Amazon to hit SA: Here’s how local businesses can compete

“The best way for small businesses to differentiate themselves from the convenient-but-impersonal experience of Amazon is to offer a personalised service – and build personal connections.”

This is the view of 1-grid head of local web hosting Thomas Vollrath after Business Insider leaked documents showing that the United States retail giant Amazon will launch in South Africa in 2023.

According to the report, Amazon plans to launch its online marketplace in five new countries by early next year, even as it dials back parts of its retail business in the US. In Africa, this could mean greater competition for the likes of Jumia, the continent’s biggest e-commerce platform.

Vollrath believes for local small businesses, this will impact margins and market share when it comes to making online sales – particularly for those who are new to the e-commerce game.

To compete with Amazon, entrepreneurs need to focus on what they can offer that global companies can’t, adds Vollrath, an internet entrepreneur. “Use your website, social media, and delivery notes to tell the story of your business. This is the best way to really connect with consumers and make them feel good about buying from you.”

One of the main drawcards for shopping via Amazon for South Africans will be generally low prices and massive discounts, made possible by the sheer size of the company and its inventory. To counter this, local businesses, who aren’t able to compete when it comes to pricing, can leverage the country’s strong preference for homegrown products that are proudly South African.

Southafrica local wearing

“This strategy should extend to all of your choices – from the payment platform you use for checkouts, to the domain extension on your website. A domain, for example, tells customers that you are based in South Africa and that you in turn support local yourself. While these may seem like small elements, they have a cumulative effect when it comes to your brand story,” says Vollrath.

Local sellers to integrate with Amazon

Another tactic for local sellers is to integrate Amazon into their e-commerce strategy. Amazon will be rolling out their Sellers Marketplace as part of the local launch, which gives South African businesses an opportunity to get their products onto the biggest sales search engine in the world.

“The saying goes that if you can’t beat them, join them. Depending on fees and registration processes, this might be a good approach for certain businesses. The key to success here is to highlight the quality and unique nature of your product, compared to others on the Amazon platform. It’s also important to maintain a web presence so that potential customers can learn more about your product, read up on FAQs, and even contact you directly,” says Vollrath.

Given that the announcement was leaked prematurely, there are still a lot of questions about how the Amazon rollout will affect the South African ecommerce landscape. However, one thing is certain – business owners need to start planning for the retail giant’s impact on the local market if they want to succeed in standing out.

Wrapping up

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The Top3 retail and e-commerce trends set to shape 2023

E-commerce sales are down, a lot, while shopping behaviors continue to shift. Experts explain how the space will evolve further this coming year.


Inflation will compel consumers to research more and spend less, according to experts / Adobe Stock

The Covid-19 pandemic saw e-commerce growth spike, big time, but myriad issues have since created a historic drop in digital sales.

Obviously, consumers have been returning to brick-and-mortar stores – albeit not at the pre-pandemic levels. But there are other significant factors at play, including supply chain issues, low consumer sentiment and rising inflation.

The end result? A forecasted $95bn less in e-commerce sales in 2022 compared with last year, according to the Economic Times. This is after e-commerce soared at least 20% every year between 2010 and 2020, per eMarketer.

So, what’s next? Experts have identified three trends that will shape the landscape over the next year.

1. E-commerce and in-store shopping will have divergent roles in consumers’ lives

Yes, many shoppers around the world were eager to leave the house and return to the stores, but their behaviors have changed. Online and in-store shopping have come to serve distinct purposes for shoppers and that trend will only continue.

“Globally, we continue to see in-store shopping occur with consumers,” says Jacquelyn Baker, chief commerce experience officer at VMLY&R Commerce. “However, the role of the store has changed for shoppers. Consumers can have whatever they want, when they want, on-demand, digitally. For purchases beyond everyday essentials, meanwhile, the store serves more as a showroom for inspiration and ‘retailtainment’. Physical stores play a tactile purpose for consumers to immerse themselves in brands and experiences that ignite the senses and bring joy.”

While stores can offer their own speed and convenience, they are often relied upon for surprise, says Piers Fawkes, founder and president of the retail consultancy PSFK.

“Online has become a place of specificity and efficiency and real-world retail, discovery and delight. As a result, shoppers expect e-retailers to provide a sophisticated, personalized shopping experience. In contrast, personalization is not as big a deal offline. People already understand a store’s offerings and they go there for surprise and serendipity.”

2. Inflation will make consumers research more and spend less

Inflation is on the rise globally. In the US, for example, the Labor Department reported that inflation rose 8.3% since last August, which was worse than economic forecasts. This has already impacted overall consumer sentiment and most likely will affect their spending habits in the future. “Inflation concerns are very real,” adds Baker. “Currency has to stretch much further than it used to and that will continue into the next two years.”

The direct result will be a greater emphasis on researching everything in order to make an informed decision. “Brands that emphasize their marketing investments on searchable content that demonstrates consumer value will prevail,” says Baker.

At the same time, stores will benefit as they become hypersensitive to the added expense of digital fulfillment – such as rising shipping costs and delivery fees, says Baker. “The ancillary expenses of convenience will become cost prohibitive to some consumers or will be deemed unnecessary to others as they work to stretch their money further.”

Overall, brands and marketers should pull all the data they can from 2008-2010, advises William Margaritis, senior vice-president of digital and e-commerce at Reprise Digital. “What did consumers do then? How did they react? How did your brand react? What worked? What didn’t?

“What we are about to see will be similar. Large purchases will be put on hold while small luxuries will be seen as economic ways to splurge. 2008 was fantastic for drugstore cosmetics brands, upscale snacks and any other daily luxury that won’t break the bank. 2023 will likely repeat that.”

3. Live and social shopping becomes a bigger part of the mix

Still, the momentum for online purchases is unstoppable. However, the way consumers buy digitally will continue to evolve, quickly. For example, livestream shopping is picking up speed.

“Social shopping is becoming more prevalent and can be done on various platforms – such as Amazon Live, TikTok Shop/Live, Instagram Live and Twitch – and also on a brand’s own website,” says Travis Johnson, global chief executive officer of Podean.

“Brands should think about what their approach is – do they have spokespeople?Do they have great locations to stream from? What products would they sell? How would they use the content after the stream has ended?”

This trend represents a shift in control for brands. “Younger generations find authenticity and trust in different places than older generations,” says Margaritis. “Predominantly, they trust their peers and they trust influencers. As brands reduce spend and are less present in the shopping conversation, peers and influencers will rise…

“Social commerce and live commerce have already become regular means of shopping in Asia and are rising rapidly in Latin America. The US and Europe won’t be far behind.”

Wrapping up

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How useful is Google Trends for digital marketing?

In South Africa, 94% of online information searches are made via Google. This means that the data gleaned by the platform is an incredibly accurate measure of what South Africans are searching for – as well as when and possibly why.

That information can be accessed via Google Trends and used as a powerful tool for digital marketing.

Targeting and testing

The challenge at the start of any campaign is deciding who it is targeted at. Marketers can put in a few geographic locations, target specific devices and add some demographic and psychographic targets like age groups and interests.

That’s quite broad – which is where Google Trends really comes into its own. It allows digital marketers the opportunity to look at information around specific search terms linked to their campaign, giving them detail like the volume of searches, the period over which those searches generally occur and what the trends are in that period.

It may indicate that there is particular interest in a set of search terms from a specific province or during a season – allowing marketers to specifically target that area or time period.

Seasonality of searches is particularly helpful for, for example, fashion retailers. Digital marketers are able to tell fashion clients when they should start promoting their next season’s clothing – as searches for related fashion items start to ramp up.

Check on the competition

Google Trends also helps marketers determine the competitive landscape in the space. Say you’re a manufacturer of wall heaters and want to know what your competition is doing in the marketing space. By virtue of being able to see which keywords are being targeted, you can see who else is vying for space, allowing marketers to estimate what the client is going to need to pay to make an impact in the digital space.

By looking out for periods where there’s less competitor marketing, or by targeting under-utilised search terms, digital marketers can advise when smaller budgets would make a bigger impact or where there’s less clutter in the space.

Because the online market is so competitive, companies often get frustrated at the cost of a click for a heavily-used search term. Google Trends is able to tell us what keywords the audience is using too, which can help inform organic searches and lower costs – increasing organic effectiveness. When clients start using keywords that rank organically, the cost per click of AdWords goes down, because of the relevance of the offering increases.

In the content marketing space, Google Trends can help marketers define which keywords are most prevalent for a specific topic, to help put out more effective digital PR features for seeding in online media. Using the right terms at the right time can help improve the article’s ranking – another organic search benefit.

Partnering for success

It all sounds relatively simple – so why does a company need to pay a digital marketing agency or partner to advise them when Google Trends simply lays bare the information?

For starters, the breadth and depth of knowledge across sectors and trends within a specialist digital marketing agency have benefits for clients. The broad knowledge of the digital landscape and what’s happening, when – and how – is something that not many clients have the benefit of accessing.

Time and budget constraints often mean they’re forced to stay in their lane and not look at, say, the opportunities a major sneaker campaign from a specific brand could offer their sock business.

Digital agencies also use other tools to inform them – for example, Google Trends data is pulled into an agency’s Google Data Studio, which is a visualisation platform and tool that helps marketers see how search terms and phrases change over time.

For a fashion brand, that allows for the building of a robust dashboard for the marketing manager which shows the seasonality for every product category they have, meaning they know the perfect time to activate a new seasonal campaign and measure how trends and climate change are shifting their customers’ needs.

Any business not using the power of Google Trends is missing out on immensely valuable key information linked to what they do and who they do it for.

And any business not partnering with a quality digital marketing agency to harness the power of its insights is going to spend a long time in the digital wilderness while its competitors are capturing customers.

Wrapping up

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3 things SA grocery shoppers care about in 2022

Year-on-year, the average South African household food basket increased by R611.44 from July 2021. This represents a 14.8% annual increase – far above headline inflation reported through the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and outstripping food inflation.

Despite this steep price hike, South African consumers’ perceptions of grocery costs have improved over time, suggesting that consumer sentiment is driven by more than just price. This is according to Shannon Temple, lead retail analyst at DataEQ, who recently presented on consumer trends in retail at the 2022 edition of E-commerce Live.

“Looking at net sentiment* on social media towards grocery retailers’ pricing since 2020, there is an upward trajectory, indicating that conversation is becoming gradually more positive,” explains Temple.

“Notably, we see Woolworths with the steepest incline here, while Checkers and Pick n Pay experienced slight declines since last year,” she adds.

Having analysed over 1 million social media posts from consumers talking about South Africa’s major grocery retailers, Temple goes on to unpack three major trends that are shaping the local retail e-commerce landscape.

1. Special offers over price comparisons

3 things SA grocery shoppers care about in 2022

Despite the prevalence of pricing and affordability in conversation, social media data indicates that consumers are speaking less and less about it since 2020.

Attention has moved away from price comparisons and towards special offers, with the online narrative shifting to which brand is offering the best value for money.

Driving a sense of savings is going to be critical for the industry going forward.

Consumers want to feel like they’re saving when using a premium service, and well-executed specials are key to achieving this.

2. An omnichannel experience is key

3 things SA grocery shoppers care about in 2022

While special offers allow retailers to drive perceptions about price, they can be a major point of contention if not implemented correctly across all channels.

In this sense, creating an omnichannel shopping experience is critical for retailers and there needs to be parity between specials offered in-store versus what is offered on the app.

3. Operational ease still matters

3 things SA grocery shoppers care about in 2022

Digital platforms do not remove the risk of operational issues arising.

If anything, there is an even higher expectation from digital customers for operational ease.

For example, the issue of items being out of stock is typically met with high criticism – especially when said item is linked to a special offer.

There are also logistical issues that are inherent to the e-commerce model, such as delayed delivery times or cancelled orders.

This is where expectation management and clear communication becomes vital, setting apart the retailers who excel in digital customer service, from those who don’t.

Wrapping up

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6 mistakes small enterprises tend to make online and how to solve them

It’s understandable that small enterprises have found themselves online out of necessity as e-commerce adoption accelerated by three to five years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and online retail in South Africa in 2020 grew by 66%.

To help entrepreneurs who want to iron out the creases in their online presence, Peach Payments’ head of SME growth and marketing, Joshua Shimkin, highlights six mistakes SMEs tend to make online, and how to solve them.

1. Social media profiles, but no website

Social media is an easy way for many SMEs to get in touch with their customers, and sell to them. Most social media platforms – including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest – also offer some way of accepting payments.

“But if there is no website that customers can refer to when they’re looking for your business, they’re just as likely to buy from your competitor’s Instagram profile, which has an accompanying website to support their online presence, where they can see shipping policies and refund/return policies. Customers are still more used to finding those key signals of trust on websites,” Shimkin warns.

Instead, spend time putting together a basic website on Wix, WordPress or Shopify, and then link to it from all your company’s social media profiles.

2. All the socials – and all outdated

“Don’t think it’s essential to be on every single social media platform out there,” Shimkin says. He believes it is much more important to have one or two active and fun social media profiles than to have outdated and boring content associated with your business spread across ten different social media platforms.

“Choose the social media platforms you focus on based on what you know about each platform’s users,” he advises.

For instance, if you have gorgeous pics of the homemade food you deliver, Instagram and Pinterest are likely to be more useful for your business than a more staid LinkedIn post. Add a quick video and you also have content for TikTok and Instagram. Remember to include links to your profiles on your website, and deactivate all old profiles on social media platforms you decide don’t work for your business.

“That way people won’t see old content, and wonder if you’re still in business,” Shimkin says.

3. An outdated and clunky website

Once your website is up, it’s important to keep it updated with new blog posts, new products, and updated payments technology. This is what will make people come back, looking for your products and services.

Use the free templates in popular website builders like Wix, WordPress or Shopify to ensure your website is mobile-friendly because it’s non-negotiable in 2022. And it is particularly important in Africa, where mobile is the most popular way for people to access e-commerce.

“You don’t necessarily need to spend money on developing an app, but you do need to make sure your website is easy to read on a mobile screen,” Shimkin advises.

Also make sure you have an easy, reassuring checkout process with multiple payment options (credit and debit cards, QR codes and instant EFTs) so that customers have a number of ways to pay securely.

4. Ignoring local SEO

You may not be interested in landing on the first page of global search engines, but you should make sure that your business website hits the first page on any “near me” searches on Google,” Shimkin says.

This local search engine optimisation (SEO) can make or break your brick-and-mortar business, particularly if your business is the type that only services your local neighbourhood or city, and not the whole country – like a local restaurant that offers online ordering. It is also important if you’re an online business that isn’t yet ready to start shipping internationally.

