How To Dropship On Shopify
In the past, being an entrepreneur meant coming up with a unique product that solved a customer pain point, selling it, and making a ton of profit.
Now, we know that "ideal" scenario is far from the truth of what business owners actually go through each day. In fact, many startups go bankrupt before they can even see a profit.
But what if you could start a business and reap all the monetary benefits without creating a product or shipping products to customers?
Enter dropshipped products!
Online businesses are the way to go and if you're reading this article, you're likely wanting to use Shopify to power your store. But before we get into that, what exactly is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model where store owners act as the middle man between customers and manufacturers.
For example, your customer orders a blue dress from your store and pays you for it, you then send the order to the manufacturer who is storing the product in their own warehouse and they then ship the product to the consumer.
That means all you have to take care of for this business venture to be successful is your marketing strategy!
Dropshipping can be your main business or a means of earning some easy income on the side. Because it's so easy and consumes less time than a traditional retail startup, more and more people are giving it a go.
Using the dropshipping business model has a host of benefits for your online business such as:
- Complete Product Flexibility - Because you're not storing a physical product in your store, there are no costs associated with changing your offerings based on your target audience's needs.
- More Product Options - You open up your online store to an unlimited possibility of items since you don't need to store any of the inventory yourself.
- Cheaper To Run - There are not many startup costs for dropshipped products; in addition to not needing product storage space, they also won't require any staff.
- Low Inventory Costs - No storage fees or inventory management fees are required. In fact, some dropshipping apps will manage your products for a low monthly pricing plan.
However, it does take some work, research, and a bit of time before your ecommerce store is running efficiently and generating the revenue you want to see.
- Choose What Your Offering Will Be 💁♂️
- Determine Your Target Market 🧐
- Create Your Shopify Store 🏬
- Integrate Your Dropshipping Supplier ↔️
- Set Up Your Shipping Rates 🚢
- Provide Customer Service Information 🗣️
- Market And Sell Your Products 🔊
- Bonus - Buy A Shopify Dropshipping Business🙌
When you're deciding what dropshipping niche to move into, it's important to factor in product availability, product 'sellability,' potential suppliers, market interest, long-term growth, and associated costs.
Currently, the best dropshipping product niches in 2022 according to Shopify include:
- Clothing & Shoes
- Personal Care & Beauty
- Kitchen & Home
- Baby Products
- Phone Accessories
- Office / Home Office Products
While these product ideas are lucrative, you should also note that there is a lot of competition when it comes to adding them to your product list. It's important to delve even deeper into a niche so that the market becomes less competitive.
For example, if you want to sell shoes, you can decide to market only branded name shoes that are locally sourced and made from cruelty-free material.
If you're still stuck we have a more in-depth guide on how to choose the right products to sell on Shopify, if not, let's move on to step two!
Defining your target audience is important in any type of business. For long-term success, you have to know who you're marketing to so that you can generate a stream of repeat purchases.
To find out who your potential customers are and if they would be interested in your product, you need to do some research.
- Who would be interested in my offerings?
- Where do they hang out online?
- How much competition is out there?
- What is my product's unique value proposition?
Once you can answer these questions, you'll know if your product is viable and where your target audience hangs out online.
Now that you're certain about what you'll sell it's time to start creating your Shopify store and find the best dropshipping suppliers.
Getting started with Shopify is easy, you can choose their 14-day free trial to begin building your online store today. After the trial period, there are five price plans to choose from:
Starter - $5 per month
Basic - $29 per month
Shopify - $79 per month
Advanced - $299 per month
Shopify Plus - from $2000 per month
Once you've selected your subscription plan, you'll need to set up your Shopify store and add a range of profitable products.
The first thing you'll be prompted for is a store name, so we suggest carefully thinking about it before you start creating the store.
Next, you'll be asked basic questions regarding your personal details as well as the products you will be selling.
Once that's done, you can customize your store with free or premium themes. Take some time when designing your store to make sure it fits your brand and is easily accessible to your target audience.
Check out this tutorial we put together on starting a Shopify store if you need more information.
