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How to Sell Soap: Best Strategies For A Profitable Business

GemPages Team
9 minutes read

Soap is a profitable potential product that cannot be ignored in the global market. With low-cost, natural materials, you can completely begin your business and aim to gain quite a profit. 

To start, you can utilize your creativity with scents, colors, shapes, and ingredients to make unique soap bars, orienting your product to a specific group, like men's grooming or sensitive skin. Continuously improve products or launch new, more unique products to meet their needs. 

If a soap business sounds intriguing enough, check out the guide on how to sell soap successfully below.

What To Know Before Starting A Soap Business

Before diving into how to sell soap successfully, take the time to educate yourself on the process and business considerations. 

#1 Brief overview of the soap-selling business

Soap production combines olive, coconut, and palm oils with sodium hydroxide lye, leading to saponification and soap creation. There are various methods like cold process, hot process, and melt & pour, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of time commitment, creative freedom, and entry costs.

Popular options for the types of soap to sell are glycerin soaps,  natural shampoo, shea butter soap, and goat’s soap. Handmade soap, especially intricately designed bars made with natural ingredients, is also in high demand.

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Creating trendy soap can help you boost sales.

While making soap to sell is feasible, you don't have to do it all yourself. You can opt for wholesale soap supplies to outsource labor-intensive tasks like producing large quantities of soap bases. 

Doing business also requires knowing about licensing, labeling laws, and safety regulations to help protect consumers. You can find the FDA’s guidelines via their website and follow the FDA’s labeling guidelines for any soap sold. Basically, the label needs to list out:

  • Name of the product
  • Weight/volume
  • Ingredient list
  • Name and address of the manufacturer

Remember to refrain from claiming that your soap can treat medical conditions or affect health. Additionally, you must clearly understand your state's business license requirements, like obtaining a general business license, a sales tax ID, or a permit to sell handmade goods. Some states may require soap makers to register with the Department of Health.

#2 Identifying target customers and channels

Rather than trying to approach a wide range of buyers, focusing your offerings on one or two niche markets is an effective strategy. 

For example, you can gear your soaps toward environmentally-conscious shoppers looking for vegan, organic bars. Gardeners and herbalists may appreciate bars containing botanicals, clays and plant oils.

Those with skin sensitivities like eczema will seek formulas without harsh detergents or fragrances. Creating bars for oily, dry, mature or acne-prone skin types gives shoppers products tailored to their needs.

Photo by Kristina Balić on Unsplash

You can tailor your products to align with different segmentation of customers.

So, don’t forget to study those target demographics to perfect your product selection, branding, packaging and marketing. You can earn a loyal customer base within your niche if you can meet their preferences.

The next step is to find suitable sales channels to get in touch with your customers and drive sales. Some traditional options include local shops, farmer markets, trade shows and fairs. Outdoor markets always allow you to sell soap directly to customers. They’re fantastic for getting feedback, establishing your brand, gaining a following and boosting weekly sales.

To level up your business model, an eCommerce website or listings on sites like Shopify expand your reach past local areas. Sell soap online to target non-local customers, create a global presence and boost sales. It requires time invested into attractive product listings, marketing and shipping logistics.

Learn more: Start Your Online Business with Shopify–Only $1 for the First 3 Months

How to sell soap online effectively?

Branding is the most crucial factor to start. Read on to find some effective strategies to make your brand impressive to customers. And if you apply them well, you can gain up to 40% profit in soap making profit.

#1 High-quality product is a key

Producing high-quality soaps is the cornerstone of how to sell soap. Every customer desires an enjoyable, effective experience when buying your products.

Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash

A great one should leave the skin feeling smooth, moisturized, and nourished. 

You can ensure it by thoroughly testing each recipe during development until it meets your standards for performance, fragrance, and never opt for inferior ingredients or rushed processes. Let your customers know about the product via descriptions and highlight unique properties like exfoliation or moisturizing.

