How to Start a Successful Drop Shipping Business Using Shopify Online Store

What is DropShipping?

Dropshipping in its most basic form is simply a means of order fulfilment for businesses. This means that they can satisfy customer orders without having to keep stock of the actual products themselves.

In a dropshipping scenario, the seller markets products directly to customers. When a customer places an order, the seller routes that order to a supplier who then ships out the product under the seller’s name directly to the customer.


 

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Advantages of Dropshipping Business

There are many benefits to the dropshipping business model;

  • Minimized risk – By not having to pay in advance to take in inventory, the dropshipper reduces risk of being affected by things such as price changes and product obsolescence.
  • Lower cost – This also leads to much reduced overhead arising from the eliminated need for storage space, since dropshippers don’t need to carry stock. In fact, a dropshipper can work out of almost any space at all, since all the is really required would be a computer and online store.
  • Greater convenience – Finally, suppliers take on the task of shipping, taking another process off the dropshipper’s hands. This situation benefits both dropshippers as well as suppliers since the latter will have access to better shipping rates by shipping in greater volume.

Where to Find Product Suppliers for Your Dropshipping Store?

Because dropshippers are marketing products on behalf of their suppliers and rely on their suppliers to fill orders made through their platform, the relationship between the two is highly symbiotic. This means that finding the right supplier to work with is important to a dropshipper’s business.

There are many reputable dropshipping suppliers around that you can consider working with and many of them are found on huge networks such as Spocket and AliExpress.

Ali Express

Aliexpress for product supplies
AliExpress homepage

AliExpress is a China-based retail service which was launched in 2010 and quickly grew to epic proportions. Today, the thousands of small businesses that make up the AliExpress ecosystem ship to millions around the world.

Go to AliExpress*: https://www.aliexpress.com

* AliExpress is running a promo, you’ll get $3 coupon if you signup now.

Spocket

 Spocket for product supplies
Spocket homepage

Spocket is more digital in nature – an app through which thousands of dropshippers and suppliers can find each other. This network is based primarily in United States and the EU region, although shipping is still on an International level.

Go to Spocket: https://www.spocket.co

How to Start a Successful Shopify Dropshipping Store

Here are the steps to create and run a successful dropshipping business using Shopify.

Step #1: Identify a profitable niche

Finding the right niche for your Shopify Store

You cannot pick products to sell at random in the hopes of turning over a profit. To maximize the performance of your drop shipping store, you need to identify the niche for your shop before you create it.

By researching the best possible products to sell based on various factors, you can highly increase the chances of making a sale and turn your initial efforts into passive income for years to come!

When it comes to unearthing the best niche for your dropshipping store, here are some of the recommended practices:

  • Sell products that cost between $1-20 – When selling using the dropshipping method, you need to consider overhead costs when taking orders and placing them with your third party supplier. By targeting products at this price range you can also maximize earnings by marking up prices as much as 60% over wholesale rates. An additional benefit is that the capital involved will be more minimal.
  • Target upper-middle-class customers – You want to appease an audience that not only has purchasing power, but also disposable income. The middle class with an average annual income of between $41,000 and $132,000 is your ideal target market. They will be more than willing and able to spend on a product that they need and want.
  • Sell products with no discernible brands – It will be harder to penetrate a market with predominant brands hawking sales. To make the most out of your store, you need to sell products which have fewer or no popular brands dominating the market. Doing so allows you to have a fighting chance to make money from your shop.

Tools to help you determine your niche

The factors mentioned above are just a basic overview of the things you need to consider when choosing a product niche

At this point, you want to justify your choice by researching keyword difficulty and performing a competitor analysis. Below are additional tools that you can use to validate the niche you want to sell in.

Google Keyword Planner

Google is the search engine that people use. For sites that rank on top of search results for their respective keywords, they are getting not only lots of traffic but also likely conversions. Therefore, you can leverage the keyword data (using Google Keyword Planner) to determine a profitable niche.

Google Keyword Planner
Front page of Google Adwords Keyword Planner.

For the purpose of niche product research, this tool will help you find keyword ideas that you ought to potentially sell on and ultimately rank for your shop.

