Guide to Dropshipping on Shopify

Use the various Shopify dropshipping apps to give you an advantage

Running a Shopify dropshipping business can be highly competitive. That’s because there are so many benefits to this business model that it attracts a wide range of merchants, all trying to sell products in the same online marketplace. So how do you get a leg up? How do you gain that extra edge over your competition? First and foremost, you have to choose the right dropshipping supplier with a great selection of products and an app that integrates seamlessly with your Shopify store.

This can help make your order fulfillment process efficient, easy and more automated. Luckily for you, GreenDropShip is a premium supplier of natural and organic products with an app that’ll be available in the Shopify App Store in February 2021.

Additionally, there are other useful tools that, when used with a top-notch supplier and app, ensure that you will remain competitive and potentially profitable. That being said, let’s take a look at how to dropship on Shopify with GreenDropShip. We’ll also take a look at some other dropshipping tools available for your Shopify store.

What Is Dropshipping With Shopify?

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an e-commerce retail model in which the seller does not handle the inventory. Instead, the dropshipping supplier is responsible for storing, packing, and shipping all products to the end consumer.

Dropshipping has plenty of benefits, including the fact that it’s cost-efficient and you can start with very little money. It’s also low-risk since your supplier handles inventory and you only order as much as you sell. This means you’ll never end up with an unsold surplus because you ordered too much inventory. As a result, lots of your resources are freed up compared to traditional retail models and you can focus on marketing to customers.

Finally, let’s take a look at the profit formula in the dropshipping model:

Profit = Retail Price – (Wholesale Price + Fees/Costs)

In this formula, the retail price is what you charge consumersand the wholesale price is what you pay for products from your supplier. Additionally, fees/costs include the cost of your membership to a dropshipping supplier, your Shopify membership, the app you use from the supplier and any shipping fees. Notice that the costs of inventory storage are not included as this is not necessary in a dropshipping store.

That being said, Shopify is an e-commerce platform that can host your dropshipping store. It’s full of features and tools that let you design a sleek and professional-looking online store with no prior web design experience. You also have access to various tools that can help you handle payments, marketing, and sales.

The basic steps to dropshipping on Shopify are:

  1. Become a member and set up a Shopify store. 
  2. The consumer buys an item.
  3. You get paid by setting up a payment gateway.
  4. Order the product from your dropshipping supplier.
  5. The supplier pulls, packs, and ships the order to the customer on your behalf.

What Are The Benefits To Dropshipping On Shopify?

Dropshipping on Shopify benefits
  • You don’t need to be a web developer to create a great-looking store.
  • Shopify has a huge selection of templates (also known as themes) to choose from.
  • Stores also have very high loading speeds.
  • You can easily scale your Shopify dropshipping store, so everyone from new entrepreneurs to large-scale merchants uses the platform.
  • Apps that are available from the Shopify Store can make your store more efficient and automated.
  • The platform is secure and reliable, so online shoppers can entrust you with their sensitive personal information.
  • Shopify has an excellent customer service department that’s available 24/7/365.
  • The Shopify Community gives you access to additional help via forums.
  • The platform is SEO-friendly, so you can use search engine optimization (SEO) to help your store rank higher in search results.

What Should You Sell on Shopify?

There are various tools you can use to find a niche, but let’s take a quick moment to examine two: 

  1. Google Trends. This free tool allows you to examine search interest on Google over time to help identify wider trends. 
  2. SEMRush. This keyword research tool is a paid tool that lets you see the monthly Google searches for a keyword. You can use it for free for a limited number of searches per day. 

Using these can give you a pretty good idea of niches that will be successful. 

For example, let’s look at the Google Trends data for essential oils for the past couple of years:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is trends.google.com_trends_explore_dateallgeoUSqbaby20medicine-2-1110x506.png

The search interest for this niche has clearly grown. 

Finally, let’s look over the SEMRush data for essential oils: 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is www.semrush.com_analytics_keywordmagic__qessential20oilsdbus-1.png

The monthly Google searches for “essential oils” come to nearly 250,000. 

All this data indicates that there are two basic traits you should look for when choosing a niche for reselling on Shopify: 

  1. Consistently moderate to high search interest 
  2. Substantial growth over the period of time  

That means you need to choose a dropshipping supplier that can provide you these goods to stock in your Shopify store. For instance, GreenDropShip carries over 20,000 natural and organic products, including food, beauty, body care, and essential oils. Additionally, your dropshipping supplier should have full Shopify integration or offer a Shopify App, just like GreenDropShip. This will allow your online store to be more automated and run smoothly with minimal hassles. 

