When it comes to dropshipping platforms, Shopify is the best. Shopify stores, packs, and ships your products on your behalf – with little or no upfront fees. You just create a Shopify store, market your brand, and dropship vendors do the rest. Learn how to start dropshipping on Shopify.
What is Shopify dropshipping?
In the e-commerce dropshipping industry, Shopify is undoubtedly the leader. A website plan for a small business or startup starts at just $29 per month. There’s even a 14-day free trial on Shopify, so there’s no risk in starting a company or testing a brand concept.
You can seamlessly integrate dropship vendor apps within your Shopify dashboard to manage your product listings and back-end orders. With Shopify, you can launch a store filled with dropship products to compliment your brand, and manage customer orders, vendor shipping and stock updates efficiently.
Shopify Dropshipping in 5 easy steps
Dropshipping on Shopify has the advantage that you can explore product options while building your store at the same time. Once you have created your Shopify free trial account, you simply need to connect one or more dropship vendor apps. Once you’ve completed that step, you will be able to explore products, spot those that match your brand, and add them to your store with just one click.
From start to finish, here’s how you can dropship on Shopify.
1. Sign up for Shopify
Opening a free trial account is the easiest way to learn about dropshipping on Shopify. As you explore dropship vendors and research dropship products, you can actively build your Shopify store’s product collection.
If you already have a Shopify store and would like to add dropshipping products to your collection, go to step two.
You can open a Shopify account by visiting Shopify’s website and entering your email address, like we did for Bean Brew and Vine, our startup concept:
Your business doesn’t have an email address? Sign up for a free Gmail account today. Don’t worry if you don’t know what your business name will be or even what its concept will be yet. In your Shopify settings, you can always change the name and address of your trial store once you have solidified your brand and niche.
Upon creating your Shopify account, you are guided through a store quick-start process that helps you define your store’s needs.
The Apps tab of your new store will automatically be populated with Shopify’s own Oberlo dropshipping app if you select “help find a product to sell” in the field shown above.
Shopify’s Oberlo app seamlessly links stores to AliExpress, a dropship mega-marketplace. However, this is only one of many Shopify vendor apps that allow you to create branded dropship collections.
2. Install dropshipping apps
Oberlo is an app you can use to start building your dropshipping Shopify store. However, you can explore other options first.
For example, Blingy is an app for jewelry, Dripshipper is for private label coffee, and Printful is for custom-printed products. Many Shopify apps connect your store to large dropshipping marketplaces like Oberlo, Sprocket, and Modalyst that offer thousands of vendors and millions of products.
You may want to explore these Shopify apps along with, or rather than, Oberlo if you are looking for dropshipping apps.
- Modalyst: A dropship goods marketplace focused on suppliers based in the U.S. and Europe.
- Sprocket: Dropshipping marketplace featuring trendy products from U.S., European, and Canadian vendors.
- Printful: A dropship vendor that allows you to design and print custom products on demand.
- My Online Fashion Store App: Fashion apparel and accessories dropshipper based in the U.S.
- Dripshipper: Private-label coffee supplier.
- Beardsy: Dropship vendor selling hair and beard products under a private label.
Dropshipping on Shopify is incredibly easy with Oberlo, Shopify’s powerful Marketplace app. Even better, it does not charge upfront fees for listings of up to 500 items in your Shopify store.
All you need to do is click the Oberlo app and then “install”.
As soon as you install Oberlo, you’ll notice the “Step 1: Connect your Shopify store,” is already completed, as shown below. Now comes the fun part – adding products.
Check out the Oberlo dashboard before looking for products to sell. Whenever you need support or tutorials, you can click the “Help Center” link just above the “Shopify Admin” link on the bottom left. On the lower right is an icon for “Chat”.
Oberlo’s “Settings” section is also worth exploring. By setting up preferences here, you can automate time-saving features such as customer notifications, retail pricing rules, and real-time inventory updates. There are similar features in other Shopify dropshipping apps.
3. List dropship products on your Shopify store
Shopify’s dropshipping apps let you easily browse, research and compare products by broad categories or use a filtered search. For example, the home screen of the Oberlo dashboard is your starting point for searching dropshipping products.
