Looking for a way to make more money by selling products or services online? There are more opportunities than you might think! Get inspired by our list of profitable ecommerce business ideas for 2024 and beyond.

In 2026, ecommerce sales are projected to reach $8.1 trillion. Whether you’re starting your first online business, or want to add a new dimension to your brick and mortar store, it’s more straightforward than ever to get a slice of the pie.

The WordPress ecosystem is jam-packed with easy-to-use ecommerce plugins like WooCommerce to get you set up with your online store.

And if you think of ecommerce as just a way to sell products, think again. There are a whole heap of opportunities awaiting you.

All that’s left to answer is: what are you going to sell, and which business model suits you best?

We’re here to help you brainstorm these ideas, spark some inspiration, and give you tools and tips to get started on a successful journey.

In this article, we’ll discuss 5 proven ecommerce ideas for 2024 and beyond to get you raking in the revenue.

Time to get inspired!

brainstorm gif featuring Elmo and Maya Rudolph

Ecommerce Business Ideas

1. Sell Customized Products

Our first ecommerce business idea is to sell customized products.

As an ecommerce business, you’ll be competing against giants like Amazon, so one way to help your business stand out is by offering customizable products.

Nowadays, buying a unique gift is difficult when people can get anything they want at the click of a button. Thoughtful gift-givers turn to personalization to show extra thought and effort went into their selection.

You can sell customizable designs for almost anything on your WooCommerce site. Think of items such as t-shirts, mugs, and keyrings.

Screenshot of makeyour.com, an ecommerce business selling personalizable gifts
Website makeyourcom offers everything from customizable gin to bath salts

You can even leverage a print-on-demand service to reduce the operational load, handling your order and shipping out your prints for you.

Other ideas for personalized products include:

  • Pet Accessories: Offer custom harnesses, toys, and coats, catering to pet lovers who want to pamper their pets with unique items.
  • Homeware: Personalize items like candles and tea towels, adding a cozy, custom touch to any home.
  • Food and Drink: Create custom labels for products like beer, wine, and preserves, perfect for gifting or special occasions.
  • Jewelry: Provide options for custom engraving or designs, such as incorporating birthstones, to add a personal and meaningful touch.
  • Business Merchandise: Custom-branded items like pens, notepads, and USB sticks can be great for corporate gifting or promotional purposes.

2. Handmade Products

Want to monetize your hobby, or create a website for your slow fashion brand?

Handmade products are an excellent ecommerce business idea for 2024. And here’s why…

The trend towards sustainable and ethical consumption is gaining momentum.

A study on Gen Z’s spending habits revealed that 62% prefer purchasing from sustainable brands. What’s more, they’re willing to pay more for products that align with their values.

<a href=httpsingridstoyscom target= blank rel=noopener title=>Ingrids Toys<a> is an ecommerce business selling handmade wooden childrens toys They effectively market the sustainability of their products

By selling handmade products, you’re part of a wider movement of slow, conscious consumption, and the key to success is marketing this fact.

You want to differentiate yourself as much as possible from mass-market sites like Aliexpress and Temu. You also want to distance your brand from countless dropshipping sites that just sell these same products at a marked-up price.

Focus on marketing the production process. Showcase the care and attention that goes into making each product. Be transparent about where you source your materials, and give a face to your business.

Screenshot of an Instagram post by footwear manufacturer Vesica Piscis
Slow fashion footwear brand <a href=httpsvesicapiscisfootwearcom target= blank rel=noopener title=>Vesica Piscis<a> is transparent about their manufacturing process demonstrating their sustainable approach

Leverage the distinctiveness of your products. In a world dominated by industrial production, your handmade items offer a touch of personal craftsmanship and authenticity.

Finally, make sure you don’t undervalue your handiwork. Charge a fair price for the hours you put in to keep your business viable long-term.

