Today I’m going to show you exactly how to setup a Shopify store in 2021.
In this comprehensive guide I’ll cover:
- What dropshipping is
- How to setup a store
- How to find products
- How to create an ad account
- Lots more
Let’s dive right in.
What is Dropshipping?
Simply explained, dropshipping is a business model that allows online stores to sell products without holding any inventory.
After the customer places an order, the dropshipper’s supplier ships the product directly to the customer.
The graphic below will help you visual this process:
As the dropshipper, you never have to handle the products directly. This is what makes dropshipping so unique.
Usually online stores need to buy inventory of their products, store them somewhere, and ship the products themselves.
The globalization brought on by modern technology has boosted the dropshipping business model and its popularity tremendously.
Dropshipping has many advantages over normal ecommerce, intriguing millions of entrepreneurs to try it themselves.
Let’s take a look at dropshipping’s benefits and disadvantages:
Minimum Capital Requirements
Since you don’t need to buy a large supply of inventory to start with, starting a dropshipping business is very inexpensive.
The costs can be laid out like this:
Shopify Monthly Subscription ($29/month), Shopify tracking app (~$15/month), website domain (~$12/year), Google Workspace custom email ($6/month), product cost (varies), and Facebook advertising costs (varies).
As you can see, you can literally open a store and start selling products with less than $100.
However, we recommend beginners start with at least $500-$1000 so you have some room to test different products and advertisements.
Traditionally, ecommerce retailers had to invest several thousand dollars just into their inventory. Dropshipping allows you to purchase the product only after you’ve made the sale and have been paid by the customer.
Once your store has consistent revenue, your cash flow will be extremely fluid, making it easy to scale your store even more.
Easy to Start
Dropshipping is extremely easy to start due to the nature of the business model, as well as because of Shopify and Aliexpress.
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows dropshippers to create an online store in a few simple steps. Aliexpress is an online marketplace similar to Amazon where you will find your products and suppliers.
Anyone with a laptop, a few hundred dollars, and a hunger for success can launch and create an online business.
Since you won’t be needing to purchase inventory, you also won’t have the headache of managing a warehouse, tracking inventory, and shipping your orders.
You can launch a dropshipping store from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
The founder of Verum Ecom, John Yoon, created his first 7-figure dropshipping business in his college apartment.
His persistence and ambition led him to monumental success and also the creation of Verum Ecom’s YouTube channel that hosts 100,416 subscribers.
After dropshipping for over 3 years, people would commonly ask us for help with their dropshipping stores. For this reason, we created a YouTube channel where we teach in-depth dropshipping content for completely free.
John Yoon’s story should give you the inspiration that anyone from anywhere can succeed in dropshipping.
Endless Product Choices
We will go over Aliexpress in detail later on, but for now all you need to know is that it is a huge online marketplace with millions of product listings. For lack of a simpler definition, you can describe it as China’s Amazon.com.
Since the products are usually coming from China, the prices are more affordable than Amazon and the selection is endless.
You can easily find products for any niche you’re interested in by sorting through the category selection. Aliexpress will become your ticket for success in dropshipping.
Easy to Test Products
The wide array of products paired with the lack of inventory commitment makes it extremely easy to test products.
Testing products means choosing a product to sell, listing it on your store, running advertisements, and then looking at the results.
The key to a successful dropshipping store is to keep testing products until you find one that can generate consistent profit.
Easy to Scale
Since dropshipping suppliers handle all the shipping and inventory management, you can scale your store without a lot of additional work.
In a traditional ecommerce business you would technically have double the work if you were to double your revenue.
Utilizing dropshipping suppliers allows you to focus more on selling the product and the advertisements, rather than worrying about shipping management.
However, you will have more work mainly pertaining to customer service and email responses. But it is nothing compared to shipping and inventory management.
One of the main advantages for dropshipping is the ability to automate the business model. Automating a dropshipping business involves hiring employees (usually from upwork.com) to help manage customer service and order fulfillment.
Your goal is to eventually have enough capital to hire a team that can automate your business. This way, you can focus even more on the advertisements and testing products.
Communication is key when looking to automate your dropshipping business. Furthermore, you need to find employees who fully understand their tasks and are hardworking.
The rise in popularity of dropshipping has brought a rise in competition as well.
Although competition has always existed in ecommerce, the way it works in dropshipping is a bit different.
Since it’s so quick and easy to sell any product through dropshipping, it’s possible that hundreds or even thousands of dropshippers try selling the same product.
Furthermore, it’s common for dropshippers to copy products and advertisements if they see another store doing well.
This will not only increase your Facebook ads costs, but also lose potential customers to another store selling the same thing.
So don’t be surprised if you see a store that looks exactly like yours if your own store is doing extremely well.
This means you must stay ahead of the curve with your marketing.
But have no fear, we at Verum Ecom will always give you the best Facebook ads methods on our YouTube Channel.
Product Quality Control
One of the main tasks we advise dropshippers on is ordering the product they want to sell themselves to test the quality and shipping time.
However, dropshippers can be impatient and start selling the products without testing the quality themselves. This can lead to customers being angry because the quality was lower than they expected.
The only way to circumvent ordering the product yourself is to find a product on Aliexpress with extremely good reviews. Moreover, the product’s supplier should have extremely high ratings.
Reliance on Suppliers
Your supplier can truly make or break your dropshipping business. You rely on them for quality products, fast shipping times, shipping the correct product, and refund management.
If any part of the supply chain breaks down because of the supplier, you truly have no control over the situation.
To remedy this, you either need to communicate with the supplier quickly to find a solution, or find another supplier who sells the same product.
Supplier error will ultimately be costly for the dropshipper. We will go over how to find a good dropshipping supplier later on in this article.
The main email you will be receiving from customers is them asking where their product is. Since the products are mainly shipped from China, they can take from 2-4 weeks to reach customers around the globe.
To prevent angry customers, you need to let them know beforehand that shipping will take longer due to the pandemic situation.
Furthermore, if you sell products from more than one supplier, the customer will receive different packages at different times.
This is confusing for customers because they are used to receiving all their items in one bundle at the same time.
Let the customer know you have multiple warehouses and ship products as soon as possible.
