How to Make Money on Shopify: 13 Best Ways

Many brands choose Shopify for a reason: it’s a platform that helps entrepreneurs, crafters, and makers succeed in online business. Shopify provides valuable tools, including an easy website builder, attractive pre-designed themes, and 24/7 customer support. No wonder it’s an industry standard!

But making money on Shopify goes beyond selling products. You can use your Shopify skills in various ways, such as creating websites for clients or promoting the platform.

In this article, we’ll explore practical ideas for making money on Shopify, whether you’re selling handmade products, offering personalized services, or developing apps. 

13 Ways to Make Money on Shopify

There are various ways to make money on Shopify. You can sell vintage items, offer specialized services, or become a Shopify expert to assist other entrepreneurs.

Now, let’s explore 13 top ideas for making money with Shopify:

1. Start an online store

One of the easiest ways to make money on Shopify is by starting your own online store.

Shopify is famous for its user-friendly platform, which makes setting up an online store a breeze. You can sell almost anything you like, whether it’s handmade crafts, services you offer, or products you’re reselling.

Here’s how simple it is:

  • Choose a stylish Shopify theme to make your store look great.
  • Add and manage your products effortlessly.
  • Your customers can browse and buy without any hassle.

But remember, attracting and keeping customers takes some effort. So, don’t forget to explore effective customer retention strategies to boost your sales.

If you’re not quite ready for a full online store, you can start small with Shopify’s Starter option. This allows you to sell products directly from your social media profiles, like Instagram and Facebook, making it a convenient way to start making money online.

2. Start a dropshipping business

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a business without a big upfront investment, consider dropshipping. And guess what? Shopify is the most popular platform to help you launch your dropshipping store.

Here’s why you should use Shopify for dropshipping:

  • No inventory management: Dropshipping is an fulfilment method where you can sell products without inventory. You only have to place an order with your supplier when your Shopify store receives a new order from customers. 
  • Automatic order fulfilment: If you use DSers, a dropshipping automation tool that can be integrated with Shopify, you can even fulfil your orders in a few clicks. 
  • Intuitive interface: With Shopify, you don’t need any coding skills to set up and optimise your product catalog, prices, checkout pages, and payment gateway. 

In my experience, Shopify dropshipping is a profitable venture. You can expect to make around $10,000 to $20,000 a month if you’re committed to product research and promotion using social media ads.

3. Sell print-on-demand products

Print-on-demand (POD) is a business model where products are only printed and shipped once an order is placed. This eliminates the need for inventory and upfront costs. You can sell customized merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and more by partnering with print-on-demand providers like Printful, Printify, or Gelato. These providers handle the printing, packaging, and shipping, allowing store owners to focus on design and marketing.

There’s no need to invest in inventory or storage. You only pay for products when you make a sale. Since products are made to order, there’s no risk of unsold inventory. You can easily scale your business without worrying about production capacity or logistics.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Set Up Your Shopify Store: Sign up for Shopify, choose a plan, and customize your store with themes and branding.
  2. Choose a Print-On-Demand Partner: Select a POD provider like Printify or Printful. Integrate their app with your Shopify store to sync product data and automate order fulfillment.
  3. Design Your Products: Create or commission designs for your products. Use high-quality graphics to attract customers.
  4. List Your Products: Add your designed products to your Shopify store. Optimize product listings with high-quality images, SEO-friendly titles, and descriptions.

You can use social media, email marketing, and SEO to drive traffic to your store. Once an order is placed, it is automatically sent to your POD provider for production and shipping. 

4. Sell handmade or custom products

Selling handmade or custom products on Shopify is an excellent way to monetize your creativity and craftsmanship. This approach involves creating and selling unique items, such as jewelry, art, or personalized gifts, directly to consumers. It’s ideal for artisans and makers who want to build a brand around their unique creations. Shopify provides tools to customize your store, manage inventory, and process orders efficiently.

Handmade items often command higher prices due to their uniqueness and quality. You can establish a strong brand identity by showcasing your craftsmanship and story.

Shopify makes creating a beautiful website easy, even if you’re not a tech expert or a design pro. They offer a wide variety of great website themes that you can customize to match your brand.

For example, themes like “Studio” are perfect for artists and makers. They come with cool features like image galleries and product videos, so you can show off your best work.

Don’t forget to choose a theme that lets you add pop-ups, calls-to-action, and promotions (like sales and events) effortlessly. These tools can help you market your products even better and connect with more potential customers.

