Larger Conversions, Extra Gross sales: Your Conversion Charge Optimization Starter Information for 2021

Your store needs to be designed with your customers in mind.
While boosting your traffic can generate more sales, it’s just as important to focus on turning your current traffic into paying customers.
At every step of your customers’ purchasing journeys, there are new opportunities for you to make their paths shorter, easier, and more enjoyable. Through rigorous experimentation and analysis, you can fine-tune your website to push people closer to making a purchase. This process is called conversion rate optimization, or CRO.

Learn to increase ecommerce conversions 📈

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What is conversion rate optimization?
Conversion rate optimization is a technique for increasing the percentage of your website traffic that makes a purchase, also known as a conversion. It uses the psychology of persuasion to encourage people to take a desired action.
Conversions are a big deal. They’re that great moment when a casual visitor to your store finally buys one of your products. And, on a much smaller scale, conversions are happening all the time leading up to that moment, too.
For instance, a conversion on your homepage might mean having a visitor click through to a product. A conversion on a product page might mean a customer clicking Add to Cart. Conversions can be entirely dependent on the purpose that a specific part of your website serves.
Typical website conversions for ecommerce brands include:

Online sales
Visitor adding product to cart
Visitor adding item to wishlist
Email signups

But you aren’t limited to the above examples. You can track and optimize for any key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics that are specific to your business. Conversion is a broad subject because it impacts many different aspects of your website and digital marketing channels.
To increase conversions to an online store, you need to be constantly testing each and every aspect of your website.

Free Reading List: Conversion Optimization for Beginners

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How to calculate conversion rate
An essential part of maintaining a viable conversion rate optimization process is making sure you are tracking conversion rates across your channels. To do that, you need to know how to calculate CRO.
Here’s what a common conversion rate formula looks like:

Say your store had 50 sales and 1,000 visitors last month. Your conversion rate is 50 divided by 1,000 (.05), multiplied by 100, which equals 5%.
What’s a good conversion rate for your store? The latest surveys and studies show the average conversion rate for ecommerce sites is 2.86%. As a new store owner, a good goal to aim for is between 1% and 2%. The following conversion rate optimization strategies will help improve your conversion rate over time.
How to optimize conversion rates: A/B testing
There are a few different ways to optimize conversion rates. This guide will focus on one that we know works. It’s a form of experimentation called A/B testing, also known as split testing.
A/B testing is a way of comparing two versions of the same webpage to see which produces better results. With A/B testing, two different versions of a page are shown to two similar sets of visitors at the same time. Eventually, the version that performs more effectively and produces a larger amount of conversions is declared the winner.
Before you conduct an A/B test, you’ll need to figure out if your website gets enough traffic to generate statistically significant results. If your sample size is too small, you won’t be able to learn anything from your results since they won’t accurately reflect how a larger population is using your site.
If you want to calculate how large of a sample size you’ll need to conduct an A/B test, you just need to drop your current conversion rate for the web page you’d like to test into this calculator.
If the traffic that the webpage receives is less than the sample size required for the test, focus on driving more traffic to your website first rather than optimizing for conversions.
Find the current conversion rate of a single page
To find your current conversion rate, you’ll first need to make sure you have Google Analytics set up for your online store. With Google Analytics, you’ll be able to figure out the conversion rate for specific parts of your website, including the webpages you’ll be testing.
Note: This method will just give you a glimpse of your current conversion rate and should not be used for measuring the outcome of your tests. Only use this piece of data for measuring whether or not you have enough traffic to perform a successful A/B test.
The quickest way to find the current conversion rate for specific pages of your website is by using the Landing Pages report in Google Analytics.

To get to Landing Pages, first go to the Behavior section and then click Site Content. In the dropdown, click on Landing Pages. Make sure that the timeframe you’re looking at is the same amount of time that your test will be running. For the purpose of this part of the process, just use the past 30 days.
Now, select the webpage you’d like to test from the list of landing pages. For instance, if you’d like to test your home page, click on www.youronlinestorename.com.
In order to find the conversion rate for a specific goal that occurs on this page, you’ll need to add a secondary dimension to your report. Click Add Secondary Dimension and type “Second Page.” The second page dimension will tell us which pages visitors navigate to next and what percentage of visitors to your first page went to those pages.
For an example, let’s say that you’re interested in testing how many people navigate to the products page of your website from your homepage.

To find your current conversion rate for this action, simply choose your homepage as your initial page and then look for your products page under the Second Page section of your report. The small grey percentage that’s listed in the Sessions section will be your conversion rate for the action.
Create CRO experiments
If your site has enough traffic to perform a successful A/B test, you can start experimenting on your online store.

To run an A/B test, you’ll need to use a tool like Optimizely, Convert, or Adobe Target and set up goals for your online store using Google Analytics. Create a separate goal for every action you’re trying to test on your website.
In Google Analytics, goals are a way of measuring how your website guides visitors to completing a specific task or objective. Goals can be anything, including a product purchase, a newsletter subscription, or a simple navigation. By setting up goals for your test, you’ll be able to track and analyze the data behind the decisions customers are making as they move through your site.
There are five different types of conversion goals in Google Analytics: destination, duration, pages per session, event, and smart goals. For the purpose of CRO, destination goals and event goals are the ones to focus on.
Destination goals
You can use destination goals for tracking things like purchases or navigation.
If you want to track a purchase, simply set the Thank You or order confirmation page as the destination and a conversion will be tracked every time a customer completes an order and is redirected to the Thank You page.
To track navigation goals—like someone heading to a collection from your homepage—set the destination as your collection page.
Event goals
Event goals can be used to track actions on your website that do not necessarily lead someone to a landing page.
For instance, if you want to track someone subscribing to your newsletter or adding an item to their cart, you can set the action of a customer clicking a specific button on your website as an event.
“Data analysis is an important part of user research to inform CRO, but qualitative feedback can also uncover key insights,” says Michael Steele, CEO of Flywheel Digital. “Qualitative feedback also has the benefit of hearing directly from visitors what they need, instead of inferring it from other sources. It can also uncover the reasons for issues and what users are really looking for, which gets you to the heart of the problem instead of having to hypothesize it so you can come up with a better solution that will drive higher conversion rates.”
Emma Williams, Digital Marketing Manager at Edge of the Web, adds, “One accessible, free tool for A/B testing on your website is Google Optimize. This software allows you to make changes to one page or an entire website, using either code or a WYSIWYG format,” she says.
“You can set your goals, and it’s linked with Google Analytics, allowing you to measure based on custom events too. Google will display the versions equally to site visitors and measure which performs better—leaving you with actionable insights to help improve your conversion rate.”
Ecommerce conversion rate optimization strategies
Optimizing your online store isn’t a one-and-done solution for ecommerce, it’s an ongoing process that will help you constantly learn more about your audience and how you can better serve them. It’s not a tactic with an endpoint—it’s something you should always be doing to get better.
“CRO requires a growth-driven design approach with continuous iterations,” says Michael. “Ongoing analysis, along with testing using tools like Google Optimize, will drive incremental improvements to help your Shopify store reach its full potential.”
Be sure to keep a list handy of all the experiments you’re planning on running in the future so you’re never without a new idea to explore.
To get your list started, here are some CRO strategies to test out in your store:

Homepage
Think about your homepage as a physical storefront. It’s the front window of your store: capturing attention, igniting curiosity, and pulling people in.
Your homepage needs to feel inviting and to make it easy for people to enter and navigate your store. It needs to be a visually appealing and consistent experience that works toward achieving a single goal: getting people further into your store so they can find products they want to purchase.
1. Simplify the user experience
When it comes to designing an effective homepage, simplicity is key. It only takes 50 milliseconds for a customer to form a first impression of your website, so you need to do everything possible to make those moments count. Avoid overwhelming potential customers with excessive images and text. Instead, stay on brand and on message with a simple, visually appealing design.

Just take a look at Province of Canada. For its homepage, it used a large hero image that occupies most of the space above the fold. The copy is simple and straight to the point, with a clear call-to-action (CTA) that pushes visitors to a collection.
If you’re not sure what to feature as your main hero, it’s usually best to go with either your bestselling or most profitable products, or collections like new arrivals or current promotions. This is especially true since 86% of website visitors want to see information about products on the homepage of a website.
2. Show off coupon codes, real time purchases, and more
As soon as your customers hit your homepage, you have the opportunity to start building excitement and driving them toward your products. If your goal is to get more traffic to your products, there are a bunch of great apps for Shopify store owners that can help drum up demand and incentivize purchasing:

Welcome bars. Apps like 20+ Promotional Sales Tools let you share sales, coupon codes, promotions, and more with your customers as soon as they arrive on your site. These apps add a non-intrusive floating bar to the top of your homepage that will instantly grab your customers’ attention and push them exactly to where you need them to be.

Pop-ups. Pop-ups and pop-unders are fantastic for building your email list. Try using an app like Privy or Popup to add a quick pop-up to your homepage offering a coupon code in exchange for a newsletter sign-up.

