How to Dropship on Shopify

Shopify dropshipping suppliers

Shopify is the third-largest e-commerce platform. It’s a giant in the world of online retail, making it one of the best and most effective tools for dropshipping. If you choose Shopify for your online store, you could potentially tap into a huge clientele. Plus, it’s an e-commerce platform that’s convenient and easy, giving sellers like you a tremendous opportunity for success. So let’s go over the basics of how to dropship on Shopify, from setting up your store to driving traffic and sales.

What Is Shopify Dropshipping?

Learn how to dropship on Shopify

Let’s take a quick moment to define dropshipping. This is an e-commerce retail model that allows you to sell products online without having to store, pack, or ship the inventory. The dropshipping supplier will handle these logistics and will send the order to your customer on your behalf. This frees up a lot of labor and resources so you can focus on marketing to customers. In other words, dropshipping has a lot of benefits, including low operational and startup costs. It’s also a low-risk business model since you won’t end up with surplus unsold inventory that will cause you to lose money. It’s important to note that formula for making a profit in dropshipping is: retail price – (wholesale price + fees) = profit. In this formula, fees include your membership to a dropshipping supplier, shipping fees or any seller fees on the e-commerce platform you’re using.

Additionally, Shopify is an e-commerce platform that’s very convenient and easy to use for dropshippers. It has a host of features that let you design and build your online store, making it sleek and professional-looking without any prior experience in web design. You’re also provided with all the best tools to handle payments, marketing, sales.

The basic steps to Shopify dropshipping break down as follows:

  1. You create a Shopify store. 
  2. The customer visits your Shopify store and buys a product.
  3. You receive the payment via a payment gateway.
  4. You order that product from your dropshipping supplier.
  5. Your supplier pulls the products from their warehouse, packs them, and then ships them to the customer.

How To Set Up A Shopify Dropshipping Store

Now let’s discuss how to dropship 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

Check if you need a business license for your Shopify dropshipping store

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.

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.

Finally, Shopify offers the ability to find suppliers by going to the Shopify App Store. You simply go to the Categories menu, select Finding products, and then chooser either Dropshipping or Finding suppliers. Keep in mind that not all suppliers have an app but if they’re integrated with Shopify, you can still sell their products via a Product Feed or Inventory Feed.

3) Set up your Shopify store

Set up your Shopify dropshipping 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 plant, you’ll then need to choose a name for your Shopify store. The default is 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:

Let’s enter ESSENTIAL OILS and then hit Generate names. We’re then directed to this:

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:

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 

5 of the Best Shopify Themes for Maximizing Sales (and Why They Work)

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

Now you’re ready to add products to your dropshipping store. With GreenDropShip as your supplier, be sure you follow these basic steps:

  1. Choose the items you want to sell and download the Product Feed. This is a data file in CSV format with products that you want to add to your online store. 
  2. Import the Product Feed into your Shopify store.
  3. Shopify allows you to group your products into related categories that are known as Collections. If you want to start a new Collection, from your Admin go to Products>Collections>Create collection>enter title and description

Once you’ve finished uploading the CSV file, you should receive a confirmation email from Shopify. 

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

Are you wondering if you can make money dropshipping on Shopify? The short answer is: Yes, definitely! You just 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) Choose the right dropshipping apps

One of the best parts of dropshipping on Shopify is the huge selection of apps and tools at your disposal. For instance, you’ll be able to find a wide variety of suppliers in the Shopify App Store. However, don’t forget that you can still work with a dropshipping supplier that doesn’t have an app as long as they provide Product Feeds (or Inventory Feeds) that integrate with your Shopify store.

Additionally, there are other Shopify dropshipping tools that will streamline your store operations and help you drive profits. These include apps and programs that can automate management of sales, marketing, inventory, sales channels, and even customer reviews.

3 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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:

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:

collection image alt text pop up

This may seem minor, but every bit of SEO helps. 

Finally, we’ve also put together a list of dropshipping tips for your Shopify store.

If you’re looking to start dropshipping on Shopify, GreenDropShip is an innovative, easy to use, and competitively-priced supplier for the Shopify e-commerce platform. We offer more than 20,000 natural and organic products that are made in the USA. These are premium, gourmet, and healthy goods that are in high demand. Join GreenDropShip today and start growing your online store!

Marcin Ossowski
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.