How To Start An Ecommerce Side Hustle [With Detailed Steps]

In today’s fast-paced digital world, many people are on the lookout for innovative ways to make extra money beyond their nine-to-five job.

A side hustle in ecommerce is a flexible and potentially lucrative option that leverages online platforms to start your own business.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or just looking for a way to supplement your income, launching this side hustle can help you take control of your financial future.

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What is an E-commerce Side Hustle?

This side hustle is a business model that allows entrepreneurs to make money online by selling products and services through an online shop in their spare time, via dropshipping business, or through social media marketing.

ecommerce side hustle

It is a part-time online business venture that an individual undertakes as a secondary source of income selling their goods and services on e-commerce platforms, while still maintaining their main job or responsibilities.

For instance, someone with a knack for graphic design might decide to start selling custom-printed t-shirts through an online selling platform.

They would manage this side business during evenings and weekends while keeping their day job. With a well-executed business model, it would result in additional income without risking financial instability.

Likewise, a language tutor could offer remote lessons by leveraging online platforms after regular work hours.

Benefits Of Starting This Side Hustle

Starting a side hustle in e-commerce offers numerous advantages for individuals looking to diversify their income streams while maintaining a full-time job.

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Some of the key benefits include:

Flexible scheduling

An e commerce business allows you to work at your own pace, making it easier to balance your side hustle with your main job. Once established, many aspects of your ecommerce business can generate passive income through automation or with the help of a virtual assistant.

Low startup costs

Many ecommerce platforms enable you to build an ecommerce store with minimal upfront investment or overhead expenses.

Minimal inventory risks

A dropshipping business and print-on-demand services lets you avoid the need for large amounts of inventory and associated storage costs.

Valuable skill development

Managing a side hustle in ecommerce helps develop a range of transferable skills such as digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, and more.

Financial independence

With a successful ecommerce business, you have the potential to eventually replace or even surpass the income from your full-time job, offering greater financial security and freedom in the long run.

You can earn $1,000 per month and sometimes $2,000 per month or more from a side hustle and this is no different.

Your online business can generate income through various channels like; product sales, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and digital products.

Creative freedom

You have the ability to create your own brand identity and product offerings tailored to your unique interests and target audience.

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Steps To Starting a Side Hustle in Ecommerce

To start an e-commerce business, you need to analyze various side hustle ideas, identify your skills and interests, choose a profitable product niche, set up an online shop, develop a marketing strategy, and manage your inventory and fulfillment process.

Identify Your Skills And Interests

Before diving into the world of ecommerce, it’s crucial to identify a business idea that matches your skills and interests in order to choose a niche that aligns with your passion and expertise.

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By doing so, you can ensure that maintaining your side hustle remains an enjoyable process and doesn’t feel like another mundane job.

For example, if you have a knack for creating handmade jewelry or are passionate about sustainable living, consider building an online store around eco-friendly accessories.

This way, not only will you contribute towards a cause close to your heart but also cater to an increasingly popular customer demand.

Choose a Profitable Product Niche

Choosing a profitable product niche is an essential step in starting your e-commerce side hustle. It’s important to identify products that are in high demand and have a growing market.

You can conduct extensive research on trending products, consumer habits, and competition analysis to gain insights into what’s selling well. For instance, if you’re interested in fashion, you may want to narrow it down to specific niches such as sustainable clothing or activewear.

Once you’ve identified some potential product niches, evaluate them based on their profitability and ease of entry. Consider the production costs involved (e.g. sourcing materials), pricing expectations of customers, how much effort it will take to get your brand noticed by your target audience, and competitors’ offerings.

Set Up An ECommerce Store

Once you’ve identified a profitable product niche, the next step to starting your business is setting up an e e-commerce store. This might seem overwhelming at first, but with the right tools and resources, it can be done quickly and easily.

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One of the most popular platforms for creating an online store is Shopify. Starting a business on Shopify is relatively easy and they offer tools that make running the business relatively seamless.

To get started, simply sign up for a free trial on Shopify’s website and choose a template that fits your style. From there, add in your products along with descriptions, prices, and images.

You’ll also need to set up payment processing so customers can pay securely through your site.

Develop A Marketing Strategy

Once you’ve set up your ecommerce store, it’s time to develop a marketing strategy that will help you get the word out to potential customers.

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This involves identifying your target and determining which marketing channels will work best for reaching them.

In addition to these digital channels, you may also want to consider more traditional forms of advertising such as print or outdoor campaigns.

