The definitive guide to Shopify dropshipping in 2021

Warning: This article contains all you need to know to create a Shopify dropshipping business in 2021.

There are no limits to what you can do – from designing your website to finding the best products, to marketing campaigns and even starting your first campaign.

Reading from beginning to end may lead to:

  • Making huge profits
  • You can run your business entirely from your laptop.
  • To become a full-time entrepreneur, you must quit your job.

ReConvert does not assume any responsibility for making drastic changes in your career after you have absorbed the knowledge.

Be careful, your life could never be the same again!

Do you prefer a video version? You can find it here.

Do you want the steps written down? Let’s continue!

Dropshipping: What does it mean?

Dropshipping allows companies to sell and deliver products, without having to keep inventory.

How does it work? Dropshipping stores receive an order and pass it on to the supplier, who then sends the product directly to the customer.

Source: Shopify

Dropshipping is a great way to get started in eCommerce. It’s low-risk and easy to do.

It doesn’t take much capital to develop new products or manage inventory. Shopify and other tools make it easy to get started.

What is Shopify?

Shopify allows you to easily create a professional-looking online shop.

To design an ecommerce store that is fully functional, you don’t have to be a programmer or have technical knowledge.

You can choose from pre-made themes, which look great and work well. There are also apps that will allow you to add more functionality to your store to increase sales and help you make more.

You can easily create an online shop using Shopify and the Dropshipping fulfillment model.

Incredible stuff, right? Let’s dive deeper.

Shopify Dropshipping: The Pros and Cons

Each business model has its downs and ups. It is important to understand what you are getting into before jumping in.

Shopify Dropshipping: The Pros

  • Launching Shopify Dropshipping Store in Just a Few Days: If you keep your head down, it’s possible to build a working Shopify store within a few days. There are no lead times when it comes to product manufacturing.
  • Very little overhead: There is no need to rent a space, pay staff or put down money upfront for product production and storage.
  • Scalability As your business grows, the majority of the additional work falls on your suppliers. You can also reach large audiences of people worldwide by having access to customers.
  • Low risk: With a minimal amount of capital required to launch the business, there isn’t a lot to lose.

Shopify Dropshipping: The Cons

  • Lower profit margins: Buying individual products is less expensive than buying bulk. Everyone wants you to make money, so it is harder to make enough to get every sale.
  • Your supplier is responsible for the quality of your products. You’ll be the one complaining most if your supplier isn’t up to standard.
  • Shipping issues Dropshipping from abroad can lead to longer shipping times. Customers who expect fast delivery can be annoyed by this.
  • High competition: You’ll be competing with many other businesses similar to yours because of the low barrier to entry. It is therefore more difficult to seize a niche in the market.

How to Start a Shopify Dropshipping Company From Scratch

Let’s now get the show on the road.

It is important to know that dropshipping stores can be classified into two types: niche and general.

Niche vs. General Shopify Dropshipping Store

Shopify Dropshipping is a hot topic. What is the difference?

General stores are those that sell many different products. A general store might sell a pair or sneakers as well as a tool for the kitchen. TrendyGoods is one example of a general shop:

General stores offer a great way to test products from different industries without having to worry about damaging your brand.

It’s also more difficult to build a strong brand. This makes it more difficult to dial in your marketing efforts and reach high conversion rates.

A niche store is a store that is focused on a specific interest. For example, you might open a store selling interior lighting products such as LitFad.

One Product Stores are becoming increasingly popular beyond niche vs. all. These stores are exactly what they advertise – they focus on one product and possibly one or two upsells.

You can start by starting with a niche store, general store, or one product shop. It doesn’t really matter at this stage. It doesn’t matter what stage you are at, the important thing is to get started.

You should choose a niche store or one-product shop if you have a specific product idea. If you don’t have a specific product idea, consider a niche or one-product store.

You can open a new store with niche brands once you have found a product that is profitable to sell.

Don’t think too much about it, no matter what you do. There are many ways to skin a cat in eCommerce.

Step 1. Step 1.

Shopify dropshipping makes it easy to choose the right product.

The best marketing in the universe can’t sell products that nobody wants.

These are five proven ways to find great Shopify dropshipping products

a) Learn the Characteristics Of Good Shopify Dropshipping Products

You need to understand what your products look like before you can come up with great product ideas.

A dropshipping product that is exceptional meets the majority of these criteria.

