eCommerce Business Models Revealed


Trevor here with ecommerce Paradise. 

In today's episode, I wanted to share something with you that I've been doing; I'm writing down all the different types of online businesses that I want to start sometime in my lifetime. This has to do with what other people are doing out in the space of eCommerce. 

eCommerce is not just one way to make money online. eCommerce means so many different ways - building the business online and potentially creating a really good, profitable business. To go over a bunch of these different methods and different business plans, business ideas, I want to share a little bit of that and let you know that all these things are possible. You really don't need a lot of startup capital to do any of these business plans, which is really cool, but you need business education. One thing before you get involved in eCommerce, or want to scale your business, is education. That means reading books, listening to podcasts, and listening to audiobooks. If you haven't started yet, go to the Amazon Kindle store and buy a bunch of books. Look for marketing books, eCommerce, sales funnels, and internet marketing. Some authors I recommend are Seth Godin (Permission, Marketing, and Purple Cow), Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), and Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad). These books will help you understand the world, the marketplaces in general, and how people know what sacrifices they needed to make and how they pushed past boundaries and barriers to get where they are now. With that said, I like to get some of these eCommerce business models, and hopefully, it helps.

If you are already doing one of these things, that's awesome; maybe you could do another one if you wanted to scale or experiment. 


These are the different business models that you can start today:


I think that eCommerce is dropship. Dropship is a location independent business model. You can do it from anywhere in the world. You just need to have an internet connection. 

There are a few different dropshipping methods that I have talked about in my previous podcasts, and those are retail arbitrage. Retail arbitrage is where you go online, and you find that it's for sale on a website like Wayfair or Amazon. Then you go to another platform of the marketplace like eBay, and you see the item is for sale there for more than what it's listed on the other websites. People actually go on those marketplaces and buy those products, and you can dropship them from the retailer to the consumer and make a little bit of profit there. That's a good way to get started with minimal cash upfront. All you need is a free eBay account and a credit card. 


  • It's easy and simple
  • You could list as much stuff as you can


  • Dropshipping from retailers
  • Prices could fluctuate
  • Stocks could fluctuate
  • When you make a sale, it's not guaranteed you're going to make money

It may not be the most a deal this month for the long term, but it's good to test product ideas out and get your feet wet on the structure. People do it and make and get on with it. 

Another way to get started is to have a Shopify store and sourcing products from China (AliExpress), and Oberlo app to automatically link them and process orders yourself. 

Again, it's a low capital outlay. Shopify is $29/month these days, Aliexpress is a free app, and Oberlo is also a free app, but they have premium options as well. 

Now you will need to drive traffic to your store. If you don't have a big social media following, you can use Facebook ads. Driving traffic through paid ads could cost you money but selling these items could make a pretty good profit margin. 

The thing with having a Shopify store is you have to drive a lot of volume to make a good amount of profit. Volume means a lot of customer service and stuff like that as well. You have to deal with that. But, you know, it's good for you. You're getting started. You don't have a lot of credit established yet. You can only afford to buy a few products, then go for that. I think it's a good model, and definitely, you can drive that if you can scale up the traffic and the conversions and potentially can make quite a bit of money there. The profit margins are so high. 

The cons of this business model are that your products are from China; shipping will take a long time. As for warranty support, you kind of forget about it. You might want to refund the order. 

As far as everything goes, I think it's not a bad business model. It just takes more time and effort. 


  • low capital
  • scaleable
  • profit margin is high


  • shipping will take a long time
  • needs a lot of time and effort
  • may not have warranty support

The next type of dropship that I do a lot these days is high-ticket dropshipping

In high-ticket drop shipping, you are not just selling products worth $200; they are usually in the thousand dollars plus range each. You can find a lot of products like this for sale just by looking around your house. A lot of home products are high tech and range. But you know, there are many hobby niches and things people are interested in as well that are expensive products too. 

Create your Shopify store, get lots of apps plugged in. Once you have a really good store, drive traffic with Google Product listing ads. That the same as you see in the Google shopping tab. 


  • you can get a 20-30 percent margin after shipping, after other costs
  • one order can get you the same as about maybe 10 or 20 or 30 orders with the low dollar dropship in store


  • It takes a little bit longer to get started
  • it takes more credit upfront
  • may have shipping complexity issues and/or service issues
  • need preselling

With high-ticket dropshipping, you don't want to get chargebacks or anything like that. You have to make sure you get after-sales support, and you want to get some fraud insurance.

Those are the three different types of dropshipping that I've done. Let's move to the next business model for eCommerce. 


