What is a Shopify online store?
Shopify is an online eCommerce platform that allows anyone to sell products through an online store. Many people have been able to quit their jobs and live off the income earned through a Shopify store. One of the most popular business models with Shopify is drop shipping.
What is drop shipping?
Dropshipping is a business model that allows a business owner to sell products that they do not have to buy and hold inventory. There are lots of inexpensive and expensive items that can be sold through a Shopify store. The benefit of using a drop shipping business model is that:
- Setting up your store and domain name are the only costs
- You do not have to buy any of the inventory
- You do not have to store any of the inventory
- All the information that you need to start drop shipping is already offered for free on the internet
Not everybody succeeds with Shopify simply because they do not know how this game works. The majority of Shopify stores gain profit through the running of ads. This is usually done with Facebook using the Facebook ad platform. I think that many drop shippers do this is because building organic traffic to a Shopify store takes time and requires a lot of marketing.
The problem with this is that you can build your store for free pretty much. But it takes time to build up your customer base. If you are not making sales within three months, then you have lost a little over $110 depending on the plan that you chose. The basic plan is what I recommend when you first start your Shopify store. In my opinion, this a loss but a very small one because, you didn’t have to actually buy inventory. What you get instead, is a learning experience.
Using the traditional business practices, you would have to buy inventory first and have it shipped to you. This means that you would need somewhere to store that inventory and have someone to ship it out for you. For example, if you have to buy a thousand units of inventory and that inventory costs you $1,200. You then have to find somewhere to store all of this inventory. Storage space costs money as well which adds to the cost. And say that you only sell $300 in units. You may be going out of business because that’s a $900 loss.
“Dropshipping makes business easier by cutting out the need for inventory”
The downside of drop shipping
By effectively learning how to market your products without ad’s counter the downsides of a drop shipping business. However, let’s explore some reasons why people end up having no success with drop shipping.
- Drop shipping is highly competitive
The majority of drop shipping products are sourced from Aliexpress. Aliexpress sells all kinds of goods inexpensively and is based in China. The products offered at Aliexpress are not exclusive to any one person. This means that anyone can sell the same products that you do. Not only that, you can see what other people are selling by using a tool called Dropship spy to see what other people are selling.
Dropship spy collects data from Facebook ad’s and allows users to see what other users are selling and advertising. You can also see the Ads that users post as well that you can flat out copy them. But that feature is only available for paying users with plans starting as low as 17$/month. However, to create an account and see the top-selling items is free to use. I highly urge you to use this tool if you want to start a successful drop shipping store. Dropship spy find the items that are already selling for you!
- The shipping times are long
Know that people have made hundreds of thousands of dollars even though the shipping time is between 7-14 days. This not a big factor in the grand scheme of things. Most people are willing to wait because they know they are getting a better deal. I do recommend that you make this very clear to any buyers. The package will have an Aliexpress shipping label on each shipment. It’s better to be honest with your customers than to mislead them.
To get the quickest shipping, I would recommend you find sellers that ship using epacket. Epacket is a premium shipping service in China and are known to have the quickest shipping times. Instead of doing this manually, you can use a service called Oberlo. Oberlo is an app that chooses suppliers that already use epacket and are known to be trustworthy suppliers. Oberlo reduces the amount of time that you have to spend looking for reputable suppliers.
The part about using Oberlo is that, Oberlo is completely free to use and you easily connect it to your Shopify store. Oberlo also allows you to directly add products to your shopify store as well.
How to install the Oberlo app
To use the drop shipping service with Oberlo, you need to add the Oberlo app to your shop.
To install the Oberlo app, follow these steps:
- Visit Oberlo in the Shopify App Store .
- Click Get .
- If you are not connected to Shopify, connect to your store. If you do not yet have a store, you can create one here (a free 14-day trial is also included)
- When Oberlo requests permission to manage your orders, products, and other data, click Install Application
Shopify Tips for success:
1. Every beginner should be patient.
If you are new to drop shipping or want to get into drop shipping. Learn the art of patience. Having a Shopify store will not get you rich quick. Those who are successful with drop shipping, have done so by playing this game for a while. The more you practice drop shipping, the better you become at it. You will not see results instantly, but you will see them over time.
2. Niche and Product research is important.
A niche is a category that you intend to target. For example, if your niche was camping. I would research items that campers use often. This could be socks, sleeping bags, flashlights, knives, multitools and even more. Just make sure you know what is it that people are searching for. You can use tools to research items that you would like to sell. Tools like drop shipping spy are great for this purpose. You can also use a tool on eBay called eBay trending.
You can track trends for different items that are being searched for on eBay.Use this freely shared information to your advantage because many of the items can be found Aliexpress. Just be sure to relate the items to your niche. “Remember, you’re playing at this long term. Not just to make a quick buck.”
3. Select high margin products.
Remember, the only cost to drop shipping is the cost of running your store and the Ad’s that you run. Running Ad’s on Facebook is not a hard thing to do. Facebook also offers a free tool called pixel. Pixel collects data about users activities when they click your Ad and explore your store. Facebook uses this data to know who to better target your Ad’s at. After all, Facebook has over a billion users. People share all kinds of information through Facebook. Facebook knows who might like what and people who may be interested in buying your products.
It cost very little to run Ad’s on Facebook, but when you are just starting. Advertising may seem intimidating, but do not fear. This is a valuable skill to have as well when growing your drop shipping business. Start small, run your Ad’s with low investment, with no more 10$ -15$ a week. Once you start seeing returns with your Ad’s, don’t be afraid to start investing more money into Ads. (p.s I will be writing a guide on advertising soon 🙂
4. The design of your store is very important.
It should be professional and inspire trust. Within Shopify, there are free themes and there are paid themes. With free themes, you can have a design that is simple and easily customizable to your needs. With paid themes, you get special features offered along with the theme. You don’t really need a paid theme unless you plan on building a huge brand. I recommend starting off with something simple and then you could develop your store from there
If you need help to build your Shopify store or want feedback on the design of your store. Then do not be afraid to reach out to me. I want to see you succeed in business, that is my purpose as a Shopify partner.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please, leave a comment if you have any questions or just to let me know if this helped you in any way.