How to Start a Drop-Shipping Business with Shopify?
Now we are going to introduce you to dropshipping, a business model that allows you to start selling without the need to manufacture and store any products. If you want to start such a business, all you need to do is to establish a deal with a third-party manufacturer and start to sell their products. Every time a customer wants to buy something, you forward the order to the supplier and they take care of the entire delivering process.
While the third-party makes sure that the products are stored and shipped properly, you can focus on the marketing aspect of the business. Thanks to the idea of dropshipping, pretty much everyone can become an online entrepreneur without investing a lot of money into it. You can find tons of successful businesses on the Internet that are all based on dropshipping and they generate huge revenue day by day. You generate new sales for the supplier, the customer gets the product and you get your own cut. In the end, it is beneficial for all three parties.
With the abundance of tools available on the Internet, you can set up your own dropshipping store quickly and easily without any experience. It is also a low-risk business, since the online platform and the additional tools required to put a dropshipping store online will cost you little to no money. In this article, we are going to talk about Shopify, the platform that we recommend the most for those who want to kick start their dropshipping store.
Benefits of Shopify Drop-Shipping Store
There are many reasons why Shopify is one of the best platforms for dropshipping stores. First of all, the platform makes sure to eliminate all stocking problems and ensures proper delivery to the customers. You are not responsible for the processes associated with stocking and delivery at all. Your main task is to forward the orders that your customers make with the exact amount of products that they specified included in each order.
Shopify opens you the door to a wide range of products by giving you access to popular marketplaces such as AliExpress and Oberlo. Depending on the main idea of your brand, you can take a look around and start to pick the products that you want to display and sell on your online store. If you want to earn money online, yet you don’t want to manage the storage and shipping of products, then you should definitely start your own dropshipping website.
If your supplier is great at creating certain products and delivering them while you are great at online marketing, then the combination of the two is surely going to lead to something bigger.
How to Start a Drop-Shipping Store with Shopify?
Next up, we are going to lead you through our step-by-step guide about how to setup your Shopify dropshipping store for success. This is a business method that can ensure you a solid passive income if you do it right. As with any other business, there are a few important things to consider before you start.
You need to ask yourself a couple of questions first. What do I want to sell? Is it popular? Is it going to be profitable? As you try to answer these questions by doing some research and thinking them through, you will be able to set some clear goals for your business. In Step 1, we will show you the essential methods to gather information and find profitable niches that can help you to start selling online.
Step 1: Find the Most Profitable Niches
Of course, it won’t lead you anywhere if you just add random popular products to your store. If you really want to see your revenue grow, then you need to pick a different strategy. The products that you want to sell need to be related to each other in some sense. This means that either all of them fall under the same category or a few different categories that are related to each other. Like a computer store that sells laptops, PCs, tablets and many other accessories.
In short, your dropshipping store needs to have its own niche. There are plenty of popular niches to choose from. Before you do anything, take a look around and research a little bit until you clearly identify the niche for your store. Based on the criteria, you can always find the products that can potentially become the most sold products in the store. Once you have this set of products available, you can start putting your marketing methods into action and turn your dropshipping store into a reliable source of income.
Finding the best niche for your business is not difficult at all. In the list below, we lined up the most effective practices that people utilize for the purpose:
- Sell low-cost products ($1-20) – When you own a dropshipping store, there are certain additional fees that you need to take into account. These need to be paid every time you take an order and forward it to your third party supplier as overhead costs. In order to maximize your profit, you should sell products that cost between $1-20 and add up to 60% to their wholesale price. Then you only need to make sure that your marketing practices are in order and you get a significant share.
- Pick upper-middle-class people as your target audience – You need to start selling to people that don’t think twice when it comes to purchasing a premium product that satisfies their needs. Selling high-quality products is a great thing, but selling them to high-quality customers should also be one of your main goals. You definitely don’t want a customer base that only cares about low prices and discounts. All you need is an effective marketing strategy and you can sell anything you want. People with disposable income won’t hesitate to buy a product that truly solves their problem.
- Add products with lesser-known brands – Don’t try to sell brands that dominate most of the toplists on the Internet. People have tons of other websites available where they can find and buy those products. Try to introduce them to something new instead. You can’t be competitive by offering the most popular brands, but you surely have the chance to dominate the market with a lesser-known brand.
Find Niche Products
Based on the three important points that we previously talked about, you can find numerous potential niche product ideas for your dropshipping store. Although it is important to follow these tips, they still don’t resemble an accurate guide on how to find the perfect niche. If you need something more than a basic overview, then you should take a step further and start to use some tools that can help you justify your ideas.
This is where keyword research steps into the picture. Next up, we will show you what the ‘keyword difficulty’ and ‘competitor analysis’ terms mean and how to use them for your advantage. The tools that we are going to show you are very powerful when it comes to niche research, yet they are completely user-friendly. Let’s start with Google Keyword Planner.
