Shopify is a great platform for selling online. Shopify is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms with more than one million stores in 175 countries. Numerous stores powered by Shopify are dropshipping stores. In this article, we look at why you should consider this model and how to dropship on Shopify.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a unique selling method that isn’t new. Dropshipping has been around since high-street brands produced catalogues. Savvy entrepreneurs would collate them into their catalogues and deliver them to local consumers.
The consumers would order through the entrepreneurs who would then collect the orders and get the high-street brands to deliver the products.
Today, the internet has made this much easier and it has become more formalised.
Sellers advertise a range of products on their websites. Buyers will order these products and then the sellers will tell the merchants/manufacturers what to deliver and to whom. The merchants/manufacturers will then fulfil the orders.
The merchant/manufacturer will bill the seller for the cost of the goods. The difference between the price the buyer has paid and the costs incurred by the merchant/manufacturer is the profit margin for the seller.
Advantages of Dropshipping
There are numerous advantages of dropshipping that allow you to build a successful business. For example:
1. Quick Setup
Normally all the data that you need is stored on another website. This includes images for the products, videos, descriptions, titles, etc.
With apps like Oberlo, you can import these directly into your Shopify website and you are ready to sell.
2. Limited Start-up Costs
While there are Shopify costs, there are a few other costs to get you going. You don’t have to pay any costs for products until you’ve got an order. And then you only pay for the number of products that have been ordered.
This allows you to get going on a shoe-string or no budget at all.
3. Save Time
Because you don’t have to fulfil the orders, there is a lot of time that can be saved for you. You can just focus on the marketing and administrative tasks of your business.
Therefore, dropshipping is a very good business if you’re looking for a more passive income.
4. Work from Home
Another advantage is that you don’t need to have large premises to get going. All you need is a computer, so you can work from home which can save you costs.
You can even, depending on local tax laws, claim some costs to run your business from your home as an allowable expense on your earnings.
5. Flexible Business Practices
There are numerous ways that dropshipping becomes flexible. The first is the time that you put in. You can determine the hours you work without having to dedicate certain times to work.
Another flexibility is in regards to the products that you can offer. You can respond better to the latest trends and you can drop products that aren’t meeting customer expectations or selling as well.
6. International Customers
One of the big advantages is that many merchants/manufacturers are established to deliver products across the world. Therefore, you can expand your business operations to sell across the world too without needing to spend time organising this.
This can greatly increase your potential revenue streams.
Disadvantages of Dropshipping
There are some disadvantages of dropshipping as well. Here are some of those for you.
1. Quality Control
The first problem is quality control for the products being shipped to customers. If a customer receives a bad order, it can ruin your reputation.
However, there are ways that you avoid this. You can, for example, do test orders. Or you can switch merchants for some products.
2. High Costs
One of the biggest problems is that you can sometimes have high costs to deliver the product. This can mean that conversions for your products are lower.
A quick way to get around this is to pick the right products.
3. Long Delivery Times
There are also problems with delivery times. Some merchants ship products to arrive with customers for 2-3 weeks, sometimes longer.
In today’s modern consumer-driven world, that is a long time. Research has found that 71% of people expect online orders are delivered within three to five days. Only 13% of consumers would expect orders to take more than 6 days for delivery.
The longer it takes for orders to be delivered, the less happy customers are going to be.
One of the big problems is that because of the model, numerous brands could be selling the same product. Therefore, you might get into a pricing war, unless you are looking at other ways to distinguish your brand from others.
This could be based on what you can offer customers with product bundles or loyalty schemes.
How to Dropship on Shopify
Dropshipping is a great option for Shopify. We’ve already covered how to build a Shopify website in another article. So here are some tips for you to consider that you should use to customise your Shopify website for dropshipping.
Step 1: Consider the Apps
The first thing that you’re going to need to do is to consider the apps that you want to use on your Shopify website. There are numerous dropshipping apps that you can use. This includes Oberlo. There are also others like Spocket.
You need to find the dropshipping app that matches your needs. Spocket is great for those that want to sell mainly in the US and Europe as many of the merchants are based there.
If you’re happy shipping from China, then Oberlo and others can be useful for you,
Most apps are free to install, costs are incurred when orders are made on your website.
Step 2: Choose your Products
Next, you need to select the products that you would like to sell on your website. There are lots of ways to determine this. So here are a few things to consider.
Price – Be sure that you have products that are priced reasonably. You can research what price others are selling their products at and then consider what price you might be able to charge.
Ideally, you want to find products that you can sell for 40% to 70% profit. So if the merchant is selling leggings for £10, you should be charging about £14 to £17. However, if you find that three other competitors are selling the same leggings for £13, then you might want to avoid the product.
However, if three competitors are selling the same leggings for £18, then you can undercut them and still retain good returns.
Sales – Many different merchants will list how many of the items they’ve been able to sell. Those products with low sales might not be a good investment.
However, too many sales might mean there are a lot of competitors or a competitor that has cornered the market. So be sure that you don’t target products with too many sales either.
Reviews – Merchants should showcase what customers have thought about their product. Those products with lots of high ratings should be considered. Those with low ratings should be avoided at all costs.
You can also review the merchants’ reputations and check that they’re legitimate. Contact the merchant, get an address and then check on Google Maps to see the location. Also, see if there are other brands who’ve used the merchant before and what their opinion is of them.
Step 3: Customise your Dropship on Shopify Listings
While apps allow you to download and use the default titles, descriptions and images, you might be best getting custom options for this. It will make your store look unique, improve your SEO and help you to look more professional.
One of the big problems is that some descriptions don’t read well. They’re often not written by native English writers.
Another problem is that other dropshippers don’t do this and this means that you will get duplicate content issues.
Customisation allows you to also change how you market the product, allowing you to concentrate on the benefits of the product, rather than a description.
Step 4: Collect Reviews
It might be tempting to collect the reviews from the merchant of the product. But this can backfire. It is, after all, duplicate content and this can mean that customers will realise that you might not have sold any of the product.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should give up on reviews. You should look at collecting reviews from your existing customers. There are automated systems that you can use to collect these reviews.
Step 5: Optimise your Website for SEO
Now you need to optimise your website for SEO. There are numerous options for this. However, the two best options are to build links from external sources and internal links and to mix this in with blogging.
Blogging is very important. Research has found that those brands who publish more than 15 articles per month can see 70% more sales than those that publish just one per month.
Blogs are also a great way to build internal links.
Ideally, blog posts should be over 800 words. This will help you rank better.
You can get help with blog writing easily.
Final Word: How to Dropship on Shopify
Above are the tips that you need to learn how to dropship on Shopify. These are simple tips but are important for your brand’s success. Dropshipping is profitable, and you should expect to start to see sales within 14 days of starting your Shopify business. However, perseverance is really important to succeed.