dropshipping on shopify

This is a definitive guide on how to start dropshipping on Shopify

In this definitive guide, you’ll learn: 

  • What is dropshipping. 
  • What Shopify is. 
  • How to start dropshipping on Shopify. 
  • And many more. 

Let’s dive in. 

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is the selling of physical products online without owning a warehouse or handling the inventories.

In dropshipping, customers will place their orders through your online store, and then you’ll pass the orders to your supplier or retailer to fulfill the order without involving you. 

So you’ll make a profit, but this will depend on your agreement with the retailer. 

For some drop-shippers, it is the difference between what they charge the customers on their website and what the dropshipping company charges them. 

It’s an attractive business model. Everyone wants in. Probably, this is why you are also interested. And the best part? It’s relatively simple to start.

All you need is a small capital, reliable internet connection, and a laptop to start you off, unlike the traditional business where you needed to find a physical location, licenses and so on. 

It is definitely a rewarding venture. One that can sustain you full-time. And the good news is that you can run your business part-time, without having to quit your full-time job.

Can’t read the entire post now? Below is a simplified video version:

What is Shopify? 

Shopify is one of the best e-commerce sites, which will allow you to set up your online store and sell your products. In other words, Shopify hosts your store. 

It is very simple to use and doesn’t require any prior techie skills. You can sign up and start your dropshipping business in under 5 minutes.

Shopify’s basic plan is just about $30.00 per month, which gives you access to a ton of features, themes, and apps that you can use to develop and launch your online store

How much money do I need to start dropshipping? 

Is it $500.00, $1000.00 or just $100.00? Well, let’s find out.

There are two major costs when starting your dropshipping business. The first one is the start-up cost to build up your store and the marketing cost to send traffic your way, especially if you are hosting your store. 

However, that does not mean that you need a ton of money to kickstart your dropshipping business. To give you an insight, you may only need around $37.8 to start a Shopify store. 

Let me break it down. 

I recommend that you use Shopify to start your online store as it is beginner-friendly. Additionally, the basic start-up plan on Shopify is $29.00.

You will need to get a domain name at $8.88 per year, that’s if you are purchasing it through Namecheap. And that’s it. It adds up to $37.8 to build your store on Shopify. Additionally, the free Shopify themes are great, and you do not need to pay for them.

Other optional expenses are worth it. A logo from Fiverr at $10.00 can go a long way in developing your look. You can create a free logo using a free logo maker, but a professionally designed one is better.

If your budget allows, you can also purchase a Shopify Upsell Plugin. Plugins enable you to make special offers immediately after your customers purchase a product. This will enable you to increase your Average Order Value.

The SMAR7 Bundle Upsell is beginner-friendly, but due to its expensive nature, you can leave it off and target to purchase it when you have found a high demand product.

(Note: – this only applies when you are using Shopify. If you are using your website, Shopify Lite will cost you $9 per month. This plan lets you add ecommerce options to your existing website or Facebook page at a 2% transaction fee. However, it will be more costly in the long run because hosting your e-commerce website will require additional investments as you grow your business.) 

Why should I choose Shopify?

You now have an idea of what dropshipping is, answers to the most frequently asked questions, and a close estimate to how much starting a dropshipping business will cost you. Now let’s look at why it is the most preferred e-commerce platform by most entrepreneurs who want to launch an online store; and how it works. 

All great dropshipping stores start with great products. While it’s true that there are a ton of e-Commerce websites out there, Shopify is the most preferred, simple to use, and a low-risk site to build and steer your dropshipping business to the next level.  

It is the most effective and efficient when it comes to running an eCommerce business. I have not seen anywhere on the internet where you can get a site live in 5 minutes and start leveraging all the tools available to make money. Nothing that cool yet. 

So why is Shopify the most preferred e-commerce platform?  

Easy to use and friendly to drop-shippers:

Shopify comes with a clean, clear, and simple interface that makes it very beginner-friendly. No techie skills required, and the best part? Shopify will guide you step-by-step if you are new on the platform. 

It has excellent apps and features:

Shopify has a ton of excellent tools and features tailored to meet your needs. It enables you to run your eCommerce business smoothly, and you can track your shipping to be able to do your tax calculations.  

Additionally, it provides its users with apps to take care of payments, sales, and marketing. Thus you can scale up your store whenever you need to. Free apps like the Oberlo app, allows you to import store products by just the click of a button.

dropshipping on shopifyWith the Oberlo app, you do not need to spend time and money designing your products. You can also access and process your orders through the app. Check out this Oberlo app review.

Now that you know the reasons why most people prefer Shopify and why you should too, let’s now see how it works.

How does Shopify work? 

First, Shopify will charge you a monthly fee to run your eCommerce store. A Basic Shopify plan starts at $29 per month and $299 per month for an advanced plan. 

This fee caters to your hosting needs to keep your online store up and running while you handle other things that matter to you. You are also required to install dropshipping apps like the Oberlo from the app store to help you with sourcing products for your online store.