Upon logging in; you will gain access to a general overview of the keyword’s search volume. As a site owner, you want to find keywords that are frequently searched for online. These keywords can help increase your chances of getting found by your customers, assuming that you do rank for your chosen keywords.

You will need a Google account to use the tool. To use the Keyword Planner, click on the “Sign into Adwords” on the homepage.

After logging in, click on the “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”

Search for ideas for your online store
Login > Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.

Next, enter a product that you’re interested in selling.

As an example, let’s assume that I want to find watches to sell on my store. Therefore, I can type “wrist watches” on the product or service bar. You can narrow down your search by identifying the product category and the location of the search.

Scrolling down the list of keyword ideas will show you different keywords relevant to your initial search. Through the results of my search, I decided on pursuing the “wrist watch for men” keyword.

SEM Rush

While the Keyword Planner is good enough to provide you with keyword suggestions to target, it does not show how difficult it is to rank for them.

Keyword difficulty is determined by the quality of sites ranking in the first ten positions on search results for the keyword. The quality can be drilled down to different on- and off-page SEO factors. Trying to untangle all this data, regardless of your experience with SEO, will eat away a chunk of your time, which is something that you can’t afford.

What you need is a separate tool that will help you figure out the keyword difficulties. One great tool that can help with this is SEM Rush.

Note: Read our SEM Rush review to learn more about this powerful tool.

SEM Rush homeage
SEM Rush homepage.

While SEM Rush is a paid tool, you can still use it to extract the keyword difficulty of a limited number of keywords.

Use SEM Rush to find ideas for your dropshipping store
Upon creating an account and signing in, enter the keyword in the search bar and click on the “Search” button to show the data.
Use SEM Rush to find ideas for your dropshipping store
Once the page loads, scroll down the Phrase Match keyword section and click on “View full report.”
Use SEM Rush to find ideas for your dropshipping store
On the report page, scroll down the bottom to show the related keywords and their different metrics.

What you want to focus on is the keyword difficulty row. The lower the Keyword Density (KD), the easier it is to rank for that keyword on search engines. Currently, the keywords are arranged from the most difficult to the least.

Also, “wrist watch for men” has a KD of 90.71 and takes the top spot for the most difficult keyword to rank for. What we can do is search for another keyword that we can consider optimizing for our Shopify store.

To arrange them from the easiest to the most difficult, click on the KD letters.

From the results below, you will see that the keyword "antique wrist watches for men" has a keyword difficulty of 67.03, which means that it's easy to rank for this keyword in search results.
From the results below, you will see that the keyword “antique wrist watches for men” has a keyword difficulty of 67.03, which means that it’s easier to rank for this keyword in search results.

By choosing this keyword, we will also have to narrow down our selection of wristwatches to dropship those with antique designs. Putting these data to real life –

Spocket

search for products to dropship
Sreenshot #1: Searching at Spocket, we found a number of relevant products to promote and sell.

AliExpress

search for products to dropship
Sreenshot #2: Looking at AliExpress and adjusting our search to “dropshipping antique watches,” below is a screenshot of the products shown on the site.

As you can see, the price point for AliExpress sits within our $1-20 range – hence we will use AliExpress as our example in this tutorial.

While most of the watches shown in AliExpress (screenshot #2) are pocket watches, there are wrist watches available in the result. Also, considering that the keyword we want to optimize for is not very difficult to rank for (“antique wrist watches for men”), the product is ideal for sales on our Shopify store.

It is important to point out that the keyword has a search volume of 20 on SEM Rush. While volume is crucial, our goal is to rank on top of search results with our store. Therefore, we need to choose a keyword that’s relatively easier to rank for. Choosing keywords with high volumes and a KD of at least 85 will take you more time and effort to rank for the keyword.

Ideally, you want to select keywords with low keyword difficulty scores.

Step #2: Choose a supplier for your dropshipping store

Using the information above, you should be able to find the best possible supplier. When it comes to finding a supplier who will provide you with the items that you will dropship on Shopify store, you can’t go wrong with AliExpress.

using aliexpress to source products

Using AliExpress for dropshipping business is easy and convenient. Shopify recommends AliExpress as your primary source for all your dropshipping needs and offers this guide to help you get started.

If you don’t have a product to sell, you can use the search bar to brainstorm for ideas.

