In this post we give you 25 super Shopify side hustle ideas. Read on to discover ways that you can use this popular ecommerce platform to generate extra cash and discover a bunch of business ideas that you may not have thought of before…
1. Start a dropshipping business
Dropshipping is a way of selling online where you don’t buy, make or buy the products on your store. Instead, you take orders via your online store and pass them onto a supplier (AliExpress, Spocket, etc.) who then fulfils your order.
How to dropship with Shopify — video guide
The main advantage of dropshipping is that it’s a low-risk way to start a business — you don’t need much in the way of capital to start doing it. When you dropship, you simply become a ‘middle man,’ marking up other people’s products; and if your store is a success, it can prove to be a reliable source of passive income.
To dropship effectively, you’ll usually need to identify products that are in high demand and that have a good profit margin. You should also choose suppliers that are reliable, ethical and have a good track record of fulfilling orders quickly and accurately.
Tip: Shopify gives you a free dropshipping starter kit containing a trial of the platform plus several helpful resources and tutorials to help you get going with the dropshipping model. You can learn more about this here.
2. Sell print-on-demand products
Print-on-demand services (like Printful or Printify) are a popular way to create unique t-shirts, mugs, phone cases and more without the need for inventory management or production costs.
You upload your designs to a chosen service and specify what products you’d like them printed on; you’re then given access to mockups of products that you can sell on your own online store. When a visitor to your store orders one, your chosen print-on-demand service will handle all the rest — manufacture, shipping, returns etc.
3. Sell digital products
Selling digital products like ebooks, music, printable resources or software can help you build a very profitable business; once you’ve created your digital product, there are no manufacture or production costs to worry about again.
Although it’s usually a good idea to ensure that the production values of a digital product are strong, even very lo-fi digital products can prove immensely popular and generate a lot of revenue for a store.
You can sell digital goods easily on Shopify using its free ‘Digital Downloads’ app (pictured below).
4. Sell niche products
Shopify is a platform that a lot of people turn to in order to start selling physical items. And it’s very good for doing this.
However, the Internet is awash with stores selling everything under the sun, so in order to have the best chance of succeeding in this competitive market it makes a lot of sense to focus heavily on niche products — items that may not have the biggest audience, but in which there is keen interest. Examples of these might be products relating to very specific interests or hobbies, handmade goods, a clothing line in a very specific fashion style and antiques.
If your niche products can command premium prices, and you can attract the right audience to your store, then you can end up with a particularly profitable Shopify side hustle.
5. Sell subscription boxes
Selling subscription boxes can be a great way to make money with Shopify. You curate a selection of products to send to subscribers on a regular basis — and generate a recurring revenue stream in the process.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to make these products yourself — you can collaborate with small businesses and artisans to create custom products that are only available in your subscription box.
Food, drinks and coffee beans tend to work well as products to include in a Shopify subscription box service.
6. Sell educational products
Selling educational products or services can be a profitable Shopify side hustle. You can offer online courses, ebooks, or tutoring services that help people learn new skills or improve their knowledge.
(This works best when you can offer accreditation as part of your offering.)
7. Sell personalized products
Selling made-to-order, personalized items can be a great Shopify side hustle, because they are truly unique and stand out from more generic goods. You could for example offer wedding gifts that feature the names of the happy couple; engraved jewellery; or customizations made to items that a visitor to your store already owns.
The only thing to note here is that selling in this way will usually involve adding a third-party app to your Shopify store — the platform doesn’t provide a tool for doing this easily out of the box. Lots of these are available in the Shopify app store, however.
8. Sell your skills
If you have a skill, you can sell it on Shopify. Whether you’re an event planner, a business coach, a therapist, a motivational speaker or a gardener, you can make yourself available for hire easily using the platform.
Tip: Shopify is currently letting you use the platform for free for a few days, and then subscribe to any of its plans for just $1 per month (for your first three months). This offer is likely to be available for a limited time only — learn more about the trial here.
9. Provide design or development services to Shopify store owners
If you have the relevant design or development skills, you can offer these as a service to Shopify store owners. Simple customizations of themes and more advanced coding work can command high prices.
You can gain customers for your services by listing your business on the Shopify Experts website.
10. Create and sell Shopify apps
Shopify has a huge number of users — over 4 million in fact — and lots of these are on the look out for apps that can enhance their store in various ways (add-ons that give Shopify store owners new features or integrations with other services). So, if you have coding skills, a good way of putting them to use is via app development for the platform.
To succeed with a Shopify app side hustle, it’s important to focus on quality and innovation. Make sure your app provides genuine value to Shopify store owners and is easy to install and use.
11. Provide Shopify consulting services
If you’ve built a lot of stores from scratch with Shopify in the past, you could consider offering consulting services to businesses looking to start a Shopify store. This can include helping with setup, content creationg, design, and marketing.
12. Offer Shopify store maintenance
So long as you’re very familiar with the Shopify platform (including its technical aspects), you can offer website maintenance services for Shopify stores, including product updates, backups, and security checks.
