If you want to start your own online store, but you don’t want to deal with the headache and commitments that come with starting a business, you may want to get into dropshipping.
Dropshipping is a flexible business model in which a store does not keep products in stock. Instead, when a store receives an order, it passes the order along to a supplier. From there, the supplier ships the goods ordered directly to the customer.
To put it simply, it’s a business without the hassle of managing inventory, packaging, or shipping. Sounds pretty nice, right?
Why Start Dropshipping?
There are numerous benefits to dropshipping. Relative to other business models, it doesn’t require a large upfront investment.
Additionally, owning and managing a dropshipping business doesn’t have to be time-intensive in order to be successful.
When you dropship, you can experiment with new products, suppliers, and sales channels, all without ever losing money.
Many entrepreneurs use dropshipping as a way to break into eCommerce because it’s a low-risk business model that allows them to find out what works best for them.
Here are a few of the pros of dropshipping:
- Easy and affordable to start
- Access to a wide selection of products to sell
- No need to worry about inventory or shipping
- Allows you to focus your efforts on marketing
Also Read: Best Wholesale Dropshipping Companies
How To Get Into Dropshipping
Launching a dropshipping store is a great way for aspiring entrepreneurs to get into eCommerce.
There are many important decisions that need to be made when starting a dropshipping business, such as which items you want to sell, which niche you want to target, and which suppliers you want to use.
If you’re thinking about starting a dropshipping business, the first thing you need to decide on is which products you’re going to sell.
You can start by researching product trends based on your interests or what you think may be popular. A great free tool to use for researching product trends is Google Trends, which allows you to view the search interest over time of any term or topic.
If the product you’re looking to sell has increased in search interest over time, it may be a good idea to pursue it. If not, you may want to think of a different product.
Choosing your niche
After you’ve determined which products you want to sell, you can then determine your niche. If you focus on a specific niche or subset of the particular market you want to go in, you are more likely to succeed.
One great way to determine which niche you want to enter is keyword research. For whichever product it is that you want to sell, find out what exactly people are looking up when they search for that product, and what potential uses they might have for that product.
A great free tool for this is Keyword Sheeter, which pulls thousands of autocomplete suggestions from Google to show you what people may be searching for.
Unfortunately, Keyword Sheeter does not show you trends data or search volumes, but it’s good for getting an idea of what people are searching for.
Finding a supplier
After you’ve done your keyword research and determined your niche, you then have to find a supplier that carries the products you want to sell.
Finding a supplier, as well as getting started and growing your business, can be a challenge that presents various obstacles and technical hurdles.
Fortunately, there are many eCommerce platforms that can help you find suppliers, as well as create and manage an online store using the dropshipping business model. This includes one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms, Shopify.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is a powerful, all-in-one eCommerce platform that makes it easy to start, run, and grow an online business. According to the Shopify website, their goal is to help entrepreneurs achieve independence by reducing the barriers to business ownership.
To that end, the tools offered by Shopify allow entrepreneurs to find a business name, source products, buy a website domain, and build their brand online from the ground up.
You can even use the platform to create, employ, and analyze marketing campaigns on social media and Google, communicate directly with customers, keep track of your sales, orders, and site traffic, and much more.
Explore: Neto Vs Shopify
Why Should You Create Your Dropshipping Business Using Shopify?
Shopify hosts over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide. In fact, Shopify hosts some of the top dropshipping stores, such as UgMonk, Negative Underwear, Pipcorn, and Flat Spot.
So, why do so many businesses use Shopify? Here are just a few of the factors that make Shopify the most popular eCommerce platform:
- Offers a wide range of features: Shopify offers a wide range of features that help you create your online store, keep track of your sales and marketing, and more. Additionally, there are over 1,200 apps that integrate with Shopify to help store owners run every aspect of their businesses, including applications specifically for dropshipping.
- User-friendly: Shopify makes the process of creating and managing an online business simple. All the way from creating your website, to customizing it, to choosing your products, Shopify guides you through the process so that it never gets overwhelming.