The only way to customize the products with your own branding and logos is to build a relationship with the supplier. You will most likely need a high order volume before the supplier commits to customizing your products.
For this reason, it’s more difficult to brand your products because you are ultimately selling the suppliers products to begin with.
Common Questions about Dropshipping
Does dropshipping work in 2021?
Many beginner dropshippers fear that dropshipping doesn’t work anymore in 2021.
They think they are too late to get started, the industry is too saturated, or that Facebook advertisements disallow dropshipping now.
All of these fears are baseless and should be ignored.
Dropshipping is still alive and thriving in 2021 and will only grow more.
The global pandemic situation has only enabled more online consumerism.
People are now more than ever willing to shop online, so launching a dropshipping store is still a great idea.
Is dropshipping a legitimate business model?
Dropshipping is a completely legitimate business model that provides endless value. It’s perfectly legal and a business model used by many global retailers.
Similar to any other business, it’s all about satisfying customer expectations and building a trusted brand.
The dropshipping business model is exactly the same as any online retailer with the only difference being you rely on suppliers to ship the products to customers.
As long as you’re conducting your business legally and follow our guide, there should be no issues along the way.
How do I make money as a dropshipper?
Your profits are broken down just like any other business model. The top line will consist of revenue (price of product x order volume).
From the revenue, you can subtract the cost of goods (product cost from supplier x order volume).
From here you are left with the gross profit (revenue – cost of goods sold).
After that, you will need to deduct expenses that consist of:
Facebook Advertisements, Shopify Subscription, Shopify Apps, Domain Hosting, and any other costs that are included in your dropshipping business.
From the gross profit – expenses you are left with earnings before tax.
After deducting the tax expenses you finally have your net income.
The Facebook advertising cost is the main variable that will influence your main profits. It’s up to you to fully immerse yourself inside the Facebook ads platform and learn how to optimize your ads.
Forming a corporation and taxes for dropshipping?
Very common questions that beginner dropshippers have is if they need to form a business entity and how to deal with taxes.
If you don’t form a business entity, you will be running your business as a sole proprietorship which is perfectly legal and okay.
However, this type of business entity doesn’t offer you any liability protection if you were to face legal setbacks.
This is why we recommend all dropshippers to form a business entity.
The different business entities consist of:
Limited Liability Company (LLC), S-Corporation, C-Corporation, and Partnerships.
We recommend you to consult with a tax lawyer or go to your local bank and ask which entity is best suited for the dropshipping model. The tax structure depends on your location, so we can’t tell you which one to form.
However, learning about the corporation benefits and how to deal with taxes will save you a big headache later down the road.
So please take the time to talk with a professional who is knowledgeable on your location’s tax laws. Treat dropshipping as a real business and take the proper steps to ensure long-term success.
What is Shopify
Simply put, Shopify is the website you will be using to create and design your dropshipping store. Shopify is an ecommerce platform that lets users easily create online stores.
We have been using Shopify for 3+ years and are constantly impressed with how they are improving user experience.
Shopify is a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange that generated 1.58 billion dollars in revenue in 2019.
It’s a trusted ecommerce platform used by hundreds of thousands of dropshippers around the world.
Why Use Shopify?
It’s true, Shopify is not the only ecommerce platform that exists.
You may have heard of other Ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce or BigCommerce.
However, we have tested all the other platforms and learned that Shopify is still the easiest to use with the most features.
If you are a beginner, choosing Shopify is essential because we will be using Shopify in all of our tutorials and YouTube videos.
How Does Dropshipping Work on Shopify?
Dropshipping is extremely straightforward using Shopify because of Oberlo and Aliexpress. Oberlo is an application that makes it easy to import products from Aliexpress into your Shopify store. Also, Oberlo allows you to conveniently fulfill customer orders.
The process works like this: find products you want to sell on Aliexpress, create a Shopify store, install the Oberlo application and web browser extension, import the products into your store, design your website using a Shopify theme, run advertisements, fulfill orders using Oberlo.
We will go over this process in complete detail soon, but it’s imperative to find what products you want to sell first.
What Products Should I sell on Shopify?
Choosing a niche or product to sell is the first step in your dropshipping business.
You will be using a tool made by Aliexpress called the Aliexpress Dropshipper Center.
The Aliexpress Dropship Center is a free tool that makes it simple to find trending products. Go to Aliexpress.com and create an account.
After that click here to go to the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center. You can also google ‘Aliexpress Dropship Center’ and click the first link to find it.
Once you’re inside the tool, on the left-hand side you want to click on ‘Find Products to Sell’.
This is the main tool you will be using.
Inside this dashboard you will see a list of products with their order volume, dropshipping order volume, and product rating.
The dropshipping order volume can be ignored because its accuracy is unreliable. The only metrics you need to consider are the total order volume and the ‘Analyze’ button that presents daily sales volume.
From this point, it’s quite simple to find a good product to dropship. Sort the products by order volume and all countries.
Aliexpress provides global shipping, so we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves by limiting the search to only the United States.
If you are interested in a specific niche or category, you can sort the list by category.
Once your list is sorted, you can click ‘Analyze’ on the individual products to see how many orders the product is selling daily.
You want to look for products that are selling at least 50 units per day.
Products that are selling more than 50 units a day show that either:
- Other dropshippers are having success selling the product
- It’s a popular product that regular consumers are purchasing for themselves on Aliexpress.
Either way, the product is making sales on a consistent basis which means that the item is sellable.
Let’s look at some examples:
This product is not selling 50 units per day, so we would disregard this product and continue looking
The product below is consistently selling over 50 units per day, so we would consider selling this product.
Make sure to bookmark or copy and paste in a document the URLs of the products you want to test. You will be importing them into your store later.
There are some key things to consider when looking for products. Here is a checklist of what attributes to look for when browsing for dropshipping products.
How to Find a Winning Dropshipping Product
Does it Solve a Problem?
The best dropshipping products are products that are unique and solve a common problem. We showcased two examples of these types of products on our YouTube channel.
One of them was a back brace for posture support and back pain relief. The other one was a mosquito trap device that eliminated mosquitoes.
