The Ultimate Guide To Start Building Your Dropshipping Business [2018]

This guide is about starting from nothing; Very little starting capital, no experience, no superhuman qualities of any kind-- and ending with a successful online business. This may sound like a daunting, almost impossible task, but I can assure you, it’s much easier than you think.

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Introduction: Wisdom > Knowledge

Perhaps now, more than during any other time in human history, can an everyday individual enhance and enrich their lifestyle with the income of an online business. Whether it be buying that new car, setting your kid’s college fund up, having a little extra savings, or simply the freedom to travel the world, taking your first step towards running an online store may be one of the wisest decisions of your life.

If this sounds crazy, or too good to be true, this is most likely because you yourself don’t already have an online business.

I can only be entirely honest with you and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The journey to a successful online store isn’t straight-forward. There will always be small problems to solve and obstacles to overcome.

However, with this very guide in your hands, and a small bit of work put it on your part, even someone with absolutely no online experience, upfront capital, or even much time, can have an up-and-running business in as little as a few days. This guide is as direct a route to success as you can get.

You’ll find the following guide to be filled to the brim with the very best, real-world eCommerce strategies, tactics, tips, and helpful advice to build a lasting online business to be proud of. All written for someone with no prior experience.

If you want it badly enough, never tell yourself you can’t do something. Let’s begin! Blurb: About The Author: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real eCommerce Success was written by Daniel Williamson, a digital marketing madman and entrepreneur for the past decade, and with the help of Moshe Lugasi, the founder of Importify, owner and founder of countless online businesses, and highly successful eCommerce guru.

Who am I writing this for?

For ease of communication, please allow me to make a few assumptions about you, the reader.

I’m going to assume you’re someone who can read and follow directions. I’m also going to assume that you’re someone who can use Google, if necessary, to solve the problems you come across. Any other skills you may possess will surely help, but aren’t necessary. Even if you’ve never heard of dropshipping yet, which is the type of online business we’ll be setting up, that’s completely okay. (Everyone starts off as a beginner somewhere, it might as well be here.)

What will this guide be about? 

This guide is about starting from nothing; Very little starting capital, no experience, no superhuman qualities of any kind– and ending with a successful online business. This may sound like a daunting, almost impossible task, but I can assure you, it’s much easier than you think. Stick with me!

 

Blurb: The Pen is Stronger than the Sword: I strongly suggest physically writing down your ideas and thoughts while working through this guide. That means pen and paper. In my opinion, and certain studies as well, it is of great benefit to your organization and focus to do so. Personally, following my dreams becomes much more of a reality when the words are physically manifested in-front of me.

An Intro To Dropshipping, Your Future Business Model

Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that every business model is far from perfect. Even your favorite cafe may fudge your order from time to time or accidentally charge too much or too little for an Americano. However, as long as your store is overwhelmingly positive compared to the negative, this is the definition of success. Part of running a business is letting go of perfection and embracing the whole. We don’t need a perfect business, we need our business to be easy to set-up, effective and profitable.

This is why choosing to partake in the dropshipping business model is the best choice you’ll make.

So what’s dropshipping and why should I care? 

Dropshipping is, by far, one of the best business models to emulate for your first eCommerce business. It allows for a single clear benefit that should never be overlooked for first time online entrepreneurs. This benefit is that you don’t need any upfront capital to purchase the products you plan on reselling. This saves a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort. Dropshipping essentially means you need close to zero capital to begin selling, but can still be profitable.

Let me further explain how dropshipping works in order to understand why this is the case. Let’s picture a traditional “brick and mortar” business on your local street corner. This store might need a showroom, a window display, manikins, signs, and most importantly, possibly thousands of dollars worth of inventory to sell to customers. All of this has to be paid for, upfront, before your first customer even walks in the door. You’re stuck with these costs.

However, dropshipping eliminates these expenses. Successful dropshipping works like this, first you set up an online store. If you sell a product, only then do you buy the product directly from your manufacturer. The manufacturer will then ship it directly to your customer’s door. That’s the entire process.

You never have to buy the product beforehand, nor even see the product as it’s shipped to your customer. The manufacturer is the one who handles the shipping and inventory. Not buying inventory upfront means never having to buy a product from a manufacturer for it to rest on a shelf and get dusty. Only when you sell a product, will you purchase from the manufacturer who ships directly to your customer. If it sounds too easy to be true, I can assure you it’s not. Website’s today make this process absurdly easy–even for beginners. More about this later!

Why you should care!

Through a dropshipping business model, this means you can have a stocked, online store, in whichever industry you end up specializing in, with little to no capital at all. All we have to pay for is a Shopify account (to host your store), and the Shopify app Importify, to import your future products from 20 different wholesalers (and also automate your dropshipping needs).

For an eCommerce beginner, dropshipping is heaven on earth. But again, like any business model, there are pros and cons with dropshipping that you should know about.

The Pros and Cons of Dropshipping

Dropshipping Pros:

  • You don’t need to be able to produce or create a unique product
  • You don’t need any upfront capital
  • You don’t need to be a professional marketer or have years of experience
  • You can do this in your spare time, with setup taking as little as a few days, with tools like Shopify and Importify

Dropshipping Cons:

  • Possibility of long shipping times from your manufacturer

Because you aren’t shipping in any traditional sense, it might take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks for a manufacturer in China, for example, to process an order, and ship it to someone’s doorstep in the US

  • Unreliable Manufacturers

Quality control for your products rests on your manufacturer.