Two of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO results are to embed a Google Map in your Contact Us page and to verify your Google My Business page. Also include these details on all your social media profiles as well, so your website becomes the hub for all your marketing activities, such as newsletters and special offers.

5. Not remarketing to your online customers

Take time to learn about and use the remarketing tools that come with all e-commerce website builders to your advantage. They will help you to better understand who your online customers are, where they’re based and how many people come to your website but don’t buy anything. It will also give you insight into how long they spend on your site, where they are getting stuck on your site, and which type of device (mobile or desktop) they are using – all useful to help you tailor your offering.

Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool to help you understand who your clients are – and not just who you dream or hope they are. That will help you serve their needs better. Shopify, Wix and WordPress all have easy integrations that incorporate Google Analytics seamlessly.

6. Be meticulous about checking your online pricing

Online mistakes can cost you – but none more than making a blunder like uploading a new product and leaving its pricing at R0 or R10 ,00, when it should be R100. This is something that happens surprisingly often and can be prevented with a quick double-check before making any product live.

“It may seem daunting, but it is pretty easy to fix minor mistakes that you may have made while rushing to get online. The difference it will make to your online business is likely to show very quickly,” Shimkin concludes.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

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4 Powerful Reasons Your Business Needs More Video

There’s a reason TikTok and Reels are so popular. These short-form videos are engaging and entertaining and when produced effectively with sound strategy in mind, they can leave a lasting impression. Research shows that 84% of consumers make a purchase based on watching a brand or business video. What’s more, your customers are consuming a lot of videos–the average consumer watches video content for about 100 minutes every day.

4 powerful reasons your business needs more video

It should not be surprising that video marketing is on the rise, and why marketing professionals shouldn’t underestimate the positive impact it can have for your business or brand.

“Video marketing is a powerful way to connect with your existing and potential customers and has a direct correlation to increased sales,” said Desireé Gullan, executive creative director and co-founder of G&G Digital. “It all starts with creating video content that resonates with your audience.”

Gullan suggests the first place to start is to look at your data from social media, email, and website, to better understand what content is getting views and engagement, and then to do more of that. Use polls and calls for comments to understand your customers’ wants, needs, and aversions. “Let your existing customers or followers guide your content strategy and narrative style and be sure to apply your insights in fresh and creative ways. It’s also important to front-load your key messages so that your investment is not lost on consumers’ limited time and attention,” Gullan added.

Here are four ways to make video work for your brand:

1. Add video to landing pages

This enhances your search rankings and can increase conversions by 80%. Make sure your video content tells the right story and conveys the right emotion. You can include strong calls to action.

2. Use video in email marketing campaigns

Research proves that including the word ‘video’ in a subject line substantially increases open rates, and video can be more effective than text, especially for complicated subjects or where striking images are required.

3. Include influencers and customer reviews

Videos that include referrals and recommendations build trust and increase conversions.

4. Create shareable content

Produce compelling video content, and your customers will share them. This opens your business to a greater audience who trust the referrals of their community.

The benefits of video marketing should not be ignored, even if you operate in highly regulated industries. “No matter your industry, be sure to comply with the regulations by including disclaimers, getting approvals, and keeping a record of your approved scripts on record,” concluded Gullan. “The extra effort that goes into producing strategic video marketing will get you a return.”

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliveryour orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

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5 fastest-growing businesses in Africa in 2022

Investing in Africa is a sustainable business strategy as companies earn bountiful profits. Despite the rising inflation and insecurity, businesses are fast growing in Africa. Beyond rich resources, the continent is one of the most accessible places to do business.

Companies with excellent financial structures benefit from Africa’s fast-growing population and rich resources. This article focuses on the fastest-growing businesses in Africa. These businesses are selected based on their growth rate and revenue generation potentials.

Note that we consulted several reliable sources while compiling this list. These sources include the World Bank, Market Watch, Nairametrics, Tech Crunch, Africa Business Communities, etc.

1. Financial Technology Business

Financial technology businesses continue to outshine many startups in the African continent with problem-solving innovations. According to Tech Crunch, Africa is the world’s second-fastest-growing and profitable payments and banking market after Latin America. The continent is home to over 500 financial technology firms, most in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

According to The World Bank, about 66% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is unbanked. The unbanked population is another reason financial technology businesses thrive in the continent. They leverage technology to modify, automate and enhance financial services for consumers and businesses.

According to Business Elites Africa, 75% of Nigerian financial technology startups earn an average of $5 million annually. Given the continuous funding for financial technology companies in Africa, the sector will continue to grow with internet penetration and smartphone usage.

2. Food Business

With many investors benefiting from Africa’s resources, the food business is one of the businesses in the continent with a fast growth percentage. According to Business Standard, Africa’s food industry recorded a growth of 3.6% in 2020-21 and 3.9% in 2021-22. Food is a basic need for everyone, making it profitable for businesses for entrepreneurs in the sector.

The growth is driven by soaring demands for packaged and processed foods and the high consumption of frozen and dairy products. The food and beverage industry expansion and innovation are other growth contributing factors. According to Nairametrics, a more significant food Crisis is looming in Africa.

The Russia-Ukraine war, low purchasing power, political instability and conflicts are soaring food prices to unprecedented levels in the continent. Meanwhile, Agro entrepreneurs are benefiting from feeding over one billion people. Entrepreneurs earn huge rewards locally by storing and packaging food products with an excellent transportation network.

3. Real Estate Business

With Africa’s large population, there is a high demand for commercial and residential properties, making the real estate business thrive. According to Nairametrics, The Nigeria real estate market grew by 1.77% in 2021 and 10.84% in the first quarter of 2022. The Egyptian real estate market generated $10 billion, representing a growth of 8% in 2021.

According to Nairametrics, Egypt’s real estate market has a growth projection of 6.5% in 2022. Kenya’s real estate market rose by 5.2% in Q3 2021 and is projected to grow by 5.9% in 2022. The real estate business is one of the most valued in Africa, with entrepreneurs earning from leasing, buying and renting commercial and residential properties.

The real estate business is highly profitable but requires knowledge and experience. To get started in Africa’s real estate business, consider seeking advice from experienced realtors and learn from previous mistakes. Learn the industry’s strengths, weaknesses and how it works.

4. E-Commerce Business

Electronic commerce is a fast-growing African business due to technological advancement and innovation. Firms in this sector allow individuals and companies to trade goods and services through the internet. According to Vanguard Newspaper, Africa’s real estate market value has a projection to reach $180 billion by 2025. The report further disclosed that Africa’s eCommerce ventures secured funding of more than $256 million in 2021, representing a 40% growth from 2020.

According to Africa Business Communities, the e-commerce industry is expected to generate annual revenue of $46.1 billion by 2025. The lucrative industry business involves facilitating the sales of goods and services between companies and their customers. E-commerce ventures also facilitate the sales of goods and services through third parties. Jumia, eBay, Konga, and Kilimall are a few examples of African e-commerce platforms.

5. Logistics Business

Logistic business is a lucrative and fast-growing business in many African countries. Whether in Mauritius, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, or Nigeria, entrepreneurs earn considerable rewards in the industry. According to Market Watch, Africa’s logistics market rose from millions to Multi-million dollars from 2017 to 2022. Reports from Sawya show that Egypt’s Suez Canal recorded a revenue of $704 million in July 2022, representing an increase from the $531.8 million reported in July 2021.

According to Research and Markets, Nigeria’s Logistics and Freight Market is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 3% from 2022 to 2027. The business is profitable in various African countries with the rise of delivery agencies working hand-in-hand with traditional and online retailers. Delivery agencies streamline the transfer of goods to customers’ destinations. Consider researching the business’s strengths and weaknesses before investing and focusing on building an online presence for promotions.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliveryour orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

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How To Make Money From Home Now: 5 Ideas To Start Generating Passive Income

Learning how to make money from home might be one of the best decisions you make in your life. 

“Having my own business gives me the flexibility I need as a single mom,” says Shan Thomas, a strategic business advisor and founder of Credible Visibility Agency, an Atlanta-based website design agency for women in business. 

“Corporate America just didn’t afford me the flexibility I needed to be available for my kids,” she says. “An online business affords me that. I have clients all over the world and have been able to access and service them online. It’s cost-effective and has opened so many more doors.” Thomas notes there are clients in rural communities who wouldn’t be able to access professionals like her if it weren’t for her having a 100% online company.

The ability to make extra money online from home has created a new category of work: “anywhere workers.” That’s the takeaway from a recent survey of more than 1,400 respondents from 67 different nationalities conducted by Lonely Planet and the freelance marketplace Fiverr. According to the survey results, 54% of workers considered themselves “anywhere workers” in that their ability to make money online and pursue financial independence was not contingent on a particular location.

If you’re curious about how to make money from home, advantages to selling online, and how to generate extra money with a location-independent online setup, here’s some advice and tips from experts who’ve done it.

Advantages to Making Money From Home

Making money from home can be a great way to have the best of both worlds. You generate income while having no commute, and for many the prospect of flexible work creates solutions for childcare or other personal responsibilities that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

“The work-from-anywhere movement is real,” says Yeves Perez, an entrepreneur and CEO of Workbnb, an online travel agency and Airbnb-like service for traveling workers. More than 40 million Americans will be working remotely in the next five years, according to the 2021 Future Workforce Report from Upwork, a gig economy platform. Some want to develop a side hustle that brings in a few hundred dollars a month, while others leverage an online store, online courses, or other money making ideas to make money online full-time.

Here are some of the biggest advantages to making money from home.

Your Work Location Can Be Flexible

If you have a computer and an internet connection, you can earn money from home. Most workers who work from home have location independence, which is one of the biggest perks to having a side hustle, negotiating a remote job, or launching your own small business.

“I left my traditional job in 2014 and have been building a business from home since,” says Gabby Wallace, an entrepreneur, YouTuber, and founder of Go Natural English, a company that provides ESL training and on-demand online courses. Wallace’s passion for teaching and content creation have helped her build her YouTube channel to 2.2 million subscribers. 

“I have three streams of income that allow me to make four times what I made in my previous job as a teacher,” she says. “I have homes in different states, travel abroad often, and move around when I feel like it. In everything I do, I want to have flexibility in my life; making money through content online has allowed me to do those things.” 

If you desire to travel, have to be somewhere else, or want to hang out at your favorite coffee shop, online tutoring jobs and other money making ideas allow you the flexibility to be on the go and still bring in cash.

You Can Create Passive Income

Passive income frees up your time and allows you to pursue other ventures while still making money. 

“A home-based business allows you to incur an income from anywhere in the world passively,” says Blake Nubar, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Laptop Freedom, an online business that has 10,000-plus customers in 96 countries. “I travel twice a month and the same amount of income still comes in because of the business we’ve built.” 

One of the more challenging parts of entrepreneurship can be finding the initial capital you need to even start. If you decide to earn money from home, your start-up costs can be low to nonexistent depending on which income model you choose. Popular approaches include creating your own website, setting up your own online store, or being a virtual assistant, and you can work as little or as much as you want to fit your personal and financial goals.

You Can Cultivate a Higher Quality of Life

The longer your commute, the lower your quality of life, according to a frequently-cited 2008 study published in The Scandinavian Journal of Economics. Commute time statistics are shifting thanks to the increase in remote and hybrid work, but 22% of Americans still commute for 30 minutes or more each way, according to a survey published from Statista, a data analytics company. A separate survey from YouGov last year found that no commute was the most-appreciated perk of working from home.

Many workers note that working from home can create better solutions for childcare or work/life balance. As COVID-19 protocols continue to ebb and flow, figuring out how to make money online is an attractive option because you’re in an environment you know and can control.

Do I Need To Invest to Make Money From Home?

Depending on which strategy you choose to make money online, there could be upfront investments associated with getting started. Some of the most common costs include:

  • Website hosting and buildout if you decide you need your own website.
  • Monthly charges for an email service provider if you intend to build an email list of customers or readers.
  • Earmarking money for taxes, especially if you’re a sole proprietor. 
  • Possible costs for hiring professionals to guide you and help you get a running start.

The good news is that you can start and make money from a side hustle or online business with few costs. You can get the strategy and exact steps you’ll need from YouTube videos, podcasts, books, articles, and other forms of online information.

5 Ideas For Making Money From Home

There are many practical ways to make money from home. Here are five popular side hustle options that have low costs to start and tremendous potential for extra cash every month.

No. 1: Sell a Digital Product

Your knowledge and experience could be packaged into digital information products. Some examples include an eBook, a video course, an audio product, or short informational guides.

“Almost everybody has some skill they can package into a digital product,” says Arne Giske, an online entrepreneur and co-founder of the Insider Investors Club and Groups Funnels. He’s built a digital product business with over 5,000 clients. 

“You just have to learn the process of putting together an offer that people are willing to pay for,” he says. Giske notes that you can turn a lot of information into a digital product that sells passively once you build an audience. There are few costs to creating digital information products, which creates an opportunity to bring in money immediately and develop good profit margins. 

No. 2: Offer Freelance Services

Businesses and individuals are always looking for help, but they don’t necessarily need an employee to get the job done. Often, hiring virtual assistants or a freelancer is a better fit, and freelancing is a great way to make money from home. Some of the most popular freelance ideas include:

  • Managing someone’s social media accounts on their behalf.
  • Creating content for a business, whether it be articles, blog posts, or newsletters, to drum up spare cash.
  • Offering virtual assistant services, in which you are paid by the hour to help someone with administrative tasks from the comfort of your own home.

No. 3: Become an Online Coach or Consultant

Some people prefer to work with an expert one on one. What you know can be taught to others in the form of coaching or online tutoring, and with access to Zoom and other software tools, you can coach clients from anywhere in the world. 

“We don’t offer done for you; we offer done with you,” says Isaac Mashman, an entrepreneur and CEO of Mashman Ventures, a company that helps business leaders with personal branding. 

“We consult our clients and work with them to build out their brands,” he says. “We’ve built a team of 12 independent contractors who consult our clients virtually.” Mashman says being able to consult from home has been great for himself and his team.

If you’re not familiar with the process of coaching, there are options for training and certification. You can step up an online coaching side hustle with just the costs of using conference software and promote your offers on social media

No. 4: Teach English

If you speak English, there are options to find online tutoring jobs and teach others how to speak English. This side hustle can be done anywhere, and the potential to make money is good. 

“I replaced my teaching income by teaching English through vipkid,” says Tara Branch, a former teacher and current owner of an online travel agency. 

“I was bringing home at least $2,000 a month when I was teaching English full-time. I taught six to seven days a week. There are ESL certifications you can get to teach English as a second language, and there are platforms in the U.S. now, such as Outschool.” 

