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1.2 Forms of E-Commerce

Understand the different forms of E-commerce, i.e. wholesale, dropshipping, subscription and services.

Additional Resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mv2zgRS1cx59_vtVCU7B8wDXaefkkDp_SYqDtVkkizw/edit?usp=sharing

Hey, you’re back! Welcome back. 

In the last episode we went over what e-commerce is, along with the basic models it follows. I hope you’re keeping up. 

E-commerce is vast, and can take on many different forms, so here are the  5 types of e-commerce businesses you can build for your clients. 

Number 1, retail. This is where a business sells directly to you, just like Steve Madden, Kylie Cosmetics, or Raymonds. Or even insect munchies. Yes. That too. 

That’s retail for you, also known as Direct to Consumer (or D2C) e-commerce.

Next, we have wholesale: 

This is the sale of products in bulk, often to a retailer who, in turn, sells directly to consumers. This could be anything from a company that sells stationery items to interior decor manufacturers.  Here, you could be selling to retail chains, hotels or boutique stores. Once you become a Shopify expert, you can start targeting these kinds of businesses, but for now, let's move on.

Dropshipping. Now we’re talking money. From students to homemakers and retired officials to chefs -- everybody’s dropshipping. No, seriously. I found 6 year olds and 11 year olds doing this. Made me wonder if I should just quit my job and dropship… 

Anyway, if you don’t already know, dropshipping is the sale of a product that's shipped to the consumer by a third party. I’m sorry, what now?

Let’s look at this with an example.

Let’s say Company Iwantyourmoney Inc. manufactures some great soccer hoodies in Thailand. You are a college student who wants to make megabucks and you’re also a huge soccer fan. 

You know at least 20 kids who would do anything to own a Barca or a Man Utd jersey in India.  You, being the Shopify expert that you are, build a dropshipping store that is set up to display the catalog of “Iwantyourmoney” soccer hoodies to buyers in India. 

You don’t really own this inventory but you can show 100s of different types of team hoodies to interested buyers.

But what’s most important is - you add a “markup” of say 20$ to each of these hoodies. The supplier typically helps arrive at this “profit margin”. Now, when a friend places an order on your store for a Barca hoodie, the order is routed to Company “I Want Your Money”. Then they directly ship the jacket to your friend. 

Guess who makes a cool 20$ profit -- You! If you sell 100 of these, you make 2000 dollars, with shockingly little effort on your part!

WHAT!

Okay.. back to Shopify. How can you benefit from dropshipping?

Well, you can help hundreds of people set up their dropshipping stores… And you can find dropshippers in facebook groups, entrepreneur networks, reddit communities -  they are everywhere. 

We could go on and on about dropshipping because there's just that much to it, and so we did. Find all you need to know about dropshipping in the resource doc below.  

Up next we have subscription.

I’m pretty sure all of you have some sort of a subscription. Netflix, Spotify, protein bars..

You can help sellers set up subscription-based stores for whatever product they might be selling. Think tea or coffee subscriptions, or even personal hygiene products!

Finally, we have services: 

Selling online is by no means restricted to goods and products. You can totally sell services too!  Think about StreetParking for example. They’re an online fitness programme where you can sign up for a live session. While this isn’t super common, Shopify could potentially be adapted to sell services as well, or services along with products. Imagine a precooked meal kit along with a 30-minute yoga session. Wouldn’t that be dope? Shopify can help sell the service, just like you would a product.

OKAY! I bet you’re raring to get started, now that you know aaaall the things that you could be doing. 

So how do you start...doing? There are 2 pathways you can consider: 

First - Build Shopify Stores - the websites required to sell anything online. We will be learning more about this in the later chapters of this course.

Second - Build Shopify Apps, or products that “extend” the capabilities of Shopify. 

You don’t even have to look very far for inspiration. We have some incredible developers like PushOwl and Super Lemon Apps. These guys started their journey in Bangalore and took their ventures from 0 to 100 in just a few years!

In this course, we’ll be focusing on helping you start your journey as a shopify store developer, enabling you to offer your skills and services to brands, all across the world! 

Alrighty then! 

We’ve covered quite a bit, and we’re just getting started. Before we head over to Chapter 2, let’s recap what we’ve learned:

We understood what e-commerce really is: nothing but buying and selling online.

We then went over the 4 popular e commerce models - B2B, B22, C2C and C2B. In the coming chapters, we’re going to be focusing on B2C.

We mentioned all the applications of eCommerce that can be implemented on Shopify. 

Retail, Wholesale, Dropshipping, Subscription and Services. 

Remember that retail and dropshipping are currently the most popular. 

And finally, we introduced the two possible pathways available to you:  building Shopify Stores and developing Shopify Apps.

And with that, we’ve come to the end of this chapter. Next, we’re going to talk about the big C-word.

Clients. 

I’ll see you in Chapter 2.

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Series episodes

I. Understanding E-Commerce
I. Understanding E-Commerce
1.1 Introduction to E-Commerce
1.1 Introduction to E-Commerce
1.2 Forms of E-Commerce
1.2 Forms of E-Commerce
II. Shopify Partner Program
II. Shopify Partner Program
2.1 Getting Started
2.1 Getting Started
III. Understanding your Client’s Needs
III. Understanding your Client’s Needs
3.1 Setting Foundations
3.1 Setting Foundations
3.2 The Process - From Pitching to Delivering
3.2 The Process - From Pitching to Delivering
IV. Getting to Building
IV. Getting to Building
4.1 Storefront Setup
4.1 Storefront Setup
4.2 Products and Collections
4.2 Products and Collections
4.3 Picking the Right Theme
4.3 Picking the Right Theme
4.4 Creating Essential Pages
4.4 Creating Essential Pages
4.5 Setting Up Payment Gateways
4.5 Setting Up Payment Gateways
4.6 Shipping and Fulfillment
4.6 Shipping and Fulfillment
4.7 Domains and Plans
4.7 Domains and Plans
V. Jazzing up your Store
V. Jazzing up your Store
5.1 App Integrations
5.1 App Integrations
5.2 Marketing and Analytics
5.2 Marketing and Analytics
5.3 What Makes a Great Store?
5.3 What Makes a Great Store?
VI. Maximise Shopify’s Partner Program
VI. Maximise Shopify’s Partner Program
6.1 Pitching Shopify to Your Clients
6.1 Pitching Shopify to Your Clients
6.2 Quick Pep Talk!
6.2 Quick Pep Talk!