Real-time purchases. Apps like Fomo Social Proof add a small notification to the bottom corner of your store, showcasing real-time purchases being made by other customers. These apps incite a sense of urgency while also giving customers social proof that other people are out there buying your products right this minute. Behavioral psychology researchers at the University of Kentucky report that urgent situations cause people to act impulsively and quickly.

For example, take a look at Our Place. It used a welcome bar to promote a BOGO offer and a free shipping and returns offer.

After a few seconds, visitors also get served this gorgeous pop-under encouraging them to enter Our Place’s free pan giveaway.
3. Add testimonials to build trust
Have you been featured in major publications? Are your products used by any high-profile influencers? Add testimonials, reviews, and badges to your homepage beneath your main content to build trust and project credibility. After all, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their friends and families.
RT1home, for example, has an entire page on its website dedicated to press and features across the web.

Product discovery
Once customers are on your homepage, they need to be able to find the products they’re looking for and discover new products they might be interested in.
Your customers need to be able to navigate your website through a well-thought-out search function, smart category design, and engaging ways to discover products.
4. Use intelligent search
If your customers are looking for a product on your website, chances are they might not know exactly where to find it.
If your store has a large amount of products, you might want to consider featuring your search bar prominently on your homepage, giving your customers the opportunity to head directly where they want to be rather than digging through categories.
With apps like Smart Search & Instant Search, you can power up your search bar with predictive results that help your customers find what they’re looking for. Intelligent search bars suggest results and products as users are typing while taking into account things like spelling errors and alternate product names.

Alo uses the Smart Search & Instant Search app to help its yoga customers find exactly what they’re looking for. Even after entering just a few letters, the search bar already starts suggesting categories, products, and related results (which is effective for upselling and cross-selling).
5. Organize your categories effectively
For your customers, navigating your website should be easy, simple, and—most of all—obvious. Try to avoid separating your products into too many different categories. Instead, opt for four to six broad categories that contain more specific subcategories as a dropdown.
Order your categories in your navigation bar based on their popularity, with your most popular category at the front.
6. Take advantage of your 404 pages
Are your 404 pages a dead end? Instead of leaving customers hanging when they hit a 404, try to guide them to other parts of the website that might be more useful. Customize your 404 page to feature links to your most popular collections, products, and promotions.

7. Add a shoppable instagram feed
Instagram is an extremely useful tool for product discovery. Embedding a shoppable Instagram feed onto your website is a great opportunity to inspire your fans with gorgeous photos and show off your products in everyday scenarios.
Shoppable Instagram feeds are perfect for displaying user-generated content, which is starting to play a massive role in the purchasing behavior of millennials. Research indicates that user-generated content results in 29% higher conversions for sites with it than for those without.

If you own a Shopify store, you can embed your Instagram feed onto your store using an app like Instafeed, just like the one above created by MVMT. With these embeddable Instagram feeds, you can promote your top products and link out directly to their product pages, giving your fans a visually engaging way to find new products.
Product pages
Each and every one of your product pages needs to be built around clearly communicating the value of your products to your customers. You need to build immersive experiences that cover every aspect of your products while removing any opportunity for doubt or frustration.
8. Use high-quality product images
High-quality product photos are the most important part of an effective product page. Data from Justuno shows that 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision. Try to include images that show your products from every angle and accurately represent the look and feel of your products.
As a bonus, include a video that shows your product in action. For instance, if you’re selling t-shirts, give customers a better idea of what your shirts look like in motion and add a video to your product page of a model walking around wearing one. Younger consumers are actually 85% more likely to make a purchase after watching a product video.

Love Hair has some great examples of well-executed product pages. Check out the above page for beauty-grade coconut oil, featuring a bunch of high-quality photos, fun product descriptions, and a video that really lets the product shine.
9. Be upfront about price, delivery time, and out-of-stock products
The worst thing you can do is mislead your customers. According to the latest shopping cart abandonment statistics, 69.6% of online shopping carts are left behind. The top reason? Extra costs are too high.
Don’t be afraid to let them know the full extent of things like pricing, delivery time, and inventory. If you do an effective job of selling your products and communicating their value, your customers won’t mind paying a little extra for shipping or waiting a little longer for delivery.
If you own a Shopify store, you can also use an app like Back In Stock to give your customers the option to be notified when out-of-stock products are added to your store.
10. Showcase your product reviews
Product reviews are a great way to ease the doubts of hesitant shoppers and give your customers the social proof they need to click Add to Cart. In fact, 66% of customers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by reading online product reviews.
Positive product reviews can make all the difference in convincing shoppers that a product really works and is worth purchasing. Reviews also help them make more informed decisions in regard to sizing, colour, and more.
Shopify store owners can use apps like Product Reviews and Yotpo to embed customer reviews directly onto their product pages.

Product reviews can be especially helpful for businesses in the beauty and skincare industry. Beardbrand, for instance, uses Yotpo to showcase reviews on every one of its product pages.
11. Use heatmaps
Heatmaps are a popular CRO tactic for ecommerce brands because they take large amounts of behavioral data and turn it into a simple visual representation.
A heatmap shows spots of engagement on your website, normally displayed in “warm” and “cool” color shades. If an area on the heatmap is warm (red, orange, yellow) there’s a high level of activity there. Cooler shades indicate low activity.

Heatmaps show you what elements of your website visitors engage with most. It reveals what parts of your store people click, scroll, and move. Scroll heatmaps show how far down people go before leaving. Apps like Lucky Orange let you study engagement patterns from dynamic elements like pop-ups, drop-downs, and forms, too.
Lucky Orange also offers other conversion rate optimization tools to help reduce cart abandonment and increase sales, including:

Screen recording replays, which let you watch people navigate your website and see how they interact with your store.

Live view, which lets you see visitor activity in real-time. If you see hesitation, you can open up a live chat conversation with the person through the app.

Segmentation and filtering, which filters heatmaps and recordings by traffic source, device type, browser, and more, so you can target more refined customer groups.

Heatmaps are a great way to see your store through the eyes of your customers. You can learn what’s working and what isn’t, evaluate new ideas, and improve elements of your site to increase conversions.
Checkout experience
The checkout experience is one the final steps of every customer’s purchasing process, so it needs to be as frictionless and flawless as possible to avoid having frustrated customers abandon their carts at the last moment.
At this point in their journey, your customers display clear intent to make a purchase. You need to make that purchase happen quickly and conveniently without any stress or confusion.
12. Pre-fill your customer’s information
You can make it even easier for your current customers to make repeat purchases by prefilling their shipping and billing information with customer accounts. The less information customers need to enter, the better. One study from Google reports that customers fill out forms 30% faster with autofill, which can result in more conversions at checkout.

In your Shopify admin, head to Settings and then ‘Checkout.

Under Customer Accounts, select Accounts are optional. With optional accounts, your customers will still be able to check out as guests, but it also gives them the chance to save their information for next time after filling out their personal details.
You can also install Shop Pay, Shopify’s checkout solution for merchants. Shop Pay remembers and encrypts customers details so they can safely speed through checkout in one tap. Customers can pay with their preferred payment method and even choose how they want to pay, whether it’s in full or in installments.

Our study showed that checkouts going through Shop Page have an average conversion rate of 1.72X higher than regular checkouts. Learn how to turn on Shop Pay in your store by reading Enabling Shop Pay.
13. Send abandoned cart emails
Unfortunately, customers sometimes fill up their carts with products and then leave your store with no intention of returning. With abandoned cart emails, you can remind those customers of the items they’ve already expressed interest in and give them a little nudge to return to your store to complete the purchase.

Abandoned cart emails can be set up in the Settings section of your Shopify admin. Go to Checkout and then scroll down to the Abandoned Cart section. You can choose to send abandoned cart emails either one, six, 10, or 24 hours after a customer abandons a cart.

You can customize your abandoned cart emails in your Shopify admin as well, so they fit your brand’s image and tone. Click the button Customize email under Abandoned checkouts.
14. Optimize your thank you/order confirmation emails
In the same Notifications section of your Shopify admin, you can also customize your order confirmation emails.
After a customer has placed an order, there’s still an opportunity to put them back into your purchasing funnel by optimizing your order confirmation email to encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, link them to content on your blog, or offer them exclusive discounts and promotions for future orders as a token of appreciation.

Free: Shopify Store Trust Checklist

Shopify’s research team conducted a series of in-depth interviews with North American shoppers to learn how customer trust is formed in online stores. This checklist is a summary of their findings, created to help business owners understand what essential aspects of their online store experience creates trust among customers, along with the trust-busting mistakes to avoid.

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Shipping and returns
Even after a customer has gone through the checkout process, you need to remember that the purchase isn’t over until the product is in their hands. Think of how you handle shipping and returns as yet another opportunity to delight your customers and turn all of those one-time shoppers into lifelong customers.
Waiting for a package is an anxiety-inducing experience. Receiving a product that you’re dissatisfied with is even worse. You need to do everything in your power to make shipping and returns enjoyable for your audience.
15. Offer free shipping
Expensive shipping costs can be a huge pain point for customers and potentially hold them back from making purchases. Try offering free shipping to encourage your customers to put in an order, regardless of how far it has to travel. Free shipping can have a major impact on conversions, with 73% of consumers reporting free shipping deliberately influencing their decision to buy online.
Learn how to profitably offer free shipping by reading Shipping Strategy: Get Packages to Customers Without Cutting Into Your Bottom Line.
16. Have a clear refund policy
It’s no surprise that some customers are hesitant about making purchases online. When it comes to ordering things like clothing, it can be difficult to know exactly how a piece will fit in person.