Visual plays a leading role in eCommerce. You should invest in product shots with good lighting - style bars with complementary colors and backgrounds. Infuse your brand personality into images.

Feature your signature or best-selling bars prominently with tempting descriptions. Quality presentation boosts sales.

#2 Provide excellent customer service

Glowing reviews stem from happy, valued customers. You should always make customer satisfaction a priority across every touchpoint. The key of how to sell soap online is to provide excellent service from inquiry to delivery.

Your website help center should provide extensive guidance that addresses common customer questions about:

  • ingredients, special offers, discounts
  • shipping and return policies
  • payment types 

You can even go above and beyond to delight shoppers with free samples, discounts or loyalty programs. Or, offering gift wrapping and customization options for special occasions is also worth it. 

Learn more: How to Add Reviews to Shopify to Build Trust and Boost Sales

#3 Create price options with deals

Pricing appropriately ensures profitability while remaining aligned with competitors. You need to calculate your material, labor, and operating costs, and then price your products somewhat based on the time and quality invested.

The price penetration strategy will be the best choice for a soap startup. You can also encourage larger purchases by offering deals like buy-one-get-one. Instead of discounting individual bars, offering discounts on the total order value to boost the average order size.

To sweeten the deal, offer free shipping for orders exceeding a reasonable amount, say $50. Take advantage of holidays for timed sales to give your promotions an extra boost. You can introduce a subscription service for loyal customers that regularly delivers their favorite bars. 

Pro tip: Bundle pricing is a common marketing tactic we often come across in real life. In eCommerce, bundle pricing is even more prevalent. If done right, this marketing strategy can give your store an edge over competitors.

#4 Designing an appealing and user-friendly store

Your eCommerce store design significantly impacts user experience and sales and, consequently, conversion rates. A clean, intuitive layout, accompanied by delicate placement of elements such as Call-to-action (CTA button), Sticky Add to Cart, or Count down timer, etc. will definitely encourage visitors to explore and make purchases.

You also need to optimize for keywords like “handmade soap” and “organic skincare”, so your store appears in relevant searches. You can also create blog content on the website around those topics to improve SEO. 

Pro tip: If you seek a smooth and responsive Shopify page builder, GemPages has you covered. There are a wide range of templates and elements for users to customize the online store.

#5 Scaling your soap business

Once your soap company gains traction, you can selectively scale operations to boost revenue and reach more customers. With careful planning, growth can happen steadily over time.

What you need to do: 

  • Analyze sales data to pinpoint top-selling products and successful markets.
  • Look for geographic areas or demographics generating strong interest.
  • Broaden your soap varieties once you perfect core recipes. 
  • Research new local shops or online platforms to expand your retail presence. 
Not ready to commit but still want to kick the tires?
No problem! Get started with GemPages' free plan. Explore wonderful features that can do wonders for your store.

Top 5 Shopify Soap Stores On The Market

Let's check out the best Shopify soap store to gain better insights into industry trends, effective marketing strategies, and customer preferences. Then, you can adjust your strategies practically.

#1 Dr. Squatch

Dr. Squatch is one of the most popular men’s soap stores, with an impressive mission to help men “feel like a man and smell like a champion”. Their fun, outdoorsy branding and natural soap ingredients attract over 1 million customers.

They started on Shopify in 2016 and have grown exponentially through smart digital marketing and advertising. Dr. Squatch drives sales through a subscription model that ships fresh bars to members monthly.

Their soaps and other products like shampoo and deodorant creatively target the men’s market. Scents include Pine Tar, Cold Brew Cleanse and Bay Rum. Dr. Squatch generates over $100 million in annual sales.

Squatch bar shop on Shopify

Learn more: 10 Best Shopify Color Schemes + Color Palette Ideas 

#2 Tofino Soap Company

Tofino Soap Company hand-makes artisan soaps on Vancouver Island, Canada using high-quality local ingredients. 