Google Keyword Planner
People use Google for many different things. They upload and download files, send and receive emails, create various types of documents using the Google Office Suite and so on. Most importantly, they search for all kinds of information using Google Search. Thanks to the millions of queries that people type into the search bar, Google can collect a huge amount of valuable data about the things that Internet users are really interested in.
When people search for products, they usually find the website they are looking for right on the first page of the search results. The websites that make it to the first page usually leverage highly effective SEO practices. These include the usage of strong keywords that make it easier for people to find them. If you want to generate lots of traffic, you should do some research and find those keywords that work for your business the most. Google has made all the data available through their popular tool called Keyword Planner.
If you want your website to appear at the top of the search results, you will need to start using this tool on a regular basis. The Keyword Planner is specifically designed for those who want to find the best niche products to sell. By discovering and utilizing keyword ideas, you will not only attract more potential customers, but also ensure a better placement for your website in Google rankings. After you log in and start to use the interface to search a specific keyword, the tool will show the most searched similar keyword alternatives.
You can basically cherry pick keywords that are really popular and then you can start using them in your website content. By improving the SEO of your website, people will be more likely to find you and buy something. Keyword Planner is a free tool, so you only need to register a Google Gmail account to use it. Once your account is ready, visit the Google AdWords homepage and hit the ‘Sign in to AdWords’ button. Then it will load a page where you can choose from a few options. Click ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category’ which is the first option.
And finally, enter the product that you want to start selling online and start your research. Let’s say you type ‘wrist watches’ into the empty field. You can set some criteria as well before you execute your search. For example, if you want to sell products for people in a particular country, it is often a better idea to find the most popular searches in that area. Besides specifying the location, you can also set the category for your product. Then, as the tool displays the results, you can discover some new keywords that can be useful for your website.
The Keyword Planner can help you discover a wide range of powerful keywords for your niche, but there is still a key piece of information missing. The tool won’t be able to show you how hard it is to climb the Google rankings for each keyword. Although you will end up with plenty of popular keywords, you still won’t know whether it is valuable enough to put it in your website’s content.
SEMrush uses a quite simple formula to figure out the keyword difficulty. It evaluates the first ten websites that pop up when someone types the particular keyword into Google. The keyword gets a score based on how it impacts the SEO of the website. Of course, this is something that takes a lot of time if someone wants to find it out manually, since there are different types of data that contribute to the SEO of a website.
However, if you use SEMrush, it will take you only a couple of minutes to grade each keyword in terms of difficulty. SEMrush is a premium search tool, so you need to invest some money into your research to get more valuable information out of it. If you are a new user, you can take advantage of the trial that allows you to find out the difficulty of a limited number of keywords for free. It is quite simple to use it; you just enter the keyword into the search bar and hit ‘Search’. After the list of keywords comes out, click on the ‘View full report’ button which leads to some valuable data.
There, the different values are arranged in columns. The results might seem confusing at first, but you only need to look at the KD column which represents the keyword difficulty for each keyword. Now the point is to collect keywords that got the lowest keyword difficulty in the search results and avoid the big numbers. By default, the keyword with the biggest KD is going to be at the top, so if you want those low-KD ones, you should scroll down a bit. However, you can always rearrange the results by clicking on ‘KD’ at the top of the list.
Let’s say you entered the keyword ‘wrist watches’ and now you want to find a good keyword alternative with a low KD. On the list, you find the ‘antique wrist watches for men’ keyword and it seems like a good idea to use it and start selling antique watches. As SEMrush confirmed that it is easy to rank for the keyword, the next step is to add a nice selection of antique wrist watches to the list of products you want to dropship. Visit AliExpress and type ‘dropshipping antique watches’ into the search bar. A wide range of products will show up in the search results that you can start selling right away.
As we have pointed out earlier, you should focus on selling products that don’t cost more than $20. Most of the watches you can find there indeed fall into that price range. First, you picked a keyword that has low keyword difficulty; therefore it is easy to rank for by using SEMrush and Keyword Planner. Then, you made sure that there are a number of products available that fall under the category specified by the keyword. At the end, you ended up with a collection that has huge selling potential in our Shopify store.
Step 2: How to Pick the Best Supplier for a Drop-Shipping Store?
Picking the supplier for your dropshipping store is one of the most important decisions. If you don’t know much about suppliers, then you should do a little research and look up some reviews of the most popular suppliers right now. One of the suppliers that we mostly recommend is AliExpress. This one is simply perfect for any Shopify store, as you can find tons of products on their site for every possible niche.
With AliExpress, dropshipping is easy as pie. Their website is easy to navigate and you can quickly find the product you are looking for. According to Shopify, you can find everything you need for your dropshipping store at AliExpress. If you find it hard to figure out what your niche product is going to be, you can always hang out on their site and type some ideas into the search bar. Or just simply enter the term ’dropshipping’ into the search bar and take a look at the most popular results. After spending some time on the site, you will surely end up with a range of good ideas.
