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How To Dropship With Shopify - Our Complete Guide

July 01, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Shopify serves as a popular platform for a dropshipping business. Its ease of use, user-friendly interface, and affordability make it a good option for entrepreneurs looking to start a dropshipping business. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps on how to dropship on Shopify.

How Does Dropshipping on Shopify Work?

Dropshipping with Shopify works as a partnership between you, the store owner, and a supplier. The supplier takes care of storing, packaging, and shipping the products directly to your customers.

Meanwhile, as the store owner, you list the products from the supplier on your Shopify store, set the prices, process customer orders, and handle customer service.

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Why Choose Shopify for Dropshipping Business?

There are several reasons why Shopify is a popular choice for dropshipping e-commerce businesses.

  • Affordable pricing. Shopify offers budget-friendly pricing options for small entrepreneurs who are looking to start a dropshipping business but do not have a large budget.
  • User-friendly platform. Shopify features an intuitive UI, making it easy for those with limited technical skills to set up and manage their online store.
  • Variety of Dropshipping apps. There are a large number of dropshipping apps on the Shopify App Store that help you customize and enhance your store.
  • Integrated Payment Gateways. Shopify offers a range of payment options to choose from, including PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, and more.
  • Built-in SEO tools. Shopify includes built-in SEO features that help you optimize your content.

How to Dropship with Shopify: Step-by-Step Tutorial?

Now that you understand how dropshipping works on Shopify, let’s proceed with a detailed step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Choose a Niche

Choosing a niche is essential in starting a successful dropshipping business on Shopify. Here are some tips to help you choose the right niche to dropship in.

Conduct keyword research

Keyword research is crucial in choosing a niche for dropshipping on Shopify. It helps you understand the needs and interests of your target audience by providing insight into what they are searching for.

By identifying the most searched-for keywords in your niche, you can gain insights into popular and in-demand products and identify potential gaps in the market that you could fill.

In addition, keyword research helps optimize product listing for increased traffic and conversions. Some online tools you can use include:

  • Google. Offer a great place for brainstorming product ideas. Google’s autosuggest feature gives you better insight into long-tail keywords.
  • Ahrefs or Semrush. Identify popular phrases and the difficulty scores associated with ranking for these keywords.
  • Answer the Public. Offer valuable insights into the keywords and phrases people actively search for on search engines.
  • Amazon, eBay, or Alibaba. Offer valuable data for dropshipping businesses, such as reviews, ratings, trending products, and keywords.

Analyze Competition

Competitor analysis is an essential part of dropshipping on Shopify. It gives you an in-depth look at the products your competitors are selling and their marketing strategies. This information can help you stay ahead of the competition and identify popular products.

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Step 2: Build Your Shopify Store

The next step to dropshipping on Shopify is to create your Shopify store. Shopify offers a free dropshipping starter kit, including a 3-day trial of their platform and a variety of free training resources to help you get started.

Some basic steps involved in setting up a Shopify store include:

  • Select a Shopify plan that fits your needs
  • Select a Shopify theme or template
  • Set up your payment and shipping options
  • Add your brand’s logo

Need more steps? Don’t worry; we’ve already covered all the essentials for starting your Shopify online store right here.

Step 3: Find Your Dropshipping Suppliers

After you have established your niche and the products you want to sell through dropshipping on Shopify and have set up your online store, it’s time to locate a supplier.

Where to find dropshipping suppliers?

The Shopify App Store is a great starting point for entrepreneurs looking to find trustworthy dropshipping suppliers. With a wide range of dropshipping apps available, you can easily connect to thousands of suppliers to source the products you want to sell.

Some popular dropshipping apps available in the Shopify App Store include:

You can use online directories or supplier marketplaces like Worldwide Brands, SaleHoo, or Doba to find potential dropshipping suppliers beyond the Shopify App Store.

find potential dropshipping suppliers beyond the Shopify App Store.

Note: Shopify’s dropshipping apps all come with a support section at the bottom of their app page, which includes an email address and FAQs. Use both resources to learn more about effectively using each dropshipping app.

4 Steps to Find a Trustworthy Dropshipping Supplier

Finding a supplier for dropshipping on Shopify can be daunting, but it’s a vital component for ensuring the success of your dropshipping business. Here are some steps to help you find a dropshipping supplier.

Research suppliers

With so many options for dropshipping suppliers, it is crucial to conduct thorough research to find the one that offers the products you are focused on. Ensure to check their credentials, customer reviews, and product quality to see if they meet your standards.

Negotiate terms

Once you’ve found a potential supplier, the next step is to contact them and negotiate terms. This ensures that both parties are clear on expectations, payment terms, shipping costs, delivery times, and other essential details.

Install dropshipping supplier apps

If you commit to a dropshipping supplier through Shopify, ensure to integrate your supplier with your Shopify store. Simply search for your chosen supplier on the Shopify App Store and install the app. This provides streamlined product importing and order processing.

If you choose to work with a dropshipping supplier outside the Shopify App Store, contact them and inquire if they provide any apps. If they do have apps, ask for instructions on how to install them onto Shopify.

Place a Test Order

Once all terms have been agreed upon, you can proceed with placing a test order. This allows you to evaluate the quality of their product offerings and reliability, as well as shipping times and customer service, to ensure they meet your standards.

Step 4: Import Products to Your Shopify Store

Now that you have your Shopify store set up and the dropshipping app installed, it’s time to start adding products to your online store.

