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:

  1. Visit Oberlo in the Shopify App Store .
  2. Click Get .
  3. 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)
  4. 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 shottheclot@gmail.com

Please, leave a comment if you have any questions or just to let me know if this helped you in any way.


13 thoughts on “what is a shopify online store?”

  1. When you say niche and product research is an important aspect, is this an aspect that will make or break your dropshipping business from the start?

    Also, if I realize that I made a mistake in picking my niche for drop shipping, how should I go about it? Should I drop the niche as fast as possible and take the monetary losses as fast as possible?

    1. It won’t make or break your business. But it will help you establish yourself as a brand. You don’t really become a brand selling everything since you would have compete with everyone. If you are in a specific niche, your competition is cut down by alot.
      If you think that you made a mistake, salvage what you can and learn from it. Nothing is written in stone.

  2. Hey Wesley,

    Cool! I’ve always wanted to start an eCommerce site, I’ve tried before using Woo Commerce and they are actually very complicated and I spent weeks trying to set it up. But every time I come across a problem, I couldn’t sort it out because doing it manually without an SEO background, I couldn’t understand half of what the guide said. Like when some of my pages went missing, I spend days trying to look for a video online explaining it.

    I’ve been hearing good things about Shopify mainly because it’s simplicity and I’ve been meaning to try it out. Is it true that it has a drag and drop system and themes to choose from?

  3. How well are paid FB ads doing these days? I’ve been reading in other places that many are losing money because of no one actually clicking through the ads. So, if that is the case, is it better to get people to your shop via other means?

    Curious question: Have you had any experience with dropshiping? I’ve looked into it, but have yet to try it, and was wondering how well you have done, if you’ve done it before.

  4. I’ve done drop shipping before a few years ago, but I didn’t have a Shopify store, instead I drop shipped on Ebay from Amazon. I didn’t succeed though as I made too few sales and lost money from store and listing fees.

    I do like the idea of having a Shopify store because you have your own online space, with Ebay if they kicked you off for whatever reason then you’re done forever. But with a Shopify store nobody can suspend your account.

    I’ve always wondered how people with Shopify stores get traffic, with Ebay I never had to worry cause they do the marketing for sellers. Now I know that you can put ads on places like Facebook to attract potential customers. I may look into this Shopify store and drop shipping business once more, thank you for this informative article.

    1. I think the biggest problem with drop shipping on eBay would be that the sellers in China can just sell their own products on eBay. Since they are selling their own products anyway, they always undercut you in price and any sell that you would make. They would also benefit as well.
      In relation to Amazon, there is just a lot of competition. You really just have to make your self-stand out with reviews.
      Best of luck to you kent!

  5. Hey!

    I really enjoyed your article! Dropshipping is something I eventually want to get into! Do you know how I could incorporate a dropshipping component to my blog?

    This is something I would be very interested in as I hope within another 4 months to have some traffic coming to my blog!

    Any help would be appreciated!



    1. Absolutely,
      Every store built within shopify has an option to incorporate a blog function into the site. With a blog, you are able to better market products and gain organic search traffic. Allowing you to make sales without needing to advertise.

  6. Hi!

    I tried to start an online store using Shopify last year, but I was overwhelmed by the whole process and stopped only two weeks after setting up my shop. Fortunately, I had signed up via a link that offered a free trial period (can’t remember the length of the trial period).

    Most sites that encourage people to get into drop shipping fail to tell people about the challenges they should expect. First, it is a whole process to find reliable suppliers, set up a payment method for your store and how you manage returns and other stuff. I barely slept during the two weeks that I started building my store and got close to hiring a virtual assistant in the Philippines to manage my yet-to-open store.

    If there’s one advise that you would give a newbie interested in setting up a Shopify store, what would it be?

    Thank you in advance. 

  7. Thank you for this very informative review on shopify and drop shipping. I have always wanted to learn about drop shipping and where to begin. Now I have a base on which to learn from, here at ninjafiliate. I am book marking this website. Thank you very very much.

  8. Hey i really enjoyed this article, it was very informative.  I have tried drop shipping but only on ebay and i have not made 1 sale yet, i have not tried a shopify account.  I may have to try to make an account and see how shopify works.  I need to learn more about drop shipping because it didnt work for me, i was using that aliexpress as well.  I may use some of the tools you offered, keep it up!

    1. Glad you find this post helpful. Most people get really discouraged if they are not making sales.I can’t blame people for that either. Most people will say that’s so easy to build a store and make money from it. But in reality, it’s way harder when you do not have much experience. If you do give another shot, give it more time and experiment a lot more. Only then will you start having a lot of success.

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