Let’s use our previous example and type ’dropshipping wrist watches’ into the search bar. Just as before, there will be lots of watches among the results that fall into the $1-20 price category. But you can type anything else next to the ’dropshipping’ term and then go through the results. There will be plenty of different suppliers offering their watches and each of them has their own ratings. The important metrics show up when you mouse over the items. Reliable suppliers always have a very high positive feedback percentage and seller feedback score.
It also makes a huge difference if lots of people have already ordered the item and rated the supplier instead of just a few. If you find a number of products that you would gladly sell in your store, then simply add them and start your marketing campaign. You will probably find some highly popular brands in the search results, but don’t get too excited about adding them to your store. A better practice is to sell lesser-known brands or the ones that have no brand at all because there are already tons of websites that sell those popular brands.
On the other hand, there are lots of products under a popular brand name, yet they are fake. These counterfeit products are often so similar to the original that you can’t tell the difference. You should rather pick unbranded, generic items that have a high number of positive feedback, orders and a high overall rating on AliExpress. Users can not only rate the products, but the suppliers as well. The more diamonds you see under the name of the vendor, the more reliable their service is.
After all, you don’t really have the time to wait until the vendor responds or some complications get resolved while there are customers ordering products in the background. The bad user experience that you get from the vendor will eventually translate to a bad customer experience to your website visitors. Make sure that the supplier has at least a 4-diamond rating before you start selling any of their products.
If you want to see more details about the supplier, click on the diamonds and it will lead you to a table of details. You can check to see if the seller delivers the items as described by the customers. The other two ratings give you information about their communication and whether the customers are satisfied with the shipping speed or not. By utilizing the practices that we talked about so far, you can narrow down the results to a few potential that you want to do business with.
Once you have picked your first product, you need to determine its final price for your Shopify dropshipping store. Let’s say you have picked a wristwatch from AliExpress and now you want to set a price for it. Fortunately, there are numerous websites where you can find similar watches and check out their prices. For example, visit Amazon and type wristwatch into the search bar. Then just skim through the results, find the wristwatches that are similar to the one you want to sell and set a price range based on the prices you see.
In order to stay competitive, it is better to set a lower price in that range. One of the key things to understand is that you shouldn’t start selling a product until you have purchased and tried it yourself. Therefore, the next step is to order the product from the supplier to determine the quality of the supplier’s product and shipping service. If you have picked a high-rated vendor, then you will probably have nothing to complain about.
Once the product arrives to the specified location, you can conclude your test run and start selling. Checking out the ratings on AliExpress is one thing, but it is important to go through the same process as your customers so that you can have an insight on what they can expect. When you add a new product to your Shopify dropshipping store, you need to upload some HD images and a catchy description for it.
You can get the whole content package from the supplier by sending a message that indicates the product you want to sell on your site. It is similar to any email conversation, but it won’t ensure you to start selling the product that day. When you request content for your website from a supplier, it takes them 24-48 hours on average to reply. If they do so, then it is a good indicator that you are doing business with a reliable and responsive vendor. By following our tips in Step 2, you can add as many new items to your Shopify dropshipping store as you want.
Step 3: How to Create a Shopify Drop-Shipping Store?
The previous two steps were all about figuring out what are the most profitable niches for your dropshipping store. At this point, you probably have some nice ideas and you can’t wait to start selling online. You are ready to establish your online presence by creating your own Shopify store. We are going to show you how to do it step-by-step.
Creating a store at Shopify is simple. First, you need to fill out a short form with your email address, password and your store name. If you are done, click the ‘Create your store’ button to start the account creation process.
After Shopify approves your details, you will need to answer a few questions related to your current situation in the sales business. Under the first question, there will be four different alternatives. Shopify just wants to know if you already sell products and whether you sell them in a physical store or using a different online platform. We assume that you are a beginner who has no previous experience in sales and wants to create his first dropshipping store.
They will be also interested in the amount of revenue you make with your business on an annual basis. For those who are just getting started, the answer is $0. On the next page, you can finalize the account setup by adding your personal information to the form. If you are done, you can start to use the Shopify dashboard right away.
Pick a Shopify Plan
If you have followed all the steps up to this point, then you should have a Shopify account up and running. At this platform, there are three different packages to choose from. These all come with an abundance of useful features. All you need to do is to pick a package according to your needs and sign up to Shopify premium. If you want to try it out first, you can take advantage of their 30-day trial.
That is plenty of time to try out the features and to get used to the platform. If you would rather unlock all the features immediately, then hit the ‘Select a Plan’ option after logging in to your Shopify account and it will lead you to a page with the available plans, features and prices. The three plans are the following: Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify. We recommend you to choose the Basic Shopify plan, as it is more than enough for starters.
After a while, as your business starts to grow, you can switch to the next Shopify plan which unlocks some additional powerful features. Go ahead and pick the plan that you mostly prefer for your business. It will redirect you to a page where you need to choose a payment method and fill out some billing details. After you have entered everything, finalize the setup by clicking ‘Confirm changes’, which will lead you to the dashboard again.