- Reliability and Support: Entrepreneurs look for eCommerce platforms that they can rely on. If you ever run into any issues with your store, Shopify provides users with a 24/7 support team available through email, phone, and chat.
Dropshipping Apps for Shopify
As I mentioned before, Shopify offers tons of tools and solutions specifically made to help you run your dropshipping store. Here’s a brief overview of just a few popular dropshipping apps for Shopify and their key benefits:
Oberlo is the Shopify-owned dropshipping app that gives you access to a wide range of products from high to low price points, including electronics, accessories, clothing, and more.
This application is forever free, meaning you get to put unlimited products from Oberlo into your store at no cost to you.
- The app integrates seamlessly with Shopify
- You can customize product names, descriptions, photos, and more for each of your products
- If you have any issues using the app, 24/7 customer support is available to help you
- You can check the potential of every product before you start selling by taking a look at the product statistics
Interesting Post: Spocket Vs Oberlo
Spocket allows you to connect with suppliers located in the US, EU, and Asia. This app is known for having largely discounted merchandise, allowing you to sell with margins at 30% or higher.
The combination of higher-quality goods from global suppliers and higher margins means better reviews from happy customers and more money in your bank account.
- Large range of products from vetted global suppliers
- This app boasts short shipping times and order tracking for each item
- Heavily discounted products
Modalyst connects you to one of the largest selections of brand name products such as Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Moschino, and many more. It also has a wide selection of trendy items, handmade suppliers, and indie brands.
If your niche falls under any of the above-mentioned categories, Modalyst may be the best application for you.
- Large selection of brand name products
- Some brands offer free shipping
- Product name and description can be customized to your liking
- Easy to add products into your Shopify store
The ShopMaster Dropshipping app gives you access to 20+ suppliers including AliExpress, Amazon, and eBay. By connecting with popular suppliers, ShopMaster gives you access to thousands of products, from high to low price range.
- You can auto-purchase bulk orders of up to 300 items
- This app allows you to filter products from different locations such as China, US, and the UK
- Prices and inventory are automatically updated
Printify provides customizable products for you to print your own designs and photos on, including clothing, phone cases, stickers, wall art, invitations, and more.
- There’s a selection of over 250 products to print on
- Worldwide shipping on all products
- Printify automatically syncs with your online store
Features To Build And Manage Your Online Store
Aside from dropshipping specific tools, Shopify offers many other features that minimize the headaches caused by running your online business and make it easier to build, manage, and successfully run your store.
Here are several features:
- Customize the appearance of your site by choosing from 70 professional themes available on Shopify, created by world-renowned designers such as Pixel Union and Happy Cog
- Take advantage of intuitive settings that allow you to customize every aspect of your storefront with your unique branding
Worth Reading: Oberlo Vs Alidropship
- Gain insight into your store’s performance and growth by viewing product reports that analyze your store growth and tell you which products are doing well
- Your dashboard will show you your sales, orders, and website traffic
- Integrate your shop with social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram
- Easily offer highly targeted discount codes and promotions
- Offer customers the option of leaving product reviews to encourage sales
- Take advantage of SEO by customizing the title, H1, and meta tags
- Create customer groups based on purchase history, location, and more
- Manage your store on the go with the Shopify app
- Enable customer account creation to encourage repeat customers
- Easily issue refunds with automatic inventory updates
- Dedicated 24/7 support time available through chat, email, or phone
- Community discussion forums about various topics
- Help Center with FAQs, tutorials, and guides
- Shopify experts available for hire to design and develop your website
Although all of these features may seem overwhelming, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to be able to use Shopify, and you don’t have to have any prior experience creating or managing an online store.
The Shopify website is easy to navigate, and the intuitive design makes creating and managing a store straightforward.
Now that we’ve gone over dropshipping and why you should use Shopify to host your dropshipping business, let’s go over how to get started.
How To Create A Dropshipping Store Using Shopify: 5 Easy Steps
1. Create a Shopify account
The first thing you need to do is register an account on Shopify.com. You’ll have the option of starting a free 2-week trial.
Once you start the registration, you’ll be prompted to fill out your email, password, and store name. The store name you enter must be unique, or you’ll be prompted to choose a different name.