We found the back brace trending on the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center and quickly tested it for ourselves. After running a few advertisements, we realized that back pain is an extremely common problem.
Many people have back pain or want posture support, but very few of them actually take action to fix it. When consumers who face back pain stumbled upon our advertisement while scrolling through Facebook, they were immediately intrigued.
Many people immediately purchased the item without thinking twice. This is because the product helped solve a problem that many people face in their daily lives.
Another example of a product that solves a problem is the mosquito trapper. The mosquito trap is a small electronic device that is powered by a USB cord.
It works by luring mosquitoes to it using an LED light and then sucking them into the device with a fan. It’s an incredible tool to remedy mosquito issues because it’s odorless, inexpensive, and easy to use.
Our video advertisement showed consumers how the device works and how simple it is for them to get rid of mosquitos. We helped customers solve a problem with a product that not many people knew existed.
It’s the perfect example of a unique product that solves a common problem.
Setting the most effective price point is one of the most important aspects of a successful dropshipping store. Profit and revenue are the easiest metrics to look at and the ones that will help determine if the product is sellable or not.
As far as setting the price, we always recommend dropshippers to price their product at least 3x more than the total price they pay to the supplier.
For example, if the Aliexpress supplier is selling the product for $12 + $4 for shipping. We would set the price at a minimum of $48.
To make the price look better, we would round it up to $49.95. Another thing we recommend is to look for products you can sell for at least $25. Selling a $1 product from Aliexpress for $5 can generate revenue, but won’t work for long-term success.
Once you factor in Facebook ads costs it will be extremely hard to maintain consistent profit.
So if you find a product you want to sell that costs less than $8, try testing the product at $24.95. If that doesn’t work, try testing the product at $19.95 and see if you can generate stable revenue.
Easy to Ship
Find products that are easy to ship. Since the product’s are mainly shipped from China, they may need to go through a long journey to reach their destination.
Large products often come with extremely high shipping prices.
Furthermore, a large package has potential to get damaged along its route. The examples we gave before, the back brace and mosquito trap, are small and easy to ship.
Can it be Easily Found
Don’t choose products that can be easily found in any local shop.
For example, let’s say you found generic looking nail clippers that are selling well on Aliexpress.
Even though the product is trending, nail clippers can easily be found at any local corner store or pharmacy. Furthermore, people can quickly go on Amazon.com and order them at an affordable price with 2 day shipping.
If you want to sell products that can be easily found, you need a clever marketing angle and well-placed Facebook ad targeting.
For clothing, we recommend setting up a niche store and branding the products and store around that niche.
For example, if you found some hoodies and jackets that are trending, a good idea would be to brand the store around outdoorsmen and people interested in camping.
Does it provoke a Wow effect
Products that make the consumer subconsciously think “Wow!” are great choices.
These are unique products in the way they function or the way they look. If you find a product that makes you think “wow that’s really cool” while browsing the Aliexpress Dropship Center, other people will probably think the same.
An example of this is a device we found that instantly cuts a watermelon into equal sized slices. We’ve never seen this device before and actually paused to look at the product listing.
A product that provokes a Wow effect paired with a captivating video advertisement can easily lead to a winning dropshipping product.
Unique electronic devices make for fantastic dropshipping products as well. One of the hottest products we told our students to try selling were LED light strips.
These LED light strips can change to any color and instantly enhance the look of any room. When consumers saw our video advertisement of bedrooms with the LED lights installed, they were immediately wowed and enticed to purchase them.
Does it trigger an impulse buy
Products that trigger an impulse purchase stop the customer dead in their tracks and quickly pulling their credit cards out.
These products usually have some time of novelty factor that makes it fun and quirky.
Furthermore, these products can cause consumers to feel emotional attachment to something. An example of this would be a cute dog costume or baby outfit. Other examples of this include a funny onesie or a beautiful galaxy LED lighting display.
The process of finding a good dropshipping product through the Aliexpress Dropshipping Center is fairly clear-cut and easy to understand.
We taught you what metrics to look for and how to browse through the various categories. The marketing is where you will truly have to flex your creative juices to stay ahead of the pack.
While browsing through products, you always have to keep in mind the potential marketing angles.
This includes what kind of advertisement creative you would make, how the product can help customers solve problems, what type of demographic to target, and how you would brand your store.
The creative is the advertisement that customers see when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.
You have the option of making a video or picture creative. Video creatives are better suited for products that solve problems because they give you time to fully explain the product to customers.
Picture creatives work well for products that people already understand, such as clothing or accessories. You can test both methods to see which one works better for the product you’re selling.
An important lesson in marketing is that consumers truly only care about the result and emotions the product induces.
Effective advertisements show how the product can better their life or make them happy. For this reason, you don’t need to bore them with the technicalities of the product.
For instance, if you were selling LED light strips, talking about the type of battery and watts is boring and uninspiring. Instead, you want to show them the LED light strips displayed in beautiful rooms with upbeat melodic music in the background.
Your goal is to entice the customer to want to experience the feeling of being in a room with the LED lights themselves. Remember, consumers only care about the results the products can help them achieve.
Think about the results that customers want out of your product and construct the advertisement creative around these results.
Marketing is the number one skill that successful dropshippers have. It’s also the hardest skill to develop because it takes a lot of trial and error. However, the only way to improve is to be patient and to keep on testing and analyzing the results.
Through every success or failure, there is a lesson to be learned. You will naturally become a better marketer and make more creative and intuitive decisions as time goes on.
Lets finally build your dropshipping store!
Click here to learn more about product research.
How to Build a Dropshipping Store With Shopify
Creating a dropshipping store on Shopify is extremely straightforward and beginner-friendly.
We will lay out everything you need to do before your store is ready to launch Facebook ads.
Simply follow along and complete each step with us.
How to Create a Shopify Store
The first step is going to Shopify and creating an account. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, so just enter your email and click ‘Start Free Trial’.
Click here to go to Shopify.
We recommend making a new gmail account for your Shopify store to stay organized, but it’s perfectly okay to use the personal one you already have.
On the next page, choose a password for your account. This is also where you will name your store.
This store name ultimately doesn’t matter since you will be buying a domain name later on.