Step 4: How to Configure a Drop-Shipping Store with Shopify?
Now as you have the premium features active, you can start to set up your own Shopify dropshipping store. In order to create your store, you need to go through these four important steps:
- Since every website needs a domain name, you will need to register one for your store
- Get ready for your email marketing campaigns by setting up email forwarding
- Choose an appealing theme for your store
- Create the essential web pages that every successful Shopify store should have
Buy a Domain and Setup Your Store
In the Shopify dashboard, find the ’Online Store’ icon, click it and then go to ’Domains’. A domain name is not only essential for every website, but it also represents the brand of your shop. It should be something short and catchy that people can easily memorize. By buying a domain name, you basically buy an online identity for your shop.
Of course, you can also start selling without your own domain name. In that case, you will get the following URL: https://shopifystorename.myshopify.com. Shopify will simply insert the information you entered into the ’Your store name’ field during the account registration process into the URL. In this case, people obviously won’t take your online store seriously once they see that the domain is owned by Shopify. They rather buy from stores that have their own domain names.
On the other hand, the URL generated by Shopify is quite hard to type into a browser. However, if you register a domain name like https://wristwatchking.com, then more people are going to find your site and it will be much easier for satisfied customers to memorize it and then come back again when they want to buy more. In short, we strongly recommend you to register a domain name. You can do so by clicking the ’Buy new domain’ options after going Online Store > Domains in the dashboard.
We can also recommend some popular third party registrars if you don’t want to do it on Shopify. GoDaddy is literally the best domain registrar available right now. You can also register one at NameCheap, which is another highly popular option. These both have a strong customer support team behind them and their prices are also affordable. If you want to be able to migrate your store to a different platform in the future, then you better choose a third party and register the domain name there.
If you still want to register your domain on Shopify, then make sure to pick a popular extension. For instance, the price for ‘.com’ is only $13 on the platform. There are also a wide range of premium extensions available in case you want to add something special for your domain. For the sake of this guide, pick the most popular ’.com’ extension which is always a good option. Hit the ’Check Availability’ button to find out whether the domain is taken or not. If not, then you can proceed with your purchase on the next page by filling out the form with some essential details.
At the end, click the checkbox next to the DRA and ICANN policy which means that you agree with the terms. Then you can finalize the domain setup by clicking the ’Buy domain’ button. Open your email inbox, open the confirmation email that Shopify sent you with the link and click it.
Email Forwarding for Your Shopify Store
Although your customers will order products directly from you, the same information has to be forwarded to the supplier with as little delay as possible. This is what dropshipping is in a nutshell. Your job is to find customers that want to buy and link them to the vendor. Then, your provider will process each order and set up the delivery so that everyone can get their own product. Now we are going to show you how to set up email forwarding for your domain.
In the ‘Online Store’ menu, choose ‘Domains’ and then click on the domain that you previously registered (or added) on Shopify. There will be two default emails already that come with each domain: sales@ and info@. You can easily configure email forwarding here by setting the address where you want your Shopify store emails to be forwarded to. There is also a trash icon available on the page in case you want to delete the emails that accumulated over time.
Of course, you are not limited to the two default emails, so you can create new, arbitrary addresses by clicking “Add an email address”. If you configure it properly, customers will be able to reach you and it will take you only a couple of seconds to forward their emails to the supplier.
Choose a Shopify Store Theme
A well-designed online store leaves a great impression in potential customers. There are a huge number of themes available on Shopify, which is why you should spend some time on finding the perfect one for your dropshipping store. A good theme not only needs to be modern and appealing, it should also ensure that your website visitors can easily navigate through your products. When people visit your website, they usually want to find the product they have in mind as quickly as possible.
Also, make sure to upload high-quality images of your products. If people have a good time while browsing your online store, it only increases the chance of them buying something. All new Shopify users get a default theme called Debut, and then everyone can change it according to their own taste. In the ‘Online Store’ menu, click ‘Themes’ which is the first option. It will lead you to Shopify Themes, a huge database of themes for online shops.
You can find both free and premium themes there divided into different sections. There are plenty of affordable ones among the premium themes, but some of the more expensive ones can cost as much as $180. As you explore the themes, it could take a long time until you find the best one for your dropshipping shop. To make it easier, you can filter them by category and also rearrange them based on the available criteria. Once you click a theme, it will open its activation page.
For this tutorial, we recommend you to pick one of the free themes. If you have found one that you particularly like, click it and check out the documentation. Make sure to go through the feature list and think about how each of the features can contribute to your Shopify store. The point is to make your shop more appealing for your visitors, to encourage them to buy something. Upon finding the right theme for your dropshipping shop, hit the ‘Install Theme’ button to start the setup. Then, after the installation has been completed, you need to switch from your default theme to the new one by clicking ‘Publish as my store’s theme’.