Typing in “dropshipping” will reveal lots of results you can choose from.

using aliexpress to source products
For the purpose of this example, let’s click on “dropshipping watches” and see the products we can choose to dropship on Shopify store.
using aliexpress to source products for your dropshipping business
Here’s the search result we got.

Judging from the results, the products being sold cost between $1-20, which meets the criteria for the best practice of dropshipping. Potentially, this is something that you can sell on your Shopify store.

Now that you have the results hover your mouse cursor over any of the items. You will see metrics that you can use to filter your suppliers from the page.

using aliexpress to source products
Below the price, you will see the star rating from the feedback of its customers. To its right, you will see the number of users who rated the supplier, as well as the number of orders for this particular item. From here, you need to consider the product’s star rating and the number of people who rated it. The higher the star rating, the more reliable the product/seller is.

If possible, try to find products which have been rated highly by many users. If only a handful of people gave a product a perfect score, then you may want to find another product with a comparable score that is rated by hundreds of users.

When choosing products to sell in your Shopify shop, go with non-branded ones. Since it’s difficult to tell from the naked eye which products are genuine which ones are knockoffs, it’s best to avoid them altogether. Go with generic products that have high ratings on AliExpress to sell on your online shop.

Below the product rating is the supplier rating as represented in diamonds. Even if the product is top-notch, another influencing factor would be how responsive and easy to deal with the supplier is. Thankfully, the diamond rating will give you a glimpse of the supplier’s reputation in AliExpress. Hovering your cursor on the diamond will show a feedback summary from its customers.

Click on the diamond to show more feedback information.
Click on the diamond to show more feedback information.

As a rule of thumb, you want to reach out to suppliers with a feedback score of at least 95%, which is a good enough indicator of the supplier’s reliability.

Perform these steps when looking for products and suppliers to reach out to then narrow down your choices to a couple and start reaching out. Communications with them will give you a more direct idea of how responsive they might be.

Since we’re planning on targeting wrist watches for men, let’s look into other available wristwatches on AliExpress. Upon research, I’ve decided to sell the following watchon my Shopify store.

Price point - using aliexpress to source products
The price point of this watch is perfect ($7.99) – it’s not too expensive, and you can mark up the price for a reasonable amount.

Based on the quality (4.7 out of 5) and volume (87 users) of reviews, as well as the volume of orders (94), it is safe to say that there’s good potential for the product to sell well because the supplier has received high ratings from its customers.

To compare and scale the price that we want to sell the wristwatch at, let’s go to Amazon and find similar items to the one we’re planning to sell.

From the screenshot above, the price of leather wrist watches ranges from $20-$200. For this purpose, let's set the price of the watch to $20 to remain competitive.
From the screenshot above, the price of leather wrist watches ranges from $20-$200. For this purpose, let’s set the price of the watch to $20 to remain competitive.

At this point, it is best that you order a product sample from the supplier to see how convenient it is to purchase from him or her. Assuming that you chose a supplier with a high feedback score, you shouldn’t have any problem ordering the product to your doorstep. While you can just rely on the ratings shown on AliExpress, ordering from them will give you better insights on what customers can expect once they order from the supplier through your shop.

For now, we need to message the supplier for clear product images and the description of the products that you can feature on your Shopify store.

Finding product supplier for my shopify store - chat history
Here’s the chat that I had with the supplier regarding the product details.

Based on the conversation above, you can secure details within 24-48 hours. This is a good indication that the supplier is responsiveness and shouldn’t be a problem to deal with regarding product details or other issues. Perform these steps again for other products you’re interested in selling on your Shopify store.

Step #3: Signup and choose a Shopify plan

Now that we have a niche and product in mind it’s time to set up our online store.

To begin, click here to create your Shopify account. Siging up is free, just input your email address, password, and the name of your shop.’

Signup for your shopify store
Shopify signup screen (click image for free signup).

Upon successfully signing up, Shopify will ask you questions of questions to aid in the setting up of your store

Regarding the first question, you have four choices to choose from:

  • I’m not selling products just yet
  • I sell with a different system
  • I’m just playing around
  • I’m selling just not online

Since you don’t have a shop and want to use Shopify to create your dropshipping store, you can choose “I‘m not selling products just yet” in the meantime.