From there you’ll be asked a few questions, such as if you are already selling a product, what your current revenue is, and what your physical address is.
2. Choose products to sell using Oberlo (this is the default application in Shopify, but you can use any other dropshipping app)
At this point, I’d recommend you either start customizing the look of your store or choose products to sell. We’ll start with adding products, since it may be more convenient to customize your website after you add products because you’ll be able to see what it looks like with them in place.
To add products from Oberlo, you must first install the application. Go to apps.shopify.com and search for Oberlo. Click ‘Add app’ and enter your store URL. Then click ‘Install app’.
Also Read: Does Oberlo Work With Wix?
After you’ve installed Oberlo, go to your Shopify dashboard and click the Products button on the left side. Next to the ‘Import’ button, click ‘More Actions’ and select ‘Find more products to sell’.
You will then be sent to Oberlo to search for and choose products. Add the products you would like to sell to your Import List. Once you’ve selected your products, click on ‘Import List’ on the left side and import your selected products to your Shopify store.
Finally, once you’ve imported the products from Oberlo, you can edit the details for each product on Shopify, including the title, description, tags, and price.
Check Out: Dropified Review
Be sure to add as many relevant product tags as you can to categorize and label your products.
3. Create Collections
Once you’ve imported all of your items, you can organize them by setting up collections. A collection is simply a group of products that have similar features that customers might be looking for. Your collections can be displayed in the navigation bar on your website to help customers easily find the products they’re looking for.
For example, if you’re a home decor store, here are some collection ideas:
- Wall Art
- Dining and Kitchen
- Vases and Pots
- Sale and Clearance
To set up your collections, go to your Shopify dashboard and click on ‘Products’. Then, under products click on ‘Collections’ and on the right-hand side click on ‘Create collection’ and fill out the information for your collection.
There are two collection types you will have to select from:
- Manual Collection: Add products one by one manually
- Automated Collection: Products that match the conditions you specify will be automatically added to their respective collection. This is the default collection type.
Check Out: Dropified Vs Oberlo
4. Set up and customize your online shop
Now it’s time for the fun part: designing your store. You want to make a good impression on potential customers, so it’s important to spend some time designing the look and feel of your website.
Take some time to browse the Shopify theme store at themes.shopify.com, or find Shopify themes in other marketplaces such as Theme Forest. There are over 70 professional themes to choose from on Shopify, and each theme can be further customized to your liking.
Once you’ve chosen a theme, add that theme to your Shopify library. You will be given the option to go to your theme manager, where you’ll be able to click ‘customize theme’ on your imported theme.
Once you click on ‘customize theme’, you’ll be taken to a page that allows you to change and customize all the visual features of your store, including the header, featured collection, images, social media links, text, and so on.
Here you’ll be able to upload your custom logo if you have one, determine the color scheme of your store, and decide how the products will visually be displayed.
If you’re wanting to customize your site even further, you’re given the option of editing the theme code. On the bottom left of the screen, click on ‘Theme actions’, and then click on ‘Edit Code’.
If you have no experience with HTML and CSS, you have the option of hiring a Shopify Expert to fully customize your store to your exact needs.
5. Create a domain name
After you’ve added your products and customized your store to your liking, you can now add the finishing touch by creating a domain name.
You can add a domain by going to your dashboard, clicking on ‘Online Store’ on the bottom left, and then clicking on ‘Domains’.
From there you have three options:
- You can buy a new domain. Simply enter the domain name you would like to purchase and Shopify will show you the cost per year.
- You can connect an existing domain. Enter the domain you would like to connect to, and Shopify will then prompt you to log into the hosting website to connect.
- You can transfer a domain. Shopify will then provide you with several steps you need to complete with your current provider to transfer it over. You’ll also have to buy another year of registration for the domain.
Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, you now have a fully functioning online dropshipping business, with an official domain name and all. Congratulations!
Check Out: Best Dropshipping Companies With No Fees
Now that you’ve learned about all the features offered by Shopify for dropshipping, you know why Shopify is the best.
You’re ready to start making money with your online store and growing your customer base.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.