You can choose to sell your products on an existing online marketplace like Etsy, however, by creating a WooCommerce you get the following benefits:

  • Customization and Control: With WooCommerce, you can design your website exactly how you want, controlling every aspect from the layout to the checkout process. This level of customization is not available on Etsy, which has a standard format for all shops.
  • Brand Identity: With WooCommerce, you create your own standalone website, which can help in building a unique brand identity. Etsy shops tend to look similar, making it harder to stand out and establish a distinct brand.
  • SEO and Traffic: Owning your website allows you to implement robust SEO strategies to drive organic traffic. On Etsy, you are dependent on Etsy’s internal search engine and competition can be high.
  • Customer Data and Marketing: WooCommerce allows you to gather customer data and use it for marketing purposes. This is restricted on Etsy, limiting your ability to engage in direct marketing or build a customer email list.
  • Independence from Platform Changes: Etsy can change its policies, fees, or algorithm, which can impact sellers significantly. With WooCommerce, you have more control and are not as vulnerable to platform changes.

3. Subscription Boxes

So far we’ve explored ecommerce business ideas that use a standard pricing model – selling physical products for a one-time fee. Now, let’s take a look at a few alternative models that are also easy to achieve on WordPress.

Subscription box businesses are a great way to achieve better customer retention and loyalty. As long as your customers are happy with your products and your service, it’s more convenient for them to keep buying from you.

Screenshot of Grove Collaborative subscription box ecommerce business
<a href=httpgroveco target= blank rel=noopener nofollow title=>Grove Collaborative<a> offers a subscription service to replenish household staples including pet food cleaning products and personal care items

This pricing model also makes it much easier to predict your revenue stream, as it’s less liable to fluctuations month-on-month.

This makes it easier to budget and make improved business growth decisions.

The global subscription ecommerce market is projected to reach a massive $2227 billion by 2026. This growth reflects a rising consumer preference for subscription services.

Subscription boxes offer consumers a convenient, time-saving way to check off regularly recurring items from their shopping list.

Statista reports that the most popular subscription services globally include:

  • Meal Kits: These are in demand for offering a mix of convenience, variety, and learning opportunities. Consumers appreciate the ease of preparing diverse and healthy meals, while also acquiring new cooking skills.
  • Beverages: Wine clubs and craft beer subscriptions are particularly popular. They cater to consumers’ desire for variety and quality in their beverage choices.
  • Personal Care Products: Regularly used items like cosmetics, razor blades, and deodorant are essential for many consumers, making them ideal for subscription models.

Other successful subscription box services cater to specific interests and needs, such as:

  • Hobby Kits: These include offerings like book clubs, board games, and craft kits, appealing to those looking to engage in their hobbies more regularly.
  • Wellness Products: Items like vitamin supplements and protein powders are increasingly popular, catering to health-conscious consumers.
Screenshot of Hopebroidery Box - a subscription box ecommerce business

TOP TIP: Offer multiple subscription bundles and tiers to cater to customers with different needs and budgets. This approach not only broadens your market reach but also enhances customer satisfaction by providing flexible options.

Setting up your WordPress site to handle subscriptions is straightforward.

Use a membership plugin like MemberPress or WishList Member to manage and streamline the subscription process.

These tools make it easy to offer a variety of subscription options and handle recurring payments, ensuring a smooth experience for both you and your customers.

4. Subscription Services

It’s not just physical products you can sell as a subscription online. As an alternative (or additional) ecommerce business idea, you can sell ongoing access to online (or real-world) services.

You reap all the same advantages – improved customer retention and loyalty, easier financial predictions, and business growth decision-making. This means you have more of a margin to reward customer loyalty with special rates and discounts.

Online services include…

  • Online Consultations: Professionals in fields like legal, financial planning, or marketing can offer their expertise through virtual meetings.
  • Creative Services: Graphic designers, writers, photographers, or musicians can sell their skills for custom projects.
  • Wellness and Personal Care: Fitness trainers, nutritionists, or therapists can offer sessions, workshops, or personalized plans online.
  • Technical Services: IT specialists or web developers can provide support or create digital solutions for clients.
  • Healthcare Services: Offer online appointments and consultations with a HIPAA-compliant hosting service.

