The Top 4 Industry-Shaking Online Businesses To Buy In 2023
Technology is advancing rapidly; just look at all the artificial intelligence (AI) news swarming the internet right now.
In this age, we’re seeing a proliferation of new technologies, industries, and businesses. From an investor’s mindset, these are all new wealth-building opportunities.
In this article, we’re going to explore the top four online business models that are experiencing tremendous growth due to the expansion of their respective industries and the technologies used to run them.
The most exciting quality of these business models is how beginner-friendly they are. Any buyer without online business experience can be successful with these business models—we’ve seen it firsthand in our marketplace.
So if you’re ready to explore the digital assets set for astronomical growth in 2023, we’ll start with the headline-dominating software industry.
1. No-Code Software As A Service (SaaS)
After growing year after year since its inception in the early 2010s, the SaaS industry is expected to become a $195BN market in 2023.
SaaS companies offer their software, hosted on the cloud, for a paid membership fee. The biggest examples of SaaS products you probably pay for are Spotify, YouTube Premium, and Netflix.
Some SaaS companies provide the software for free and earn revenue from sales made from other products offered by the company; the most prevalent example of this model is Gmail.
The SaaS business model, for the most part, used to be exclusive to developers since they know how to build software. However, times have changed.
With the advent of no-code platforms, any non-developer can now build software. It’s similar to the time when website builders were invented. Before then, only developers could build websites. Now, using platforms like Wix.com or WordPress.com, any non-developer can build a website from scratch.
Why No-Code SaaS Is Taking Off
Just like with the evolution of the website builder, now anybody can build a software product using a drag-and-drop interface.
The advent of no-code software has enabled any budding entrepreneur to turn a software idea into a business, without any development skills or experience, or even needing to take on a full-time developer.
We had an entrepreneur who sold their no-code software business on our marketplace for half a million dollars. They didn’t have any development experience, but they identified a need they had in their business and came up with a software solution.
They built software using a no-code platform that allowed them to scale the number of clients they could take on at any given time in their online business. Within two years of building this software from scratch, the business was earning $15,000 a month in net profit—that’s how quickly SaaS companies can grow.
Now, imagine getting to $15,000 a month even faster; skipping the building phase by acquiring a no-code SaaS that’s already making $15,000 a month.
The Types Of Buyers No-Code SaaS Businesses Are Suited To
No code gives you access to one of the most passive online business models: SaaS. Buyers love this model for numerous reasons:
- It generates recurring revenue which is stable and predictable
- It’s highly scalable since no humans are managing the customer experience
- It’s adaptable since the software can be customized and updated to meet new needs
- Since customers sign up for a subscription, you own the customer data
- The industry has grown consistently and will continue to boom with artificial intelligence (AI)
The ideal types of buyers for this model are those new to either the online business industry or the software industry. It’s also suited to business owners who have identified a problem they want to solve in their business—they can acquire a no-code software that solves that problem and design it to suit their business needs.
Additionally, buyers with development experience can acquire and customize no-code software and build a unique product.
Most online business buyers will be overlooking the SaaS industry because they aren’t aware of this sub-niche where they can acquire a software-based business without any development experience. Therefore, this is a prime market that has low buyer competition.
Another industry with low buyer competition is email newsletters.
The email marketing industry was valued at $7.5BN in 2020 and is projected to grow to $17.9BN by 2027.
Email marketing continues to be the strongest marketing channel with the highest return on investment (ROI), which averages $45 for every $1 spent on email campaigns.
All businesses should be doing some sort of email marketing to remain competitive.
There are many forms of email marketing campaigns businesses can carry out, including direct sales promotions, prize giveaways, and event promotions, but the most popular form of marketing in 2023 is email newsletters.
Newsletters are regular emails sent to your audience to maintain engagement with your brand. Usually, they feature company updates, their latest content, or product sales, launches, and promotions.
This is a brand engagement form of marketing; quite different from direct sales marketing as you see with price reduction emails. And companies are seeing the value of regularly engaging with and nurturing their audiences.
Why Newsletters Are Taking Off
Brands are in a newsletter frenzy. With the web user data clampdown from global giants like Apple and Meta and the GDPR, brands are now building their audiences where they own the customer data.
Third-party audience data is controlled by big companies, so they have control over how you can use it. When you have an email list, you’re in control of the data so you get much more detailed audience insights.
Brands recognize this value and are willing to pay top dollar to get in front of niche audiences. Newsletter audiences are very targeted because they’re built around a specific niche and the audience has provided their email address to join the list. Compare this to passive marketing through Facebook ads to an audience who’s trying to enjoy using social media, not actively wanting to engage with your brand.