Branch says there are apps such as iTalkitutor.comCambly, and many others that offer the opportunity to teach English. You can become certified and get paid to teach from the comfort of your home. The hours can be flexible, and it’s a side hustle with very few expenses.

No. 5: Become an Affiliate

If you don’t have time to deliver a product or service, promote someone else’s offers instead and rack up commissions. You can sign up to become an affiliate with large companies such as Amazon or other retailers or service providers whose products you use. 

Being an affiliate means you get paid every time someone buys with your affiliate link. There is no cost to be an affiliate, and you can be paid (from home) to promote things you’d probably talk about anyway. 

Start Making Money From Home Today

Online side hustles and remote work can be great ways to make extra income, and they also act as a safeguard if something happens unexpectedly in your career. Evaluate which strategy to make money from home aligns with your life and goals, do your research, and then start taking action today.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

Best trending products to sell online in South Africa 2022

Over the previous decade, e-commerce stores have benefited many people, and the industry is predicted to develop. Statista estimates that the e-commerce market is valued at R144 billion and will more than quadruple by 2025. Knowing which things to offer online is critical to your e-commerce business.

In 2021, credit cards accounted for 38% of all sales, followed by e-wallet payments (20%) and cash on delivery (0 percent ). (15% of the total). As previously said, the transaction mechanism is critical when operating an e-commerce store. Your e-commerce store must be configured with payment gateways and other relevant means of transacting.

This article will investigate the greatest products to sell online from home for you.

How do you see which products are trending?

Checking Google Trends is the quickest and most convenient way to find popular things on the internet. It is possible to monitor the popularity of top search queries on Google across different countries and languages using the Google Trends tool. It will show you the trends in your product ideas based on search volume starting in 2004 and continuing to the present.

Given the statistics, creating an online store is a great way to expand a business and ensure that you get a fair piece of the market as online sales grow year after year. You select when to begin. Use your own website, use marketplaces, or use online buying sites like Takealot to establish your online store. In 2022, online sales are expected to reach R165 billion.

There has never been a better time to start selling online. But you might be stuck on what to sell online. Due to the high degree of competition, not every product sells easily online.

20 best products to sell online 2022

1. Skincare Products

Skincare products are among the items to consider when attempting to sell products online. South Africa’s skincare industry is worth R10 billion as of 2021, and it is expected to grow by 4.25 percent in 2022. Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, and Estee Lauder are the most dominant brands. Skincare products are divided into two categories: face care and body care.

Conduct market research to determine which product to sell online and conduct a market survey to see how others are performing for the same or similar products. If you want to start selling skincare products, sell those that are popular with customers so that you can sell them easily. Otherwise, you can opt for niche skincare products that work as advertised.

2. Customized Printed Products

Surprisingly, many South Africans are eager to buy personalised t-shirts or hoodies. Even those that continue to use retail locations as a distribution channel have found this business strategy beneficial. The convenience of online shopping has boosted online sales of printed goods.

When starting this shop, you must have appealing designs and employ high-quality materials. When running an online shop, your business relies on positive reviews. Therefore, poor quality and a lack of attention to detail must be avoided.

3. Kitchen Appliances

Popular kitchen equipment in South Africa include air fryers, electric can openers, and pressure cookers. The list of other kitchen appliances to consider selling online is endless; you just need to know what to sell and to whom. There is no need to sell only one type of goods while selling kitchen equipment. Almost every kitchen item now uses electricity, including bins that employ sensors.

4. Home Decor

Home decor is a great category for e-commerce in 2022. There are numerous home decor items that can be sold online, and the more attractive they are, the easier they are to sell. LED lighting, rugs, storage items, and other items can be sold. If you don’t have enough money, you don’t need to look for products to sell.

If you are talented in product design, you can sell your own designs. People prefer handcrafted items because they believe they have more sentimental value than factory-made home décor goods.

5. Supplements

The South African supplements industry is another multibillion-rand industry. As supplement consumption has increased dramatically since the 2010s, this industry is one of the fastest-growing in the country. In South Africa, you can start your own brand by white-labeling a well-known product.

This method will assist you in developing a brand on which South Africans can rely without having to manufacture the product directly. You can also sell already-labeled supplements or create your own supplements, but this will be more expensive. You’ve probably seen many supplement brands grow from zero to millions of sales in South Africa. This could be an interesting project to pursue.

6. Stationery

In great demand, stationery can be sold at any time of the month. There is always a demand for low-cost, high-quality stationery. Due to the wide variety of items that can be sold, selling stationery may need a large initial investment. But you may handpick hot items and sell them in bulk. With high volume orders, you need a reputable provider because the order value can be significant. So, make sure your provider can supply what you need on time.

7. Hair Care Products

The Hair Care market segment is one to consider because sales are expected to increase by 5.7 percent in 2022. Shampoo, hair conditioner, hair colorant, and other options are available. These products can be sold through various distribution channels, but the online distribution channel allows individuals to sell products with low marketing costs. L’Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, Estee Lauder, and others are among the industry’s leaders. You’re good to go if you can sell hair care products from major manufacturers at a competitive price.

8. Neck Pillows

Neck pillows are trendy right now, and they will continue to be trendy in 2022. Uncovering a reputable supplier with a new product on the market can provide you with great profit margins, and a neck pillow is one such product. Neck Pillows are not a high volume search, thus digital marketing skills are required to sell a huge quantity. If you are new to digital marketing, seek for a product with significant search volume.

9. Nail Decoration

In South Africa, the cosmetics business accounts for almost 20% of all internet sales, and practically any item can sell. Nail Decoration is a popular category in the beauty business, with a wide range of things available. You can sell single items or sets of nail grooming and decoration. Since nails are decorated on a monthly basis, you may be able to maintain your clientele over time.

10. Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are in short supply in South Africa. Acquiring a branded subscription box is even more difficult, and if you are willing to supply premium-branded subscription boxes at a low cost, you are likely to strike gold. Before opening an online subscription box shop, extensive research must be conducted. There are various boxes to become acquainted with, and deciding which to sell online requires some research.

11. Smartphone Accessories

Almost every cell phone will require accessories to function properly or to protect against erosion. Screen protectors, phone covers, and earphones are just a few of the accessories that can be purchased online. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can make by selling smartphone accessories online. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of money to get started because accessories are inexpensive.

12. Indoor Plants

Indoor plants cost between R20.00 and R1,200.00 and have huge profit margins. This could be the most profitable online store you can open, especially if you are the one who grows the plans. There are numerous plans to consider, and where they are planted is also important. You must conduct extensive research and decide whether you want to start a small plant factory or grow plants in your backyard.

13. Shapewear

Shapewear is a trendy product with large online market potential. Many people in South Africa use these products, which are no longer limited to gym-goers. There are a variety of shapewear options for both men and women to consider; therefore, select items that are more profitable and have high sales projections.

14. Latex Gloves and Face Masks

Despite the peak of the coronavirus, we are nevertheless urged to wear face masks and latex gloves to protect ourselves. These goods will always have a market as long as politicians and citizens discuss COVID-19. There is a lot of potential in selling latex gloves and face masks online. You can work with as many distributors as you want and/or start your own online store. To sell these, use Facebook Market, OLX, Gumtree, Takealot, and Bid or Buy.

15. Personal Alarms

Another market segment with a scarcity of suppliers in South Africa is the personal alarms segment. This market segment is for those who want to sell high-tech alarm systems that can alert users to any threats or breaches in security. Personal alarms are a risk because they are not widely available in South Africa, but they are a great concept for an internet store. A big market share and a loyal client base are more likely to result from early entry.

16. Samsung Smartphones

Samsung cell phones are in high demand in South Africa because the company’s smartphones are both affordable and reliable. If you can find the smartphones at a cheaper price, then you can have a competitive edge over other sellers. You can also sell Samsung accessories through your online store. You may not require an online store if you sell your goods through distributors like Takealot or BidorBuy. However, having your own online store allows you to sell your products in the way that most suits your business strategy.

17. Jewelry and Fashion Accessories

We all want to look dapper, and jewelry is a great way to complement your favorite dress or suit. Jewelry goes with any type of outfit, which justifies its popularity. You don’t have to sell expensive jewelry like the top jewelers we’re accustomed to. Handmade and/or secondhand jewelry can be an excellent way to launch an online jewelry store. You can include trending fashion items and rotate them seasonally. This online concept has high growth potential and is almost certain to last.

18. Wall Art

Everyone wants their house to feel like a home, and wall art can help them achieve this. Wall art has the ability to create the atmosphere that one desires or wishes to have in their home or office. You must be creative when creating wall art. Allow customers to select the type of art they want, whether it’s wallpaper, drawings, or other types of wall art. It is important to prioritize size; so allow customers to select art size on adjustable items.

19. Beauty Products

The term “beauty products” refers to objects that individuals use to enhance their appearance. In recent years, consumers have sought out goods containing Macca root or Fenugreek. This market is booming, and expect some competition as a result of the high demand. Prioritize effective items and seek favorable feedback on delivery, product quality, pricing, and communication.

20. Essential Oils

The list of best products to sell online would be incomplete if we did not include essential oils. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, spas and salons have temporarily closed, leaving individuals looking for self-care remedies. Essential oils are in high demand, and sales are increasing. There are numerous essential oils available, and you can easily white-label one from a reputable manufacturer. Because the pandemic isn’t going away soon, you can help folks get the body treatments they want.

Now that you know the best products to sell online it is important to understand that running an online business requires dedication. And as your sales increase, you will need to devote more time to it. Economic order quality must be created to order items on time and have cash on hand when needed. Equip yourself with digital marketing abilities to stay competitive in the e-commerce business.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your order requirements. Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow yourbusinesses.

If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

SA must address shortcomings to unlock e-commerce boom

Read time 4min 00sec

Continued investment in e-commerce infrastructure will help accelerate growth of the industry in SA, says David Kusel, head of product at PayFast.

Kusel was speaking yesterday at the PayFast eCommerce Virtual Summit, hosted by the Insaka eCommerce Academy, and highlighted some of the ingredients needed to further grow the e-commerce industry in SA.

Like in the rest of the world, the COVID-19 crisis lit a fire under the local e-commerce space, leading online retailers to reap the benefits of this major shift in shopping trends.

A World Wide Worx study revealed SA’s e-commerce sales reached a tipping point in 2020, growing by 66% from 2018.

Last year’s Mastercard Economics Institute: 2022 Economic Outlook found South African consumers bought up to 30% more online in 2021, compared to the year before, with a significant surge in e-commerce subscriptions.

Unpacking whether SA has what it takes to match China’s e-commerce growth − which currently sees more than 50% of its retail sales taking place online − Kusel said the country must resolve the challenges around e-commerce, including infrastructure shortcomings.

“Infrastructure is the backbone for any commerce. For example, the SSS’s marketplace has grown hugely…”

“Checkers Sixty60 is another prime example where a huge brick-and-mortar retailer has embraced online and helped bring the e-commerce industry to South Africans.”

The PayFast exec told the virtual audience that online retailers need to get creative in building their businesses to meet the needs of consumers, adding that solving challenges around delivery and logistics in the informal economy is necessary for local e-commerce growth.

“We need to get creative on how we solve this,” he advised. “There’s some great new technology…and other ideas out there that are starting to resolve this. We can’t unlock more than 50-60% of our economy to e-commerce unless we can solve this.

“E-commerce is here to stay in South Africa. If we can solve some of the challenges…I think we can get a lot closer to that 50% that China’s been able to achieve.”

At the same event, Toluse Akinlabi, retail account manager at Google, shared insights into SA’s online shopping trends.

Akinlabi indicated local shoppers have settled into a new normal and there’s no going back to the way they shopped before.

“Globally, more people than ever are shopping online, with 61% more shoppers buying online in the holiday period in 2021 versus 2019. With more people shopping online, differentiation is becoming key.

“Shoppers are using more online information to enhance their in-store experience, and touchpoints that would’ve normally been seen as awareness, engagement or education channels are becoming purchase channels as well. There’s a real convergence in terms of the shopping journey that we’ve never seen before.”

Referencing the findings of Google’s Smart Consumer Report, Akinlabi said in the wake of the COVID-19 period, online remains the preferred way of shopping in SA.

More than two-thirds of shoppers shopped online in 2021, a huge jump from 2020, she noted.

“The habits formed during the initial stages of the pandemic are here to stay. In fact, 87% of shoppers believe they’ll stick with their changed purchase behaviour going forward.”

Akinlabi indicated the report shows e-commerce is “consistently” on the rise in SA, even for fast-moving consumer goods.

“We’re seeing a huge increase in people buying online in the consumer electronics space, home and garden, and fashion. Food and groceries has seen the largest jump since 2020, with five times more people doing their shopping online versus instore.”

She further stated the main reasons people choose online shopping methods is for convenience and home delivery. Another reason is that it’s easier to make a choice and find a specific product.

Akinlabi pointed out that people are buying more on their smartphones, increasing mobile shopping. This trend is particularly seen in the food and groceries, and home and garden categories.

“Mobile shopping on apps is really high and people are used to buying these new categories on their phone.

“While mobile sites are still a key purchase channel, consumer preference is increasingly shifting more towards mobile apps. We’re seeing the shift towards app-purchases a little bit more so than mobile site purchases.”

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences.

We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more. With a successful track record of over 20,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses. If you would like to know more details about us, please contact with us:

If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

What Is Color Psychology? How To Use Color in Marketing

Do you find that certain colors make you feel a certain way? Blue may make you calm, or yellow might bring about feelings of happiness. This is color psychology in action. Marketers and designers have researched how color can directly impact emotions, mood, and spending habits, and found that it plays a significant role in shopping experiences.

Ahead, learn more about color psychology, explore the research that highlights color perception’s impact on decision-making, and get tips on how to choose the best colors for your brand.

What is color psychology?

Color psychology is the study and application of using the color wheel to influence decision making, often with commercial intent such as improving the conversion rate on an ecommerce store.Click here to start selling online now with Shopify

The colors you use on your website can have a significant impact on the mood of your customers. Getting the right mix of colors can mean the difference between a repeat customer and a fleeting one-time visitor.

Why color is important

Human feelings are fleeting. Our moods can fluctuate depending on the time of day, what’s going on in our lives, and even how nourished we are. Color is so prevalent in our daily lives that it can influence our moods and our attitudes toward certain products. For example, someone having a bad day might come across a bright red blazer that changes their entire frame of mind.

