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The Ultimate Shopify Dropshipping Guide

Article by Andrew Roach

For many entrepreneurs, launching a Shopify dropshipping store is an awesome way to break into ecommerce. We know that spending time and money on managing your inventory is a deal breaker. That’s why creating an ecommerce store that uses a dropshipping business model is such a great option, as you’ll never need to carry any inventory. You’ll be free to focus your valuable time and resources on growing your online store, and making more sales.

Dropshipping is a flexible way to run your business, and it’s supported by the majority of the largest ecommerce platforms – including the biggest ecommerce platform, Shopify. We believe in making life easier for ecommerce entrepreneurs, so we’ve created this ultimate Shopify dropshipping guide to help you start your own successful Shopify dropshipping business. Use it as your dropshipping for dummies guide to getting started. And once you’re ready to start dropshipping, watch this video to follow a step-by step guide to setting up your Oberlo account, finding a great product to sell online, and building a Shopify store. It’s super easy to follow, and in less than 50 minutes you’ll have a Shopify dropshipping store ready to make sales!

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What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a business model in which ecommerce entrepreneurs sell products without having to carry any inventory. When a store owner receives an order from a customer, they simply contact the supplier, who will then ship the products directly to the customer’s door. Dropshipping apps like Oberlo let you add products from various suppliers into your shop to fuel your product offering.

Dropshipping is the perfect business model for new ecommerce entrepreneurs. It’s simple to set up and manage, and it doesn’t require a large up-front investment. You can also run your dropshipping business in your spare time – you don’t need to quit your job to start a successful store. Plus, there are several dropshipping tips you can apply to drive traffic to your store.

Dropshipping for Dummies Guide

What is Shopify?

Shopify is the leading ecommerce platform and it enables entrepreneurs to start their own online stores. Shopify is simple to use, especially a Shopify dropshipping store, so you’ll be able to build your own store even if you don’t have any technical experience. It’s perfect for entrepreneurs who want to launch their own ecommerce store without any hassle. Plus, using Shopify will give you access to the wealth of Shopify themes and apps that are available on their platform. 

Why Use Shopify?

Shopify is the most popular ecommerce platform on the planet. Over half a million entrepreneurs already use Shopify to run their businesses, which is likely because it’s flush with features that’ll enable entrepreneurs to succeed with their online stores. And, of course, if you’re looking for any features which aren’t innately available on Shopify, you can find an app from the Shopify app store to supplement your stores needs. Trust is also huge for Shopify – plenty of entrepreneurs are looking for an ecommerce platform that will stay up, even on the biggest shopping holidays, and that’s exactly what Shopify offers.

How Does Shopify Work? 

Now that we’ve answered the question: “what is Shopify, and why should you use it?” it’s time to give some insights about how it actually works. Essentially, Shopify works as the foundation for your ecommerce business. It’s an ecommerce platform that provides entrepreneurs with the skeleton that they need to start and design their store, and it’s backend lets you run your business without any hosting fees. You’ll need to pay Shopify’s fairly priced monthly fees, and then your ecommerce store will run without any hitches – you can know rely on Shopify to keep your store up and running while you focus on making sales and scaling your business. All of this is totally true for Shopify dropshipping stores too – they’ll follow the same rules as your average Shopify store, but you’ll just need to install the Oberlo app to source products.

Why Would I Start Dropshipping on Shopify?

Dropshipping is the perfect business model for entrepreneurs who are looking to set up their own business with little up-front investment, and Shopify is the simplest platform you can use to create and run your store.

When you dropship on Shopify, you’ll never need to worry about excess inventory, as you’ll only ever order the necessary amount of products to meet the demand from your customers. This system is unlike a typical ecommerce business, which involves either manufacturing products or purchasing products from a wholesaler in bulk.

If you’re planning to use Shopify with Oberlo dropshipping, you’ll be able to control your inventory with just a few clicks – just another reason why Shopify dropshipping is so simple. 

How Can This Dropshipping for Dummies Guide Help Me?

Our dropshipping guide will help you to understand just how easy it is to start your very own store. Sometimes it is hard to start something that seems very complex, but this dropshipping for dummies guide breaks the project into easy to follow steps so you can be successful from the very beginning. Our dropshipping guide is thorough and covers every step you need to take to open a dropshipping store on Shopify with Oberlo. Remember – the Oberlo app has a forever free plan that you can always use to run your Shopify dropshipping store. 