5. Sell digital products and downloads

Selling digital products on Shopify involves offering intangible items such as ebooks, music, videos, online courses, and software. These products are delivered electronically, eliminating the need for physical inventory and shipping logistics. Shopify supports digital products through various apps that facilitate the upload, management, and delivery of these items.

Once created, your digital products can be sold repeatedly without additional production costs, leading to higher profit margins. Many processes, such as delivery and customer communication, can be automated, saving you time and effort.

Here’s a list of common digital products and downloads you can sell:

  • E-books
  • Apps
  • Games
  • Online courses
  • Photos
  • Themes
  • Podcasts
  • Songs

Now, here’s why Shopify can make your digital product business a success:

  • It can be easily integrated with other tools and apps.
  • You get free themes and templates to make your online store look appealing.
  • Built-in SEO tools and a blogging platform help more people find your site on Google. 

So, whether you’re a writer, designer, or teacher, selling digital products is a great way to make money, and Shopify has the tools to help you do it well.

6. Sell thrifted or vintage goods

Selling thrifted or vintage goods involves sourcing unique, pre-owned items and reselling them online. These items can range from clothing and accessories to home decor and furniture.

The appeal of vintage goods lies in their uniqueness, quality, and historical value, making them highly sought after by collectors and fashion enthusiasts.

If you’re looking to set up an online vintage store, Shopify is a popular e-commerce platform that’s tailor-made for this venture.

Here’s why:

  • Customizable Storefront: Shopify lets you create a unique storefront that reflects your brand’s personality and showcases your vintage items in a way that resonates with your customers.
  • Powerful Features: This platform offers a suite of powerful tools to simplify selling vintage items online. You’ll find a secure payment gateway, flexible shipping options, and an intuitive inventory management system, all designed to make your business run smoothly.

So, whether you’re passionate about vintage fashion or retro decor, Shopify can be your go-to choice for building a trendy and sustainable vintage store that appeals to eco-conscious shoppers.

7. Start your own clothing line or accessory brand

Starting your own clothing line or accessory brand involves designing, producing, and selling your own fashion products. This can include anything from t-shirts and dresses to handbags and jewelry. Building a brand allows you to express your creativity and connect with a specific target audience.

Shopify is a powerful platform for launching a clothing line or accessory brand. It offers customizable themes tailored for fashion brands, integrated marketing tools, and a variety of apps to enhance the shopping experience.

Here’s how you can turn your creative ideas into cash by launching your own clothing line on Shopify:

  • Connect with Printful or Printify: Link your Shopify store to one of these apps. Then, select the products you want to feature your designs on and upload your artwork.
  • Print on Demand: When customers order a product, these apps will automatically fulfil the order. After collecting their fees from the payment, they’ll start creating the item. 
  • Shipping: Apps like Printful handle both printing and shipping. They’ll ship the product to your customer’s address once it has been created.

Learn more: How to Make Money Selling T-Shirts Online

8. Start an affiliate business

Affiliate marketing is a good way to make money with Shopify. It’s a commission-based model that can be lucrative. Here are two options you can explore:

  • Create Your Affiliate Program: You can use some of Shopify’s top affiliate marketing apps to set up your own affiliate program for your store. With this approach, influencers, other websites, and stores will promote your products through their platforms. In return, you pay them a commission. It’s a win-win because it helps you reach more people and potentially boost your sales.
  • Sell Affiliate Products in Your Shopify Store: If your store already has a decent following and you want to offer a wider range of products, think about reselling affiliate products. You earn a commission for each sale, which can add to your profits.

But there’s another exciting option: You can become a Shopify Affiliate yourself! The Shopify Affiliate program is open to content creators, educators, influencers, and anyone who wants to inspire others to start their own businesses with Shopify. 

As a partner, you encourage your audience to sign up for a paid Shopify business plan, and you earn commissions for each sign-up. It’s a great way to promote entrepreneurship and earn some extra income in the process.

9. Monetize your social media

Shopify has an influencer marketing program called Shopify Collabs. The program simplifies the process of finding and partnering with brands. It provides a centralized platform where you can discover brands that align with your audience and values.

If you have a decent following on social media, you can recommend products you genuinely like to your followers and earn a commission when they buy.