The power of color association makes it a very important element in your website design—and not just because it determines how customers feel when they browse your site. According to one piece of color research, people make up their minds within 90 seconds of interacting with a product, and 62% to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

The psychological effects of color

Color impacts our mood and decision-making because it incites emotion.

For example, when we see the color red, our heart rates increase and we feel a sense of urgency, which is why SALE signs in shops are almost always red. Similarly, when we see a graded test covered in red ink, we might start to panic. If given the option between a bank with pink branding or blue branding, we’ll probably choose the latter, because blue creates a sense of trust and security.

Color theory suggests that different colors can have different effects on us, from increasing our happiness to causing anxiety and fear.

One study found that people commonly associate certain colors with different emotions:

  • 68% associated the color red with love
  • 52% associated the color yellow with joy
  • 51% associated the color black with sadness
  • 50% associated the color pink with love
  • 44% associated the color orange with joy
  • 43% associated the color white with relief
  • 39% associated the color green with contentment
  • 36% associated the color brown with disgust
  • 35% associated the color blue with feelings of relief
  • 25% associated the color purple with pleasure

The psychology of color

Choosing the right color palette can help customers connect better with your products, increase trust, and boost overall sales. Here are some options to get you started: 

Psychology of the color brown

In the previously cited study, 36% of participants associated the color brown with disgust, but 64% didn’t think that. Brown often can be used to signify nature and provide a calming feel to designs. Different neutral brown shades can work together to create a sophisticated natural look for sustainable brands, like the Handmade theme in the Shopify Theme Store. This is a paid option, but there are plenty of free theme templates to choose from.

Screenshot of the Handmade theme from Shopify, brown color palette, website header design
The Handmade theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Psychology of the color orange

Orange evokes optimism, joy, and confidence—it’s the epitome of summer. If you want to radiate a sense of warmth, happiness, and summery vibes, orange is the perfect color to weave into your color palette. It seamlessly combines the energetic feel of the color red with the joy and vitality of yellow. The Launch theme in the Shopify Theme Store uses splashes of orange against a white background to bring a sense of cheeriness.

Screenshot of the Launch theme from Shopify, red and orange color palette, website header design
The Launch theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Color psychology of yellow

Yellow represents fun, intellect, creativity, and fresh ideas—there’s a reason the original Post-it notes are yellow. It’s the lightest hue in the color spectrum and is often considered uplifting and joyful. Similarly to orange, yellow evokes happiness, hope, and playfulness. Shopify theme Loft uses lemon yellow to emphasize and draw attention to certain parts of a store.

Screenshot of the Loft theme from Shopify, yellow color palette, website header design template.
The Loft theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Green color psychology

Green is synonymous with nature and growth. It’s often used to create a sense of peace and harmony, but a darker version of the color can also signify wealth and prestige. Green is a great choice for brands that want to portray a healing and wholesome outlook or promote environmentally friendly products. The Impact Shopify theme boasts a beautiful green color scheme that can be customized to suit your brand’s needs.

Screenshot of the Impact theme from Shopify, green color palette, website header design template.
The Impact theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Psychology of the color pink

Pink can have universal appeal since it exudes kindheartedness, romance, and love. It also has a soothing effect, so can be used to offset more aggressive colors, like black, orange, and red. The Blockshop Premium Shopify theme uses a warm and welcoming pastel pink color palette.

Screenshot of the Blockshop theme from Shopify, pastel pink and purple color palette, website header design template.
The Blockshop theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Psychology of the color red

Red taps into the deepest, most primal emotions of shoppers. Since red is usually associated with love, life, and confidence, it can convert potential buyers into lifelong customers if used correctly. Red is often considered energizing and exciting, which can motivate shoppers to act—but it can also be a great way to give shy shoppers confidence. Reformation is a premium Shopify theme that cleverly uses red to highlight important information.

Screenshot of the Reformation theme from Shopify, bright red color palette, website header design template.
The Reformation theme in the Shopify Theme Store

White color psychology

White exudes purity, wholesomeness, and clarity, and is essential to most web pages. It provides a fresh, clean feel as well as a sophisticated contrast to bright colors on the page. Always include empty white space around your content so that customers don’t feel boxed in. The Story theme is a perfect example of using white to create a modern feel.

Screenshot of the Story theme from Shopify, minimalist white color palette, website header design template.
The Story theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Purple color psychology

Purple has long been associated with royalty, power, and affluence, but it can also represent imagination and spirituality. It’s often used to inspire introspection and deeper thoughts, which can lead to positive thinking around purchases. There’s also a sense of calm about the color purple—it can evoke peace and tranquility, and highlight a superior version of a product. Publisher is a free theme that features a pale purple backdrop.

Screenshot of the Publisher theme from Shopify, purple color palette, website header design template with fading background.
The Publisher theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Psychology of the color blue

Blue tones convey feelings of trust, peace, and productivity. They promote loyalty and integrity, which is why blue is often seen in branding for banks and legal firms. Using the color blue on your site can create a feeling of space and stability. However, too much navy can seem conservative—so, if you’re selling a fun range of products, stick to more pale, brighter shades. Motion is a premium Shopify theme that leverages a pale blue in its imagery.

Screenshot of the Motion theme from Shopify, blue color palette, website header design template.
The Motion theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Psychology of the color gray

Gray is usually connected with seriousness and is a firm favorite for people who don’t want to stand out with lurid colors. The right shades of gray can serve as a great backdrop for other more vibrant colors, such as orange, red, and royal blue. The free Craft theme successfully uses gray to create a sophisticated feel to the site.

Screenshot of the Craft theme from Shopify, gray color palette, website header design template with flat lay, neutral product photos.
The Craft theme in the Shopify Theme Store

Black color psychology

Black is associated with strength, power, and dominance. When used in ecommerce, it sends a confident message to potential customers and can represent mystery and luxury—hence why premium vehicles are often black. Excessive use, however, can give off a bland and gloomy feel, so it should be used in moderation alongside tranquil colors. Ride is a free Shopify theme that spotlights the color black against a vibrant color palette.

Screenshot of the Ride theme from Shopify, black color palette, website header design template with bright color accents
The Ride theme in the Shopify Theme Store

The Shopify Theme Store has thousands of free and premium templates to choose from, all of which spotlight different color palettes. Find your perfect color match here.

How to use psychology to influence purchases

Color, when used correctly, can be a powerful guide in purchasing decisions. Here are some key outcomes from a considered approach to using color:

  • Increase brand recognition: A study by the University of Loyola found that color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. This will help you and your products stand out against competitors.
  • Be memorable: Color helps consumers process and store images more efficiently, which means they can remember them better.
  • Improve ad performance: Ads in color are read up to 42% more often than the same ads in black and white—increase the chances of shoppers stopping mid-scroll to read your ad by using color.
  • Draw attention to key information: Color is a great way to emphasize important information about your products. Use it alongside bullet points and white space to guide shoppers on a journey.
  • Make a good first impression: People make snap judgments about products within 90 seconds of first seeing them—up to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone and could be the reason shoppers stick with you or jump ship.
  • Help customers choose a product: 84.7% of respondents in one study claimed that color accounts for more than 50% of the factors important in choosing a product.

How to find the right colors for your brand

There’s no systematic way to choose the right colors for your brand. Part of it will come down to personal preference (if you really don’t like the color purple, why would you want to look at it every day?), but you should consider the impact of color on consumer experiences and public perception of your brand.

1. Create your business persona

What type of products do you sell? If you’re selling a new take on a traditional product like Fishwife, consider how you want customers to feel when they land on your website.

Vibrant product packaging from Fishwife, product category page, yellow color palette, bright website header.
The colorful branding of Fishwife’s products

Here, it’s a good idea to list out some words that reflect your brand personality, such as “serious,” “fun,” “playful,” or “serene.” These will impact the color palette you choose—for example, if your business persona is playful, you want to steer clear of neutral tones like browns and grays.

2. Match the color psychology with your audience

Who is your target audience? Think about how the colors you choose align with the types of consumers you want to attract. For example, if you’re targeting spiritual shoppers, you might choose purples and greens instead of reds and oranges.

3. Analyze the color psychology of your competitors

Look at the colors your competitors are using. If you find that the majority of them incorporate blues and blacks into their branding, there could be a good reason for that. While it might be tempting to use oranges and yellows to stand out, you might quickly find these palettes don’t reflect the needs of the consumers you’re targeting.

4. Differentiate the colors of your brand

While you should take into account the colors your competitors use, you also want to differentiate yourself in some way. This might be through splashes of contrasting colors or by using a different shade of a common color. Remember to consider your audience and brand personality here. For example, Mint bank goes against the traditional blues associated with banking and uses a pale green palette instead.

Screenshot of Mint Bank homepage, green color palette, website header example.
The pale green Mint homepage

5. Keep track of changes and test different color schemes

Make a note of what brand elements you’ve changed, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different color preferences in the color wheel. It’s easy to assume you know what your customers want, but the best way to find out is to ask, test, and track. If you’re worried that bright oranges might put off shoppers but it aligns perfectly with your fun product line, give it a go and see what happens—you might be surprised at the results.

Examples of color psychology in marketing

Coca-Cola: Red for energy

Coca-Cola has one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The heavy use of red indicates energy—something that reflects the qualities of the drink itself.

The red Coca-Cola on a white background.
The red Coca-Cola logo

Apple: Gray for balance and elegance

Apple’s branding is sleek and sophisticated. Whites and grays come together to create a futuristic color palette that reflects the vision of the brand.

Screenshot of Apple’s website, neutral gray and black color palette, minimalist design, website header example.
The Apple website

IKEA: Yellow for optimism

IKEA’s bright yellow color combinations indicate a sense of fun and playfulness—something that it imbues with its simple, easy-to-construct furniture.

Screenshot of IKEA’s website header, orange and yellow color palette, bright website design example.
IKEA’s yellow website

Barbie: Pink for playfulness

Barbie’s famously pink color palette has made it a very memorable brand. The choice of color perfectly reflects the fun and playfulness of the brand and its products.

Screenshot of the Barbie homepage, pink color palette, bright colors, website header design example.
Barbie’s bright pink homepage

Color psychology: a final thought

Color psychology plays a major role in the shopping experience. Choosing the right color combinations can increase sales, create a positive brand perception, and boost customer loyalty—use the tips highlighted here to ensure your color preferences are doing your brand justice.

Wrapping up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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How To Design A Fantacy Unboxing Experience For Your Customers

If you’re running an online business, one of the important touchpoints you have with your customer is when the items they ordered and purchased from you get delivered.

For one, this allows you to leave a positive impression on them and create a pleasant online shopping experience. A well-designed unboxing experience can create a ‘wow’ factor that can make your customers fall in love with your brand all over again and order more. 

In general, most customers are already excited about receiving their items. But you can take it up a notch and make it even more exciting by providing a carefully curated unboxing experience. 

What Benefits?

1.It Has The Potential For Free Marketing

While some customer prefers to enjoy the unboxing experience on their own, others love to record the moment and share the experience on social media. As such, it becomes a significant marketing opportunity to help your brand reach more clients and stand out. 

2. It Improves Customer Loyalty

One of the most important goals of any company is to make customers repeatedly purchase their products. That said, customer experience across the buying journey impact customer loyalty.  

A big part of the buyer’s journey that you can easily improve and control is creating a positive unboxing experience. This strategy relies on emotion, allowing consumers to feel pampered and valued. Such consumer empowerment can encourage people to come back again and again.

How to?

1.Packaging Materials——Choose The Right Packaging Materials

To create a unique unboxing experience for your customers, focus on the material. Ideally, it shouldn’t be just any ordinary box that you bulk buy from a supplier. Your box should feature your brand colors, logo, or name.  

Once your products arrive on a customer’s doorstep, you want to let them know they came from you. While plain boxes may be cheaper, if your brand isn’t clear, you could miss out on the valuable opportunity to establish consistent brand recognition. Note that consistent branding–from product browsing and selection to purchasing to receiving and unboxing the product, can help build and strengthen your brand story. That said, don’t skimp on your product boxes.  

Alternatively, the term ‘unboxing’ doesn’t necessarily mean boxes. As such, you can choose whether you’ll use boxes to pack your items. However, it’s important to choose the right type of packaging suitable for your specific products. 

For instance, a custom box may not be necessary if you have smaller, flexible products such as shirts. You can opt for branded mailers or plastic pouches. Regardless of what type of packaging material you choose, you want to make sure that it reflects your brand and agreeably matches your product.

2.Think About The Layout

No one likes to receive a highly anticipated item that seems carelessly thrown into the package, nor do they want to see lots of return labels or receipts when they open their package. Instead, customers want to see a well-packaged and nicely presented product with each item positioned properly. This can provide a nice impression and make them want to order again.

That said, be intentional not just to throw return labels, packing slips, or packaging foam and material anywhere on the box. After all, you want to provide a nice impression and make them want to order again.

As a good start, pack and present the items in an appealing and organized manner. Ensure they first see what they ordered and arrange the extra papers and miscellaneous things. This approach can help prevent the less important things from taking away the customer’s focus and reaction from the main focal point, which is your product.

3.Add Personalized Extras They’ll Love

One of the best ways to create a memorable unboxing experience is to add extras that customers will love. Aside from the product they’ve bought, you can include small, personalized items, such as a simple thank you note for their purchase.  

You can also leverage engagement by sending postcards that ask them to share the experience on social media with a specific hashtag. Moreover, you can also give them a discount coupon they can use for their next purchase, encouraging an additional sale. You can also send bonus gifts or product testers, especially during holidays or the sale season, to show appreciation and increase customer loyalty.

There’s no denying the increasing impact of unboxing. What was once a seasonal pleasure, unboxing, has become a powerful online fad and online marketing tool. So, if you wish to convert one-time customers into loyal buyers, designing a memorable unboxing experience can help you stay on their minds and keep coming back. If you don’t know where to start, take inspiration from the above tips to create a unique unboxing experience for your customers.

Wrapping up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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How Retailers Can Capitalise On SA’s E-commerce Boom

Online shopping in South Africa is rising rapidly, with data released by World Wide Worx and Mastercard indicating that the South African online retail market reached R55bn in 2022, a 35% year-on-year increase.

And predictions suggest that e-commerce will continue to grow by 25% in 2023 which could see online retail exceed 5% of total retail in South Africa for the first time.

For retailers to ensure that they benefit from this steep upward trajectory, they need to adopt a future-facing strategy, says Cheryl Ingram, the managing director and co-founder of The Digital Media Collective (TDMC). Over the past five years TDMC has launched over 200 e-commerce stores for retailers wanting to build profitable online retail channels.

