I present to you the end-all list of business ideas that you can start online, that are e-commerce based.
This list of business ideas is different. This is not some copy-paste happening here. This list is carefully created. I have been blessed since 1998 to be in the online space here in Pakistan. I was earning 30,000+ per month as a student during that time. I then went on to do different projects over the last 2 decades, and discovered different ways of earning money in Pakistan. Alhumdulillah. So this list of ecommerce business ideas I hope you find useful, as it was crafted with a lot of thought and care.
And here’s a fact: we really don’t care if it is called e-commerce or oo-commerce, what we need to focus on is starting an online business! We want to earn money on the Internet. InshAllah we need to do that with honesty and dedication. And we need to know the best ideas for online business regarding that.
Consider why right now is a good time to start an ecommerce business:
Just in the next 4 years, the whole ecommerce business is expected to grow by 50%.Statista – 2021 report on e-commerce
So here we go:
5 Best E-Commerce Business Ideas for Physical Products
These online business ideas involve selling a physical product that you will be getting yourself either from the local market, import it or make it yourself. This also involves shipping shipping the product to your customer.
1. Start an e-commerce store selling jewelry accessories
How can you start a small business selling jewelry from your home? There are two ways you can go about this:
- Make your own jewelry and then sell it
- Source jewelry from your local market to sell
The first option of making jewelry yourself, that is what will make you a ProHobbyist, where you already love to craft jewelry and accessories, and now you are opening a small online store to sell those creations.
The second option means that you will be going to different local markets in your city, to buy from there. Or you may be ordering from Alibaba or AliExpress to sell at a profit margin here locally in Pakistan. This requires some effort on your part as well. Also, this is where your personal taste will determine if the products you select will sell or not.
Once you have products, it is highly recommended that you package your jewelry and accessories in a very professional manner. Remember, packaging of your product is a primary way of conveying trust to your customer, don’t overlook it.
Remember, in your jewelry business, you will need two things to succeed:
- The jewelry / accessories themselves should be good quality
- The marketing of your business must be professional
When I say marketing, I don’t mean just the “advertising” or the “product packaging” for your hand-crafted necklaces or locally-sourced ear-rings, no. Marketing means that you, as a small business owner, as a professional, as a ProHobbyist, are taking care of the entire customer journey!
This is what separates the amateurs from real players: always remember that your customer has a problem that your product is solving. In the case of an online jewelry store – no matter if it’s in Pakistan or anywhere else – the customer has a problem that he or she wants to look a certain way, and your product will now help them do that.
The internet allows you to digitally set up these funnels, where the person gradually goes from “I have a problem” to “hey, these guys solved my problem with their jewelry product”.
To learn more about customer journeys and how to set up your own professional business online, check out my free training on implementing the 7 steps of a profitable online business.
2. Start an e-commerce store selling children / kid clothes
This is a big market here. You can source children clothing from the local market, or you can stitch your own. Two main things you need to focus on are:
- Taking really nice photographs of the clothes to display on your store. This is typically the only exposure your client will have with your product, so make the pictures really good. Consider hiring a professional photographer as it will be worth it.
- Running Facebook ad campaigns that are geared for mothers in all major cities of Pakistan (if you want to sell across Pakistan instead of just your city). Again, this is critical. So you must know how Facebook ads are run and what you need to look out for. You need a crash course on Facebook ads for business owners… because it is fine to have someone do the graphics for your brand, but it is important for you to make the online marketing strategy for your business.
If one can build a profitable brand in the children clothing market, then it can serve a lot of other markets as well.
Sure, we are talking about starting an online business where the client and the business don’t interact physically. That’s why we make the mistake of not putting our best foot forward when to comes to having our online presence look solid!
It’s about relationships. And all businesses are people businesses. These are big statements – but they are true. You can and you must use the available tools online to build a relationship with your potential clients, whosoever visits your online store. That way, once someone buys their child’s t shirt or Eid dress from you store and you really give them a great service, next time their cousin will also know about you and your brand.
3. Start an e-commerce store selling home-based food (or cakes)
You will be surprised how big profits are hidden in this market.
I have been doing home-delivery of food items for a very long time (remember how we started selling milk here in Lahore, this was before Anhaar or Prema were even in the market!)… and there is one big change in the market that has happened.
That change is the availability of food delivery services like Cheetay and FoodPanda.
So if you can make something that is really delicious, you can pack it and sell it online!
The reason this is still a great opportunity is that people are NOT taking advantage of this as much as they could be.
Listen, if your product is good, and then you learn how to build a powerful and profitable brand on top of that, that’s like a recipe of being unstoppable!
4. Start an e-commerce store selling pet-related items
One of the biggest import items in Pakistan, believe it or not, is pet food! A lot of people buy these pet food items from high end stores at very expensive rates, because they don’t any better.
Thanks to the internet this has changed and more people can compare the prices. This is your advantage where you can start a pet store and strike a deal with one of the local manufacturer or wholesaler, and provide a good rate.
And again, if you simply apply the methods of building a brand onto your pet store, your customer will be loyal to you and you alone.
5. Start an e-commerce store for handicrafts / home decorations
Handicrafts is a big market here in Pakistan, especially if you’re focused on selling to the international market. But unfortunately, handicrafts suffer from wrong categorization I believe.
People think that if it’s “handicraft”, it must be only a artisinal luxury item that would have no practical pupose as such. Simply calling it “home decorations online” instead of “handicraft online” can solve that problem.