Why Use Shopify Apps?

Why are Shopify apps useful

Shopify Apps are tools to help build, manage, and optimize your online store. They can help you get a leg up over the competition and make your store more automated, efficient, and profitable. This is why GreenDropShip developed its Shopify App – to allow our members to maximize their store profits while still having access to our inventory of over 20,000 natural and organic products, most of which are premium, gourmet, and made in the USA.

That being said, Shopify Apps are incredibly helpful since they can be used to:

  • Find products that you want to sell via apps offered by certain suppliers (including the GreenDropShip App).
  • Design your store to make it more efficient, including navigation, SEO, social media integration, and popups/notifications.
  • Develop your marketing strategy, including ads, retargeting, contests/giveaways, customer retention, and social media marketing.
  • Optimize your sales and conversion via product bundling, discounts, promotions, cross-selling, and sales analytics.
  • Manage your inventory, although this is not necessary for a dropshipping store since your supplier handles these logistics.
  • Create a customer support program with customer relationship management (CRM) and messaging/chat capabilities.

How To Build A Shopify Dropshipping Store

Now let’s discuss how to set up an e-commerce store on Shopify. Luckily, it’s a fairly easy and intuitive process, so be sure you follow these steps:

1) Check if you need a business license

Business licenses are a common requirement in the world of retail. They’re usually necessary for paying taxes to the state or IRS, but sometimes you need a business license to operate in a certain city or county.

In most cases, you won’t need a business license for your Shopify dropshipping store. However, you will need an employee identification number (EIN) and a resale certificate if you are:

  • Selling federally regulated goods.
  • Making more than $20,000 per month.
  • Using the Shopify payment gateway.

All businesses need a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to pay taxes. It’s like a social security number, but for your business. You can easily register in minutes on the website for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Additionally, a resale certificate (also known as a reseller’s permit) is necessary when you buy products in bulk for resale. It essentially allows e-commerce business owners to not be taxed twice on goods.

However, it’s still in your best interest to always check with the Small Business Administration (SBA) or your local state licensing office. You can also read our post about Shopify business licenses to see if any of the terms may apply to your online store.

2) Find a Shopify dropshipping supplier

Finding the right dropshipping supplier is crucial to the success of your online store. You’ll need to find one that has a competitive membership price since this is included in the profit formula we mentioned above. Additionally, they’ll need to have competitive wholesale prices and an excellent inventory of goods to choose from.

You should also make sure you choose a dropshipping supplier that’s integrated with the Shopify platform. For instance, GreenDropShip integrates with Shopify by offering our members the ability to download our product feeds and then import them into their stores. Additionally, we have a dropshipping app that will be available from the Shopify App Store in February 2021. This will further automate the process for your e-commerce store since you can add products to your store with one simple click of a button. Using our Shopify App will allow you to further streamline your retail process, making it that much more convenient and efficient.

There are multiple ways to find Shopify dropshipping suppliers. You can search through supplier directories, including WorldWide Brands, Inventory Source, or Wholesale Central. It’s important to note that only Wholesale Central is free – you have to pay a membership fee for access to pretty much every other reputable supplier directory. Additionally, you can find suppliers in the Shopify App Store. You simply go to the Categories menu, select Finding products, and then choose either Dropshipping or Finding suppliers.

3) Set up your Shopify store

Set up your Shopify Store

The Shopify platform makes this step exceptionally easy for online retailers. You just have to visit the Shopify website, choose a membership plan, and sign up. There are three membership plans for you to choose from:

  • Basic – For $29/month you get up to 2 staff accounts.
  • Standard – For $79/month, you get up to 5 accounts.
  • Advanced – For $299/month, you get up to 15 accounts.

All three plans include unlimited products, 24/7 support, multiple sales channels, discount codes, free SSL certificates, and abandoned cart recovery.

