Here is how you set up a dropshipping store in 4 simple steps. I am making this chapter from the perspective of Shopify dropshipping as it is one of the leading ecommerce platforms.
How to Start a Dropshipping Business
I hope the concept of dropshipping is clear by now.
Now comes the fun part! Here I am going to tell you about how to start a dropshipping business in 4 simple steps.
Step – 1 Research for Niche/Product
Primarily, you must know the niche you want to sell.
There are many ways to find the right niche and they range from finding trending products to getting into any very specific niche that has rare products.
Before setting up a store, get an idea about the products you want to sell. Choose a specific item and test your product in that particular niche, and eventually, you will find your winning product.
To get some ideas about niches, download this guide for FREE – 725 Evergreen and Profitable Niches.
To select a product for dropshipping do check out this guide ‘how to search for a dropshipping product on Aliexpress.
You can use a variety of data analysis tools to search for products to sell on your online store,
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
- Manual products research on ecommerce marketplace (Aliexpress, Amazon, eBay etc.)
Step – 2 Setup an Ecommerce Store
To make an ecommerce website for your dropshipping business you need to select an ecommerce platform to set up your dropshipping store.
Dropshipping is relatively easy to set up than an ecommerce store as you do not have to maintain or store your inventory and warehouse. Nonetheless, some hurdles are always present that comes as counterproductive elements for dropshipping business.
So before selecting an ecommerce platform, you have to consider certain factors before choosing an ecommerce platform. They include,
- Easy to use platform
- Supportive plugins for a dropship store
- Tools and apps to scale up the dropshipping store
- 24/7 support
Keeping the criteria as mentioned above in mind for dropshipping business, the best ecommerce platform present is Shopify.
Setup Shopify Store
Go to Shopify.com and select ‘start 14-day free trial’
Write Email, Password, Store name and select ‘Create Your Store’
Oberlo is a Shopify App that helps to import directly from Aliexpress with just one click. You only need to download Oberlo Chrome Extension.
Just go the Shopify App store (Shopify dashboard > Apps > App Store) and search Oberlo and click install.
With the Oberlo App, you can search for the product and with just one click, you can import the product in your product list.
Moreover, you can add the product with Oberlo Chrome Extension that is much easier.
For that, you need to have the Google Chrome browser for that.
Go to Chrome web store > search Oberlo > click add to chrome.
Click ‘turn on sync’ and you will have Oberlo extension installed in your browser.
Oberlo chrome extension has been installed.
Now here is how to use it to add products.
Go to Aliexpress.com write the product keyword in the search bar that you want to add in your store.
Select the product and just click to Oberlo Chrome Extension.
It will give the option of ‘Add to Import List’
That’s it you have successfully added the product in your Shopify import list with Oberlo chrome extension.
Add a Domain Name
In Shopify store, you will have to buy a domain name to make your dropshipping name look credible. Otherwise, your store domain will look like this – yourstore.myshopify.com
Go to Shopify dashboard > Online store > Domain > Buy a new domain
You can also add any current existing domain if you already have one.
Select the option of buying a new one and write the name of the domain you want to have.
Buy a Shopify Plan
Now you have set up your store, you are only one step away from making your store live.
You will have to buy a plan of Shopify to live your store.
Shopify offers three plans, for the newbies, I recommend to take a basic plan for $29/month it provides the entire essential tools for a dropshipping business.
Shopify is the platform that provides free training and resources that is necessary to start an ecommerce store.
You can select either of the plans as both are amazing for dropshipping business.
Check out the step by step detailed instructional guide of Shopify Dropshipping here.
Step 3 – Look Out for Supplier
In dropshipping model, supplier is the ultimate king that has the power to make or break your business.
Finding a supplier can be a tough task if you do not know the pattern where to begin.
To do in-depth searches of supplier, do check out the list of suppliers for a dropshipping business for different niches.
Here is the list of some general dropshipping suppliers,
- Aliexpress ( Free to sign-up)
- DropshipDirect ( Free to sign-up)
- Wholesale Central ( Free to sign-up)
- Salehoo ($67/month)
- Worldwide Brands ($249 one-time fee)
- Doba ($29/month)
- Wholesale2B ($24.99)
In dropshipping business, the best way to keep control you need to have two to three suppliers in your link that sells the same kind of products. This will help you to stay in the safe zone in the time of trouble.
For the beginners, the most sought after dropshipper website is Aliexpress, which is free and easy to find the relevant supplier.
In Aliexpress dropshipping, you can find multiple suppliers and can check their credibility with the reviews.
I would suggest using a verified supplier of Oberlo, however, from 15th July 2019 Oberlo supplier would be removed. So that’s not an option now.
You also have other options where you can do manual supplier research on your own such as:
- Google Search
- Subscribing to Supplier Directories
- Contacting Manufacturers directly
Step 4 – Marketing and Promotion
Organic traffic is significant for any website and business, but it takes a lot of time to reach the audience with SEO.
So, for initial sales, you need paid traffic, which I also recommend.
Marketing and promotion in dropshipping business are not about making sales; it is more about finding that one winning product which could help you to earn hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Search Engine Marketing and Facebook Marketing both are essential in dropshipping.
However, Facebook marketing is more likely to get you fruitful results as it gives you the audience insights, and with detailed targeting, you can easily retarget the audience who can become your potential customer.
Check out this Facebook Ads Guide to make your Facebook ad flawless.
It takes on an average of testing at least 20 products to get that one winning product for your dropshipping store. So keep testing.
These are the steps, which you have to go through to start a dropshipping business.