You can also keep a few installed themes in your backend by clicking the ‘install as an unpublished theme’ option. After installation, the theme will be available in the dashboard and you can use it when you are ready. For now, publish the free theme that you installed and start to customize it by clicking the ‘Go to your theme manager’ after you have completed the installation. This will redirect you to a Shopify page where you can easily apply changes to your new theme.
They have designed their theme editor in a beginner-friendly way. The interface welcomes you with a self-explanatory sidebar where you can find all the necessary tools. You just need to click one of the sections in the menu and a bunch of customization options will show up. Don’t be afraid to try out a few things and you will get used to the platform in no time. The sections that you see in the editor are theme-specific. In case you find a section that you don’t even need for your store, you can simply delete it with the ‘Delete Section’ button.
Add Pages to Your Online Store
People are running all types of online shops on Shopify. A dropshipping store is just one of the wide ranges of business opportunities available on the platform. People that find your online shop want to know why you created the shop and why they should buy anything for you. What problems do you want to solve with your products? How do you want to satisfy your customers? You can start by adding a memorable slogan to your homepage that informs them about the main purpose of your dropshipping shop and arouses their interest.
But, first of all, you should start with adding the essential pages that every dropshipping store needs to have. Here is the list of web pages that you need to create:
- About – This is where you can introduce yourself, your staff and tell the story of your business with some basic details. The point is to give visitors some insight into the history and the main purpose of your store
- Products – Potential customers can check out and buy all your available products here. These need to be presented using high-quality images. You should also clarify why your products are better than the ones that people can find on other websites
- Shipping – This is the page where visitors check out how shipping works on your website and how to set it up. People should know how much time it takes until the product arrives and you should also describe the different delivery methods used for the process
- Returns – What if a customer is not satisfied with the product? Talk about your return policy on this page. The customer has to be able to get the money back within a specified time frame. In these cases, the product needs to be sent back and someone has to pay for the return shipping. All these details need to be clarified on a Returns page
- Contact – People will only take your online shop seriously if you add a Contact page to it. There must be some way for the customer to communicate with the seller. If they want to ask something or share their feedback, then your Contact page is the first thing they are going to look for.
Once you add these essential pages to your dropshipping store, you will be ready to start selling online. To add the first page, open the ’Online Store’ menu, go to ’Pages’ and click ’Add Page’. It will open a text editor where you can start to customize the page according to your taste. Most of the popular blogging platforms use a similar interface for publishing content. If you have some experience in any of those, then it will be super easy for you to add and edit content in Shopify’s editor.
After clicking the ‘Add New’ button, you will be able to enter the page title into the ‘Title’ field. Under ‘Content’ you can choose from a wide range of tools for editing your content. Below that, there is a huge empty area where you can enter your content. Whenever you create content on the Internet, you need to apply at least the basic SEO practices. Google can see every bit of content on your website, which means that you can improve your search engine ranking in many different ways.
The better the SEO, the more organic traffic will be generated by the search engines to your website. You can start to improve your SEO right away by scrolling down in the editor and clicking ‘Edit website SEO’. This lets you edit the elements that you mostly hear about in SEO tutorials: the meta title and description. These two need to attract clicks from the search results like magnets, so you need to come up with something catchy with powerful keywords in it.
If you are done with the editing, click “Save” to apply the changes. Each time you add a new page to your dropshipping store, you need to allow your website visitors to have quick access to it by adding the page title to the navigation menu on your site. After saving the changes, you will get the “Pagename was created successfully. What’s next?” message where you can add it to your site navigation by clicking the link. The link will redirect you to a page where you can customize your Footer menu and Main menu.
Since the About page is one of the more important ones, you need to add it to the Main menu. If you want to classify your products or add any sub-pages to the menu, you can even create drop-down menus in the same section. After clicking the “Main menu” link, it will lead you to a simple menu item manager where you can add new menu items in the order you want them to appear on the homepage. In the “Name” column, you need to type the title of the page and the “Link” column is where you need to add the page link where your visitors will be redirected.
It will take you only a couple of minutes to create a complete navigation menu with this table. If all the details are in order, hit the “Save Menu” button.
Terms of Service, Refund and Privacy
There is no need to create full web pages for these statements. Shopify can save you some time by generating quick pages for them. Click on “Settings”, then pick “Checkout” from the menu and there will be a “Refund, privacy and TOS statements” section available. The pages that you generate here will be added to the footer of your website, as they are not as important as the ones that are displayed in the Main menu.
Step 5: Time to Add Products to Your Drop-Shipping Store
And here comes the fun part! Now we are going to show you how to add your niche products to the Products page of your Shopify store. Open the “Products” menu in the dashboard and click “Products”, which will lead you the page where you can start to populate your store with the items you want to sell. On your right, there will be two options available. You can either import an already existing product inventory by hitting the “Import” button or start to add new products one-by-one by clicking “Add Product”.
It will open a simple editor where you can add the Title and Description of the product. There are additional sections where you can change the visibility of the product and choose attributes such as the type of the product, the vendor, the collection it falls into and more. The more details you include, the better because it will only make it easier for visitors to find the things they are looking for, improving their user experience. When customers click on a product they are interested in, it usually helps them a lot if you show them other, similar products on the same page. This is the main reason why you need to assign products into collections.
