How to start a Shopify dropshipping store

8 months ago   •   .17 min read

.By İlayda Birol
.Table of contents

Dropshipping is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs – it has the possibility to be a low-risk, high-reward business venture. By combining the power of dropshipping with the user-friendly Shopify platform, you’ll be able to run an online store easily and effectively.

In this article we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a Shopify dropshipping website. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur looking to expand your digital footprint or a budding e-commerce enthusiast ready to make your mark, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to create a successful online business.

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Why choose Shopify for your dropshipping store?

Shopify is simple, versatile and has all the features you’ll need, and has therefore become one of the leading platforms in e-commerce. The platform allows entrepreneurs to focus on building their brand and providing excellent service to their customers. Shopify is an ideal choice for dropshipping ventures because of its user-friendly interface, extensive app ecosystem and robust support.

Sign up for Shopify: Laying the foundation

Before you dive headfirst into building your Shopify dropshipping empire, the first crucial step is to sign up for a Shopify account. It is a simple, straightforward process and it will only take you a few minutes to create your very own online store.

Creating your Shopify account:

Visit Shopify's website: Head to the Shopify website ( and click on the "Start Free Trial" button prominently displayed on the homepage.

Provide your email address: Enter your email address in the designated field. This will be your primary contact for Shopify-related communications.

Create a store name: Choose a unique and memorable name for your store. This name will be how people find you and will appear in your store's URL (e.g.,

Set a secure password: Create a strong and secure password for your Shopify account. Make sure it includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to enhance security.

Click "Create your store": After filling in the required information, click on the "Create your store" button to move forward.

Choosing a plan that works for you

Once you've created your Shopify account, you'll be prompted to choose a pricing plan that aligns with your business requirements. Shopify offers several plans, each with varying features and capabilities to cater to different stages of your business growth. The available plans include:

Basic Shopify: Ideal for new entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses, this plan provides the essential features to get your store up and running.

Shopify: This standard plan offers additional features and tools to help you grow your business and expand your offerings.

Advanced Shopify: Geared towards established businesses, this plan includes advanced reporting and analytics features to optimise your store's performance.

Shopify Plus: Designed for enterprise-level businesses, this plan offers custom solutions, dedicated support, and scalability to meet the demands of large-scale operations.

Payment and billing details

After selecting your plan, you'll need to provide payment and billing details to activate your Shopify account. Shopify accepts various payment methods, including credit cards and PayPal.

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Your Shopify dashboard

Once you've completed the sign-up process and chosen your plan, you'll be directed to your Shopify dashboard. From your dashboard you’ll be able to access all the tools and settings you need to customise your online store, manage your products and track all orders.

With your Shopify account set up, you can move on to the next steps of designing and customising your store to reflect your brand's unique identity.

Select a suitable theme: Designing your store

Shopify offers a wide range of themes for you to choose from. You’ll want to choose something that aligns with your products and general brand aesthetics, to be able to capture the attention of potential customers.

Browsing and choosing a theme that aligns with your niche:

Explore the theme library: Access the Shopify Theme Store from your dashboard and browse through the extensive collection of free and premium themes. Use filters to narrow down options based on industry, layout, style, and features.

Consider your niche and brand identity: Look for themes that resonate with your niche and complement your brand's personality. Whether you're in fashion, electronics, or home decor, choose a theme that visually communicates your products' essence.

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Evaluate responsiveness and mobile-friendliness: In the mobile-driven era, prioritise themes that are responsive and optimised for various devices. A mobile-friendly design ensures seamless shopping experiences for customers on smartphones and tablets.

Customising your store's look and feel with Shopify's Theme Editor:

Enter the Theme Editor: Once you've chosen a theme, access the Theme Editor to personalise your store's appearance. Customise the colours, fonts, and other visual elements to match your brand identity.

Uploading your logo and brad assets: Incorporate your logo and other brand assets into the theme to create a consistent brand experience throughout your store.

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Optimise navigation and layout: Ensure that your store's navigation is intuitive and user-friendly. Organise product categories and collections logically, making it easy for customers to find what they're looking for.

Highlighting your best-selling products: Use featured product sections and promotional banners to highlight your best-selling or new products, enticing customers to explore more.

Showcasing high-quality product images: Showcase product images that are high-resolution and visually appealing.

Preview and save your changes:

As you make customizations, preview your changes to see how your store will look to customers. Once you're satisfied with the design, save your changes to apply the new theme to your store.

Remember to regularly update your theme and make necessary adjustments to keep your store fresh and engaging.

Essential pages for building trust

In order to have a successful dropshipping business, you need potential customers to trust you. They won’t be meeting you in person, so what is the best way to convince potential customers that your company is trustworthy? Make sure to include the pages listed below, which will help you establish credibility, allow customers to address their concerns and provide valuable information about your brand and policies.