  • Returns and refunds can be tricky

Blurb: Never Fear the Cons: Although these problems may sound serious, don’t worry! As I said before, every business has it’s downsides, and certain problems will be unavoidable. However, I’ll be personally teaching you the ins and outs of this business model, which will effectively bypass, or even eliminate, the vast majority of these cons.

The Five Steps to a Successful Store Overview

  1. Generating Product Ideas
  2. How to Find the Perfect Product or Niche
  3. How to Ensure your Store’s Short & Long Term Success by Emphasizing Marketing
  4. How to Launch your Store
  5. Tips for Running Your Store Like a Pro
 

Blurb: Every Step is Connected: It’s extremely important to note that steps two through four work very closely together. Each step is significantly important to the others. If you need to ever go back and read a step over, or read one step twice and slowly, please do so! Taking the extra 15 minutes to re-read a step shows you’re taking things seriously.

1.) Generating Product Ideas

This section is solely about being creative, having some fun, and gathering product ideas. This isn’t the time to be erasing ideas that pop up in your head. Write them all down and we’ll sort through them in the next few steps to find the one we love. Get inspired! At the end of this section, it’s a solid goal to have about 15 to 20 product and/or niche ideas in mind.

Blurb: What the #$%^ is a niche? A niche is simply a segmented part of a market. For example, a niche wouldn’t be “clothes.” This would be way too broad of a category. However, “men’s soccer apparel” is a niche. Finding a fruitful niche to sell to is half the battle with your online business. Take the concept of finding a niche as serious as possible.

Start with what you know.

Unless you’re married, or ridiculously close to someone through other means, you probably know yourself better than anyone else. Let’s think about you to get started. Think about your life and what’s around you. What products do you use regularly? What do you love? What do you hate? Here are some more jump-off questions to get you inspired. Write down everything on the pen and paper you’ve got in front of you.

Jump-Off Questions for Product Ideas

  • What hobbies do you participate in?
    • What products are essential for this hobby?
    • Can you search the internet for awesome products related to this hobby?
  • What subjects are you an expert in?
    • What products are related to this body of knowledge?
    • Can you help people in this field with a related product?
  • What problems plague your daily existence?
    • Which products can solve these problems?
    • Which products can easy these problems?
  • What do you find funny or interesting?
    • Are there products related to this interest?
  • What do the people around you need?
    • Is there a problem you can solve with a product?
    • What products do your family members love?

If you’re passionate or interested in what you’re selling, you’re much more likely to stick with your business till you find success. This passion for what you’re selling is definitely not required, but definitely helps.

It’s also important to note that you don’t need to invent the wheel here. You do not need a new invention or product. The questions above are simply to spark your creativity so you can research your ideas online and gather your list of ideas.

If you need more inspiration, the links below will lead you to some of the internet’s most popular products and businesses. See what’s trending right now, what looks cool or interesting, and again write your favorite ideas down.

  • http://www.bestselling.aliexpress.com/en
  • http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs
  • http://www.etsy.com

Blurb: Etsy.com: Etsy is the largest marketplace source for homemade products. Browsing Etsy, it’s very possible to find unique, amazing products. It’s even possible to contact the seller about their product and gain exclusivity in selling their product (in other words, gaining the ability to sell the product all to yourself. This is kind of an advanced technique you may not be up for though. That’s okay.)

Besides yourself and your own tastes, perhaps consider how beneficial it may be to step into the minds of your potential customers and work your way backwards. The following is a semiexhaustive list of the questions you need to ask to do just that. Answering the majority of these questions, perhaps jotting down ideas as you go, will be greatly beneficial to being in the mind of your audience (and thus in their wallets, as well).

Answer the questions below to truly understand who your target audience is and how they behave.

Audience Connection Exercise

  1. What are their passions?
  2. What do they fear?
  3. Which celebrities or famous personalities do they spend time enjoying?
  4. What do they do on the weekends?
  5. Which state to they live in?
  6. What are their daily habits?
  7. Do they frequently use the computer or not?
  8. Whom do they admire and why?
  9. What subjects do they read about?
  10. How do they make a living?
  11. What hobbies are they passionate about?
  12. Which products do they already love?
  13. Do they have any problems?
  14. Where and why do they travel?
  15. What groups or gatherings are they apart of?
  16. Do they use any apps on their phone?
  17. Which Facebook groups are they apart of?
  18. How old are they?
  19. What products do they regularly buy?
  20. What products do they buy irregularly?
  21. Where do they buy their products from?

Blurb: Google To Connect: Googling to find your targeted audience is also an effective way to find out who you’re marketing to. Here are some suggestions below. To use this list, simply take an idea from the questions above, and Google it with one of the categories below.

  • Magazines
  • Association
  • Club
  • Company
  • Crowd
  • Organization
  • Party
  • Assembly
  • Circle
  • Collection
  • Group
  • Gathering
  • Blog
  • Newsletters
  • Forum
  • FB Groups
  • Conference
 

Alright, do you have a list of at least 20 product or niche ideas? Good. We’re about to use these next few steps to eliminate almost all of them. This is a good thing though! This elimination happens only so you can settle on a single, successful business idea and eventually turn it into an online store. Don’t be discouraged if all of the products you were thinking about selling were eliminated with the sections below; this is simply forcing you to have a winning business idea!