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7 Steps to Start Dropshipping on Shopify

In this section of our Shopify dropshipping for dummies guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps that you’ll need to take to create your own ecommerce store. We’ll show you our best tips for each stage you go through, and at the end of this you’ll have a fully functional Shopify dropshipping store that can start making money today. Here are the steps you need to take to open a dropshipping store with Shopify.

How to Dropship

1. Naming Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

This is the first step that you’ll take towards opening your Shopify dropshipping store. Here are some top tips for coming up with a name for your online store:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Be creative.
  • Make it memorable.

Oberlo has gone a step further to make it easy for you to pick your Shopify dropshipping store name. All you have to do is use Oberlo’s online Business name generator, enter any word that you would like your business name to include, and click on “Generate names”. You’ll be presented with a list of business names from which you can pick your favorite to be your Shopify dropshipping store name. Not only will it save you a lot of time, but it’s also completely free to use.

Once you’ve come up with some ideas for the name of your Shopify dropshipping store, you’ll need to check what’s available. If you’ve come up with a name like “American Clothing Store,” it’s likely already in use. You can check this by using Google search, and also searching if there is a .com domain which is already being used.

However, it’s not necessary to choose choose a new-focused name for your new domain or business. You can also use a general business name like “ClothingJolt” and register a general domain name to get started. 

2. Creating a Shopify Account

Creating an account for your Shopify dropshipping store is a simple and quick process. To start, you’ll need to visit Shopify’s homepage. Once you’ve loaded the page you’ll see an empty field at the top of the screen where you’ll need to enter your email address.

Shopify Dropshiping Guide

Enter your email address into this field. You’ll then be asked to create a password for your account and enter the name which you’ve decided on for your Shopify dropshipping store. Next you’ll need to fill out a couple of questions about your experience with ecommerce, along with a few personal details.

Shopify Dropshiping Guide

Once you’ve completed this, your Shopify account will be up and running. Next we’ll need to configure the settings to launch your Shopify dropshipping account.

3. Optimizing the Settings for Your Shopify Account

At this point in our Shopify dropshipping guide, we’re going to go through the settings of your newly created Shopify account. This step is essential so you can receive money from your customers, create your store policies, and establish your shipping rates.

Payment Information

The first thing you’ll need to do is add a payment option to your Shopify dropshipping store. This is a vital step, as you won’t be able to receive money from customers if you don’t add a payment option.

To add payment information you’ll need to access Shopify’s “Settings” page. From here, simply select the “Payments” tab on the left and add your payment information.

shopify dropshipping We’d recommend that you add a PayPal account here. If you don’t have an account you can sign up for one in just a few minutes – it’s a simple process, even if you’re not technically proficient. You can also check out our article on PayPal and other payment gateways here.

Store Policies

When you’re launching your own Shopify dropshipping store, you’ll need to make sure that you have created the necessary store policies. Shopify has created a helpful tool that automatically generates a standardized privacy policy, refund policy, and terms and conditions for your store.

You can access this tool from Shopify’s settings. Click on the “Checkout” tab and scroll down to the bottom to find the fields which were mentioned.

dropshipping with Shopify

Click on the “Generate” button and you’re good to go.

Shipping Rates

It’s critical that your Shopify dropshipping store has clear shipping rates. We’d recommend that you always offer free shipping, as this is the easiest option. If you offer separate shipping rates for various regions it can become confusing, so simply incorporate your shipping fees into the price of your products and make shipping free. For example, if you’re planning to sell a T-shirt for $20, raise the price to $25 and offer free shipping. Using FREE SHIPPING! as part of your Shopify dropshipping store’s marketing will help you sell your products.

You can set free shipping on your store by accessing the “Shipping” tab in your Shopify settings.

Shipping zones
Delete all of the domestic shipping zones and add “Free International Shipping” into the “Rest of World” section. Then you’ll need to select “Rate: Free Shipping Rate” and you’re good to go.

4. Launching Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

You’ve now added all the necessary information that you’ll need to launch your Shopify dropshipping store.

To launch your store, simply access the “Sales Channels” option on your Shopify settings. From here select the “add an online store” option.

The dummies guide to dropshipping

Once you’ve finished this set you’ll have an online store which is up and running!

