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If you’re a student who’s got a side hustle, you’re far from alone. Many students turn to a side hustle as a way to bring in some extra money in between their studies. A popular choice is an eCommerce business, as it often doesn’t require much startup money, and you can work on it whenever you’re free.

However, growing an eCommerce business to the point where it’s a reliable side hustle isn’t easy. If you’re struggling to grow your eCommerce site and want to improve your income from it, there are a few things you can do.

Treat it Like a Real Business

First and foremost, if you want to improve the income from your side hustle, you need to start treating it like a real business. For many people running a side hustle, it’s just something they do when they have a few spare minutes. They don’t give it much thought outside this time frame, and there’s no long-term vision in place. This is largely what holds them back from growing their income.

Instead, you need to view your side hustle as a business. This means setting aside dedicated time to work on it, developing SMART goals that you can work towards, and overall giving your side hustle the attention it needs. You’d be amazed at how much more you can accomplish with your side hustle if you create a schedule and stick with it.

Improve Your Product Displays

The next thing you should explore is how you display your eCommerce products. Within the world of product sales, there’s a strategy known as merchandising. For a long time, merchandising referred to how you displayed products in a store and the tactics used to catch the attention of customers. However, as times have changed, merchandising strategies have grown to include how you display your products online.

Getting a customer to your eCommerce site is a lot of work, so you don’t want to waste the opportunity. Now is a great time to learn about product merchandising and how you can use it to improve sales. For instance, you can check out product merchandising by Fast Simon, which gives you access to things like visual merchandising editors, merchandising rule editors, and display optimizers. A few simple tweaks to how you display your products could go a long way toward boosting your sales.

Explore New Social Media Marketing Techniques

Social media marketing is an essential element for most eCommerce stores. Through social media channels, you can quickly reach hundreds or even thousands of potential customers, all with just a few simple actions. If you haven’t started investing a serious amount of time into your social media strategy, now is the time to start.

For example, you could explore running targeted ads on Facebook or Instagram. You could also try creating videos for YouTube or TikTok that show your products in action. Working with influencers is another popular option, as it gets your products in front of a larger audience. Explore the different strategies available to you, then invest some time into trying out the ones that work best for your situation.

Automate What You Can

Running an eCommerce business as a side hustle is a lot of work. You may find that when you finally get some time to work on it, you have so many small tasks to complete that you don’t really get to make any progress. If this sounds familiar, you’ll want to explore automating parts of your side hustle.

For instance, you can automate many of your email marketing campaign messages or social media posts. You could also set up a chatbot to answer common customer questions and reduce your customer service load. There are many eCommerce automation tools out there designed to make things easier for you, so explore a few options and see if they can improve your efficiency.

Learn from Your Current Audience

Finally, if you already have at least a small audience in place, it’s important to learn what you can from them. Your audience knows best what they’re looking for and what they expect from your eCommerce brand. You can learn things like which products are most popular, which products to add, how to improve your website, and much more just by getting some feedback from your audience.

There are a few ways you can go about getting feedback. One way is to set up data analytics on your website, which would show you things like where your customers spend the most time or which pages lead to the most exits. Another option is to send out a survey to your email list or to ask customers for feedback after they complete a purchase. Lastly, you can try asking for feedback through your social media channels, such as creating a survey or poll.

Start Improving Your Side Hustle Income Today

If your eCommerce side hustle isn’t bringing in as much money as you’d like, there are things you can do about it. Spending a little bit more time on the right strategies can significantly improve your sales and turn your side hustle into a reliable source of income. For students on a tight budget, this extra bit of income will be a welcome gift. And who knows, if you grow your side hustle enough, it could even become a full-time job after you graduate.