Dropshipping has become a popular online business idea because it’s easy to set up, requires very little investment, and the market is huge.
Unlike traditional eCommerce business that requires you to manage product inventory and handle shipping logistics, dropshipping allows you to start an online store without managing inventory or dealing with shipping.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an online business where an eCommerce store doesn’t keep the products in stock, meaning no inventory cost. Instead, when a customer purchases a product, the store owner places the order with the original vendor and have them ship the item directly to the customer.
The main difference between a dropshipping business vs traditional eCommerce business is that dropshipping doesn’t require you to stock or own any inventory. You also don’t have to deal with any shipping or handling logistics.
When a product is sold through your online store, you simply forward the purchase order to a wholesaler or manufacturer who fulfills it.
How to Start a Dropshipping Business?
Starting a dropshipping business is not as difficult as you’d think. According to Builtwith, WooCommerce is the #1 software used to build eCommerce stores. We recommend using WooCommerce because of its low setup costs, ability to use multiple payment gateways, and flexibility to customize your online store. Using WooCommerce gives you access to thousands of WordPress extensions, third-party integrations, and beautiful store designs.
What You’ll Need to Start Dropshipping with WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is available as a free plugin for WordPress. To get started with WordPress and WooCommerce, you’ll need the following items:
- A domain name (This will be your store’s online address e.g. wpbeginner.com)
- Web hosting account (This is where your website’s files will be stored)
- SSL certificate (You’ll need it to accept online payments)
After installing WordPress, you need to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin.
Choosing a Design for Your Dropshipping Store:
The first thing you would want to do is to change the appearance of your dropshipping store. Luckily, one of the best things about using WordPress is that you can select from thousands of WooCommerce themes. Once you have found a theme you like, install it.
Finding Dropshipping Products to Sell on Your Website:
The next step is to find the products you want to sell on your dropshipping store. Before you start picking products, first you need to decide what kind of products you want to sell. We recommend choosing a niche for your store. This will make it easier for you to find products as well as customers.
After choosing a niche for your store, you can look for products in that particular category. In your product research, you want to look for products with low competition and high demand. To find out which products are trending, you can browse Amazon to collect data and do your own research.
Where to Find Dropshipping Suppliers and Vendors?
Once you have decided what products you are going to sell on your store, the next step is to find dropshipping suppliers offering those products. There are many online marketplaces where you can find dropshipping suppliers and vendors from all over the world. We recommend starting with AliExpress for multiple reasons.
Along with dropshipping products, you can also sell third-party products for affiliate commission on your store. This would allow you to offer a large range of products while diversifying your income stream.
Adding Dropshipping Products to Your WooCommerce Store:
By default, WooCommerce does not come with seamless dropshipping functionality. Luckily, there are several excellent WooCommerce dropshipping that allow you to do that.
Using a dropshipping extension, you’d be able to easily add dropshipping products, set custom prices with desired profit margin, collect orders, send them to your supplier, and more. The functionality of your dropshipping extensions would entirely depend on the supplier or marketplace you choose.
If you are selling products from multiple suppliers from different marketplaces, then you may need multiple dropshipping extensions to automate the checkout process.
The way you add products to your WooCommerce store will depend on which extension, marketplace, or supplier you go with. If the extension you choose allows you to automatically import products, then you can just do that.
Manually Adding Dropshipping Products in WooCommerce:
Adding products to your WooCommerce store is quite simple. First, you need to visit Products » Add New page inside your WordPress admin area. Start by providing a product title and a detailed product description. After that, you need to select a product category and start uploading product photo and product gallery images.
You can find product images from the supplier’s website. Next, you need to add product details under the Product data section. From here, you can set product price, attributes, and other options.
Below that, you can provide a short description of the product. This short description will appear on the shop front, product category, and product search pages. Go ahead and publish your product to make it appear live on your store. Repeat the process to add more products.
Managing Dropshipping Orders in WooCommerce:
After you have added products in your store, customers will be able to buy them from your website. You’d be able to review the customer orders by visiting WooCommerce » Orders page.
Depending on your dropshipping extension, you may see an option to fulfill orders from here. This would basically send the customer’s order details to the supplier associated with the product. WooCommerce plugins like AliDropship makes it super easy to send orders to the supplier with a single click.
If your extension does not support that feature, then you’ll need to manually place the order with your supplier by providing them the customer’s order details and shipping information. You can review each order by clicking on it.
On the order detail page, you can view products ordered, customer payment information, and edit the order status. Once the order is shipped by the supplier, you can change its status to completed.
Enjoy Dropshipping in WordPress!