Simply repeat the questions above and/or continue with your product research and you should easily have many more.

2.) How to Find the “Perfect” Product

The “frightening” truth about this guide is that I’ll never be able to tell you the exact product to sell in your store. The fact is, no business walkthrough that actually works can simply give a great product or niche idea to every single reader. However, what I can offer you is, by far, the next best thing. Something you may never forget on your journey to an online store. I’ll be giving you extensive advice on deciding which product would be a good or bad item to dropship to future customers.

 

The following sections of Step 1 will be “Elimination” sections. We’re going to take your product or niche ideas and “eliminate” as many as possible. The thought process is, once you get down to the last one, X marks the spot! This last idea is the niche you should set up shop with!

Niche Elimination

The most common mistake aspiring store owners make is deciding on an online store that’s too broad of a category. You cannot just sell “clothes” as your niche. You’d be immediately competing with multi-million dollar online behemoths. Trying to build the next Amazon, Zappos, or Etsy will only leave you broke and frustrated. We’re all about fruitful, real-world, sincere success–not boiling beakers of colorful fluid in our basement trying to discover the secret to eternal youth.

Go ahead and eliminate any product or business idea that is simply too broad or general. As a rule of thumb, the more you specialize, the more likely you’ll find success with your online store. This may be due to reduced competition, or even selling a product to a market no one has cared for yet. It my not be possible to base a store around “shoes.” But perhaps “LED lit, adultsized, shoes” would be a great niche!

Blurb: Niche Categories: Essentially, a niche can be broken down into several different categories:

Industry level => Sport / Animals

Category Level => Basketball / Dogs

Sub Category => Specific Basket Ball Team / Dog Breed

Demographic Level => “Mom of X” (where x can be dog breed/ basketball team/job/whatever), “Father of X”

 

Another thing to note about the different niche categories is that they can also intersect. For example, picture a handbag that has to do with women who like coffee. These are three intersecting categories, technically, within a single niche. Who knows, after you’ve done your research with the help of this guide, will CoffeeHandbags.com become your $10,000 monthly revenue site? (This is possible!)

Niche Prerequisites

Here are some prerequisites in finding your niche. These requirements aren’t mandatory, but are strongly recommended. Some of the information below may be a little more advanced than you’re used to. It’s still okay to feel a little lost at times. Feel free to just continue reading, and when you’ve finished, re-read what you still don’t quite comprehend.

  1. Passion-based Market (See Emotional Triggers, below)
  2. A Large Target Audience (Min, 700k)
  3. Targetable via Facebook
 

This last prerequisite, Targetable via Facebook, may be very important. This is because Facebook Ads are one of the best marketing avenues available to you. We’ll get into the exact “why” in our marketing section though. Keep these prerequisites in mind when eliminating your products though.

Blurb: Niche Validation: Facebook’s Audience Insight Tool

One of the best tools to check if your niche is suitable for a store is the Facebook Audience Insight tool. Why? Because nobody knows more about your Facebook audience than Facebook itself. Here are some key Facebook indicators to signify if your niche is profitable.

  • Target Audience > 600k
  • Large Fan Pages
  • The ability to research your competitor’s audience

Additionally, and this is a very important note, do yourself a favor and get acquainted with regularly checking out your competition. This is even a good thing to do while selecting a niche.  If stumble upon what seems to be a solid niche, but too many websites come up when you Google it, you might not have specialized enough or the market is already overly saturated. You’ve got to pick something else!

Blurb: Competition is Healthy: Competition may cut into your profits, but never be entirely dissuaded from entering an industry due to competition alone. Often times, competition simply means there’s money to be made. Perhaps receiving even a percentage of the pie would be extremely profitable! It’s about finding the perfect balance between a large enough industry and only a few competing businesses.

Shipping Elimination

Don’t sell products that are excessively large or heavy. Your shipping costs will cut into your profit margins. In addition, always be mindful of how long it takes to ship a certain item. If you specify free shipping, because it’s affordable, perhaps your customers are willing to wait a week or two more. Dropshipping is already a business model with rather long shipping times. Selling products with affordable shipping may help ease customer worry. Lastly, consider selling only to the US. Some countries have strict and/or expensive importing and customs policies. It’s entirely possible to sell to countries outside the US, but make sure by googling around beforehand.

Copyright Elimination

Get rid of branded products from your idea list. For example, eliminate everything Nike, Adidas,

Gucci, etc. We’re not looking to buy the rights to anything (sometimes they’re millions of dollars…) and you definitely don’t want to be dealing with knockoffs if you’re looking for any sort of long term success. We’re in this for the long haul!

Pricing Elimination

A pricing “sweet-spot” exists with dropshipping and is something you’ll want to take into consideration. This sweet-spot is usually between the $20 to $150 price range. While eliminating products, be aware of three numbers; the wholesale cost of the product from the manufacturer, the cost of marketing that product, and your profit margin. This is also known as the 30/30/30 model but may be broken down other ways, as well. Essentially, don’t sell products too expensive to warrant a personal phone call, and don’t sell anything where you won’t see profit margins.