Once you choose a plan, you’ll then need to choose a name for your Shopify store. The default is storename.myshopify.com unless you purchase your domain name using a different provider such as GoDaddy. Obviously, this is an additional cost, but many store owners consider it a worthy investment as it helps build your brand. The domain name should also be: 

  • Keyword-relevant
  • Memorable and catchy
  • Short and easy to spell

Shopify’s Business name generator is a free tool that combines keywords or topics with modifiers to generate a list of potential business names:

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For instance, let’s say your store focuses on selling essential oils and aromatherapy products. Let’s enter the phrase “essential oils” and then hit Generate names. We’re then directed to this:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is www.shopify.com_tools_business-name-generator_search_utf8E29C93queryessentialoilsbuttontoolbusiness_name_generator-1110x690.png

The tool then generates a list of 100 names containing the words Essential Oils. You can then click on each name and be redirected to Exchange Marketplace to quickly start the process. 

Once you’ve signed up and chosen a name, you’ll have access to the Shopify admin panel:

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As you can see, this is essentially the dashboard that allows you to handle all aspects of operating your e-commerce store. We’ve included a screenshot of an admin panel for a store that’s already making sales and generating a profit. 

4) Choose your theme 

Choose a theme for your Shopify store

Shopify store branding is crucial, and a big part of that is the look and layout. Shopify assumes that most store owners are not coders or web designers, so they’ve created a convenient and intuitive system of “themes” to help you get the look you want without having to code anything. 

There is a Shopify theme store with over 70 layout variations that you can choose from, a few of which are even free. You can also try a third-party theme marketplace like Template Monster that currently has over 1,000 available Shopify themes. Both of these have a View Demo function to help you preview the layout.  

From your admin panel, you can also customize your theme. This gives you some degree of customization and you can easily:

  • Upload your store logo
  • Add slides to a page photo carousel
  • Expand the information on product pages
  • Select how many items appear on each line of the collection pages
  • Change the color scheme
  • Change the font choices

If you need an even greater level of customization, then you could also alter the code. There are design specialists known as Shopify Experts that you can hire through Shopify to help you get the exact layout you want. 

5) Add your inventory of products

Add your products to Shopify

Now you’re ready to add products to your dropshipping store. Since GreenDropShip is fully integrated with Shopify, there are two ways you can add products to your e-commerce store: using our basic dropshipping platform with Product Feeds or downloading our upcoming dropshipping app that’ll be available in 2021. In other words, you can do with or without our specially-designed Shopify app. Let’s look at the process without using the app first:

  1. Choose the items you want to sell and download the Product Feed as a data file in CSV format. 
  2. Import the Product Feed into your Shopify store.
  3. Once you’ve finished uploading the CSV file, you should receive a confirmation email from Shopify. 

While this is a fairly easy process, using our upcoming dropshipping app will make it more automated and efficient. All you have to do is follow these basic steps:

  • Use our app to search for products you want (you can search by product type, name, or brand).
  • Create an Import List of products you want to sell.
  • Our app makes it easy to edit product details within the Import List, including choosing profit margins to set the retail price.
  • Click Send products to Shopify.

Additionally, Shopify makes it extra easy to organize your inventory by allowing you to group your products into related categories that are known as Collections. In your Admin, simply select Create collection to start this process and organize your inventory. Here are some examples of the type of collections you can create: 

  • Products on sale
  • Product type (dresses, shirts, outerwear, etc.)
  • Customer type (men, women, kids)
  • Product color

Make sure you edit the product price and product description to make it unique to your brand. This will help your store stand out and rank higher in search engine results. You can use product descriptions provided by your dropshipping supplier as a basis for your product descriptions, but they should still be unique to your Shopify store.

How To Make Money Dropshipping With Shopify

Once you set up your store, you have to make sure that your website gets enough traffic for you to generate a profit. Here are some useful marketing tips to help you achieve this:

1) Write a blog

Write a blog to optimize your Shopify dropshipping store

You can effectively and easily engage and educate consumers with a well-written, fully-optimized blog. Make sure you use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in your Shopify blog to improve your rankings. You should also use keywords that you’ve researched to bring traffic to your Shopify store. For instance, if you’re focusing your store on essential oils and aromatherapy, you can write blog posts like “Top Essential Oils To Alleviate Stress” or “How Can Aromatherapy Improve My Life?” to improve your site’s visibility in search engines. You’ll also need to optimize the URLs, alt tags, meta titles, and the body.

When developing your blog, make sure you do thorough keyword research to identify search terms with high search volume. These will help you put together a list of terms that are relevant for your store and blog. Here are some tools you can use:

  • SEMRush – This is a paid tool that tracks how many Google searches there are per month for a given search term. SEMRush also offers a paid Keyword Magic Tool to further refine your keyword research.
  • Keyword Planner – This is a tool from Google if you want to run ads. You can also use it to research keywords for SEO.
  • Keyword Scout – This is part of the paid Jungle Scout suite. It’s a powerful keyword research tool to help you find the top keywords for marketing your products.