Keep in mind, this name is not set in stone and it’s perfectly okay to just use any random store name for now.
Fill in the following prompt and fill in your address.
Next, click ‘Enter my Store’.
You should see the main Shopify dashboard now.
Your first task is to click ‘Select a plan’ on the middle of your screen.
You will see 3 different options:
Choose ‘Basic Shopify’ at $29 per month.
Furthermore, you’ll see that you won’t actually be billed for 2 weeks because of the free trial. If you cancel anytime before the trial period, you will never be charged.
After purchasing your Shopify subscription, disable the password for your store.
Click ‘Online Store’ then ‘Preferences’.
Make sure ‘Enable password’ is unchecked.
The next step is to buy your store domain.
Buying a Store Domain
It’s possible to buy your website domain from Shopify, but we recommend using Namecheap instead.
Namecheap offers a bit more customization and security.
Go to Namecheap and come up with an idea for your store name.
For example, if you wanted to make a store selling workout apparel, an idea could be ‘Rush Fitness’.
However, the domain rushfitness.com is already taken
In this case, you could name the website shoprushfitness.com instead which isn’t taken.
As you can see, the domain only costs $8.88 per year which is extremely affordable.
We recommend buying a .com domain because they signify trust and legitimacy to customers.
Use this as an opportunity to flex your creativity when coming up with your store name. This will ultimately be the name of your brand and company.
However, don’t stress too much on finding the perfect name. The product itself and advertising are much more important.
After adding the domain to your cart and going to your cart, make sure to leave the ‘WhoisGuard’ enabled to maintain your privacy and security.
Then click confirm order and enter in your payment information. Domains are extremely affordable and should cost around $10 per year.
Integrating Domain into Shopify
The next step is to connect the domain you just purchased from Namecheap to your Shopify store. On the left-hand side of your Shopify dashboard click on ‘Domains’.
Next, click on ‘Connect existing domain’.
Type in your domain name and click on ‘View Namecheap Instructions’. The page that opens up will walk you through how to connect your domain.
You will need to add a few things inside your Namecheap settings. After following their instructions go back to Shopify and click on ‘Verify Connection’.
After a few seconds of loading, a page should appear showing that your domain was successfully connected. You will now be able to type in your domain on a new tab and see your store.
Sometimes your domain won’t connect right away because of a delay between Namecheap and Shopify.
If this happens, wait 5-10 minutes and try again. At this point, your domain should be successfully connected.
Please contact Shopify support if you still have trouble verifying the domain.
Creating an Store Email
The next step is to set up a custom email using the domain you purchased. We recommend naming it support@[your domain here].
Based on our previous example with the fitness store, the email would be firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the email that customers will be receiving order confirmations and shipping information from. Furthermore, this is the email you will give to customers if they need customer support or have any questions.
Go to Google Workspace.
Google Workspace was formally known as Google Suite or G Suite
You will see 3 different Google Workspace editions. The ‘Business Starter’ package at $6/month is perfectly okay and what we recommend since it has everything you need.
The main differentiator between ‘Starter’ and ‘Standard’ is storage capacity. Standard offers 2TB of cloud storage whereas Basic only offers 30GB.
30GB is more than enough because the storage necessities are not large with a dropshipping store.
Once you’ve chosen your G Workspace Package, you will be taken to a screen where you will name your business, select how many employees you have, and choose your country.
In the next page you will enter in your name and current email address.
After clicking next, it will ask you if your business has a domain.
Since you already purchased a domain click ‘Yes, I Have One I Can Use’. Enter your domain name in the next screen and click ‘Next’.
They will ask ‘Use this domain to set up the account?’, just click ‘Next’ again. This screen allows you to choose your username and password. As we said before, input ‘support’ as the username and choose your password. Click ‘Agree and Continue’.
Review your payment plan and ensure you chose the correct Workspace package and then click ‘Next’. Input your payment information and go to the next screen. Click ‘Continue to Setup’.
You will be taken to the Google Workspace admin console. Click on ‘Activate’ to activate your new gmail account.
Follow the instructions given by Google Workspace to connect your Namecheap domain and Google Workspace account.
After activating the gmail account you will be shown a screen where you can add members of your team. Ignore that for now and click ‘or skip for now’.
At this point, your new customer support email should be completely set up. Send a few test emails to see if things are working properly.
Please leave a comment below if you have any issues during this process and we will respond as soon as possible.
The next step in the process is setting up the application called Oberlo inside your Shopify account.
Oberlo is the application that connects your Shopify store with Aliexpress and is a mandatory app to use for dropshipping. It helps you import products from Aliexpress into your store and quickly fulfill orders.
On the left-hand side of your Shopify admin, click on ‘Apps’ and search for ‘Oberlo’. Add the app to your store and install it.
Next, click here to install the Oberlo Chrome extension or for whichever web browser you are using.
Now with the application and extension installed, find the Aliexpress products you saved from before.
Use the blue Oberlo chrome extension on the top right of your screen to import the product into the Oberlo app in Shopify.
After importing your products, go back to the Oberlo dashboard and click ‘Import List’ on the left-hand side.
Here you will find the products you just imported from Aliexpress. The products are not officially live on your Shopify store yet. Oberlo allows you to edit the product details before fully importing it into your store.
The changes you make will be live once you import the product, but you can always edit the details in Shopify later.
As far as changes go, rename your product into something simple and creative.
For example, if you are selling a grey hoodie, the name ‘Comfort Knit Hoodie’ sounds much more intriguing than ‘Grey Hoodie’.
For ‘Collections’ open your Shopify dashboard in a new tab and click ‘Products’ on the left hand side.
On the upper-right corner click on ‘Create Collection’.
Title the collection with the type of product you are selling. This is the name customers will see when they are choosing which type of products they want to browse.
For example, if you have a clothing dropshipping store, the collection names would include ‘Hoodies’, ‘Jackets’, ‘T-Shirts’, etc. After naming your collection, scroll down to find ‘Collection type’ and choose ‘Manual’.
Save your collection.
Next, go back to your Oberlo import list and type in the correct collection you want your product in. For ‘Type’ and ‘Tags’, these are organization tools for you and don’t appear on the website.