After that's done, we can begin the fun part—selecting a dropshipping supplier. Don't worry this step is easier than ever on Shopify.
You'll never be in short supply of dropshipping suppliers for your needs and since you're using Shopify, you don't even need to look far to find them.
Simply head over to the Shopify App store to find a ton of dropshipping apps that you can integrate with your online store in one click.
These popular platforms connect retailers with thousands of suppliers and millions of product categories.
Some of the most popular dropshipping apps include:
- DSers AliExpress Dropshipping
One of the top-rated apps on the Shopify app store, DSers Aliexpress allows merchants to find high-quality products, access special deals from suppliers, and automatically track shipping information for you and your customers' peace of mind.
Some of the most notable and helpful features include:
- Shipping information is synced and tracked
- Supplier Optimizer which allows you to find cheaper deals on the products you're interested in.
- Manage multiple Shopify stores
- Place up to 100 orders in one-click
DSers AliExpress Dropshipping Pricing:
Basic Plan - $0 per month, manage 3 Shopify stores & 3000 products
Advanced Plan - $19.90 per month, manage 10 Shopify stores & 20 000 products
Pro Plan - $49.90 per month, manage 25 Shopify stores & 75 000 products
Spocket gives retailers access to a variety of products at wholesale prices from the US and Europe. This allows faster delivery and will enable you to charge more for your items.
One of their best features, however, is the quick customer support turnaround time. With Spocket you can expect queries to be answered within 2 minutes, something that everyone looks for in a high-quality supplier.
Key Features include:
- Goods at wholesale price with no minimum on the number of orders you need to place.
- Automated updating of inventory
- Sample products available to test out the service
- You can also import products from AliExpress
- Faster Shipping
Free Plan - $0 per month, AliExpress dropshipping
Starter - $29.99 per month, unlimited orders
Pro - $49.99 per month, premium products & branded invoices
Empire - $99.99 per month, unlimited premium products
- Syncee ‑ Global Dropshipping
A global dropshipping platform with reliable suppliers from the US, Canada, EU, UK, and Brazil, offers access to millions of high-profit products.
Using the Syncee platform you can communicate directly with suppliers and even add your own suppliers to be managed.
Some of their notable features include:
- Faster shipping with local suppliers
- Auto-synced orders
- No minimum orders
- Datafeed manager - upload your own supplier and product information
- Intelligent product search
- Free support on all plans
- 0% transaction free
Free Plan - $0 per month, 25 products
Basic Plan - $29 per month, 500 products
Pro Plan - $79 per month, 10 000 products
Business Plan - $129 per month, 30 000 products
Modalyst gives you access to a wide selection of apparel which includes four major marketplaces:
- Branded Clothing - Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabana, Diesel, Seperga, and more
- Unique Independent Brands - 600+ vendors
- Affordable Teens and Young Girls' Clothing
- Low-Cost Goods
You can add products directly from the Modalyst marketplace to your online store and have access to automated inventory syncing.
There is also a selection of products that come with free shipping!
Free Plan - $0 per month, 25 products
Startup Plan - $35 per month, 500 products
Pro Plan - $90 per month, unlimited products
Once you've added one of the dropshipping apps to your store, you'll need to visit the product catalog and source products you're interested in. To make sure you get the best deals and suppliers, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Look for suppliers with ePacket shipping. Most of these dropshipping apps have international suppliers. Now while this means you get a better deal on the product price, it also implies your customer will have to wait quite a while before their product is shipped. ePacket delivery has the quickest delivery time for shipping small items from Asian countries like China and Hong Kong to the US.
- Select products with many product photos. If you place yourself in the shoes of your customer, you'll know that pictures are of utmost importance when selecting a product. Make sure the products you choose have a range of images available for your customers to browse.
- Choose quality products that have a good sales history and high search volumes. You can check how many times a product has been ordered and even go onto the sites selling those products to check if it's selling well.
- Customize your product descriptions. Even though the products will already have a description added to them, you can improve your descriptions for Search Engine Optimization. Include important information you know your target audience is searching for.