Amazon FBA

Amazon FBA is like a private label business model where you go out, and you find other selling products. You see what's selling really well. 

You go and to a website like Alibaba, and try to find a blank version of it, and then you can create your own brand and put your own brand on that product and then import it in bulk so you can put it very low cost and then send it straight to Amazon. You have to create the listing. You list on their website as a marketplace seller. They will fulfill it, and it goes straight to their Prime shipping program. This way, a lot of people will see it and end up buying it. You can make a lot of money that way because the margins are high, even if Amazon takes a big chunk of it. 

Amazon will be doing all the selling, sales, customer service, and returns. It's a passive business development and importing. 

Amazon doesn't really own any of your customers' information. They keep all of that for themselves. If your product doesn't do so well for some reason, you're going to have to pay for everything. You're also not going to have any marketing information, so you can't take that to your own platform. 

What I recommend doing is private labeling. That way, you can know the product's information, sell the sales information on your Shopify store. With that said, it is definitely a profitable business model if you end up wanting to travel around because you got to do this service and support for this stuff. 

To find out more information about Amazon FBA, I recommend checking out Riley Bennet's Youtube channel, Living that Life. He explains how the whole system works and even got a course called the Amazon method. 

The next one that goes along with that is creating your own private label brand. Through your own fulfillment, you can have your own warehouse. You could just sell it through your own website and then have it fulfilled by a fulfillment warehouse. I highly recommend that if you're already doing drop shipping, for instance, and you know it's selling well, you can take that's a selling product and try to private label your own version of that from China. Instead of going through Amazon, you just fulfill it in a warehouse somewhere in the States, in a central location, and then sell it through your own shop by dropship store. It's a really good way to do it. Some of the top retailers, like Wayfair, have their own private label brands.


Custom Products

The next thing that I just mentioned a little bit was custom products. I see some of the top eCommerce guys doing it, like the guy who runs the blog Steve Chou does his eCommerce business by selling custom embroidered wedding stuff like that. He does little like napkins and other things people need in their weddings. 

For the business model, it is definitely something you can't just like go and rip off. Unfortunately, I'm sure a lot of people would like to do that, but it takes a little bit more to get that all setup.


Digital Products

The next set of eCommerce business model does not even have anything to do with physical products. It's digital products.

There are all sorts of different digital products you can sell online, getting them to work more common as time goes on. People sell music on iTunes; that's eCommerce. These days, you just get creative with it and spend most of it on either information or entertainment. 

Think about whether you want to sell information or entertainment and go create a digital product. 

eCommerce is a broad category. There are many different types of eCommerce out there. At first, I was thinking; you're selling physical products online. But the more I dove into it, the more I realize there's so much that people do online beyond just selling products. It's really incredible. 


Affiliate Marketing

The next one is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing isn't exactly eCommerce because you're not closing the sale yourself. You're actually referring somebody to somebody else, but it's a step in the process of eCommerce. Many big eCommerce companies like Amazon have a massive affiliate program that drives traffic to their store. Then the post-sales outweighs considerately marketing or like either traffic source security correspondent or making passive income. Some ways to do that are to create video product reviews on YouTube. It's a pretty good way to make an extra little bit of money. If you want to scale it, you just do more videos. 

Another way to do it is a problem solution sales funnel. If someone has a big problem, you have to create some videos on YouTube and say this is how you do it and you want more information, go to my website, and sign up for my free book. That's the entry point to your sales from the lead generator, and then you can say thank you on the next page. They have the option to buy your products by clicking the link to your website. You can email some tips and have links in your email to other products they can buy. 

The next way to do affiliate marketing is by creating a blog or website. It is a little bit longer-term doing this kind of thing, but it can be very lucrative. Blogger websites usually focus on writing a ton of valuable content, written content, maybe even embedded video. Have SEO and things like that to bring in traffic and optimize the website for search engines. You get links from other websites. Google will rank you in their algorithm, organic results. That's is usually the way people do it. However, I see a lot more people these days doing paid advertising to get traffic, so you optimize your site to get people to click through incentive to get lists and stuff like that when you do get traffic, which is important. 

Affiliate marketing can be worked into an eCommerce business as a backend, so it can also be purchased front-end sales. This is the way to make some money by referring sales. It's pretty easy going. It's already mentioned modulator courses and e-books in the digital products that are possible. But there are also a few other types I like to offer, and that is selling coaching programs.