For the question, “How much revenue does your business currently make in a year,” you can enter “$0 (I’m just getting started).”

Once you’ve chosen those answers, click “Next.”

You will then need to complete your order details by filling out your personal information.

After submitting your details, you will be redirected to your dashboard.

Shopify Plans

Once you have created your account, you need to subscribe to a plan to unlock all of Shopify’s premium features. While you still have a 30-day free trial, it’s best to settle your plan from here on out, so you also don’t have to worry about this later on. To do that, once you’re in the dashboard, click on the “Select a Plan” button.

Select a plan for your shopify store
Click on “Select a Plan” in main dashboard to setup your plan with Shopify.

There are three plans to choose from – Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify.

Since you’re just starting out, it’s best to choose the Basic Shopify plan. Later on, assuming that your shop takes off, you can change the plan to take advantage of more features. Compare features and pricing of Shopify plans in Jason’s Shopify review.

Step #4: Setup, design, and configure your Shopify store

From here, let’s set up your Shopify online store. Below are the things we need to tackle when creating your store:

  • Purchasing and setting up a domain
  • Setting up email forwarding
  • Choosing a theme
  • Create “must-have” pages for your Shopify store

Setting up a domain name for your store

First, you need to go to your Online Store page and click on “Domain.”

Using a domain for your Shopify store is optimal. However, the main reason why you should consider buying a domain is for branding purposes. Without a dedicated domain, your store’s URL will be:

https://nameofshopifystore.myshopify.com.

While you don’t have to pay for a domain if you don’t want to, a domain name would be more beneficial to your customers. With one you can have full control of how your URL would read – likely much more user-friendly, like this:

https://nameofshopifystore.com

It will be much easier for your target market to remember and type your domain name into their browsers.

More importantly, being able to spend for your domain shows that you are serious with your online store, which gives off a better impression to potential customers.

If you ultimately decide on buying a domain, click on the “Buy new domain” button on the page; or, go with a third party, ie. Namecheap.

Register a domain for your shopify store
NameCheap costs $10.98/year for a .com domain, $14.98/year for a .net domain. The best part about NameCheap is that all domain purchases come with free WhoisGuard (used to be $15/year), which masks the identity of domain owners. Click here to go to NameCheap.

It’s recommended that you register your domain name with third-party registrars – just in case you wish to move your online store in the future. For domain registration, we recommend Namecheap and GoDaddy. GoDaddy is the biggest (not one-of) domain name registrar while Namecheap is super competitive in term of pricing and customer support.

The most common domain extension, .com, costs $13 on Shopify. If you want a unique extension, you can choose from its wide selection of premium, albeit more expensive, domain extensions.

For now, let’s stick with the .com extension. Click on the “Check Availability” button.

On the next page, you will find out if the domain name is available for purchasing. If so, you will be required to fill out a form to complete your order.

Before you can click on the “Buy domain” button, you need to check the box to show that you agree to the ICANN policy and DRA.

After clicking on “Buy domain,” you will receive an email notification that requires you to click on the link to confirm your purchase.

Configuring emails

When running your dropshipping with Shopify, you need to realize that you work as a middleman between customers and suppliers. Usually, when someone places an order you will manually relay the order to your provider so they can process the delivery and ship to the client.

Setup email forwarding for your shopify store
To set up your email forwarding, go to the Domain page and click on your purchased domain.

On the next page, you will see that there are two emails set up under your domain: [email protected] and [email protected] If you want to change the email address where all your emails from your Shopify store are forwarded to, then you can make the changes here. To delete the existing emails, just click on the trash icon and confirm the deletion. If you want to add a different email, (e.g. change the address to [email protected] or [email protected]) you can click on the “Add an email address” link here.

Enter the email name of your choosing and the email where you want to receive the messages.

Choosing a Shopify theme

It is important to put some thought on how your store is designed. A big part of the reason why is because you want to provide your visitors with a rich, seamless experience when browsing your site. If they like how your site feels, along with its content, then there’s a good chance that they will order from your store.

To get there, however, you need to choose the right theme for your Shopify store.