According to UPS, 68% of shoppers check a website’s return and exchange policy before making a purchase.

That’s why many brands now advertise “free,” “easy,” and “no-hassle” returns and exchanges to increase conversion rates and online purchases.
To help relieve your customer’s concerns, make sure your business has a clear refund policy so they know exactly what they can do if they aren’t satisfied with an order.
Use Shopify’s refund policy generator to create a refund policy for your store.
Additional information
Although optimizing elements like your homepage, product discovery features, and product pages is crucial for pushing your customers through the conversion funnel, you also need to make sure that your website contains additional information like contact details and an About section.
17. Tell a story with your About page
Your About page is so much more than a brief summary of your store. It should tell a story to your customers about your products and your brand’s mission. The goal of your About page should be to build a lifestyle around your products that your audience will want to be a part of.
Try to build a story around both your products and your customers’ relationship with them. Ask yourself questions like: Where did your idea come from? What makes them special? What does an average day in your ideal customer’s life look like?

Endy has a comprehensive About page that sells its mattresses from a number of different angles. At the top, you’ll find a great hero image and video about how the brand started.
As you scroll down, you’ll see details about its product development process and why its mattresses are the best in Canada.
18. Create a comprehensive Contact page
If your customers want to get in touch with you, they should be able to do so easily. In fact, a web usability report by KoMarketing found that 44% of survey respondents leave a website if there isn’t contact information or a phone number available.
For customers, not being able to share their thoughts and feelings—whether positive or negative—is an extremely frustrating experience. Your Contact page should include ways for your customers to reach out when something goes wrong, as well as opportunities for them to engage with your brand in fun and exciting ways.
Here’s a quick checklist of everything your Contact page should include:

An email address or contact form
Your physical location, along with a map and directions
Your retail store hours
Links to your social media profiles
Support-specific contact options, including a phone number or email

Website speed and performance
The performance of your website is closely tied to your success as a business. According to Google, 53% of mobile visitors will leave your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. That’s a huge amount of traffic you could be turning away without even realizing it.
Imagine you were waiting outside a store and you had to wait for the owner to come to the door to let you in. Sure, you might wait one or two seconds for them to come to the door. But 15? Thirty? Try counting those seconds out loud and you’ll soon realize what you could be putting your customers through.
19. Make sure your site is mobile responsive
Being mobile responsive should be a priority for your business. Over 54% of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, according to Statista. You want to provide a great experience for mobile site visitors.
Thankfully, if you own a Shopify store, every Shopify theme is automatically optimized to be displayed properly on every device.
If you want to check if your website is responsive, just drop your URL into Google’s mobile-friendly test tool.
20. Optimize your website’s loading times
As mentioned before, people will leave your website if it’s slow. Faster websites don’t only provide a good experience, but are also good for your store’s SEO. The more people stay on your site, the lower your bounce rate, which signals to search engines that your website is credible and worthy of traffic.
The easiest way to check how long your online store takes to load is by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. PageSpeed Insights will give you a detailed report of how fast your website loads, along with any issues you can resolve to improve your load times.
While optimizing your store’s load times can be a complicated process, there are a couple things to always keep in mind. The size of your images can have a significant impact on how quickly your website loads. Try to compress and optimize every image using a tool like ImageOptim. ImageOptim strips away all of the unnecessary data in every image file, resulting in a much smaller file size with no noticeable visual difference.
Additionally, for Shopify store owners, try uninstalling any apps that you’re no longer using, as these apps can put an additional load on your website, even if they’re disabled.
Learn more: How to Find and Plug the Leaks in Your Conversion Funnels
More experiments, higher conversion rates
Whether you’re a marketer or a business owner, you have one goal: get people to click that CTA button. It’s clear every ecommerce marketing strategy should include conversion rate and page optimization. Running the experiments above will help create better experiences for your visitors and encourage them to take that desired action—be it email signups, add to carts, or sales.

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Conversion rate optimization FAQ

What is a CRO strategy?

Conversion rate optimization is a technique used to increase conversions of visitors on a website or app. The goal is to improve the chances a visitor will take a desired action on your pages.

What is the purpose of conversion rate optimization?

Conversion optimization aims to turn visitor traffic into business results, such as buying your products, joining an email list, or qualifying as a lead. CRO can help you better understand your target audience and find out what elements of your messaging speak to them.

What are three ways to optimize conversion rate?

Use intelligent search on your website

Be transparent around pricing and delivery

Make your store mobile friendly and fast

What’s Dropshipping: Issues You Want To Know Earlier than Getting Began

If you’re seeking an online business opportunity, chances are that you’ve come across dropshipping. Dropshipping is an online business model that can generate high returns for the aspiring ecommerce entrepreneur. It’s possible to start dropshipping with a small amount of startup capital and some sweat equity. Once you begin to see success, you can scale by allocating more resources to advertising and brand building. But how does dropshipping work, and why should you go for this model to realize your entrepreneurial dream?
Before we get any further, it’s important that you have an answer to the question ‘what is dropshipping?’

What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of retail fulfillment method for online stores, where instead of warehousing inventory, merchants purchase products from third-party suppliers as customers make orders. The products are then shipped directly to the consumer. This way, the seller doesn’t have to handle the product directly. Sound familiar?
For the retail store manager, when it comes to shipping and order fulfillment, this is a mostly hands-off process. The merchant doesn’t have to stock products, order inventory in bulk, or physically fulfill the orders in any way. Instead, the third-party supplier will ship products on the merchant’s behalf. 
Dropshipping is great for entrepreneurs because running a store doesn’t demand as much operational capital as the traditional retail model. You don’t have to open a brick-and-mortar store, hire employees, keep the lights on, pay overhead, or stock products. Instead, you open an online storefront and buy wholesale from suppliers who already have products and warehouse space.
What Is a Dropshipper?
A dropshipper is a manufacturer or supplier who manages inventory for a retail merchant and ships orders to their customer. The merchant is mainly responsible for gaining customers by driving traffic to the store and processing orders, meaning you’ll effectively be a middleman. Despite this, you’ll reap the lion’s share of the profit by marking up the items you sell. It’s a simple business model and one that can be very rewarding.
Millions of entrepreneurs flock to dropshipping because it has low barriers to entry and requires less money to launch. That’s probably why you’re interested! And the best news of all? With dropshipping, you can build a business that’s sustainable in the long term right from your laptop.
Of course, there are both drawbacks and advantages to this business model, and it’s important that we look at them before you start your own dropshipping ecommerce business. Once you understand the pros and cons of dropshipping, however, learning how to do so effectively will be a breeze — especially with the great resources Oberlo provides to aspiring entrepreneurs!
Benefits of Dropshipping

1. A dropshipping business is easy to set up 
You don’t need prior business experience to get started with dropshipping. If you take some time to learn the basics, you can launch a business quickly and learn the rest as you go. 
It’s easy to start a dropshipping business because start-up costs are low — especially when compared to other types of retail business models. For instance, you don’t need a warehouse to store products or a team to help you out. You also don’t have to worry about stocking or shipping either. It’s surprisingly hands-off, especially once you get going.
All of this means that you can start your business today. In fact, you can get everything up and running within a matter of hours.
You will need some foundational knowledge and the right tools and resources, and that’s why we created this guide. By the time you’ve finished it, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need to jumpstart your own dropshipping business.
2. Dropshipping is scalable
As you scale up, your business model doesn’t have to change very much at all. You’ll have to put more work into sales and marketing as you grow, but your day-to-day will stay more or less the same aside from processing more orders.
One of the benefits of dropshipping is that the infrastructure costs don’t skyrocket when you scale. Because of this, you’re left with more to allocate to the marketing side of your business. The more you focus on promoting your business and delivering great customer experiences, the better off you’ll be.
3. Dropshipping doesn’t require an office
You can run an entire business right from your laptop, and you don’t need to make any high-level investments. Your largest expense will be advertising, which is a budget you can scale as your store gains more traction. Even as your business grows, your costs will be fairly low – especially when compared to traditional business expenses.
4. Dropshipping is flexible
This is one of its biggest benefits. You get to be your own boss and set your own rules. It’s by far one of the most flexible careers that anyone can pursue.
You can work from home with little more than a laptop, and you can work at the times that are most convenient for you. This is ideal for entrepreneurs who want a business that works for them. You won’t have to bend over backward to get things done. Instead, you set your own pace.
Dropshipping is also flexible in that it gives you a lot of room to make decisions that work for you. You can easily list new products whenever you want, and you can adjust your strategies on the fly. If you’re going on vacation, you can automate everything to generate passive income while you’re away. You get the idea – the possibilities are limitless.
5. Dropshipping is simpler to manage
Since it doesn’t require you to make too many commitments like hiring staff or renting warehouse space, you can manage everything with little hassle. Once you’ve found suppliers and set everything up, for the most part, you’re only responsible for managing your online storefront.
Disadvantages of Dropshipping

