Why you should consider setting up a Shopify Store
Setting up an e-commerce store using Shopify is a tried and tested way of making money online. The best thing is you can make money fast and on the cheap with hardly any capital needed upfront; especially if you use the drop shipping method I’ll explain below. This guide will hopefully help you with setting up a successful and profitable Shopify store
Along with matched betting, which I cover here, it ranks as one of my favourite and most lucrative online money spinners.
There’s a lot of talk that the market is over saturated with online Shopify stores. I disagree!
It’s predicted there will be over 2.1 billion people shopping online by 2021. The demand for online outlets will increase with this, so there’s definitely a share of the market out there for you if you set up your shop in the right way, targeting the right market.
Just to whet your palate a little, here’s 4 successful Shopify stores and their annual revenue:-
- Flat Tummy Tea – $35 million annual revenue (for a tea shop – Crazy!!!)
- LDS Man – $1m in 92 days selling Kevlar Pants and others novelty items!
- Endy Sleep – $20m revenue business selling mattresses!
- Freshly Pickled – multi million dollar a year business selling baby shoes!
There are many more as well, a lot of whom, to begin with, just wanted to make extra money online on the side.
Setting up an online store is not an overnight task (most of the time) and you need to ensure you conduct proper research on the market you intend to target before you pull the trigger.
That’s not to say you can’t set up a profitable store fairly quickly. You can! But like anything, if you prepare and research your market properly and learn how to get your products in front of people, you’re much more likely to make your Shopify store a success.
I have written this post to hopefully help you with this amazing opportunity so you can get on with setting up a successful and profitable Shopify store today!
(I should add that this guide is not just about setting up a successful and profitable Shopify store in the UK, it will apply to anywhere).
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So what market should you sell in?
The most important part of setting up a successful and profitable Shopify store, is to pick the right market or niche to sell in.
There are few options open to you when deciding what type of store to run.
General niche: An example of this is a shop selling baby products. Your items are general baby products but they aren’t particularly specific to that niche.
- You’ll have a wide range of products and suppliers to choose from;
- You’ll be able to list more products to see what sells;
- It will allow you to target a specific customer base;
- It will be easier to brand your business;
- You’ll face stiff competition from more established shops;
- More products can be harder to manage for a newcomer;
- It will be harder to target keywords when optimising your store for search engines like Google;
- .Your market may be harder to target with advertisements than a specific niche.
Specific niche: If we stick with the baby products theme for now, an example of this might be selling baby pillows. So you would sell pillows in the baby niche but not other products in that general “baby” niche.
- You may face less competition;
- You’ll find it easier to target keywords in search engines like Google which will help increase traffic to your store;
- You will be able to target a more specific customer base than a general niche;
- You may have less products which will be easier to manage as a new shop owner;
- It will be even easier to brand your business and create a “cult” following for that brand.
- You’ll be more limited when finding suppliers and products to sell;
- If you pick an unprofitable specific niche, it will be harder to diversify your stock to get sales and find high ticket items;
General Store (no niche): With this type of store, you would sell a wide variety of products not confined to any particular niche.
- You’ll have a wide variety of products to choose from and will be able to home in on products that are selling from a wide range of areas;
- You’ll be able to work out what sells quicker so you can drop the lines that aren’t profitable;
- You will appeal to a wider audience and customer base;
- You’ll find it harder to target a specific customer base with advertisements;
- You might find it harder to create a brand;
- Selling a wide range of unrelated items might not look as professional to prospective customers using your stores.
Personally, I think using a specific niche is the best way to go for a beginner. I just feel like you can really target your customer base and create a brand catered to your audience using that model. The fact that you’ll face less competition is a massive plus point for me too.
I’ll just throw a few ideas out there that I’ve thought of whilst drafting this:-
- Baby pillows (as above)
- Hen party/Stag party gifts
- Custom made mouse mats
- Men’s engagement rings
- Baby shower gifts
- Camping stoves or pots
? My “top tip” to you is to choose a product, or products, that aren’t going to give you a massive headache with returns, safety or longevity. There are definitely products to avoid selling on Shopify!