About Us page:

Craft a compelling and authentic About Us page that tells your brand's story, mission, and values. Think about what sets your store apart from others and share that with potential customers. Let them connect with you on a personal level.

Contact page:

You don’t want potential customers to have to search far and wide for your contact details. Make sure to have your contact information (email address, phone number, address, etc.) easily available on your website. It should be super easy for people to reach out to you!

FAQ page:

Think about what common questions about your products may arise (or perhaps already have) and have them up on your website, together with their answers. There might be questions about the products, shipping, returns, etc. This will save you time in the long run, as potential customers can get more information from the FAQ section instead of contacting you individually.

Shipping & Returns page:

Be transparent about your shipping policies, estimated delivery times, and any shipping restrictions. To allow for a hassle-free shopping experience for your customers, make sure the return and refund policies are clearly stated on your website.

Privacy Policy:

Nobody wants their personal information shared with a third party, so make sure to let your potential customers know that their information is safe with you. On this page you should include how your company handles customer data and let them know that you are compliant with data protection regulations.

Enhancing trust with trust badges:

Consider displaying trust badges on your store to further enhance customer confidence. Trust badges such as SSL certificates, payment security logos, and satisfaction guarantees signal that your store is safe and trustworthy for making online purchases.

Showcasing testimonials and social proof:

In addition to essential pages, consider adding a testimonial section or social proof on your product pages.

Interactive live chat support:

Offering live chat support provides customers with real-time assistance and immediate answers to their questions and can increase customer satisfaction and conversions.

If you focus on perfecting these essential pages you’ll be able to build trust between your online store and future customers, which will assist in long-lasting relationships and repeat business.

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Curating your product collection: Organising your inventory

In a successful dropshipping venture, the organisation of your product collection plays a pivotal role in providing a seamless shopping experience for your customers. By strategically categorising your products and creating collections, you can make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for and encourage them to explore more of your offerings.

Planning and categorising your products into collections:

Understand your niche: Analyse your product range and understand the key categories within your niche. Identify product groupings that make sense to your target audience and simplify their shopping journey.

Create collections based on product type: Organise products into collections based on their type, function, or use. For example, if you sell apparel, you could have separate collections for t-shirts, dresses, and accessories.

Implement seasonal collections: Consider creating seasonal collections for products that align with specific holidays or seasons. This approach allows you to capitalise on seasonal trends and boost sales during peak periods.

Utilise subcollections: Within each main collection, use subcollections to further categorise products. This hierarchical approach streamlines navigation and helps customers discover relevant products quickly.

Simplifying navigation and enhancing user experience:

Clear navigation menu: Design a clean and easy-to-navigate menu structure that prominently displays your collections. Ensure that customers can access different product categories effortlessly.

Search functionality: Implement a search bar that allows customers to find specific products quickly. Make sure the search bar is easily visible and functional on both desktop and mobile devices.

Filter and sort options: Provide filter and sort options on collection pages, enabling customers to refine their product searches based on attributes like price, colour, size, and popularity.

Featured products and best sellers: Showcase featured products and best sellers on your homepage or main collection pages to capture immediate attention and drive sales.

Optimising product pages for conversion:

High-quality product images: Use high-resolution images that showcase your products from different angles. Allow customers to zoom in on images for a closer look.

Detailed product descriptions: Write compelling and informative product descriptions that highlight the features, benefits, and unique selling points of each product.

Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Place a clear and visible CTA, such as "Add to Cart" or "Buy Now," on each product page to guide customers through the purchase process.

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Customer reviews and ratings: Display customer reviews and ratings on product pages to build trust and provide social proof of your products' quality.

By thoughtfully organising your product collection and optimising your store's navigation and product pages, you create an inviting and user-friendly shopping environment. An enhanced user experience can lead to higher customer satisfaction, increased conversions, and ultimately, the success of your dropshipping business.

Adding products and integrating dropshipping apps

Now that you have your Shopify store set up, it's time to populate it with products and seamlessly integrate with dropshipping apps to streamline the process of sourcing and fulfilling orders. By carefully selecting products and reliable dropshipping partners, you can offer a diverse range of items to your customers without the burden of managing inventory.

Connecting your store with reliable dropshipping apps:

Browse the Shopify App Store: Explore the Shopify App Store for popular dropshipping apps such as Oberlo, Modalyst, and Spocket. These apps allow you to connect with reputable suppliers and automate the order fulfilment process.

Select the right app for your business: Assess the features and functionalities of each app to determine the one that best aligns with your business needs. Consider factors like product range, supplier network, and pricing.

