When it comes to making money in eCommerce, we often focus solely on driving sales. While that is indeed important to your store’s success, there are also other ways your online shop can make money. In addition to refining your marketing strategy to increase sales, here are some other inventive ways you can get your store to start bringing in more revenue.
5 Ways Your eCommerce Store Can Make Money (Besides Selling Your Products)
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to help your website generate passive income – without necessarily increasing sales. It’s a quick and popular way to make money, and it doesn’t require much work, either.
Begin by searching for a product you support and would recommend to your store’s visitors. Keep in mind that this will work best if the product you’re promoting appeals to your site’s audience. Offers for children’s clothing on a site for specialty pet goods likely won’t resonate with your visitors, for instance.
Once you’ve found a product you like, you endorse the product (with the merchant’s approval, of course). You can either work directly with the advertiser or join an affiliate network, which will act as a third party that tracks your commissions. Advertise the product on your site using an individualized affiliate link. When people visiting your site make a purchase through the link, you receive a cut. Commissions could be as high as 70%, so this could certainly be a lucrative option.
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Pay per click advertising is another easy way to help boost your site’s revenue. One of the simplest approaches is to use AdSense, which allows site owners to invite members of Google’s huge advertising network to run ads on their web store, blog, or other site. It’s effortlessly simple for eCommerce store owners: just apply for AdSense, then Google will place a code on your site to begin showing relevant ads. Every time someone clicks on the ad, you’ll receive a payment. Clicks could generate as little as 50 cents each – or as much as $5. If your site generates ample traffic, this could quickly become an easy way to earn extra money.
Conversely, if you prefer to cut out the middleman, you could always sell ad space on your site directly. You can set up a fixed monthly rate based on the number of visitors your site gets. While the approach allows you to receive a steady flow of cash each month, keep in mind that it’s contingent on your store’s ability to attract traffic. Oftentimes, ad space is quoted as a dollar amount per thousand impressions, i.e., $5 CPM. Based on this figure, websites that attract 100,000 per month could charge $500 for an ad. If you do decide to go this route, consider visiting BuySellAds, a popular resource for advertisers.
3. Sponsored Products
You can monetize your efforts to drive products by sponsoring products or contents for other companies. Also sometimes referred to as native advertising, this practice requires you to mention and link to products that might appeal to your store’s visitors. The vendor then pays you for doing so. While this option can benefit everyone involved, it also runs the risk of becoming obviously salesy. Remember that generating and maintaining trust among your audience is critical, so if you do decide to sponsor something, make sure that the brand is reputable and you firmly stand behind their products. Otherwise, your audience may begin to question your credibility, and you could wind up losing a significant portion of your customer base.
4. Digital Products
If you haven’t already done so, incorporating digital products into your eCommerce strategy can be an easy and efficient way to drive revenue. In addition to selling a physical product, offer an eBook, online course, or similar digital product. You won’t have to worry about shipping or other logistics, and once you create the digital offering, you’ll be able to use it forever. Just remember – if your shoppers are paying for a digital product, they’ll expect valuable content and a flawless design. If you’re not well-versed in copywriting or graphic design, this might mean hiring pros to help you create a quality end product.
5. Lead Generation for Other Companies
Playing matchmaker to companies looking for leads is another simple yet potentially effective way your site can make money. The premise is similar to that of affiliate marketing: you direct your traffic to businesses in a similar niche that aren’t direct competitors. In exchange, the company pays you for finding new sources of leads to help them scale their business. The difference between lead generation and affiliate marketing is that you still receive cash even if purchases aren’t made. MaxBounty and Neverblue are two resources to explore if you’re considering this option.
While these options can be financially rewarding if done right, they also require ample traffic. If you’re struggling with visibility for your store, be sure to check out some of our blogs on marketing for eCommerce.