If you’ve been waiting for the best time to start your home-based dropshipping business, there couldn’t be a better time. Online shopping is taking over the world, and it could be your opportunity to grow your empire, and Shopify is all you need!
Here’s a quick guide to transform your business from an idea and make it a reality in just a few simple steps.
There are other e-commerce platforms that you can use. However, Shopify is not only the most popular, but it is also tested and proven.
Shopify is the cornerstone of over 500,000 existing businesses selling products online. The platform has the tools and resources you need to get your business off the ground with a limited budget. Some benefits of choosing Shopify as an e-commerce partner include:
- Easy tools — Shopify provides you with all the tools you need to run your business. Whether you have a physical store location or you want to create a web-based business, the platform has a comprehensive collection of tools to meet all your business demands.
- Bespoke themes — You can choose from various website themes then tweak certain aspects of the theme to give your new online store a customized look.
- Cross border selling — You can sell your products to anyone, anywhere in the world without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
- SEO and Marketing — You need to advertise your website to get customers. For that, Shopify has numerous SEO tools you can use, and it’s also compatible with inbound marketing tools like Hotspot that open your business to endless opportunities.
- Dropshipping — You have easy access to dropshipping within the Shopify platform. You don’t need to worry about having the merchandise beforehand to make sales.
- Affordable pricing — With all the help, tools, and resources the platform offers, it’s surprising that they still keep a low pricing footprint with the lowest subscription plan costing less than $10.
With the different subscription plans, you can unlock the tools and resources that your business needs when it needs them.
Setting Up Your Home-Based Business on Shopify
Now that you know why you should be using Shopify for your e-commerce business, here is how you can launch your business on the platform.
Select a Niche
The first step to setting up your business is choosing what you want to sell. You can sell just about anything that isn’t illegal, including digital products and services. Some factors you need to consider when choosing a niche include:
- Consider high priced products with high-profit potential.
- High shipping costs will devour your profits, so go for suppliers with affordable and low shipping costs.
- Find products that appeal to impulse buyers with disposable income.
- Ensure people are actively searching for the products you select.
- Prioritize products that aren’t readily available locally.
Set up your online store
Once you have an idea of the products you would like to sell and have a supplier, you can start setting up your store.
It’s a multi-pronged process, but it shouldn’t take long:
- Sign up on Shopify — In this step, you will be asked to insert your email address, password, and store name in the required areas.
- Enter your basic details — After Shopify creates your account, you will need to enter the necessary information in the next step. These include your name, address, phone number, and what you’re selling. If you have started making sales, you will also need to fill in the revenue field.
When choosing your store name, keep in mind that it’s going to feature in the URL. You need to keep it simple but catchy.
After successfully adding your details, the next stop is the admin dashboard, where you will start creating your online store.
Here are the six steps you will follow to get your home-based business up and running on your Shopify store:
1. Add your products
Your first task on the admin board is to add the products you want to sell. Depending on the products you have, the process of adding them to the platform differs.
- For physical products, you can add them manually and upload the photos.
- For bulk products, you can use a CSV file to make the upload easier. You can also import the items from other platforms.
- For digital products and services, you will need to install an app for digital delivery first and then use it to add the products.
The details about selling digital products are on Shopify’s online manual. Once you have uploaded your products on Shopify, you can use the over 100 variations to cluster and sort the products. It is easier for customers to find the products this way.
2. Customize the store design
With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about designing a website from scratch. All you have to do is choose a theme on the platform then customize it to your needs. There are plenty of free and paid designs to choose from, and they are sorted by industry to make it easier to find the most appropriate.
You can modify the theme using a template editor or the theme setting editor. Some areas to focus on including the footer (where you will add your social media links), payment methods, and other essential details.
3. Set up your domain name
Initially, your store’s domain name will appear as (yourstorename.myshopify.com) if you’re okay with this format, you don’t have to set up the domain name. If you would like to have a custom domain name (yourstorename.com), you will work on that.
You need to fill out some documentation to secure the new domain name, and the Shopify online manual has all the necessary documentation.
4. Set up tax rates and shipping
The prices of your products should be tax-adjusted, and Shopify needs this information. To make it easier for you, Shopify has some basic rates, but you may need to adjust depending on what you’re selling. In this step, you will also need to add in the shipping costs.
Important Note: While you’re thinking about taxes, consider establishing an entity (like an LLC) to keep track of the tax and legal aspects of your online business.
5. Set up your payments
This is the most crucial step. It should be gruelling, but Shopify has incredible tools you can use to make it easier to add payments. If you’re in the UK, you don’t have much to worry about. Shopify payments accept credit cards, and the platform also integrates with other payment processing services like PayPal and Google Wallet.
There’s also the option of setting up a merchant account or a third-party payment gateway to provide yourself with more payment options.
As you go through the various steps, Shopify will adjust some settings accordingly. But some need additional attention. These include the store title, the store description, and add your Google Analytics code.
Your new home-based business is almost ready for launch. All that is left is to make the store public. But before you do, you need to test the new store thoroughly to remove any mistakes and glitches. You don’t want your customers to be the ones to find the errors.
Once you’re confident there are no more problems or errors; you can make the store public and wait for your new customers to start streaming in.
Additional Functionalities and Features
To help you grow your business rapidly and efficiently, Shopify has an extensive range of tools that you can use to improve the functionality of your online store. The apps are categorized as follows to make it easier for you to find them:
- Accounting –Xero, Quickbook, and FreshBooks
- Marketing–Email marketing, search, social media marketing, and inbound marketing tools
- Reporting–Apps for monitoring conversation rates, customer behaviour, sales data, and other analytics metrics apps.
- Customer service — live chat, feedback, contact forms among others