Make sure that your blog covers topics that are specific to the products you’re selling. Plus, you should make sure that the posts both educate and convert the readers.

2) Use social media to engage customers

Use social media for your Shopify dropshipping store

There are multiple social media platforms that you can use to promote your Shopify dropshipping store, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest. With so many different channels, you’ll inevitably be competing to get your customers’ attention. They may also be resistant to sales pitches on a social media post. 

One way to get around this is to use your social media to inform or attract attention, rather than to sell. Let’s assume that your store focuses on essential oils and aromatherapy. Instead of directing people to your Shopify store featuring essential oils, you might be better off sharing blog posts that point out the health and environmental benefits of using these types of products. For instance, you could have posts like:

  1. “Top Ten Reasons to Try Aromatherapy”
  2. “Why You Need to Buy Organic Essential Oils”
  3. “Top Eight Benefits of Lavender Essential Oil”

Users might share these with their friends, giving your content some traction and upping the traffic.

3) Build your email list

Build your email list

If you’re looking to dropship on Shopify, just know that email marketing is a great way to increase customer contact and drive sales. You have to strategically get visitors’ email addresses so you can nurture them into paying customers. This is easier said than done. 

Luckily, Shopify offers some specific tools that allow you to do this easily and without appearing too “spammy” to visitors. First and foremost, most themes will allow you to:

  • Add a pop-up offer to your landing page or homepage. You can customize this to only target new customers or anyone who is not already on the email list. 
  • Embed a sign-up form in the footer or navigation. You can easily set up a form that says something like, “Join Our Growing Community”. 

You should also include a sign-up button on your social media platforms. Not all of these platforms allow links, but there are usually ways you can get around that. On Instagram, you can use a tool called Linktree to have multiple links in your bio. This also lets you set a link to direct visitors to an email sign-up form so you can grow your mailing list. However, you should consider tracking which subscribers are added through Instagram so you can roughly see how well your feed is growing your list.

Finally, you should include a call-to-action (CTA) button on your Facebook page. This will encourage your followers to sign up for your email list.

4) Work with Instagram Influencers

Promote your Shopify dropshipping store by working with Instagram Influencers

Instagram has become the most influential and powerful social media site for selling products. This is due to the rise of Influencers – these are essentially professional Instagrammers who promote products on their posts. 

The benefits of working with these influencers are that you can reach out to them to get more exposure. You can do this by sending them a product to review and have them publish a post about it with a link to your store.

Let’s say that you’ve chosen to sell organic essential oils. You should set up an Instagram feed and post regularly about products that you offer as well as blog posts that you’ve been publishing. Now you have to find influencers to work with. You can do this by: 

  • Seeing who follows your feed.
  • Finding users who liked or engaged with a page that sells the same products you do.
  • Using the Instagram Similar To function.

The Similar To function is especially useful. Essentially, this has the algorithm match your account with a similar one that you may not be familiar with. It does so by comparing followers, hashtags, content, and even photos. 

Once you link up with these influencers, you can offer them a special deal to have them promote your store and products on their feed. Shopify makes this easy by allowing you to create coupon codes and discounts for certain shoppers. Instagram is especially useful because it directly shows you the rates of engagement with the Influencer’s followers.

5) Use SEO techniques

Adding keywords in your meta tags is an important part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Meta tags are the snippets of text that appear in search engine results pages. That is why it is important to add the right keywords that you want your page to rank for in the meta tags. Make sure all your product pages and Collection pages have an optimized meta title and meta description.

Here is a screenshot of meta tags in Shopify:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is meta-description.png

Just like we discussed the importance of optimizing your content, it’s also important that you optimize images. Adding an alt tag for your product images or any other image you have on your store will help your images rank in Google images. The alt tag is a short description of the image. It should have the keywords you want to rank for.

Here is how you can add an alt tag in Shopify:

Edit alt tags in Shopify

Easy Tools To Use For Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

There are many tools you can use to help your dropshipping store thrive and be profitable. Remember that successful online retailers are always looking to gain an edge. In a crowded marketplace, any advantage has to be used to its fullest potential to help you jump ahead of other merchants and give your store an excellent reputation with online shoppers.

