When you think of selling through a ThrivingLocally webstore, what initially comes to mind? Whether it’s local food, t-shirts, soaps, imports, you’re likely thinking about physical products—small businesses creating and curating goods to sell and ship around the world.
But when we say “product”, we’re talking about more than just tangible things.
Many merchants are using ThrivingLocally in creative ways to sell, well, pretty much anything and everything else. Experiences, courses, rentals, and digital downloads are just a few business ideas beyond physical products.
If you’re just starting out on your journey to entrepreneurship, and still haven’t decided on an product to sell online, consider the intangible, too.
Services or other non-products may be your core business, or an add-on to an existing product based business. Products and non-products can be sold side by side in the same ThrivingLocally webstore.
For example: sell adventure tours to tourists online and then target them later to incite them to buy t-shirts or other merchandise to remember the experience.
BEST OF ALL you can do any and all of these with your ThrivingLocally webstore at no extra charge or no additional apps to install. These are all included!
What to sell on ThrivingLocally (other than physical products)
When you think of it, selling some of the suggestions below is even easier than products since you so not need to ship them!
If you’re not shipping physical products from your ThrivingLocally webstore, you will need to disable shipping settings so that shipping charges are not added to the order.
1. Services (Appointments)
This is a great option for primarily service based businesses like spas, salons, cleaning, entertainment, pet care etc etc. The business can offer all of their services for purchase online with a service based listings such as the example below.
These online listings increase promotions since the excited social media follower be purchase online rather than waiting for them to “remember” to come in and purchase. Once purchased the customer can then calls in to book the service.
Super seller tip : what works great for new employees who are trying to build clientele is a personalized listing “Nails by Lindsay” which Lindsay can then spread the word about her exciting new job.
Service Listing Examples: Hair cuts, colors, dog walking services, pet grooming, DJ services, computer repair services, nail services, massages, waxing, tattoos, pedicures, manicures, etc
2. Restaurant Vouchers
The food service industry can really take advantage of online listing through a webstore even if just to advertise their tantalizing menu but where the real advantage comes in is to showcase and promote their business.
Super seller tip : target online promotions to “fill the void” such as of slow periods like a Monday evening promotion if they are slower, or a “1/2 price appie with purchase of an entree” to increase sales or promote a new menu item that needs to get some traction.
Examples: Regular menu items, menu promotions, new menu items, sporting events, wine tasting event. Click here for more restaurant listing details and ideas.
3. Digital Downloads
Digital downloads refer to music files, videos, fonts, e-books, digital photography, digital courses, or other design elements. This can be a very lucrative listing because the overheard is typically very low making the profit margins huge.
Features of the digital download listing:
- Offer single or multiple variable price points for each product
- Digital attachments are linked to listing that you create through your ThrivingLocally webstore
- Add multiple files to the same product package
- Your customers get a direct download after checkout, with an automatically emailed link in the invoice
- You can set download limits too!
Super seller tip : use of low res or water marks in the listing images provide the customer with a preview of the digital product but is nothing they can really use. The purchased digital download would be the high resolution without watermarks.
Examples: E-books, music, digital photographs, e-cards, course material, worksheets, Sheet music, digital how-to manuals, fonts, etc.
Similar to a service listing detailed above you can sell lesson packages too! This is perfect people who teach music, surfing, rock climbing, cooking, languages, art, and other forms of person based instructions.
You can sell variable listings that group lesson packages by dates or discounts on purchasing multiple classes at once.
Super seller tip : Create a variable listing allow a customer to get a discount if they can bring a friend or family member. These are great ways to entice more attendees.
Examples: In-person lessons, group lessons, cooking lessons, music lessons, surfing lessons, rock climbing lessons, etc.
Experience-based businesses can range from travel and adventure to wine tastings and hands-on workshops. Being able to promote and sell these types of packages online are a great way to make sales. You can now reach people across the nation who are planning to vacation in your area.
Super seller tip : Create tailor custom packages that wold be attractive for local hotels and B&B to promote as an added service for their customers. You can also provide custom digital discount codes for local accommodation business to promote you and them as an added advantage to staying at their location.
Examples: Local walking tours, hiking, adventure packages, wine tours, rock climbing, biking tours, camping expeditions,
Very similar to lessons listed above classes are a great way to increase your business such as strength and toning and cardio classes, yoga, martial arts, dance, pilates, meditation, running clinics, etc. Studios can also sell class passes or memberships online.
Super seller tip : Create a variable listing allow a customer to get a discount if they can bring a friend or family member. Experiences such as these are always fun with friends or family. Group classes or “bring a buddy” options tend to be successful as they create accountability for the attendees that increase the success of reaching the finish line and increasing customer satisfaction
Examples: Group or in-person classes such as weight training, strength and toning classes, yoga, martial arts, dance, pilates, meditation, running clinics
Rental businesses are technically service-based, even though a physical product is involved and can be a great way to leverage from classes and lessons because now that they know how to use it they can rent it!
Super seller tip : Create a variable listing allow a customer to get a discount if they rent for longer periods of time as much of your overhead is often ties to the initial pick-up and drop off of the rented item. so extending the “in-between” time is often higher profit margins.
Also like the experiences listing detailed above creating partnerships with other business such as local accommodation businesses are great for adventure type rentals such as bikes, paddle boards etc and can really boost business!
Examples: party supplies, inflatables, book rental, paddle boards, bikes, costumes, dresses, tools, music instruments, furniture, house boats, heating and air conditioning equipment, camping gear, etc
8. Installation and Construction Services (and Quotes)
Due to the custom nature of the installation and construction services it tends to be difficult to sell direct online but if you are creative you can “package” the service such as “Water Tank Installation”, “4 hours of handyman work”. on some jobs you may be working for $30 bucks an hour and others might average out to $50 and hour depending on the difficulty of the install but after a while you should find your sweet spot. Disclaimers are best to help protect on this “all materials extra and billed at cost plus 20%” etc.
Examples: Water tank installation, gutter cleaning, home repair.
Charities can easily use an webstore to collect donations AND of course use it as the merchandise arm of the operations, selling t-shirts and other goods, event tickets all with profits supporting the cause.
10. Event Tickets
Create a listing for an event ticket is very easy to do and use the invoice as the proof of purchase! Each invoice has a unique identification code which is used to prevent a ticket from being used more than once. Customers can even show up and show the invoice on their mobile to gain entry simply checking off the invoice number on your event ticket list.
Now you can splash your awesome event all over social media and make sales without people having to arrive somewhere to buy the tickets and in the mean time they forget all about it.
Examples: Art events such as the popular “Paint Night”, performing arts, hosted events, Beer and Burger nights, races, etc
11. Digital Gift Cards
The simplest of non-tangible goods to add to any webstore is gift cards (gift certificates) that are to be redeemed in person (walking into your physical store). You can use the invoice as the gift certificate as each invoice has a unique identification code which is used to prevent a voucher from being used more than once.
You can even allow customers to show up and display the invoice on their mobile to redeem the voucher and you simply check off the invoice number on your printed gift certificate tracking list. As an added customer service step you can mail out a custom certificate.
Examples: Birthday, Anniversary, Holiday specials, etc.
Looking to start a business or add eCommerce to your business?
Open a webstore for FREE on the ThrivingLocally marketplace! Designed with all the features that a local small and micro business needs PLUS we made it EASY!
Go to this link for more information and to sign up