But an email newsletter isn’t just an effective marketing channel; it’s a business.
There are numerous ways to monetize an email newsletter:
- Sponsorships: have businesses pay you to feature ads or content in your newsletter.
- Sell products: if you have an e-commerce company you can sell products to the audience directly. Or you can build your dropshipping store to sell your products within the niche of the newsletter.
- Affiliate links: sign up for affiliate programs and link to products and services and websites of other brands within the niche. Or connect with brands directly and offer to link to their products or brand or services.
- Subscription: offer a paid version of your newsletter where you provide member-exclusive content.
Because there are many valuable uses for newsletters, there are also many buyers.
The Types Of Buyers Newsletters Are Suited To
Once established and profitable, the email newsletter business model is beginner-friendly.
All you need to own an email newsletter business is an understanding of how customer relationship management (CRM) platforms work and a fundamental knowledge of email marketing.
If you have experience in a particular industry or own a business, an email newsletter can work with those assets to grow your wealth.
Online Business Owners
By bolting a newsletter list to your brand, you increase the size of your brand’s audience, resulting in more affiliate or digital product sales.
If you run an e-commerce store, you can promote your products directly to the audience. Or you can feature your store as a brand that sponsors the newsletter as a more indirect way to promote your brand to your new audience.
With any business model you own, you can creatively integrate the newsletter list into your current email lists and build an internal marketing sales funnel to boost your business’ revenue.
If you have experience in email marketing, you’ll be well suited to acquire an email newsletter that has the potential to generate revenue.
You’ll have a unique advantage over buyers without marketing experience: an ability to identify growth opportunities.
You can assess the entire newsletter campaign and funnel and identify ways to improve them to increase the size and engagement of the newsletter audience. With a larger and more engaged audience, you get more opportunities to monetize the newsletter with large brand sponsorships and more affiliate sales.
If you’re part of a group of investors with a portfolio of brands, an email newsletter is an ideal asset to supplement the growth of your portfolio.
By bolting on a newsletter to your other brands, you increase the size of their audiences, take more market share, and expand the growth opportunities.
Newsletter audience lists can also be great assets for product launches. You can gather customer data through surveys as part of your product research and then launch the products to the newsletter audience to earn a healthy ROI.
While email lists are the best audience assets, a close second or third are YouTube channels.
3. YouTube Channels
YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind Google and the top streaming platform in the world.
Its user base is projected to increase year-on-year until 2028 by 263 million users.
In 2023, it generated $29.24BN in ad revenue. Every cent of that revenue goes through YouTube channels.
Owners of those channels, known as YouTube creators, earn income from YouTube when ads are displayed on their videos. YouTube is paid by businesses to display ads, of which 55% is passed down to video creators.
Another way YouTube creators earn a considerable income is through affiliate partnerships. They discuss or review products in their videos and link to the products. When a viewer clicks through the link and purchases a product, the YouTube creator earns a commission on the sale.
Just through the monetization model alone, you can see that YouTube channels are a highly-lucrative asset. When you also consider their marketing leverage, you can appreciate their full wealth potential.
It’s for these reasons that Mr. Beast was offered $1BN for his YouTube channel with over 200,000,000 subscribers and why he turned the offer down.
Why YouTube Channels Are Taking Off
Over the past few years, YouTube has built itself into the ultimate social commerce platform.
Last year it integrated Shopify into its platform to allow creators to connect their Shopify stores to their channels and sell products within YouTube.
To offer more opportunities for YouTube channels to earn a share of its $29BN+ revenue, this year YouTube launched its monetization program for Shorts—the YouTube Partner Program.
Shorts is growing astronomically. The algorithm gives any creator chance at vitality. Just 18 months after launch, Amjad Hanif, YouTube’s vice president of creator products said Shorts was getting 30BN views a day and 1.5BN people were viewing them every month.
YouTube is a garden of wealth for online business entrepreneurs and buyers. Still, few know that you can acquire a YouTube channel and use it as an investment asset that generates income or a business asset to add to your portfolio.
Types Of Buyers YouTube Channels Are Suited To
We’ve talked about the various ways YouTube channels generate revenue, but just for their audiences alone, they are valuable assets.
With a YouTube subscriber base, there are many business and revenue-producing opportunities.
In the same way, you can run direct sales campaigns to an email newsletter subscriber list to monetize the audience, you can market to a YouTube subscriber base to sell products, and services, or promote brands for sponsorship revenue.
The best part is you don’t need to be an entrepreneur to succeed with a YouTube channel; never mind a video content expert.
One buyer who acquired a YouTube channel from our marketplace, Sushee Nzutem, scaled her asset by ten times. She was a project manager, just turned 50 years old, looking to earn an income in a way that allows her to travel the world.
