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Waking up early to the 9-to-5 grind, slaving away in hopes of a salary bump, and saving what little money you can for a yearly vacation – not a happy thought.

Of course, some companies pay well enough to keep their employees happy. But not everyone is attuned to cubicle life – some prefer greater work flexibility and location independence. And by some, we mean 90% of all workers in the US

Thanks to the recent boom in eCommerce, working from home, on your own business, and on your terms is no longer a pipe dream, but a goal anyone willing to put in the leg work can achieve. 

Ready to start your journey? Here are 9 eCommerce business ideas to get your creative juices flowing in 2024. Go check them out!

9 eCommerce Business Ideas to Start in 2024

  • Get into NFTs
  • Start dropshipping
  • Create online courses
  • Sell handmade products
  • Dabble in subscription boxes
  • Go big on natural products
  • Become an affiliate marketer
  • Cater to Pet Owners
  • Set up a private label Amazon store

1. Get into NFTs

Technology is advancing faster than the average person can keep track of. Take the James Webb Space Telescope, for example, which has revolutionized our understanding of the universe, or ChatGPT, an AI chatbot capable of producing human-like conversations. 

Geeky stuff aside, recent tech advancements also offer abundant opportunities to earn online, one which is through NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens. Simply put, NFTs are digital files or assets that are bought and sold. These include images, games, videos, and art (you might’ve already come across images of dripped-out chimpanzees wearing sunglasses – those are NFTs)

If you have a creative side, you can create and upload your art to popular marketplaces and sell them to the highest bidder (usually bought and sold with cryptocurrency). Although it may take time to learn the ropes, the world of NFTs is ever-growing and can quickly be adopted as a side hustle.

2. Start Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method that allows people to market and ship products to customers without keeping them in stock. A dropshipper is essentially a middleman who doesn’t invest capital in inventory or branding and promotes products on behalf of their supplier. 

Why is dropshipping a good option? Because you can start with very little money. Popular online marketplaces like Amazon allow sellers to dropship products (with set guidelines), and plenty of how-to guides online will help you get up to speed.

A disclaimer: the term ‘dropshipping business’ is an oxymoron, i.e., it’s not really a business. You’re more of an employee or salesperson. That’s not a knock on the business model – plenty of people earn via dropshipping. But promoting it as a business would be a disservice. 

Check out the last eCommerce project idea on this list if setting up an online business / digital assets piques your interest! 

3. Create Online Courses

There’s a whole marketplace dedicated to learning and teaching online, and we’re not talking literature or calculus. As the online education trend continues to gain momentum, self-paced learning modules make great digital products. 

Just look at the growth of twitch.tv and its eventual acquisition by Amazon. For those who don’t know, twitch.tv is a video game streaming platform where visitors sign-up to – often donate – to see ‘streamers’ play their favorite video game. 

If hundreds of thousands of people are ready to watch and learn from others playing video games, rest assured that there’s an audience interested in what you have to share. Interested in reading and creating short-format stories? Check out Amazon. Know a thing or two about setting up camp outdoors? Create a hiking or outdoor course on Udemy.

So long as you possess a valuable skill set, the option to monetize it is always there. 

4. Sell Handmade Products

Got a hidden arts and crafts talent? Enjoy making things with your own hands? Then, why not turn your passion into a side or main hustle? 

Online marketplaces like Etsy specialize in handmade crafts and attract hundreds of millions of visitors each month. By signing up and creating an account, you can upload your offerings in relevant categories and attract interested buyers. 

Selling handmade products is considered one of the best e-business ideas because there’s very little competition – customers know what they want to purchase, and you may be one of the few making such products. 

However, like any marketplace, Etsy also takes a cut from each sale. 

Pro tip: Consider opening a social media page and inviting friends and family. You can later run ad campaigns to attract buyers and grow your brand in the process – creating a website is also a viable option. Try to operate on multiple platforms to mitigate risks and increase brand awareness.

5. Dabble in Subscription Boxes

The subscription model (or subscription boxes) is one of the most successful types of eCommerce business in 2024 – and in particular, as a strategy for generating recurring revenues. According to Forbes, subscription e-Commerce will reach a staggering $904.2 billion by 2026; for comparison, it stands at approximately $120.4 billion right now.