13. Provide shipping and fulfillment services
You can provide shipping and fulfillment services for Shopify store owners who need help with order processing and shipping logistics. To succeed with a shipping and fulfillment side hustle, it’s important to have strong organizational and time-management skills. You should also have a good understanding of shipping carriers and rates.
14. Offer digital marketing services
An online store only becomes successful when a lot of people know about its existence — and digital marketing is usually key to generating this awareness. So there’s a lot of potential revenue in the provision of online marketing services to Shopify store owners — these can include creating and managing social media accounts; content creation; and running PPC ad campaigns.
15. Provide search engine optimization (SEO) services
So long as you’ve got the relevant skills, you can generate a lot of revenue by offering SEO services to Shopify store owners. These can include keyword research, on-page optimization, content production, local SEO and link building.
Video guide to Shopify SEO
16. Provide customer support for Shopify merchants
Building a store and shipping goods is only one part of running a Shopify business — fielding customer queries and handling returns and exchanges is a huge part of the process too. Time-stretched merchants are often in need of a partner to provide customer support to their customers — and you could be that partner.
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17. Provide product photography or videography services
Product photos and videos are a crucial component of a successful Shopify store — and not every merchant has the right skills to produce these professionally themselves. You can step in here by offering a service that creates beautiful product photos and videos for a Shopify catalog, or shooting lifestyle or branding content that brings a store to life.
18. Offer virtual assistant services
When a Shopify-based business grows, it generates a lot of admin work that its owner can struggle to deal with. Why not offer virtual assistant (VA) services to Shopify store owners who need help with this? For example you could charge a fee to sort out tasks like managing emails, scheduling appointments, and organizing files.
So long as you’re qualified, you could also offer accountancy and bookkeeping services to Shopify store owners.
19. Offer translation services
Shopify increasingly provides a lot of multilingual and multi-currency features, and as a result a lot of its users are taking advantage of these and selling their products internationally. You can profit from this increase in global selling buy offering translation services for Shopify store owners who need help with presenting their web content and product descriptions in different languages.
20. Offer content writing services
Behind a lot of successful online stores you’ll often find great content that attracts visitors and customers.
But not every Shopify merchant is a great writer, and there’s a big market for talented writers who can create posts that really draw people in. If that sounds like you, there may be a profitable side hustle available to you as a content writer or producer.
21. Offer influencer marketing services
You can offer influencer marketing services for Shopify store owners. If you’re an influencer yourself, you can use your platform to highlight and promote merchants’ products; if not, identifying and collaborating with influencers to promote items for sale on Shopify stores might also prove to be a viable side hustle.
22. Provide inventory management services
As a Shopify-based business grows, inventory becomes a larger and larger headache for Shopify store owners — tracking and storing stock can get very complex, quite quickly. You can ease these merchants’ pain by providing inventory management services for Shopify store owners. Such services typically involve tracking inventory, forecasting demand and managing supplier relationships.
23. Flip Shopify stores
If you’ve got the budget and business skills to do so, you can consider ‘flipping’ Shopify stores. This involves buying a Shopify store, making it more profitable, and selling it at a higher price than you bought it for.
24. Take your existing brick and mortar store online
If you run an existing ‘brick and mortar’ store — i.e., one that sells products in a physical location (like a retail outlet or a market stall) — you can use Shopify to take it online. You’ll already have a product line and stock — so it should be a simple case of using Shopify to create a virtual version of your existing business.
You may find that using Shopify’s point-of-sale features you’ll actually be able to enhance the operations of your physical business in the process — Shopify’s POS system lets you accept payments in physical locations and syncs inventory data with your online store so that your stock levels remain accurate.
What is a point of sale system?
25. Monetize an existing blog
If you have a blog that generates a lot of traffic, Shopify can provide you with a great way to monetize it. Using its ‘Buy Button’ feature, you can embed products easily into your existing posts — your readers can then simply click an ‘add to cart’ button to buy a product that is relevant to what they’re reading about.
And that’s that — 25 ideas on how to create a successful Shopify side hustle! Good luck with starting your new business and if you have any questions about Shopify, do leave them in the comments section below. We read them all and will do our best to help.
Shopify side hustles — FAQ
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is a piece of work that you get paid for doing in addition to doing your day job. In ecommerce, it’s often understood as the process of setting up your own online store as a side business. If successful, a side hustle can provide significant extra income, but you will usually need to invest money (and your spare time!) in it to make it work.
How do I start a Shopify side hustle?
Starting a Shopify side hustle generally involves picking a business idea, starting a Shopify trial, adding your products or services to your store, choosing a Shopify pricing plan and launching your store.
Are side hustles legal?
Yes — although you will have to declare income you make using them to tax authorities, and if you’re employed you may need to check your contract to see if you are permitted to run a separate business in addition to performing your day job.
Is dropshipping a good side hustle?
Dropshipping can be a good side hustle because it involves little or no startup costs. However, because of its low-risk nature, it is a very competitive business model and you will have to pick your niche carefully and market your store effectively to make a success of it.