Blurb: Get Your Products in Your Hands: It’s entirely optional, but if you find a really good product or niche, I would suggest personally ordering the products yourself. Actually holding your manufacturer’s products in your hands is oftentimes extremely valuable. It affords you the opportunities to take better product photos, see what the packaging looks like, compare the product with its online description, and gain all sorts of insight you would not get otherwise. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Is your product worth it?

Once you’ve eliminated almost all of the products from your original list, we have one more elimination filter left–perhaps the most important one–which should narrow your search down substantially. I was tempted to put the next step as this one, but honestly, both of these steps are crucial to finding your online business idea.

 

Blurb: A Do-Over is Encouraged: If all of your products were eliminated, you’re more than likely going to have to spark your creativity and brainstorm some more product ideas for your business. Keep your chin up and get at it! Honestly, taking your time finding a great niche and/or products will save you innumerable headaches in the future.

 

3.) How to Ensure Your Store’s Short and Long Term Success: Emphasizing Marketing

The most important product elimination factor, and something you should perpetually keep in the back of your mind while selecting your products or niche, is the marketing of that product. This factor is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the entire process in building a successful online business. This section is on eliminating products by considering their respective marketing strategies.

Why is marketing arguably the most important product elimination filter?

Consider this: You can have the best looking store, the best niche, the best products in that niche, the best suppliers, etc., but at the end of the day, if your marketing is poorly thought out or lacking altogether, no one is visiting your store. Without marketing, your business is a ghost! This is why the traffic you gain from marketing strategies will be the most decisive factor in achieving success for your business.

Now is the time (even before you’ve imported your products or built your store) to think about the marketing strategies you will employ to get the word out about your products or business.

Emotional Triggers

Especially for first time online store owners, emotional triggers will be key in the Ads which jump-start the traffic to your store. Marketing that focuses on the emotional impulses from buyers mean immediate sales.

It’s simply a truth you’ll have to believe; buyers are most likely to purchase when their decisions are based on passion and immediate need. You don’t have the actual much infrastructure yet:

let’s get these sales with as little friction as possible!

Infographic/Blurb: Emotional Triggers

  1. Make a buyer PROUD
  2. Make a buyer LAUGH
  3. Make a buyer feel SEXY
  4. Make a buyer feel BADASS

To make customers buy, and make them buy now, always aim at one or more emotional triggers. There are many more than the ones listed above. The important part is that you know how to illicit a response with your customers.

Anytime an emotional trigger can be felt by a buyer, through your marketing, they are much more likely to purchase from your store. If you think about it, the things that make people feel an emotional trigger also happen to be what people tend to talk about with their friends or family. This could be their job, nationality, favourite TV shows/movies, hobbies, the last sports event they watched, nightlife activities, sex, alcohol, drugs, food etc,…

Having emotional triggers in mind, to stimulate the customers of the niche you’re considering, will be the key to your first sales. Keep the concept of emotional triggers within your marketing as you get down to your last and final business idea.

Two Main Types of Marketing to Consider: Free and Paid

Now that we’ve talked about your marketing needing to emotionally trigger your customers, let’s consider what the actual, real-world types of marketing there are; Free and paid marketing. Free marketing is beneficial because, although it might soak up your time, you won’t have spent any money for your traffic. Paid marketing, on the other hand, takes money but is generally much more effective at reaching paid customers the fastest.

As you go through the following marketing strategies, always consider your audience. What medium are they most likely to see online? Where do they frequent? Where would they be emotionally triggered? If you followed the Audience Insight exercise above, you may already know exactly where your customers frequent online.

Free Marketing

There are a plethora of free marketing strategies to partake in online. Here are only some of these free marketing strategies you may utilize to bring traffic to your site.

Again, I strongly suggest considering the audience of who will buy a given product. Whatever ideas you may come up with, ask yourself if you can engage that audience with some of the marketing strategies below.

Blurb: Marketing is King: Don’t be afraid to try out as many marketing strategies as possible.

This will be the lifeblood of your business. Once it’s all set-up, your time spent on your business will primarily be marketing strategies. Get comfortable putting with experimenting with different marketing strategies to sustain your success.

What’s clearly advantageous about the majority of free marketing is that, once you make the associated content, it’ll be somewhere on the internet, generally, for a long time. For example, if you write a guest blogpost which includes a link to a product in your store, it’s not too farfetched to think that a potential customer could read it, even two years later from when the article was published, and end up buying something from your shop. It’s almost like investing. Don’t interpret the non-immediate success of your free marketing strategies as failure.

(Blurb): Free Marketing Strategy Overview: Here are some examples of free marketing you may want to consider when reaching your niche:

  • Guest Blog Posts in your given niche with a link to your store or product(s)
  • Blog Posts your niche will love
  • Youtube Video series
  • Reddit Posts
  • Forum Posts
  • Creating a Twitter Account, posting frequently
  • Creating a Pinterest Account, pinning and following the appropriate boards
  • Creating or frequenting a Facebook Page
  • Facebook Interest Groups
  • DIY Infographics
  • Building an email list and creating email campaigns
  • Google Analytics
  • Video Creation through Kernl
  • Podcast on your niche

Whichever marketing strategy you research and act upon, make sure it effectively does two things. The first thing is that it engages your audience or emotionally triggers them and the second thing is that it converts a visitor to a buyer. Having multiple links back to your product or store in a single blog post, for example, may be a much better time spend then having no links.