As we mentioned before, you can ask for product descriptions and images from your provider. Of course, you can always copy-paste product descriptions, but it is definitely not a good marketing practice. You need to dedicate some time and effort into creating unique descriptions for your items if you really want to convince potential customers into buying them. Also, don’t forget to add some keyword tags so that people can find the product more easily through search.
The Images section is where you can add the set of images you received from your vendor. You can upload all the images at once by clicking the “Upload image” link. These obviously need to be hi-res, flawless images; otherwise they will only make a bad impression. If your website lacks high-quality product images, then why would people expect to get good quality products from you? But if they get some HD images where they can inspect the product in great detail, then it will be a whole different story.
We have already talked about the pricing. As we mentioned, you should do some research and then set a fairly low, competitive price for your product. Once you have figured it out, enter the price into the Pricing section. Then you will need to enter another number next to the Price field which will be the price that you want your product to be compared to. This has to be a higher number with the purpose to convince your visitors that buying your product will be a total bargain for them.
There is also an Inventory section, but you don’t need to enter anything there because it is your supplier’s job to keep track of the amount of items available in stock. It is also their job to provide shipping for your customers, so you can leave the Shipping section blank as well. Each time a customer orders a product, you will need to forward the information to your supplier so that it can be delivered on time.
The next section on the Add product page is “Variants”, where you can specify the variants that your product is available in. Make sure to add all the different colors, sizes and other attributes so that potential customers can specify their order. People like websites where they can choose from different variations of the same product. The last section is called “Search engine listing preview” where you can set up how the link to your product will be displayed in Google Search. You can open this section by clicking the “Edit website SEO” link.
A search engine listing consists of three parts: the product page title, the meta description and the URL. You can edit all of them by filling out the empty fields. The page title should not only include the name of the product, but the name of your Shopify store as well if you have enough space left. After that, you need to type a meta description that clearly describes the product and arouses interest. As long as you don’t type more than 160 characters, you are fine. If the URL is too long and complicated, then make sure to shorten it.
SEO practices can be applied to all types of content on a website, so it is quite important to apply them to these meta elements too. Try to include keywords in the title and description that can potentially drive you more traffic. Do a little keyword research in SEMrush to discover a few good ideas that you can use in the text. The point is to find keywords with low keyword difficulty, since those are the most effective if you want to achieve a higher rank on Bing or Google. Repeating the same process for every product can be quite time-consuming, but the effort will definitely pay off.
Automatically Add Products to Your Inventory
Once you start to populate your Shopify dropshipping store with niche products, you will probably end up with a list of items that have a lot of features in common. This allows you to name those features and start putting your products into different categories. You can categorize items based on type, brand, gender, theme and many other factors that make them distinguishable from each other. All you need to do is to find the Product menu in the Shopify dashboard, click “Collections” and hit the “Create collection” button to start creating a new one.
The usual editor interface will show up which you probably got used to at this point. At first, you should give a name to your collection in the “Title” field, and then you can continue by entering a text that properly describes it into the “Description” field. Since you already know how to add new products to your website, try to follow the same tips as described there as you work on the details of your new collection. A good description makes it easier for customers to make a decision instead of confusing them.
You need to upload a high-quality image that clearly displays the products that people can buy from your collection. If there are too many products included in the collection then upload an image that shows at least the bestsellers or a few products that people are highly interested in. Fortunately, creating new collections doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task that you can only do manually. Products can be added to your collection automatically based on a set of conditions that you specify before the process.
For example, you can add products from the same vendor, under the same tag, or even combine a few characteristics together and form a more varied collection that way. The result will be a separate page where people can check out the whole collection. Since you are basically adding another web page to your shop, it means that you need to apply the same SEO practices to it in order to attract more potential customers via Google search. Don’t forget to save the changes by clicking “Save collections”.
Step 6: Your Drop-Shipping Store Needs a Payment Gateway
Your customers need to be able to pay through a secure payment gateway. As the owner of a Shopify dropshipping store, you need to provide your customers with at least a few payment methods so they can choose the one they mostly prefer. The most popular one is PayPal, and then you can add a few other credit card options that people widely use. The great thing about Shopify is that you can simply enable Shopify Payments in your store, which means that customer payments will be accepted through the platform.
With Shopify Payments, you will have an insight into the whole payments history of your shop via diagrams and lots of different stats. In case any of your customers is not satisfied with the purchase, you can set up a template message so that you don’t need to message them personally every time. Now the downside of Shopify Payments is that the platform didn’t make it available in every country. If you can’t use Shopify Payments, then make sure to add PayPal as your primary payment gateway.
From then on, PayPal Express Checkout will take care of all the purchases on your website. It allows you to add a few credit card options without applying any transaction fee, which can be considered as extra profit. Credit cards can be added as third-party payment methods in the “Accept credit cards” section. You just need to open the drop-down menu and pick the card provider you want to see on your website.
