Whichever optimization techniques you choose, it’s important to remember that launching your store is just one step of many required to actually earn money with Shopify.
2. Try Dropshipping
No story about earning money with Shopify is complete without mentioning dropshipping. Dropshipping allows you to sell products without having the physical inventory yourself by outsourcing order fulfillment shipping. The global dropshipping market was estimated to be $111.28 billion in 2018. For sellers, dropshipping represents a significant pro because you don’t have to pay for inventory upfront, or deal with the manual process of order fulfillment and shipping.
While there are many online commentators that make it seem like dropshipping is an easy way to get rich quick, keep in mind that while this tactic does present some great advantages for online retailers it also requires dedication to optimize. You’ll still need to create a demand for your products and nurture customers through a sales cycle.
3. Shopify Affiliate Program
You don’t need to have an online store to make money with Shopify. If you already have an audience, you can monetize them by becoming a Shopify affiliate. Shopify estimates you can earn approximately $58 for each user who signs up for a paid plan. This option could be a seamless fit for anyone who produces business or financial content that encourages others to start their own online stores.
To sign up for the program, you’ll have to submit an application. If you get approved, Shopify will supply you with a unique referral link. Shopify will pay you bi-weekly via Paypal for any paid accounts you refer. You can incorporate this strategy with others that allow you to make money on YouTube, Instagram or other platforms to develop multiple income streams for your business.
How Much Money Can You Earn With Shopify?
Keep in mind that starting a Shopify store is going to cost you money, so you’ll likely have to spend capital before you start making income using the platform. While Shopify does offer a free 14-day trial, after that they have three tiers of pricing options.
- Basic Shopify: $29/month
- Shopify: $79/month
- Advanced Shopify: $299/month
You’ll also have to consider costs such as marketing for your store, photography of your products and shipping.
It’s hard to get a reliable estimate for how much money you can make with Shopify. The company doesn’t release statistics about average store revenue. While there are many internet bloggers and commentators who claim they make more than six-figures a month using the platform, there are also many stores that don’t succeed.
A smart way to estimate your potential earnings from Shopify is to use their Gross Profit Margin Calculator, which can help you determine the price of your products. After that, you’ll need to estimate how many products you can sell daily or monthly to come up with a rough idea of how much money you can earn using Shopify.
Making Money on Shopify vs. Amazon and Etsy
Shopify isn’t the only way to sell products online. There are a growing number of online marketplaces that give business owners the opportunity to sell their goods or services to the masses. Here’s how Shopify compares to Amazon and Etsy, two other popular platforms with slightly different purposes.
|Platform easy of use||Customer service for sellers available 24/7||No customer service phone number for sellers, you must send a request and await a call||Online help resources and official forums, but difficult to reach seller customer support|
|Monetization options||Can create an online store with physical products or services, can do dropshipping, affiliate program available||Sell wholesale goods or your own label, sell products as an Amazon Affiliate, sell handcrafted items through Amazon Handmade, offer services through Amazon Services||Sell vintage or handmade items, become an Esty affiliate|
|Platform cost||Monthly fee||Commission on your sales||Commission on your sales|
Keep in mind that one pivotal difference is that Shopify doesn’t function as a marketplace. While Amazon sellers will show up in the website’s search listings, as a Shopify seller you are primarily responsible for driving traffic to your site. This is similar to other platforms in the Shopify category, such as competitor Oberlo.
Using Your Shopify Store as a Side Hustle
Shopify has firmly established itself as a viable way for online sellers to create stores that will turn a profit. But even though there are many Shopify success stories to draw from, keep in mind that launching a successful Shopify store takes dedication, and it’s not guaranteed to work.
If you’re planning to use a Shopify store as your side hustle, make sure you do the hard, upfront work of budgeting your startup costs to know how much money you will have to make before your store is profitable. If you decide that Shopify isn’t the right path for you, remember that there are other ways to make money online. For example, some people with social media savvy are finding they can make money on TikTok, while other people prefer to use their freelancing skills to pick up digital odd jobs like social media management or content writing.
Starting a side hustle can be not only a positive financial undertaking but also a chance to develop new skills, exercise your creativity and explore potential future career pathways. If you’re interested in developing (or flexing) your online marketing and sales experience, using Shopify to launch a side hustle business could be a great option for you.