With our hands-on help, we secured a YouTube channel for her within her budget and she was able to take that asset from $2,500 a month to $25,000 a month in net profit.
If Sushee can do it, anybody can. If you have a passion for a particular niche and would love to get in front of the camera and talk about it to an audience, acquiring a YouTube channel is the best way to do that.
Or maybe you want to have a YouTube channel for your brand but you don’t have the time and resources to grow one from scratch. Regardless of your goals, businesses built on global platforms are leverageable assets that can greatly scale your wealth.
4. Shopify Apps
In Q4 2022, Shopify announced from its annual earnings call that it had produced a gross merchandise volume of $61BN over the year. It experienced a two-year compounded annual growth rate of 57%, generating $5.6BN from purchases made by 649 million people in 2022.
With this income, Shopify has built a robust partner ecosystem. A total of 5,885 different vendors have published 9,314 apps in the Shopify App Store, Shopify Plus, where merchants go to purchase apps to integrate with their stores.
Shopify Plus is a blue ocean market. No single category has 100% market share saturation. If you capture 5% of the Plus market, you’ll have a Top 50 App; if you capture 15%, you’ll have a Top 5 App.
The most open categories by the percentage of the market up for grabs are
- Returns (90%): no single provider owns more than 5% of the occupied share
- Subscription (86%): a single provider owns 99% of the occupied share
- SMS (81%): a growing trend of store adoption in this category
- Customer Loyalty (80%): just three providers have a majority share
- Influencer (73%): this market has a mix of challengers
- BNPL (64%): the occupied market is dominated by Klarna and Afterpay
- Customer Support (52%): a total of 55% of Plus stores aren’t using a CS app
- Personalization (38%): most of the current providers are overlapping
- Reviews (20%): 6 providers own a 7%+ market share each
- Email (18%): the occupied share is dominated by Klavyio
As you can see, plenty of market share is up for grabs in numerous industries.
Why Shopify Is Taking Off In 2023
As aforementioned, Shopify integrated with YouTube last year. It also integrated with TikTok to take the majority share of the social commerce market.
As the e-commerce marketplace grows, so does its formidable infrastructure.
On Thursday, May 5th Shopify announced its acquisition of Deliverr for $2.1BN. At the time, Deliverr was taking 1M+ monthly orders.
Shopify added Delivver’s advanced technological capabilities, including placement algorithms that position inventory based on predicted demand.
Shopify’s founder, Tobi Lutke, had plans for Shopify to be able to deliver packages within two days or less for over 90% of the US through Shop Promise. These plans correlate nicely with the proposed $1BN in 2023 and 2024 for warehouse hubs in key US markets.
With the expansion and fortification of its fulfillment network, Shopify is positioning itself to continue to grow as the number two e-commerce platform in the US, second only to the almighty Amazon.
This growth will attract more merchants who need apps to help run their stores, making Shopify apps a hot commodity in 2023.
The Types Of Buyers Suited to Shopify Apps
The big tech layoff has dominated the headlines over the past year. Many highly-skilled employees have been let go from prominent positions in large companies, or they may have just been starting their tech careers.
If you were one of the unfortunate professionals to be let go, you could consider acquiring a profitable Shopify app to replace your full-time income.
If you have development experience, you will be able to assess the solidity of an app and identify one that will be a good software business. You’ll also be able to spot the opportunities for improvement to make an ROI.
However, this business model isn’t exclusive to those with development experience.
If you have experience in any of the above industries, your expertise can be applied to scale the app business. Your industry experience will give you an advantage over most other competitors who are developers with little industry or business experience.
As long as you have a team of developers or a reliable developer contractor, you can keep the software running while you scale the business.
The same goes for all of the business models shared today.
As long as you have employees or experts running the day-to-day operations of a business, nothing is stopping you from using your business expertise to focus on high-level growth initiatives to scale your asset.
If you’re instead looking for an almost-passive source of income, any of these businesses with the right team can be the right investment asset for you.
Find An Online Business Through Empire Flippers
We sell all of the business models listed above. If you’re a first-time buyer, then look no further because we vet all businesses listed on our marketplace so you know they’re high-quality assets. We reject over 91% of businesses submitted to us.
You also get a hands-on concierge brokerage service that you can’t get anywhere else. We’re the only online business brokerage with teams dedicated to every stage of the online business purchasing process, from sourcing businesses to vetting their financials and verifying their legitimacy to assisting with negotiations to seal the best deal, to migrating the business over to you.
To start looking for an online business that’s right for you, create a free Empire Flippers marketplace account. In there you can use our 20+ search filters to narrow down on a business within your budget, niche, and other preferences within seconds.