Finally, Shopify has a good range of SEO tools to help you cover the essential SEO best practices when you add products. This process increases your site chances of getting found in Google search results. 

Dropshipping Success Stories  

It is always inspiring to see what successful people are doing in your niche, especially if you are just starting. It’s motivating, and you learn a lot from their stories and experiences.

A great example is the story of Eliot Grey, a men’s online boutique that features classic accessories in shoes, socks, ties, cufflinks, underwear, and more. So let’s look at two successful dropshippers – Ran Moore and Marc Charpon.

1. Ran Moore

Ran Moore shared his dropshipping success story with Oberlo. He started his store in 2017 by selling various men’s fashion products online, after suffering a heart attack. So how did it all start to see this great success? 

Ran Moore was exploring products when he came across a leather coat that perfectly captured the look and design of his store. So, he added it to his shop. He then invested his time in writing great product descriptions and shared the product on a men’s Facebook Group. It took him two weeks to make his first sale after opening his first store.

His advice – the key to dropshipping success is persistence. If it doesn’t work at first, try again. He also states that it is essential for you to write your product descriptions as it helps with SEO.

2. Marc Charpon

Another example is Marc Charpon, who made $178,492 just in three months dropshipping on Shopify. He started his online store in 2017, and in only 12 months, he had already hit the six-figure mark, earning  $60,000 every month and even made over $10,000 in sales in a single day.  

Note that he had no prior experience in dropshipping when he thought about starting a dropshipping business. He only had a basic comprehension of marketing. So he quit his full-time job to start a full-time drop shipping career. 

So how did he do it? 

When interviewed by Spocket, he laid it all down. Marc had set out to start with $5,000 to put up his store but realized he only needed $1,000 eventually. 

How Charpon chose his niche 

Charpon went for what he loved; what he was passionate about. He had a dog and a cat that he adored, hence he practically knew everything about them. 

Marc marked his audience through simple Google searches. Here, he checked out reviews and comments left by customers on different sites. Additionally, Charpon was able to find like-minded individuals in the dog pet niche. 

How Charpon chose his products

Marc says that he started by checking out at products on AliExpress. He avoided the low-quality products as they were available in like 500 different stores. Additionally, they had less attractive product descriptions and bad images. This, coupled with the uncertainty in their shipping times, made him avoid entirely picking such for his store. 

And what about his marketing tactic that made him rise to a six-figure dropshipper? 

Well, Marc tapped into Facebook, Instagram, and email marketing to promote his store. Once he launched his site, he did not waste any time on pre-launch giveaways and the likes. Instead, he capitalized and devoted his time to brand awareness first.

How to Dropship on Shopify

Step 1: Find a niche 

The first step is to choose a profitable niche. Choose what you will be selling and know your target customers. You can select your niche by going with what’s trendy and profitable. The key here is to make sure that there is demand and a ready market for the items you plan to sell.  

This post will help you to find the best or profitable products to sell. Additionally, here are a few tips and tricks to help you choose the best products to sell on Shopify: 

  • Research on the product market’s demand, popularity, and profitability.
  • Sell products within a price range of $1-$20. Also, keep in mind the profitability of the item on sale.
  • Lastly, sell merchandise not noticeable to brands to grow your brand.

Additionally, here are some tools you can use in your research to find the perfect niche: 

  • Use the Google keyword planner to be able to tell and identify how much search volume they are getting. 
  • Spocket will help you to discover marketable products easily from global suppliers. 
  • Make good use of Google Trends to show you the popularity of the product over the last couple of years.
  • Finally, check out other supplier websites like Aliexpress and Oberlo to compare prices and come up with the best price.

Step 2: Choose a dropship supplier 

I highly recommend you use the free apps. As a beginner, using Aliexpress dropshipping won’t give you a hard time. 

Additionally, it’s Shopify’s recommended supplier. Here is a guide to dropshipping with Aliexpress to help you start up your biz. 

The selling point is that most vendors on AliExpress recognize that a large number of their customers are mostly resellers who are dropshipping.

Step 3: Create a Shopify account 

Here is where we get to the real action. 

You are now ready to start your online store. It doesn’t matter whether you want to sell products on your website under Shopify Lite, or you are going all out to build a store on Shopify basic. Whatever you choose, you’ll first have to register and sign up for an account.

The advantage of using Shopify is that it has a 90-day trial with no credit card required. This means that you can build your store, familiarize yourself with how it works, and when you are ready to launch your store, pay for a monthly plan that best fits your needs. 

To get started, visit Shopify’s homepage to sign up. It’s quick and easy. On the homepage, you will be required to enter your email address and then create a password. Make sure you have your store name as it will be needed when creating your store. 

Additionally, you will answer some questions about eCommerce and your physical address before Shopify guides you to the backend of your store. Finally, you’ll need to set up your domain name, add products, and design your store.

Step 4: Optimize the settings 

You have signed up for Shopify, and you are ready to go, but you need to optimize your settings before anything. That said, let’s go through Shopify settings to set your preferences for the new account.