Here’s how it works:

  • Set Up Your Shopify Collabs Account: Install the Shopify Collabs app from the Shopify App Store and create an account. Connect your social media accounts and provide information about your content and audience.
  • Find and Apply to Brands: Use the Shopify Collabs platform to browse and discover brands that align with your niche and audience. Apply to join their affiliate programs or collaboration opportunities.
  • Create and Share Content: Once accepted into a brand’s program, create authentic and engaging content that promotes their products. Share this content across your social media platforms, blog, or other channels where your audience is active. You can use unique affiliate links or discount codes provided by the brand to track sales and commissions. 
  • Track Performance and Get Paid: Use Shopify Collabs’ analytics tools to monitor the performance of your campaigns. Track metrics such as link clicks, sales, and engagement to understand what works best. You can set up your payout method, such as PayPal, to receive commissions automatically based on the sales generated through your affiliate links.

Remember to maintain open communication with your brand partners to build strong, long-term relationships. Provide feedback on campaigns and collaborate on new ideas to keep the partnership mutually beneficial.

10. Develop a Shopify app or theme

When you develop an app and sell it through the Shopify App Store, you get to keep a significant portion of the sales revenue. The exact percentage you keep depends on the pricing plan you choose. For themes, you retain all your revenue until you’ve made over $1 million, after which you keep 85% of the revenue.

It’s important to understand the distinction between apps and themes in the Shopify ecosystem. When we talk about apps, we’re referring to external software that integrates with Shopify to enhance its functionality. 

These apps are usually created by third-party developers and are available for purchase through the Shopify App Store. They go beyond simply updating your shop’s theme with HTML snippets.

Shopify apps come in various categories, each offering unique benefits:

  • Sourcing and selling products
  • Store design
  • Merchandising
  • Marketing
  • Conversion optimization
  • Fulfillment
  • Shipping and delivery
  • Customer service
  • Store management

These apps can add special features that improve the seller’s experience and make it easier for customers to interact with online shops. For example, you could integrate an app that streamlines the checkout process or boosts your site’s SEO.

If you’re looking to go beyond the basics, you can even create your own custom app or theme from scratch. This allows you to tailor your online store to your unique vision and needs.

However, it’s essential to note that developing an app or theme doesn’t guarantee instant success. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You’ll have to cover all the development costs yourself.
  • Your app may not be approved for the Shopify App Store.
  • Even if it is approved, you’ll likely need to invest in marketing efforts to stand out in a competitive marketplace.

So, while creating a Shopify app or theme can be a rewarding endeavor, it also comes with its challenges and uncertainties.

11. Offer your freelance service

Building a Shopify website can help your freelance work look more professional and attract more clients.

As a freelancer, you can use Shopify to sell your services online by setting fixed prices for them, just like you would for physical products. You simply list your services as if they were products and turn off the shipping option. This approach works well for freelance writers, graphic designers, web developers, and app developers.

This approach is often called ‘drop servicing.’ Unlike dropshipping, you’re not shipping physical products to customers. Instead, they pay you through the platform for the services you provide. To make it a reliable source of income, you’ll still need to network and market your services effectively.

12. Help other business owners set up Shopify stores

If you’ve got the know-how when it comes to Shopify, there are some exciting opportunities for you to make money. Many business owners are willing to pay for your expertise in setting up their Shopify stores.

You can promote yourself as a Shopify developer on platforms where freelancers offer their services. Alternatively, you can consider teaming up with web development companies to provide your expertise.

If you’ve already achieved success with Shopify, you can officially become a Shopify Partner. This opens the door to helping other entrepreneurs establish and grow their online businesses. This assistance could involve tasks like design, development, marketing, SEO, image optimization, and more.

As a Shopify Partner, you can offer your services to store owners. You can either charge a fixed fee for your services or take a percentage of their future sales. This can lead to ongoing relationships with clients who will return when they require further assistance.

Shopify Partners can create profiles on the Shopify Experts Marketplace. This platform allows store owners to hire experts for various projects. You can set your rates for services, although Shopify does take a 10% commission.

According to Shopify, one in three merchants reaches out to a Shopify Partner every six months. So, this could be a nice side gig or even a full-time job for you.

13. Sell online courses

You can generate passive income by sharing your expertise through online courses on your Shopify store. Create these courses based on topics you are passionate and knowledgeable about, whether it’s SEO, social media marketing, music production, writing, acting, dance, or any other skill you excel in.

Upload your courses and tutorials as restricted pages on your website, possibly within your blog section. Then, offer memberships to your customers, granting them exclusive access to this content.

