Shopify is renown for being the go-to e-commerce platform for solo entrepreneurs and SMEs with limited coding skills and minimal human customer support. It’s a turn-key business CMS which can be used for free in the first 14 days of trial period.
Combined with the dropshipping business model, which is one of the simplest ways to make money online in 2018, you can literally start an e-commerce business within a few hours. In this article, we’ll discuss what dropshipping business model is and the 5 steps on how to start a dropshipping business with Shopify in an instant.
What is a dropshipping business? How to start a dropshipping business with Shopify
In a nutshell, dropshipping works like this: a customer purchases a product on your store, the order is automatically forwarded to the supplier, and the supplier ships the order directly to the customer.
You, as the store owner, will only buy the product after it has been purchased by the customer, so you don’t risk any unsold inventory. It also means that you don’t need to spend any startup capital. Instead, you need a well-designed and well-promoted e-commerce store.
Below are the 5 simple steps for starting a dropshipping store.
Step 1: Select an e-commerce platform and dropshipping app
E-commerce platforms come with various features. Choose one that has features that automate and simplify your dropshipping store. Oberlo is a dropshipping app developed specifically for a Shopify store, which comes with built-in supplier sourcing, global and per-item price setting, automatic out-of-stock notification, and one-click item publishing in addition to hundreds of free and paid store templates to choose from.
Step 2: Find the product niche to sell
The right products would determine the level of your store’s success. There are several ways to approach this: trending products, products with fewer competitors, based on your passion and interest, or personal experiences in a specific niche. In a nutshell, be creative in finding the products to sell like crazy.
Step 3: Find reputable suppliers
With automated pre-vetted suppliers sourcing directly from Oberlo dashboard, you can select products without having to vet each supplier individually. Simply choose the products to sell, change the pricing, select the images, and publish them to your new store. Everything else will be done automatically for you.
Step 4: Promote the store organically
Ideally, the store is promoted organically so you can save a lot of advertising costs. Use proven inbound marketing techniques to generate organic traffic from blog posts, social networks, and other online sources. If you collaborate with social influencers with thousands of followers, you might be able to exchange the service with your products or for a small negotiable fee.
Step 5: Promote with paid ads
Since a dropshipping business can be started by anyone, thus it has no or low barrier to entry, there could be many stores selling similar or identical products. Thus, promoting with search-based ads like on Google might not work as well as Facebook and Instagram ads targeting impulsive urges to buy.
At last, starting an online dropshipping store on Shopify would only require a few hours of your time before start generating revenue. Many successful dropshipping entrepreneurs started out with this platform.
About the Author
Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for several e-commerce and app companies. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com.