“Back in 2013 e-commerce was a relatively unchartered space in South Africa with MRP leading the field in terms of traditional brick and mortar retailers entering the online shopping space,” says Ingram. “The online grocery space was non-existent and most of the top retailers were still grappling with the idea that South African consumers would one day actively choose to shop online versus instore. A lot has changed in 10 years!”

These changes here in South Africa and globally are being driven both by retailers who are moving towards more multi-channel strategies and are continually reinventing the way we can shop online, and by the expectations of customers as they seek out more convenience on all levels, from checkout processes and payment methods to hassle-free and cost-effective delivery.

The result? An impressive spike in e-commerce activity. Brandmapp’s latest data shows that over 65% of the 33,000 respondents had shopped from one of SA’s largest online retailers in the last year – a 25% jump from just two years ago.

Here, Ingram shares her key industry insights on how retailers can benefit from the boom in 2023 and beyond.


1. Spend to win

If brands are serious about building and growing their e-commerce business, they need to commit a substantial budget to paid media.

“There is a misconception that online requires a much smaller level of investment, when really what you put in will absolutely determine what you get out. A robust paid media strategy that includes all digital channels is not negotiable. Anyone who expects success from e-commerce without any significant investment in paid media might just as well build their next retail store in a field that has no road access,” says Ingram.

Commit a substantial budget to paid media.

2. Be agile

According to Statista’s latest E-commerce Country Report the top five online stores in South Africa accounted for 68% of the net sales of the top 100 online stores in 2021.

But, as Ingram emphasises, e-commerce is a great equaliser, and she is continually surprised by relatively unknown online brands who cross her path who are driving seven-figure revenues monthly.

“This is the opportunity that e-commerce presents – it levels the playing field and gives anyone with the right product the opportunity to build a business that can outperform the big retailers because they have the right product and the agility to open the tap and let it run.”

She says slow turnaround times paired with lengthy decision-making processes often mean larger retailers miss opportunities. “Adopting a more agile approach is key to growth.”

Another challenge for larger retailers is the wide choice now offered to consumers online and their ability to quickly do price comparisons, undermining customer brand loyalty, a cornerstone of traditional large retailers.

3. Meet your customers where they are

For today’s time-pressed consumer convenience is key – they want to be able to shop quickly and easily wherever they are at any time of the day.

“For anyone in the online space, the key consideration should be the consumer and how far you are prepared to go to be wherever your consumer shops. Omnichannel retailing means a seamless shopping experience anywhere, anytime – and that should be the goal of every future facing retailer,” notes Ingram.

She adds that she expects to see a pullback on TV spend with higher investment in social media channels especially YouTube and TikTok.

Other changes that will make online shopping quicker and easier for South African consumers include one-click checkout (like Amazon Prime offers), subscriptions services particularly across monthly staples, and onsite checkouts.

“Onsite checkout means that customers never have to leave the social media channel they are on in order to transact, plus we expect to see a greater use of live shopping by the bigger brands,” says Ingram. “The role of WhatsApp in e-commerce is also likely to change considerably over the next couple of years, especially where the mass market consumer is concerned.”

4. Get personal

As we go into 2023, the retailers that are going to win the day will be those who have taken time to segment their customer base, who understand the value of personalisation, and who are delivering the right content to the right consumer.

“A single one-stop shop message served to all is no longer sufficient and consumers are looking for brands to better understand their needs and not clutter their inboxes with irrelevant and untimely messaging. The message from consumers to retailers is loud and clear: ‘Engage me with what I’m likely to be interested in – don’t spam me with a spray and pray message,’” Ingram notes.

5. Don’t buy into the myths

Ingram says many retailers make the mistake of buying into common myths around consumer behaviour in South Africa. The first is that e-commerce is only for the top end of the shopper base. “Analysis of the shopper profile of many of our bigger retailers shows that this certainly is not true,” she says.

Similarly, there is the misconception that South Africans have a deep mistrust of shopping online and that cash is king. “2022 Black Friday stats disprove this. Online is very much a part of every South African’s shopping journey with revenues and traffic higher than ever before. Similarly, we have seen a marked spike in cashless shopping.”

6. Watch for marketplace developments

Ingram explained that marketplaces have helped to build credibility for e-commerce in South Africa and she is looking forward to the changes the newly formed Bob Group will bring to the market with the merger of Bidorbuy and

“When they roll out their new marketplace offering they should be a serious competitor to Takealot for the simple reason that their model will be more like Makro, where the retailer ships to customers. In going this route, they eliminate the costs associated with 3rd party distribution and warehousing which will certainly appeal to the retailers,” says Ingram.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article partly refers to:

What Is an Entrepreneurial Mindset & How Do You Develop One?

Look at any high-performing business and you’re likely to notice some patterns. More often than not, a successful business has a good product, provides great service and even has an incredible team.

But while there are many factors that influence the success of a business, success often comes down to a particular mindset and approach to business and life.

Having an entrepreneurial mindset can often be the difference between long-term success and struggling to turn your idea into reality.

In this guide, we’ll show you the keys to developing an entrepreneurial mindset, and more importantly, an entrepreneurial spirit, to increase your chances of success by learning from some of the best entrepreneurs.

What is the entrepreneurial mindset?

An entrepreneurial mindset is an attitude that allows you to think long term and to push through all the obstacles and challenges that come with starting a business. It means being open-minded, critical and resilient when times get tough. It means looking for solutions rather than problems. Best of all, you don’t need to go to Harvard Business School to develop it.

Starting a business is incredibly hard. Many businesses fail. Entrepreneurs need to be comfortable with failure and be able to overcome self-doubt. Not all the bold plans we make will turn out to be million-dollar ideas.

Why do people become entrepreneurs?

What type of entrepreneur are you? Every entrepreneur has a different starting story. But there are three common reasons why people leave a salaried job to start their own business.

Freedom and flexibility

What type of entrepreneur are you? Every entrepreneur has a different starting story. But there are three common reasons why people leave a salaried job to start their own business.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs see creating a business as freedom: their gateway to working their own hours, saying no to an annoying boss, and having the flexibility to work on projects they enjoy. You don’t always get that in a full-time job.

Goals and ambitions

Look at successful entrepreneurs and you’ll see they have a fire in their belly. Each person has goals and ambitions they want to achieve—anything from earning six figures a year to changing the world. Their business is often the vehicle that helps them get there. 

It’s this personal satisfaction (or lack thereof) that nudges people into entrepreneurship. Ash Read, founder of Living Cozy, says he became an entrepreneur “to prove to myself I could build something from zero. After working for established brands, I needed to show I could do it on my own.” Self education matters.

Welljourn’s founder Becky Brown says, “For years, I was completely fine working full-time and earning a steady paycheck, but eventually, I realized that I had to strive for more in order to achieve personal happiness and inner satisfaction. 


Not all entrepreneurs respond with “I want to own a business!” when asked what they’d like to do in the future. In fact, some people think of themselves as the complete opposite—yet still end up creating successful businesses (or appearing on Shark Tank).

Take Kirby Kendall, the founder of SafetyChew, who kept an inventor’s notebook filled with crazy things as a child: “My goal was to invent something and have a company license it, and I just sit back and cash the checks.”

Nature vs. nurture: are we born entrepreneurs?

Not all business owners consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. Maybe they fell into it, creating something they wanted the world to see and a business was the only way to do that.

But some small business owners believe they’re born with entrepreneurial thinking, like Jodie Kieliszewski, founder of Bee Lovely Botanicals. Her family has a history of entrepreneurship, with both Jodie’s parents, grandparents, and sister starting businesses: “I believe that the entrepreneurial mindset is more the type of thing that someone is born with, but obviously it is a skill that can be sharpened or dulled with use.

“We were raised to spot opportunities and resources to make things better. For me, I feel like it’s just something in my DNA, but in order to be successful, I need to practice and sharpen it as a skill.”

Anyone can learn the art and skill of sales, marketing, and promotion—all of which are crucial to a business. Not everyone can succeed as an entrepreneur. People either have or do not have that innate desire to succeed and the mindset to sacrifice, be uncomfortable, and make tough decisions on a daily basis. The likelihood of success depends on the character and makeup of an individual versus someone who simply has skills but lacks intrinsic fire in their belly.Magda Khalifa, founder of Triangle Fragrance

Whether you’re on either side of the nature versus nurture debate, not everyone has an equal start in the entrepreneurship race. Many of us are given the upper hand by the circumstances we’re born into. People find it easier to become an entrepreneur if they have the background, upbringing, formal education, opportunities, and financial freedom to do so. 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor also found certain elements “directly [influence] the existence of entrepreneurial opportunities.” The biggest driver? Cultural and social norms, indicating those who’ve grown up in a circle of other entrepreneurs are likely to become one themselves.

All of this isn’t to say you can’t develop an entrepreneurial mindset if you’re not coming from a background of privilege. It definitely is possible—it just takes a little more work.

I think you definitely have to have a certain type of personality to be a good entrepreneur. You have to be highly self-motivated, driven, persistent, and a bit of an overachiever. However, there are several skills that you can develop that will help you, including learning the ins and outs of how to build a business, understanding opportunity costs, developing relationships, and keeping up with industry trends.Ashley Cummings, freelance writer

How to develop an entrepreneurial mindset?

Not everyone is born with the natural drive to run a business, but anyone can become a business owner with the right mindset.

Here’s how to develop the most important entrepreneurial skills.

Build resilience.

Not all business ideas will end up succeeding. Business failure is part of any entrepreneur’s life. There are tons of elements in both marketing and business plans that determine whether an idea becomes a successful venture. 

That’s why keeping the will and determination to make your new business venture a success is crucial. Resilience—the ability to recover from less-than-ideal situations—is the difference between people who have an entrepreneurial mindset and those who don’t. 

“Entrepreneurs see losing as not only a part of the process, but essential to it,” says Yuvi Alpert, founder and creative director at Noémie. “For them, the only way to streamline a business to make it as productive as possible is by understanding where the problems are, which requires experiencing loss.

“By having this mindset, a successful entrepreneur can get past the fear that holds many aspiring business people back, and opens their minds up to all possibilities.”

An entrepreneurial mindset is having the ability to make the most out of opportunities that come your way. You know how to overcome and learn from setbacks, as well as how to excel in a variety of settings.Jean Gregoire, CEO of Lovebox

Building resilience and adaptability as an entrepreneur is something you can only do with practice. Roll your sleeves up and follow your business plan. Produce the best version of a product. Do everything you can to spread the word. But know that plans aren’t foolproof; even the most watertight business plans can go wrong. That’s where your problem-solving skills are sharpened. 

Where others see problems and challenges and then complain, entrepreneurs see opportunities and think of solutions.Aaron Powell, founder and CEO of Bunch Bikes

​​Question everything.

People with an entrepreneurial mindset are curious. They don’t take things at face value; they question why things happen so they can set themselves up for entrepreneurial success.

“The entrepreneurial mindset is all about questioning the world around you and working creatively to improve that world,” says Ethan Goldstein, CEO of Curist. “Constantly asking questions about why things are done the way they are and then positing and executing on new ways to accomplish a goal.”

Ethan recommends developing this mindset by questioning the world around you:

  • Weigh the pros versus the cons. Say you’re looking for help to manufacture your new curling iron. Instead of getting quotes from one manufacturer, weigh the pros and cons of local versus international vendors. US manufacturers might be able to ship your product quicker than a European manufacturer, for example—but you’ll pay for that with higher production costs.
  • Know when to be aggressive versus restrained. This is especially true with marketing and advertising. The world is your oyster; social media platforms are ready to take your money in exchange for lending their audience. “Does our audience use this platform?” and “Could we get this advertising slot cheaper elsewhere?” are just two of the questions running through the brain of someone with an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Learn when to go with your gut versus examining data. Business executives are more likely to rely on their intuition than the general public. Entrepreneurs who had a gut feeling that TikTok would become popular, for example, are winning today because they started using the platform early.

“I think some of the important internal skills include how to emotionally and mentally run a startup,” Ethan says. Most importantly, that includes “how to manage and plan for the constant uncertainty of running a startup and the potential for anxiety therein, balancing ongoing failure and success.”

Get out of your comfort zone.

Great things rarely happen in your comfort zone. When starting a new venture, it’s this drive to try new things that helps people to turn shower thoughts into successful brands. They have the confidence to try things others haven’t.

Take Rick Elmore, founder and CEO of Simply Noted, who started his career as a football player: “Throughout my sports and entrepreneurial career, I have always pushed myself outside of my comfort zone in order to become better at what I do. This includes learning about and building from scratch the technology that is the basis of my business.

“It can be an uncomfortable process,” Rick says, “but in the end, this strategy results in finding new perspectives, discovering new solutions, and meeting new people who can bring new opportunities.” 

No matter how uncomfortable it may feel, develop an entrepreneurial mindset by trying new things. A new social media platform on the market? Spend a few hours each week to see how things pan out. A hunch that your product could be made cheaper by using different materials? Have a small production run and see if quality suffers. 

The beauty of a comfort zone is that the more you push it, the wider it gets. Entrepreneurs often look back at big decisions that felt scary at the time, only to recognize they’re now doing things they could only dream of. Their comfort zone expanded as their business did.

Entrepreneurs are creators, problem solvers, and innovators. They see possibilities where others see limitations. To be an entrepreneur, you must be willing to take risks and do what it takes to make your vision a reality.Darren Litt, co-founder of Hiya Health

Take responsibility for mistakes.

Unfortunately, not all of the business decisions you make will pay off. That won’t always be your fault. Vendors can fall through on their promises, shipping carriers lose parcels in transit, you name it. 

Alongside resilience and the drive to solve problems, taking responsibility for those mistakes is what sets entrepreneurs apart. 

“To me, the factor that truly defines an entrepreneurial mindset is the refusal to make or accept excuses,” says Mitchell H. Stern, founder of Side Hustle Tips. “Taking ultimate responsibility for everything that happens under the roof of a business is what separates real entrepreneurs from the amateurs, because it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s much easier to blame and castigate others when things go wrong, but it’s also a recipe for disaster.”

Mitchell says, “When I came to the realization that everything was my fault, I developed a new sense of empowerment that enabled me to apply a more proactive approach to all of my business operations. The results were immediate and lasting, and it’s a lesson I continue to preach to this day.”

Individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset are able to adjust quickly and adapt when circumstances change, are highly intuitive, and rarely shy away from following their gut instincts. They are also decisive, and hold themselves accountable for the outcomes of their actions.Patrick Crane, CEO of Love Sew

Strive for constant improvement.

Gymshark, Harper Wilde, Allbirds—they’re three huge businesses that got their success within the past decade. They have one thing in common: the desire to create the best quality products in their industry.