Their offerings celebrate the region’s natural bounty. Scents like Sea Kelp, Ocean Rain, Charcoal & Clay and Wild Pacific Trail capture the essence of British Columbia's rugged coastline.

Their Shopify store has an airy, sunlight-drenched design fitting the brand. Tofino’s transparent ingredient lists, sustainability practices and charming branding earn them a loyal following. Sales remain strong during the pandemic through their online shop.

Screenshot of Tofino Soap Company collection page.

Pro tip: Design your CTA button neatly and appealing to convert your store

#3 Milk & Pail

Family-owned Milk & Pail create plant-based, veggie-infused soaps in San Francisco. Their ingredients include oils, milks, teas, herbs and produce sourced from California farmers.

Milk & Pail’s product names and packaging shows love for the state's agriculture and artisans. Scents include Grapefruit & Mint and Strawberry & Chèvre. Their Shopify store has a modern, apothecary-inspired look.

Screenshot of Milk & Pail shop collection page.

Pro tip: Learn from Milk & Pail, set a fixed footer so it is always visible to the customer

#4 Rock Bottom Soap

Rock Bottom Soap handcrafts their natural bars in North Carolina using local spring water and plant oils. Their brand centers on enjoying simple, sustainable living. Scents like Mountain Fern, Goat's Milk Oatmeal and Wildflower Honey transport you to a cabin retreat.

Their Shopify store highlights the rolling, forested landscape that inspires their soaps. Rock Bottom wins fans at outdoor markets and fairs throughout the Southeast. 

Visiting their online store, customers are firstly impressed with the rolling, forested landscape that inspires their soaps. Then a pop-up box appears to collect customers' email addresses and it could disappear by clicking anywhere. However, to whom fill in the information, they certainly could be the potential customers for the store to take care.

Screenshot of Rock Bottom Soap shop homepage.

Pro tip: In GemPages, the Popup element can be added on any page and is fully customizable

#5 Zum by Indigo Wild

Zum set itself apart through truly natural ingredients and essential oil-based scents when it launched in the 1990s. Their bars contain botanicals like lavender, citrus and clays.

Zum soaps feel indulgent, making them a popular gift choice. Selections like Lemon Drop Martini, Frankincense & Myrrh and Grapefruit & Tarragon sound delicious enough to eat.

Alongside bar soaps, Zum’s Shopify store offers bath salts, scrubs and lotions. Their products get shelves in luxury retailers worldwide. An artistic yet simple web design fits the botanical brand.

Indigo Wild homepage.


Launching a thriving soap business takes passion, dedication and hard work. Success requires quality products that connect with target markets. 

We have provided a detailed guide on how to sell soap statically, so if you follow it, you have all the knowledge needed to build a lucrative soap business. Don't forget to like and share this article if you find it helpful!

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FAQs about Soap selling

Is soap-making a profitable business?
Certainly! With growing demand for handmade and natural products, there's a market for unique and high-quality soaps. Success depends on factors like product quality, marketing strategy, and customer satisfaction. So, please note all the strategies on how to sell soap above, you can step to succeed.
What is the most profitable type of soap to sell?
Some of the most profitable soap styles to sell include cold process bars made with organic and natural ingredients, anything with unique scents, intricately designed bars, carved bars, soap with botanical add-ins like coffee or flowers, men's shaving and grooming bars, and liquid castile soap.
Can I sell soap without a license?
You typically don’t need a special business license to sell soap. However, based on your state and local municipality's regulations, you may need a general business license, sales tax permit, or seller’s permit.
How do you market soap?
The effective way to market your soap is to create a visually appealing brand. For example, you can start highlighting the product's selling points, like natural ingredients or special scents, through eye-catching packaging and online presence. Then you should utilize social media platforms to engage with potential customers and share the story behind your soaps.
The price strategy is also important. Offering promotions, such as bundle deals or discounts, is worth it to attract new customers. You can also encourage customer reviews and testimonials to build trust.

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