Choose names for these related to your product.
Afterwards, click on ‘Description’. This is where you will edit the description of your product.
The product description is extremely important because good copywriting is proven to generate more sales.
The description should be catered to the demographic of people purchasing the product.
A format we like to follow is to write about the benefits, results, how the product works, and who the product is for.
Here’s an example of a short description we made for a pillow device that relieves neck pain:
“If you sit at the computer often, travel frequently, or suffer injuries then the Neck Pillow is perfect for you.
It’s been designed to keep your neck aligned during work, to be used as a travel companion on long drives and flights, and to help relieve pain caused by injuries.
It’s the perfect solution for anyone looking for neck pain relief.”
After writing your description it’s time to click ‘Variants’. This is where you will edit the price of your product as well as the compared at price. Make sure your product price is at least 3x the price of the total cost you pay to the supplier (cost+shipping).
You can also change the compared at price. For example, if you sell the product for $30 and put the compared at price to $60, your product page will display the discount and a 50% off sale. We recommend changing the cents to .95 on all your products.
For instance, if you want to sell the product for $30.00, change it to $29.95. This is a marketing tactic used by many top brands because it’s proven to get more sales.
Once you finish pricing your products, click on ‘Images’. This menu allows you to choose which pictures you want published on the product page. You want to select only clean high-quality images.
Use your intuition and choose images you think customers would like to see. We don’t recommend you import all the images, just choose 3-5 good ones. Make sure the images look professional.
If the image has the Supplier’s logo on it, it’s okay as long as it’s on a white background and not touching the product. You can erase the logo later on in Shopify.
Now, it’s time to press the ‘Import to store’ button!
Before making any additional changes to the product in Shopify it’s important to adjust the Oberlo settings.
In your Oberlo dashboard, click ‘Settings’ on the bottom left-hand corner.
Input your store name in the ‘Store name’ section. Make sure ‘Set new products as published’ is checked on.
Ignore the other items and scroll down to find ‘Notify customers about shipped orders’.
You can leave this blank because we will be installing an application called Tracktor which will handle shipping updates and emails.
In ‘Auto updates’ select ‘Set Quantity To Zero’ when the product is no longer available. This means that when the supplier inventory hits 0 on Aliexpress, your product page will automatically show the product is out of stock.
Choose ‘Set Quantity To Zero’ when the variant is no longer available as well for the same reasons. For ‘When the cost changes’ choose ‘Do Nothing’, but check ‘Notify Me’.
You will receive a notification from Oberlo if the supplier changes the product price, and then you can adjust your own product price accordingly.
Furthermore, choose ‘Update Automatically’ for when inventory changes. These are all the changes needed in the basic settings menu.
Next, click ‘Global Pricing Rules’ on the left-hand side. This is a menu that allows you to set the price and compared at price of your products automatically based on the supplier cost.
Since we already set our product prices, we won’t be using this. However, if later on you have a store with a lot of products, this is a simple way to auto adjust their prices.
Subsequently, click on ‘Suppliers’ and change the default shipping method to ‘ePacket’.
In the ‘Override phone number’ box, input your own phone number so the supplier doesn’t receive the customer’s phone number. Next, leave the custom note as is.
Oberlo will automatically tell the supplier you are a dropshipper when you fulfill the product on Aliexpress. Save your settings.
You can ignore ‘Reporting’ and ‘GDPR Reports’.
In ‘Other’, change the reply-to email address to the customer support email you just made with G Workspace. For time zone, just input your time zone.
And that’s it! Make sure you save all your Oberlo settings.
If there are some changes you want to make to the product details or images, go to the Shopify dashboard and click ‘Products’ on the left-hand side. Select the product you’d like to adjust.
Here, you can adjust the name, images, description, pricing, and everything else.
Now that your products are good to go, it’s time to setup and design your website using a Shopify theme. This entails creating a logo, creating a homepage banner, and making sure everything looks perfect.
Shopify comes with a free theme called ‘Debut’ which is what we will be teaching you to set up. We usually use a theme called Turbo, but this theme costs $350 and is not necessary for beginners.
Debut is perfectly okay to use as long as you follow our instructions on how to set it up properly. On the left-hand side of your Shopify dashboard click ‘Online Store’. You will be taken to the ‘Themes’ section where you will already see Debut as your current theme. From here, click on ‘Customize’.
Before getting started with your store design, we recommend getting Adobe Photoshop. We make most of our marketing materials with Photoshop and also showcase how to create ads with it on our YouTube channel.
Learning how to do graphic design with Photoshop is an essential skill as a dropshipper. However, if this isn’t a possibility it is perfectly okay as there are many free resources you can use as well.
Canva is an alternative graphic design software that we recommend because it’s easy to use and has a free version.
We will be teaching the graphics as if you were using Photoshop, but you can easily follow along if you are using Canva or another graphic design software as well.
For your logo create a new image using 1080×1080 pixel dimensions.
Keep the background white. We recommend making simple minimalistic logos only using text and nice colors. Select the text tool and type out your store name in all caps.
Drag the text to the middle of the canvas and change the font size to encapsulate most of the white background. Leave some white space on the edges so it isn’t too crammed. Choose a font and color scheme that looks high quality.
Open Sans ExtraBold is a simple font that looks professional and pretty. If your store name consists of two words, choosing different but matching colors for each word is a good idea.
From our previous example, Rush Athletics, I would use a light blue for the word Rush and a dark grey for the word Athletics.
Once you find a font and color combination you are satisfied with, save a copy of the square logo as a PNG and name the file “Logo_FacebookPage”.
The logo isn’t finished yet, but you will need a square logo for your store’s Facebook page profile picture later on. The logo on your Shopify store needs to be cropped to only show the text and no extra background.
So, drag the text to the upper-left hand corner and crop it. You should have a small rectangular box with just the text now.
Align the text horizontally and vertically. Next, you have to hide the background layer to make the white background transparent. To do this, go to the layers and find ‘Background’.
Click the small eyeball icon to hide that layer. Now, you should see the background has a white and grey checkerboard which indicates its transparency.
Finally, save a different copy of the logo as a PNG and name the file “Logo_Shopify”.
The next thing we need to make is the Favicon.