The default theme is named as “Debut”. There are dozens more free themes available at Shopify. To change the store theme, go to Themes setting in your Shopify control panel.

Debut - the default theme at your first shopify store
Shopify Theme – Debut. To browse and change your theme: Login > Themes > Visit Theme Store.

 

A new window will open to load the Shopify Themes. There are different themes and styles to choose from – some are free while some cost up to $180. If you are just starting out, it would be wise to select from the pool of free themes first.

Finding themes for your shopify store
For this example, let’s choose the JumpStarttheme (the middle theme). Clicking on it will lead us to the activation page.

Before you confirm using this theme, you may want to look at its features and see if you can use them to make your Shopify store look better for your visitors.

If you are sure that you want to use this theme, click on the “Install Theme” button.

You need to click on “Publish as my store’s theme” link to finalize the change in theme. If you want to install the theme but not override the current theme, click on the “install as an unpublished theme” link.

A new page will appear with a “Go to your theme manager” button that leads to your Shopify page where you can customize your theme. Click on the button to make the necessary changes in your theme.

Customize theme for your shopify store
After clicking on the “Customize your theme” button, you will be led to a page where you can edit your theme.
Customize theme for your shopify store
On this page, you will see many sections on the sidebar that allow you to edit your site. Clicking on a section will show you the different customization options to choose from.

Most of the options are pretty self-explanatory so it’s best if you can play around with each to see which works best for you. If there are sections in your chosen theme that you don’t have any use for, click on the tab, scroll down the bottom of the sidebar, and click the “Delete section” button.

Adding store pages

Since Shopify has no idea that you plan on building a dropshipping store, you need to create pages that will help inform your visitors about what your shop is all about. Below are some pages I highly recommend you create for your Shopify store.

  • About
  • Products
  • Shipping
  • Returns
  • Contact

To begin creating your new page, go to the Pages section under the Online Store category.

Creating new page for your shopify store

Once you clicked on the “Add page” button, you will be directed to the page where you can create new pages on your shop.

The text editor is in your usual WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) style where you can format the content based on different options to choose from. If you know how to publish content using a blogging platform or a CMS (content management system), then you’ll have no problem editing content on Shopify.

Below are guidelines that you need to consider when creating pages for your Shopify store:

  • About – The purpose of this page is to explain to visitors and supplier what your dropshipping store is all about. Be as comprehensive as possible and cover as much ground as you can when talking about your shop.
  • Products – Showcase the list of goods and collections you’re selling in your store. Also, explain why people should buy from you and what makes your products better than your competitors.
  • Shipping – Mention how long each order (big or small) will take to be shipped out. Also, talk about delivery methods and other details that they need to know before purchasing from you so they can have an idea of what to expect.
  • Returns – Discuss your return policy here. Mention the maximum number of days before a customer can return the product, refund policies, and who will pay for return shipping, among other details.
  • Contact – There will be details that you won’t be able to cover on your store pages. If so, your Contact page should open the line between you and your customers for questions, inquiries, and concerns about your store and products.

The example below is the About page for my store (filled with dummy text at the moment) so that you can see how the process works.

Editing About Page for your shopify store
Editing About page at Shopify.

Since you also want to attract more organic traffic from search engines, you want to edit configure your page’s SEO right. Scroll down the page and click on the “Edit website SEO” link.

Edit the meta title and description with the goal of attracting more clicks from users once they see this in search results.

Once finished, click the “Save” button to finalize your page.

After creating the page, you want to include the page on the site's navigation, so visitors will easily see the page. To do this, after saving your newly created page, click on the "add it to your store's navigation" link.
After creating the page, you want to include the page on the site’s navigation, so visitors will easily see the page. To do this, after saving your newly created page, click on the “add it to your store’s navigation” link.
You can add the page to the footer or main menu. For this example, let's include the About page on your main menu.
You can add the page to the footer or main menu. For this example, let’s include the About page on your main menu.
Add about page
Once you are on the main menu page, add the About page to the list.

Once you’re done, click “Save Menu” to finalize the changes.

Do this on all of the mentioned pages that you need to create for your site.

Refund, Privacy, and TOS statements

If you want to generate quick pages for these statements, go to Setting > Checkout and look for the “Refund, Privacy, and TOS statements” section.