For instance, a nutritionist might use their ecommerce platform to book consultations, sell personalized meal plans, or host virtual workshops.

Nutritionist making a fruit smoothie

An online ecommerce business allows you to extend your services a broader client base, reaching beyond geographical limitations.

For example, a financial advisor could offer investment advice and portfolio management services to clients nationwide or even globally through their ecommerce platform.

Brick and mortar businesses can also benefit from selling online subscriptions. Some examples of businesses that have successfully implemented subscriptions are…

  • Restaurants and cafes: Offer special deals to subscribers
  • Hair stylists and spas: offer special rates on regular treatments and products
  • Pet stores: offering reduced price for regular dog-washes

Use a membership plugin to restrict access to certain pages to subscribers, and a plugin like Simply Schedule Appointments to add online booking to your site.

5. Online Courses

Last but not least on our list of ecommerce business ideas for 2024 is to sell online courses.

One thing has definitely changed over the past few years. Today, people are much more open to the idea of online learning than they were in the past.

happy student taking an online course

Around 70% of students agree that online courses are preferable to traditional classroom settings. That means there’s significant demand for ecommerce entrepreneurs who want to set up online learning hubs.

WordPress offers a broad range of plugins that can help you set up online academies and collect payments from students. A quick search for learning management system (LMS) plugins will help you find plenty of options.

Setting up an online academy is easier said than done, of course. You’ll need expertise in a specific field where there’s demand for online learning. Or you’ll need to be ready to pay instructors who can put together courses for your website.

If you can do that and promote those courses effectively, students will come.

Boost Ecommerce Success with Affiliate Marketing

There can be no discussion about marketing your business in 2024 without mentioning running an affiliate program.

This marketing model rewards affiliate marketers who successfully refer your ecommerce business to their audience with a commission.

Blog title image showing man on laptop setting up first affiliate program on WordPress

It’s a great option for small businesses due to its low risk, high reward nature – you don’t have to pay out a penny to your affiliates until they make a sale for you.

It’s also really easy to scale as your business grows since you pay out a percentage of any sales made via a referral.

Another great thing about affiliate programs is that they work with any niche. Whatever ecommerce idea you choose, you can set up an affiliate program for retail stores, subscription sites, online learning hubs, you name it!

If you’re using WooCommerce, the easiest way to set up an affiliate program is with Easy Affiliate.

The Easy Affiliates plugin

Easy Affiliate is the all-in-one, plug-in-and-play affiliate program solution for WooCommerce. It also integrates seamlessly with membership plugins including MemberPress, WishList Member, and MemberMouse.

Make sure you offer decent commissions and empower affiliates with the tools they need to promote your products and track sales. Do those things, and you should have no trouble bringing in more customers.

The larger your affiliate program grows, the more successful your store will become.

Conclusion

To wrap up, the world of ecommerce in 2024 offers an exciting range of profitable avenues for both budding and seasoned online entrepreneurs.

It’s never been easier to start an ecommerce business on WordPress. With flexible plugins like WooCommerce and MemberPress you can innovate and differentiate your online business in a crowded marketplace.

We’ve explored several ecommerce business ideas to inspire you to build a site that caters to consumer and market trends in 2024. Depending on your aims for your online business you can boost revenue by offering the following:

  • Personalized products
  • Handmade goods
  • Subscription boxes
  • Subscription services
  • Online courses

Plus, by adding affiliate marketing into your strategy, you can amplify your brand’s reach and sales.

So, now it’s over to you. Ignite your entrepreneurial spirit, make the most of these strategies, and carve out your niche for a profitable and prosperous year ahead.

Do you have any questions about any of these ecommerce business ideas? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!

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