Is eCommerce store as an extra income a good option?

With the rising costs of living, most people would agree that having an extra stream of income is appealing.

Well, starting your own eCommerce store can be a great way to generate supplementary income in today's digital age...

And in this article, you'll discover whether an online store is a viable side hustle option by understanding the revenue potential, weighing the risks and rewards, and learning the step-by-step process for launching a profitable eCommerce business.

Introduction to eCommerce as a Viable Side Hustle

Ecommerce continues to experience rapid growth, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to generate supplementary income through online stores. However, launching an ecommerce business does come with risks and requires ongoing effort. This article explores the revenue potential, benefits, and challenges of running an ecommerce store as an extra source of cashflow.

Understanding the eCommerce Revenue Potential

The global ecommerce market is projected to reach over $5 trillion by 2026. While the space has become more competitive, there remains strong consumer demand for online shopping and room for new specialty stores catering to specific niches. With the right products and marketing strategy, ecommerce side hustles can produce respectable profits. However, achieving a full-time income likely requires significant investment and scaling over time.

Benefits of an Online Store for Supplementary Income

  • Flexibility - Ecommerce allows entrepreneurs to work flexible hours from anywhere with an internet connection. This suits those with other commitments needing extra income from a side hustle.
  • Lower Costs - Online stores avoid expensive retail space rentals and staffing requirements of physical stores. Startup costs can be minimal depending on the business model.
  • Potential for Automation - From order processing to marketing, automating repetitive tasks allows ecommerce owners to efficiently run their stores in minimal time once established.

Recognizing the Risks and Challenges

  • Saturated Market - Launching an online store now means competing with retail giants like Amazon and Walmart as well as millions of other sellers. Unique value propositions are essential.
  • Ongoing Maintenance - While automation helps streamline operations, ecommerce businesses require regular monitoring and improvement to remain competitive. This reduces hands-off income potential.
  • Fickle Consumer Behavior - Unlike a steady paycheck, ecommerce income fluctuates based on seasonal shopping habits and economic conditions impacting discretionary spending. Adaptability is key. Overall, ecommerce represents an attainable way to generate extra income with the right expectations. But sustainability requires effort to stand out from the competition and continually adapt to market changes. The flexibility and lower barriers to entry make online stores ideal side hustles for those seeking to supplement their existing income sources.

Can you really make money with an ecommerce store?

According to a 2023 NYU Stern School of Business study, you can make around 42.78% in gross profit margins and 0.64% in net ecommerce profit margins from your online business. But bear in mind that these are ballpark figures. Your final profit will depend on the following:

  • Kinds and prices of products you sell.
  • The costs involved like shipping, packaging, marketing etc.
  • Whether you sell your own products or resell other brands.
  • How much inventory you need to stock.

Building an online store with AI tools like makes the entire process easier. You don't need any coding skills or design experience. The AI does everything for you - from coming up with the store name to creating visually appealing product pages.

You just need to focus on your niche, choose products with good margins, maintain adequate inventory levels, and promote your store. This leaves the complex, technical aspects of building an ecommerce business to AI.

So if you choose the right niche, manage operations efficiently, and leverage solutions like, ecommerce can definitely be a lucrative business. The low startup costs and minimal overheads further make it ideal for generating side income.

Are ecommerce stores still profitable?

Ecommerce continues to be a highly profitable business model in 2023. According to recent data, global ecommerce sales are projected to reach nearly $7.4 trillion by 2025. This represents a remarkable 50% increase from 2021 sales of $4.9 trillion.

With such impressive industry growth, individual ecommerce stores have significant money-making potential if executed properly. However, simply creating an online store is not enough - you need the right combination of product, marketing, and operational efficiency to succeed.

Here are three key tips to boost profitability for your ecommerce business:

  • Choose a niche and specialized inventory. Rather than selling generalized products in a crowded market, focus on a specific niche where you can provide unique value and tailored offerings. This allows you to command higher margins.

  • Leverage digital marketing and SEO. With so much competition online, marketing is crucial for acquisition and conversions. Optimizing your store for search engines and running targeted ads are key profit drivers.

  • Refine operations and logistics. Look for ways to efficiently manage order fulfillment, shipping, and inventory control. The leaner your operations, the better your profit outlook. Automation can be very helpful here.

While individual results will vary based on execution, the overall ecommerce industry trajectory points to a profitable future for online stores big and small. Just be sure to run your business intelligently to maximize your sales and earnings potential.