1. Dropshipping has slim margins
One of the disadvantages of dropshipping is that you should expect low margins initially. That’s not to say it can’t be profitable, but you should be aware that the product margin in some niches might be small.
This issue is especially problematic when you’re dropshipping in a super-competitive niche. When you’re fighting for customers’ attention, it can be difficult to achieve the kind of profits you desire. However, if you choose the right niche, and target the right audience, you’re far more likely to attain wider margins. In niches with lower competition, you’ll also have better margins, but at some point, sales may begin to plateau. That’s why the success of many dropshipping stores is dependent on highly optimized advertisements driving high volumes of sales. 
2. Dropshipping can complicate order processing 
Dropshipping seems straightforward: The customer orders, you process, and your supplier fulfills. And for the most part, it is simple.
However, if you’re sourcing products from multiple suppliers, you might run into some problems. Each of your suppliers might use a different shipping solution, which presents a problem for both you and your customers. Depending on your shipping setup, the cost of shipping can be prohibitive, especially when shipping multiple products.
Different suppliers will also have different structures in place for processing and billing. Since you have to manage the interaction with your suppliers, this can sometimes get tricky.
3. Dropshipping doesn’t give you a lot of control
One of the disadvantages of dropshipping is that you don’t have control over certain aspects of the dropshipping process such as stocking products, order fulfillment, and shipping. You have to rely on your suppliers to do everything right and work seamlessly. This lack of control can be off-putting to some entrepreneurs, but it usually isn’t a problem.
This just means that when something goes wrong, it can be tricky to manage. While supplier problems can sometimes cause customer retention issues, you can mitigate them and keep customer churn to an absolute minimum with the right damage control.
4. Dropshipping makes customer service more challenging
This is another problem that happens when orders go wrong or suppliers fail. Because you’re just the store owner and don’t have a lot of control, it can be difficult to sort out orders and handle customer support.
One of the most unfortunate disadvantages of dropshipping is that you have to take the blame when your customers complain. You could be doing everything right and still run into problems if your suppliers have issues. That being said, taking responsibility and absorbing the mistake on behalf of your suppliers is all part of the business model, so don’t sweat it!
Is Dropshipping for You?
Dropshipping isn’t for everyone. And it certainly isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. But if you’re willing to take the good with the bad, then it can be an exciting endeavor. That being said, it’s still understandable if you have reservations like these: 

“I don’t know if I have enough time to start a business.”
“I don’t want to risk getting fired from my day job.”
“What if I spend a lot of time and invest money into dropshipping only to be unsuccessful?”

When thinking about starting a business, it’s normal to have those reservations but don’t let them stop you. If you think dropshipping might be a way for you to earn more money and enjoy newfound freedom, take a leap of faith and dive in! 
Is Dropshipping Profitable?
There are many ways to start and grow a dropshipping business. Our entrepreneur stories talk about merchants who have started dropshipping businesses to make a few extra hundred bucks a month, while others have grown multiple six-figure stores. Whether you are looking to start dropshipping as an introduction to ecommerce or a business model to last forever, it is important to understand how dropshipping can be profitable to you.
Dropshipping as a Side Hustle

What is dropshipping’s main appeal? Because it’s flexible and it doesn’t demand too much time once set up, it’s the ideal side job. Many entrepreneurs choose to do dropshipping on the side while they have a main job that provides steady income. In other words, you don’t have to sacrifice your day job to pursue your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
The No. 1 worry here is that your employer will prevent you from having a side hustle, but believe it or not, many companies are fine with it. You’ll want to make sure you’re in the clear by asking about your company’s policy on side businesses and review any non-compete agreements you’ve signed. You also definitely want to ensure there’s no conflict of interest. But if everything checks out, then you’re good to go.
You don’t need to dedicate too much time and energy to dropshipping, meaning you’ll likely be able to take it on without any hitches. Worried that your side hustle will make you underperform? You don’t have to be! You can spend only a couple of hours on your dropshipping business every day and still succeed.
However, it’s important to know your limits. If you regularly work overtime at your day job and struggle to find time for important daily responsibilities, you might not be able to give a dropshipping business the attention it needs. Even though dropshipping doesn’t require a lot, you do need to carve out time in your day for it.
In most cases, it just takes a little bit of time management and scheduling. Plenty of dropshipping retailers manage their main and side jobs easily. You don’t need to sleep three hours a night or skip meals to make it work. You’ll need to figure out a schedule that works for you and stick to it religiously.
Dropshipping as a Full-Time Ecommerce Business

One of the benefits of dropshipping is flexibility. You can make your business as big or as small as you want it to be. Many dropshippers choose to do it on the side, but it’s also a viable career path. If you want to be a full-time dropshipping retailer, you can be!
Once you’ve reached customers and gotten enough sales, you can move from dropshipping part-time to full-time. Best of all, you can make this happen at whatever pace you want.

Obviously, this is going to take more work, but the payoff is well worth it. Once you figure out how to dropship effectively, you won’t have to worry about unsteady revenue. A well-established dropshipping ecommerce business operates like clockwork, and it can even feel like you’re generating passive income.
And since it doesn’t take up a lot of time, you could even take on a side hustle while still being a full-time dropshipping retailer! The sky’s the limit.
Maybe you’re still skeptical about becoming a full-time dropshipper. But guess what: there are thousands of success stories from entrepreneurs who started out right where you are today. It doesn’t take a degree in business or millions in capital to make a living from it. Plus, our dropshipping tutorial covers everything you need to get started.
The Dropshipping Process
Now that we’ve covered what dropshipping is, let’s discuss exactly how it works. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the entire dropshipping process as well as a look at what the customer experiences (and why it matters).

As you can see, the retailer is just one piece of the puzzle. A successful dropshipping operation relies on multiple parties all working together in sync. It can be broken down into three basic steps:

The manufacturer creates the products and sells them in bulk to suppliers and wholesalers.

Let’s say Manufacturer A makes water bottles. After the bottles roll off the production line, they’re sold in bulk to suppliers and wholesalers, who turn around and resell the bottles to retailers.

Suppliers and wholesalers sell the products to retailers.

A retailer like yourself searches out a supplier for a specific type of product. The retailer and supplier then enter into an agreement to work together.

Image source
A small note here: While you can buy directly from product manufacturers, it’s often much easier to purchase from suppliers instead. Most manufacturers have minimum purchase requirements that can be rather high, and you’d also have to store, stock, and ship the products.
So, it might seem simpler to buy straight from the manufacturer, but you’ll benefit most from buying from suppliers (and dealing with the slight markup).
Suppliers are also convenient because many of them specialize in a certain niche, so you can easily find the kind of products you need. 

Retailers sell the products to consumers.

Suppliers and wholesalers do not sell directly to the public; that’s the retailer’s job. The retailer is the final step between the product and the consumer.
Retailers provide online storefronts from which consumers purchase products. After the wholesaler marks up the product, the retailer marks it up yet again to arrive at the final price. By “markup,” we’re referring to setting a price that covers the cost price of the item and brings you a profit.
That’s it! That’s the entire dropshipping process from start to finish. It’s a straightforward but crucial concept in business.
Later in this guide, we’ll cover how to start a dropshipping retail business. In other words, you’ll learn how to become the merchant that purchases products from wholesalers to sell to the public. This could mean you sell via eBay or your own website with an online storefront.
Now that you know what the dropshipping process looks like, consider what it’s like for the customer.
Dropshipping and Customer Experiences 
You’ve bought products online hundreds of times before, but you’ve probably never thought about the experience. It’s second nature for consumers. As a customer, you don’t need to think about it, but as a retailer, you absolutely should.

Image source
Retailers can learn a lot by thinking about the ideal customer experience of ordering from a store. This may seem obvious, but if there are any snags in the customer experience, it could spell trouble for you as a retailer. It’s important to know what your buyers expect.
Let’s pretend you have a business called Fancy Water Bottles, a site called FancyWaterBottles.com, and a wholesaler called Water Bottles Worldwide. Here’s what the ordering process would look like from the customer’s perspective:

Customer A places an order for a water bottle on FancyWaterBottles.com and immediately receives an email confirmation of the purchase.
After a few hours and up to a couple of days, Customer A receives a notification that their order has shipped. The notification includes tracking information, so Customer A knows exactly where their package is while en route.
Customer A receives the water bottle.