- Have backup suppliers. Because you have no control over stock availability and shipping, it's important to choose high-quality suppliers with excellent ratings. However, it's always good to be prepared for the worse, in which case having backup suppliers for your products means a stress-free retail experience.
Once you've selected the products you want, click on "Import All to Store" and the items should appear in your Shopify store.
Even though the supplier takes care of shipping the products to the consumer, the business owner still has to cover the shipping costs. To ensure you still make a profit from each transaction, you can:
- Get the customer to pay for shipping
- Raise the price of the item and offer "free shipping"
- Choose a flat shipping rate across all your products and slightly increase the price of your products
- Take the shipping costs out of your profits
Whichever option you choose for your dropshipping store, you'll need to adjust your retail price accordingly for the products.
Customer satisfaction is important in any type of business, and for dropshippers who are not in control of the storage or shipping of the items, having a customer service helpline is vital for success.
It can be something as simple as an email address that consumers can contact, or 24/7 support with live chatbots and a contact number.
Setting up a FAQ page or section on your store will also help tremendously as customers can ease their worries with already answered queries.
In addition to customer service, being upfront with your customers about shipping policies, taxes, refund policies, returns, and other important store guidelines will help with repetitive questions.
Once your store is set up and ready to go live (don't forget to set up a custom domain name), you can start marketing your products.
The Shopify ecommerce platform offers multiple ways to connect with your customer base and effectively market your store.
Since most of the processes in a dropshipping model can be automated, you have plenty of time to test a range of marketing methods.
Here are some marketing tactics you can try to make your first sale.
- Social Media Marketing
Social networks like Facebook and Instagram are great ways to reach your audience. Search for users and communities that would be interested in your product and take note of the language they use, what their pain points are, and the type of content (and products) they're likely to share.
You can target these users through paid adverts (if you have the marketing budget for it) or by inserting yourself into relevant conversations.
Starting your own account with relevant hashtags and insight into customer struggles will also help market your brand.
Influencer marketing is also a common social media strategy—mainly because it works!
- Search Engine Optimization
Use google analytics to draw organic traffic to your store by optimizing product tags and descriptions. You can also target customers through google ads (again if you have the budget, why not!)
- Email Marketing
Once you have a list of buyers, you can nurture your relationship with them and promote your products using email as a marketing channel.
The best part is that Shopify already has a host of email marketing tools that you can easily integrate into your store for automating your marketing efforts on this platform.
According to top Shopify statistics, email is the biggest player in the marketing game and you definitely want to be leveraging it as a sales channel to boost conversion rates.
Another way of owning a dropshipping store without the struggle of doing startup work is by purchasing an already up-and-running dropshipping store.
Exchange in an online marketplace powered by Shopify that allows users to buy online real estate, i.e successful Shopify stores.
When your purchase an existing store, you can start generating profits from day one. You also get to skip all of the above steps for building a business from scratch.
With Exchange, you'll be given all the store analytics including, the average number of sales per month, profit margins, as well as upfront costs regarding store upkeep, and the seller's reasons for wanting to put the store on the market.
Additionally, if you're worried about sourcing the capital for this type of venture, Shopify also offers its own lending system, Shopify Capital, which can help business owners purchase the store.
There is quite a big range in the amount of revenue a Shopify can generate in a month. It can be anything between $100 and $100 000.
The actual profits will depend on a lot of factors such as, which Shopify price plan you're using, do you have many paid apps and integrations, your marketing spend, custom domain names, and payment processing fees.
Typically, an average store will make around $1000 - $3000 per month.
Dropshipping is a model that works, with top stores easily generating six-figure profits each month. However, it takes time to cement your business in the dropshipping market.
Dropshipping stores have become a popular method for making a quick buck. The model really took off during the covid 19 pandemic, after many professionals were let go of from their place of work.
Dropshipping with Shopify makes it easy for anyone to start a business, regardless of their capital situation or selling history.
The startup costs are relatively low and you could even make your first sale within the 14-day trial period.
There really is no major downside to starting a dropshipping business and we hope this guide provided you with the tools and information required to get started with your new dropshipping venture.