Manage Your Inventory And Fulfillment Process

Managing your inventory and fulfillment process is a crucial part of running a successful online venture. With the number of orders and sales coming in, it can be overwhelming to keep track of your stock levels and shipping timelines.

One solution to this is implementing an inventory management system that tracks your stock levels in real time and provides automated alerts when you reach certain thresholds.

Another important aspect is choosing the right shipping provider, as timely delivery can make or break customer satisfaction. You may want to consider using multiple providers to get competitive pricing while still maintaining reliable service quality.

Additionally, creating a standardized packing process with pre-printed labels can save time and ensure consistency in packaging across all shipments.

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Building Your Ecommerce Business

In this section, we’ll cover everything from creating a brand identity to optimizing your website for sales and leveraging social media – all the essential steps to building your ecommerce business.

Creating A Brand Identity

Creating a brand identity is essential for any e-commerce side hustle. Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors and establishes the recognition and trust with your intended market.

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To begin crafting your brand identity, start by defining your market and identifying what they value in a product or service. Incorporate those insights into your branding decisions to create messaging that resonates with them.

Use consistent visual elements across all of your marketing channels so customers can easily recognize and remember your brand. For example, if you sell handmade products, incorporating rustic imagery or natural colors may appeal to customers who value sustainability and craftsmanship.

Choosing A Platform For Your E-commerce Store

The platform you choose for your store can make a huge difference in the success of your e-commerce side hustle. You have many options to consider, from leading players like Shopify and WooCommerce to smaller niche offerings such as Big Cartel or Gumroad.

Factors to consider include ease of use, pricing, available features, customization options, and scalability. For example, if you’re just starting out and don’t have much experience building websites or managing an online store, you may want to go with a more user-friendly option like Shopify.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for more control over your site’s design and functionality or expect high levels of traffic right off the bat, a self-hosted solution like WooCommerce might be a better fit.

Create a Website for Your Ecommerce Store

In order to start a side hustle of this nature, you need to create a website through which your customers will be interacting with you. The website should be attractive and easy to use for your intended customers.

Your website ought to contain the following:

  • Your company name
  • Your branding, which includes your logo
  • Details about your background and how your company got its start
  • Information about your services or goods
  • Photographs or photographs of your products or services
  • Reviews or recommendations (if you have any).

If you’re selling a service, you could also want to provide a portfolio. Do not be hesitant to include your blog on the list if you want to provide some captivating material.

It’s also crucial how you build your e-commerce website, and here you must consider the resources at your disposal. Although it can be more expensive, you could hire someone to create a site for you. On the other hand, you could create the website yourself as some are quite easy to create, even for beginners.

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Optimizing Your Website For Sales

One of the most important steps in building a successful e-commerce side hustle is optimizing your website for sales.

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When designing your ecommerce store, focus on creating a seamless user experience that guides customers through the buying journey.

To further optimize your site for conversions, consider leveraging social proof elements like customer reviews and ratings.

Additionally, it’s essential to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) techniques into your website design. This involves using relevant keywords throughout your site’s content to increase visibility on search engines like Google.

Overall, investing time and effort into optimizing your ecommerce site for sales is well worth it as it helps you grow an engaged customer base while driving sustainable revenue growth as an entrepreneur.


If you’re beginning an e-commerce firm, you may also have a full-time job, so you can’t focus on the company full-time. This is where automation comes in handy. Automating routine chores, like sending emails or updating social media, can give the impression that you are present even when you are not.

You can set up automatic processes that are triggered by client activities, such as subscribing to your email list, using tools like Flodesk’s email builder.

You may also send them your most current e-commerce newsletter or automatically add subscribers to particular segments. There are more tasks you can automate, but this is an excellent place to start.

Leveraging Search Engine Marketing And Social Media

To make your e-commerce side hustle successful, you need to leverage search engine marketing and social media.

Search engine marketing involves optimizing your website for search engines like Google so that it appears at the top of search results when someone searches for relevant keywords related to your product or niche.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok offer a cost-effective way of reaching potential customers through social networks. Through these platforms, you have the opportunity to showcase new products.

You also share useful information about the industry or specific niches in which you operate in order to engage with followers on a personal level.

This is also an excellent way of collecting feedback from customers which can be used to improve sales conversion rates over time.

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Making Your E-commerce Side Hustle Profitable

To make your e-commerce side hustle profitable, consider pricing your products for maximum profit, managing inventory and fulfillment costs, and exploring dropshipping or print-on-demand services to scale and expand your business.

