I have dropshipped on both WooCommerce and Shopify, and I can say that Shopify is a better choice.
I understand the complexities behind building, so I will present these steps in a way that is easy to follow.
I will discuss:
- Dropshipping basics
- Reasons to use Shopify
- Steps to build your Shopify store
- Common questions about Shopify dropshipping
In the end, I am confident you will have a grand plan in your mind, and this should be your catalyst in starting your very own Shopify dropshipping store today!
Full Shopify Store Setup Tutorial For Beginners 2024
Discover the secrets of successful Shopify store setup from Nawras. Our founder and an accomplished 8-figure dropshipper:
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is online retail where you sell a supplier’s products. Unlike traditional retail, you do not need to buy stock or keep an inventory with dropshipping. The stocks are in the warehouse of a supplier.
Once a customer orders from your online store, you go back to your supplier, tell them about the order, and pay for it, and the supplier will directly ship the item to your customer’s shipping address.
The profit you make here is the difference between your selling price and the original price you paid to your supplier. Shopify, on the other hand, is an online platform that allows you to effortlessly build an online store and start a dropshipping business.
Shopify is only one among many options. However, Shopify is the “default” choice of entrepreneurs who want to build an online store.
What is Shopify and Why Use It For Dropshipping?
Shopify is a platform that makes it possible for anybody to build an online store without coding knowledge. It is affordable, and you can customize your website to your desired look and feel. Below are the reasons why Shopify is the premiere choice for dropshipping.
1. Shopify is flexible
Shopify is a highly flexible system in the sense that you can design your website with only a few clicks. Once you build your store, it is now up to you if you want to:
- Add product categories
- Create blog posts
- Add pages
- Change sections
- Add hero banners or video sections
There are so many things you can do to make your store unique. In addition, you have little to no dependency on the theme you choose.
2. Shopify is affordable
Shopify, as of the time of this writing, only costs $25 per month. At this price point, you already have a fully functional dropshipping store. There is no limit to the number of products you can upload.
Here are the other things you get for $25 monthly:
- Extra sales channels like Facebook
- Ability to create coupon discount codes
- SSL for your website
- Marketing automation
- Integration with other systems
- Shipping options and price automation
The Basic Plan also includes multiple payment channels such as Stripe and PayPal. It is easy to connect these accounts, so you no longer have to worry about how you will charge your customers’ credit cards online.
3. Shopify has lots of apps
Shopify has an app store where you will find thousands of apps to make your store even better. These apps may have something to do with aesthetics or functionalities.
Here are some examples:
- App to make buy-on-get-one promotion
- Email marketing applications
- Product review apps that allow customers to upload an image or video to the review
Any app you can think of is in Shopify. While most of these apps are free, many of them require a subscription before you can access all the features. For now, I do not recommend spending on these apps if you are new to dropshipping.
While it is true that there are other platforms you can use, such as WooCommerce on WordPress, BigCommerce, Ecwid, Squarespace, and many more, Shopify is your best bet, and I am saying this out of experience. Shopify makes everything so easy that you can build a dropshipping store with it in less than a day.
How Does Shopify Work?
You will build an online store in Shopify. Once your online store is up, you can now upload product images, write the product description, and set the shipping costs.
All these processes do not have to be manual. There are many apps where you can easily import products, their images and descriptions, and their prices to your Shopify store. We will discuss this in more detail later.
How Profitable Is Shopify Dropshipping?
Shopify dropshipping is highly profitable. The only basic expense you have to worry about is the $25 monthly subscription. If you scrimp on business expenses, there is no other cost you must pay monthly.
Let us say that a product you sell, a t-shirt, costs $9.95 from the supplier. You sell it for $29.95 in your Shopify dropshipping store. Your profit is $20. If you sell 50 of these shirts in a month, you make a gross profit of $1,000.
From $1,000, we subtract $25, and your net profit is $975.
What if you do not make a sale? No sale for a month or two is not uncommon. The good news is that $25 is not a lot of money to spend on a business, isn’t it? If you can afford to buy Starbucks daily, you surely can afford to pay $25 for your business.
Steps To Dropship On Shopify
In this section, you will learn the steps to build your Shopify store from start to finish. These steps are high-level overviews, but we’ll still take you through the most important steps you need to take to create a fully functional store.
1. Create a brand identity and niche
The first step to building a Shopify dropshipping store is to standardize your brand identity, and then choose a niche or an industry you want to serve.