  • Shipping is easy
  • Shipping quickly via DHL, epacket or another speed shipping method
  • It’s not too technical (e.g. a drone).
  • It is not available in the regular shops
  • Good mark-up potential (200%+).
  • While browsing, it catches your attention.
  • Have an emotional appeal
  • Facebook allows you advertise it (supplements or weapons, etc. are not allowed.

Here’s a great example of a product to get your creativity flowing:

b) Brainstorm Passionate Groups

Shopify dropshipping is a different business model than other businesses. You don’t have to come up with a brilliant idea to succeed.

Instead of trying to think of something new, connect a passionate audience to an existing product.

Don’t ask “What’s the best product?” but rather “What’s the best group to sell to?”

Why? Passionate people will spend their money on things that matter to them.

Open a Google Doc and take note of as many passionate groups as possible.

Here are some examples of passionate groups:

  • Animal lovers – cats, dogs, horses, etc.
  • Food – craft beer, coffee, baking, etc.
  • Hobbies – video games, weight lifting, canoeing, etc.
  • Interests Animes, NFL, Heavy Metal, etc.
  • Causes – veganism, environmentalists, etc.

Begin by talking to irrationally passionate people in your life. If you need more inspiration, you can hop on over to Reddit for additional ideas.

Pro Tip – Use the website Metrics for a quick way to see which subreddits have been growing rapidly – this is a strong indicator that there has been an increase in demand for products.

After you have at least 20 enthusiastic groups of people on paper, brainstorm at least three products that you could offer them.

c) Look for Products that are Already In Demand

Another great way to identify trends and find dropshipping products that work is by identifying them. These are some great sites to get ideas:

These top products have provendemand. This means that there are many people buying them.

You can browse through different categories and find great product ideas.

Here’s an example: I found this product on Wuanto. It’s been viewed by over 7,000 people on eBay.

Tip:Don’t always search for exact product matches. Instead, ask , “What’s the deeper reason people buy these products?”.

If you see the board game Monopoly trending on Amazon, it’s not worth trying to sell a knockoff version from Aliexpress.

Instead, consider whyMonopoly has become a popular trend. People may want to spend more time with their families while they are locked down. So what other options could you offer them?

There are many products to choose from: cosy clothing sets, retro gaming consoles, and scented candles.

This allows you to tap into wider consumer trends and find more amazing product ideas.

d) Shopify Dropshipping Products with Facebook Search

Dropshippers use Facebook to drive traffic and customers to their stores.

Many of them use the same phrases in their ads, thankfully.

  • No Shipping Charge
  • 30%/40/50% off
  • Get yours now
  • Limited Supply

You can search for dropshipping products by entering one or more of the following phrases.

Next filter the results by video, and then set the date posted to this month.

You’ll often find profitable dropshipping product suggestions that you can use in your store.

You can filter out the best products by looking for ads that have a lot of views and comments from people living in countries with higher incomes like Australia, Canada, UK, UK, or the USA.

e) Validate Shopify Dropshipping Products with Google Trends

Google trends will help you find out if a niche or product is growing in popularity.

If I type the “outdoor string lights” product from Wuanto into Google trends, it will show me that this product has been growing in popularity for the past five years.

The graph can also be used to deduce that this product is seasonal – note the peak and trough in search volume.

This indicates that there will be strong demand for the product at certain times throughout the year.

Another niche, ‘Houseplants’, has seen steady growth in demand over the past few years.

It’s generally best to move on to the next idea if a niche or product has low search volume.

Add it to your list if it’s trending up!

🔥 Action Step: Use the five steps and examples above to find a minimum of ten product ideas to test. Remember: each one should satisfy as many of the ‘good dropshipping product characteristics’ as possible.

Step 2. Find a Dropshipping Supplier for Your Product

Dropshipping success is dependent on a reliable supplier.

Think about it: your supplier is responsible for sourcing/manufacturing your products, quality control procedures, and shipping and handling.

This means that your supplier has a significant influence on the customer experience, whether it is good or bad.

How do you find the right supplier for your product?

Where can I find Shopify Dropshipping Suppliers?

There are many suppliers. It’s not always easy to track them down.

Here is a list of some of the most popular platforms dropshippers use to search for suppliers.