Take Gymshark, for example. Part of its success comes from its commitment to always produce the best quality apparel. One of its core values is progression: “To remain at the forefront of both, we need to be fearlessly progressive and consistently future-conscious.”


“Having an entrepreneurial mindset means that you have a natural [affinity] to learn and make your trade better,” says Marie Jones, the founder of Organic Aromas. 

“You can have many skills and lack the all-consuming passion to break the barriers. Today, the company makes seven figures worldwide, and I believe it’s because of the relentless mindset that always seeks to do more and to do better.”

Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs.

Earlier, we mentioned that research shows people are more likely to become entrepreneurs if they’re surrounded by them. It’s easier to spot business opportunities when you’ve been raised by other people who do. 

Put this into practice by surrounding yourself with other people with the entrepreneurial mindset. This doesn’t have to be your circle of friends. You can make friends with other business owners through:

  • Local business events. The US Chamber of Commerce hosts regular networking events for small business owners. You’ll also find independent events on sites like Meetup and Eventbrite.
  • Conferences. Scan the Conference Index to find events and tradeshows happening in your industry. Make an effort to network with people while you’re there.
  • Online forums. Connect with global entrepreneurs through Slack communities, Facebook groups, and Reddit’s /r/entrepreneur forum.

Not found your million-dollar idea yet but want to get first-hand experience? Find an entrepreneur you admire and ask to shadow them. Having them as your mentor will help you understand their mindset and thought processes. When inspiration does strike, you’ll have the new skills to turn it into a successful business.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is a motto many entrepreneurs credit their success to. Not only will the entrepreneurial mindset of others rub off onto you, but you’ll have a network of friends willing to help you out when things get tough.

Aligning with like-minded peers allows you to share tricks, tips, and even leads. If that’s not enough, leveraging the influence of other reputable businesses will boost your clout and can help position you as an expert.Sigute Zitikyte, Personal Branding Coach, and former Senior Partnerships Manager at Shopify

The first step to developing the right mindset is deciding to become an entrepreneur.

Some people find the foray into entrepreneurship easier than others. Privilege, your upbringing, and being surrounded by entrepreneurs from a young age all influence your likelihood of business success.

Don’t use that as an excuse to wipe “Become an entrepreneur” off your bucket list. You can develop the same entrepreneurial mindset some people say they’re born with by second-guessing everything, getting out of your comfort zone, and always striving for improvement. 

“The entrepreneurial mindset is first and foremost about self-belief and confidence,” ViscoSoft’s CEO Gabriel Dungan summarizes. “No matter what industry your business falls under, having confidence in both yourself and your company is integral to success and overall longevity.”

Don’t let your excuses and fears stop you from giving entrepreneurship a try.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article partly refers to:

How to Make Soap to Sell: 2023 DIY Business Guide

If you’re an eager entrepreneur or an avid DIYer, here’s a unique idea for a squeaky clean business: homemade soap.

While the virtue of cleanliness may not sound like a viable income stream, learning how to make soap offers you a chance to scratch your creative itch while creating an in-demand product customers are clamoring for.

Sold on the idea? Here, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of how to make soap, and then tackle the topic of turning this DIY beauty biz into a viable home business.

How to make soap, step by step

  1. Gather your ingredients 
  2. Get your soap base ready
  3. Stir and combine
  4. Pour soap and let it set

When it comes to making soap as a beginner, it’s often best to start off simple. That’s why we’ve compiled a recipe below using a simple glycerin base. 

But as you get more experienced in the process of soap making, it’s easier to make blends with your recipe with changes in oils, scents, or other additives.

Combining different oils will lend your final product different characteristics. Some oils will help make your bars harder or will provide a better lather. On the other hand, oils like olive and coconut will create the chemical reaction that actually turns all these liquids into soap. Other materials like shea butter will offer moisturizing qualities.

With that preface, let’s take a deeper look into how to actually make your first bars of soap.

1. Gather your ingredients

Grab all the materials to cook up your first batch. Here’s what you’ll need and ideas for where to find your ingredients:

  • Glycerin base: Grab a bulk amount from a marketplace.
  • Stir sticks: You can acquire these from almost any grocery store or your local craft store.
  • Essential oils: Again, these are available at your local craft store, and on online stores.
  • Rubbing alcohol: Any pharmacy, dollar store, or bulk retailer will have bottles of this readily available.
  • Microwave-safe containers: Any kitchen supplier or craft store will carry these.
  • Molds: See below for ideas on how to discover molds for your soaps.

Just like with making bath bombs, you have a variety of creative options when it comes to soap molds. If you browse a online store, you’ll find dozens of beautiful options, with most costing less than $7 per mold.

2.Get your soap base ready

Once you’ve gathered your materials, next you need to cut and melt down your glycerin base. Cut small chunks of glycerin, place them in your microwave-safe container, and microwave for 30 seconds.

3. Stir and combine

Use one of the stir sticks to stir the melting glycerin base and continue to microwave for short spurts until the base is fully melted throughout. Then stir in several drops of your chosen essential oil and combine.

While those ingredients are combining, use a spray bottle to spritz rubbing alcohol on your molds to prevent any bubbles from forming in your bars of soap.

4. Pour soap and let it set

Once the ingredients are combined and the molds are ready, pour the contents into the molds and allow to cool and set. When the bars have hardened, pop them out of the molds and your bars are complete. From here, simply lather, rinse, and repeat.

Extra recipes for making soap

Want some ideas on ways to tweak this recipe to make it your own? Here are some options for different essential oils you can switch out to achieve a different scent and feel for your soap bars.

Is selling handmade soap profitable?

Homemade soap isn’t exactly a new product. Some sources trace the origination of homemade soap all the way back to 2800 B.C., when ancient Babylonians handily mastered soap making from fats boiled down with ashes.

While soap making has certainly evolved over the past few thousand years, some of the primary ingredients have remained the same. Soaps have a fat and/or oil base, like lye or glycerin, that is customized with additional ingredients, such as different combinations of essential oils, moisturizers, and other additives.

The demand for this hygienic necessity will always be high, and there’s a growing interest in natural and homemade varieties of soap.

According to a quick glance at Google Trends, you can see that global searches online for “soap” have grown steadily since 2018.

In addition to the obvious interest for soap made with natural ingredients, the cosmetics industry deserves the attention of eager entrepreneurs on the prowl for a new business idea. 

The global organic bar soap market size was estimated at $34 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $55.29 billion by 2027. You can easily expand into different categories like bath and body soaps, kitchen soaps, and even laundry soaps. 

Not only is there an obvious demand for this kind of natural, hand-crafted product, but it’s relatively inexpensive to make your own soap at home.

Types of handmade soaps

There are a bevy of natural soaps—and they also boast different advantages. 

Many of the different types are dependent upon the ingredients you use, but they all generally rely on the same chemical reaction that occurs when your preferred materials are combined. And generally, natural, handcrafted soaps use food-quality ingredients in their recipes.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the types of homemade soap, here are some of the most common ones you can create in your kitchen.

Cold process soap

Primary ingredients like lard, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, or lye are combined with additional ingredients and mixed (we recommend a stick blender). Once the consistency has thickened to trace (i.e., emulsified so it looks almost like pudding), you can then pour the soap mixture into your mold, let it harden, then cut and cure it for four to six weeks.

Hot process soap

Here, the maker actually cooks the soap as part of the process. The ingredients are combined and heated (for example, in a slow cooker), placed in molds, and allowed to harden overnight.

While this type of soap may take a little more time to create than cold process soaps, the resulting bars often are smoother to the touch.

“Ready-made” base

This is one of the simpler soap-making methods. Crafters purchase already made bases, melt them down, add colors and scents, and pour the mixture into their preferred molds.

The benefit of this process is that the chemical reaction to make the soap has already occurred; the maker is essentially putting their own fingerprint on the soap. Because this type of homemade soap isn’t technically made from scratch, it’s also easier to create intricate shapes and designs with this base.

These bases are created with everything from glycerin, shea butter, and goat’s milk, and can be purchased from your local craft store, or online in bulk from online stores.

How to market your homemade soap business


You now have a handy homemade soap recipe to get you started—it’s time to start selling. There are plenty of digital channels you can use to get your handcrafted products in front of as many buyers as possible.

Consider building your own online store, or listing your products on Amazon and the bevy of other digital platforms we’ve outlined below:

  • Instagram: This visual social platform is a great medium to build a large following. Here, you can reach out to brand evangelists, provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how you created your terrariums, and create gorgeous images that show off your products.
  • Pinterest: Home décor is a particularly active category on Pinterest. As such, merchants selling terrariums should consider the platform to find new customers.
  • TikTok: While TikTok is a relative newcomer compared to the other major social media platforms, it’s one of the fastest-growing, with a more than 1.5 billion user base. Those kinds of numbers have caught the attention of many businesses, and many more merchants are looking to reach their target customers through this channel.
  • Giveaways and contests: Set aside a few terrariums and offer them as prizes in a branded giveaway or contest. Yes, you may be giving away some of your products, but contests offer the chance to increase your customer base, introduce your products to new customers, and grow your small business as a result.
  • Email marketing: You can reach people right through their inboxes with targeted email campaigns. Offer subscribers and customers great deals, promotions, and business news to help move them along in the buyer journey. There are many email marketing apps like Shopify Email you can get started with right away. 

In person

Homemade soaps, particularly when paired with beautiful packaging, can be attractively presented in person. That’s why it makes sense for eager beauty biz entrepreneurs to set up a market booth at local craft shows or flea and farmers markets to take advantage of in-person sales.

Soap makers can also sell their wares in temporary retail spaces like a pop-up shop, local boutiques, or beauty/cosmetics stores.

Temporary retail stores and wholesale opportunities also allow early stage entrepreneurs to test out their homemade soaps on customers in person and receive feedback in person.

If those aren’t enough reasons to sell you on in-person sales, then consider the following benefits of physical sales:

  • Meeting other entrepreneurs and crafters: While every entrepreneur’s primary goal for in-person sales is to, well, make sales, merchants can also discover some serious inspiration at markets and fairs. Connecting with fellow entrepreneurs and DIYers can offer a wellspring of ideas for new products and new ways to market current inventory.
  • Connect with wholesale customers: It’s no secret that bulk buyers visit markets and fairs to find the next hot product to feature in their stores—which is why these events are a great way to forge new relationships with potential wholesale customers.
  • Live product testing: As aforementioned, these temporary retail events are ideal places to test new products out on shoppers. In-person feedback can give you great ideas on how to improve, and offers you the opportunity to address customer pain points on the spot.
  • Add to social followings and email lists: Your in-person marketing efforts don’t have to be siloed from your digital marketing. Use in-person sales events as a way to curate a larger social following for your branded accounts and add potential and current customers to your email subscriber list.

Although in-person selling might initially sound intimidating for those planted firmly behind their computer screens, the right know-how can help set you up for success.

In addition to learning how to nail the in-person selling experience, ensure you’ve got a point-of-sale system like Shopify POS that helps you take payments on the go.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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4 Ways SMEs Can Deal With the Energy Crisis While They Await Relief

South Africa’s escalating energy crisis shows no signs of abating with the implementation of Stage 6 load shedding plummeting many parts of the country into darkness last week.


As the backbone of the country’s economy, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been worst affected by load shedding. Many are just recovering from the pandemic and are now being faced with the devastating effects of having no power for between eight and twelve hours a day.

The government has just announced it is stepping in to take the pressure off SMEs and has instructed the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (Sefa) to collaborate with various stakeholders and find a solution via an energy relief package. While these talks are ongoing, Eskom announced the devastating news that South Africa will be placed on permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding for the next two years.

In response to Eskom’s latest announcement, small businesses have appealed to the government to consider implementing subsidies on diesel, diesel-powered generators or other alternative energy solutions to help them cope with load-shedding, as many will not be able to survive another two years of constant power cuts.

“The details of the Seda and Sefa-driven packages and how SMEs can claim are not yet available, but relief efforts like this are vital if our SMEs are going to survive the indefinite energy crisis,” says Miguel Da Silva, managing director at Retail Capital.

“We applaud the government for stepping in and hope that the relief package will go some way towards creating alternative sources of energy, recovering some losses, and subsidising existing energy solutions. In the meantime, we encourage SMEs to act now and invest in alternatives if they have the finances available,” he adds.

There are a number of things that small business owners can do to help mitigate the effects of these power outages – the key is to act fast.

Da Silva suggests four ways every SME can and should be dealing with the energy crisis today:

1. Find affordable alternatives

Not all alternative energy solutions are expensive, so do your research and find out which solutions will best suit your business. A small generator or an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for example can cost as little as R900 and can be purchased from high street hardware stores or online.

“They’re not a 24-hour solution but, at the very least, these will provide you with an interim source of power until the lights come back on,” says Da Silva.

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

Battery packs and power banks are also cost-effective options that will help keep your electrical items, Wi-Fi and Pos devices running. “Using battery and power banks can be a juggling act though and you need to remember to keep these charged when the power is back on,” says Da Silva.

Investigating gas cooking solutions is another effective way of maintaining business as usual – or as close to it – for restaurants and other hospitality businesses. “Gas alternatives do require professional installation so make sure you factor in the cost of having it installed by a gas safety engineer who can provide you with the right safety certificates,” advises Da Silva.

2. Get funding to go off-grid

For most SMEs and individuals, ordinary savings won’t even cover the costs of getting off the Eskom grid. If your business premises are mortgaged with certain banks, then you may be able to take further financing from the bank to pay for these alternative energy solutions.

Several banks have partnered with renewable/backup energy providers to provide discounts to their customers. Some may also offer improvement loans for business premises, and this could go some way towards financing an alternative source of energy, like solar.

3. Change the way you work

If an off-grid solution is not financially viable for your SME, then consider investing in a hot desk at a shared office space that’s equipped with a generator.

“The costs can be quite high depending on your location and amount of people working for you, but this could be a worthwhile cost to bear if it means your business won’t be interrupted by outages and ensuring you are still profitable. Smaller teams are also more flexible so consider working schedules that can adapt around load shedding hours,” says Da Silva.f

4. Manage any price fluctuations

“If you are considering the expensive off-grid option, you may need to make realistic price hikes on your goods and services so that you keep yourself in business. However, it is wise to manage any price fluctuations carefully and to be completely transparent with your clients from the get-go. Building in added value for your clients can go a long way towards offsetting any resistance to this,” he advises.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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Dropshipping Business in South Africa – Where do I start?

Dropshipping Business in South Africa

Have you ever dreamt of opening your own retail store but never had the budget to do so? Or did the risks made it unattractive for you? We understand if so. But what if someone tells you that it is completely possible to start your own online store at an affordable budget? Yes, it is completely possible. The answer is starting a dropshipping business in South Africa.