Can you do ecommerce as a side hustle?

You absolutely can run an ecommerce store as a side hustle. With the simplicity and speed of platforms like, launching an online store has never been easier. You can be up and running with a full ecommerce website in just a few minutes. makes starting an online store extremely simple for side hustlers. You don't need any technical skills or previous experience. The AI-powered platform allows you to generate a complete ecommerce solution via a single prompt.

Some key benefits of using to start your ecommerce side hustle include:

  • Fast setup - Get your store running in minutes without any coding
  • Easy customization - Easily tailor your store's design, products, etc.
  • Built-in features - Your store comes loaded with inventory management, payment processing, etc.
  • Affordable pricing - Options like the free plan make very budget-friendly

With, you can start small and scale up your ecommerce ambitions over time. It's a perfect way to test ideas and make some extra income online without a major time commitment upfront. And as your business grows, has pricing tiers to match your needs.

So if you've been dreaming about starting an online store as a lucrative side hustle, makes it incredibly simple to turn your ideas into reality. You can maintain your current job while exploring your passion projects and making some cash on the side.

What is the average revenue for a ecommerce store?

The average annual revenue for all sole proprietorship ecommerce businesses in the U.S. was just $52,953 in 2021 according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, there is a wide range when it comes to ecommerce store revenues and profits. Many factors impact how much money an online store can generate, including:

  • Industry and niche - Some industries like fashion, accessories, and consumer electronics tend to have higher sales volumes and profit margins compared to commoditized markets. Choosing a niche with strong demand and reasonable competition is key.

  • Business model - Dropshipping and affiliate stores tend to have lower overhead but profit margins are thinner as well. Retailers buying inventory upfront take more risk but keep more per sale. Subscription box companies, Amazon FBA sellers, and online course creators can also do very well.

  • Marketing and traffic - Generating consistent visitors and conversions to your store through SEO, social media, paid ads, email marketing, and other channels separates successful ecommerce brands from those that languish. Mastering marketing can increase sales exponentially.

  • Conversion optimization - Little tweaks to product images, descriptions, pricing, special offers, website speed, checkout process, etc. can bump up conversions leading to more revenue. Testing and data analysis are key.

While the median revenue is around $50K, with the right business model, marketing, and optimization practices, six and even seven figure ecommerce businesses are possible.'s AI tools can help entrepreneurs launch stores faster making the barrier to entry lower than ever.


The Foundation of a Profitable eCommerce Business

Launching a profitable ecommerce business requires thoughtful planning and validation before investing significant time and money. Identifying trending products, selecting profitable niches, and testing demand can set your online store up for success. This section provides key strategies for researching and validating ecommerce business ideas.

Monitoring popular ecommerce platforms and leveraging tools like Google Trends can uncover rising product trends to capitalize on. Some platforms to scout include:

  • Amazon: View best selling items in different categories to find new product opportunities. Their Movers and Shakers page showcases fast growing products.

  • eBay: Filter eBay categories by popularity to reveal products gaining marketplace traction.

  • Etsy: Etsy's marketplace tracks trending items offering niche handmade and vintage products to potentially source or emulate.

For broader market data, Google Trends compares search volumes over time highlighting rising queries. This can reveal surging interest for generic product categories worth exploring.

By uncovering popular and accelerating product trends early, ecommerce stores can ride momentum and establish themselves as key providers.

Strategies for Selecting Niche Products with High Demand

Targeting specific niche items with proven interest avoids oversaturated markets. Effective tactics include:

  • Search volume analysis: Use Google's Keyword Planner to quantify search volume and competition for niche keywords. High volume, low competition terms signal promising openings.

  • Market gap analysis: Assess product availability and pricing in a niche. Limited options or high costs indicates strong customer demand for competitive offerings.

  • Community listening: Check niche forums and groups for commonly requested items not readily available. Fulfilling these customer needs first presents a big opportunity.

Selecting profitable niches hinges on pinpointing specialty products in-demand, but with few accessible options available to consumers. Getting to market first allows ecommerce shops to own those customer relationships in a niche.

Testing the Waters: Validating Market Demand

Prior to investing in inventory and web development, nascent ecommerce ventures should validate their ideas. Useful market validation tactics include:

  • Landing page tests: Create basic landing pages detailing hypothetical product lines and run paid ads directing to them. High conversion rates demonstrate consumer intrigue.

  • Crowdfunding campaigns: Launch crowdfunding projects for proposed products explaining customer benefit. Reaching funding goals proves buyer interest.

