Thousands of new eCommerce businesses open their virtual doors every single day on Shopify. But can you really make money on Shopify? The answer is that it depends. But by looking for the answer to this question, you’re already ahead of the curve.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of opening your eCommerce store on Shopify.
TIP | The leading tools you need to start and grow your online business. We use them ourselves:
Adobe Creative Cloud: The best graphic design software suite with 20+ creative apps, used by over 30 million people worldwide. It includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Express, and more. Try Adobe Creative Cloud for free.
Cloudways: Host your WordPress/WooCommerce site in the cloud for unmatched performance with the best Managed Cloud Hosting Platform.
Credit Repair Cloud: Improve your credit score and start your credit repair business today with Credit Repair Cloud's Free Training. Thousands of entrepreneurs have earned over $197M with the platform.
Is eCommerce Too Saturated?
Before we dive into opening an online business through Shopify, it’s important to understand the viability of eCommerce in general. There is good news when reviewing projections for the global rate of growth for eCommerce.
The global eCommerce market is projected to nearly triple over the next few years from 10.36 trillion USD in 2020 to 27.15 trillion USD by 2027. This means that, if anything, you’re early to the market.
The bottom line: it is a great time to start your eCommerce business. Next, let’s explore how businesses of all sizes are succeeding through Shopify.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a subscription-based software that allows you to set up an eCommerce business in as little as a few hours.
Whether you’re starting a new eCommerce business from scratch or bringing your existing brick-and-mortar business online, Shopify is a tool that’s well-suited to meet your needs. It’s powerful, intuitive, and relatively low-cost, making it attractive for new eCommerce businesses. That’s probably why over 1.7 million online businesses operate over Shopify.
What are the advantages of choosing Shopify?
Shopify is a platform that was designed to make it easy for anyone to sell products online. Before software solutions like Shopify, starting a product-based business online took website development/coding skills. These skills were hard to find and expensive, making the barriers to entry into the market quite high. Today, anyone can do it with or without coding.
Here are some additional advantages:
Ease of Use
Shopify is an intuitive platform that makes setting up an eCommerce store easy. For example, some templates are essentially done-for-you websites, making the entire process relatively painless.
When you set up a store on Shopify, it’s your store. Over time you can create an easily trusted and recognized brand. Other eCommerce platforms (like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy), in contrast, maintain their branding site-wide. This means that even if you’re a successful seller on these marketplaces, your brand recognition (and ultimate ability to survive on your own) is limited.
Businesses of all sizes choose to operate on Shopify, from small local coffee shops to giants like PepsiCo. and Tesla. This shows scalability: your online store can grow with you without issue.
Different Business Models
There are several ways to make money on Shopify, which makes it an attractive option for new eCommerce entrepreneurs. For example, you can:
- Start a standard eCommerce business where you sell products you either hold in inventory and ship yourself or that are held and shipped by your contracted warehouse/fulfillment center.
- Start a dropshipping business where you sell products held and shipped by a third party.
- Sell Shopify itself by becoming an affiliate.
- A combination of all 3.
Note: Click here for our Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping.
What are the disadvantages?
Other eCommerce platforms (like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy) take out a lot of the work – people are already on their websites looking for products. This makes it easier to make early sales. Shopify, in contrast, requires you to drive your traffic to generate sales. While this is an advantage in terms of brand recognition, it’s also a challenge you’ll have to overcome in the beginning.
Hard to Migrate
If for some reason, you choose to move away from Shopify to self-hosting your eCommerce store down the line, it can be hard to migrate your data from Shopify to another platform. The reason is that there’s no true centralization of the data you’ve input (like product descriptions, images, etc.) which can make the process cumbersome and time-consuming.
Can you really make money on Shopify?
The question you came for: can you really make money on Shopify? The answer is: absolutely.
Shopify is designed to make it easy to start and grow your business. There is no reason your business cannot be one of the many Shopify success stories. But to succeed, it’s important to recognize that it’s just a tool.
One of the most common mistakes new eCommerce business owners make with Shopify is that they assume that setting up a Shopify store is all they need to do to succeed. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. To make it easier, let’s explore how to start a successful store.
How to Start a Successful eCommerce Store
Here are some steps to take to start a successful eCommerce store through Shopify.
Step 1: Create a Business Plan
The first step to starting a successful Shopify store is to evaluate your business idea and create a business plan.
Here are some things you'll want to consider in your business plan:
- Products: what you’re planning to sell.
- Customers: who you’re looking to sell it to.
- Competitors: make note of who is already selling in this space.
- Marketing: how you’ll stand out from the competition and start getting sales.
Step 2: Create a Brand
Once you’ve decided on your business plan, it’s time to make it real.
By creating a brand, you’ll start to build a reputation with your customers and create something they’ll keep coming back to. Start with a logo, 1-2 main fonts, and 1-3 main colors for your store. Use these elements consistently throughout your website, social media profiles, advertisements, packaging, email signatures, and more.
The more consistent you are, the better for recognition.
Step 3: Optimize Your Website
It takes a lot of work to get customers to your store, so making the most of every visit is important. To do so, your website needs to be attractive, trustworthy, and memorable.
81% of consumers, on average, abandon their online shopping cart before making a purchase. Further, most of these lost sales are never recovered.
To optimize your website for conversion, make your website trustworthy and keep the checkout process smooth.
To optimize the checkout flow, keep it simple:
Don’t ask for unnecessary information or add unneeded steps.
Allow billing/shipping addresses to sync if the two are the same address (i.e., eliminate duplicate entries).
For trustworthiness, you can take inspiration from popular brands’ eCommerce stores. You’ll notice they usually:
- Display common trust symbols like “Norton Secured.”
- Offer customer reviews.
- Offer easy returns and a satisfaction guarantee.
- Have a clear contact page and process for quick answers to questions.
- Provide thorough “About” and “FAQ” pages.
- Have high-quality text/copy and images.
- Accept major payment providers (such as Visa, MasterCard, and Discover).
- Keep branding consistent.
- Have an SSL certificate.
- Process payments securely by ensuring their stores are compliant with PCI/DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards).
- Offer high-quality blog posts that provide value for their customers.
To optimize the checkout flow, keep it simple:
- Don’t ask for unnecessary information or add unneeded steps.
- Allow billing/shipping addresses to sync if the two are the same address (i.e., eliminate duplicate entries).
- Remind customers about your key value proposition (for example, your warranty, fast shipping time, return window, etc.) on the cart page above the checkout button.
Step 4: Test Your Store and Prepare for Launch
Make a test purchase on your website and have friends and family do the same. Here are some sample questions to think through:
- Did your friends or family have any questions that weren’t answered on your website?
- How did the product arrive – hopefully quickly and in good condition?
- Did your order confirmation emails provide enough detail and set proper expectations for your customers?
- Is there somewhere customers can easily reach out to ask questions?
Once you’ve tested your store and ensured all is working as it should, it’s time to launch your store and get marketing.
Closing Thoughts: Can you really make money on Shopify?
Yes, you can really make money on Shopify.
Now is a great time to get in on the ground floor and start an eCommerce business. Shopify is a great choice to do so.
There are many advantages to choosing Shopify as the base for your online store. For instance, it offers scalability, brand recognition, and ease of use. But if you want to create a successful Shopify store, you’ll need to be smart about setting up and launching your business.
By reading this article, you’re ahead of the curve and have the tools you need to get started.
Keep Reading: Check out our eCommerce SEO Guide by Clicking Here