Side Hustle Spotlight: Online Shop

Blog | October 4th, 2021

If you have strong organizational and customer service skills, a side hustle as an online shop owner might be profitable.

Online sales are steadily growing in the U.S. During the second quarter of 2021, 13.3% of total sales were from online purchases, a 7.6% increase from the previous quarter. That’s a staggering $211.7 billion in sales. 

There is plenty of money to be made in online sales. Shopping online gives customers the freedom to shop at any time of day, allows a retailer to make sales all over the country or even the globe, and provides shoppers with the convenience of making their purchases from home.

In addition, there are plenty of website-creating platforms that make it quick and simple to create an online shop. Even with no coding experience, you can set up an eCommerce store in one afternoon.

At the same time, you will need certain skills to profit from an online shop successfully: organization, customer service, marketing, and, of course, a great product idea.

How to Get Started

Setting up a successful online shop takes a little planning upfront. First, you will need to decide what product you are going to sell. 

You will then need to determine the price you want to set for the product. Take into account all the costs involved, including shipping, and set a price high enough to make a reasonable profit but low enough that customers will be willing to pay it.

Once you have chosen a product and set the price, you will need to decide whether you will warehouse the products yourself or use a drop-shipping company. 

Drop-shipping is a process by which a third party holds the inventory of the product you are selling. When you receive orders, you pass them along to the drop-shipping company, which ships the ordered items.

Each of these approaches has advantages and drawbacks. You will need to weigh the options to see which will work best for you.

Next, you will need to come up with a name for your business and create a website. During this process, you will need to set up payment options for your customers, including credit card payments with programs like PayPal and Apple Pay. Most website-creating platforms will walk you through this process. 

Finally, you will need to decide how you are going to market your product. An amazing product sold through a gorgeous website will still generate no profit if no one knows about it.

Related: Side Hustle Spotlight: Virtual Assistant

Training and Certifications

Before you start selling your product, you will need to set up your tax ID and prepare to collect sales tax. It’s a good idea to meet with an attorney before launching your business to ascertain that you comply with all local and federal requirements.

You will also need to set up a product liability insurance policy for your business. 

Expected Return

The profits you make from your online shop will depend on your product and niche. Generally, the average eCommerce gross profit margin is around 40%.