  • Pre-launch surveys: Survey target customers if they would purchase specific products at expected price points. Positive responses confirm market demand.

Each validation method will further refine knowledge of the target audience, their desires, and what pricing they will support. Efficiently testing ideas this way allows entrepreneurs to pursue only the most viable ecommerce businesses.

Taking the time upfront to properly evaluate and analyze markets is instrumental to building ecommerce stores positioned for profitability. Following that blueprint allows entrepreneurs to avoid risky ideas lacking sufficient demand.

Launching Your eCommerce Store Step by Step

Launching an ecommerce store provides a major opportunity to start a profitable online business. However, the process requires careful planning and execution across key areas. This guide covers essential steps for successfully starting your ecommerce venture.

Selecting the Right eCommerce Platforms and Tools

Choosing the best ecommerce platform is crucial for setting up the online infrastructure to sell your products or services. Top options like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon offer robust features at different price points:


  • All-in-one hosted platform to launch online store quickly.
  • Provides beautiful modern themes, secure payment processing, and hassle-free setup.
  • Pricing starts at $29/month.


  • WordPress plugin to build ecommerce store.
  • Gives you full ownership and control over the site.
  • Requires WordPress hosting and setup, but allows ultimate customizability.


  • Sell products through Amazon's massive marketplace.
  • Handle storage, shipping, payments, and customer service.
  • Costs include Amazon commissions and subscription plans.

Consider your product type, desired functionality, and budget when choosing platforms. Also leverage tools like payment gateways, email marketing, and analytics for a full-featured business.

Creating a Compelling Online Presence

Crafting the look, feel, and messaging for your store is crucial to connect with customers. Key elements in your branding include:

Visual Design

  • Choose complementary colors, typography, and imagery that reflect your brand identity.
  • Ensure easy navigation, clean layouts, and striking product displays.


  • Share your brand story, product details, policies, and announcements.
  • Optimize pages for SEO with relevant keywords to improve discoverability.

Social Media

  • Engage followers by showcasing products and behind-the-scenes content.
  • Run targeted ads to reach more potential buyers.

A thoughtful online presence invites customers to engage with and purchase from your business.

Setting Up Seamless Payment and Fulfillment Processes

To delight shoppers with quick, smooth transactions, integrate:

Secure Payment Gateways

Accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay. Offer installment plans like PayPal Credit where eligible.

Automated Taxes and Shipping

Calculate location-based taxes and shipping rates automatically during checkout.

Reliable Order Fulfillment

Integrate shipping carriers to get purchased products to buyers efficiently. Send email and app notifications to track deliveries.

With the right tools, you can deliver exceptional checkout and post-purchase experiences to turn one-time buyers into loyal repeat customers.

By evaluating ecommerce platforms, optimizing your online presence, and streamlining orders and fulfillment, you can launch a successful online store equipped for sustainable growth.

Driving Traffic and Sales to Your eCommerce Store

Launching an online store is just the first step to eCommerce success. The real challenge is driving targeted traffic to your store and converting those visitors into paying customers. With the right promotion strategy, your eCommerce business can thrive. Here are some of the most effective ways to get more eyes on your products and grow your revenue.

Leveraging SEO and Content Marketing

SEO and content marketing work hand-in-hand to organically bring customers to your site. By optimizing your pages and blog for relevant keywords, you can rank higher in search engines like Google so more shoppers find you when searching for products you sell. Useful, engaging content also establishes expertise and provides value for potential buyers.

Some key SEO and content tips:

  • Research keywords using Google's Keyword Planner and weave these terms naturally into content
  • Create blog posts and long-form articles related to your products
  • Embed high-quality images and videos to improve page experience
  • Use meta descriptions to optimize page snippets in search results
  • Link internally between product pages and blogs to distribute authority
  • Publish new content frequently to bring visitors back often

Quality content ranks well over time. Be patient and persistent, and traffic will steadily improve.

Expanding Reach with Social Media and Influencers

Promoting your eCommerce store on social platforms expands visibility beyond just search visitors. Partnering with relevant influencers also gets your products in front of engaged new audiences.

Some social media and influencer marketing best practices:

  • Create social media business pages on platforms like Facebook and Instagram
  • Post images/videos showcasing products; offer promotions and sales
  • Use hashtags and tag pages to increase discovery
  • Run paid social ads targeting interests of your customer demographic
  • Send free products to micro influencers in exchange for reviews and promotion
  • Offer affiliate commissions to incentivize influencers to promote you

Leveraging influencers with loyal followings drives referrals and sales. Make sure to use trackable links to quantify your ROI!