Setting refunds polify for your shopify store

The statements generated by this section will appear in the footer of your checkout page. As mentioned on the side part of the page, the templates are not legal advice so you need to edit them with help from a legal expert to make them binding.

Step #5: Add products to your Shopify dropshipping store

Add products to your shopify store
It’s now time to add your niche products to your store. To add a product page, click “Add product”
Full up product details
Once you are on the Products page, you need to fill out the details of your product.
For the description, you may want to edit whatever that’s given to you by the supplier. Make your descriptions more compelling to convince your target market to purchase it from you.
For the description, you may want to edit whatever that’s given to you by the supplier. Make your descriptions more compelling to convince your target market to purchase it from you.
Product details
On the right sidebar, under the Organization section, you need to edit the product type and vendor to categorize your product for the benefit of your visitors. You can also include this product in a collection so you can lump together similar products and showcase them to your potential customers altogether. Lastly, you must enter keyword tags for your product so visitors can locate it on your search bar.
Product page title and description
Below the product title and description is the Images section. Upload all the images provided to you by the supplier. Make sure that the images are hi-res and of excellent quality to improve the chances of getting people to purchase your product.
Product pricing
For the pricing, enter the most appropriate price based on your research. Comparing the watch to the ones sold on Amazon, we settled at $20. It is arguable that we can increase the price to boost our profits, but the pricing above is merely an example.
Adding product delivery details
Regarding shipping, you can also leave this blank since your supplier will manage it. However, you need to discuss the details with your suppliers on how to proceed with each order to ensure that the products get delivered on time.
Shipping
Below Shipping is the Variants page which lets you set the different variations of a product. If your products are available in different colors, sizes, and others, then you need to enter it here, so people have options to choose from and potentially increase conversions.
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Finally, you can edit the product’s search engine listing. Click on the “Edit website SEO” link to input your meta title and description, as well as the URL.

For the page title, you may want to consider adding your dropshipping store’s name at the end if there are enough characters. For the meta description, you need to be as detailed as possible about the product. Maximize the available 160 characters as efficiently as possible so you can convince users browsing search results to click on your link. Regarding the URL, you can also edit it to shorten it if possible.

You also need to consider a keyword to optimize for this product page. You can use SEMrush to find keywords that are not difficult to rank for so you can increase your chances of ranking higher on Google or Bing.

Once you’re done, save the product. Apply the same process for all of the product you plan to sell on your Shopify dropshipping store.

Automatically adding products to your collection

The benefit of creating a collection of products is to compartmentalize products with the same brands, type, theme, or other factors that bind them together.

Using the product we entered above as an example, let’s say we want to sell more genuine leather bracelet watches on our shop – we would use a collection.

Creaet collection page
On the first half of the Create collections page, enter the name and description of the collection. Apply the same principles used for creating your product here. Be as descriptive as possible so you can provide the necessary information to visitors to help them make an informed decision.
Collection image
For the Collection image, ideally, you want to upload an image that shows most of the products you’re selling, so visitors will have an idea of what to see and purchase from your collection. If not, you can probably download the product with the best image regarding quality.

To make products much easier for you to add to your collection, you can automatically add newly created product pages based on certain conditions. You can choose from product type, price, vendor, tag, and others, so you don’t have to enter them in your collections manually. You can also add multiple conditions to ensure that products that meet any one of the conditions you entered will be included in the list.

Finally, edit the page’s SEO so you can compel more people to click on your link as it appears in search results.

Once finished, click on the “Save collections” button.

Step #6: Add a payment gateway to your store

As an eCommerce site, you want to provide the shopper with different payment methods so they can use whichever method is most convenient for them. Normally, shoppers would use PayPal or credit cards for online transactions. Regarding the latter, you can use Shopify Payments so you can accept payment directly through Shopify – no setup required.

Shopify payment
Shopify payment.

One of the best features of Shopify Payments is the ability to keep track of all transactions made via your dropshipping store. Also, if customers want a chargeback from their purchase, you can respond to them with a customized template to make your life easier as a shop owner.