Why South Africa? Oberlo says that the South African dropshipping competition is still fresh, and that makes it a good environment to consider starting this business. It is a perfectly legit business model used by many aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide. In this article, we are going to simplify dropshipping for your understanding and explore the advantages and disadvantages, and the startup procedure.

What is a Dropshipping Business and how does it work?

In layman’s terms, dropshipping is basically owning an online retail store without having any inventory. Instead, you directly connect and set up ties with various manufacturers to form a supply chain. The initial investment usually goes into setting up your online retail store and (optionally) advertising. The customers who visit your website can pay and place an order after choosing their desired items from your product catalogue. Once an order comes through, you – the dropshipper – will place a duplicate order to your relevant manufacturer/supplier. That is all. Your job ends here! Further packaging and delivery necessities are fulfilled on the supplier’s end.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business in 2021 - Oberlo

The prices displayed on your retail store includes the profit margin per product you are offering. For example, if your business sells a smartphone for R5000 and if you are buying them from your manufacturer/supplier for R3750, that means you are making a profit of R1250 per product you are selling through your online store. Pretty simple, right?

In this business model, a customer is unaware whether they are buying a product from a dropshipper. When a customer buys a branded smartphone through your online shop and is happy with the product, they will know that your store is a good place to buy that particular smartphone brand. Maintaining a good customer experience is important in this business model, and hence you should choose your suppliers carefully.

Dropshipping and South Africa – How is the competition?

South Africa is the 37th largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$4 billion in 2020, placing it ahead of Malaysia and behind the Czech Republic (Source: ecommerceDB). Even Statista reports that the online shopping trends of South Africa are getting better and the revenue is only going to increase in the upcoming years. Internet services have improved greatly in recent years, and the awareness of media and technology has increased the overall number of smartphone and internet users in South Africa. In 2020, internet user penetration in South Africa was 56.3% and it is projected to be 62.3% by the year 2025.

Even then, dropshipping competition is rather on the lower side in South Africa. The e-commerce stats suggest that due to having a good potential and a fair environment, it’s good to consider starting a dropshipping business in South Africa in 2021. Low competition in the market means you get a head start with a fair share of profit and a chance to go big.

Dropshipping – Is it good or is it bad?

We will let you decide that! We can just say that it is not for everyone. Allow us to list the major advantages and drawbacks of this business model and see how they work out for you!

Dropshipping Advantages:

Dropshipping model is fairly simple to understand and execute. The possibility of setting up a business within a day and the ease of selling the products makes this model one of the most lucrative business models to be considered by aspiring entrepreneurs. Let’s see the advantages if you are considering a dropshipping business in South Africa.

Low startup costs

One of the biggest advantages of opening a dropshipping store is low startup costs. In South Africa, setting up a retail store can be a high maintenance business as you have to manage inventory, pay rent and taxes, and so on. In dropshipping, all you have to do is pay the domain name and hosting costs and you are ready to set up your online shop. Or if you can buy pre-customised stores from Dropstore or Shopify. Furthermore, if you have more budget, you can invest in advertising your business for greater reach.

Low investment in the business makes it a lucrative model as it possesses low risks. To give you an idea, Oberlo has summed up the total costs in this article. Remember that this does not include advertising costs.

Allows Flexible Experimentation around the market

As you don’t have to maintain a physical inventory, you can experiment with various business niches for various products at a very low to no cost. Consider what products you want to sell and research their demand and supply in the market. You usually want to stay away from larger products such as furniture (unless you have bulk orders and if your profit margin is high) or very common commodities like soaps, brushes etc. For starters, you can explore the electronic market.

Low order fulfilment costs

A dropshipper doesn’t pay their suppliers before they receive an order. Once an order comes through, the dropshipper is paid by the customer. Then, the dropshipper places a duplicate order to their supplier. The shipping and packaging costs are managed by the supplier and the dropshipper does not have to pay for anything. In this way, all the dropshipper has to care about is to take the order, and pass it along to the supplier.

No inventory management expenses

As the dropshipping business has no physical inventory, it naturally eliminates inventory expenses. In a traditional retail business frame, inventory expenses are huge. You have to worry about buying and managing the inventory, whether the inventory will actually sell, and warehouse rent. The dropshipping model eliminates all these costs, allowing you to manage your finances and experiment with products around the market with minimal risk.

Dropshipping Disadvantages

Low trust factor

One major thing to consider in starting a dropshipping business in South Africa is that your customer is almost always unaware that they are buying from a dropshipping store. Dropshipping stores are often poorly designed with certain elements that give out the fact that it is a dropshipping store. Furthermore, longer shipping times, bad customer services, and product quality can reinforce the negative trust factor as well. This can hurt your business overall.

Limited control over products

Limited control over products is another major drawback of this business model. Dropshipping involves third party packaging and shipping of the product that was ordered through your website. You have no practical control over the shipping time, the packaging, and the product quality itself. Bad products shipped under your name can quickly hurt your business and leave a long-lasting impact on your overall revenue and reputation.

You are purely relying on your partners for products, which gives you limited to no control overall.

Limited Branding and Customisation

Having no control over product manufacturing, packaging, and delivering, you really don’t get much room to promote your own brand in the process. Even if the supplier/manufacturer can accommodate your customisation request to a certain extent, you may have to show that a particular product is selling well and is in high demand. The manufacturer has to accommodate the costs for such customisations while considering the profit factor.

Brand loyalty is hard to build in this model. As your business is selling products from various brands and even providing customer services for it, the product brand (i.e. manufacturers and suppliers) could get all the credit, giving you limited room to expand your business as your own brand.

Competition Issue and Low-Profit Margins

High competition can be a negatively affecting factor in making a profit. Considering the low-cost startup factor, many entrepreneurs get into this business model, hoping that they would make some quick profit. While doing so, they deliberately set the profit margin low to make a quick sale. As it is a business with low investment, the risk of loss is also low. This enables them to set the profit margin low. To stay with the competition as a starter, the profit won’t be as per your expectations.

However, in South Africa, the competition is fairly low. This promotes a safe environment to promote your brand and earn a reputation, which will help you stay ahead of the competition before the competition gets high.

How do I start my dropshipping business in South Africa? Mistakes to avoid.

Market Research

Starting any business requires extensive market research, and dropshipping is no exception to that. You must understand the supply chains, and the supply and demand in the market very well before you consider beginning dropshipping as a business. Understanding the demand will help you curate proper products and target a demographic in South Africa accordingly.

Secondly, consider choosing your niche to focus your business and attract the right customers. This will help you make a better profit and name for yourself in the long run. Try exploring less popular areas to see how you can make a profit in that field. Don’t just rely on the ongoing trends. Devote yourself to market research before you practically start your business. This will help you make a better profit and name for yourself in the long run.

Most young, enthusiastic entrepreneurs avoid this step, find random suppliers, quick-set a website, and start selling online, hoping that they would make some quick profit out of this business model.

Connecting with suppliers

After understanding the market, contacting and connecting with the relevant suppliers/manufacturers should be your next priority. Most aspiring dropshippers immediately ask about how they can connect with AliExpress in South Africa. Avoid using AliExpress as your option. While the platform is really famous for dropshippers worldwide, the cost of shipping, taxes, shipping time are some of the major issues you will face using AliExpress in South Africa.

Setting up your Online Store

A fairly easy part, yet a crucial one. We recommend using WordPress to set up your online store as there are over 60000 plugins and themes to help you create your unique online store. Digital Lime Green can help you setting up your online store according to your needs and instructions. WordPress also offers cheap domain names and competitive prices for hosting your website. This can be set up within a few minutes and you may even start selling within a few hours.

Setting up a proper website with a good design matters. Your website plays the immediate role of gaining your customers’ trust as that is their primary medium of purchasing products from you. If your website is poorly designed, difficult to navigate, has improper, copy-pasted content, then it is likely to drive a customer away. Think like a customer visiting a website before you start setting up your online store.


Advertising will help you grow your business (of course!) especially if you are new in the competition. You can choose to advertise on various platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram advertisements, and so on.

It is better to research your market before you advertise. Don’t sell anything just because it is in high demand in the market because you may find yourself in a big competition. Consider what you want to sell primarily, and focus on that. The reason behind this is that it will help establish your identity in the market. For example, if you focus on selling electronic devices such as smartphones, build a reputation as a seller, then your visitors are going to know that your brand specialises in selling those particular products. This will reinforce the trust factor as well as build up your reputation. Targeted advertising will help you greatly in promoting your business.

Customer Service

Even though technically you are not related to it, any product-related issues are going to be addressed to your business. You should have an efficient customer service system in your business model. Bad or non-existent customer support is going to hurt your business really quickly.

Good customer service includes treating your customers politely and respectfully, helping them to resolve their queries as soon as possible, and to maintain their happiness level and satisfaction with your services. A happy customer with a great customer service experience is likely to come back and spend more time and money on your business.

Many dropshipping aspirants make the mistake of ignoring this factor in the greed of making a quick buck out of this business model. This will impact them negatively, even after their business shuts down. It will be most likely very challenging for them to start another business. Consider this as your personal investment rather than a deed you can ignore in growing your business profitable and reputable.

Even though a low-cost, low-risk business model, dropshipping is still a form of business and should be treated as a regular business. Remember that it is always a responsibility and there’s nothing like earning a quick buck in any business model. You should plan your business accordingly, invest your resources in proper research and advertising, consider and finalise your niches, and provide excellent customer service. With your consideration, dedication, and devotion, starting a dropshipping business in South Africa will certainly become easier for you in the long run.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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What Inspires You? 9 Sources of Inspiration for Entrepreneurs

What inspires you to get up every day and dedicate your life to your big idea? Is it the promise of financial freedom, passion for a cause, or something else? We all have different motivations for starting a business and for sticking with it, even through the bumps. 

Inspiration is a deeply personal thing. What inspires you may be different from what inspires someone else. But how do you tell a fleeting interest from a driving, defining force? How do you ensure that your go-to source of inspiration is always pushing you forward? And what happens if your vision changes?

Ahead, explore sources of inspiration, learn strategies for staying inspired, and discover the spark that moves you to dream, create, and stay the course.

What is inspiration?

An art studio packed with painted canvasesInspiration refers to anything or anyone that gives you ideas, energy, and excitement. It can be a person or a place, and it can be as simple as one line from a song or as complex as an entire genre of film. Inspiration provides mental and creative stimulation that causes you to act. 

Moments that inspire are often referred to as a “flash” or a one-time event that sparks a great idea. But inspiration can also be a sustained source of energy and motivation, such as living in a beautiful surrounding atmosphere. 

9 ways to find inspiration as an entrepreneur

Have you ever been asked in a job interview, “What inspires you?” or “Who is your greatest inspiration?” only to be left grasping for a good answer and swimming in self doubt? Many people don’t actively consider this question in their daily lives. To find new ways to feel inspired, however, you need to assess the things that motivate you to achieve your goals and overcome challenges.

1. Audit your lifestyle

Start by making a list of the things you spend your time doing during an average day. How do you feel before you do each thing? How do you feel afterward? Take note of the things that leave you feeling energized and the places where you show up as the best version of yourself.

How do you limit those things that do the opposite? Maybe your focus wanes midday and you find yourself doomscrolling through Twitter, only to feel even less motivated to work. Eliminate these productivity-killing actions in favor of pursuits you find inspiring. 

2. Optimize for joy

A surfer holds a surf board on the shore and watches the waves

After you’ve audited your day-to-day activities and leaned away from the things that don’t inspire you, increase time spent on things that leave you feeling energized, excited, and creative. Set aside dedicated space for these activities in your schedule, and chase that feeling as you explore new hobbies and ideas.

3. Remove fear

Let’s consider the example of the aspiring entrepreneur. Your day job may be the antithesis to what inspires you. What if it’s the thing really holding you back from launching your new career path as your own boss? 

Weigh the fear with the upside. While it’s scary to give up a steady paycheck to go all in on your idea, consider that leaving the corporate world could give you a rush of adrenaline—and inspiration—to finally chase your dream.

4. Surround yourself with inspiring people

Three women sit in an art studio chatting and laughing

Run the same audit exercise with the people you interact with. Who inspires you? A friend, a family member, a person in your network? Do you have a role model in your life? Prioritize time with friends who bring value to your conversations, ask the right questions, and give you honest feedback. If a specific person inspires you, seek mentorship from them. 

5. Embrace change

Inspiration can come in many forms: books, documentaries, the people you follow online, a favorite hobby, a run around the block. If the things you consume, follow, and do aren’t inspiring you in the way they used to, try something new. Shaking up a mundane routine can give you a new perspective—and inspire you in ways you didn’t expect.

6. Upgrade your environment

A person hikes in a wintery mountain landscapeIf you’re looking to achieve big business goals, you’ll likely be spending most of your time at your desk or workspace. As you work hard to reach those goals, pause and be present in the moment. Does your workspace inspire you? If not, upgrade it with colors or objects you find inspiring. Alternatively, give yourself space to seek an occasional change of scenery. Try a co-working space or a hike in the forest.

7. Immerse yourself in creativity

Get inspired by your medium of choice, whether it’s film, music, painting, or books. Making time to take in the works of others can help get your own creative juices flowing. 

Stroll through a gallery, update your skills through an art class, or catch the latest blockbuster. Busy entrepreneurs can often neglect leisure in order to get things done, but in doing so, they’re leaving valuable inspiration on the table.

8. Think outside the box

A woman sits on the rear bumper of a camper van and reads a book about travel

Explore new film genres or cook recipes from other countries and cultures. Try a different type of fitness class. Visit a new part of your city or country. Doing things outside your normal routine will expose you to inspiration you may not have felt before. 

9. Create inspiration

When you find something that inspires you, find ways to engage with it every day. In some cases that may mean actively creating it. You may have found an external source of motivation to kickstart your project, but your ongoing success can lead you to be self-inspired.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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Key Trends Shaking Up Africa’s Lucrative Informal Retail Sector in 2023

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Africa’s informal retail sector accounts for more than 70% of food, beverage and personal care products provided to consumers across the continent.

Source: Supplied

However, despite their importance, local informal shops throughout Africa have been consistently held back for decades by a host of major challenges including frequent stockouts, limited access to capital and difficulty receiving goods from suppliers.

In recent years, the emergence of a number of tech-enabled startups building innovations geared towards these pain points has empowered local SMEs to unlock their full potential, positioning the industry as one of Africa’s largest opportunities for digital disruption. Looking ahead to 2023, Tridiv Vasavada, chief technology officer at B2B e-commerce network Wasoko explores three key industry trends to look out for this year.