It’s the same process you’ve gone through each time you’ve purchased anything online. This seems basic, but there are two important aspects of this experience.
First, it’s simple. All the customer has to do is order the product and pay for it. Everything else, like an order confirmation email and tracking information, is handed to them on a silver platter.
And that brings us to our second point: convenience. The buying experience is extremely convenient in every way. An online purchase takes just minutes to make, and customers can browse any retailer’s site at their leisure. And if all goes well, the customer won’t even have to interact with anyone. It takes the minimum amount of effort to achieve the desired result of getting a product.
This experience is a lot like buying a water bottle at a big box store and using the self-checkout. It’s a no-fuss process that doesn’t present any problems. This is a big reason why people buy online in the first place, so your storefront has to give your customers that same level of convenience.
Last but not least, the customer should never have to learn that any other parties besides the retailer are involved. Think about it. When you buy something online, you think, “I bought a water bottle from Fancy Water Bottles.” You don’t consider where the retailer got the product or who might be shipping your order.
This is how the dropshipping process should ideally look from the customer’s point of view. Now, let’s break down what happens on the other end.
Dropshipping Behind the Scenes
That’s what the customer sees, but what is dropshipping like behind the scenes?. Here’s an overview of the process:

Customer A places an order for a water bottle on FancyWaterBottles.com and receives an email confirmation of the process. Let’s say the total came to $14.95.Fancy Water Bottles receives the same email confirmation as well as Customer A’s payment. This is usually made possible by automated software that sends out the confirmation to both buyer and seller.
Fancy Water Bottles sends the order to Water Bottles Worldwide. Typically, a sales representative from Water Bottles Worldwide will receive and process the order. The retailer will then be charged for the purchase.For this example, let’s say Water Bottles Worldwide charges $12.95 for each water bottle. The retailer will pay that amount, and the difference is the profit the retailer will make. In this case, the retailer will net a profit of $2.00.
Water Bottles Worldwide packs up the order. Although the wholesaler ships the product, the package will be addressed from Fancy Water Bottles, and the Fancy Water Bottles name will appear on the invoice and packing slip. (This is so the customer will recognize the retailer’s name on the package.) The wholesaler then sends an invoice and tracking information to the retailer.
The retailer sends along the shipping information to the customer. This finalizes the retailer’s role in the order process.
The customer receives the package and enjoys the water bottle.

That’s the dropshipping process in action. You can see how the retailer, wholesaler, and manufacturer all have to work together flawlessly. When done right, it’s a smooth process that results in minimal work for everyone involved.
One point that needs to be stressed is that you, the retailer, are responsible only for two steps: sending orders to the supplier and shipment information to the consumer. Sometimes, you’ll have to be responsible for other things like customer service, but if everything goes smoothly, those two steps are the only ones you have to complete.
Getting Started With Dropshipping
All of this may sound like a complicated puzzle, but once you learn how to dropship, it’s a smooth process for everyone involved. You, the dropshipping merchant, can do everything remotely and never even touch a single product!
Remember that you don’t need any business experience to open a dropshipping storefront. It certainly helps, but it’s not necessary. Many budding entrepreneurs don’t ever chase their dreams because they believe they need an MBA or years worth of experience. This is not the case. One of the benefits of dropshipping is that you can learn how to dropship as you go.
Better yet, there are numerous resources that make dropshipping easier than ever before. You can have absolutely zero business experience and still easily make a profit. You’ll need to learn the ropes along the way, and it will be challenging at times, but it’s more than worth it.
Summary: What Is Dropshipping in 2021?
The question “what is dropshipping?” and all the basic things one should know before getting started have been answered. Now it’s your turn to sleeve up, embrace the learning curve, and immerse yourself in dropshipping. 
You may start small at the beginning with uncertainty and perhaps fear of failure, but all the successful entrepreneurs used to be at the same starting point. Draw up a strategic plan, evaluate opportunities and costs, start yours, and make your business dream happen.

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Just how to do an e commerce Competitor Analysis?

Just the way before opening a brick-and-mortar store, when you are about to launch a webshop you need to know who you’ll be competing against so that you can succeed on the ever-growing online marketplace. Statistics show that there were over two billion people who made a purchase on the web and eCommerce stores made […]

You probably can Promote Artwork To the in 8 Easy measures

Want to learn how to sell art online? 
Good idea! Selling art is an incredible way to make money doing what you love. People all over the world are prepared to spend on creative art prints and designs, with the global art market worth around $50 billion. 
Fortunately, with all of the tools now at your fingertips, you can set up an online art store to showcase your prints and merchandise and begin accepting payments from people all over the world with ease. While a gallery showcase is still a great way to promote your works, the online market represents a huge opportunity to reach larger audiences.
Whether you’re a beginner artist just dipping your brush into some new sales avenues, or you’ve been a creative mastermind for years, here’s how you can sell your art online in 8 simple steps.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it. Hire yourself and start calling the shots.

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How to Sell Art Online: 8 Steps to Success
1. Original or Reproductions? Take Your Pick
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when selling artistic pieces online is where you’re going to focus your business. As an artist, you may choose to sell reproductions of your creations (like prints), curated pieces (from other artists), or originals. 
Some entrepreneurs sell a combination of different art types to attract a wider audience. Your options include:

Original works: Drawings, paintings, and other original artworks designed by you. You can sell prints and reproductions of these artworks too. 
Limited-edition prints: You might sell a certain number of prints for a limited time to generate more interest in the items.
Custom art: These are artworks generally designed after a client commissions something from you. For instance, you might create drawings of a person’s dog or best friend. These pieces are usually one-of-a-kind. 
Merchandise: Thanks to print-on-demand companies, it’s easy to place your designs on all kinds of t-shirts, enamel pins, and more. 
Licensing: You can license certain works to other companies, like photography or illustrations designed for another brand. 
Digital downloads: Templates, desktop wallpapers, artworks people can bring at home, and other digital downloads are popular (and cheap to sell).

2. Make Your Prints
If you decide to create original works and produce prints, you’ll need to find the best way of creating your prints. Fortunately, there are a lot of options here. If you have the right printing machine at home, you can create DIY prints in high-quality inks and on all kinds of beautiful paper. 
DIY printing can be a good way to keep profits high if you’re worried about spending too much as a beginner artist. If you can’t afford a professional printer at home, you can potentially use a local printing service every time someone makes an order. As order numbers increase, you can consider using printing companies online to reproduce your work in higher volumes. 
Print-on-demand is another option for keeping costs low. The cool thing about print-on-demand is you can print on a lot more than just paper. Companies in the POD landscape allow you to print your works on canvases, metal, and even accessories, like bags and mugs.
3. Digitizing Your Work: Photography vs Scanning
Digitizing your art for online selling can be tough. As you may know, simply snapping a photo of your latest work might not be the perfect way to demonstrate all the details of your piece accurately. Photos can leave a shine on images or cause colors to appear a little different from their shade in person. Everything from your lighting to camera choice will impact the quality of your photos. 
Here are a few tips to follow when photographing and scanning your art: 

Take multiple pictures: Take clear shots from multiple angles and zoomed-in pictures to show detail and texture. Lifestyle photos (such as your artwork on a bedroom wall) are excellent for making an emotional impact on your audience
Edit images: Recalibrate the picture once it’s digitized using contrast, brightness, and other settings to make it look as true to life as possible. Avoid using any filters or additional features that might make customers uncertain about what they will get.
Crop images: Remove unnecessary edges and background elements unless you’re providing a contextual shot. Make sure hands and extra props aren’t visible, as they can detract attention from your piece. 

Remember to save images in the right format too. PNG images often hold onto high resolution and clarity much better than JPEG files.  
Pro tip: For flat or 2D images, it’s often best to use scanning, as the scanning machine can carefully examine and upload images pixel by pixel.
4. Get the Pricing Right
Pricing is one of the toughest parts of starting your own business. Choose a price too high, and you risk scaring away customers. Price something too cheap, and you convince your audience they’re not getting the best quality — it’s a fine balance
Pricing original art is particularly tough, as it’s difficult to place value on your skill. If you’re just getting started and don’t have many followers or fans, you might want to start with simple pricing. For instance, combine your time and labor costs with material costs and expenses. Add a small markup at the end to give yourself a profit. Once you have a better sense of demand for your art and have amassed a following, then you could consider charging a premium. Also, think about your competitors and the kind of prices they offer. Should your fees be lower or higher?
If you’re selling curated art or prints, pricing becomes a little simpler. All you need to do is take the cost of printing and add on the fees of selling and marketing the print, as well as your markup (profit). You might charge a slightly higher price for limited edition prints. 
Pay attention to your competition and marketplace to see what kind of prices your customers tend to respond best to. Don’t be tempted to undervalue yourself just to attract more customers; you need to make a profit to make your endeavor worthwhile. Check out these pricing strategies to better understand how much to charge for your art prints or merchandise.
5. Create Your Online Store
It’s finally time to create and launch your online store. 
You can build a store in a matter of 30 minutes with a solution like Shopify. This ecommerce site-building service comes with everything you need to showcase your art and start making profits. You can customize a theme to suit your brand image, set up a checkout page, and even add apps to help you sell your art. 

Shopify’s app market comes packed full of tools to make life easier for creative professionals. For instance, there are:

Email marketing tools: These are great for keeping your customers up to date on your latest pieces, generating hype about new collections, and even providing information to clients about their previous orders. 
SEO solutions: SEO apps help with keyword research and tracking to ensure you can boost your visibility online. If you want your customers to find your art when searching for certain terms on Google, you need SEO. 
Print-on-demand apps: If you’re selling art merchandise and want to work with another printing company to mass-print your products, print-on-demand services will be a great blessing. Make sure you choose a POD service you can trust to produce high-quality products for your customers.