The Favicon is the logo that appears on the customer’s web browser tab. You’ll notice that when you have multiple tabs open, each website has a different Favicon logo which helps them find the tab they need.
Create a new image using the same 1080×1080 pixel dimensions. For the Favicon we simply just use the first letter of each word in our store. So if our store name was Rush Athletics, we would use the text tool and type RA. Use the same font and colors as you used for your logo.
Enlarge the font so it takes up most of the white space and align it in the middle. Keep the background white and not transparent.
You can also add some more styling like we did here:
Your Favicon should now be finished. Save the file as a PNG and name it “Logo_Favicon”.
Now with your logo and Favicon complete, go back into the Shopify theme editor and click on ‘Header’. Click ‘Select Image’ under Logo Image and import the logo you made.
Keep the logo aligned to the left. You can increase the ‘Custom logo width’ if the logo looks too small, or decrease it if the logo looks too big. Scroll down to find the ‘Announcement Bar’ on the left-hand side. Click on ‘Show announcement’.
The announcement bar should be used to promote any store promotions you have. We recommend dropshippers to always offer some type of discount and free shipping.
For example we could write “50% OFF + Free Shipping Worldwide” in the announcement bar. Keep the bar color dark and the text white. Leave the ‘Link’ box blank. Now scroll down to find ‘Theme Settings’ on the left-hand side.
This is where you will input your Facebook and Instagram pages later on. That’s it for the Header section. Click the back arrow next to ‘Header’ on the top-left side of the page and click on ‘Theme Settings’.
Click on ‘Favicon’ and upload the Favicon image you just created with Photoshop or Canva.
Now your Logo and Favicon are set up on your Shopify dropshipping store.
The next step is to create a beautiful homepage banner for your store.
This is the first image that customers will see when going to your store, so we want to ensure it’s engaging and provides value.
To start, create a new Photoshop image or Canva image and use 1920×1080 pixel dimensions. It will make a wide and rectangular banner.
For the home banner we want to find a high quality image related to your store’s products.
For example, if I were making a banner for Rush Athletics, I’d want a picture of someone exercising or working out.
To find high quality and copyright free images, go to Unsplash or Pexels. These websites offer extremely nice images that are completely copyright free.
Type in the keyword related to your store’s products and find an image that grabs your attention. Choose a rectangular image since the canvas size is 1980×1080.
After finding a picture, import the picture into your Photoshop canvas and enlarge it so you can’t see any white background.
Now use the text tool and type in something creative that will act as your store’s slogan.
For example, I’d type out in all caps “FITNESS DONE COMFORTABLY, EXERCISE WITH EASE” for the Rush Athletics banner.
Now it’s time to create a ‘Shop Now’ button. Use the rectangle tool to create a small box on the bottom left-hand corner.
Now use the text tool and type “SHOP NOW” in all caps. Put the text in the rectangular box you just created and align it in the center.
Make sure it looks similar to this:
Save the file as a JPEG with 9 quality.
With your new homepage banner, go back to the theme customization portal on Shopify and find ‘Image with text overlay’ under ‘Sections’. Click ‘Select Image’ and import the banner you just created. Make sure the ‘Section height’ is ‘Large’ and delete the text inside ‘Heading’ and ‘Text’.
For ‘Button Link’ this is where customers will be brought when they click the image. If you have a one product store, click the white box and find your product.
If you have multiple products in your store, click the white box, collections, then all collections. If you have multiple products but only one collection, click the white box, products, then all products.
That’s it for the homepage banner. Click back on the top-left corner of your screen.
For ‘Image with text’, ‘Text columns with images’, ‘Image with text overlay’, ‘Testimonials’ and ‘Gallery’ click into them and find ‘Remove section’ on all of them.
We won’t be using these. Click on ‘Featured collection’ and then click ‘Select Collection’.
Choose the collection you think has the products that will sell the most. This collection will now be displayed on the homepage for customers to see.
Save your settings and go back to the main dashboard to click ‘Theme settings’.
Click on ‘Colors’.
Change the ‘Sale Price’ to the same color as your logo.
You can find the exact font color in Photoshop, or choose a color that’s extremely similar.
Use this same color for ‘Primary buttons’.
Leave everything as is and go back to ‘Theme settings’. ‘Typography’ can be ignored because the font is already good.
However, feel free to change the font if you’d like. Click ‘Search’ and uncheck ‘Enable product suggestions’. Go back to ‘Theme settings’ and click ‘Checkout’.
Import your logo and center align it. Then, match the ‘Accents’ and ‘Buttons’ colors to the same color as your logo.
Save your changes. Click ‘Catalog’ in the middle of your screen and select one of your products.
From this point, click ‘Products pages’ on the left-hand side. Enable ‘Show quantity selector’ and uncheck ‘Show dynamic checkout button’.
Click back and find ‘Footer’.
Uncheck ‘Show language selector’ and ‘Show currency selector’.
Find ‘Quick Links’ on the left-hand side and change the ‘Heading’ text to ‘Customer Care’. Add another menu by clicking ‘Add content’ and change the ‘Heading’ text to ‘About’.
Drag the ‘About’ menu above ‘Customer Care’. This is where you will be putting informational pages such as the FAQ, About Us, and others later on. Customer care will have informational pages like Shipping & Delivery and Returns & Refunds.
Remove the ‘Newsletter’ and click ‘Add content’ and select ‘Text’. For the heading, type in ‘Customer Service Hours’ . In the ‘Text’ section, type in the days and times you will be responding to customer emails.
For example you can say Monday – Friday and 9 am – 5 pm PST. Also write in the customer support email. Save your changes.
Your footer section should now look like this:
The next step is to customize the navigation on your store and add in the additional footer pages. Go back to the main Shopify dashboard and click ‘Settings’ then ‘Legal’. Click ‘Create from template’ for each section.
The templates they give are perfectly okay to use, however, read through them to make any changes you’d like and to understand your own store’s policies.
Open the Shopify dashboard on a new tab and click ‘Online Store’ then ‘Pages’.
Click ‘Add Page’ and title it “Refund Policy”. Copy and paste the text from the template you just created on your other Shopify tab.
