In recent years, the world of ecommerce has witnessed a surge in popularity, with entrepreneurs seeking innovative ways to tap into this vast market. One such method that has gained significant traction is dropshipping
This business model offers a low-risk, high-reward approach to ecommerce, allowing individuals to start their own online stores without needing substantial upfront investment in inventory.
In this article, we’ll dive into what dropshipping is, how to get started dropshipping on Shopify, where to find dropshipping suppliers, how to automate your dropshipping business, and more.
What is Shopify dropshipping?
Shopify dropshipping is a business model where you sell products online without carrying any inventory. When a customer places an order on your Shopify store, you simply place an order with your supplier, and they will ship the product directly to the customer — all without you touching the product.
Basically, your business acts as the middleman between the customer and the supplier.
This means that you don’t have to worry about managing inventory, packing and shipping orders, or dealing with customer returns.
Dropshipping is a desirable business model because there is very little upfront investment. Here is a simplified version of how dropshipping works on Shopify.
- Find a product and build your store using Shopify
- Find a supplier for your product
- Figure out your total costs, including product and shipping costs
- Determine a price point that is profitable and competitive
- Market your product using online advertising and social media
Keep reading to learn how to get started with dropshipping and how to automate your dropshipping business.
Why use Shopify for your dropshipping business?
Shopify is a user-friendly ecommerce platform that provides all the tools and features needed to create and operate a successful online store. It offers a range of customizable templates, secure payment options, and seamless integration with various third-party apps, making it a popular choice for dropshipping businesses.
While Shopify is not the only platform you can use to build your own ecommerce store, it is popular amongst ecommerce entrepreneurs because of its simplicity and affordability.
Another popular and profitable way to dropship is on Amazon.
The idea is the same — list products on Amazon without purchasing inventory upfront, and once your product sells, your supplier fulfills the order for you. To find profitable products to dropship on Amazon, sellers can use Jungle Scout’s product and keyword research tools to scope out high-demand, low-competition products.
94% of sellers who dropship on Amazon are profitable, according to data from Jungle Scout’s State of the Seller Report. It all depends on what you source your products for, how much you sell them for, and what’s leftover after Amazon fees.
What does it cost to dropship on Shopify?
If you don’t have a big budget to start your dropshipping business, Shopify is the best option for you because they usually offer a free trial and a desirable promotion.
As of this writing, Shopify is offering a 3-day free trial with no credit card required, then just $1/month for 3 months. That is a no-brainer for anyone looking to start building a dropshipping store with Shopify.
After the $1/month promotion, the basic plan works for most people at $39/month. Other costs may include various apps you use to run your business and premium themes.
However, when you first get started, additional apps and premium themes are not necessary. Once you start making money, you can find apps that help improve your business operations and upgrade your store’s theme. For now, the free themes will do just fine.
How to get started dropshipping on Shopify
Getting started with dropshipping on Shopify is a fairly simple process. Follow along and learn the exact steps to follow.
1. Product research
Before you sign up with Shopify and start your free trial and $1/month promotion, take some time to do some product research and figure out what you want to sell. Once you find a product, you can then sign up and create your store.
Many new ecommerce sellers and dropshippers think they need to build an online store with tons of different products to succeed, which is simply not true. You, of course, can build a store with multiple products, but when first starting out with dropshipping, we recommend building a simple, one-product store.
So during the product research phase, focus on finding one product you want to sell. Once that product is successful, you can start to focus on expanding your product line.
Here are some ways to do product research for dropshipping:
- Aliexpress. Aliexpress is a popular site to dropship from and is an online retailer that enables consumers to buy products directly from manufacturers and wholesalers. This is where many dropshippers find their suppliers.
- Product research tools. There are many product research software built specifically for finding trending dropshipping product ideas. Some examples are DropShip.io, Spocket, and SellTheTrend.
- Amazon. Check out the Amazon Best Sellers Lists to see the popular products in each category.