Blurb: Don’t burn out! Within the first few days of your store, you definitely should not do all of these techniques at once. You will burn out immediately and give up. First, start with what you think will be the easiest, low hanging fruit in reaching your audience. This is why you shold be selecting products that are relatively easy to market.

Also, if you ever get lost in executing on any one of these marketing strategies above, a Google search is all you need. There are a billion guides out there on how to do any one of the marketing strategies above. Think about your audience, think about your products and/or niche, think about your audience’s online habits, and connect as many dots as you can before creating your store.

Paid Traffic
  • Facebook Ads
  • Paying for a Guest Post Blog
  • Pinterest Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • Google Adwords
  • Paying for a banner ad on a website your audience frequents
  • Paying a Youtuber to review your product
  • Paying a Social Media Influencer to advertise your product

As stated before with the free marketing strategies above, paid marketing should also do two things, trigger and convert. As a jump-off point, I strongly suggest visiting your competitor’s sites and jotting down their marketing strategies. What seems to be working for them? Obviously if they’ve found success, there’s a solid chance you can as well.

The benefits of paid marketing is that it’s immediate. Your first sale could literally be a day from now if you choose to create a Facebook Ad, for example. In fact, Facebook Ads may be one of the best paid marketing strategies you have at your disposal. Later on in this guide, you’ll find a step by step guide on setting up your first Facebook Ad for only 5$ a day.

 

In conclusion, always have how you’re going to market to your audience in mind. You need to know where your audience goes, engage them with emotional triggers, and convert to buyers.

4.) How to Launch Your Store

After you’ve researched your products, and have a basic understanding of what your marketing strategies will look like, is when you should start building your online store.

Many people make their store before they have an idea of their marketing strategies or products. This is truly a rookie mistake. To be successful, all of these pieces have to be thought about together. The store comes after these thoughts have coalesced. The smartest thing you can do for your business is to have all of these critical aspects in your head before you really dig in and host your site.

However, action is also important. It’s great to think about every aspect of your business before beginning. But don’t waste your time sitting around and merely learning. You’ve also got to finally start at a certain point. Keep in mind, online marketing is also dynamic. What you’ve learned about your niche one week may be different the next. But you’ll never know if you don’t start!

Why should I build my website through Shopify?

Shopify has three important qualities we’re going to take full advantage of. It’s extremely userfriendly and easily edited, it looks professional (which lends immediate authenticity to your business), and lastly, the Shopify App Store has extremely valuable and easy to use apps, which I’ll recommend below.

Setting up Shopify

It’s quite possible to have your online business up and running in literally an hour from now. However, I’d suggest getting some tea, getting in the zone, and taking your time in building your store. This should only take one solid evening to complete the first iteration of your Shopify store.

Firstly, head to Shopify.com and Sign up for their free 14 day trial with your email account.

Shopify makes it incredibly easy to follow their lead and begin developing your store.

During this process, here are some tips I recommend following.

  • Store Name: In terms of a name, often times the simple names, that are more direct, will be to your benefit. This isn’t about being fun/mysterious, choose a store name that will resonate the most with your audience and is generally short and to the point. (Please note: this step may even be irrelevant. Buying your domain name, which I strongly recommend, will override your “Free” Shopify store name.)
  • Buying a Domain Name: Paying for a basic Shopify plan will allow you to use a domain name without the “MyShopify” part of the URL. I strongly recommend buying your domain name, and adding it to your store as soon as you’re confident with your store’s name and marketing strategies. Having the added “MyShopify” part to your store’s URL simply looks tacky. Here’s a small walkthrough that goes over buying a domain through Shopify (although you can pick a third party to buy a domain from as well, like com)).
  • Pick a Free Theme: For now, pick one of the free themes shopify has to offer. You can choose to buy one in the future that might closer fit your shop’s business. It’s not necessary to buy a premium theme any time soon.
  • Logo: If you’re looking for a professional logo, feel free to spend $5 on fiverr for one. Alternatively, you can use Shopify’s free logo maker which you can use to generate a logo in about 5 minutes.
  • Add your Required Pages: There are a few pages which are mandatory to have before operating your business. Click the “Add Page Button” and create the staple pages you’ll need. You’ll need a Terms and Conditions page (Which Shopify can generate), an About Us page (see below for an in-depth section), Privacy and Returns Policy page, a Shipping & Delivery Information, and a Contact Us page. All of these pages are somewhat straightforward. The tricky one, will be the shipping page. We’re dropshipping, so one of your customers chief concerns will be the possibly long shipping times. Your best bet is to be honest on this page. Explain your possibly long shipping times and have a clear returns policy. You will have a small amount of disgruntled customers and dealing with them in a professional and timely manner will be key.

How to Set-up an Optimal About Us Page

A well thought out About Us page builds trust between you and your customers. The more information you provide about you and your business, the more confident people will be when purchasing from your store.

Here are some examples of what information you might want to include on your About Us page.