Since Shopify doesn’t give you a template for this, we’ve created our own that is perfect for dropshippers. Make sure to add in your own customer support email to this template. Verum Ecom Shipping & Delivery Template
Add another page and title it “Contact Us”. Change the ‘Template suffix’ from page to page.contact and then save it.
This will automatically make a contact page that is easy for customers to use.
You should now have 5 pages total:
Next, click on ‘Navigation’ on the left-hand side and then click ‘Footer menu’.
Your footer menu should now look like this:
Save your changes and click back to the main navigation menu and add another menu item.
Title it ‘About’ and add the Shipping & Delivery and Contact Us pages.
Afterwards, go back and click on ‘Main menu’. Delete ‘Catalog’ and add in all the collections you have in your store. Be sure to save your changes.
Go back to the theme customization portal and go to ‘Footer’. Update and link the About and Customer Care to the right menus and save.
Your store is almost fully set-up now. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions about this process. The next step is to adjust your Shopify Preferences and Settings.
Go to the main Shopify dashboard and click on ‘Online Store’ then ‘Preferences’.
The Homepage title is the text next to the Favicon on the web browser tab. We recommend just putting the name of your store. Write a short description of your store in the Homepage meta description.
This section is unimportant as it’s used for the Google search engine and we are running paid Facebook advertisements.
You can ignore the Social sharing image and Google Analytics sections. Furthermore, we will add the Facebook Pixel later on after setting up the business manager account on Facebook.
Next, click ‘Settings’ on the bottom-left hand corner. We will go over each individual section.
Change the ‘Store name’ to the name of your store.
The ‘Store contact email’ is where Shopify will be sending you emails about your store such as when orders are placed or if there are any issues with your store. Use either your personal email or as we recommended, make a new gmail specifically for your store.
Enter in the customer support email you made using G Suite in ‘Customer email’. The ‘Store Address’ should be either your business address or home address.
Change the Timezone to your own timezone and make sure your Store currency is US Dollar.
However, if you plan on selling products to a specific country, you can change it to that country’s currency as well.
This is where you will change your storefront location.
This is relevant if you have your own warehouse or manage your own inventory.
If you are using Aliexpress, you don’t have to adjust any of these settings.
Plan and permissions
The ‘Plan details’ show which Shopify plan you have and gives you an option to upgrade your plan.
You can click on ‘Compare plans’ to see the different plans that Shopify offers.
There’s 3 packages with the Basic one costing $29/month.
Permissions allows you to give other people access to the store.
This is where you can add your business partners or order fulfillment employees.
The Basic Shopify plan allows you to add 2 additional users to the Shopify admin.
This section allows you to change the payment provider customers will use to checkout.
You will be using Shopify Payments for all your stores. Shopify Payments integrates Stripe, which is a massive online payment processor, into Shopify. Shopify Payments is not supported for every country, so click here to see if Stripe is supported in your country.
Click on ‘Complete account setup’ and select your ‘Business type’. If you are running a sole proprietorship, the ‘Employee Identification Number’ is not needed. Type in your home address, personal details, and product details. For ‘Statement descriptor’ enter in your store name.
Your phone number should already be entered. For ‘Banking Information’, enter in the routing and account number of the bank account you want to get paid to. To do this, login to your bank account online and find the routing and account number.
Leave ‘Enjoy hassle-free bill payments with Shopify balance’ enabled if you would like to pay your Shopify bills with the revenue from your sales.
We typically leave this unchecked for better expense tracking, but it is a convenient tool to utilize.
Click ‘Complete account setup’ to finish setting up Shopify Payments.
Paypal Express Checkout allows customers to pay using Paypal. We recommend dropshippers to deactivate Paypal Express Checkout because we have run into issues where they hold our money for an extended amount of time.
Paypal doesn’t support the dropshipping model because they will often ask for proof of inventory, and since you are using a third party supplier it can be hard to obtain all the information Paypal needs.
Even after disabling Paypal from our stores, we didn’t notice a drop in our conversion rate. However, feel free to test it out for yourself if you’d like and gage your own results.
Amazon Pay allows users to pay with their Amazon accounts. Although it’s a nice function, we don’t use it in our stores because not many people prefer to use Amazon Pay.
For Third-Party Providers and Alternative Payment Methods, this is for dropshippers that aren’t in a country supported by Shopify Payments.
You can click on ‘Choose third-party provider’ and see which options are available to you. Do your due diligence and see which is the best option for the country you are based in.
Make sure ‘Automatically capture payments for orders’ is selected at the bottom of the page.
This section allows you to customize the checkout process for customers. We recommend to disable customer accounts and to enable ‘Customers can only check out using email’.
In ‘Form Options’, select ‘Require first and last name’. Keep ‘Company name’ hidden, ‘Address Line 2’ optional, and ‘Shipping address phone number’ hidden.
Select and enable ‘Do not automatically fulfill any of the order’s items’ and ‘Automatically archive the order’.
For ‘Email marketing’, check and enable ‘Show a sign-up option at checkout’ and ‘Preselect the sign-up option’.
This is where you can customize the emails customers get after placing their orders. The standard Shopify templates they use for these emails are perfectly okay to use. Everything else on the notifications page is already set up, so there’s nothing you need to change.
The billing page allows you to attach a payment method to pay for your Shopify subscription, as well as gives you an overview on all the fees you’re paying.
The shipping page is where you will add in the shipping options customers have when ordering from your store.
Click ‘Manage rates’ in the Shipping section.
Shopify automatically adds two types of shipping rates. Delete both of these by clicking the three small dots next to ‘Domestic’ and ‘Rest of the World’.
After deleting both zones, click on ‘Create shipping zone’. Name the zone ‘Worldwide’ and check ‘Rest of world’. Now, click ‘Add rate’, name it ‘Free Shipping’ and set the price to $0.00.
We recommend offering free shipping to all your customers because it’s proven to generate more sales.
You already added the shipping fees from your supplier into the product cost when setting your product prices earlier.
This is where you can find all the images and documents inside your Shopify store.
Legal is the section we used to create our customer care and about us pages.
You can change the language of your store. We always leave it on English and never add any translated languages.