  • Aliexpress An enormous Chinese marketplace that offers a large selection of low-priced goods with worldwide shipping. The platform is free to use and there are no additional fees for selling.
  • Spocket is A dropshipping marketplace that connects customers with thousands of suppliers in the US and EU. This allows for faster shipping and higher prices. It’s free to browse, but you will need to pay $24 per month to sell through their suppliers.
  • CJ Dropshipping – A supplier who sources products from China. They offer faster shipping options and custom packaging if you reach a certain sales volume.
  • Printify Printify allows you to upload custom designs and print them on a variety products like mugs, t-shirts and canvases. You can also sell them in your shop (Suggested Reading How to hire a T-Shirt designer).
  • DropCommerce – A great Shopify dropshipping application that connects with top US and Canadian suppliers. Express shipping to your customer within 3-5 days
  • SaleHoo A wholesale supplier directory which includes a selection niche suppliers from the UK and USA. Access costs $67 per year.
  • Worldwide Brands A comprehensive directory of bulk wholesalers, dropshipping suppliers and bulk wholesalers. Large brands such as Nordstrom and Best Buy use this service. $249 for lifetime access

This guide will focus on Aliexpress suppliers. The information is applicable regardless of which platform you use.

What to look for in a Quality Aliexpress supplier

Aliexpress is able to identify sub-par suppliers on its platform.

Here’s how you can get the best for your company.

  • Use only suppliers with a 95% feedback score or higher. This will ensure that you choose suppliers who have a track record for good service and few mishaps.
  • Only use suppliers that have handled orders of 300+:Suppliers who have dealt with at least 300 orders per year will be able to run smooth operations.
  • Communicate multiple suppliers:Message five to ten suppliers offering your product. You will narrow down your selection to suppliers who are responsive quickly, have excellent communication skills, and can speak English fluently. You want your supplier to respond quickly if things go wrong.
  • Order samples Once you have shortlisted the top three suppliers order samples. This will allow you to determine who has the fastest shipping time, best packaging and highest quality products. You can use your samples to create high-quality product photos. This will help you and your ads stand out among other sellers of the same products.

Tip: If you have the budget, you might consider hiring a product-sourcing agent through UpWork or Fiverr. They will help find the best shipping rates, suppliers, as well as shipping costs for your products.

🔥 Action Step: Use one of the platforms outlined above to find a list of reliable suppliers for your chosen product or products. Create a spreadsheet and rate each one on communication, feedback score, product price, shipping options, and more.

Step 3. Build Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

You now have great product ideas and top-quality suppliers. It’s time for you to set up your Shopify store so that people can purchase your products!

Here’s how it works:

Shopify Sign up

First, go to Shopify’s website, enter your email, and hit “Start a free trial.”

Do not worry about choosing a store name right now. You will have the opportunity to change it later when you buy a domain.

After you have registered, take some time to explore the Shopify back-end interface and get comfortable.

b) Register Domain

Without buying a domain, the default URL for your store will be ‘’

Although it is technically possible to have a store with this URL, it will look much more professional if your domain does not include ‘’.

Registering a domain is simple. You can access your domain settings by clicking Domains> located under the tab of your Shopify Dashboard.

You have two options on the Domains page:

  • Purchase a new domain. This option allows you to purchase a domain directly through Shopify starting at $10 per year.
  • Connect an already existing domain. This option is available if you have a domain purchased on a third-party website like GoDaddy. There are many things to consider when connecting domains. It all depends on where the domain was purchased. It’s usually quite simple, but it can be tricky if you need help.

Your domain is the address people use to access your store. Make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Tip:Many people struggle to choose a name for their company. Your store’s name is only a small part of your success. Use a timer to set a timer for 30 minutes and come up with the best name possible. Don’t forget that perfection is better than done.

c) Add Your Shopify Dropshipping Product

Now that you have your account setup and your domain registered, you can add products to your store.

Oberlo is the best way to start importing products free of charge.

Oberlo, a Shopify dropshipping application that connects to Aliexpress makes it easy to import products.

  • Go to the Shopify AppStore and search for Oberlo. Hit and ‘add app.
  • Register for an Oberlo account to install the Oberlo chrome extension
  • To import the products you have identified earlier, jump to AliExpress.
  • Open Oberlo’s “product import list” and give your product(s), a title, assign it a collection (homepage is fine), and add the appropriate tags. Click “Description.”
  • AliExpress product descriptions are often very poor. To keep conversions high, you will need to rewrite your copy . Look at what similar products have been written by other retailers and brands if you are struggling for words.
  • You can now move on to the “variants”tab. Here you can remove unwanted variants, and set your pricing. Oberlo recommends that you set a retail price. This is often a good estimate.
  • Final, look at product images in the tab. Choose high-quality images only. After you are satisfied, click “import to store”.