Mastering Retargeting and Email Campaigns

While getting new visitors is important, returning visitors convert at much higher rates. Retargeting ads and email nurturing focus on re-engaging past visitors to ultimately convert them into customers.

Tips for effective retargeting campaigns:

  • Install Facebook pixel and Google tag manager on site to track visitors
  • Create customized audiences in advertising platforms based on site activity
  • Show product or offer ads across ad networks to visitors after they leave
  • Focus on visitors who engaged with products but didn't purchase

For email nurturing:

  • Offer an incentive like a discount code to encourage newsletter sign-ups
  • Send abandon cart emails to reclaim lost sales from almost-customers
  • Highlight popular or recommended products based on individual browsing behavior
  • Share promos and personalized content to re-connect with lapsed contacts

Following up with past visitors is key to recovering leads and incrementally improving conversions over time.

Driving consistent organic and paid traffic to your eCommerce store takes effort across multiple channels, but pays dividends in growing revenue. Focus on providing value, establishing trust, and staying top-of-mind with potential customers across every touchpoint.

Maximizing Profits and Establishing Passive eCommerce Income

Starting an online store can be a great way to generate additional income. With the right strategies, you can grow your ecommerce business into a sustainable source of passive revenue over time.

Keeping Tabs on Expenses to Sustain eCommerce Profitability

As your online store grows, it's important to closely monitor your expenses to maintain healthy profit margins. Here are some tips:

  • Use automation tools and apps to streamline order processing, inventory updates, shipping workflows. This cuts down on labor costs.
  • Negotiate volume-based discounts with suppliers and fulfillment partners. Buying in bulk lowers per unit costs.
  • Analyze sales data to identify your most profitable products. Focus marketing efforts on driving more of those sales.
  • Keep testing pricing strategies to find the optimal balance of profit vs unit sales. Adjust prices over time.

Carefully managing costs is key for long-term eCommerce success and profitability. The goal is to maximize income while keeping overhead expenses low.

Crafting a Sustainable Passive Income Model

To establish your ecommerce store as a passive income stream, you need to automate core business operations:

  • Use dropshipping suppliers that handle product fulfillment and shipping for you. This removes those tasks from your workflow.
  • Build email funnels and sales automations to market products with minimal ongoing effort.
  • Outsource customer service tasks to virtual assistants to manage user issues and inquiries.
  • Analyze data insights to identify new product opportunities, emerging trends and optimize listings.

With the majority of store management and fulfillment automated, you only need to handle high-level oversight and strategy. This lets you step back from day-to-day operations while revenue continues rolling in.

Planning for Growth: Goals and Milestones

To guide the growth of your passive income ecommerce model, set clear targets and metrics for success:

  • Monthly sales and revenue goals ($10k/month in Year 1, $25k/month by Year 2 etc)
  • Gross profit margin targets (aim for 50-60%)
  • Number of products listed in your store (100 by end of Year 1)
  • Email list subscriber count (2,000 in 6 months)

Track these goals month-over-month and continuously optimize your operations to hit key milestones. Celebrate wins along the way! With consistent effort, your online store can become a hands-off income stream over time.

Sealing the Deal: Key Takeaways on eCommerce Success

Starting an eCommerce store can provide a great opportunity to earn extra income. However, successfully running an online business requires careful planning and hard work. Here are some key takeaways when considering eCommerce as a side income stream:

Determine if your product or service meets demand. Research your target audience and market to ensure there is interest in what you plan to sell. Consider trends and analyze competitors before investing time and money into a new store.

Leverage platforms like to simplify setup. Building an eCommerce site from scratch is challenging. AI marketplace builders like Marketsy provide pre-made stores with features like inventory and checkout in minutes, removing technical barriers.

Manage expectations and anticipate growing pains. An eCommerce store, like any business, takes time to generate significant income. Prepare for an adjustment period when launching and remain patient. Persistence and effective marketing are vital.

Provide great products, service, and presentation. Successful online selling requires quality offerings, responsive support, and appealing branding/web design. First impressions matter - ensure the shopping experience aligns with customer expectations.

With careful preparation and commitment, eCommerce can be a fruitful income stream. Marketsy's AI stores allow easy setup to turn ideas into reality. Approach strategically, provide value, and success will follow over time through effort.

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