When it comes to payment methods, Shopify provides lots of options. There are literally hundreds of them available on their list, so the choice only depends on you. The point is to provide a set of payment methods that keep your customers satisfied. There is surely going to be some negative feedback if there is a lack of options.
Step 7: Provide Accurate Shipping Rates
Your customers need to know how much it will cost to ship each of your products. The shipping rate can vary depending on the weight, the dimensions and other characteristics of a product. It also varies according to the customer that buys it. We can show you how to update the shipping rates on your dropshipping store in a couple of minutes. First off, click ”Settings” in the Shopify dashboard and find the ”Zones and rates” section.
You can calculate the shipping rate for each of your products based on the following factors:
- Actual shipping rates – Look it up how much it costs to deliver a product for locals and people in other countries. Shipping costs vary depending on the location of the customer and the size and weight of the product.
- Additional fees of door-to-door shipping – The product has to arrive to the customer’s doorstep no matter what it takes. This means that the customer should pay the fees for additional modes of transport that are involved in the process.
- In-between expenses – Since you are the middle-man in the transaction, you will need to pay the supplier to prepare the products ordered by the customer and start the shipping process
There are so many different factors that can be involved in a shipping process that it is impossible to set a universal rate to it. The rates need to be calculated each time by summing up the prices of the delivery service and the supplier. This, of course, affects the price of your products as well, but you can easily set the prices so that they cover all your expenses.
If you want your shipping rates to be calculated automatically, then you need to find the ”Additional shipping methods” section. There, you can enable calculated shipping rates, which guarantees that you don’t need to calculate shipping prices and update them on your website anymore. However, you need to sign up to a higher Shopify plan than the basic one in order to use this service.
In fact, you don’t even need to deal with all these tasks related to product shipping. You can assign the whole hassle to an external dropshipping service that will take care of all these tasks in the future. In this case, all you need to do is to forward the orders of your customers. It is quite easy to set up, you just need to click ”Add dropshipping service” in the Additional shipping methods section. Then pick one of the popular fulfillment services, confirm it with your vendor and you are set.
Step 8: Increase Your Sales by Offering Gift Cards
People commonly end up browsing online shops, looking for gifts for the upcoming holiday. Often times, they don’t even know what to buy. In these cases, handing out gift cards to potential customers is a great idea. A gift card has a certain amount of money assigned to it, allowing the visitor to buy products that fall into that price range.
There are two ways to provide gift cards. You can either let people buy them on your site like any other product, or obtain them by buying something in your dropshipping store. If you are smart about it, then gift cards are going to drive you a huge amount of extra sales. Gift cards can be created easily in the Shopify dashboard. Click “Products”, and then pick “Cards” from the menu that pops up. Unfortunately, if you signed up to the Basic Shopify plan, you won’t be able to create them.
You need to upgrade to the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plan first, otherwise you will only get a message asking you to upgrade. If you are already running your shop on one of those two plans, then you will be able to click the “Start selling gifts on my store” option after going Products > Cards. It will lead you to an editor which is similar to the “Add new product” page.
Give your gift card a title, price, comparable price, value and don’t forget to upload a high-quality picture. Once it is ready, you can publish it to your dropshipping store by picking “Online Store” in the “Visibility” section. If you just want to give out gift cards to a group of your loyal customers, there is an option to do that as well.
How to Hand Out Discount Codes?
Another way to get more sales going on your Shopify dropshipping store is to give out discounts to people that hang out on your site. This is how you can start to convert visitors into loyal customers. By using the code, they can buy the products you specify for a discounted price. Discount codes are very easy to create in Shopify. In the left sidebar, find Discounts and then go to “Add Discount.”
You will see a short form on the page where you can enter some essential information about the discount code. The code can be either generated or it can be an arbitrary text that you type in to the empty field. People will be able to use the code during checkout to apply the discount. If you don’t set the details correctly, people can end up overusing the discount code.
It is important to set the date range, the usage limit and the conditions of the code. Discount codes need to be promoted on your site one way or another. We have some tips for you here that can help you reach potential customers with your discount codes:
- Share it on social media – Every business needs to promote on social media. Make sure to create a few accounts on the most popular social media websites and start posting. Once you have a significant number of followers, you can post your discount codes as well
- Publish a blog post about it – Talk about the discount on your blog. Explain how customers can use your discount code and introduce them to the discounted product. Once it is ready, follow our previous advice and share the blog post on social media. People will not only buy the discounted item, but it will also increase the traffic on your blog
- Welcome visitors with a pop-up – You should use pop-ups at least on your home page. When a visitor lands on the home page, the pop-up will appear asking for their email in exchange for a discount code. Pop-ups can be applied to any other page on your dropshipping store. It is a great way to encourage your customers to buy and to collect their email addresses.
- Collect emails and send discount codes – Take the list of email addresses you collected on your site and send a discount code to each of them via email. This can be done quickly if you use an email marketing platform.