- TikTok. TikTok is a great place to find product ideas for dropshipping. As you scroll through your For You Page, look out for product ads. Interact with each ad by liking or commenting so TikTok will show you more. This can help spark ideas for your own store. Check out the accounts of some of the products you see to see how users on TikTok react and engage with their content.
Also, search for “tiktok made me buy this” on TikTok to see what consumers are actively buying and searching for. Read the comments on some of these posts, and you’ll see common themes such as “Where can I buy this?”
- Jungle Scout. While Jungle Scout’s software is built for Amazon sellers, our product and keyword research tools can help you determine what products are in demand with low competition on Amazon. Products that sell well on Amazon will also likely sell well on your own store with the right marketing and promotion.
2. Find a supplier for your product
After you decide what product you want to sell, you need to find a reputable and reliable supplier to fulfill your orders. One way to do this is by searching for your product or niche on Google, followed by dropshipping supplier or supplier. Contact the companies that come up to see if they can offer dropshipping for you.
Another way of finding a supplier is through Aliexpress. Search for your product on Aliexpress and contact the suppliers to see if they offer dropshipping and what their shipping rates are. Many dropshippers now avoid Aliexpress as the costs can be higher, shipping speeds are long (20+ days), and it’s not automated.
Finding a reliable dropshipping vendor is the way to succeed with this business model. There are many companies and Shopify apps that connect to your store so that all of your orders will be automatically fulfilled.
Using a dropshipping Shopify app that connects to your store allows you to easily import products to your store, find quality global dropshipping suppliers, find popular products, and automate order fulfillment.
Here are some Shopify apps that connect you with reliable suppliers and automate your order fulfillment:
- Spocket ‑ US & EU Dropshipping
- DSers‑AliExpress Dropshipping
- Zendrop ‑ Dropshipping & POD
- AutoDS All‑In‑One Dropshipping
These companies each work with hundreds of suppliers around the globe to ensure you have access to quality products and fast shipping speeds. Each one of these tools will automate your product sourcing and fulfillment, and some can offer custom branding and packaging.
3. Set up your Shopify store
Once you find a product you want to sell and a supplier, sign up for your Shopify account. This process is very quick and easy. Before launching your store, you’ll need to choose a unique domain name for your store. You don’t need to do this immediately after creating your account, but we suggest doing so once you know what you want to sell.
If you are unsure of what to name your brand or what to use as a domain name, use a site like NameLix to help you generate a business name.
Next, customize your store’s appearance using Shopify’s templates and themes. Shopify has many free themes to choose from, but you can also use a paid premium theme if you have the budget for it.
Ensure it is user-friendly and visually appealing. Look at competing sites to understand what your site should look like.
4. Create engaging product listings and set pricing
Write compelling product descriptions and use high-quality images to showcase your products. Provide accurate information and highlight unique selling points.
Calculate your pricing by factoring in product cost, shipping fees, and your desired profit margin. Ensure your prices remain competitive in the market.
5. Optimize for SEO
Implement on-page SEO techniques to enhance your store’s visibility on search engines. This includes optimizing product titles, descriptions, and meta tags.
6. Establish trust and credibility
Provide excellent customer service by addressing inquiries promptly and resolving issues effectively. Clearly outline your shipping, return, and refund policies to build customer trust.
7. Marketing and promotion
Leverage platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to promote your products and engage with your audience. TikTok is probably one of the best ways to promote your products and send traffic to your website.
Build an email list and send regular updates, promotions, and newsletters to your subscribers.
Partner with influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience and build credibility.
Start dropshipping on Shopify and Amazon
We hope this article gave you a better understanding of how to dropship using Shopify. Once you build your Shopify dropshipping store, create a listing for your product on Amazon and use one of the softwares mentioned above to fulfill those orders as well.
What other questions do you have? Let us know in the comments.
Brian Connolly is an Amazon seller, ecommerce expert, and writer for Jungle Scout. He lives in the New Jersey Shore area with his wife and cat. When he isn’t writing advice online for aspiring and experienced Amazon sellers for Jungle Scout, he spends his free time boating, fishing, and selling boating-themed items on his Amazon business.