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How to Start Dropshipping on Shopify? (Step-by-Step-Guide)


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How to Start Dropshipping on Shopify?

Jan 14, 2024

By, Editorial Team


Dropshipping is an ecommerce fulfillment method that allows you to sell products online without keeping inventory. When a customer places an order, you purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. This direct-to-consumer shipping cuts out the middleman and keeps initial costs low.

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms for running a dropshipping business. Its combination of ease of use, flexibility, and integration with major dropship suppliers makes it an ideal choice.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to start dropshipping on Shopify, from initial store setup to processing orders. Follow these steps to launch and run a successful Shopify dropshipping business.

Step 1: Choose a Niche and Research Suppliers

The first step is deciding on a product niche for your dropshipping store. It’s crucial to focus on a specific niche so you can tailor your products, branding, and marketing appropriately. Electronics, fashion jewelry, fitness equipment, and pet supplies are examples of popular dropshipping niches. Once you’ve chosen a niche, research potential suppliers that cater to your niche. Good dropshipping suppliers include:

  • AliExpress – Large marketplace with suppliers mainly based in China. Offers wide variety of products at cheap wholesale prices.
  • Oberlo – Shopify’s official dropshipping supplier marketplace. Integrates directly with Shopify.
  • Spocket – Dropshipping supplier marketplace with products shipped from US and EU warehouses. Faster shipping.
  • SaleHoo – Leading dropship directory listing thousands of verified suppliers. Great for finding niche-specific suppliers.
  • Dsers – Fast shipping from US and Australian warehouses. Specializes in general merchandise.
  • Annsummers – UK-based dropshipper specializing in lingerie and sex toys.
List out potential suppliers carefully based on product selection, reliability, shipping speeds, wholesale pricing, and product quality. Order some samples to ensure good quality before adding products to your store.

Step 2: Set Up Your Shopify Store

Once you’ve chosen suppliers, it’s time to set up your Shopify store:

  • Go to Shopify and start your 14-day free trial.
  • Choose your store’s web address and business name.
  • Select a template – Shopify has professionally designed templates for all types of stores.
  • Use the setup wizard to connect your domain, setup payments, shipping zones, etc.
  • Under settings, customize things like currency, timezone, payment methods, checkout options, etc.
  • Very important: Install your desired Shopify dropshipping app. Popular apps include Oberlo and Spocket. This app will sync your supplier inventory to your Shopify store.
Your Shopify store backend is now ready to go! Time to make it look great for customers.

Step 3: Design and Customize Your Storefront

Once you’ve chosen suppliers, it’s time to set up your Shopify store:

  • Create an “About Us” page – Share your brand’s story and purpose to build trust.
  • Add policies pages – Like shipping policy, returns policy, terms of service so customers know what to expect.
  • Set up navigation menus – Make it easy for customers to navigate to important pages. Optimize images – High quality product photos are vital. Use image editing tools to perfect them.
  • Write SEO-optimized content – Include keywords in page titles, URLs, meta descriptions, content, etc.
A professional-looking online store builds credibility and boosts sales.

Step 4: Add Products to Your Store

Now it’s time to add products from your suppliers to your Shopify store. simply log into your dropshipping app and it will walk you through connecting your supplier accounts.

  • Add the product to your Shopify store
  • Pull in the product title, description, images, pricing and other details
  • Sync any inventory changes or price changes made by the supplier
Review each imported product listing closely to refine and optimize the content. Make sure you group products into proper categories to improve on-site navigation.

Step 5: Set Up Your Shipping Zones and Rates

An important step is defining your shipping zones and rates in Shopify:

  • Navigate to Settings β†’ Shipping and delivery in your Shopify admin.
  • Add shipping zones like “North America”, “Europe”, etc. Define which countries are covered under each zone.
  • Set rates for each zone – you can do flat rates, tiered weight-based rates, free shipping over an order value, calculated rates, etc.
  • Include expected processing and transit times in shipping policy section so customers know when to expect orders.
Properly setting up shipping helps ensure cheap, fast, and reliable shipping for customers.

Step 6: Marketing and Promoting Your Store

You have a fully functioning dropshipping store – awesome! Now you need to market it to drive traffic and sales.

  • Leverage social ads – Create Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest ads to promote your products/brand. Target interests related to your niche.
  • Email marketing – Build an email list by offering discounts for signups. Send regular promotional emails.
  • Influencer marketing – Reach out to relevant influencers to see if they will promote your products.
  • Influencer marketing – Reach out to relevant influencers to see if they will promote your products.
  • SEO optimization – Use relevant keywords throughout your site and content. Produce blog content around your niche.
  • Retargeting ads – Remarket to visitors who left your site without purchasing to nudge them back.
Test different marketing strategies and double down on what delivers the highest return on investment. Analytics tools will be invaluable for optimizing towards better conversions.

Step 7: Process Orders and Fulfillment

You’re driving traffic and getting sales – now it’s time to fulfill orders! This is where the dropshipping magic happens:

  • Receive new order in Shopify admin.
  • Log in to your dropshipping app and mark order as paid.
  • Your supplier is automatically notified of the purchase.
  • The supplier packages and ships the product directly to your customer.
  • Provide customer with shipment and tracking details so they can track status.
Your only job is to notify the supplier of the purchase and provide the customer’s shipping address. The supplier handles fulfillment and gets the product to the customer. Automated order forwarding is a huge benefit of dropshipping!

Step 8: Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

Providing exceptional customer service is crucial for any ecommerce business, especially dropshipping. To wow customers:

  • Respond quickly to customer emails and inquiries.
  • Resolve issues promptly – if a customer has an order problem, message your supplier immediately.
  • Make returns and exchanges as painless as possible.
  • Always be polite in communication – never lose your cool.
  • Offer discounts or freebies if orders are delayed or damaged.
Delighting customers leads to glowing reviews, word-of-mouth promotion, and repeat business. The extra effort is well worth it!


And that covers the entire process of starting a dropshipping business on Shopify! As you can see, Shopify handles most of the heavy lifting when it comes to store setup, payments, shipping, etc.

The keys to success are finding reputable suppliers, properly marketing your store, and providing exceptional customer experiences. Dropshipping represents an amazing ecommerce opportunity today due to low costs and overhead.

Follow this guide, execute each step carefully, and you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving Shopify dropshipping business. If you need any further assistance feel free to get in touch with us – our dedicated team of Shopify developers will be right there to help you with tailored solutions.



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