How this model works is when a customer agrees to sign up for a subscription box, they’re offered routine products or services. The billing period for such exchanges can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, with monthly being the most common. Subscription models are very lucrative for businesses that:

  1. Offer products in bulk, and
  2. Offer products required on a routine basis

Examples include beauty supplies, personal care, groceries, food & beverages, clothing, toys, books, and baby products. Examples of digital products include ebooks, movies & shows (think Netflix), and access to online communities. 

6. Go Big on Natural Products

New eCommerce business methods pop up every so often, but despite the changing landscape, selling natural products remains a legit way of making money online. In addition, the self-care trend grew further post-pandemic because it gave people time to reflect on their health and lifestyle choices. 

Examples of natural or environmentally friendly products include plant-based foods, supplements, essential oils, organic skincare products, and other goods that fall under personal hygiene, beauty, cleaning, and household categories. 

7. Become an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing could be your calling if you’ve read this far and can’t think of a product to sell or a skill to monetize. An affiliate marketer promotes a brand’s products or services and charges a commission per sale. So, for example, let’s say you’re interested in cooking and know a thing or two about cutlery. 

You can start by creating social media pages, YouTube channels, blogs, and articles based on your interests. Once you gain a following, you can partner up with a cutlery brand and promote their products to your audiences. Of course, the bigger your following gets, the more high-value brands will want to work with you.

Working with multiple companies boosts your income and diversifies risk, i.e., if one client refuses to pay your commission or shuts down its affiliate program, you won’t be left stranded with no monthly income.

A word to the wise: stick to your niche/passion and don’t promote products not related to ‘who you are’ online. Doing so might cause you to appear too salesy or inauthentic and push your followers away. 

8. Cater to Pet Owners

Did you know that 70% of all US households own a pet? That translates to around 90 million potential customers. Numbers talk aside, targeting the pet category is a great online business idea because:

  • There’s a wide range of products to choose from
  • Most pet owners don’t hesitate to spend cash on their furry companions.

Capitalize on potential customers by running social media marketing campaigns centered on chewy pet toys, training equipment, dog and cat beds (plenty of niche products and subcategories), supplements, fitness products, and clothing. Social media marketing can drive much-needed traffic to your website or Amazon store.

If social media marketing isn’t your thing, you can always run pay-per-click ads on Amazon and market your products to relevant target audiences. 

9. Set up a Private Label Amazon Store

We’ve mentioned Amazon as the eCommerce platform of choice a couple of times. That’s because it’s home to 300 million active customers and where 63% of all shoppers visit first. Combine these two stats, and you’ve got endless opportunities to establish a successful online business.

For new sellers, the world of Amazon selling may feel overwhelming; millions of potential products and different selling models exist. However, as far as the selling or business model is concerned, private label holds the most significant potential for making money and creating brands worth millions.

The private label roadmap looks something like this:

  1. Create an Amazon Seller Central account and subscribe to a selling plan.
  2. Use reputable products and keyword research tools to find products worth selling.
  3. Identify credible manufacturers who can produce and ship inventory to your local Amazon marketplace
  4. Create optimized product listings 
  5. Run ad campaigns to drive traffic to your Amazon store

Savvy Amazon sellers use business intelligence tools to automate much of their Amazon store. So, if you play your cards right, Amazon private label can become a semi-automated business. Additionally, entire marketplaces are dedicated to buying and selling such stores, with profitable listings selling for anywhere from 15 to 30x monthly profits.

The 4 Types of eCommerce Businesses

eCommerce involves selling products and services online, but the method in which transactions take place differs based on the buyer and seller. With time, eCommerce has evolved into four types:

  • B2C – business to customer: is when customers purchase products from online businesses. An example is when you buy anything off Amazon.
  • B2B – business to business: B2B eCommerce takes place when one business sells to another, e.g., digital marketers offering SEO services to promote other companies' marketing campaigns.
  • C2B – consumer to business: when customers offer services to businesses, e.g., Google Adsense
  • C2C – customer to customer: is when one customer transacts with other customers online. For example, people buy and sell used furniture on Facebook Marketplace.