Shopify also has a range of free applications, like countdown timer apps if you want to create a sense of urgency and convince people to buy. Everything you need to supercharge your online store is available in the Shopify App Store.
6. Explore Additional Platforms for Online Selling
If you really want to boost your chances of getting as many sales as possible, then you’ll need to sell on more than just your own website. There are dozens of art-focused marketplaces online with pre-existing customer bases, making it easier to find potential buyers. Options include:

Etsy: Probably the best-known site for artistic creations and crafting. Etsy is an online marketplace where you can list your art alongside other local and global creators. 
CafePress: A solution for turning your art into unique products and collectibles, CafePress helps you to unlock new formats for your art. You can also get your pieces featured in front of a huge potential audience. 
ArtFire: Similar to Etsy, Artfire is a marketplace for makers and crafters around the world. Artfire helps you capture your target audience’s attention with things like podcasts, articles, and more. 
eBay: If you’re selling one-of-a-kind creations, eBay might be a good choice for you. This is the world’s largest auction site, where people have the option to bid exactly what they think your piece is worth. 
Artfinder: Artfinder is a dedicated marketplace for curated artwork. You’ll need to apply to the site if you want to be featured. There are tons of seller plans available and various commission options to consider as well. 
UGallery: Aiming to democratize art selling, UGallery connects artists directly with collectors. This is an excellent site to consider if you’re selling one-of-a-kind pieces. The website has an application process to ensure all art sold through the site maintains a high standard. 

You can also consider selling directly through social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Alternatively, look into wholesale sites like Handshake to sell photos and prints in bulk.
7. Protect Your Work
One of the toughest parts of building your brand as an artist is protecting yourself against people who would try to steal your talent. It’s common to see people online claiming that they made a particular design or even replicating an art piece to sell as a print through various websites and marketplaces. Hiring a legal team can be extremely expensive and complicated, so it’s best to be proactive and work on defending yourself from day one. 
Get your major pieces copyrighted as quickly as possible, and keep an eye out for anyone who might be trying to replicate your design. It’s also important to work with reputable marketplaces and third-party sellers when distributing your art online. 
The right print-on-demand companies, marketplaces, and curators will work with you to protect your art and inform you if other people attempt to claim your images as their own.

8. Market Your Art Brand
Now you’re ready to get out there and create some buzz for your art brand.
There are plenty of great ways to generate attention for your site and your creations. For instance, you could launch a social media page where you share snippets of your latest works. Instagram and Pinterest are great environments for this. Other options include:

Run paid ad campaigns on Facebook and Google with PPC
Invest in word-of-mouth marketing through engaging competitions and events on social media. 
Reach out to influencers and connect with the press in your industry
Learn about SEO and improve your ranking with sites like Google naturally
Use content marketing to drive organic traffic to your website. 
Consider offline marketing options, like participating in art shows and working with galleries to expand your reach to new audiences

Summary: How to Sell Art Online in 2021
Selling art online is a wonderful way to transform your passion into something capable of paying the bills. 
Whether you choose to create custom pieces for customers around the globe, or sell prints of your images online, there are tons of ways to get started. 
All you need to do is take the leap.
In summary, here are all the steps to selling art online: 

Decide whether to sell originals or reproductions
Print your works via DIY printing or print-on-demand
Photograph and scan art to digitize it 
Choose a price point 
Build your online art store
Identify other places for selling your art online
Copyright your art pieces
Promote your art brand 

FAQ
What’s the best way to sell art online?
This depends on your personal preference. However, most artists say they love having their own website they can attract attention to. Building an ecommerce site with a platform like Shopify will give you a professional image and help you reach customers around the world. You can also sell through social media channels, online marketplaces, and more.
Is it profitable to sell art online?
You can definitely make a profit selling art online. The first step is making sure you choose the right pricing, taking things like time spent and materials into account. Make sure you have a good marketing strategy in place for attracting customers too. 
Which art is the most profitable?
Art is a broad and subjective concept. Different people fall in love with different kinds of art. Your best bet is to start by deciding which kinds of art you’re most likely to enjoy selling. Once you’ve set up your store, you can begin to track which of your pieces seem to get the most attention from buyers. Over time, your store analytics will show you where you can focus your attention to get the most return on your investment.
Want to Learn More?

Sneaker Speak With Tyrone Edwards: Trusting eBay Canada’s Authenticity Assure

Tyrone Edwards, better known as @mr1loveto, has been the face of Canadian entertainment television for quiet some time. His career first began as the host of RAPCITY during the nostalgic MuchMusic days and today, he’s the host at CTV’s eTalk! He’s always rocking a killer outfit, and to him fashion is a way of expressing his true authentic self.

Over the years, Tyrone was no stranger to evolving wardrobe looks. Everything from streetwear to formal wear, he sure knows how to rock any red carpet look! But, there’s one element to an outfit that really ties everything together. To Tyrone, that’s a fresh new pair of sneakers. I sat down with Tyrone to discuss all things sneaker talk and trusting eBay Canada’s new Authenticity Guarantee Program.

See Also: An Inside Look Into Toronto’s Non-Binary Fashion Designer > > >

Tyrone Edwards

Photo: eTalk

Tyrone’s love for fashion stems from his childhood growing up in Toronto. His mom always made sure he looked good going to church and school and from there, Tyrone took those morals and values and implemented them into his everyday life.

“Its always fun to come up with different ideas, looks and mix and match things and if you actually enjoy putting outfits together, the more you do, the better you get at it,” Tyrone said.

During his teenage years he really fell in love with the idea of getting dressed up. In recent years, he’s gotten the opportunity to build-up his suit game and really rock every outfit.

Some of his favourite looks include a hybrid fusion, sporty-formal, preppy, and comfy-casual. He loves the contrast of a really preppy outfit like khaki shorts and a white polo but with bold gold jewellery and a fresh set of grills. Having a good pair of sneakers on your feet can really elevate any of these looks. Tyrone’s says his love for sneakers comes from his love for fashion and trying new things.

“Whatever is on your feet is clutch and a lot of the times that’s going to be a good sneaker. A good sneaker is really going to show your knowledge of the sneaker game and a sneaker should always tell a story. When I play basketball I only wear Kyrie’s or Kobe’s. Kyrie’s because I really align with his beliefs and Kobe’s because he’s my favourite basketball player of all time,” Tyrone said.

During the early 2000s, Tyrone played NCAA basketball at Hillsdale College in Michigan so he knows a good basketball sneaker when he sees one. Tyrone’s favourite Kyrie’s are the Spongebob Kyrie’s — he shares a matching pair with his daughter — and the Black History Month Kyrie’s. Tyrone also has a pair autographed Kobe’s… but that’s a story for another day.

Tyrone’s Favourite All-Time Sneakers

1. Nike Men’s Air Force 1 Low – White

Tyrone said you can style this sneaker with almost any look. Whatever the look, this shoe will never disappoint. He says each summer he buys 3 pairs of brand new Air Force 1’s because you always have to make sure they’re looking fresh.

2. Jordan 11 Carolina Retro Low University Blue

Photo: Sneaker News

Tyrone says that the baby blue sole on these Jordan Carolina’s is everything! This shoe gives all those nostalgic vibes of how crazy Jordan releases use to be.

3. Prada New America’S Cup Bike Fabric Sneakers

PHoto: Prada

“These Prada’s are just a high-end feel and they’re just a whole vibe. You can dress them up and you can dress casual. Its premium and with this sneaker you can start getting into material and quality leather,” Tyrone said.

4. Air Jordan 9 “Space Jam”

PHoto: sneaker news

“This is my favourite pair of Jordan’s. It was the pair I always wanted as a kid, I thought they were the coolest looking. They look good on the court, but also as an everyday sneaker. To me, this sneaker is equivalent to a red Ferrari, its so classic,” Tyrone said.

eBay Canada Launches New Authenticity Guarantee Program

Photo: ebay

In May, eBay Canada launched the new Authenticity Guarantee program where collectible sneakers sold on the site (over $100) are fully vetted and verified. This verification is done by an independent team of industry experts, Sneaker Con, at eBay’s newly-launched Canadian authentication centre entirely dedicated to sneakers.

Authenticated pre-owned sneakers are also available to Canadian buyers, with access to inventory from the U.S., a serious game changer for the sneaker collectors and style enthusiasts north of the border. So, if you’re looking to get your hands on some Tyrone’s favourite sneakers, you can find them on eBay Canada today!

How To Register a Enterprise in 2021

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only, and doesn’t constitute professional legal advice. Oberlo is not liable to you in any way for your use or reliance on this article.
It’s essential that ecommerce entrepreneurs know how to register a business, especially at the start of their entrepreneurial journey.
Once your online store has been registered as a legal entity, you’ll be protected if any of your customers, or competitors, decide to file legal action against you.
If you’re new to the concept of registering a business, the thought can be quite daunting. We’ve created this article to walk you through all the necessary steps which you’ll need to consider when you’re registering a small business in the US.
You’ll soon know how to register your business and get the stability and legal security which individuals who are just starting an online business need. 

