Shopify Set-Up Guide #1: Picking an Ecommerce Business Model

Today’s the day. We’re going to start a brand new Shopify store from scratch.

And we’re going to document the journey for you here in the newsletter.

Ready? Let’s dive right in.
Before we actually sign up for Shopify, we’re going to figure out two things:

  1. What business model do we want to follow?
  2. What products do we want to sell?

Business model? Ecommerce, duh!

But that’s not what I mean.

Do I want to create products on my own? Do I want to mass-manufacture products? Do I want to sell other people’s products? Do I want to have my own label on the products? And so on…

Problem here is that I don’t have much time to run this business and I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on this straight from the get-go.

With that being said, there are only two real options for me here:

To be honest, both models are equally good. But since dropshipping gives me a bit more flexibility in terms of product selection, I will go with it.


To not waste too much time, it’s time to figure out what I want to sell in my store.

The possibilities are endless. From sunglasses to gadgets to anti-fungal treatment spray (yes, that’s a thing).

Since I’m a numbers person, I want to KNOW that the products I’m about to sell can actually become a hit.

I need data.

So I went over to Ecomhunt, signed up for an account and looked through all the products.

Without any doubt, there were lots of great products. But it became clear to me that I’d need to decide if I’m going to open a general store with lots of different products or open a niche one with a selection of just a few products.

To make that decision, I had to take a step back and look at my overall gameplan:

  • Not much time.
  • Little to no marketing budget.

That won’t be an easy journey. Especially on the marketing side.

Later on, when it’s time to promote my products I don’t want to sit there with a product that might sell very well for others but only because they spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads.

Some products, like utility products and/or gadgets, mostly work with great ad creatives and copy.

So what’s the solution? I don’t know.

But products that are “instagrammable” seemed like a good idea. They might also work on TikTok.

Okay. So what do I need?

A product that…

  • works (organic) on visual social media platforms.
  • allows me to create content for social media.
  • people want to own/use.
  • gives me a solid profit margin.

That’s tough.

First thing that came to my mind was “something with pets”.

Then “something like Volant”.

Even though these thoughts didn’t give me a winner right away, it was clear to me that I will need to open a niche or even one-product store.

Bye-bye general store (for now).

To get niche ideas, I checked the blog of our friends’ at DSers (dropshipping app for Shopify). And of course - they already had a great list of product ideas for people like me who are searching for niche inspiration.

To get even more ideas (and actual data), I went over to Exploding Topics and looked up ecommerce and DTC trends. 

The way Exploding Topics works is they don’t show you sales volume or any other ecommerce related stats. But they show you in a very visual way if/what terms are trending (or not) based on search engine queries.

You can even add a topic you’d like to see more data for.

Okay, let’s move on.

I wasn’t really looking for concrete product ideas here. It was more about meta ideas.

Something like this:

^ Pair Eyewear - customizable eyewear.

^ Hero Cosmetics - customizable acne toolkits.

See? Products that used to be not customizable (but now are) seem to become a thing now.

That’s interesting but also hard to do when dropshipping. But I have an idea about that already.

Even though I didn’t find a final product yet, I felt that I was definitely on the right track.

I’m excited to see where this journey will take us next, my friends!