Congratulations! Congratulations! You have successfully added your first product to your online store. Let’s now optimize your store to improve customer experience.

d) Setup Product Collections

A collection is a group of products that customers can use to find the right item. It is essential to create collections if you are starting a general shop.

Here are some examples of product collections:

  • Product types: home, garden, pets, etc.
  • Customers groups: Youth, men’s and women’s.
  • Promotional collections: On Sale, Staff picks, Under $20, etc.

To add a collection to Shopify, click Products’ in your Shopify dashboard. Then click > ‘Collections’

Next, click “Create Collection” and input your collection name. You can also add a description for customers to better understand your collection.

You have the option to set up collections that are either manual or automatic.

Manual collections are created by adding and removing products manually to existing collections. This is possible if your catalog is small.

Automated collections are a great way to save time if you have a lot of products.

You can create collections that will automatically import products based upon conditions such as ‘tags’, ‘price’ and ‘type.

There are no set rules regarding how to organize your collections. You just need to make them useful for your customers.

e) Configure your Payment Gateway

Let’s next set up shipping and payments for your store.

Scroll to the bottom of your Shopify Dashboard and click “settings”. Next, click Payments.

You can set up payment gateways here. Depending on your location, there may be different gateways available.

Shopify Payments can be used in most places, so it’s a great way to start.

Shopify’s Payment Gateway Directory will provide a list with payment providers that can integrate with Shopify.

Before you add them to your Shopify account, reach out to a company offering reasonable rates.

Add Paypal Express Checkout as a payment option to earn bonus points. The more payment options that you offer, generally speaking, the higher the conversion rate.

Tip:To ensure that your checkout works correctly, you should place a test order before you start marketing your store.

f) Setup Shipping

Next, you will need to set up your shipping rates so that all customers can receive free shipping.

This will ensure that your conversion rates are high and decrease the likelihood of customers abandoning carts.

Click “Settings”. Then, click “Manage rates”.

Shopify will automatically setup international and domestic shipping for you on the next page.

Dropshipping doesn’t mean these rates apply. Click on the three dots (…) then hit delete.

After you have removed all rates, click “Add rate”.

Next, choose “Set up your own rates,” type “Worldwide FREE shipping,” and hit “Done”.

Tip:Priority Shipping for $2.99 will increase your order value and move your customer’s order up the queue. Although it might not seem like much at first glance, these upsells can really add up when you consider the size of your order.

🔥 Action Step: Create a Shopify Account, register a domain name, import your products, and set-up your payment gateway and your shipping rates. Once you’ve done that let’s keep moving.

Learn more:

Step 4. Design Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

Now it’s time for you to design your store.

People believe that you have to be a professional web designer in order to build a high-converting online store. But this is not the case. Shopify’s drag-and-drop builder removes all stress.

a) Install Your Theme

Click Online Store’ to get started. You can choose a theme that will be the foundation of your store’s appearance.

Shopify is a great platform for starting a Shopify store. You can opt for a “Free Theme” We chose the Venture’ theme.

After you have chosen a theme that you like, click Customize to start editing it.

b) Brand Your Site

Even if your store is a general one, it’s important to have a professional brand.

To build a basic brand, you will need to combine elements such as logos, typography and images in order to create a consistent and unique feeling on your website.

First, choose the colors for your website. To keep things consistent and clean, most brands use one or two primary colors. You can do the same with your store.

Next, create and upload a logo to your store. Shopify offers a free logo creator for those who don’t have the budget to hire a designer.

To draw people in, you will need images. Shopify also has a large collection of high quality stock images that you can use, if necessary. Simply search the database by keywords that are related to your niche.

Here’s an example of Shopify’s general dropshipping store that demonstrates what you want. It has a consistent “feel” through its colors, logo and images.

Don’t try to be perfect when designing your first product. Keep in mind that the goal of your store is to reach the minimum viable standard quickly so that you can begin testing products.

Tip: Having trouble creating a professional brand identity? Look to big companies like ASOS and Amazon for inspiration. They have spent a lot of money to find out what works. You can model your store using their design approach. You can also increase your store’s professionalism by removing the Shopify ‘powered by Shopify”.

c) Add Essential Pages

Next, add pages. Pages give your store legitimacy and help build trust between you, the visitor.