If you are new to dropshipping, the “number of orders” filter is a great way to see what’s selling well and which vendors are doing well with other sellers. For startup stores and dropshipping newbies, the “Seller Ratings” filter is a great way to determine what is selling well in your target niche.
While you are still learning about dropshipping, Oberlo and most other dropshipping apps offer product data that can help you decide if a product is a good investment. You can use Oberlo to make informed decisions by viewing item details and statistics, for example:
- Vendor ratings and feedback: for each item, there is a user rating and how long the vendor has been in business. You can even read the ratings on AliExpress.
- Wholesale cost: when you ship the product to your customer, this is the price you pay to the supplier. Variants like different sizes and quantity packages are included in the product listings.
- Number of downloads and quantity ordered: This is the number of downloads and sales in a given period, both for Shopify stores and for all AliExpress users.
- Shipping methods and ePacket availability: This tells you how the item is shipped to your destination country, how much it costs, and when it will arrive. Goods made in China, which make up the majority of the Oberlo/AliExpress marketplace, can be shipped cheaper and faster with ePacket.
You can add items to Oberlo’s import list by clicking the “Add to Import List” button. Keep searching until you have a selection of products that fit your brand.
When you are ready to import products into Shopify, you may want to edit the information provided by the vendor and import the information through Oberlo’s Import List screen. Simply click the item tabs to customize titles, add SEO-friendly item descriptions, import images, adjust price variants, and assign categories.
Product information can also be edited after an item has been imported into a Shopify store. However, you can easily edit the “Import List” and assign categories to your products, so you can quickly set up your Shopify Dropship store.
Once you have completed all the edits, simply select each item you want to import and click “Import all to store”.
You will see the products appear in your Shopify store within a few minutes.
With Oberlo and similar dropshipping apps, you can create complete dropship collections on Shopify. As you can see, the quick-start process described above is only a fraction of the thorough product research required for most successful dropshipping stores.
Thinking too much at the beginning of your product research will only slow you down. Focus on choosing a selection of items with good reviews during your Shopify free trial. This will help you launch your site quickly and test your concept.
4. Create your website
After you have added an assortment of Dropship products to your Shopify store, it’s time to launch your Shopify store. Here is how.
- Set up the Shopify store theme, which is the overall design of your website.
- Add pages for customer service and shipping.
- Create a navigation menu for your website.
- Configure your payment, shipping, and tax details.
- Connect the domain name or URL of your website.
Shopify’s quick start wizard makes it easy to navigate through these setup elements. To launch your new Shopify dropshipping store, you’ll need to spend an hour or two setting it up.
5. Promote your Shopify store
After you have launched your Shopify dropshipping website, it is time to market your new online store. Google and other search engines take a long time to index new websites. Therefore, you should use immediate marketing tactics like social media, paid ads, and email marketing to get the ball rolling.
Social media marketing and social commerce
Introducing a new website via social media is the most efficient way to promote it today. Shopify makes this effortless with seamless Facebook and Instagram integration.
Click “Sales Channels” in the Shopify dashboard to set them up.
Google Adwords and Facebook Ads
You can also explore cost-effective advertising options with Google Adwords and Facebook Ads if you have some money to spend. Both of these tools allow you to target your audience very precisely and set daily budgets, so you can drive customers to your new website very cost-effectively.
Blogging and video marketing
By creating high-quality blog posts and video content, you can boost your social media marketing efforts and get better search engine results over time. With Shopify’s built-in blog, you can publish engaging content around your brand and featured products. Your blog posts can be both text-based and video-based.
Share your new blog posts and videos on your social media pages and groups to gain followers and convert them into customers.
Finally, do not neglect email marketing. You should market your dropshipping store in Shopify with engaging content and product offers by building an email list from the start.
You can integrate top-rated email marketing solutions like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Convert Kit with Shopify. Plus, Shopify will soon launch its own integrated marketing solution to take on the top competitors.
Shopify, which offers a full-service SaaS for eCommerce platforms, is well suited for dropshipping. It has all the features a dropshipping business needs.
Consider taking an online course on Shopify dropshipping to learn more. eCom Elites is one of the best Shopify dropshipping courses that shows you how to run a dropshipping business using Shopify.