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Do I Need to Register My Business?
Although you can run a business without registering it, it’s a good idea to incorporate it as your business grows. Registering businesses makes them official in the eyes of the government, and it ensures both your personal and business assets are legally secure.
Steps to Register a Business
Registering your business isn’t complicated, but it does require you to take the right steps. The procedure to register as a legal entity involves: 
1. Naming Your Business
Every ecommerce entrepreneur will need to take the first step towards registering their business by deciding on a name for their online store.
It’s essential that you come up with a memorable name for your online store– something which is going to catch the eyes of your audience and leave a lasting impression. Make sure that the name is related to your niche, and something which you’ll be able to build a marketing strategy around.
Coming up with a business name that will stand the test of time can be tricky. Check out some of your competitors and analyze the types of names which they use. Make a note of the ecommerce business names which you like and then think about how your idea compares with it. Does your idea stand out from the crowd? If not, what can you do to make it unique? You can also use a business name generator to get ideas for your company name. 
2. Registering a Business Name
Once you’ve come up with an amazing name for your ecommerce business you’ve already overcome one of the most difficult parts of registering a business. It’s critical to make sure that your business name isn’t already registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO will automatically reject any registration for a business name that’s already registered in their system. You’ll also lose any processing fees from the application.
To avoid any of these problems, research your local business directories to verify if the business name you’d like to use is available. You can also use USPTO’s free tool to check if your business name is available.
Future-Proofing Your Business Name
When you’ve found a memorable business name that is available, take some time to think about the long-term goals of your business. Do you think that the name of your business is future-proof? Will it stand the test of time?
Try to avoid choosing a business name which stems from a current trend. If you were to name your ecommerce business ‘Selfie Stick Corporation’ you may see success initially, but how popular will your business be in the next few years?
It’s important to consider the staying-power of a name before you register your business, as it’ll be inconvenient to change your name later on. Changing your name once you’ve created an established ecommerce business is a hassle legally, and can also lead to confusion for your existing customers.

3. Picking Your Business Entity

After you’ve decided on a name for your ecommerce business, you’ll need to choose the type of business entity which best fits your online store. There are two main options; registering your business as an LLC, or incorporation. There are distinct differences between these two options, so we’ve broken down the key points which you’ll need to know so you can make the best decision for your ecommerce business.
LLC
Setting up your business as an LLC will require less paperwork than it would if you were to incorporate, which means that you’ll have more time to focus on getting your store off the ground.
When you’ve registered your business as an LLC, you won’t be personally liable for any debts which your company accumulates. This means that your personal assets like your savings, car, and house will be completely safe if anything were to happen to your company.
Another benefit of choosing to register as an LLC is that you’ll be able to rent your personal assets to your business. For example, if you run your ecommerce business from a home office, you’re able to claim that space as a business expense. You’ll save some extra money by doing this which you’ll be able to put into other aspects of your business.
Corporation
When most think of corporations they think of multi-million dollar companies with hundreds of employees, but incorporation merely means that you’ll develop from a sole proprietorship into a company which is formally recognised as a legal business entity.
There are two main options which businesses can choose when they are incorporating; registering as an ‘S’ corporation, or a ‘C’ corporation. There are no prerequisites to registering as either, it’s all down to which option is better for your ecommerce business.
Registering your ecommerce business as an ‘S’ corporation will give you the option of ‘pass-through taxation’, which means that your ecommerce business will not be taxed on a business level. Instead, you’ll pay income tax on the revenue that your ecommerce business generates, but not the actual business itself.
On the other hand, ‘C’ corporations are considered as a separate entity when it comes to taxation. This means that your ecommerce business will be subject to ‘double-taxation’, which means that you’ll be taxed on your business’ profits and you’ll still be taxed on your personal income.
Whichever structure you choose for your business entity, bare in mind that it isn’t set in stone. As your business matures you’ll be able to move from one structure to another depending on the needs of your ecommerce business.
4. Choosing the State You’ll Register In
Take some time to consider in which state you’ll register your ecommerce business. The tax rates vary from state to state. However, you aren’t required to register in the state where you operate your small business.
Registering a new business in a state which has low, or non-existent sales tax rates makes a lot of sense as it’ll save you money down the road. Amazon, one of the biggest online retailers in the world, takes advantage of this option. 
Have a look through each state’s tax rates and decide which state is best to register in for your business’ goals and immediate needs. Some states have no sales tax, so they don’t have a registration procedure. Examples include: 

Delaware
Montana
Oregon 
Alaska 
New Hampshire

For other states, check with their local office to find out what the registration process comprises. 

5. Obtaining Your Business’ Federal Tax Number

You also need to register your business on a federal level. To do this, you’ll need to obtain a federal tax number for your ecommerce business. Your federal tax number is also known as an employer identification number (EIN), and it’s the equivalent of a social security number for your business.
As you’ll be filing tax returns and submitting reports on your business activity, it’s essential that you get a EIN number for your business. Without this number, you won’t be able to submit your tax forms to either the federal or the state government.
You can apply online for your ecommerce business’ EIN number. It’s a simple application form and you’ll be able to get your EIN number on the same day that you submit the online form.

6. Opening a Business Bank Account

Banks in the US require documents of small business registration before they will allow you to open up a business bank account. It’s essential that ecommerce entrepreneurs know how to register an online business if they are looking to open a business bank account.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll find that opening a business account is a great way to separate your personal finances from those which you’ll be using to fund your ecommerce business. Having a business account is also clever for tax reasons– you’ll be able to invoice certain payments and claim them as business expenses.
Opening a business account will give you a clear idea of the amount of money which your business is costing each month, and you’ll know the exact amount of money which your ecommerce business is making.
It’ll also give your ecommerce business more professional credibility. Customers will make payments for orders to your business account, instead of your name. This distinction instills confidence in your customer that your business is legitimate.
How Much Does It Cost to Register a Business?
There’s no cost to unofficially register a small business, but you may have to pay sales tax depending on the state you choose to incorporate in.

Summary: How to Go About Registering a Company in 2021 
Now that you’ve read how to register a business you can go ahead and get started on running a legitimate ecommerce business. Once you’ve completed the registration process we’ve detailed in this article, your business will be considered as a legal entity. And you’ll officially be the owner of a professional business.
In summary, here are the 6 steps to register a business:

Choose your business name
Register with the USPTO
Select your business entity
Decide on the state you’ll register in
Obtain your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Open a business bank account

If you have any further questions regarding the legalities of registering a business in the USA, just drop us a line in the comments section. Remember, all questions are good questions!

Want to Learn More?

Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!

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Pursuits Your Personal Future: nineteen DIY Enterprise Concepts

Name a craft and I’ve undoubtedly dabbled in it. While I love writing about all things entrepreneurship, I find true happiness in making, building, and creating. 
However, there are many crafts that require little experience or innate artistic ability to get started. If you’re looking for a hobby you can monetize, let’s get crafting! Anyone can make and sell crafts from home, often with little investment. 
Experts agree that working with your hands offers many mental health benefits, especially for those who work in a typical nine-to-five desk job. DIYing and making crafts can be almost meditative, allowing your brain to log off and recharge. The sense of accomplishment in creating something from scratch can also improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. 
Further, exploring your creativity may even spark a business idea. Once you’ve found and perfected your craft, you can diversify your income by making and selling handmade goods in your spare time. 
QUIZ: what’s your creative calling?
New to DIY crafts and unsure which category would suit you best? Answer a few quick questions to get tailored ideas for crafts to make and sell, based on your personality, abilities, and interests.

✨ Explore: If you loved this quiz and want to head deeper into a path of self-discovery, try our Founder’s Zodiac series. A personality test will reveal your entrepreneur type and give you curated advice and inspiration for building your dream.
10 trending crafts to make and sell
If the global pandemic taught us anything, it’s that anyone can learn to make things with their hands. (It was a very good year for sourdough.) DIY content on platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram exploded, offering tutorials for anything from embroidery to woodworking. Of those, some trends emerged. To inspire your creativity—and maybe your next business idea—we’ve compiled a list of crafts you can make and sell, based on what crafty folk are searching, making, and buying in 2021.
1. Resin and polymer clay jewellery 
Both resin and polymer clay jewellery creations began trending a couple of years ago but are still popping up all over the internet—like in this recent tutorial—because of their versatility and appeal as DIY crafts. Resin jewellery is often characterized by items like dried flowers “preserved” in a hard clear substance, while the most common polymer clay jewelry is composed of opaque geometric shapes in bold colors. 
Both require some upfront investment for the materials but have a low learning curve with plenty of online tutorials. Great as a hobby, jewellery is also an easy craft to scale into a side gig, as you can produce multiple pieces in each batch. 
🧶 Tips:

Resin jewellery is slightly more complicated, as it involves mixing chemicals and can be messy. Trial and error will help you avoid bubbles in your creations.
Polymer clay jewellery can be made by cutting freehand shapes, or using mini cookie cutters, then assembling the pieces with jump rings. Invest in a rolling pin designed for this purpose for a more professional finish.

