You don’t need a warehouse full of stock. You don’t even need cash tied up in products you are not even sure you can shift. If you want to make money on Shopify with the minimum amount of risk, then you need to become a dropshipper. Let some other company take all the risk in storing products. Your job is to set up a Shopify store, wait for the sales to roll in, then get in touch with your dropshipper to send them out. It will take mere hours a day to be successful. Sounds simple, right? Well, sort of. There is a lot that can go wrong. Thankfully, this guide will teach you the basics on how to become a dropshipper.
Choosing Your Niche
This is absolutely vital. So many people skip it. They jump right into products that they ‘think’ are going to sell. They think they are setting themselves up to make a decent packet of cash, when in reality they are setting themselves up for nothing but failure.
If you just jump into a product that you think is going to sell, then chances are other people will have had the same idea as you. Not just sites created on the Shopify platform, but thousands of other eCommerce sites. You will find it tough to stand out from the crowd. By the time you have worked your way into the minds of people, you will have blown through a whole heap of money.
The best niches are those which offer products which are ‘in demand’, but are not that competitive. The niche shouldn’t be too broad, but it shouldn’t be too narrow either. Yes, this can be confusing to understand. Basically, what we mean when not too broad or too narrow is something like this:
Pet Products (too broad!)Dog Blankets (too narrow!)Dog Accessories (perfect!)
Obviously, this is nothing more than example. The dog accessories market is far too saturated so you probably wouldn’t want to operate in that area. But, hopefully this gives you an idea of the sort of thing you should be aiming at. It will make it far easier for you to target your products and your marketing.
It is also important that you understand the niche. Choose something you love and marketing becomes a whole lot easier. It will also make it easier for you to work out what could potentially sell and what won’t.
Choosing Your Dropshipper
Plenty has been written about choosing a dropshipper before, so we are not going to dwell on it too much here. However, what you must remember is that you need to put the effort into choosing decent dropshipper. If they fail, your company fails. It won’t be the dropshipper getting the blame either. You are a dropshipper. Nobody knows that you are dropshipping, and that means all issues are going to fall squarely on your head.
You should ensure that the prices are competitive too. Not just in terms of the product, but also the postage.
In an ideal world, you will be able to incorporate the dropshipping process directly into your Shopify store by way of plugin. This means that you don’t deal with the orders at all (beyond collecting the cash). Everything will be automated. However, since it often takes minutes to place an order with a dropshipper, this shouldn’t be a priority for you. At least at the start. Focus on everything else the dropshipper brings to the table first.
Building Your Shopify Store
Obviously, if you are looking into how to become a dropshipper, you are going to need to have a Shopify store. There are other platforms out there, but since Shopify makes it so easy, we can’t fathom why you would want to use any of them.
There are several different ‘price points’ for Shopify. If you are new to the dropshipping game, then you should probably start with the cheapest subscription. This should give you the ability to set your store up and have money start to flow in. As your site grows, you can expand your package and get a few more features.
If your dropshipper has their own plugin to use on the site, then get this installed. Go through the various themes on Shopify and find out what layout you like the most. Go through the plugins too and look for some which catch your attention, although don’t use too many of them as it can hamper the site experience for your customer. At the minimum, you will want to have an SEO plugin and some way in which you can reach out to your customers.
Adding Your Products
It can be tempting to add absolutely every product that your dropshipper has. Don’t do this. For several reasons:
Your site will lack focusIt will be tough to market the siteIt is going to be difficult for you to update everything when needed
If your site lacks focus, then you are going to have tons of products which aren’t really connected, which will confuse customers. It works for a site like Amazon. Not for a site like yours. Too many products impacts marketing as you suddenly have tons of products you need to push, rather than a group of them. Updating will be dependent on whether the dropshipper has a plugin or not.
Yes. Your dropshipper will likely have their own product descriptions you can use. If you are looking into how to become a dropshipper, then don’t touch these product descriptions. Write your own. Remember; hundreds of sites are going to be using the same product descriptions, and this means you have ‘copied’ content, which is tough to rank in the searches for. If you don’t know how to write product descriptions which catch the eye of your readers, then get somebody else to do it. A proper product description can mean the difference between making a sale and failing.
Marketing Your Site
There are several ways in which you can market your site, and ideally you would focus on all of them. The minimum you should focus on are:
Paid adsSearch engine optimization (SEO)Social media marketing
We know that paid ads are going to be an extra expense, but if you plan your campaign well, then your business will be off to a flying start. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t really be choosing a competitive niche. If you opt for paid ads in a popular, yet not competitive, niche then they are cheaper to run in systems like Google AdWords. Try to drive your ads towards specific products as opposed to general ones. It will translate to more sales.
Search engine optimization is where you will be doing most of your work. This is all about getting placed as highly as possible in the search engines. This is where most of your traffic will come from. Your product descriptions are part of the puzzle here, but you will need to do other things. Make use of the blog that Shopify gives you. Contact similar sites to get guest posts. Get as many quality links as possible pointing towards your website, and you will see your site start to rise in the search engines.
Finally; social media marketing involves interacting with customers on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Don’t just share special offers there. Actually talk to people. Share useful articles. Answer customer queries. Give your company ‘a face’. If you are unsure as to how to use social media, look at some of the largest companies in the world and see how they do it.
This is just the start of your dropshipping journey
This is just a brief overview of the steps towards becoming a successful dropshipper. The basics you need to know are on this page. Expand your knowledge in these areas, and you will have a successful Shopify company on your hands. It won’t happen overnight, but if you choose your niche well and you put in the work, it is going to happen.