A traditional eCommerce model works like this: First you buy several hundred products, then you wait for them to be delivered, stock them in your garage or a small warehouse, and when someone places an order you ship them to your customer.
This model works well for bigger companies, but for new companies, it can have extra costs (storage space), risks (unsold stock), and annoyances (not having a popular item in stock and ready to ship).
Luckily, today there is an alternative to this model: dropshipping. Dropshipping allows people who are just figuring out how to start ecommerce store to get started quickly so that they can spend more time and energy on generating sales. With dropshipping, you aren’t required to hold any inventory and don’t need to ship, which also saves you time and money.
Simply add products to your eCommerce store, and when an item sells, pay the supplier who then ships it directly to your customer. There is no need to pay for extra storage space and no need to worry about what to do with unsold stock.
From here onward, we’ll focus solely on dropshipping because the alternative requires extra capital, time and risk. There are two ways to obtain dropshipped products for your eCommerce store:
- Contact a wholesaler and land a dropshipping deal. You will soon realize that it is hard to find good suppliers who provide dropshipping services. If you find a company, they usually do business only with established, profitable businesses. This is not the best option for a new startup business.
- Use sourcing tools and apps. Connect your eCommerce store with the app (see recommendation below) and import products directly from a dropshipped products database within minutes.
There are several dropshipping apps, but I would suggest using the free app from Oberlo. Oberlo is an app that allows you to import dropshipped products from AliExpress to your eCommerce store within minutes. Items sold in your store will be shipped directly to your customers in just a few clicks. AliExpress offers a wide variety of products at very low prices, which is why it is an ideal partner in the beginning when you launch your store.
Here’s how we’ll use it:
1) Create categories
Product categories are called collections on Shopify. If you’re selling women’s jewelry your collections will be (from top to the bottom): Earrings, Rings, Necklaces, Watches, Bracelets, etc. Just go to Products > Collections > Add New Collection > enter your collection name and select your collection conditions.
2) Install Oberlo app and add products
Adding products with Oberlo is simple. The video below shows me installing the Oberlo application from Shopify App Store and importing a products to my store.
When it comes to selecting products for your store, choose products based on high order volume, high star rating and shipping costs. For order volume, anything over 30 orders with a high star rating is fine. You just want to ensure that other people have been happy with their purchases. When it comes to star rating, 4+ only. You want to ensure that people are happy with the quality and manufacturer. When it comes to shipping costs, if free shipping is offered great but if ePacket is offered you can provide your customers with faster delivery times.