While Dropshipping offers its pros and cons, it is the easiest and cheapest online store model to start and implement and is simpler still to achieve in 1 day if using Shopify’s apps.
There can be both excitement and trepidation since it offers an array of opportunities and perks but may also seem daunting and unachievable to many.
On the positive side, it is a great way to obtain an income while gaining online entrepreneurship experience and at a low cost. To start and implement can be done from as low as $100, all other options depending on one’s preferences and budget.
Concerns may arise, however, regarding ease of setup, sourcing of products/inventory, lack of knowledge, implementation of marketing strategies and first-time fear of the online business landscape.
Shopify’s array of information, support, features, apps and experience greatly reduces and in most instances eliminates possible reasons for concern.
This article will provide the step-by-step process to start a dropshipping business using two(2) categories of Shopify apps which will provide products to sell –
- Customized Products
- Retail Products
Let’s Get Started…
N.B Points to remember:
✓ you will have no cost for inventory(products) up-front: you only pay when a customer places an order ∴ you won’t have stock you can’t sell.
✓ absolutely no computer programming (coding) is required
✓ your website will offer products for sale: when a customer places an order, this automatically is placed with your product supplier who prepares, packages and ships the order
✓ Shopify offers guides, videos and 24/7 support for any information or queries you may have
✓ Shopify offers 14days free trial, you can setup your store but it will not be ‘live’ (i.e able to sell and process payments) until a monthly plan is selected. However, you will not be billed for your plan, until the end of the trial period.
✓ Can be achieved from any part of the globe
✓ There are other product suppliers to start dropshipping with (such as Worldwide Brands), but this method is the simplest to get started
This general information applies regardless of which inventory/product supplier you use-
Firstly, signup for Shopify’s 14 days Free Trial.
You will be asked to enter a name for your store, you can, later on, change your store’s name, but your Shopify’s account name will retain the first name you submitted.
Your store’s Shopify URL address will also retain the first name you submitted until you purchase a domain.
You will be taken to your store to be set up. Remember, what you are seeing is the back-end. Your customers will view the front-end, after you have completed setup with products added, and your store goes live.
There are 1000’s of options of products. You need to consider what type of store and products you wish to get started in.
N.B You can decide to sell a single product e.g tents or choose a broader range such as Outdoor gear & equipment.
Check hundreds of other Shopify success stories, for inspiration and to determine a possible option for you to model.
For research and ideas use Amazon Bestsellers.
P.S If you are now starting, with little experience, Electronic items will not be the best choice since shipping & handling can incur many customer complaints.
A. Sell customized products
Products offered for customization:
◊Shoes, ◊Apparel, ◊Home Decor (throw pillows, blankets, mugs, towels, shower curtains, and duvet covers),◊ Tote Bags, ◊Prints, ◊Posters, ◊Photo books, ◊Canvases, ◊Wall Decor, ◊Phone cases, ◊Cards and stationeries, ◊Flip Flops, ◊Floor mats, ◊Mousepads, ◊Notebooks Magnets, ◊Luggage tags, ◊Napkins, ◊Beer Mugs….
It’s worthwhile to note, not all apps offer the same products for customization.
You can use more than 1 app, simultaneously, according to your preferences.
To keep track and decide what to sell, it’s best to utilize a table with the products, cost, and shipping offered by each app.
To begin: test several apps & products, even if you can’t yet decide you may select several product options from below to understand store set-up.
N.B When adding products to your store for dropshipping, the suppliers’ SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is retained for labeling and stocking keeping purposes.
For graphic design inspiration & services;
- Custom Printed Shoes
- FREE Worldwide Shipping With Destination Tracking To The United States, Canada, Australia and UK
- Extra perks – access to their designers, photographers, white label service, and hundreds of product choices
- Live shipping rates give you cheaper rates. International rates that are two to three times cheaper than standard prices.
- Low Prices on Products and Also Free Samples
- Add images from Instagram, custom fonts, cliparts….
- Design templates for customers to create pre-made designs with text, images, cliparts, etc
- Looks like you shipped it yourself – Online Store’s name on the packing slip
- Great priced Shipping/Handling rates for Domestic (U.S) & International
- Print your custom products with the leading world-class manufacturers – ArtGun, Fifth Sun and more.
- Offer customization of towels, shower curtains…
- Each product branded with your logo and personal message
- Worldwide shipping. UK based service with a global reach
- Discounted samples – They’ll print and ship a sample order at a discount so you can see what your customer sees. And it’s a great opportunity to test the turnaround time
- Free mockups. Create a product with their free tool and it’ll automatically generate a mockup for that item, which is uploaded to Shopify when synced
- Kite enables Artists, Musicians, Brands, Influencers all over the world to be able to turn their designs into quality customized merchandise.
- Worldwide fulfillment and white labeled solution.
B. Sell Retail Products
✓ Access to some of the largest wholesale distributors and specialty niche suppliers
✓ Direct integration with over 100 verified wholesale distributors
✓ Monitoring of product catalogs to ensure your website is automatically updated with thousands of changes to prices, inventory stock quantities, and new product additions
✓ Loading of your products and images directly on your Shopify site
✓ Ease to import products from AliExpress to your store
✓ Inventory and prices are kept up to date.
