If you’re new to ecommerce, you probably have a clearly defined idea of the kind of products that get sold online. Books, electrical goods, toys, computer games, stationery and office supplies, clothes, pet supplies, jewellery… the list goes on, but it probably only includes physical goods. That’s understandable enough – after all, the internet made online sales platforms viable long before things like video calls or streaming were available. However, with today’s high-speed internet connections and the kind of sophisticated sales tools that are available through Shopify, sellers have the option to branch out and consider selling other products.
Businesses trading in services and experiences took a hit during the coronavirus pandemic – it’s hard to give a person a haircut or serve them a dinner when you can’t be physically close to them. But many savvy business owners were able to pivot to online platforms, redesigning their products and making their sales in a new medium. Whether you’re interested in starting a low-cost business from home that doesn’t need to hold inventory, or whether you plan to offer non-physical products as an adjacent to your main product offering.
Here are eight non-physical product ideas you should consider to take your ecommerce business to the next level:
1. Streaming services
Streaming is a great option for businesses that offer entertainment products (like live music, sporting events, or eSports tournaments) or in-person educational workshops. You can easily integrate an app like Single with your Shopify store, monetizing and managing video content and live streams, letting you reach audiences all over the world.
For businesses that don’t need to provide their content live, converting it into video and offering it as a course is a fantastic option. The benefit of this approach is that you only have to film your course once – but, unlike live streams, you can sell it indefinitely. Whether you’re interested in selling courses based on fitness, music, martial arts, cooking, yoga, coding, learning a language or anything else, you can do it on Shopify. The platform’s free online video maker can help you create your courses, then you can use an app like Courses to host it on your site. If you want to offer access to a collection of courses on a membership basis, then Bold Memberships is a great option.
3. Gift cards
One of the simplest online products to sell is the gift card. With Shopify, you can add gift cards to your site which can be redeemed for products or services you sell. This is a great way for you to let your customers bring new business to your store by purchasing gifts for their friends and family. You can customise your gift cards with Shopify’s free template.
Whether you sell an online service or a physical service, you can let your customers make their appointments online. This streamlines your sales process and makes the customer journey as seamless as possible. An app like Appointly allows your customers to book their appointments in real-time, and syncs with Google Calendar to notify both you and your customer when an appointment is confirmed.
Many business owners have expertise that they are not selling. But that can be changed by adding a consultancy product to your site. You can offer consultations in many different fields, from fitness to interior design to fashion, and more. Just add an app like BookedUp to your store, and use Shopify’s invoice generator to bill your new clients!
6. Membership plans
A large number of businesses, from online dance schools and education provider to non-profit organisations like museums, use online membership plans to provide ongoing revenue streams and build long-term relationships with their customers. This is a great way to deliver bundles of content or access to different tiers of service, and can be set up quickly and easily through an app like Bold Memberships.
7. Digital products
Any products that’s delivered virtually – whether it’s a song, a design element, digital imagery, or anything else – is a digital product. It could even be a digital version of a physical product you already sell (like a digital version of a book, magazine, or artwork). You can use apps like Easy Digital Products and Sky Pilot to deliver files to your customers once they’ve made a purchase, letting them access their products instantly rather than wait for a delivery.
Whether it’s an adventure getaway, complete with white water rafting and rock climbing, or a relaxing spa day, experiences remain popular consumer products. There’s no reason these products can’t be sold online, and businesses can improve their customer journeys by offering advance booking options, flexible scheduling, and the ability to purchase 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can use Powr’s Form Builder to customise your booking form, letting you add important, bespoke, fields like emergency contacts or dietary requirements, and Shopify’s free online video maker can help you create marketing content from footage of your experience.
Shopify’s versatility, and the wide range of apps its platform can integrate with, makes it the perfect choice to sell almost anything, including non-physical and digital products. Even if you have an existing business, the addition of new products and services can add additional revenue streams to it while adding value for your customers.
To learn more about what’s possible with Shopify, contact Thrive on 01675 446101 or via our contact form. Our friendly team of ecommerce experts can help you determine the best approach for your business, whatever product or service it sells.