When we think of starting our own business, many of us tend to focus on physical products that we can design, make and sell. But these days, the world of e-commerce is about so much more. And as well as items such as clothing, jewellery and crafts, you can also sell a variety of services online. Here, we look at some of the smartest ideas for the weeks and months to come.


With the festive season coming up, many are looking for alternative gift ideas. So why not set up a business on Shopify offering unique experiences to customers across the UK? From extreme sports sessions to guided tours, there are plenty of activities on offer – and setting yourself up as the middle man can be a fulfilling and successful business model. 


In a similar vein, Shopify can also serve as the ideal marketplace for buying and selling workshops. Whether you’re running a physical event or an online class, Shopify makes it easy for you to take payment and deliver your final product with minimal fuss. 


Do you run a business that requires appointments, such as a hairdresser or makeup salon? If so, Shopify can help you take payment and manage your bookings. By adding an app such as Appointly, you can sync your customer data with your Google calendar to ensure that you never miss an appointment.


Whether you’re managing a non-profit and looking to generate funds or offering an exclusive service with members-only benefits, membership fees can be a great way to generate funds. And with Shopify’s apps, you can set up either one-time payments or subscriptions, making managing your business a breeze.

Digital products

Of course, not all products are physical. Some, such as downloads and audiovisual tools, exist purely in the digital realm. If that’s what you’re selling, a Shopify store can help you set up and manage your business, sending files or links to customers instead of a package.

Event tickets

Putting on an event and need a simple, convenient way to sell tickets online? By using a Shopify-compatible app such as Event Ticketing, you can easily transform the platform into your own ticket office. What’s more, you can even generate QR codes to speed up access on the day.

Live streams

Whether you’re a musician, a theatre performer or any other kind of content creator, live streams are a great way to earn money from your creative output. By integrating an app such as Single with your Shopify store, you can easily generate an income by selling access to video content and streams.


The rental business is big, from holiday properties to the latest designer fashions. And now, thanks to apps such as IzyRent, it’s easy to set up and manage a rental company on Shopify. From organising forms to dealing with fulfilment, the platform has everything you need to get started.

Gift cards

Another great way to generate income for your business without dealing with physical products is by selling gift cards. And this time, you don’t even need to download any additional apps – just enable Shopify gift cards on your store and you’re ready to get started.  


If you’re a charitable organisation, Shopify is a great way to collect donations on either a one-off or recurring basis. Simply download an app such as DonateMate from the Shopify store and you can get set up, allowing your supporters to easily ‘purchase’ a donation online.