🎨 Learn more: How to Start a Jewelry Making Business: The Ultimate Guide
2. Tufted rugs and mats
Another trend that’s still going strong after a surge in searches in late 2020 is rug-making, using a hooking or tufting method. Whether you hook by hand with a punch needle or use a mechanical/electric tufting gun, you can create unique rugs, mats, or textile wall art based on your own designs. The top creators are often fetching hundreds of dollars for one two-by-three-foot rug. It can be a lucrative business if you find your niche.
🧶 Tips:

Offer a custom or made-to-order service, creating tufted rugs to your customers’ specs.
Starting out in this space will cost you a few hundred dollars for materials, especially if you opt for the tufting gun method. Try a class, if one is offered in your area, to see if you enjoy it before investing.

3. Textile dyeing 
Tie-dye cycled back in popularity (again) in 2019 and is holding strong, popping up in fashion retailer collections on everything from sneakers to underwear. Tie-dyed goods are easy to make and sell from home, requiring very few materials and skills. You can buy and dye bulk blank t-shirts or tie-dye fabric to sew into one-of-a-kinds products, depending on your skill level. Also try traditional Japanese shibori, a trending method of resist-dyeing using natural indigo dye.
🧶 Tips:

Fabric dye, both synthetic and natural, can be purchased commercially. You can also experiment with making your own dyes with ingredients from your pantry, like avocado skins, turmeric, or teas. Etsy identified eco-conscious fabric as a home decor trend for 2021.
Tie-dyeing typically can be done using string or elastic to resist dye. But anything can be used for this purpose—try bulldog clips, clothespins, or a wax-resist method like batik.

4. Paper flowers
Paper flowers are simple crafts to make and sell and potentially can be a fruitful small business idea. The wedding services market, though hit hard by the pandemic, is bouncing back and expected to be worth upward of $50 billion in the US alone in 2021. Marketing paper flowers as statement-making decor for weddings and events could score you a piece of that very big pie. Tons of free online paper flower tutorials and templates make it easy to get started. 
🧶 Tips:

Find or create designs that can fold down and be unfurled by your customer to save on shipping costs.
Why not try making and selling craft kits for kids or adults, assembling and cutting elements of paper flowers that customers can assemble at home?

Sell crafts online and try Shopify free for 14 days

5. Home fragrance
One of the easiest crafts to make and sell online, home fragrance products like candles require no prior crafting experience. And, craft queen Martha Stewart identified them as a top craft to try in 2021. You can purchase a basic candle-making kit to experiment with the process of adding essential oils to melted wax. But the possibilities are endless: get creative and stand out with unique containers/shapes like those by Yui Brooklyn, great branding like Boy Smells, or unusual scent combinations like Frostbeard candles.
🧶 Tips:

Other home fragrance crafts to make and sell include room and linen sprays, custom essential oil blends, and natural diffusers.
If you plan to make and sell candles online, be mindful that they are products susceptible to breakage and melting. Factor this into your packing and shipping strategy.

🎨 Learn more: Turn Scents Into Dollars: How to Start a Candle-Making Business
6. Ceramic or clay plant pots
The plant-parent population grew like a weed at the onset of the pandemic, and businesses selling plants and plant accessories harvested the benefits. And, with plant care being a long-term commitment, tangential businesses will see benefits for years to come.
There is often a higher barrier to entry to pottery due to the need for specialized ovens (called kilns) to fire the clay. These are often cost- and space-prohibitive, but you can generally find community centers or clay studios that rent kiln time. Pottery-like plant pots can also be made from air clay or cement (poured into moulds) and do not require firing. 
🧶 Tips:

Take a pottery workshop or class to learn how to work with clay and get access to a kiln. 
Consider other plant accessories like garden markers, hanging planters, watering spikes, or window boxes that can be made from a variety of materials.

🎨 Learn more: Fronds with Benefits: A Beginner’s Guide to Selling Plants Online
7. Face masks
It’s true that as more vaccines are put into arms, the closer we are to the end of masks. But with much of the young global population still unvaccinated, and the unpredictability of variants, face masks aren’t going away anytime soon. Plus, in some parts of the world, face masks are widely used for combating the spread of colds and the effects of smog. If you have basic sewing skills, you can make and sell fabric face masks using online tutorials or by designing your own pattern.
🧶 Tips:

Face masks are available everywhere you turn. Why should someone buy yours? Consider how you can improve on the average mask, either through design or function. The founder of Second Wind gained traction for her face mask line that helped popularize masks as statement accessories, earning her celebrity clients like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and J.Lo.
Face masks are flat enough to ship through lettermail. Offer free shipping and build the minimal cost into the retail price. 

8. Vintage upcycle
If you’re looking for a sustainable idea for a craft you can do from home, vintage upcycling might be for you. The process involves sourcing vintage clothing—maybe pieces that have rips, stains, or dated shapes—and repurposing parts into new products. Usable fabric from a torn maxi-skirt could become a tote bag, a faded vintage sweatshirt could be cropped and redyed. 
🧶 Tips:

You don’t need to have sewing skills to upcycle vintage clothing. Try distressing denim or cropping and dyeing tees. Etsy identified ’90s revival as a trend for kids’ products in 2021.
Consider what’s in demand. Which fashion trends from the past have cycled back? How can you convert less-desirable cuts into modern silhouettes?

🎨 Learn more: How to Sell Vintage Clothing Online: The Ultimate Guide
9. Tote bags
This is one of the most versatile craft ideas on our list, with options for every level of skill and creativity. At the low end, you can buy blank cotton tote bags and personalize them with silkscreening, beading, hand painting, textile dyeing, or embroidering. For more advanced crafters, sew tote bags from scratch from your own pattern—add pockets, closures, and other details to make yours unique.
🧶 Tips:

As a sustainable option, upcycle vintage clothing or fabric into a usable tote bag. Consumer trends continue to tip toward businesses with a sustainability slant.
Consider finding a niche in this crowded market. What about: tote bags just for wine bottles, totes that convert to backpacks, bags that fold up to fit in a pocket, or totes screen printed with memes and pop-culture references?
If you truly don’t have a knack for crafting, consider uploading your designs to a print-on-demand partner and have them shipped directly to your customer.

10. Woven and knotted home decor 
Woven and knotted textile art has made a big comeback in tandem with midcentury home decor trends. These crafts have a range of options for every skill set. Macramé is a knotted technique popularized in the Victorian era and revived in the 1970s that can be used to make belts, textile art, and hanging planters. Searches for “hanging planter” spiked in 2020 along with the increase in interest for plant care, and Etsy identified them as a home decor trend this spring. It’s an easy craft to learn and requires little to no equipment. 
Other textile crafts like hanging wall art can be made with a weaving technique using a loom—these can range from a simple wooden frame or hand loom to large electrical power looms. 
🧶 Tips:

A beginner weaving kit can cost as little at $30 and contains all of the supplies you need to weave a trial project.
What other woven crafts can you make and sell? Consider placemats, bathmats, soft baskets, or jewellery.

Crafts to make and sell FAQ

How do I learn to make crafts?
Good news: you don’t have to spend years in formal art school to learn how to make crafts. There are several free sources for DIY ideas and craft tutorials on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and craft blogs. Many even share links to where to buy materials. Local community centers and colleges may also offer individual courses or workshops for your craft.
How do I price crafts that I make to sell?
Pricing your crafts for retail or wholesale can follow simple pricing formulas that factor in cost of materials, fixed costs like rent or utilities, the value of your time and expertise, and your profit margin. Remember that one-of-a-kind goods inherently have value because of their uniqueness. Look to other craft sellers who make similar products and ensure that you are priced within a reasonable range for the market.
What are easy crafts to make and sell?
Crafts to sell can run the gamut from fairly simple to extremely complex, but it’s entirely personal based on your unique skill set and artistic ability. Dabble in multiple types of crafts to see what comes naturally to you. Candles, beaded jewellery, and tie-dying are all craft ideas that can be made by the creatively challenged and without the need to learn to use specialized equipment. 
What can I make and sell from home?
With a few exceptions, you can make and sell anything from home. Aside from crafts like pottery or large scale woodworking projects that require bulky or expensive equipment to get started, you can easily start a home-based business making crafts today. Consider the requirements of each craft and the properties of your space to see if they are compatible. For example, some crafts may require proper ventilation (paints, solvents), a laundry sink or tub (dyeing), a large working space (loom work or rugs), or a stove or oven (candles, polymer clay).
Where do I sell my crafts?
The best place to sell your handmade goods is on your own website. Your own site gives you ownership and full control over the design and layout, and lets you tell your brand story. But consider diversifying your sales channels to reach more audiences. You can sell on both Etsy and Shopify with an app that connects the two channels. That way you can also access the built-in audience of the craft marketplace. Also consider selling at in-person events like craft markets and pop-ups or at local retailers via a wholesale or consignment partnership.

Illustrations by Sophie Gullbrants