Once you are ready to start a dropshipping business, it may be difficult to decide where to start. Shopify and Oberlo offers basic and advanced set up possibilities, however, you don’t need to set up everything at the beginning.
Instead, focus on the minimal store setup to launch your store and invest your time into marketing and getting sales. Once you start making sales, then move on with the further online store improvement.
Follow the checklist below to set up your dropshipping store:
1. Sign up to Oberlo
1. Sign up to Oberlo
To run a dropshipping business, you need an Oberlo account. To get it, go to the www.oberlo.com website and sign up. Oberlo offers a forever free plan and two paid subscription plans.
To learn more, refer to the Signing up to Oberlo article.
2. Sign up to Shopify
To build and run an online store, you need a Shopify account. Go to www.Shopify.com and sign up. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial and three subscription plans from 29.00 USD per month.
3. Connect your Oberlo account to a Shopify store
Connect your Oberlo account to a Shopify store. This allows you to import products from Oberlo to your Shopify store.
To learn more, check Connecting your Oberlo account to a Shopify store article.
4. Install the Oberlo Chrome Extension
Install the Oberlo Chrome extension to simplify the process of adding products and processing orders. The extension is available only on the desktop or laptop computer, and the Google Chrome browser. Click here to add the extension to your browser.
To learn more, refer to the Using the Oberlo Chrome Extension (OCE) article.
5. Explore products and decide what to sell
Go to www.AliExpress.com and look for products to sell. Think about your possible target audience, target countries, and potential product prices to make profit. To save money and time, it’s best to have just a few products (5-10) in your store and focus on them. Product research is a very important part when building a dropshipping business, therefore, dedicate enough time for this step.
6. Change the store currency
Before you add products to your online store, you have to decide on the currency you want to show your product prices. The store currency depends on the country you plan to sell products to. For example, if you are based in Canada and planning to sell products to the United States, then having the USD currency will ensure a smooth experience for your customers.
To learn more, refer to the Changing your Shopify store currency article.
7. Create product listings for your online store
Once you find the products you want to sell, add them to the Import List in Oberlo. Then, customize them (title, description, images), set prices and import them to your Shopify store. After you import products to Shopify, you will be able to continue customizing them from there if needed.
To learn more about the product import, refer to the Importing Products and Importing Products from AliExpress.com articles. To learn more about product customization, refer to the Customizing products article.
8. Choose a store theme
Choose and install a theme to your Shopify store. A theme is a free or paid store template.
9. Buy a custom domain
Buy a custom domain from Shopify. A custom domain is optional, but it strengthens your brand and adds credibility to your business in the eyes of your customers.
10. Select store language
Select your online store’s language. You may consider setting your store in the English language or choose a language based on your target audience if you think this will increase customer’s intention to shop from you and you will be able to manage the store in a different language.
To learn more, refer to the Multilingual online store article.
11. Create essential store pages
Create the essential pages about your store’s policies and contact information. These pages help to build your brand and story, increase your customer confidence to shop, and minimize support tickets.
About Us page
Contact Us page
12. Add store navigation
Adjust existing menu items or add new ones to your store. Menu items help your customers to easily navigate through your store.
13. Customize store design
Customize your store’s layout, colors, typography to make it feel unique. Tell your story through your online store and brand.
14. Add a payment gateway
Add a payment gateway to your online store. A payment gateway is a service that processes your customer payments and deposits them into your bank account.
To learn more, check the Collecting payments from customers article.
15. Disable automatic order fulfillment
You have to disable automatic order fulfillment and set it to manual in Shopify. Otherwise, you will not be able to purchase products from suppliers in Oberlo.
To learn more, check the Set up your order fulfillment settings article.
16. Set up shipping settings
Set up shippings for your online store. In dropshipping, usually the shipping fee is added to the product price to make the shipping “free” for your customers.
To learn more about shipping settings, refer to the Setting up shipping settings in Shopify article.
17. Select a Shopify subscription plan
Once you are ready to launch your store, you will need to select a Shopify subscription plan (from 29 USD/month). You will not be charged until your Shopify trial ends.
18. Remove storefront password
Remove the password from your online store, so that your customers can access it.
To learn more, check Remove password protection from your online store article.
19. Make a test purchase on your store
To make sure that your checkout process and settings work properly, you can make a test order. This also helps you to see the process from your customers` perspective. To learn more, check Placing a test order article.
Once you are done with the checklist, then it’s time to focus on marketing your online store. Check out the Oberlo blog for resources on marketing.