You can hardly turn on YouTube these days without being bombarded by some guru trying to tell you how to make money on Shopify. It is almost funny (but mostly annoying) because most of them are just advertising their ignorance. Shopify is a tool.
It is a means to an end.
It is an online shopping platform that allows you to easily set up an online store that can take orders and accept payments. That is it. In theory you can not make money with Shopify. You can USE IT to make money but it is only a tool.
With that in mind, it does make it very easy to sell almost anything online. It is incredibly easy to use, is very stable and has a huge app store with thousands of app that allow you to do almost anything that you could want an online store to do.
With Shopify you can get up and running and make your first sales within minutes. Some of the biggest eCommerce brands like Kylie Jenner and Gymshark use Shopify.
So, make money with Shopify? There are basically 4 ways, so we’ll look at each of them individually.
1.Selling Physical Products Online
This is by far the most common and most popular use for Shopify. Before Shopify this was quite a clumsy and difficult thing to do. Shopify has made selling online easy and accessible for everyone.
I will also add that they are by no means the only one because competition has grown and there are now a number of very good and very easy to use online shopping platforms.
There are a couple of way you can sell physical products on Shopify.
+ Sell your own products
If you make any products yourself then this is a great solution. Building a beautiful store that tells your story and the story of your handcrafted products is relatively easy – even if you have no technical knowledge.
This has become one of the most popular ways to make money with Shopify. There are a multitude of apps available that allows you to “plug into” some of the biggest marketplaces in China (and the USA). that allows you to dropship products.
If you are not familiar with dropshipping, it essentially allows you to list products in your store, sell them and ship them to your customer without buying any stock upfront or handling any products yourself.
You will list a product in your store, sell it and automatically send the order information to the merchant. You pay the merchant cost price, they ship the item to your customer and you pocket the profit.
Dropshipping from Aliexpress is by far the most common way to make money on Shopify. Shopify has even brought over Oberlo – the biggest dropshipping app that allows you to fully automate the entire process.
+ Print on Demand
Selling Print on Demand products on Shopify is very similar to dropshipping. You never buy stock upfront and you never physically handle the products.
By using any of the Print on Demand partners like Printful, CustomCat or Teelaunch you can create a design and place it on an apparel item. When your customer orders the item, they will print it and ship it to your customer.
This is also fully automated using apps that plug directly into Shopify.
+ Sell on Marketplaces
Shopify is also fully integrated with a multitude of shopping platforms. Either directly or indirectly you can push the products from your Shopify store to Etsy, eBay and even Amazon to sell on these huge marketplaces.
Order will automatically be posted back to Shopify which allows you to take care of fulfillment right from the familiarity of Shopify’s interface. Tis takes a lot of headaches and manual work out of the equation.
2.Selling Physical Products Offline
Shopify also allows you to sell physical products offline. If you run a traditional brick and mortar store then you can use Shopify as your payment gateway. While it does not make much sense to use Shopify only for offline sales, it makes a lot of sales when you want to do both online and offline sales.
Shopify will help you manage your inventory and take care of payments with ease. Running a physical store and an online store side by side can be a great way to boost sales. You get the best of both world.
You have a physical presence that gives people trust (you are ‘real’) and being online you have a global exposure.
3.Selling Digital Products
While it is not the most common way to make money with Shopify, you can sell digital products. There certainly are a lot of options when it comes to selling digital products online and Shopify probably won’t make much sense if you only intend to do that.
However, if you sell both physical products and digital products then Shopify can be a great fit.
Almost any physical product can also have digital components. It can be a great way to expand your product line and offering courses or how-to guides as a digital download can be great – and you don;t need a separate platform to sell them. Just use Shopify.
Selling subscription is hugely underrated. Having recurring sales is the fastest way to build a huge business if you can keep your churn rate low. Again, if you can combine subscriptions with your physical products then you can have a recipe for success.
Subscription boxes is the most obvious and there are many great examples like Bark Box which sells subscription boxes for dog owners. It allows them to bundle products and sell it as a subscription.
How to make money on Shopify – The Right Mindset & Strategy
Making money on Shopify is all about selling physical products. Shopify give you a platform to reach a global audience. You can quite literally sell anything to anyone in the world.
But therein lies the problem as well. It really boils down to selling the right product to the right audience at the right time.
Source a product(s) and finding the right audience for that product is one part of the formula for making money online. You can source your products from China through Alibaba or Aliexpress and find almost any audience through targeted Facebook ads.
Matching products to an audience is the name of the game. The right product to the right audience sells itself. Doing “had sells” with physical products rarely works long term.
Another part of the formula is “the right time”. While a particular product may have reached saturation in the US market, it may be completely untapped in Europe. There are always opportunities like this – especially in emerging markets like Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and parts of Europe.
This is where speaking a second language can be used in your favour. If you speak Spanish for instance then you can sell to the Spanish speaking market – which is huge. Often times you can sell products that are completely saturated in English speaking markets and still make a killing.
Ultimately, if you want to know how to make money on Shopify you need to get your hands dirty. Learning ecommerce is not easy but it is the future.