Even the furniture you are sitting on, it was crafted by hand by a carpenter, but he sold it as a piece of furniture, not “handicraft”… so categorization matters.
In any case, you can sell different items under the same store name. Or, as I usually recommend, you can start with one to three products max, and find one winning product and go deep on that.
You can either make wooden items yourself, or get hold of any decent carpenter and make items like:
- wooden fruit bowls
- small patio furniture
- picture frames
…these items alone can be sold online using Facebook ads and a good landing page on your ecommerce store.
Some very reasonably priced “home decoration” handicraft ideas can be seen here:
Most people who buy handicrafts are doing it as a luxury item. This is not that big a market in Pakistan as it is in the western world. And that’s perfect for you! You can have your own site and sell directly to people in the US or the UK (that’s the beauty of the Net as it has no geography as such!)
5 Types of E-Commerce Stores Selling Digital Products
This is not as common, especially in Pakistan. But selling digital products include online courses, e-books and live sessions, this is big business right now.
The E-Learning Business across the world:
This can include Zoom sessions done by a teacher for example, or an online course on how to set goals for example etc. This is a BIG market in Pakistan, and is currently underserved. We will look into this.
Business of Selling Online Courses
Starting an online course as a business, I always recommend that to people. It is the most fulfilling experience – as a writer, creative as well as a business.
I have not only started my own online courses and paid guides here in Pakistan, I also help others convert their knowledge and experiences into online courses. The most common question I get tis this, “but why would someone pay me for my course, when that information is available for free on YouTube?”
The answer is simple. It has something to do with people still send their kids to school, or corporates still paying ridiculous amounts to trainers to educate their staff – why aren’t they simply saying, “you don’t know how to do XYZ? Here, here’s a YouTube video, all of you go and watch and learn”.
The answer to this question, and many others, I have answered in great detail in our workshop:
The workshop recording is free for you, simply click here to get access to the 3 part video series. The first video is all about objections that you will face when starting an online business, especially based around selling online courses.
Start an Online Tuition Center
A tuition center we all know, right? A teacher teaches, students sit in front. Classroom setting. Happens live. At a specific time and place.
So you can do all of the above, online. Using a basic Zoom Pro account, you can easily host classes and if you want, you can even connect a snazzier camera for your live tuitions. I recommend that to teachers who want to start online, because this immediately sets you apart from your competition.
This is different than an online course because this is LIVE. You can easily record those live session and later sell them (depending on your audience and your offers etc) to a different audience at a different price point for example.
If you haven’t noticed already, I love this type of a “business”. Because in most cases, it doesn’t feel like a business, because you love to share, to teach, to see others grow because of your input, coaching and guidance, by Allah’s Grace.
You can definitely read up more on how you can start your teaching business, especially here in Pakistan. I know people earning upwards of 100,000 rupees a month and working 2 to 3 hours per day. And that’s just a practical example, something that really changes people’s lives… not “earn ffifty crore in three days with this special online earning formula method hack attack”.
And as you build your brand as a teacher, you make sure you are nurturing your community (keep building your email list), and you are providing valuable content to them.
And then whenever you make a sales pitch, your audience will warmly receive that from you! And you make a profit, your community gets knowledgeable due to your efforts, and it’s a win/win! #Bismilla.
Start or Grow your Coaching Business
Again, this is close to my heart, so much so that coaching is what I do these days. I am what you’d call a performance coach, but there are tons of different coaches out there that are getting paid well, and they are solving problems for their clients.
A coaching business is different from an online course and from a “tuition center” because you are typically coaching a single person around a single main topic.
And you can start getting clients online, by having a social media presence and being consistent with it. And then having a structured coaching program that you can offer your audience once ever three weeks etc.
The typical set up that I use is a Zoom live session, once a week. And this is just a great way of making money online in Pakistan, while doing what you truly love and find meaningful (hopefully).
Question: Do you want to know more about starting an online course or your own coaching business? Drop in your question here and we can inshAllah help you grow faster.
3 Types of E-Commerce Business Ideas Based on Affiliate Marketing or Dropshipping
This is where you are selling someone else’s products. Affiliate marketing is very different than dropshipping, but I have grouped them here because both involve selling someone else’s products.
If you are serious about starting your e-commerce business, I highly recommend you read the E-Commerce for Beginners guide that I have created. Most people who are starting out, do not know that starting an online business means you need to pay attention to three different aspects of the business. I cover that in detail in that article.
Frequently Asked Question about e-Commerce Store in Pakistan
E-commerce business is any business where the transaction takes place on the internet. So by that definition, a lot of businesses in Pakistan right now can be treated like an e-commerce business, and a lot of them still remain to be brought online. But in this article we will see how you can start your own online business
I have divided the list in three categories.
- One type of e-commerce business is where you sell physical products
- Second type of e-commerce business is where you are selling digital products.
- And third type of an e-commerce business is also affiliate marketing and dropshipping.
Broadly speaking, your e-commerce store is just ONE of the three things you need to start a profitable online store. The three things are:
- A product or service people want to buy (this is the online store business idea that everyone wants to know about, right?)
- An online store – something like Shopify, WordPress/WooCommerce etc. This is the technical side of things where you need to get the domain, hosting, a content management system, make sure the website speeds are good, the page loads great on mobile and large screens etc
- Digital marketing for your online store. This is where you get people to your store. You can start by doing this with Facebook and Instagram ads, then Google / YouTube ads etc. Search engine optimization (where your store gets on the first page of google when someone searches for your product) also happens in this part of your online business.