  • Who you are
  • Why you sell the items you sell
  • Where you’re located
  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Who are the people on your team
  • Contact information
  • Social links (Twitter, Facebook)
 

Blurb: Keep Your Enemies Close: Much like with your marketing research, I strongly suggest finding your competitor’s websites, and learning as much as you can–including their created pages. From a customer’s perspective, discover and makes notes on what you think works best for them and what doesn’t. I’ve stated this before, but we’re not looking to invent the wheel. Don’t think that you have to re-create anything from scratch. Most of the time, someone has already solved the problems you’ll face. Save yourself time and learn from your competitors sites and build off of them. (Without directly copying, of course.)

Importing Products To Your Store

Try Importify For Free

Importify allows users to import best-selling products to their store, from 20 different wholesalers and ecommerce platforms all with a single click. Additionally, it even semiautomatically fulfills orders.

Download Importify to your Shopify store here to begin your free trial.

try importify for free

try importify for free

Install Importify chrome extension & start import products to your store.

To install the extension, simply go to this link and click on ‘Add to Chrome’ button.
If you have installed both our app & extension you can start importing products to your store.

Select wholesaler website

Pick an wholesaler website

To start doing your product research and import products that have potential.

Import Products

Just visit one of the supported websites product page, and click the “add” button that appear on the top left screen.

Import unlimited products with single click

Import unlimited products with single click

 

Product Customization

Importify boasts a simple but effective built-in editor for product descriptions. Feel free to edit almost any aspect of a given product before importing to your store.

Product customization by importify

Product customization by importify

How do I make sure customers don’t order out-of-stock items?

One of the biggest challenges with managing a drop shipping business is that it can be difficult to know when an item is available, and when it’s out of stock. When a customer visits your Shopify store and orders a product that is listed as in-stock and then discovers it’s actually not available, it’s a very poor experience. If this happens too many times, your business’s reputation can suffer.

 
Stop losing money

Stop losing money

In addition, there is nothing more frustrating than getting a sale, trying to order it from your supplier and finding out that the item is currently not available.

Think of it this way: If a customer visits your store and decided to make a purchase and this variant (red color jacket for example) is out of stock, in advance, he/she would probably pick another variant (color), and this way you would save this sale.

Another great thing about using Inventorify is that it makes sure you won’t lose money on price changes, so for example if your supplier increases the price by 20%, you can set the item’s price to be increased by the same margin.

Click here and start Inventorify free trial today >> https://inventorify.com

What is the best way to increase Trust/Sales in your store?

If you want to increase conversion in your Shopify store, you must add some social proof to your product page. Smart marketers know that social proof is the marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried customers.

Safety in numbers. Did you know that 77% of online shoppers take the time to read product reviews before making online purchases? Simply put, no product reviews equal no sales. Our Importify team addressed the issue by creating up with Editorify.

77% of Shoppers take the time to Read Product Reviews

77% of Shoppers take the time to Read Product Reviews

Editorify allows you to import reviews, images, and videos to your product page with a couple of clicks. Converting browsers into customers, efficiently growing your business.

Wanna start adding reviews & increase dramatically your product page performance?

Click Here and Start using Editorify Today

Other Recommended Apps for Your Shopify Store

Certain Shopify Apps are highly beneficial to your business, if not mandatory, for your short and long term success.

  1. Trackify or Pixelperfect: Easily set-up Facebook Pixel, as well as, your Facebook Catalog Feed
  2. Receiptful Conversio: Send all types of emails (Receipts, newsletters, followups and Cart Recovery)
  3. Google Shopping: App that automatically syncs your products with Google so they’re visible all over the internet
  4. Mailchimp: App so you can easily build a follow-up email sequence for added sales

Have faith! This is the last step in setting up your store’s foundation for success. You have all the pieces of your online business in place. Now, you just need to complete the puzzle. If you have any questions at all, once subscribed to Importify, feel free to ask with our 24/7 Skype support.

Our dropshipping customer support specialists will surely point you in the correct direction if you come across any unexpected roadblocks.

5.) How to Setup Your First Successful Facebook Ad

Are you pumped for your first sale? As mentioned before in this guide, Facebook Ads are one of the most effective paid advertising means available. They do an excellent job targeting your niche and generating immediate revenue. Also, this is a paid marketing technique where you’re only required to spend $5 a day to experiment and test your Ads. This is an excellent deal. Literally, the cost of your first marketing ventures, is the money saved from not eating out at lunch. Cook for yourself instead, every day, and your paid ads are essentially free!

 

In this section, we’ll learn about and implement the tools needed to gather data about your audience, as well as, setup our first Facebook Ad campaign.

Setup Google Analytics & Facebook Pixel to Start Reading Data From Your Store

Firstly, set up Google Analytics in order to begin gathering valuable information about your audience. Marketing means very little if you don’t understand your audience. The data Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel can gather gives invaluable insight into your customer’s habits and tendencies while navigating your business.

Google Analytics Setup
  1. Go to https://analytics.google.com
  2. Create a new account
  3. Go to property, create a new property and title it your store name
  4. Copy your tracking ID and go to your Shopify Store’s dashboard
  5. Go to Online Store, and then Preference, and paste your code to enable the eCommerce option
  6. Go to Property Setting and set “Allow Manual Tagging (Enable)”, as well as, “Enable Demographic (On)”
  7. Save
Setup google analytics account

Setup google analytics account – Importify guide

 

Before beginning our venture into the goldmine that is Facebook Ads, there are a few important steps you need to follow to ensure their success. It is important to open a Facebook Business Manager Account in order to manage multiple pages and easily obtain multiple Ad accounts, if necessary.