5. Designing Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

In this section of our Shopify dropshipping guide, we’ll go over the importance of design for your ecommerce store, and we’ll talk about some key points for you to consider. The design of your Shopify dropshipping store is going to hold great importance, as it will be how you’re presenting your store and your brand. 

Having an aesthetically pleasing ecommerce store is just as important as a brick and mortar store having an enticing shop window. It’s a user’s first impression of your business, and first impressions count. Don’t forget to take a look at these easy ecommerce store design tricks that will help your sales to skyrocket. 

When it comes to design, there are two main aspects that you’ll need to take into consideration when you’re designing your Shopify dropshipping store – your theme, and your logo.

Picking a Theme on Shopify

Shopify Website Themes

Shopify has a built-in theme store that you’ll be able to use to source a wide variety of themes. You will find both free options and premium options. Take a look around and decide on the best theme for your store based on your financial resources – if you’re starting your store with a tight budget we’d advise choosing a free theme.

We understand that it can be tricky to decide which theme you should finally go for. To make it easier for you, we’ve got a post here that will meet your needs specific to themes, and help you decide which theme is best for your Shopify dropshipping store. This post covers topics such as what you should consider before selecting a theme, details about free Shopify themes, how to customize Shopify themes, and many more related topics.

Creating a Logo for Your Store

The logo for your Shopify dropshipping store will help customers remember your brand. Take some time to consider how you want your logo to look, and how it will fit in with the rest of your store’s design.

Creating a logo might sound like a tough and time-consuming task. But with Oberlo’s free online Logo Maker you’ll be able to generate your preferred logo in under a few minutes. All you have to do is  experiment with fonts, colors, icons, and positioning for you to develop the perfect logo for your brand. You can check out other logo maker tools here.

If you’re interested in creating your own logo then you can use graphic design software, like Photoshop or Canva. You can also outsource high-quality graphic designs from freelance platforms, like Upwork or Fiverr, at an affordable price point.

Once you’ve got your theme and logo figured out, your store will start getting into shape. If you’re looking for further inspiration you can check out the amazing designs of these ecommerce websites that we’ve prepared for you.

6. Dropshipping on Shopify With Oberlo

shopify dummies guide to dropshipping Once you’ve sorted out the design of your Shopify dropshipping store, you’ll need to start adding products, so you can start generating revenue. To add products that you can dropship, you’ll need to install the Oberlo app, which is one of the best Shopify tools for ecommerce entrepreneurs who want to import dropshipped products to their store. Oberlo and Shopify are seamlessly integrated, so you’ll be able to start importing and offering products from Day 1.

When you’ve installed Oberlo with Shopify, you’ll need to add a category onto your Shopify store. Name this category after the type of products which you’ll be selling. If you’re thinking about starting an online T-shirt business, then simply name this category “T-shirts.”

If you’re looking for product ideas, check out our list of unique dropshipping products. And, if you’re interested in understanding how to choose products to sell, be sure to check that out too.

shopify dropshipping for dummies guide
With the Oberlo-Shopify integration complete, you can use the Oberlo app to search for products that you’re interested in selling. Click the import button on any products that you’d like to sell and they’ll be imported directly into your Shopify dropshipping store.

7. Making Your First Sale

dropshipping on shopify for dummies guide

Now it’s time to start generating revenue and making sales with your Shopify dropshipping store. It’s unlikely that you’ll be generating a huge volume of traffic from simply launching your store, so we recommend that you use marketing campaigns to draw potential customers to your store.

Take a look through the various marketing channels which are available, and do some research to find out which one will work best to drive traffic to your Shopify dropshipping store. If you think that you’ll excel with Facebook advertising, then test out some campaigns. If you want to try your hand at Instagram, go for it. The most important thing is to keep testing, and you’ll soon find out which marketing strategies work best for your ecommerce business.

Over To You

You’re now the owner of your own Shopify dropshipping store. Congratulations!

We’ve covered a lot in this Shopify dropshipping for dummies guide, but you’ll learn even more while you’re actually getting your hands dirty running your own business. There’s no limit to the amount of money that you can make with your online store, so it’s time to start making sales and generating revenue.

Want to Learn More?

If you have any other questions let us know in the comments section – we’re happy to help you out in your ecommerce journey.