Pricing Your Products For Maximum Profit

One of the most crucial aspects of running an e-commerce side hustle is pricing your products for maximum profit. While it might be tempting to undercut your competitors, you don’t want to end up selling yourself short or struggling to make a decent margin.

To set the right price point, do some market research and analyze what similar products are priced at in your niche. Consider the cost of goods sold (COGS), including materials, shipping, and any other expenses that went into creating or sourcing your product.

Factor in overhead costs such as hosting fees or advertising expenditures.

Once you have a clear understanding of these numbers, aim to price your products with room for profitability while still staying competitive within your market space!

Managing Inventory And Fulfillment Costs

It’s essential that you efficiently manage your inventory and fulfillment processes when running an e-commerce side hustle. This is crucial because it directly impacts your profit margins.

One way to mitigate these costs is by leveraging dropshipping or print-on-demand services, which allow you to fulfill orders without having to handle physical products yourself.

Another option is to optimize your inventory management system by utilizing tools like automated reorder points and real-time tracking of stock levels.

Scaling And Expanding Your Business

Scaling and expanding your ecommerce business is crucial for long-term success. Dropshipping and print-on-demand services are two options that can help you with this. Here’s how:


This is a fulfillment method where you don’t keep the products you sell in stock. Instead, you partner with a supplier who stocks and ships the products directly to your customers. Benefits include less overhead costs and less storage space required.


This allows you to create custom designs or products without holding inventory. You simply upload your design to a platform that prints and ships the product whenever an order comes in. Benefits include low start-up costs and the ability to quickly test new products.

By utilizing dropshipping or print-on-demand services, you can scale your business by continuously adding new products to your online store without worrying about inventory costs or space limitations. Additionally, they provide flexibility in pricing and testing out new product offerings with little risk.

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Challenges And Solutions For E-commerce Side Hustles

Finding customers for your e-commerce side hustle can be challenging. To overcome this, consider utilizing various digital marketing opportunities to reach potential buyers.

You can also hire a virtual assistant to help with social media management and staying connected with your target audience.

Finding Customers Through Digital marketing

To grow your e-commerce side hustle, it’s important to find and attract new customers. Two effective ways of achieving this are through search engine optimization (SEO) and email marketing.

SEO involves optimizing your online store’s content and structure to rank higher in search engine results pages for specific keywords related to your products or services.

Email marketing, on the other hand, involves sending promotional messages directly to potential or existing customers via email. This can include newsletters, product updates, discounts, and exclusive offers.

To succeed with SEO and email marketing, it’s important to understand your market well so you can create tailored content that addresses their interests and needs.

You should also track your results using tools like Google Analytics or an email service provider’s analytics dashboard so you can continuously improve your strategies based on what works best for your audience.

Balancing Your Side Hustle And Main Job

As your e-commerce side hustle starts to gain traction, it can be challenging to balance it with your day job. A great way to relieve some of the burden is by hiring a virtual assistant.

VAs can help you with a variety of tasks such as social media management, customer service inquiries and fulfillment operations.

When choosing a VA, there are many platforms available online like Upwork and Fiverr that offer affordable freelancer services. You can also use these services for creating custom graphics or audio files for products that may require unique designs or sounds.

Keeping Up With Industry Trends

Staying ahead of the competition in the ecommerce industry requires keeping up with trends and understanding your target audience. One way to do this is by analyzing your competitors’ strategies, such as their product offerings, social media presence, and pricing tactics.

This can help you identify gaps in the market or opportunities for improvement within your own business. Additionally, staying connected with your target audience through social media platforms and email marketing allows you to receive direct feedback on your products and services, as well as keep tabs on what interests them.


Starting an e-commerce side hustle can be a great way to earn extra income and turn your passions into profits. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can create a successful business that fits into your busy schedule.

Don’t let your day job hold you back from pursuing your entrepreneurial dreams! Utilize resources such as virtual assistants and marketing strategies to make the most of your spare time.

With the growing demand for online shopping, there has never been a better time to start an e commerce side hustle.

Before you leave

If you’re tired of scams and want a real solution for making money online check out my no.1 recommendation.

It’s helped me earn over $300,000 in the last 12 months alone:

Go here to see my no.1 recommendation for making money online

(This is a 100% free training)

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David Fortune has been the editor since 2019. He is an expert at writing content on stock advisory services, side hustles, reviewing online business opportunities and many more topics. You can learn more about David on our about us page.

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