A niche is a market. For example, you want to sell shoes, so you are in the shoes niche. You can go deeper than this and concentrate only on the men’s leather shoes niche. Without a niche, you will never know who your market is.
Brand identity means crafting a personality for who your business is, and it involves three steps:
- Buying your domain name
- Creating a logo
- Designing a favicon
Your domain name must be the same as your business name. The shorter it is, the better. Your business name must capture your essence, or what you are about. Try not to use gibberish just to sound unique—ensure that your business name is easy to remember and that it tells people what your business is about.
Although Shopify, by default, allows you to use a domain with the Shopify top-level domain, it is always better to have your own. If you can, use a .COM domain as it is still the best one for e-commerce.
Once you have purchased your domain name, you can integrate it with your Shopify store. From here, you can go to freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr to find a graphic artist who can help you create a logo and favicon. Another option is to do it yourself by using free logo makers online like Canva.
Then, you can now upload your logo and favicon on your Shopify website. For our website, here is our favicon:
2. Set Up Your Shopify Store
The next step is to set up your store. Start by registering for a Shopify account and get the Basic Plan that currently costs $25 monthly.
The most important thing to set for now is the currency—go to the settings page, select store currency, and then choose your preferred currency in the dropdown. This is the currency that your customers will see on your product pages.
I also recommend that you toggle other settings, such as:
- Creating product collections (these are product categories)
- Creating gift cards
- Adding payment gateways
- Adding sales channels like Facebook or Amazon
- Adding your business information like address
In addition, make sure you click SETTINGS, and you will see a ton of options. Some examples are:
- Your Shopify plan and billing
- Checkout process
- Payments and user permissions
- Customer events
- Domain name settings
- Shipping and delivery standards
- Locations that you sell to
The trick here is to go through the links on the left panel one by one. If you see something that you must toggle, this is the right phase in the process to do it.
3. Create Pages in Shopify
The next step is to create pages for your store. These are standard pages that your website must have. Below is a checklist:
- About Us
- Terms & Conditions
- Shipping and Refund Policy
There is no need to write everything from scratch. There are templates for all these pages—just Google it then make changes to some items according to what applies to you. For example, use your real business name in the document instead of the default in the template.
- To create pages, click on ONLINE STORE > PAGES; paste your document and save it
- To add these pages to the footer menu, click on ONLINE STORE > NAVIGATION > FOOTER MENU; select the pages that you want to be at the footer.
Do this to make your online store look professional. Make sure that you make these pages accessible. The best area for placement for these links is your store’s footer.
4. Configure Your Theme
There are many themes you can use in Shopify. Some are free and there are many other paid options. To configure your theme, go to ONLINE STORE > THEMES.
You will see this:
From here, you can either add a theme or customize the current one. The theme is essentially the program that houses the code of how your website looks like. You will have the option to change the images and the contents of the home page and product pages.
Once you click on CUSTOMIZE, you will see this:
Once you get to this page, focus on the left panel; click them one by one and make the necessary changes. My advice is to use something we call a stylebook. It is a list of standards for branding, like your standard colors, fonts, not sizes, etc. You will not find it anywhere—you need to create it yourself.
5. Add Apps to Your Store
The next step is to add apps to your store. There is no need to pay for these now. Use the free ones, and you should do just fine financially. Since there are thousands of apps in Shopify, I recommend that you only add the things that matter the most for your business.
Here are the most common types of apps you should add:
- Your product import tool like Spocket
- Your product research tool like Dropship.IO
- Discount coupon apps
- Product bundling or buy-one-get-one apps
- Email marketing apps
- Social proof applications
- Abandoned cart recovery apps
Focus on marketing apps for now, as these are important to driving sales and conversions to your store. In addition, do not add too many apps to your store because apps can drastically slow down your website.
6. Import products to your store
Now, it is time to import your products to your store. Depending on the tool you use, spend some time collecting products in that store list, and then import them all at the same time.
Before you do, here is a checklist:
- Create a standard manner of presentation for your products
- Set up Shopify’s price automation (do you want to add a flat rate to all products or increase the prices by a percentage)
- Determine which products need better images or description
Once you import these products to your store, you need to assign them to collections. For example, all leather shoes should go to the Leather Shoes collection, and all leather bags go to the Leather Bags collection.
