Co-founder of Lit Dealer and Kreative Hedgehog, partner at Polda Builders. Digital marketer, entrepreneur and author.
Former Business Analyst at UBS Investment Bank, 33 year-old admirer of the state of extreme exhaustion.
This is probably the hottest topic ever since first person made a first dollar online. From then on everything has changed and you can observe plenty of people every year trying to make their living online. Calling it new gold rush would not be an exaggeration. It has caused development of entire industries serving eCommerce entrepreneurs that have never existed before.
Not to mention new means and standards of making business in general. It’s the revolution at its finest. Only by looking at below graph you can see how massive business it has become and how rapidly it is growing. You can check it out in full in the article right here. The potential of eCommerce is undeniable and be sure it will only continue to grow.
However, can you actually still make money online? Especially, can you make a living by dropshipping with Shopify? The short answer to that is absolutely. Dropshipping is a business model and Shopify is a platform to setup your online store.
They are both just tools and whether they will work or not is only a matter how you approach it. What sort of problems you are looking to solve and what kind of value you plan to deliver. The fact how massive eCommerce is works to your advantage. Everyone can find their own space, but you have to do it right. I have put down below everything you need to know, so let’s dive into it.
Can You Really Make Money With eCommerce
I have done hundreds of researches; learnt from multiple sources about eCommerce and Online Marketing; “studied” with dozens of online gurus – some fake ones, some not. I have tried 7 different business ideas and made countless mistakes only to learn that yes, you can really make money with eCommerce.
The only thing is it will not be easy, so if you are looking for quick buck then it’s probably not the game for you. Despite what all the fake gurus are claiming it is not easy and it is not even simple.The only thing is it will not be easy, so if you are looking for quick buck then it’s probably not the game for you. #eCommerce #hustle Click To Tweet
As a matter of fact the only thing they have most likely ever sold was their online course on how to make money online.
Just like this guy who was doing a lecture on “how to make a 100 thousands dollars”. The guru went up on stage and asked: “how many people are there in the audience?”. The answer happened to be a thousand. “And how much you paid for the ticket?”. “A hundred bucks” someone shouted. The guru said: “thank you”, and left 🙂
Now, I’m not telling you everyone selling a course is a scammer. You can find really valuable courses that can help you to achieve your goal. Just be careful, because there are plenty of people who are trying to “mine the miners”. They are selling you a dream, without providing solutions. If you are looking to make money online at first place invest in your knowledge base.
There are so many things you have to catch on:
- Choosing right business model
- Writing content and headlines
- Creating ads that sell
- Selecting your products
- Identifying your clients
- Building a store
Then focus on building a real business, not making a quick buck. You might succeed on short term, but you will not get too far. Do it properly, make it legit and invest some time and effort. People can smell BS from miles, so be authentic. If you want to learn how to start successful business you can check out our post about it available here.
Can You Make Money Dropshipping With Shopify
As mentioned at the beginning dropshipping is a business model and Shopify is a platform making process of store building as easy as it can possibly be. These are not magic solutions to your success online. They are just tools like any others, so if you do not use them well they will not provide the results you expect to see, purely by themselves.
Hence, it’s crucial to understand dropshipping and eCommerce is just a business as any other, that might or might not work out. Just like traditional physical businesses. Your success depends mostly on how well your business will satisfy your customers’ needs.
Long story short you can absolutely make money dropshipping with Shopify. As a matter of fact it can be pretty decent amount. Dropshipping is a fantastic way of testing different products and niches without investing too much money or time. It is also probably the easiest way to start. However, just like with everything else it has pros and cons.
On a long run you might start to consider not holding inventory as a disadvantage. Why? Because when you manage your stock you have greater flexibility when it comes to customer experience. For example with personalised packaging or gifts. Plus, you get few percent higher margins which is always nice to have.
Hence, I would recommend to test your idea(s) with dropshipping first and then move to regular wholesale.
What are the Best Ways to Earn Money Online
The cool part about Internet is that you can earn money online and it does not have to be necessarily through selling stuff. It doesn’t even have to be any sort of business! Below you can find a list of 8 great ideas how to make money online.
- Take online surveys – you will not make a fortune, but you can get 2-3 pounds for every survey you take. Not bad for a few minutes of form filling to get few spare quid
- Install market research apps – some companies like Nielsen will pay you a certain amount to anonymously track your behaviour online
- Test apps and websites – this is more like a regular job, but it’s fairly simple and do not require any technical knowledge, you get paid for even 10 minutes of testing
- Become a freelance writer – if you have an ease in writing you can surely become a freelance writer and sell your services. If writing is not your strength you can become a freelance proofreader
- Virtual assistant (VA) – another way of selling your services. You can think of list of skills you possess or what you are good at and offer yourself to become a personal assistant online
- Rent out your car or house – seriously, if you are not using it then why not? It is a good chance to make some extra cash
- Buy some movies to resell them – not straight away, but believe it or not some movies become hella expensive after not being sold anymore
- Sell your old stuff – people buy everything, something you would consider to just throw away someone else will buy for 5 quid. Not a fortune, but better than nothing. Old CDs will do as well
Starting an eCommerce Business From Scratch in 2019
You can probably write an entire book on that topic, but I would like to keep it as condensed as possible. Hence, I decided to split the entire process to four blocks. Here it comes!
Research and Choose Your Product(s)
This should be the very first thing you do and also the most important one. At the end of the day, you can have a crappy website, average marketing and product can still defend itself. This, however, does NOT mean you can neglect all other aspects of your business.
Some sources will advise you to select a niche, but you can also kick-off a general store with multiple niches. Nonetheless, all of these niches should have something in common, for example being innovative. How to select your products?
They should solve some sort of a problem or provide a value to your potential customers. And if they are somehow exciting you will have much easier task with promoting your products.
Whatever you do, AVOID best selling products from Amazon, eBay or Aliexpress. Best selling is a code for “saturated”. Look for something unique in popular categories, like home decor, baby supplies, pet supplies, small electronics or digital products.
Choose Your Business Model
With business model it’s much easier. When it comes to supplies you have to decide whether you will give a go with dropshipping or wholesale. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but dropshipping is probably the easiest to start with, despite smaller margin. Just be aware that range of available products will be smaller than with wholesale.
Ultimately you can try to create a private label product. It’s basically something popular, like Bluetooth speaker made as per your requirements. In such case you have to buy a whole lot, since it will be made specifically for you.
Prepare Your Marketing Strategy
Here your options are pretty much limitless, but it’s also the most challenging task. Having so many different platforms offering ads combined with attention span of just few seconds it became extremely difficult to capture attention.
Luckily, it’s not impossible, you just have to figure out which platform will be the best for your product. Google Ads are extremely useful for high ticket items and something people will be searching for in Google.
Facebook Ads have incredibly accurate targeting options and are great if you have an appalling product. You also cannot forget about good old SEO and content marketing.
You can try the following strategy:
- Google Ads and Facebook Ads → short-term, to have results straight away
- Social Media platforms → mid-term, to build awareness
- Content Marketing → long-term, 100% free and organic traffic
Create Your Online Store
Last, but not least you have to create an online store with your products. But not only that. You should also have a name, unique branding, ideally a story to tell about yourself and your business endeavours. On top of that and most importantly it should be a store that converts. What does it mean?
That you don’t burn your hard earned money by sending people to a store that looks like… you know what. Driving traffic is one thing, but people who land on your page should at least sign up to a newsletter. Of course, ideally they should make an order.
Amount of customers divided by amount of visitors is your conversion rate. Poorly optimised stores have 1-2%, better ones 4-5%, but you should aim for top 10% which have a conversion rate at 11.5%. You can find good examples of stores doing it right in this article here by Talia Wolf.
In general entrepreneurship is a cool thing and the earlier you start the better you have a chance to become. If you would like to read about benefits of teaching young children about entrepreneurship you can do it below. We have done a really cool infographic about it.
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