The Advantages of eCommerce

The following are some reasons why you should choose eCommerce over the traditional brick-and-mortar store:

Bigger Audience

A physical store’s ability to attract customers is limited to a geographical area, whereas no such boundaries exist in the online world. Even smaller businesses can compete with big names with the right marketing strategies. 

Lower Running Costs

The costs of maintaining a website or a seller account on Amazon are insignificant compared to paying for rent and maintaining a physical storefront. Also, seller tools (whether a digital dashboard or third-party business intelligence tools) enable entrepreneurs to manage multiple aspects of a business and even automate a few. 

On the other hand, you’ll most likely need to hire employees to run a physical business.

Greater Insights

eCommerce businesses can access data like customer demographics, purchasing habits, and preferences. This allows brands to anticipate demand better, improve inventory management practices, enhance buyers’ shopping experience, and offer superior products.

eCommerce Business Ideas for Beginners – FAQs

Here are answers to a few frequently asked eCommerce questions.

How do I start my own eCommerce business?

There are many different ‘ways’ to start an eCommerce business. One of the best ways to do so in 2024 is to open up an online store to market and sell popular products. Between Shopify and Amazon, we’d recommend Amazon because you’d need to spend relatively less to attract buyers and generate sales. Also, with the right strategy, you can scale and flip your store for a significant sum.

Which niche is the most profitable for eCommerce?

It’s hard to say—what’s profitable today may not be so worthwhile tomorrow. However, some niches are less volatile and allow new sellers to generate relatively stable revenues, provided they employ the right ranking techniques. Some of these ‘evergreen’ niches include Home & Kitchen, Baby, Electronics, Pet Suppliers, and Sports & Outdoors.

Which product is best for ecommerce?

There is no ‘best’ product for eCommerce. However, informed sellers turn good products into ‘best’ products using effective SEO and advertising strategies. The trick is to use reliable product research tools like ZonGuru’s Niche Finder to uncover high-demand, low-competition products and sell them on popular platforms like Amazon.

Here are a few eCommerce product ideas you can research further:

  • Beauty products
  • Organic products
  • Pet products
  • Wedding products
  • Smart home products
  • Personal care products
  • Fitness products
  • Sustainable products (e.g., reusable paper towels, stainless steel straws, etc.)

Can I start e-Commerce with no money?

Certain types of eCommerce business models require little to no investment at the start. Common ones include creating educational courses, dropshipping, and digital products, e.g., NFTs. However, zero investment does not equal zero skills or knowledge; you will need to learn how the business works to start earning monthly revenues.

Can eCommerce make you rich?

Yes, eCommerce can make you rich – but there is no quick get-rich scheme. Irrespective of your choice to sell products, services, or both, you will need to put in the time and effort to create a successful eCommerce business from home. If wealth creation is your goal, the ideal eCommerce business to start would be an Amazon FBA private label store.

Is e-Commerce easy to learn?

Learning everything about e-Commerce isn’t possible. It’s like asking whether becoming a doctor is easy. The field of medicine has dozens of sub-branches; to make a career, you would need to focus on one. Similarly, you need to look at numerous e-Commerce business ideas and pick one that suits you best. But don’t worry about the learning; that’s the easy (and fun) part!

Conclusion – Create the Best eCommerce Store Today!

To conclude, eCommerce businesses revolve around selling products or services. And after carefully reviewing each idea in this blog, it’s safe to say that the best eCommerce business to start in 2024 is Amazon FBA private label.

Amazon FBA private label:

  • Helps you start earning from the comfort of your home
  • Let’s you determine your own work schedule
  • Allows you to make money doing something you're passionate about

But creating a store from scratch – especially with little to no Amazon or eCom knowledge – is an uphill task. 

So here’s an Amazon Quick Start challenge designed by 7-figure Amazon sellers to get you up to speed. After joining the program, you can find a winning product, uncover reliable suppliers, and begin your FBA selling journey – all in 14 days!

Sign-up today!

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