Selling access to your website’s content is a simple way to profit from your courses using Shopify. You can create web pages and blog posts containing videos and audio files and charge customers for access.

To provide a more comprehensive course experience, you can also incorporate external tools. For example, you can use platforms like Skype or Zoom for one-on-one sessions, or utilize tools like SurveyMonkey for students to take tests and quizzes.

Learn more: How to Make Money Selling Online Courses

Tips for Making Money on Shopify

1. Find Your Niche

In the competitive world of e-commerce, it’s crucial to stand out. 

Start by identifying your unique niche. Research your target customers, understand their preferences, and learn where they shop. 

Then, offer products or services that cater to their needs on the platforms they frequent.

2. Promote Your Store

If you want to attract more customers to your Shopify store and start earning quickly, you need to develop a marketing strategy.

Here are some popular ways to promote a Shopify store:

  • Optimize for Search Engines: Enhance your online visibility by following a Shopify SEO guide.
  • Leverage Social Media: Combine your social media presence with SEO strategies to monetize it effectively.
  • Email Marketing: Create automated email campaigns to showcase your products and engage your audience.
  • Paid Advertising: Run well-planned paid ad campaigns for quicker results.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Launch affiliate programs using top Shopify affiliate apps.
  • Referral Programs: Encourage customers to refer others with a Shopify referral app.

3. Write clear product descriptions

Providing comprehensive product information is essential for keeping customers satisfied and minimizing returns. 

To achieve this, use high-quality images, precise measurements, and detailed product descriptions to help customers make informed decisions.

Besides, you should clearly explain the functionality of your products and highlight any unique features that set them apart from the competition.

If you offer products in various colors and sizes, ensure that these options are easily accessible on each product listing for a seamless shopping experience.

4. Offer Outstanding Customer Service

Great customer service plays a crucial role in cultivating customer loyalty and encouraging repeat business. To achieve this, follow these guidelines:

  • Accessible Communication: Make it effortless for customers to get in touch with inquiries while they’re shopping. Offer a variety of communication options like live chat, email, and phone support.
  • Transparent Policies: Clearly explain your return and exchange policies to customers, ensuring they understand what to expect.
  • Utilize Shopify Apps: Consider using Shopify’s store management apps, such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, to provide efficient customer support and monitor order progress.
  • Showcase Satisfied Customers: Actively gather reviews from happy customers and prominently display their testimonials on your store. This helps establish trust with potential buyers.
  • Consistency is Key: Maintain a consistent level of excellent customer service. Respond to inquiries promptly and ensure orders are shipped on time.


Is Shopify good for beginners?

Yes, Shopify is beginner-friendly. Simply create a Shopify account and let Shopify walk you through how to build pages, pick a theme, and add products to your catalog.

How much does it cost to start a Shopify store?

Shopify pricing plans vary depending on your needs. The simple pricing breakdown is as follows:

  • Basic: $39/month
  • Shopify: $105/month
  • Advanced: $399/month

Figuring out the best Shopify pricing plan for your store can be tricky. Keep in mind that you can upgrade at any time if you feel your store needs more than the basic plan, like inventory locations, staff accounts, etc.

How long does it take to make money on Shopify?

There’s no hard and fast answer to how quickly you’ll start to make money on Shopify – it could be days, weeks, or even months. It would be reasonable to expect your first sale after 30 days of opening. You can increase your chance of making money by having a solid business plan and a strategic marketing plan in place.

How much does Shopify take in per item?

The amount Shopify deducts depends on your plan and the payment method used by customers. The fees also vary for online vs. in-store purchases.

How long does it take to build a Shopify store?

All things considered, Shopify is a user-friendly ecommerce platform. However, the amount of time it takes to build a Shopify store varies based on variables like:

  • Your familiarity with Shopify
  • How many products you want to add to your store
  • How much customizing you want to do to your store

How much money can you make dropshipping on Shopify?

An average estimate for Shopify dropshipping businesses is $1,000-$2,000 per month.

However, with a long-term strategy and one of the top Shopify dropshipping apps, you can scale your Shopify earnings from dropshipping quickly.

What to sell on Shopify to make money?

The most common products to sell on Shopify and make money include clothing (especially print on demand), cosmetics and accessories, sports products, and home decor.

That being said, if you have a niche you know inside and out, don’t be afraid to venture into other options and build something truly unique.

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