So, without further delay, let’s jump right in and look over the following tools.

Exchange

Exchange is a valuable Shopify dropshipping tool

You can use this Shopify tool to buy and sell online stores. In other words, you can browse all the stores that are on sale based on the following parameters:

  1. Price (low to high or high to low)
  2. Revenue (monthly or annual)
  3. Age of the online store
  4. Type of online store

With these various features at your disposal, you’re sure to find an online store that matches what you’re looking for. Plus, if you have some startup cash, you can purchase a fully-functioning Shopify dropshipping store from Exchange to hit the ground running. You won’t have to take the time to write product descriptions or come up with a snappy domain name – you can just log in and start selling!

On the flip side, if you’ve been running a dropshipping business for some time and have established yourself, you may have a valuable commodity on your hands. Let’s say you want to switch your niche – you can always take your preexisting store, list it on Exchange, and get a fair price for it. How do you determine this price? Well, Exchange even has a store valuation option. It can determine the market price for your store based on a variety of factors like revenue and growth. This valuation tool is highly accurate because this app has access to all of these business metrics.

Inventory Source

Use this app for inventory management in your Shopify dropshipping store

This is an inventory management tool that integrates your online store with over 180 Shopify dropshipping suppliers. Consider this: one of the major potential headaches of being an online retailer, especially a successful one with a high volume of sales, is keeping track of availability and inventory. Avoid these problems and use Inventory Source to automatically upload products, sync inventory, and handle order routing.

This particular app integrates easily with:

  1. Shopify
  2. eBay
  3. Amazon
  4. Amazon UK
  5. Walmart
  6. Jet

It also keeps your pricing model highly competitive by not charging you a markup on products. Instead, you will have to pay a monthly flat-rate fee so you end up paying suppliers’ prices on the various products added to your store.

Burst

Make sure your Shopify dropshipping store has high-quality images

The visual presentation of your Shopify dropshipping business is just as important as the text-based product descriptions. Both of these offer ample opportunities to implement search engine optimization (SEO), so when potential customers search for products they are able to find your online store. This is where Burst comes in – this collection of free stock photography is always expanding, with new images added twice weekly.

What makes Burst so useful? Well, it’s different than other stock photography sites in that it specializes in catering to online retailers. This means that it has extensive collections of photos in such diverse niche areas as watches, essential oils, cell phone cases, and even make-up brushes. Many of these niches are difficult to find on other photo websites.

Additionally, these images have a greater emphasis placed on being aesthetically pleasing for online shoppers. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression with your online store, so make it count. Burst provides bold and vibrant photos that will beautifully display your products. The website also offers case studies and photo packs for up and coming online stores, making it exceptionally user-friendly for online retailers.

Kit

Use marketing tools for your Shopify dropshipping store

Marketing your Shopify dropshipping business can be challenging – there are always so many tasks to juggle and a lot of busywork to oversee. In reality, your time is best used in market research, so leave all the logistics up to Kit. This is a marketing automation tool that can:

  1. Send out emails to your customers
  2. Develop ads to connect with customers
  3. Put up posts on various social media sites
  4. Send you important reminders to keep track of everything

As you can see, these are all useful tasks. Kit is especially helpful and user-friendly in that it is primarily controlled through the text messaging function of your smartphone. This gives you mobility and freedom to take care of other important tasks while you issue instructions via text message to the app.

For example, Kit can help you retarget visitors who didn’t make any purchases during their first visit. It can also help you send custom emails to your first-time customers. You can even instruct it to create new discount codes and then promote these codes via social media or ad. It’s kind of amazing what you can do with just a few texts from your phone! This app is all about helping you make a meaningful connection with the consumer – this is a crucial part of turning one-time visitors into regular customers.

GreenDropShip is a premium dropshipping supplier that’s easy to use with Shopify. You can always become a member and use our basic dropshipping platform via product feeds to sell on Shopify. On the other hand, you could also up your online merchant game by downloading our Shopify App coming in February 2021. This will make your dropshipping store more automated, convenient, and efficient so you can focus even more on marketing to consumers.

Join GreenDropShip today!

Marcin Ossowski is a writer based in Los Angeles, California. At GreenDropShip, he writes about e-commerce, lending his expertise to online retailers and entrepreneurs on how to best drive sales and market their online stores. In his downtime, Marcin spends a lot of time outdoors and is actively pursuing his passion for writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and satire.