Facebook Pixel Setup

Additionally, if you’re planning on running Facebook Ads, it’s extremely important to implement Facebook Pixel to your Shopify Store.

This is because Facebook Pixel can track the data of your site’s visitors. This grants you access to extremely valuable information when running Facebook Ads. Information such as: “Did this customer only view my products?” and “Which products were added to their cart?” Additionally, one of the greatest tools we can use with Facebook is called Re-targeting.

 

Retargeting allows the ability to create a Facebook advertising campaign shown exclusively to your store’s past visitors and/or the customers who might have added a product to their cart but never pulled the trigger and actually bought it. These customers have clearly shown interest, which is why re-targeting does so well. Without Facebook Pixel, we would never have access to these “almost” customers.

How to Add the New Facebook Pixel to Your Store
  1. Go to you Ads Manager
  2. Click on Pixel
How to Add the New Facebook Pixel to Your Store

How to Add the New Facebook Pixel to Your Store

  • You’ll be prompted to Create a Pixel.
You’ll be prompted to Create a Pixel

Creating Facebook pixel

  • Name your Pixel and Click “Create Pixel”

Once you have the pixel code, search for a string of 15 numbers. This is your Pixel ID. Copy this number.

Blurb: Pixel ID Screenshot: Search for a string of 15 numbers in the code

The Facebook Pixel Code

The Facebook Pixel Code

Next, in your Shopify Admin section, navigate to “Settings”, and then, “Online Store”.

Paste your Facebook Pixel ID number into the field “Facebook Pixel ID”

Setting up Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel really isn’t that bad. Now your store is properly tracking the data of your customers from Facebook.

 

Blurb: More Pixel Help: If you’re still a little confused, and need more help setting up your Facebook Pixel, here is a quick video on the process to guide you.

Beginning the Facebook Ad Setup

After we’ve setup our pixel, we’re finally ready to reap the benefits of our first Facebook Ad Campaign!

Ad Objectives

Firstly, it’s important to understand that Facebook Ads are tools. And like any tool, even the best ones, you’re going to have to think on your toes and learn to use them correctly. Determining the proper objective for your Facebook Ad is the first step in doing so. Depending on your objective, Facebook is going optimize differently to show your Ad to the people most likely to take that action.

There are many types of Ads that Facebook has to offer, but to start, it’s recommended to focus solely on the following two Ad objective types:

  1. Page Post Engagement (PPE)
  2. Website Conversions

When do we use the PPE Ad objective?

I use PPE Ads when just starting a new campaign and I don’t have any data yet through the Pixel I’ve set-up. Gathering post engagement, as opposed to conversions, lets me know what people think about my product. This usually gives a solid indication if the product I’m selling in the Ad has potential.

When do we use the Website Conversion Ad objective?

I start to use WC (Website Conversion) Ads only after I have an adequate amount of data collected from my Pixel. The most valuable data gathered will most likely be the visitors who’ve added a product to their cart, and the visitor’s who’ve actually purchased.

I would recommend at least 50 “Add to Cart Customers” and/or 25 “Actual Purchasers” before moving from PPE Ads to Website Conversion Ads.

Blurb: Say No to Web Conversions (At First): Even though it sounds like a decent idea, don’t begin your Facebook Ads with the Web Conversion objective. This is because website conversions rely on Pixel data to work effectively. If you have no data (or a low amount of data) on your pixel, Facebook won’t be able to properly optimize your Ad to find customers who will purchase. Remember, your Pixel’s gathered data is important. The more data collected, the stronger Facebook can optimize your Ads in the future.

Create Your First Ad Campaign

Creating a Facebook Fan Page 

Creating a Facebook Fan Page

Creating your first actual Ad begins with creating your business’ presence on Facebook. This first entails creating a Facebook Fan Page with which to post the Ad to.

Creating a Facebook Fan Page
  1. Go to your Business Manager Settings, and then, Pages
  2. Go to Add New Page, then, Create New Page
  3. Choose a category (community, brand or product)
  4. Add a brief description, profile photo, and cover photo. Feel free to use Canva.
     

    It’s essentially a free and easy way to create professional looking designs for all of your social media needs (without any graphic design knowledge.)

How to Create your First PPE Ad Campaign

Using the Fanpage you just created, it’s time to post an Ad to it, which in turn, will then become your first paid Facebook Ad.

  1. Upload a quality image of the product you’d like to sell (preferably, without any kind of watermark or brand name)
  2. In the text box, ask your audience a short question to spark an Emotional Trigger we’ve discussed in an earlier part of the guide. Again, you’re going to want to bring about as strong a response as possible (whatever that response may be) in order to stimulate sales.
  3. Add a link to your product, which will what you want your customer to do. (Such as visit your product page in order to make a purchase.)
  4. Make sure the text looks good on mobile devices as well as desktops (make it short to avoid a “Read More” link)
Create your First PPE Ad Campaign

Create your First PPE Ad Campaign

Overall, take your time and make sure you’re truly enticing your exact customers with your emotional triggers. Get inside the head of your ideal customer and ask yourself if you’d purchase this product. If the answer is no, think about changed your Ad’s picture, title, description, or even selecting a different product to sell.

