business models graphic, understanding ecommerce business models

Types of eCommerce business models

There are four main eCommerce business models:

  • Print-on-demand
  • White Label manufacturing
  • Dropshipping
  • Wholesale

Print on Demand model

Print-on-demand (POD) can include print books, artwork, mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, towels, and more. Some of the top POD providers are Red Bubble, TeeSpring, Shopify, Merch, Amazon, Printify, and Zazzle.


White Label manufacturing

If you have created a product, and want to sell it to another individual or business, and take none of the credit, then you can opt for white label manufacturing. The company or person who you sell your product to will rebrand it under their own name.

Dropshipping model

With dropshipping, you host a website with products using a dropship merchant, who will ship the products directly to your customers.


If you are sourcing products from wholesalers, go to a wholesaler directory, e.g. or salehoo. You can buy wholesale products from China’s eCommerce companies: Alibaba or DHgate.

Passive income

You should also seek to make passive income from your business. Passive income is the additional revenue you can make, on the back of your eCommerce site, that will continue to bring in income long after the initial set up. Passive income streams can include:

  • Creating a digital product, e.g. an eBook
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Creating an app
  • Membership subscription
  • Google AdSense
  • Renting advertising space

These passive income streams should be anchored to your eCommerce website.

Advertising model

If you’re doing affiliate marketing, you can use an advertising business model to target a list of email subscribers, who you will then send to your affiliate links.

What are Solo ads?

High ticket programs

High ticket programs are usually associated with sales starting from $1000 and can go up to $25,000 or more. The products can be anything from digital, coaching, or consultation products that provide high-value training that satisfies a consumer need.  This could be a quality eBook, a webinar series, or a training course hosted on a platform like Udemy.

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