From here, you will do manual edits. It is not uncommon to add products from different suppliers, and the way these suppliers write their product descriptions is different from one another. You have to take the time to make all your product pages look similar or uniform.
7. Launch and market your Shopify dropshipping store
Finally, once everything is ready, you can now launch your Shopify dropshipping store. Before you do this, I strongly recommend that you purchase your product from your Shopify store to make sure it works.
Log out of your Shopify account, and then access it as an outsider, or as a site visitor. If you cannot do this, ask someone else who has a credit card to do it for you and make a purchase.
Choose a product, explore the store, and use it as a customer would. Buy a product and have it shipped to your house. Next, log in to your Shopify store, go to your supplier, order the item, and have it shipped to you. This activity will help you identify a break in the process and experience what your customer will eventually experience.
Make sure everything works. If you see anything that does not make sense, or anything that does not work, go back to your admin panel and make the necessary adjustments.
Finally, you can start building your social media images and videos. Create a plan about the frequency of your social media posts and blog posts, execute this plan, and you are now in business!
How To Choose A Winning Product Dropship
Dropshipping is not as simple as choosing a product and waiting for sales. You have to make a conscious effort to choose a winning product. How? In this section, I will provide you with details about the characteristics of a product that will bring in sales.
For more information on where to find these products, though, I suggest that you read our tutorial on How to Find Winning Products For Your Dropshipping Business.
Here are some of the key factors to consider when choosing a winning product:
- Market Demand
- Product Quality
- Shipping Details
- Market Competition
Let us go through each one of them.
1. Market demand
The first thing you need to check is the demand for the product. If no one is looking for it, or if no one is interested in it, you will likely spend a ton in marketing to educate your target buyers on why they need to buy what you sell.
The best way to know demand is sales volume or performance. If a product is hot, then the other dropshippers must be selling a lot of units of this product. Or, the supplier must have sold many of these items.
You can view the sales volume of a product from your supplier, or you can use a tool like ours to investigate. Below is an example of what you will find in our system:
As you can see in the highlighted part, these coffee mugs have a demand, and the top seller has sold over 53,000 units of the cup and saucer and spoon combo. If a product, based on data, shows no sales, do not dropship it.
2. Product Quality
A winning product must have a quality that is commensurate with your price point. If you buy a product at a low price from a supplier, do you think this product’s quality is still reasonably proportionate to the price you will sell it for? If it is not, then you must keep searching. If it is, then yes, by all means, dropship it.
For example, if you buy a drone for $30 in AliExpress, and you sell it for $59.99, is it really worth $59.99? If it is, then you can categorize that drone product as a winner.
The only way to test quality is by ordering the item yourself. If anything, consider this your capital. There is a danger in selling poor quality products—your customers will be unhappy and will ask for a refund or give you a bad review.
3. Shipping Details
You need to look into the shipping details of the product and the supplier. Some key points are:
- Speed – how long does it take for the supplier to pick, pack, and ship the item? Ideally, it must be less than two days. In addition, does the supplier provide fast shipping options?
- Coverage – pick products and suppliers that ship internationally. The only exception is if you want to concentrate on only one market or country.
- Cost – how much does the shipping cost? Is it too expensive that it can make a customer turn around and look somewhere else? Is it low enough that you can subsidize the shipping cost and take it off your gross profit? After all, many customers prefer free shipping.
Like our second point, the best way to test this is to order the product yourself. If you do, you will have a first-hand experience of how your customers would feel and know exactly the degree of shipping service this supplier provides.
4. Market Competition
Finally, you need to consider market competition. If there are hundreds of dropshippers selling this product, chances are you are already late to the party.
How do you know the competition level? There are tools like EcomHunt and SaleHoo that show the competition level of a product. Their databases will tell you how many stores are carrying the same items. However, their numbers only show only the figures from droppers who also use their system.
An excellent alternative is our product database. Here, you will find all the stores selling the same product on the Shopify platform.
Ways to Market Your Shopify Dropshipping Store
The three main ways to market your Shopify store are Blogging and SEO, SEM and Advertising, and Social Media Posting. The first and last ones are free to do, but the second one entails money. All of these marketing strategies work—it is up to you to decide which one to do based on your budget and skills.
Blogging and SEO
You do not need a separate website to blog, as Shopify has a blogging option where you can upload your posts. It is with blogging that you will execute your search engine optimization plan.