Selling a coaching program is more like a monthly membership. You pay every month or every three months, every year, something like that. You can get together with good people and ask your mind about whatever topic it is that you're talking about. You might think of this as a one on one fitness instructor; that kind of thing could be considered a coaching program as well. You can sell things online and very successful. You just have to go follow through with here. It's training. But if you think about it more and more, it is done online, especially in the lead generation.


Real estate investing

There are lots of different ways to get real estate investing these days. You can find deals just using the Internet. Usually, you have to go check out the property in person and do your due diligence and meet with the owners and all that and might even end up making the contracts and handing over the money in person as well, like a title escrow company. But, you know, a lot of the regeneration is done online, especially for house flippers. If you want to get into that, you can set up a website to get leads for people that want to sell your house faster cash or whatever, and then get leads that way by driving Facebook ads or a Google search, text ads or YouTube ads or whatever. You get leads and lists and fell off of that list. You can use Craigslist for this kind of thing, too, and it's free. I've seen websites that sell land, so you can actually go and buy land for a few thousand bucks. You probably still sign some paperwork and stuff like that, but it's mostly online, like I said. 


So, yes, there are a lot of cool different ways to do eCommerce these days. If I missed anything, that's because the landscape is constantly evolving. There's lots of cool stuff to do these days.

My goal is to get involved in as many of these things as possible within my lifetime. I'll try to become the type of person who can take what I learned and come back and teach the community and help you guys out as well, and then create a goal in the future course to create community see as.

If you have started something and you're trying to scale now, and you want to know, the next thing to do is consider your current skill sets and your current time outlay that you're spending and maybe pick up some books. Have you taken time management acts and things like that? One of the best books I can recommend is The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey. He's a great writer. His main quote is Start at the End in Mind. This guy always has an exit strategy with whatever business you start. Start with the end in mind where you want to go and what type of business you know can make you the biggest amount of money, at least in an effort. 

Consider building your skill sets up or get out. Take a lot of time before you start making money. You might be negative for a while before you start turning a profit. But will it be worth it? It could be worth it if you stick through it. 

If you have anything else to add to that, definitely place a comment below. You can go check it out 

Well, with that said, we'll let you go for the day. Take care.

eCommerce Paradise was created by Trevor Fenner of Seattle, Washington in 2015 to help you, the entrepreneur, to start and scale your own eCommerce business selling high-ticket products online with the drop shipping fulfillment method so you can make more profit per sale, have a sustainable and evergreen online business, get started with very little upfront investment, and live a location independent lifestyle. Trevor owns multiple 7-figure High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce stores and is a digital nomad, traveling the world while working remotely with the help of his team of over 10 virtual assistants from around the world. Trevor is currently located in Bali, Indonesia. Trevor is also a passionate skateboarder, surfer, scuba diver, photographer, environmentalist, outdoorsman, fitness and tattoo enthusiast.

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate referral links. I will get a commission from the vendor when you make a purchase after clicking them at no added cost to you. As a result, many of them also provide you with a special discount just for using my link. You can go directly to their support if you have any issues with their software or product.

Step-By-Step Training for High-Ticket Drop Shipping

Here are the next steps you'll need to take to start your high-ticket dropshipping business:

Resources for Starting A High-Ticket Drop Shipping eCommerce Store

These are the resources I've created to help you start your own high-ticket dropshipping eCommerce store:

Recommended Resources for eCommerce Entrepreneurs and Digital Nomads

Related Posts

How to Sell Private Label Products on Amazon FBA
How to Sell Private Label Products on Amazon FBA
Here’s everything you need to know and more!   Starting an eCommerce business can be overwhelming, especially if you ...
Read More
How to Write a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Small eCommerce in 2021
How to Write a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Small eCommerce in 2021
Whether you act as a reseller or sell your own DIY products, marketing your eCommerce platform properly has become mo...
Read More
How to Drive Free Traffic to Your Shopify Store 
How to Drive Free Traffic to Your Shopify Store 
Shopify is a service that allows you to create your own website to sell and ship your product. You can join with a fr...
Read More
Best Practices for Google Shopping Feed Optimization
Best Practices for Google Shopping Feed Optimization
  With businesses touching new heights with Google Shopping, the platform has been the cornerstone for many brands an...
Read More
Stock Investing for Beginners
Stock Investing for Beginners
Learn the basics about Investing in Stocks!   Investing in stocks can be the right way for you to acquire wealth over...
Read More
High-Ticket Drop Shipping vs. Low-Ticket Drop Shipping
High-Ticket Drop Shipping vs. Low-Ticket Drop Shipping
Which one is really the better choice?   Drop Shipping is a lucrative business. However, between High-Ticket Drop Shi...
Read More