Offering discount codes all the time is definitely not a good strategy. However, if you hand them out occasionally and at the right time, they can drive you a crazy amount of sales. Not being smart about your discount codes will lead you to the opposite result: less engagement and a decreasing number of sales.
Step 9: Set Up a Reliable Customer Support
You can try the hardest to provide all the necessary information that customers need to know on your site, there will surely be some questions that you forgot to answer. After all, you need to be pretty thorough to address everything. Also, some things might be obvious for you while they are not very clear for the customer. This is why every business needs to set up its own customer support.
People are much more likely to buy something if there is a customer service on the other side ready to answer their questions. They might want additional information about the product, the payment methods, the shipping price or anything else. You can never know what questions may arise. In one of the previous steps, we have already showed you how to create a Contact Us page. You only need to add a form to the page that people can fill out and send the message to the email that you have attached to the page.
The downside of this method is that people usually have to wait a lot until you open that mailbox and read their concerns and questions one-by-one. They can end up waiting hours, or even days until they get a reply from you. We can recommend you a better, faster alternative. A better way to communicate with your customers is using a tool called ZenDesk.
ZenDesk is basically software built for better customer relationships. It can help you provide powerful customer support on your Shopify dropshipping store in the following ways:
- Live Chat – For customers, live chat is one of the quicker ways of getting help. ZenDesk guarantees that there is always someone on the other side of the chat waiting for questions and problems that need to be resolved. A powerful live chat support always improves the user experience on your site, resulting in more satisfied visitors that will be eager to buy
- Phone Calls – Some customers demand phone calls the most, and ZenDesk can provide this human connection to them. Phone calls allow people to directly share their concerns and quickly get them solved during the call. ZenDesk stores customer history and records the calls as well for later use.
- Knowledge Base – ZenDesk allows you to create your own customer base where your staff collectively shares their knowledge and answers the common questions of your customers in great detail. If enough information gets collected, your knowledge base will become the all-in-one solution for all the problems that can occur.
- Social Media Sites – Customers will probably try to reach you through social media as well. Sometimes it is much more convenient for them to open your Facebook page and start typing into the chat. ZenDesk Message guarantees that all your social media accounts are connected in one app, allowing you to quickly reply to messages. There is always a chance that people reward your quick response by buying something on your site.
With ZenDesk, you can pick the features you need and the price will vary accordingly. You can buy it for your Shopify dropshipping store for a starting price of only $5 per month. The package includes email support, social media support, a help center and a ZenDesk widget that will be displayed on your screen. This package is highly recommended for those who are about to launch their first dropshipping store. Then, as your site starts to grow and attract more traffic, you can switch to a more powerful plan. There are many additional features to choose from.
You can take advantage of the 14-day trial offered by ZenDesk which is plenty of time to try out their features. There are also other alternatives if you need a more basic tool than ZenDesk. Check out these three alternatives if you are interested:
- HootSuite – Website owners widely use it for social media. It lets you manage all your social media accounts in one app. You will be able to open and reply to all the messages of your followers there.
- GrassHopper – This one makes it much more straightforward to accept customer calls. You will get a branded number that people can call and then get forwarded to your smartphone or the phone of anyone from your staff.
- Drift – This tool is mainly about providing high-quality customer support via live chat. Your customers will be able to rely on live chat at all times because there will be a floating button on all of your web pages where people can open it.
Step 10: Time to Launch Your Drop-Shipping Store with Shopify
While you were busy going through all the previous steps, your online shop was unpublished the whole time. It is time to make it public so that the organic traffic can finally land on your site. On Shopify, every website is password-protected until its website owner decides that it is ready for the audience. It is hidden while you are working on it, which makes sense because no one would want to buy stuff on a half-done website.
Once you are done with all the steps above, you can consider your dropshipping store finished. Now we can show you how to get rid of the password protection. Open the “Online Store” menu, then select “Themes” and there will be a message indicating that customers can’t see your website because of the password protection. You can find the “Remove password” button right next to the message.
Click it, and then once the “Preferences” page loads up, find the “Password page” section and you will see a checkbox next to “Enable password page”. Uncheck it and save the changes. Now your Shopify dropshipping store is live.
Shopify Drop-Shipping Guide Summary
Hopefully you extracted enough information from our guide to start your own dropshipping store with Shopify. Besides showing you how to set up the online store, we tried to share as many additional tips as we could to contribute to the success of your business. We tried to cover everything from finding your niche product all the way up to launching your website. There is no doubt that you can read lengthier articles about each of the 10 steps that we talked about.
However, this guide definitely contains the essentials you need for starting your dropshipping store on Shopify. For a busy businessman, it is probably worth it to spend half an hour reading this tutorial than to spend hours on researching the subject elsewhere. We especially recommend this article for beginner website owners, as they need to know that starting their own dropshipping store is not a big deal at all. As long as you follow this guide step-by-step, you will have it up and running within an hour.