Install and set up the chosen app: Once you've chosen the ideal dropshipping app, install it on your Shopify store. Follow the app's setup wizard to configure settings, connect your store to the app, and authorise access.

Importing products from reputable suppliers to your store:

Search for products: Use the dropshipping app to search for products within your niche. Filter products based on criteria like product type, pricing, and shipping location.

Import products to your store: Select the products you wish to offer in your store and import them with just a few clicks. The app will automatically add product details, descriptions, and images to your product pages.

Customise product information: After importing products, review and customise product titles, descriptions, and prices to align with your brand voice and style.

Maintaining product availability and pricing:

Sync inventory with suppliers: Keep your product inventory in sync with your suppliers' stock levels. Regularly update your store to ensure products listed as available are still in stock with the suppliers.

Adjust pricing strategically: Regularly review product pricing to maintain competitive prices while accounting for changes in supplier costs and market trends.

Automating order fulfilment:

Order processing: When a customer places an order on your Shopify store, the order details are automatically forwarded to the supplier through the dropshipping app.

Shipping and tracking: The supplier handles order fulfilment, including packaging and shipping the product directly to the customer. Customers receive shipment tracking information to monitor their order's status.

By integrating dropshipping apps and strategically selecting products from reliable suppliers, you can efficiently manage your product catalogue and focus on growing your dropshipping business. This approach allows you to offer a diverse range of products to your customers without the burden of inventory management.

Streamlining operations: Managing inventory and order fulfilment

Efficiently managing inventory and order fulfilment is essential to ensure a smooth and seamless customer experience. By implementing streamlined processes and staying organised, you can maintain optimal inventory levels and fulfil orders promptly.

Keeping track of product availability and stock levels:

Real-time inventory updates: Leverage the capabilities of your dropshipping app to receive real-time updates on product availability from suppliers. This ensures that your store reflects accurate stock levels.

Set reorder points: Establish reorder points for each product to know when it's time to restock. This prevents running out of popular items and helps you maintain a consistent inventory.

Monitor product performance: Regularly analyse sales data to identify trends and popular products. Adjust your inventory levels accordingly to meet customer demand.

Ensuring seamless order fulfilment with your suppliers:

Automated order processing: Automate the order processing system with your dropshipping app. This enables orders to be automatically forwarded to your suppliers for fulfilment as soon as customers make a purchase.

Clear communication with suppliers: Maintain open communication channels with your suppliers to address any inquiries promptly and ensure timely order processing.

Tracking order status: Utilise tracking numbers provided by suppliers to keep track of order shipments. Keep customers informed about their order status and shipping details.

Handling backorders and out-of-stock items:

Communicate with customers: If a product becomes temporarily out of stock or on backorder, promptly inform customers about the situation and provide estimated restocking or shipping dates.

Offer alternative products: Suggest alternative products with similar features to customers when their desired item is unavailable. This helps retain their interest and ensures they find a suitable alternative.

Quality control and customer satisfaction:

Inspect product quality: Regularly inspect product samples from suppliers to ensure they meet your quality standards. Providing high-quality products contributes to positive customer experiences.

Address customer inquiries promptly: Respond to customer inquiries and concerns promptly and professionally. Timely and excellent customer service builds trust and loyalty.

Implementing efficient return and refund policies:

Clear return policy: Create a clear and easy-to-understand return policy that outlines the conditions for returns and refunds. This transparency reassures customers and helps manage return expectations.

Seamless refund process: Streamline the refund process to ensure quick and hassle-free reimbursements for customers who qualify for refunds.

By streamlining operations and maintaining efficient inventory management and order fulfilment processes, you can provide a reliable and seamless shopping experience for your customers. A well-organised approach to dropshipping operations contributes to customer satisfaction and strengthens your store's reputation.

Creating a seamless checkout experience

The checkout process is a critical stage where customers make their final decision to complete a purchase. By optimising your Shopify store's checkout experience, you can reduce cart abandonment rates and increase conversions, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free buying journey for your customers.

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Simplified and user-friendly checkout flow:

One-page checkout: Implement a one-page checkout process to reduce the number of steps required for customers to complete their purchase. A streamlined checkout flow minimises distractions and keeps customers focused on finalising their order.

Guest checkout option: Offer a guest checkout option that allows customers to make a purchase without creating an account. This eliminates barriers and appeals to customers looking for a quick and straightforward checkout process.

Auto-fill address and shipping details: Use autofill capabilities to pre-populate address and shipping information whenever possible. This saves customers time and reduces the risk of errors during checkout.

Transparent and secure payment options:

Display accepted payment methods: Clearly showcase accepted payment methods, including credit cards, PayPal, and any other payment gateways you offer. Transparency instils confidence in customers that their preferred payment option is available.

