This Illinois City Makes You Rich if You Think About Selling a Product Online

Selling products online presents an excellent opportunity to connect with a broader audience, enhance your brand presence, and boost your profits. Unveiling a lesser-known gem, according to a recent study by Shopify, the city of Chicago, Illinois, stands out as the premier destination for online sellers in the United States.

The Allure of Chicago for Online Sellers

Chicago stands as a dynamic metropolis, characterized by a diverse population, vibrant culture, and a robust economy. This bustling city has nurtured numerous successful online ventures, including Groupon, Threadless, and Cards Against Humanity. Key factors contributing to Chicago’s appeal for online sellers include:

  • High demand: Boasting a large and affluent consumer base, Chicago’s metropolitan area, with over 9.5 million people, commands attention. The median household income of $63,153 underscores the city’s economic vitality. Chicagoans are enthusiastic online shoppers, surpassing the national average by spending an average of $1,804 annually on online purchases.
  • Low costs: Chicago offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to major counterparts like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. With an average rent of $1,495 for a one-bedroom apartment, Chicago outshines with costs 36% lower than New York and 17% lower than Los Angeles. Additionally, Chicago provides a favorable tax environment for online sellers, exempting digital products and services from sales tax.
  • Supportive ecosystem: A thriving entrepreneurial community further enhances Chicago’s appeal. The city boasts numerous resources, including coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators, and networking events catering to online businesses. Establishments such as 1871, Techstars, and Built In Chicago contribute to a robust ecosystem. Chicago also hosts a skilled and educated workforce in fields such as technology, marketing, and design.

Navigating the Online Business Landscape in Chicago

For those contemplating online product sales in Chicago, laying a solid foundation involves several key steps:

  • Choose a product: Define your product type—physical or digital, niche or mass-market, handmade or manufactured. Thoroughly research your target market, competitors, and pricing strategy.
  • Choose a platform: Opt for an online selling platform aligned with your needs. Consider creating your website using platforms like Shopify or explore established marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Flipkart. Assess each option’s pros and cons based on your goals, budget, and desired level of control.
  • Choose a fulfillment method: Decide how you’ll deliver your product—whether through shipping, dropshipping, or digital download. Weigh the costs, time, and quality of your chosen fulfillment method, considering its impact on customer satisfaction.
  • Choose a marketing strategy: Devise a strategy to promote your product and draw customers to your online store. Leverage various online marketing channels, including social media, email, SEO, PPC, or content marketing. Use analytics tools to measure and optimize your marketing performance.


The online selling industry presents an unparalleled opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to initiate or expand their business ventures. Chicago, with its high demand, cost advantages, and supportive ecosystem, emerges as a prime location for online sellers.

For those eyeing success in the online selling boom, establishing a thoughtful business approach in product choice, platform selection, fulfillment method, and marketing strategy is key. Seize the moment, ride the online selling wave, and make your online business a triumph in the Windy City!


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