The exact steps for importing products into your Shopify store will vary depending on the dropshipping app you choose and the supplier you work with. Generally, you’ll need to.

  • Browse the products offered by the supplier
  • Select the ones you want to sell in your store
  • Add them to your Shopify store

Once you have imported your products into your Shopify store, set your prices. It’s essential to consider your product costs, shipping fees, and desired profit margins when setting up your product prices.

Step 5: Implement Marketing Strategies for Your Store

With your store setup and products imported, it’s time to start marketing your Shopify store for dropshipping. There are several ways to reach your target audience and promote your dropshipping products or brand, including:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Use keywords in your product descriptions, page titles, and meta descriptions to improve your search engine optimization.
  • Content marketing. Create blog posts, videos, or other types of content that help engage your audience and drive organic traffic to your store.
  • Email marketing. Collect customer email addresses and use them to send out newsletters, product updates, and promotions.
  • Influencer marketing (KOLs). Reach out to influencers in your niche and offer them a commission to promote your products to their followers.
  • Online advertising. Google ads, Facebook and Instagram, are among the best tools to promote your dropshipping products.

Step 6: Start Fulfilling Your Orders

Once you begin to receive orders, it’s important to process them promptly so that your supplier can send the products directly to your customers.

The process for fulfilling your orders can differ depending on the tools you use for dropshipping on Shopify. However, you can manually fulfill orders within your Shopify admin. Here are the steps:

  • Select Orders from the left-side menu within your Shopify admin dashboard.Select Orders from the left-side menu within your Shopify admin dashboard.
  • Go to the Unfulfilled section to view all orders that still need to be processed.Go to the Unfulfilled section to view all orders that still need to be processed.
  • Select all the orders you want to fulfill and select Fulfill. Then, enter your tracking number and choose your shipping carrier.Then, enter your tracking number and choose your shipping carrier.
  • You can enable the option to send notification emails to your customers.

Step 7: Track and Analyze Your Results

Keeping track of and examining your results helps you assess your store’s performance, pinpoint areas that need improvements and make well-informed choices to expand your business.

Shopify provides various analytics and reporting tools that enable you to monitor your stores’ performance, traffic, sales, and conversion rates.

Step 8: Build Relationships with Suppliers

Building relationships with suppliers can be vital to the success of your dropshipping business and can help you establish a competitive advantage in the market.

A strong bond with your suppliers also brings numerous benefits, such as reliable inventory management, better pricing, and increased product availability.

What are the Costs Of Starting A Dropshipping Business On Shopify?

The costs of starting a dropshipping business on Shopify can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on your needs and the level of functionality you require.

However, some of the typical expenses include:

  • Shopify Monthly Subscription: $39 to $399, depending on the pricing plan you choose.
  • Dropshipping apps: The costs for dropshipping apps can vary significantly, with monthly fees starting from $4 and reaching up to $200, depending on the level of support and features they offer.
  • Payment processing fees: Shopify charges a fee for all credit and debit card transactions, and this fee can vary depending on the Shopify pricing plan you choose.
  • Domain name: The cost of registering a domain name for your dropshipping business will vary depending on what type of domain you purchase and where you buy it from.

Which Shopify Plan Is Best For Dropshipping?

The best Shopify plan for dropshipping depends on your business needs and budget. However, the Basic plan can be a great start for small businesses that are just starting out with the dropshipping business. It provides all the essential features, and tools merchants need to build their online store, including website customizations, unlimited product listings, 24/7 support, and support for multiple payment options.

Dropshipping with Shopify: 5 Tips for Great Customer Service

Establishing a reliable and efficient customer service approach is crucial to the success of any dropshipping business. Here are some practical ways to enhance your customer support.

  • Ensure a swift response time. Respond to customer inquiries promptly to build trust and increase your store’s credibility.
  • Provide detailed and accurate information. Ensure the information you provide customers with is clear and accurate, covering product details, shipping times, and delivery window estimates.
  • Offer multiple communication channels. Ensure to offer various ways for customers to reach you, such as email, live chat, and phone calls.
  • Implement Support Automation. Use tools like chatbots to handle repetitive questions and processes, thus freeing up your employees to focus on more intricate tasks.
  • Train your team. Ensure to equip your customer service team with the necessary skills and resources for the effective handling of customer inquiries.

Dropshipping with Shopify: Common Challenges and How to Deal with Them

When it comes to dropshipping on Shopify, there are certain challenges that entrepreneurs may face. Here are a few common challenges and ways to overcome them.

Product outsourcing

Product sourcing is a crucial aspect of dropshipping on Shopify, as affects the quality of the products your customers receive. Your product quality relies on your dropshipping suppliers, so ensure to find a good one that meets your standards.

Inventory management

Effective inventory management is crucial in dropshipping with Shopify, especially when using multiple suppliers. While relying on suppliers is necessary, having your own inventory management system in place can help you better control your inventory.

Shipping and logistics

Managing shipping times and deliveries can pose a challenge in dropshipping, especially if you work with multiple suppliers. This can result in complex shipping costs. To tackle this, carefully research available shipping options and collaborate with your suppliers to determine the optimal shipping window.

Wrapping Up

That’s it! Now you know how to dropship with Shopify. With our steps in place, you can build a successful dropshipping business on Shopify, grow your customer base, and achieve your goals.


Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.