SSL encryption: Ensure that your checkout process is secure with SSL encryption. Display security badges and trust seals to assure customers that their sensitive information is protected.

Minimising cart abandonment:

Offer free shipping: Consider offering free shipping or setting a minimum order amount for free shipping. Free shipping incentives can encourage customers to proceed with their purchase.

Display order summary: Provide a clear order summary that includes the product name, quantity, and total cost. A comprehensive summary helps customers review their order before completing the purchase.

Exit-intent popups: Implement exit-intent popups to offer discounts or incentives when customers show signs of leaving the checkout page. These pop ups can entice customers to reconsider their decision to abandon their carts.

Mobile-friendly checkout:

Responsive design: Ensure that your checkout page is fully responsive and mobile-friendly. A significant portion of customers completes purchases on mobile devices, and a seamless mobile checkout experience is essential.

Fast loading times: Optimise checkout page loading times on mobile devices to reduce the risk of customers abandoning their purchase due to slow loading times.

Order confirmation and shipping details:

Order confirmation email: Send customers an immediate order confirmation email with details of their purchase, order number, and estimated delivery date. This reinforces their purchase decision and provides assurance.

Shipment tracking information: After the order is fulfilled, provide customers with tracking information so they can monitor the progress of their shipment.

By prioritising a seamless checkout experience and addressing potential barriers to completion, you can significantly improve your store's conversion rate and overall customer satisfaction. A well-designed and user-friendly checkout process enhances the credibility of your Shopify dropshipping store and contributes to customer loyalty.

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Integrating your Shopify website with Google and marketing tools

Integrating your Shopify website with Google and other marketing tools is essential to track performance, optimise marketing efforts, and gain valuable insights into customer behaviour. Here's how to seamlessly connect your store with various marketing tools:

1. Google Analytics integration:

  • Sign up for a Google Analytics account and obtain a tracking ID.
  • In your Shopify admin, go to "Online Store" > "Preferences" > "Google Analytics."
  • Enter your tracking ID in the provided field and save the changes.
  • Google Analytics will now track website traffic, user behaviour, conversions, and more.

2. Google Search Console integration:

  • Set up a Google Search Console account for your website.
  • In your Shopify admin, go to "Online Store" > "Preferences" > "Google Search Console."
  • Add your website URL as a property in Google Search Console.
  • Verify ownership by following the provided instructions.
  • Google Search Console will provide valuable data on search performance, indexing, and crawl errors.

3. Google Ads integration:

  • Create a Google Ads account and set up your ad campaigns.
  • In your Shopify admin, go to "Sales Channels" > "Google."
  • Follow the instructions to connect your Shopify store with Google Ads.
  • Track conversions and optimise your Google Ads campaigns for maximum ROI.
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4. Facebook Pixel integration:

  • Create a Facebook Business Manager account and set up a Facebook Pixel.
  • In your Shopify admin, go to "Sales Channels" > "Facebook."
  • Connect your Shopify store with Facebook by following the provided steps.
  • The Facebook Pixel will track website activity and enable you to run targeted Facebook ads.
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5. Email marketing integration:

  • Integrate your Shopify store with email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp or Klaviyo.
  • Go to the respective email marketing app in the Shopify App Store and install it on your store.
  • Follow the app's setup instructions to connect your store and start building your email list.

6. Social media integration:

  • Connect your social media accounts to your Shopify store for seamless sharing and product tagging.
  • Use social media marketing tools to schedule posts and engage with your audience.

7. SEO and meta tags:

  • Use Shopify's built-in SEO features to optimise product pages and meta tags.
  • Customise meta titles and descriptions for each product to improve search engine visibility.
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8. Performance tracking and reporting:

Regularly review analytics and reports from integrated marketing tools to measure performance.

Use data-driven insights to refine marketing strategies and enhance customer experiences.

By integrating your Shopify website with Google and various marketing tools, you can efficiently track performance, optimise campaigns, and deliver targeted marketing messages to reach your ideal customers. These integrations provide valuable data and streamline marketing efforts, helping you grow your Shopify dropshipping business effectively.

In conclusion, starting a Shopify dropshipping store offers a lucrative opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the world of e-commerce without the need for substantial upfront investments or inventory management. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this content, you can set up your Shopify store, select profitable products, and seamlessly integrate with dropshipping apps for efficient order fulfilment. Moreover, optimising product descriptions, crafting compelling meta descriptions, and leveraging rich snippets can significantly improve your store's online visibility and search engine ranking. With the right marketing strategies, excellent customer support, and a focus on scaling your business, you can position your dropshipping store for long-term success in the competitive e-commerce landscape. Remember, continuous learning, adaptation to market trends, and dedication to providing an outstanding customer experience are the keys to thriving in the ever-evolving world of dropshipping.


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