Smartphones – a new normal for informal retailers

Over the last decade, the supply chain of Africa’s informal retail sector has been on a phased innovation journey with retailers gradually growing accustomed to new methods of ordering products via SMS and sales agents.

However, 2022 marked a new point of maturity for customer readiness towards tech-enabled solutions with smartphone and app adoption reaching unprecedented levels – especially amongst retailers in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania whereby smartphone adoption rates are projected to hit 68%, 67% and 61% respectively.

In 2023, Vasavada says we should expect this trend – which has been mainly concentrated in urban centres – to accelerate into other cities and potentially rural areas.

One major stumbling block could be the affordability of devices but given the huge economic benefits of mass smartphone adoption, there is growing interest from governments, NGOs and telecom operators to deliver subsidised access. Over the coming year, this will play a huge role in spearheading a new level of convenience and efficiency in Africa’s $850bn informal retail space, Vasavada notes.

An emerging class of market leaders

Traditionally, informal retailers in Africa have operated within limited constraints with many restricted to offering a limited range of essential goods in smaller quantities to accommodate for the size of their stores, which can be as little as 1m2 to 30m2.

However, with the growing availability of credit from fintech platforms, we should expect to see more retailers expanding their businesses, resulting in an emerging class of market leaders as seen in more mature markets such as India and Vietnam, Vasavada says.

However, he notes that these expansions will also need to be driven by a rise in consumer demand, which will definitely act as a more gradual transition with rising food prices and challenging economic conditions throughout the continent. With this in mind, it could be a few years before the market fully evolves in this area but we should still expect a growing cluster of informal retailers to make significant strides to build more competitive businesses, Vasavada says.

Evolution of logistics networks

Currently, millions of retailers are being constricted by a heavily fragmented logistics market with unreliable deliveries and unpredictable prices, which can often be dependent upon relationships.

However, as they expand their businesses, informal retailers will naturally require faster and more efficient supply chain networks to keep up with their demands, opening the door to more standardised and efficient service providers which can cater to their needs.

With this in mind, Vasavada says we should not only anticipate a stronger drive to fill this gap in the market from digital platforms – who have spearheaded innovation within the logistics sector in recent years – but also wholesalers.

In 2022, wholesalers increasingly began to expand into areas such as docking and last-mile delivery, providing their customers with a more holistic service offering. As Africa’s informal retail sector experiences greater consolidation over the coming year, we can expect even more competition between these different players supporting the logistics industry, which will only benefit local shop owners.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

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The Top 10 Amazon Competitors (2023)

As a small business owner, you’ve probably thought to yourself at least once, “How the heck can I compete with Amazon?”

And for good reason. If you’re an online retailer, or even if you own physical stores serving a niche, there’s a decent chance that Amazon has a chunk of your market share.

The brainchild of Jeff Bezos has its fingers in many pies. However, Amazon isn’t completely untouchable. Plenty of businesses are direct Amazon competitors in some way and still enjoy huge profits.

This guide will look at 10 of Amazon’s top competitors in various areas, explaining what exactly makes them successful. Then we’ll take those lessons and look at how you, as a small business, can also compete with the online retail giant.

Top 10 Amazon competitors

This Amazon competitors’ analysis has a healthy mix of online-only business models and offline/online offerings. Each of them has unique advantages that position them as Amazon competitors for online sales.

  • Online stores
  • eBay
  • Walmart
  • Flipkart
  • Target
  • Alibaba Group
  • Otto
  • JD
  • Netflix
  • Rakuten

Online stores

Let’s start with an obvious group of competitors: online store owners (a.k.a. you). Ecommerce has taken off over the past few years, taking up 20% of total retail sales in the United States alone. Although Amazon is the largest consumer marketplace in the US, small business owners have one massive benefit: they remain nimble and unique.

Online stores that sell unique, can’t-get-anywhere-else products will always have an edge over the mass-produced goods you find on Amazon. Take TREEHOUSE kid & craft, for example.

online store example

The Georgia-based small business has a unique advantage over massive online selling sites like Amazon. It specializes in high-quality kids’ toys, art, and books, stocking “unique, kindly-made products from around the world.” 

Rhiannon Taylor, founder of online boutique RT1home, suggests ecommerce entrepreneurs “design and manufacture your own products which Amazon cannot carry. If that’s not an option, do your research and only offer a unique product that’s not available on Amazon.”

Sure, you probably can’t compete with Amazon on price or shipping times. In terms of scale, size, and logistics, the ecommerce platform Amazon is nearly limitless. But you can outpace Amazon when it comes to unique products and personalized shopping experiences that keeps customers happy and coming back for more.


Ebay homepage.

Another massive ecommerce platform that directly competes with Amazon is eBay. The online marketplace company, based in San Jose, California, was founded in 1995.

eBay’s revenue has steadily fallen in recent years but in 2022 it still totalled a whopping $9.89 billion. 

With eBay, sellers list products for sale and buyers find them in the marketplace. EBay sellers also offer products similar to those offered by sellers on Amazon. The big difference? EBay sellers can auction products or have a fixed rate. Amazon doesn’t offer auction sales. 

Being essentially a big garage sale versus a general online marketplace gives eBay a unique position over Amazon.


Walmart homepage.

Moving closer to the discount department store concept, another great example of an Amazon competitor is Walmart. One of the oldest companies on this list, it was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton in Rogers, Arkansas.

Amazon and Walmart are two of the biggest retailers in the US and are always in competition. Walmart dominates the physical space, but Amazon leads online. Although Walmart has been around for 30 years longer, the two fight for the same customers now. The brands compete on everything from innovation to digital growth, logistics, and sustainability. 

Walmart saw a revenue of $573 billion in 2022, actually surpassing Amazon, which generated $502 billion in revenue.


Flipkart homepage

If you live in a western country, you may have the idea that Amazon has a massive presence everywhere, but that’s not the case. Flipkart was founded in 2007 and is one of India’s leading online ecommerce sites. Walmart became its majority owner back in 2018. 

Flipkart’s business model is very similar to Amazon’s, with the exception of the Flipkart Plus SuperCoins reward scheme, which, unlike Amazon Prime, is earned, rather than paid for. 

Flipkart’s revenue has been growing, with a reported 12% increase in 2021 from the previous year. As the Indian ecommerce market continues to strengthen, Flipkart is one of Amazon’s biggest competitors in the region.


Target homepage.

Another company with a long history is Target, founded the same year as Walmart, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Target describes itself as a “general merchandise retailer” and boasts that 75% of the US population lives within 10 miles of a Target retail store. Target reported $108 billion in revenue in 2022, with an overall compared sales growth rate of 12.7% compared to the previous year.

Target cannot compete with Walmart and Amazon—it’s not large enough. But what Target has that other retailers don’t is a loyal following. Target has become an incredibly convenient place to shop, and is even considered an acceptable date night by its customers. 

Target joined the ranks of ecommerce companies by offering same-day delivery, order pickup, and drive-up pickup. With an increased focus on online sales, Target continues to slice away at Amazon’s overall market share.

Alibaba Group


While we consider Amazon a behemoth in the US, in China there is the Alibaba Group. Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma (who has seen controversy for comments against the Chinese regulatory system and has since relieved control of the Ant Group), its main retail subsidiaries are AliExpress, Taobao, and Tmall.

Each subsidiary competes against Amazon in different ways. Taobao, a B2C (business to consumer) operation, for example, competes with Amazon on selling clothes, accessories, gadgets, and computer hardware at low prices. 

Alibaba is one of the biggest competitors to Amazon Web Services, with cloud computing bringing in a revenue of $11.7 billion in 2022.

Collectively, the Alibaba Group saw revenue of approximately $134 billion in 2021 and $131 billion in revenue for 12 months ending September 30, 2022. There’s a reason the Alibaba Group continues to be the top Chinese ecommerce business.



Otto, one of Europe’s biggest ecommerce companies, was founded in 1949 in Hamburg, Germany. As the oldest company on this list, its products were originally ordered by mail and then telephone before the company moved into online shopping in 1995. 

While it is considered a one-stop shop for electronics (like Apple and Microsoft), fashion, and sports gear, its biggest market (particularly in Germany) is in furniture and home furnishings.

In the 2021/2022 financial year, the Otto Group generated revenue of approximately €16.1 billion.



The next competitor on our list is JD (JingDong), also known by its URL, It’s another Chinese ecommerce sales website, founded in Beijing in 1998. 

Beyond being a competitor to Amazon, it’s also a direct competitor of the above-mentioned Tmall, both being Chinese B2C ecommerce companies). 

What makes JD a little different from Amazon is the ability to buy items in bulk (similar to Costco), as well as its dominating logistics infrastructure in China.

As a result, enjoyed $34.2 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2022.



Taking a step away from physical products, we turn to Netflix, the biggest competitor of Amazon Prime Video. The video-on-demand service, started in 1997 when founders Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph mailed themselves a DVD in Scotts Valley, California, is widely considered one of the most popular subscription services in the world.

Since then, the company has seen continued overall growth, culminating in $8 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2022. Popular among its nearly 208 million subscribers is its original content, which it pumps out at an average rate of just over one original title a day.

While many rising competitors in the video streaming space have cut into its US market share, it still retains a hefty 20%.


Rakuten homepage.

Moving back into the ecommerce space, another big player is top Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten, founded in 1997 in Tokyo. 

However, to call Rakuten just an ecommerce company would be a mistake—its ecosystem includes a streaming service (Rakuten TV), banking and payments services, telecoms, even health and life insurance, making it one of the most diverse ecommerce competitors on the list.

Rakuten has a significantly different business model in terms of its retail strategy. It uses a cash-back system to encourage customers to do their shopping through Rakuten instead of directly with brands. 

This model (as well as its enterprising ecosystem) has earned Rakuten double-digit growth, up 13.5% year-over-year (YoY), coming to a total of 456.5 billion yen for the second quarter of 2022.

How small businesses can compete with Amazon

Now you understand which big companies compete with Amazon and how their advantages make them stand out. Next, let’s take a look at how small businesses can take on the giants without being billion-dollar multinationals or slashing their prices.

Provide an incredible customer experience

One of the biggest advantages you have as a small business is getting to know your customers as people, not just as order reference numbers.

Some easy ways to create good customer experiences are:

  • Write handwritten thank-you notes with their orders
  • Talk to them directly and ask for their feedback
  • Send relevant personalized emails 
  • Solve customer complaints promptly with meaningful resolutions

Go omnichannel

This point applies to both physical and digital-only stores. When acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones, having an omnichannel experience is essential for gaining an edge over the competition.

Our research shows that 73% of shoppers use multiple channels before making a purchase. Retailers who sell across multiple channels (marketplaces, mobile, social media, and physical locations) increase revenue by 190%, on average.

omnichannel research

Omnichannel retail doesn’t need you to be everywhere—just everywhere your customers are. It involves integrating each touchpoint to offer customers exactly what they need, when they need it, on any device.

Not only that, but they say that having an omnichannel strategy has the following benefits:

  • Improves customer lifetime value
  • Reaches new customer segments
  • Increases operational efficiency
  • Increases sales
  • Improves inventory turnover
omnichannel benefits

Advertise on online marketplaces

Amazon isn’t the only marketplace on the web where you can advertise, or even host, your products. You can use other existing marketplaces that customers are already familiar with and trust (just bear in mind that using them will come at a cost). 

These are some of the more popular ones, but you should also consider looking for a marketplace specific to your niche:

  • Etsy, for DIY goods 
  • eBay, for just about anything
  • Bonanza, for unique items
  • Not On The High Street for UK businesses

You might have even noticed in recent years the rise of shopping capabilities on social media, such as Facebook Shops and shopping on Instagram. 

If you’re not hot on the idea of setting up your own store (which can sometimes come with significant overheads), any of these options can be a great choice and come with their own built-in audiences.

Create a great loyalty program

Another way to compete against Amazon is to have a super easy loyalty program. According to research from Accenture, members of loyalty programs generate up to 18% more revenue for retailers than non-members. 

Depending on the type of business you run, you can consider a variety of different loyalty program types, including points-based, tiered, paid (think “plus” or “premium” members), spending-based, gamified programs, or even value-based programs (tree-planting programs for example).

Companies like Smile can help you create a loyalty program for free, with pro plans available for further customization. If you have a Shopify store, you can add the Smile app to your shop and create a loyalty program easily.

smile app

Be an active community presence

The final tip for this post is perhaps the biggest advantage a small business has over huge multinationals: the ability to be an active local community presence. 

Small business owners have a better understanding of the needs of their community, and what better way to inspire than getting involved in improving it or otherwise spreading a positive message?

Some ways you can get involved include:

  • Hosting events for the first time related to your business (or for charity)
  • Participating in or sponsoring existing events
  • Have a volunteering program or incentive for employees
  • Donate to local causes (as one-offs or pledge a portion of your profits)
  • Join any community boards or organizations your business could help with (such as arts or music councils, health boards, etc.)

What’s the best way to compete with Amazon?

It’s clear that Amazon is unstoppable in many areas—sellers on the marketplace can make and sell their own products or leverage new tools like Amazon dropshipping. New ecommerce brands and online stores may be intimidated by the behemoth at first, but the truth is, there are many ways you can compete with Amazon and build a rewarding online business. 

Get to know your customers and what they value. Create unique products. And always provide the best customer service possible. While following these three strategies won’t make you the next Jeff Bezos, you’ll never have to worry about Amazon’s market share getting in your way.

Amazon competitors FAQ

What is the Amazon Marketplace?

Amazon Marketplace is an ecommerce platform that third-party sellers can use to list their products on the Amazon website. Although it is very integrated into the experience for shoppers, instead of all the profits going to Amazon, the bigger portion goes to the seller. Sellers can list new and used products on the Marketplace.

Who is Amazon’s biggest competitor?

  • For retail: Alibaba, Target, eBay, Walmart, JD, Flipkart, and Rakuten
  • For streaming services: Netflix, AppleTV, Disney+, Hulu
  • For cloud or web services: Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure

Who are Amazon’s indirect competitors?

Indirect competitors are those who are big players in the industry but servicing a different part of the market. Some examples include:

  • Google 
  • Apple
  • Shopify 

Who are Amazon’s competitors in the US?

In terms of e-retailers, according to Statista, in 2022 Amazon’s biggest competitors by market share are Walmart (6.3%), eBay (4.7%), Apple (3.9%), Target (2.1%), and The Home Depot (2.1%), while Amazon led by 38.7%.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us: If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on:

This article partly refers to: