Last updated: January 30, 2023
Founded in 2006, Shopify has become the backdrop for countless e-commerce success stories – from the biggest brands to the smallest independent businesses. Even iconic brands like Pepsi, Tesla and Gymshark use the platform.
Shopify has made it so that anyone who wants to make money in the world of ecommerce can, without having to worry about setting up and hosting their own site. Shopify makes it easy for anyone to create their own online storefront.
Having said that, since the platform’s founding, more and more ways of making money on the site have emerged.
We’ll examine these methods in more detail, but first, let’s look at Shopify.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows anyone to set up a store online.
Shopify makes this process as seamless as possible, offering handy tools like customizable templates to build your ecommerce business’ page and making it easy to set up ecommerce essentials like payment processing and shipping.
More than offering ease of use, hosting your ecommerce store on Shopify is cheaper than hosting and building a website yourself. This simplicity and low overhead is what draws many entrepreneurs to the platform.
Shopify Store Examples
Using one of Shopify’s eye-catching templates, Four Sigmatic has developed a thriving ecommerce store on the platform. Selling a small range of quality, plant-based products, Four Sigmatic employs a subscription-based business model tailored to the protein needs of their customers.
By working with subscription business growth brand Upscribe, Four Sigmatic increased their active subscribers by 50%.
Ready, Set, Food! Is a business striving to reduce allergy rates in children by introducing allergens into their diets safely. To achieve this tolerance to allergens, the brand recommends that the products are consumed over 6 months. This makes regular monthly deliveries of the product essential to its efficacy.
As such, a subscription model is vital for this business, making tools like Upscribe – which reduces subscription businesses’ churn – essential. By collaborating with Upscribe, Ready, Set, Food! increased their margins by 35%.
Beekeeper’s Naturals is a brand committed to delivering nourishing, clean health remedies. The brand offers subscriptions for its products, so its customers don’t have to worry about when to buy their next fix. This made scaling their subscription program with Upscribe a no-brainer.
Top Ways to Make Money on Shopify
1. Set up an ecommerce store
The most straightforward way to make money on Shopify is to set up your own ecommerce store.
Shopify makes it super easy to start selling your products online. Even someone completely new to the world of ecommerce can do it.
Shopify takes you through everything you need to do to set up your ecommerce store.
- Creating pages for your Shopify site
- Adding the products you want to sell
- Configuring shipping and tax
- Setting up payment
There’s a ton of potential to earn big on Shopify. However, you should learn all you can and employ strategic tools to make your Shopify ecommerce store a success.
Upscribe helps brands reduce churn with timed payment retry (dunning) and facilitates smart cancellation flows to deflect churn – providing alternatives like gifting a subscription when a customer cancels.
2. Start dropshipping
Dropshipping is similar to setting up an ecommerce store of your own, with one major difference.
Instead of storing, shipping and sometimes manufacturing the products you sell on your Shopify store, outsource these processes.
In other words, you only need to set up your Shopify store and advertise products from a dropshipping-friendly platform like AliExpress, to start making money from selling online.
Setting up a dropshipping business on Shopify is easy. You can create a product catalog on your Shopify store – along with the price point you choose – and connect to your chosen dropshipping network through the platform.
Then, when a customer places an order through your Shopify store, it will be redirected to your supplier. You’ll pay the price of the item advertised by your supplier, and the difference between this and what your customer pays is the profit you’ll make on the sale.
So, if your supplier advertises a product for $80 and you sell it for $110, you’ll earn $30.
There are tons of dropshipping stores on Shopify – like Notebook Therapy, which markets and sells notebooks and other stationary, through their site, although their dropshipping partner sources, stores and ships their products.
3. Affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a business model in which ‘affiliates’ are paid a percentage of revenue from products they promote and sell.
Numerous ecommerce businesses – including Shopify, Amazon and Etsy – offer affiliate marketing programs. Those who enrol are provided with affiliate links to share with their audience and each purchase made through the link qualifies the affiliate to earn a commission.
A number of Shopify stores have affiliate marketing programs that you can enrol in. When you’re accepted, you’ll be given affiliate links to share with your audience and the more sales are made through your links, the more you’ll earn.
On the other hand, if you’re a Shopify store owner and want to benefit from some free advertising and promotion for your Shopify ecommerce store products, you can start your own affiliate marketing program on the platform.
By working with affiliates with large followings or online publications, you can further your store’s reach – in exchange for giving affiliates commission, of course.
4. Monetize social media traffic
Social commerce has become huge. 54% of people have already made a purchase from Instagram, and this percentage grows year by year.
As such, social media platforms are great to establish your business’ presence and brand personality, as well as advertise and sell products.
Shopify allows you to make use of your existing audiences across social media, and turn your socials into sales channels. Even with the platform’s starting plan, you can add ‘buy now’ links to your social media content, so your customers can buy your products directly from your social media page.
Thanks to Shopify’s ability to integrate with social media, you can run your business primarily on social media, while Shopify runs admin – like tracking orders and inventory – in the background.
Whether you run your social commerce business through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or another platform, you can find the integration app you need on the Shopify App store.
5. Flip Shopify stores
For this Shopify money-making method, you’ll need a little more experience.
To flip Shopify stores, you’ll first need to build a profitable ecommerce store on the platform. Then, once you’ve proven that your Shopify store can generate revenue reliably, you can sell – or ‘flip’ – your business for profit.
If you can get good enough at building ecommerce or dropshipping stores on Shopify, flipping Shopify stores is a lucrative way to make money on the platform. Successful, smart-looking Shopify stores generating a healthy revenue can sell for upwards of $1 million.
So, once you’ve got to grips with how to build a successful ecommerce business on the platform, building more and flipping them can be a great way to make money on Shopify.
6. Become a Shopify expert
Shopify allows their customers – a.k.a. people with Shopify stores – to connect with different industry experts who can help them with different aspects of their business.
These can be experts in marketing and sales, in-store set-up, branding and visual content, content writing, and more.
If you’re experienced in any of these niches, you can set a price for the jobs you complete and work with a range of Shopify merchants to bring about their vision.
7. Develop custom resources for Shopify sellers
There are millions of ecommerce stores hosted on Shopify; it’s thought that there are close to 4 million stores hosted on the platform.
In other words, it’s incredibly popular – and demand for Shopify-centred resources and tools is high, since everyone wants to achieve success on the platform (and will use any resources available to accomplish this).
Here are some examples of Shopify resources to inspire you:
- Blog with Shopify tips and tricks
- Inventory calculator
- Dropship directories
- Shopify micro SaaS
8. Freelance writing
Another of the less obvious ways to make money on Spotify is to write.
Specifically, you can write blog content – or even product descriptions – for Shopify merchants.
You should browse through the Shopify stores you’re interested in writing for. Then, approach your chosen merchant to explain why you’d like to write for them, what experience you have, and the value you have to offer their Shopify site.
You’ll have the most luck with Shopify stores that already have a blog. Even more so if they don’t have loads of posts, as this suggests that they don’t have enough time to do it themselves and could use a helping hand – make sure to convince them this should be you.
9. Create and sell online courses
Selling online courses has become a staple of online moneymaking – and for good reason.
Once you’ve put in the time to create your course, an unlimited number of people can purchase it, making courses a potentially infinite source of passive income.
You can create a course about anything. However, to maximize the profitability of your course, the skill you teach should be in high demand. This will make your course more popular and generate higher sales.
Though Shopify itself isn’t designed to host online courses, it has expansive integration possibilities – including online course platforms like SkillSuite and LearnWorlds.
These integrations make creating courses on learning platforms easy. With them, you’ll be able to display your courses as products on your Shopify store. Then, anyone interested can click the course, pay through Shopify and redirect to your site.
There are tons of ways to make money on the Shopify ecommerce platform – or as a professional adding value for Shopify merchants.
As the platform grows even further in the coming years, we can expect that many more methods will emerge for ambitious online entrepreneurs to take advantage of.
If you set up your own ecommerce store on the Shopify platform – and decide to offer your products on a subscription basis – you should consider collaborating with Upscribe.
Upscribe works with fast-growing subscription businesses to scale, offering them the tools they need to maximize their active subscriptions and reduce churn.