✓ Used by 18,000+ eCommerce shops, more than $120,000,000 generated in sales since Oct, 2015
To get started:
Install app to your store. Follow setup video.
Oberlo product import details
Success Stories using Shopify & Oberlo
Oberlo Success Stories
✓ Large variety of unique products
✓ Up to date inventory, imagery, and descriptions
✓ 100’s of independent brands from around the globe
- Install App
- Tick/Register as a DropShipping,
- Select products from store –
✓ Select & Import products to your store from 100+ Dropship Suppliers
✓ 1Million products to choose from
- Sign Up for free Account with Wholesale2b
Before actually designing your store, it’s best to explore other stores to obtain ideas and a concept for your store’s layout.
You can view these at Shopify’s success stories.
N.B You may not be able to follow the exact layout due to different themes, but a general layout and concept can be obtained.
- Select from the Categories drop-down a specific niche
- From the success stories select a store
For this example – ‘Category’ ==> ‘Other’ ==> thehugbox
3. Now Select ‘https://thehugbox.com’
4. Review the website to obtain ideas for store layout, color scheme, features etc.
You may want to do this for several sites and select your preference.
- Shopify Store Setup Webinar – Signup for live webinar or listen to a recording
- Shopify Store Setup Steps
For products you selected earlier you will now enter descriptions and assign to categories and pages.
There are free and paid themes available. You can make a selection based on your type of store. You will want to decide on a theme before your store is ‘live’ to prevent disruption of your store.
From SETTINGS on your dashboard, you can access: Store’s Name, Currency, Metric, Shipping, Taxes, Payments, Checkout…
You will want to create the appropriate settings for Checkout, such as Required Policies (Shopify provides samples).
Though initial setup may take some time, you will become more familiar in a short period and be able to maneuver your way easily.
HAVE FUN CREATING!
What is a domain? A domain is the URL, or the website address, where your customers go to find your store online.
For this site, it is ‘thebreadandbutterhub.com’. Registering your domain can be done now or later on, but you do want to establish a name for your business early on.
Currently, your store’s URL is ‘yourstorename.myshopify.com’. When you purchase a domain it will be in the format of ‘yourstorename.com’.
Verify your domain name is also available on social media platforms (Social Media Name Check) for extended options to sell and market.
The process is simplified if you purchase with Shopify. However, if you have already purchased a domain externally you can connect it to your Shopify store.
N.B If you reside in a region/country which does not use Postal Codes, you will have to obtain an external domain and connect to your Shopify Store.
If you purchase an external domain, you may use Bluehost, then connect your domain with Shopify (process to connect Bluehost domain with Shopify).
A basic plan with Bluehost can get you started, to get your store up and running. There are additional options as seen below.
If you choose Domain Privacy Protection this will ensure your personal information such as Name, Address and Contact Info. is not readily available on the internet.
You can opt to also select Site Backup Pro for daily backups of your online store, or choose instead to use Shopify’s Rewind app.
After connecting your domain to Shopify, you will be provided with an SSL Certificate so it’s not necessary from your domain provider.
This process may seem difficult, but it is straightforward and you will be guided.
N.B The process for a new domain to become registered and active can take up to 4 hrs.
You may contact your domain provider if you have queries.
While Shopify does offer 14days free trial, your store will not be ‘live’ until a monthly plan is selected.
You can at this stage decide to either continue on the free trial until you are ready to launch, or get started immediately.
N.B Even if you select a plan during your 14 days free trial period, you will not be charged until the period is over.
Shopify offers 3 pricing packages, the basic plan for $29 monthly.
The Basic package offers everything required for a new business to start and thrive.
Shopify Package, however, additionally offers features for new and growing businesses. These are Gift cards, Professional reports, and Abandoned cart recovery. Features geared towards engaging and following up on potential customers.
Statistics show up to 69% of customers who have already placed goods in their cart and begun the checkout process, stop in the middle of doing so.
Abandoned Cart Recovery is, therefore, highly significant in increasing sales, since this feature allows you to send automated email follow-ups as a reminder to these high potential customers.
This tool, therefore, has the potential to increase sales in the hundreds or even thousands.
Advanced Shopify Package is geared towards established businesses for scaling up or a business already established elsewhere and transferring their e-commerce platform over to Shopify.
One other noteworthy point is Shopify’s pricing plan. While monthly payments for each plan can initially seem most doable, the savings for yearly plans do save you in the long run as in the table below.
So your store’s setup is complete! Hurray!
Ensure to perform a test order of a product: Store Setup Webinar @ 1:18:30
Additionally, fine tune all aspects for optimal performance using The Essential Shopify Store Launch Checklist.
Now that you have setup your store, establishing a proficient service and engaging customers will be your next goal.
Firstly, consider extending your business’ market reach by utilizing Shopify’s sales channels.
Make use of apps for marketing and social media. These are both free and paid to cater to all budgets.
For your app search, Select ==> Social Media/Marketing ==> Popular
This is a great guideline of what’s available and working for others.
Which markets to target and advertise to? – Why You Should DropShip Outside The US
Shopify Guides: 50 Ways to Make Your First Sale
Also gain insights from other entrepreneurs:
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To Your Success!
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