These are the pages that you will need:

  • About Us – Give a quick overview about who you are and what your do
  • Contact us – Create a contact form for customers to reach you
  • Shipping and Returns – Check out your shipping timeframes and return policy
  • FAQ – Answers to most frequently asked questions by customers

To create a new page, click “Pages” under “Online store”. Then, click “Add Page”.

Note Shopify offers a template that includes a contact form and is available as a template.

Finally, you will need to create terms and conditions as well as privacy policies pages for your store.

Don’t worry if you aren’t a lawyer. Shopify’s Privacy Policy Generator as well as their Terms and Conditions template have you covered.

These pages can be added to your website and you are ready to start from a page’s view.

d) Adjust preferences

Click to access your preferences.

This screen will ask you to:

  • Use this meta-description to help rank your website in search engines.
  • Add Google analytics trackGoogle Analytics can be used to analyze the traffic to your site and to run Google ads.
  • Add Facebook pixels: A snippet that places cookies in the browsers of visitors and allows you take your Facebook ads up a notch
  • To represent your store when a link is shared via social media, set a social sharing picture:

There are many tutorials online that will help you if you don’t know how to do these things.

e) Configure the Navigation of Your Store

The navigation of your store is the way people navigate around it via menus or links.

This will allow you to set it up. Click under Online Store’ on your dashboard.

Shopify creates an automatic ‘Main Menu’ and a “Footer” for you.

Support pages such as your FAQ or shipping policy can be found in the footer. The mian menu contains money pages like your collections or product pages.

Here are some ways we have set up elements of our main menu.

Here’s how it looks to the customer.

🔥 Action Step: Build a minimum viable brand, design your Shopify store, and organize your collections so that it’s ready for customers to start coming in the (virtual) door!

Step 5. Add The Best Shopify Dropshipping Apps

You now have a working Shopify store. You are almost there.

Last, add high-quality Shopify apps for additional functionality to your store.

Simply navigate to Apps in your Shopify dashboard, and click’Go to the app store.

Once you are done, these are our top picks to give you the best bang for your buck.

a) Carti – Abandoned Checkout Boost

A staggering 76% percentage of shoppers who add products in their cart do not complete their purchase.

You’re wasting money if you don’t follow-up with your customers.

Carti makes it easy to reach out to cart abandoners via SMS, email, push notifications and FB messenger.

It’s a great way to capture revenue missed. All you have to do is set the maximum discount that you are willing to offer and Carti will take care of the rest.

Carti is completely free up to the point Carti starts generating at least $100 more per month. Carti is a must-have for anyone who wants to market their store.

b) ReConvert – Post Purchase Upsell & Cross-sell

The best way to increase your profit margin is by increasing each customer’s average order amount.

Let’s imagine a customer spending $50 to shop at your store. You could make $5 if you spent $20 advertising, $20 on the product and $5 on fees.

Imagine that instead of the customer spending $50 on a product, you are able to upsell them to a cart worth $70. Your costs are the same but your profits jump to $25

ReConvert allows you to include upsells or cross-sells in your thank-you pages.

Why do you need a thank-you page Customers who land on the thank you page are still in peak buying mode.

ReConvert also offers a variety of cool features, such as an order tracking widget.

ReConvert is completely free until you generate at least 50 orders per monthly. This makes it ideal for dropshippers who want to lower their costs.

c) Loox-Reviews & Social Proof

Have you ever shopped online and found yourself clicking on the reviews?

This is not a common sentiment. Research has shown that 83% of trust advertising reviews more than reviews. This is a good sign.

Loox, a review app for Shopify, integrates seamlessly. You can send automated reviews to customers who have recently contacted you via email.

Loox allows dropshippers to import product reviews from Aliexpress.

You can also get reviews from real customers even though you haven’t yet sold the product.

Loox reviews will increase your conversion rate and help make you more money right away.

d) Set-up Facebook Messenger

The technical aspect of Messenger is not an app.

This item is currently classified in Shopify under “sales channels”, but we are adding it to our list because it is so powerful.

Three reasons can be given for this.

Customers feel more secure when they can reach you. This indirectly increases conversions.

Your customers are second source of valuable feedback. Facebook Messenger allows you to see what’s working in your store and what’s not.

If customers message you about slow loading pages, for example, you can fix them. You can also answer their shipping questions by adding to your FAQ.

The integration allows customers to receive order updates directly from the messenger app. This will decrease the number of customer service requests that you have to handle.

Facebook Messenger is a convenient way for customers to contact you. It also reduces the support burden and acts as a feedback mechanism to help you improve.

Talk about a triple win!

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