1. General preferences

You can find the General preferences under the “Online Store tab” on the left-hand menu. Here, you’ll need to key in your Google Analytics code, your site’s title, and site your site’s information or description. 

Additionally, just above the preferences tab is the domain tab, where you can transfer, connect to a third party, or buy a new domain. You can connect to a third party when you have an existing website domain that you want to connect with Shopify. 

Remember, you can always contact Shopify customer support to help you whenever you are stuck. 

2. Payment information

To get to payment information, go to Settings >> Payments, then add your payment details. Shopify enables PayPal by default but also accepts other modes of payments such as Amazon Pay, Bitcoin, and so on. 

This step is critical because if you don’t include all payment options, your customers will find it hard to make payments. So make sure that you have added all payment options so that you can collect your Shopify payments. 

3. Store policies

All businesses and platforms have terms and conditions. Specific terms of service act as a legally binding contract between you and your potential customers. 

Thus when creating your Shopify store, you need to understand Shopify’s store policies/ terms of use. You can find this by navigating to Settings>>Online Checkout

Shopify has a tool that will automatically help you create standardized terms and conditions, privacy policy, shipping policy, as well as refund policy. So you don’t have to worry about how to create your store policy and terms. 

Step 5: Launch your Shopify online store 

You have added all the details and information you need to get started. It’s now time to start using your Shopify online store.

To launch your Shopify eCommerce account, go to Sales Channels >> Add an Online Store. You can create a password to protect your online store as it is still under construction. 

All the same, Shopify will keep your store private until you’re ready to go live by disabling the password. As you proceed through the setup steps, you will see a note, reminding you about the same. 

If you wish to share the site you are creating with your friends, you can just give them the password, and they will be able to access your store as you build it.

Step 6: Design your shopify store 

On your Shopify dashboard, under Online Store, click on themes. Shopify automatically has free built-in free themes under Online Store. There are also premium themes that start at $140.00 you can use to design your store.

dropshipping on shopifyTest each theme out to find your best fit. You can also search on Google to see what other dropshippers on Shopify are using in their stores. If you need help, you can hire a designer on Fiverr to help you out get the best design for your store. 

Step 7: Dropshipping on Shopify with Oberlo

At this point, you need to start adding products to your store. So, Install the Oberlo app from the Shopify app store by clicking on “Products” in the left menu. Next, click on the “Find Products” tab, and Shopify will automatically direct you to the Oberlo page.

Once you are on the Oberlo app, explore new products on the product page and import them to your Shopify store. Additionally, you can also install the Oberlo Chrome Extension on your PC. Sadly, it only works on Chrome, which means that you can’t use it on your phone or tablet.

To get the Oberlo Chrome Extension, start by installing Google Chrome, then install the Oberlo Chrome Extension using this link and follow the prompts that follow. The advantage of using this extension is that it saves you time, primarily if you are dropshipping from Aliexpress. 

Note: You may not need the chrome extension if you are dropshipping products within Oberlo.

Make Money Dropshipping on Shopify

If you have made it this far, congratulations! You now have a fully functioning website for your dropshipping business, and you are now ready to go live! You can remove the password protection and start making dropshipping. 

Market your online store on various social media platforms so that your store can gain traction. Sell on Instagram, advertise on Facebook, promote your site on Twitter, and or do Google and Facebook ads. You can also do search engine optimization to improve your store on the search engine results. 

Also, you can also leverage email marketing by collecting your visitor’s contacts using a pop-up. You can use Aweber to track your listings. The best of all is that Aweber gives you a 30-days free trial before you can opt in.  

Finally, you can also engage influencers in your niche to promote your business to their audience. Alternatively, you can hire an expert content writer on Upwork to help you write e-commerce content that will help drive traffic to your site. 

Other Dropshipping Platforms

Final Thoughts

Dropshipping is a significant online venture that most business-minded people are still sleeping on. And the truth is that anyone can make it here, including you. 

With e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, your journey will be hassle-free, with a little marketing effort, proper store design, and customer engagement, success is inevitable. 

You have everything you need to start your online business on Shopify business as a store owner. Take action today and start dropshipping on Shopify.

12 thoughts on “Dropshipping on Shopify: The Definitive Guide”

  1. Avatar

    What a comprehensive guide to dropshipping on Shopify! I’ll definitely come back to this post as I’ve been thinking about dropshipping as a side hustle. Do you think dropshipping with WooCommerce/Wordpress is just as good?

    1. Denzil Otieno

      Hey Corinne,

      Dropshipping is possible with WordPress but you will need to get the Woocommerce for it to function. I’ll update this post to accommodate how you can use WordPress for your dropshipping business. Hope you’ll check it out. 😊

  2. Avatar

    I am planning to start a Shopify store. This post gives a boost to my confidence that I too can create a store. Thanks for the amazing content.

    1. Denzil Otieno

      Hi Valibhav. Sure, just like anyone, you can start a dropshipping business on Shopify and succceed. You just need to make sure you choose the best products as explained in this guide.

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