When you’ve settled on what you’d like your Ad to look like, post this to your Fan Page. It’s time to begin paying for your audience to see this Ad and earn traffic to your site.

Let’s get your Pixel soaking up as much valuable customer data as possible.

Targeting Your Audience with Facebook’s Power Editor

Create your First PPE Ad Campaign

Create your First PPE Ad Campaign

PPE Campaign (Ad Set Tier)

PPE Campaign (Ad Set Tier)

Facebook has three “tiers” of organization. These are mainly geared towards professionals who have possibly hundreds of Ads running and religiously A/B split test everything. Don’t worry too much about these tiers of organization for now. If you’re running just a single Ad, or a few, there’s really no need for intensive organization just yet. Just for a basic understand though, these Ad organizational tiers are as follows:

  1. Campaigns: Contain all of your ads sets
  2. Ad sets: Contain the ads
  3. Ads: Contains the actual ads inside the ad set

PPE campaign (Campaign Tier)

  1. Click here to open the Power Editor
  2. Create a Page Post Engagement (PPE) Ad campaign

PPE Campaign (Ad Set Tier)

  1. Daily Budget: $5 (Start low. There’s no need to waste money while testing a product’s profitability for your store. Five bucks for three days should be all that is necessary.)
  2. Interest: Seek the most passionate audience you can (Refer to the targeted audience research section, and/or the Facebook Audience Insight Tool)
  3. Age: 21- 65 (This depends on the post and niche, but I personally prefer not to specify a younger audience. Who knows; younger adults might not have enough access to credit cards.)
  4. Placement: Mobile and Desktop Feeds (Stick to only these options for now)

PPE campaign (Ads Tier)

  1. Connect your post (the one you created on your Fan Page) to this Ad.
  2. Add a short description with a short link (We want it to look good on mobile)

Blurb: No “Read More” Link: As noted before, when done with your Ad, make sure to check how it looks on mobile as well as desktop. Make sure you don’t see the “Read More” link. If you do, make sure to shorten your description until it doesn’t. If customers can only see half of your description and a “Read More” link, that may be all the hassle needed to never actually read your full post and buy your product.

 

All finished with your first Facebook Ad; Congratulations! Mastering Facebook Ads from the perspective of your personal business/niche is an incredibly essential marketing channel. If the first few Ads don’t make money for you, don’t give up! Make the adjustments until you’ve found one that does. Once you’ve found a winning Ad, the trick is to scale that Ad.

Analyze The PPE Ad’s Data and Engage with your Audience

Let the Ad you’ve just created run for at least 24 hours. Check the stats and make sure your PPE/CPC cost is low.

Blurb: Make Money: Don’t forget, you need to stay profitable. If your Ad isn’t profitable, you need to find a different product or change your ad. If after X amount of hours, and you still have no sales, close the Ad and make the necessary adjustments to get more purchases.  (Three days is a good rule of thumb for an Ad.)

Also, while your Ad is running, make sure to engage with your audience. No matter what someone comments, be there and reply. If possible, reply with a link to one of your products as much as possible.

FB Ads - never give up - Dropshipping guide

Never give up guys. Remember, if you begin to discover the Ads that work for your business, this literally is the ticket to the lifestyle you’ve dreamt of. Thousands of people have made thousands of dollars, even millions, perfecting this form of paid marketing.

 

The formula for FB Ads is simple: The more products you try, the more Ads you experiment with, the more experience you’ll have and the more money you’ll eventually earn.

Tips for Running Your Store like a Pro

Now that your Shopify Store is set-up, it’s time to “maintain the property”. Think of yourself as a landlord. After getting your first tenants, it’s time to resolve tiny problems as you find more, and cash in where you can. Here are some tips to help with the daily upkeep of your business.

Stick With A Routine

Having a routine means you’re less likely to give up. You’ll find that the same basic principles will always apply to your business; no matter what stage your business is in. Offer a product or products, market to your customers, and adjust and experiment to see what works best. The more you can stick to a schedule in repeating this process, the more success you’ll have. Full-time work isn’t required, but perhaps spending a couple hours every week day or so, would be an ideal schedule to stick to.

Customer Development, Listening

Always be fine-tuning your business. If you strike fire with a particular type of marketing, and sales take off, learn as much as you can to continue that success. Sitting on your success will only lead to it slowly evaporating right before your eyes. Find the forums your customers frequent and hear what they have to say, research your competitors, subscribe to your competitor’s newsletters–anything to “stay in the know” and stay one step ahead of the game.

Dealing with the (Inevitable) Mini-Problems

They can’t be completely stopped, online businesses are going to have “mini-problems” to solve every day. Whether it be researching a new product, dealing with customer support, or redesigning your Shopify theme, there will be small issues to overcome.

 

Just accept it now! If it wasn’t a little difficult, everyone would be doing it. The important part is to breath, be happy with the opportunities your business affords you, and start googling. It really is that simple. There’s simply too much information out there to give up on any one problem.

Conclusion

Thank you very much for reading The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real eCommerce Success! I wish you the best of luck, but even more importantly, the determination to change your life and the lives around you! The grit to succeed is truly what separates the “day dreamers” and the “gogetters.”

Lastly, if you ever feel lost, Don’t hesitate to contact our support team. They’d be more than willing to help you with your ecommerce problems and I strongly suggest letting them.