When blogging, try to post articles that help people learn something that will help them. Sprinkle keywords in your blog post that will help in your SEO goals and targets.
For example, if you are selling drones, you can blog on the following:
- Best Drones for Beginners
- Best Batteries for Drones
- Best Drones for Professional Aerial Photography
- Ways to Modify Your Drones
The purpose of blogging is to get traffic. If a person types a keyword on Google Search, and Google shows your article, you will get traffic to your blog, and you can use your blog pages to promote your products.
In addition, blogging makes your store more credible. What you want to do here is to become an authority, so much so that you can convince your readers to buy from you.
SEM and Advertising
Search engine marketing is an advertising method, but only in search engines. Take a look at the screenshot below:
As a Google user, I typed “drone for sale United States.” As you can see, the top result is a sponsored one, which means that this company, Aquidneck Aerials, paid Google to show their ad if somebody used the keyword “drone for sale United States.”
The result? I or the other people using Google would click on that ad because it is at the top. Then, we see this:
This is the landing page for that ad. If I scroll down, I will learn more about the company and the drones they sell. The thing is that this company does not even sell drones. They offer aerial photography services.
It is a waste, if you ask me, because they targeted a keyword that is not relevant to my intention as a user. Do not make this mistake. If you advertise on Google, make sure you only target keywords directly related to your business.
As far as social media advertising goes, you have the option to advertise on any platform. The key here is to find which platforms people use for your product.
Here are some examples:
- Instagram – best for lipstick, make-up, beauty and health products
- TikTok – best for fun, games, and hobbies
- Facebook – best for anything
Advertising comes at a cost. There was a time I spent $1,000 and did not make a sale, and I advise you to approach this with caution—do not go all-in. Learn how to advertise and take baby steps in spending money.
Social Media Posting
Finally, you can market your product through social media posts. It is the equivalent of blogging, albeit in social media channels. Similar to advertising, make sure you use the right social media platform according to your product type.
What should you post? Do not post marketing materials. Instead, post insightful content, useful/educational content, and entertaining content.
For example, instead of merely posting an image of your drone product, post a video of it while in use and show what it can do. Avoid posting “salesy” type of videos, like videos that show the features.
The best thing to do when posting videos is to show people having fun with the drone toy. A video like this is more likely to get comments, likes, and shares. In addition, entertaining videos also greatly appeal to the viewer’s emotions, making him more likely to visit your site and buy.
FAQ: How to Dropship on Shopify
How to Dropship with AliExpress
How to Dropship on Shopify for Beginners
To dropship on Shopify if you are a beginner, I recommend that you watch videos on how to set up a Shopify store. There are also pre-built Shopify stores that you can buy. The best way to start is to watch a complete tutorial like this one.
How to Dropship on Shopify for Free
You cannot dropship on Shopify for free. Shopify has a 7-day freetrial, but you will have to pay a subscription to make the store active.
How to Dropship with Amazon
To dropship in Amazon, you must integrate your Shopify store with your Amazon seller account. You can also forego Shopify and just use Spocket, which you can integrate with your Amazon store.
How to Dropship on Shopify with No Money
You cannot dropship on Shopify with no money. You must shell out at least $25 monthly.
How to Dropship on Shopify with Alibaba
Alibaba is a wholesale platform, and it does not integrate with Shopify. The best approach here is to use CJDropshipping. Integrate CJ with your Shopify store. Then, go to CJ and ask them to work with a supplier from Alibaba. If this sourcing process succeeds, you can dropship the Alibaba product in retail in your Shopify store.
How do I start dropshipping on Shopify?
Begin by searching for a product to sell on a platform that integrates with Shopify. Once you have a list of winning products, you can now create a store in Shopify and import the products you selected.
Is it worth dropshipping with Shopify?
Totally. You only spend $25 a month for the potential of raking in thousands of dollars in profits.
Does Shopify let you dropship?
How to dropship for beginners?
Start by studying dropshipping. There are many videos you can watch on YouTube. I also suggest you read our tutorial on How to Start Dropshipping: Beginners Guide to Creating a Profitable Dropshipping Store.
The next course of action that is recommended is to start looking for winning products, provided that you have already decided on what niche to penetrate. Register for our 7-day free trial, and use our databases to make informed business decisions.
After saving and tracking these winning products, you can begin looking for suppliers, and then finally start building your Shopify dropshipping store!