By this I mean things like:-
Electronics: More complex high ticket electrical items with a lot of moving parts can malfunction and go wrong and before you know it, you’ll have a shed full of unwanted and broken returns that will be eating into your profit margins;
Seasonal goods: You might sell a cart load of Christmas or Easter jumpers at the right time of the year but they are only going to sell for a few weeks and then you’ll be left with a ton of items no one wants to buy for another year;
Restricted items: It’s worth bearing in mind that laws vary from country to country and from state to state. Some items that you’re making a killing on in one country, might be restricted in another;
Items with potential safety issues: The last thing you want is for your products to injure someone, resulting in some product liability lawyer on your case. So avoid items like weight loss pills, herbal medicines and wonder creams. Basically avoid anything that’s liable to maim or kill someone, unless your supplier can guarantee their safety and they’ve been approved for sale in your target country or countries. If you are going to sell these items, my advice is that you get product liability insurance in place as soon as you can;
Clothes: I don’t want to put you off selling clothes as they can be very saleable products. However, you should bear in mind that unless you’re selling one size fits all items, you’re likely to have a lot of returns that will take up your time, energy, and perhaps more importantly, your money!
I would spend a few days, at least, thinking about what product or products you want to sell. It’s very important to the success of your store, that you suss out what’s likely to sell. I would recommend you try these for inspiration:-
Amazon Best Sellers: Amazon has a section on its website that itemises all of their best selling products in each of its product categories. Whilst I don’t encourage you to just go for the first thing you see, you can get a flavour for what is selling well;
Exchange Marketplace: This is a dedicated website for selling off the shelf e-commerce businesses. It’s a great place to get inspiration and ideas. It provides details of the revenue that each shop generates which will help you understand what niches and product lines work. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you could also just buy one of the shops on there and you’ll have an established store ready to go;
Trend Hunter: This is an amazing website for the aspiring Shopify guru. It lists literally thousands of products, ideas, trend reports and business initiatives to get your brain rousing ideas for a suitable niche or market;
Ali Express: As you will read below, this is where a lot of Shopify sellers source their products. Like Amazon it also has a best sellers list that you can use to draw inspiration from for your product lines.
Choosing a name for your store
So you you’ve picked your niche or market and you now want to choose a name for your store.
Whilst choosing the right name is important, there are definitely more important things than the name of the store such as selling the right products in the right niche, getting your products in front of the right audience and creating a brand.
So I wouldn’t spend more than a day or so on this particular issue but I would try to work to the following rules:-
- Ensure the name identifies with the type of store you are creating. This will help potential customers know what type of store they are visiting;
- Keep it simple and ideally no more than 3 words. This will help people remember and identify with your brand;
- Make sure the name is available by putting it into Google search. The last thing you want is choose a name that is trademarked.
- Make sure you are happy with the name you choose because once you’ve purchased an internet domain or named your store in Shopify it will only create hassle having to change
If you are racking your brains but nothing is emerging, you could try the following:-
Shopify Name Generator – A simple generator that creates names from your niche words such as “baby” or “camping”;
Business Name Generator – A similar name generator to the above;
Naming Force – This uses the power of crowd sourcing to think up the best names for you and you then choose your preference. However, this does cost so it’s probably not the best choice if you’re creating an online store on a budget!
Choosing your e-commerce platform
It will come as no surprise to you, given the title of this blog post, that my recommended platform for setting up your store, is Shopify!
There are several alternatives that I will cover below but out of them all, Shopify is the platform I recommend. Reasons to choose Shopify include:-
- Shopfiy is literally a one stop shop for setting up an online shop . It comes with everything you need to set up a shop easily and quickly. You simply sign up for an account, choose your store name, buy a suitable domain (ie. your store web address), which you can do through Shopify, add your products and you are good to go. Shopify handles all of the web hosting as well so you don’t even need to buy separate web hosting to host your shop online;
- There are hundreds of free (and paid) awesome looking themes to choose from to give your shop that pro look so you look like a credible and profitable business from the beginning;
- It is very easy to use. You can add products at the click of a button, especially if you use the integrated Oberlo software I mention below;
- Shopify has great SEO (search engine optimisation) to get your shop found on Google and other search engines. You can add tags, describe products, add images and market your shop in a way that will improve your SEO;
- It supports a massive amount of payment gateways. Gateways are basically the facility by which your customers pay such as debit card, credit card, bank transfer, PayPal, Amazon Pay etc…
- Shopify offer a free 14 day trial so you can try out the platform before purchasing a premium package.
Alternatives to Shopify
My strong recommendation is to use Shopify for your online store but if you’re looking for other options then you might want to consider the following:-
If you are thinking about setting up a store with Shopify then why wait – you can join and utilise their free trial right away. If it’s not for you, then you can just cancel. Simple!