Unfortunately, Shopify Payments is not available in all countries. If that’s the case, thus the next best option is using PayPal for transactions.

paypal-at-shopify
By default, all purchases will be made using PayPal Express Checkout. You can also accept credit cards through this payment gateways, and there are no transaction fees, so you get to keep all the profits.
Credit card payment at Shopify store
Regarding credit cards, if you want to accept payments using a third-party processor, you need to choose from the list available under the “Accept credit cards” section.

Shopify offers hundreds of payment options that will surely satisfy your target audience. With a list of options this huge, you can’t make an excuse that people can’t buy from you because you don’t accommodate their preferred payment method.

All you need to do is choose the payment gateways that you want to set up from the list, assuming that you’re already subscribed to the gateways you will be selecting. If not, you will need to sign up for them. Once you have chosen from the list, you need to fill out the necessary details to process your option so you can accept payments via credit card using your preferred gateway.

If you want to add more payment options, refer to other applicable methods under “Alternative payments” and “Manual payments.”

Step #7: Configure your store shipping rates

Depending on the products you’re selling, you need to edit your shipping rates so you can provide accurate pricing.

Configuring shipping rates
To configure shipping rates: Login > Settings > Zones and Rates

To calculate shipping costs accurately you need to know the following:

  • Shipping rates – Look at the prices of shipment depending on the size and weight of your products for local and international delivery. Pricing will often be different based on multiple factors.
  • Surcharge rates and volume – These are fees necessary to additional factors, such as bringing the shipment to customer’s doorstep.
  • Supplier expenses – These are costs that you have to pay the supplier first to get the product prepared and ready for shipment.

Again, there are no universal rates for these fees – you need to talk to delivery service providers and your suppliers about their pricings. From here, you can come up with a reasonable price for each of your items that factor all the costs mentioned above.

For more shipping configuration tips, read this article at Shopify.

Additional shipping methods
Working with additional shipping methods at Shopify.

On Shopify’s “Additional shipping methods” section, you can enable third-party calculated rates at checkout if you have a Shopify plan or higher. This lets you automate the process of calculating shipping costs, so you don’t have to figure it out for yourself and manually enter them.

If you want to take away the hassle of arranging the shipping of products to your dropshipping store, you can add a dropshipping service to delegate all orders to your dropshipper or supplier.

Upon clicking on the page, you can connect with popular fulfillment services like Rakuten and Fulfillments by Amazon through an app from Shopify. However, since your supplier will be coming from AliExpress, you need to confirm first with your supplier if they can deliver products on your behalf.

Step #8: Add gift cards and discount codes

If people are shopping on your site for gifts but are not sure which item to buy their loved ones, then a gift card is an excellent choice. By assigning a particular amount to each card, customers can use the card for products that add up to the exact amount of the card.

You can offer your own gift cards for purchase in the same way as you sell your other products. You can also give the cards away to customers who just purchased from your store. Either way, if used right, gift cards can help increase the sales of your dropshipping store.

Gift cards

To create your card, go to Products > Cards on your sidebar menu and click on “Start selling gifts on my store.”

Create gift cards at Shopify

However, to enjoy this feature on Shopify, you need to have a Shopify plan or higher.

Once you have upgraded, you will be lead to this page on the site:

Gift card configuration page

After creating the variants for your gift cards, you can save them on the “Online Store” under the Visibility area to make the cards available for sale. You can also issue the gift card to select customers to reward them for their loyalty.

Discount code

You can increase sales by getting visitors to become customers. Try using discount code so they can purchase your products at lowered prices.

Discount codes at Shopify

On the sidebar menu, go to Discounts and click on “Add Discount.” Fill out the details as seen on the screen above. Make sure to edit the Conditions and Usage limits according to your intended settings so that customers won’t misuse or overuse your discount code.

Once you have created your discount code, you need to promote it on your online shop so that people will use it for their transactions. Below are ways that you can do this:

  • Promote on social media – Share the code on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.
  • Write a blog post – Publish posts on your blog section that explains in detail your discount code and how to use it. You can then share the post on social media instead of directly sharing the code there to drive more traffic to your blog.
  • Create a pop-up – Pop-up forms are a great way to build an email list or drive traffic to a particular page on your site. The form will dynamically appear on any page on your shop to attract attention to it. For more information about pop-up forms and tools, read this Shopify post.
  • Send an email blast to subscribers – If you want your discount codes to be used only by people who signed up to your email list, then you can send them to your list using an email marketing platform. Use discount codes as an incentive for people to sign up on your mailing list. If you don’t have an email list yet, check out this post on Shopify to fuel your imagination and creativity so you can apply the ideas on your store.

