Did you ever dream of starting a business? But you couldn’t do it because of financial issues? Times have changed. Dropshipping has made the impossible in business possible. The tools to start an online business are available, either free or reasonably priced. There’s a three-step formula for setting up an online business.
- Discover products which sell
- Start your Shopify online store
- Start selling
Before getting into this, it’s necessary to read up and study as much as you can on the subject of online selling. Shopify Academy has a full library of business education E-courses to help you to learn about the business.
Discover Products to Sell
Don’t be a generalist. Find products that appeal to a niche clientele. Find a niche that appeals to you. Middle-aged women are interested in staying fit and healthy. Products for enhancing health, fitness, and beauty sell to this client base.
For some hobbies, like fishing or fencing, people need particular products. Pet owners often find it hard to get the products they need in local stores. Search for product ideas by browsing sites like Pinterest. Amazon, Oberlo, and eBay. Profit margins are pretty good in the less than USD $ 60 segment, so keep that in mind if you need to get a head start.
Start your Shopify Online Store
All Shopify plans offer a 14-day free trial. There are three main pricing plans and they generally advise customers to take the trial first and decide on a plan later.
- You have to give the name of your store. If you can’t think of one, visit the Shopify Business Name Generator.
- Enter the store name in your application and start your store with a click. Then choose a theme.
- Create a logo with the logo generator, Hatchful.
- You’ll need to have some content ready. You’ll need an about page, T&Cs, shipping and delivery information and Contact. A contact link is important to keep in touch with your customers.
- To generate policy pages, go to settings, then checkout and scroll down to refund, privacy and Terms of Service, to create these pages.
- Then add a payment gateway. It’s advised to offer free shipping at first and only to sell products that have free shipping. Although Shopify, will not bill you for the first 14 days, you should add your billing information.
Now your online store is good to go.
Finding Your Product Suppliers
Read Shopify’s Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping to figure out how to find your product suppliers. If you’re operating in the USA, it’s a good idea to start with a dropshipping company like AliExpress.com.
They are convenient for the USA. You can choose products from there. Copy them to your site and once you sell a product, you can buy it from the dropshipper and send it directly to the customer. Before deciding to sell a certain product on Ali Express, check the feedback score on its page.
It’s advisable to check the responsiveness of the supplier before doing business. If there’s a dispute with one of your customers you’ll need to take it up with the company.
One great app to start selling online with dropshipping (no stock needed) using Aliexpress and Shopify is Oberlo.
Organizing your Shipping
Set up Oberlo.com to organize your shipping from Ali Express. Oberlo even has a free Chrome extension that will make it easy for you, if Chrome is your browser. Go into the Oberlo settings and familiarize yourself. When you find a product you could sell you can import the details to your shop. Once you sell a product, Oberlo will ship it to the customer on your behalf.
How to Promote your Online Store
Set up a Facebook page about your shop. Invite people who might be interested to join it. Post about your products. You can also join FB groups where there are people who are interested in your product. Overtly commercial posts on FB groups will get you banned, so be careful.
You can share information about your products on Pinterest. Share content about your products on sites like Reddit. Your content on Reddit must offer value rather than being promotional. Instagram is a good place to connect with your target customers.
You can even set up your Instagram page for sales. You can also set up a Tumblr blog to promote your store and products. On all the social media sites where you hang out, be active and interactive.
Make friends and participate. Let people know you’re there because you’re genuinely interested in interacting. Don’t just talk about your online business. When people see you as genuine and get to know about your online store, they’ll come and check it out.
Add an FAQ page to help customers find answers to their questions and make some nice product banners for the store. Your hard work and dedication will surely pay off in the end.