We never enable any gift cards on our dropshipping stores.
We never charge any sales tax on our dropshipping stores. This might be different for you based on your location.
You can add in various sales channels such as Facebook Messenger and Pinterest. We never add any other sales channels to our stores and only use Shopify.
Order Tracking Page Setup
The next step of setting up your dropshipping store is installing an order tracking app called Tracktor.
Tracktor allows customers to track their orders on your store website. They won’t have to use a third-party website, which can get confusing for customers.
However, Tracktor is $14.99/month but an application we deem necessary for dropshippers. Since products are shipping from China with long shipping times, we want customers to track their orders as conveniently as possible.
As a dropshipper, you will quickly realize the most common customer support email you will receive is “Where is my order?”.
Go to the Shopify dashboard and click ‘Apps’ on the left-hand side. Type in Tracktor and hit search. Install the application and select the $14.99/month plan.
They will ask you if you use Oberlo, hit ‘Yes, continue’. Tracktor will automatically connect with Oberlo and all future orders.
Click ‘Tracking Page Editor’ to customize the tracking page if you’d like. We typically don’t change anything. Click on ‘Help’ and then click ‘Add Tracktor to your store’s navigation’.
Follow the instructions given by making a new page in the About menu of the navigation.
Name the page ‘Track Order’ and paste the “/apps/tracktor/” text that Tracktor gives you into the link box.
The last two steps to do is to go back to ‘Help’ in Tracktor and click ‘Add a tracking link to your order confirmation email template’ and ‘Add a tracking link to your shipping confirmation email template’.
Follow the simple tutorials given to you by Tracktor to complete steps.
Facebook Pixel and Store Page Setup
The last step of setting up your dropshipping store is attaching your Facebook Pixel to Shopify.
The Facebook Pixel is a tool that tracks the customer’s actions on your store after they click your advertisement.
These actions include what pages they view, what products they view, which products they add to cart, and everything else the customer does on your store.
By tracking their actions, Facebook and the machine learning algorithm analyzes the data to optimize the ads for better conversion.
The steps to create your Facebook Pixel
- Create Facebook Page
- Create Business Manager Account
- Create Ad account for your store
- Create Facebook Pixel
To set up the pixel, you need to first make a Facebook page for your store. Login to your Facebook account and click ‘Pages’ on the left-hand side.
Click ‘Create Page’ and choose ‘Business or Brand’. Type in the name of your store and choose ‘Brand’ as the category.
Click continue and add the square logo you previously made as the profile picture.
Next, add your store homepage banner as the cover photo. Make sure your profile picture and cover photo are aligned and enlarged properly.
Next, click ‘Create Page @Username’ and title it the name of your store.
Then, click ‘Add Button’, choose the ‘Shop Now’ button, and type in your store’s website.
At this point, your Facebook page is ready to launch ads.
However, feel free to add in more info in the about section or populating your feed with images to make the page look more legitimate.
The next step is to set up a Facebook business account.
Create Facebook Business Manager
Go to business.facebook.com/create and click ‘Create Account’.
Type in your name and confirm your identity with your Facebook login information.
Next, follow the prompts and create your business account. Once you’re inside the Facebook Business Manager, click ‘Go to Business settings’.
On the left-hand side of your screen, find Accounts and then click ‘Ad Accounts’. Click on add and create a new ad account.
Name the ad account the name of your store, choose your time zone, and choose your currency. Click next, select ‘My business’, and then ‘Create’. Next, select your Facebook profile, check ‘Manage Ad Account’, and then press ‘Assign’.
Now you have an ad account for your store as well as access to manage the account.
Click the ‘Payments ‘ on the left-hand side of your screen and then click ‘Add Payment Method’.
Add the payment method you will use to pay for your Facebook ads. Now, go back to the Business Settings, find ‘Accounts’ and then click ‘Pages’. Add the Facebook page you made for your store.
Finally, go back to the business settings, find ‘Data Sources’ and then click ‘Pixels’.
Name the Pixel after your store name and type pixel after. So for example, “Rush Athletics Pixel”. Once the pixel is made, go to your Shopify dashboard and click ‘Online Store’ then ‘Preferences’. Click ‘Set up Facebook’ to connect your pixel.
Now with your Facebook Pixel attached to your store, you are ready to run ads!
Next Steps of How To Dropship on Shopify
At this point, your store is completely ready to start launching ads.
Launching ads for your dropshipping store is a completely separate process. For this reason, we recommend watching our videos on YouTube to learn how to properly run your Facebook advertisements.
It’s important to understand the big picture and everything it takes to run a successful dropshipping store.
So next, we will go all tasks you will need to complete as a dropshipper.
This will help organize your workflow and efficiency.
Dropshipping Overview and Essential Tasks
Creating Advertisements – you will be creating the advertisements that customers see while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. You should create and test a variety of different creatives to see which one performs best. When you find a creative is working well, you can create different creatives similar to the well-performing ones and try to improve it.
Creating Ad Campaigns – you will set up ad campaigns inside your ad account on Facebook’s business manager. This is where you will choose how much money to spend daily on the advertisement, what demographic to target, and type the text that appears above the creative. The ad campaign will also display all data related to the actions taken by customers on your store. The most important statistic to look at is the CPP (cost per purchase). The CPP is how much money the advertisement spends per purchase. This will ultimately determine the profitability of your store. Your daily work will mainly consist of testing new products in the ads manager as well as making changes to previous ad campaigns.
Fulfilling orders – once customers place orders, it’s imperative to quickly fulfill them using Oberlo. Once you grow your store, we recommend hiring a virtual assistant to fulfill the orders for you. This allows you to save time and focus more on the advertising.
Customer service – respond quickly and politely to all customer inquiries. Once again, as your store grows in revenue, we recommend hiring a virtual assistant to assist with customer support emails.
Managing finances – it’s important to keep track of all your revenue and expenses. We recommend consulting with an accountant to learn the best way to keep track of everything.
Filing Taxes – the tax laws will vary depending on your location. It’s important to stay on top of your taxes early and consult with a tax professional once your store starts to generate revenue.
Communication with suppliers – having a consistent line of communication with your suppliers is essential for running a sustainable dropshipping business.