Many courses out there are trying to promote Shopify as the best platform for building a dropshipping business.
But is Shopify only for dropshipping?
Or is it possible that some of the 1,000,000+ business that use Shopify are using it to make money with other business models?
These questions and more, I will be answering in this short article, and will give you many ideas for making money with this platform that maybe be better for you.
Is Shopify Only for Dropshipping?
No, Shopify is not only for dropshipping as there are many ways to use a Shopify store or website in order to run a business online and make money.
Following are eleven business ideas and models for using Shopify to make money that prove that Shopify is not for dropshipping only.
11 Uses of Shopify Different from Dropshipping
1 – POD & Merchandise
Print-on-Demand (POD) is a model that is similar to dropshipping as where you sell products that you don’t own, and you let others do the fulfillment, but it is more unique as you can have your touch on the design and look of the product you sell.
With this model, you create a certain design that connects with a certain audience, basketball lovers for example, and then you add that design to different products like t-shirts, hoodies, sneakers, mugs, blankets, phone cases, …etc.
And then you list these products on your Shopify store and promote them, and when someone purchases a product and pays you the money, you then pay the vendor or the fulfillment facility their own price and ask them to fulfill the order and ship it to the customer on your behalf.
You can use Shopify to make money with this model as an alternative to dropshipping, and you can make designs in any niche you want.
Or if you already have a personal brand, you can do your own merchandise and sell it through Shopify and print on demand services that have apps.
2 – Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products on Shopify doesn’t necessarily mean dropshipping, even though Shopify is really good for dropshipping.
If you own a physical store where you sell physical products, you can sell your own physical products on a Shopify store as well.
Other alternatives to dropshipping on Shopify could be selling homemade products that you don’t know where to sell, licensed items that you can buy in bulk and you have the permission to sell online, jewelry, antique, collectibles, second-hand items, …etc.
Or could be stuff relatd to your own brand, like Ryan Holiday on his Shopify website where he sells stoic-inspired items.
3 – Sell Food, Drinks & Herbs
If you manage a restaurant and you want to set up an online store for your menu and receive orders online, you can use Shopify in order to set up your “online restaurant”.
Or, you might be preparing food in your own kitchen or at home and you don’t have a restaurant.
Other options could be selling drinks, or even herbs and beans that you can even ship nationally or internationally.
4 – Sell Art & DIY Products (Crafts, Photography, Drawings, …etc.)
You might be an artist who likes to paint, draw, take photos, do crafty things, and you might want to sell them.
Maybe you like to do DIY projects such as woodworks and welding projects.
You can sell these online by setting up a Shopify store to show your works and sell them without having a local physical store or showroom.
5 – Sell Digital Products (Books, Courses, Music Beats, Software)
Shopify has many apps that you can use in order to make money with it without doing dropshipping.
And some of these apps allow you to sell digital downloads like ebooks, designs, digital photos, templates, …etc.
You can also sell video courses that are either downloadable, or courses that students have to login online in order to watch them.
You can sell many other types of digital products such as mp3 files that could be music beats, meditations, your own podcasts, …etc.
You can also sell video classes that you host on Zoom, but receive the payments on Shopify.
Or you can even sell software programs.
Make sure though that whatever you sell is something you have the rights to sell, such as products that you created by yourself, or products that you purchased resell rights for.
6 – Sell Your Services
You don’t have to sell products in order to use Shopify, but you can also sell services that you provide and receive payments through Shopify.
Examples of services that you could sell with Shopify as an alternative to dropshipping are:
- Web based services such as: web development, seo, social media management, PPC campaign management, …etc.
- Design services such as: photo editing, banners and graphics design, …etc.
- Writing, editing and translation services.
- Auditing, accounting, bookkeeping, …etc.
- Nutrition and dieting.
- Pet training.
- And many more services.
7 – Dropservicing
This is a concept that arose in the past few years as an alternative to the competitive Shopify dropshipping model.