While discount codes are effective in driving sales and increasing revenue from your dropshipping store, you shouldn’t offer these all the times. Indiscriminately giving away discount codes can result in fewer sales and lower customer engagement with your store.

Step #9: Setup customer support

Even if you try to cover all the information about your dropshipping store on your site, there will always be questions that didn’t occur to you when you were building your online shop. Therefore, you need to make yourself open to customers who want more details about the products you’re selling, as well as the status of their orders.

The simplest way for people to reach you is by having a contact page in your store that they can quickly fill out with their queries and concerns. However, some people would prefer a faster and more convenient way for them to reach out to you instead of waiting for hours and days for a reply.

To solve this, you need you to provide better lines of communication from your Shopify site with your customers. One of the best tools that can offer the complete package is ZenDesk.

Zendesk + Shopify

You can set up ZenDesk to cover the following aspects of your Shopify store’s customer support:

  • Phone – Through ZenDesk’s Phone feature, you can give the human connection your audience yearns for when it comes to expressing their concerns. The tool also takes care of customer history. Automatic ticket creation and call recordings help agents focus on solving issues at hand instead of worrying about workflow.
  • Chat – To provide users with quick answers to their concerns about your shop, chat support allows them to message agents for assistance. By resolving problems immediately, you can expect to increase your sales and offer a better user experience.
  • Knowledgebase – You can create a customer portal that combines the collective knowledge of your agents based on the questions they receive from users and callers. The knowledge base will serve as a one-stop guide for all potential problems or issues your customers have come across, so they don’t have to talk to or email to your agents.
  • Social media – Some users prefer to make their voices heard through social media and messenger apps. With ZenDesk Message, you can address their concerns right on their favorite social apps and platforms.

ZenDesk’s pricing is flexible depending on the features you want to use for your Shopify store. For $5/month you can get email and social channel support, a basic help center, and a widget that will appear on your screen. This is the perfect plan if you are just starting out with your dropshipping store. If demand rises, you can shift to a different plan to accommodate more features like performance dashboards, multiple ticket forms, and more.

ZenDesk comes with a 14-day free trial for each plan so you can test it out and see if it can become your go-to platform for all customer support needs.

For more details in installing Zendesk to your Shopify store, refer to this article for the necessary steps.

If you feel that ZenDesk is too big for your needs, you can choose any of the smaller tools below:

  • Drift – Take live chat to a whole new level! Place a floating button on all your pages that visitors can click on. They can posts questions and comments easily, and you can reply just as quickly as well!
  • Grasshopper – If you want to take calls from your customers, this tool lets you create a branded 1-800 or local number that directs to your smartphone or any of your support team.
  • Hootsuite – This popular social media management tool lets you view all your social media profiles in a single place so you can answer and reply on multiple channels from a centralized command center.

By using any of the tools above, you can aim for better conversions and a happier customer base.

Step #10: Launch your dropshipping store

Even as you may have been editing your store up to this point, it is still not yet available for public viewing.

launching your shopify dropshipping store

The reason for this is because your site is password-protected. It makes sense as well because you’re still in the process of building your store up before you can show it to your target audience. To open for business, you need to remove password protection.

Once you have done the steps above, it’s time to unlock the site and provide access to the public.

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After clicking the button, you will be directed to the Password page section of the Preferences page. All you need to do here is un-check the “Enable password page” box and click on the “Save” button.

Wrapping Up: Running Dropshipping Business at Shopify

The guide above should provide you with enough information on how you can create a successful Shopify dropshipping store.

We have broached the subject of finding the product niche you should consider selling in but it may not be the most exhaustive guide you may read about the subject. Nonetheless, that section, along with the rest, will give you a better idea on how to approach building an efficient store that lets you maximize efforts and gain a profit in the long run.

For those of you who may want to continue further enhance your store, check out these Shopify’s guides or participate in Shopify’s dropshipping forum.