Dropservicing means that you sell services to others, and similar to dropshipping, you don’t actually do the services by yourself, but instead, you outsource them from someone else that you can find online or offline, or someone that you can hire through online freelance market places like Fiverr, UpWork, iWriter, and others.
You basically sell at the price you want, and you get the work done by someone who charges less than what you do, and you keep the margin for yourself.
Compared to dropshipping, you can make good money with few clients and few orders, but the hard thing is that it takes better marketing and sales skills to sell high-ticket services.
8 – Sell Appointments & Events Tickets
If you run events as part of your making money strategy, whether local events at a specific place, or even virtual events like webinars or summits, you need to issue tickets for these events.
And although there are many ticketing services online, but these are now owned by you, and you have to usually drive your audience to their platforms or websites in order to make a booking.
This looks unprofessional and might make you lose a lot of prospective customers because in many cases their websites show ads that might distract your potential customers from buying your tickets.
But with Shopify, you can use certain apps in order to help your customers buy tickets and book spots at your events on your own website that is built on website, and these tickets will be unique and consistent with your branding.
And you can also use Shopify to help your clients book appointments if you provide one-on-one services, whether at your local business such as a consultation office, auditing office, clinic, …etc., or online such as consultations, private classes, …etc.
You can specify the days and hours that you can provide your service at, and then allow your clients to book the spot that fits them and either pay for it online, or cash when they arrive to your business location when they arrive.
9 – Subscriptions
Membership programs are a good way of making a stable income with your business.
Maybe you have an online business, or even an offline business, and depending on your industry and niche, you know that there’s benefit to your customers if they get monthly access to you in order to receive something like:
- An advanced set of resources.
- Tools, calculators or software programs.
- Regular consultation sessions.
- Video or audio lessons.
- Exclusive articles and case studies.
- And more.
You can give them access to these resources and services if they subscribe to a monthly membership that you offer.
And Shopify allows you to create such a membership program and receive monthly payments automatically using different apps.
Don’t underestimate this method of using Shopify for your business as it is much easier to sell existing happy clients a membership that gets you a consistent, recurring income than to try to get new clients.
10 – Blogging & Affiliate Marketing
Although I recommend using WordPress for blogging and for building affiliate marketing businesses, but still, Shopify is one of the options that allow you to do the same.
The nice thing is that if you use Shopify for blogging and affiliate marketing, you can still add dropshipping to your website as you can create product pages, and you can link to them from relevant articles on your blog, or you can embed “Buy Now” buttons directly into your blog posts.
11 – Receive Payments for Another Site
You may already have a WordPress website, or any kind of site, or even a Facebook page or an Instagram profile, and you want to sell physical or digital products, but you don’t know how to receive payments.
Or maybe you want to monetize your Instagram account or Facebook page but you don’t know how.
You can use Shopify Lite plan that doesn’t cost much in order to create product listings, add pricing and shipping terms, and start selling products without having to create a whole store on Shopify.
Then you embed a “Buy Now” button for specific products on relevant pages on your blog or website, and people can click on these buttons in order to pay and buy through the powerful Shopify platform.
Or you can integrate Shopify Lite with your Facebook page or Instagram profile, in order to list your items as if you have a store on Facebook or Instagram, and people can explore them, buy and pay you through Shopify’s platform.
Conclusion – Should You Use Shopify for Dropshipping Only?
No, you can use Shopify for many other purposes and ways to make money and not only for doing dropshipping.
Above were eleven ideas that others are actually using Shopify in order to generate income with.
The nice thing is that Shopify is good for beginners to use as it is super-intuitive and easy to learn and manage by almost anyone without technical experience.
If you think that any of the above mentioned methods connects with you, and that you want to see if it is possible to use Shopify in order to make money with it, but not sure whether you should subscribe for Shopify or not, then you can sign up for the Shopify 14-day trial now and try it for free for two weeks in order to see how easy it is to use.
And if you have any question regarding anything I mentioned here, you can tell me in the comments’ section below, and I will be happy to answer you asap 🙂