How to build a dropshipping store

Let us create your first online dropshipping store. Creating an online eCommerce store is much easier now. You don’t have to become a website guru to create an online dropshipping store. In this guide, we will discuss the easiest way to create a store and get your business off the ground in no time!

Are you a beginner to dropshipping?

Do you know that more than 90% of the newbies fail in dropshipping? The most common reason for this is the lack of knowledge in dropshipping. Check this complete guide for dropshipping to start learning from the basics.

How to create an online Dropshipping store?

Here is what we are going to talk in this post

  1. How to choose the right platform to create your online dropshipping store.
  2. How your dropshipping store should look like, before going public.
  3. A little bit about SEO.

Now, before we begin, we think that you have already selected a niche for dropshipping, selected the winning products to sell, and found dropshipping suppliers for your business. Because in this post, we will be focusing only on the technical side of creating an online dropshipping store.

1. How to choose the right platform to create your online dropshipping store.

There are different ways to create an eCommerce site for dropshipping.

Some popular solutions include,

  1. WordPress + WooCommerce – The most flexible and agile online store building platform. Not so beginner-friendly. But, this is the best, fully customizable, and open-source platform to start an online store. You can start an online store with WordPress for around $7 per month (including the domain name, hosting, and SSL certificate).
  2. Shopify– Shopify is the most popular and all-around platform to start an online store. They offer a large number of subsidiary services like Orbelo (to easily import products to your store) and Printful (for on-demand printing/ order fulfilment service). Shopify basic package will cost you $29 per month + transaction fees.
  3. BigCommerce – Bigcommerce is a futuristic store building platform, and it offers a versatile enterprise solution. They provide some fantastic built-in features (like content bridging APIs). The standard Bigcommerce plan starts from $29.95 + zero transaction fees.
  4. Wix – Wix has an amazingly beginner-friendly drag-and-drop website builder. This helps you to create a fully customizable online store, without even knowing to write a single line of code. Wix costs $20 per month + Additional charges for the SSL certificate for the basic business package.
  5. Squarespace – Squarespace is popular for the fantastic collection of store templates and analytics tools. It will cost you $18 per month to use the Business plan to start an online store with Squarespace.

Other online store building platforms include,

  • Weebly – Great value for money.
  • GoDaddy – Easy to use, and discounts for the domain names
  • Volusion– Great analytical tools to adjust your online marketing strategies
  • BigCartel– Start an online store for less than $10 per month.

Few things to consider before selecting a store building platform

There are a few things to consider when you pick a platform to build your online store. The most important thing is to select an easy-to-use platform.

As a beginner, you don’t want to spend months to create the store. All you need is to create a quick store and start doing marketing to get some attention to your store. If you choose a sophisticated online store builder and spend months perfecting your store, you might eventually lose the stamina or your enthusiasm for doing this.  Then you will drop this business like most others do, and going to lose all the money you spent up to now.

Two basic types of platforms to choose from

When we talk about the store building platforms, there are two main types to select. The first type is the fully hosted, subscription-based store builders. The other type is the self-hosted store builders.

Creating a fully hosted dropshipping store

The first type of store builders is much easy to operate. Most of them have a simple drag and drop kind of interfaces to build the store. There you don’t have to worry about where to host and technicalities like integrating payment gateways.

Usually, they have one-click methods to integrate all the required features. When you don’t have to worry about them, you can save your time to focus on other important stuff. So, our advice is, as a beginner it would be much easy to use fully hosted online shop builder.

Platforms like Shopify, Volusion, BigCommerce, and 3DCart fall into this category.

Creating a self-hosted dropshipping store

The other type of online shopping cart builder is the self-hosted solutions. If you can handle bit more advanced technical stuff, and if you like some more freedom to play around, the self-hosted shopping carts will fit you.

WordPress+WooCommerce, OpenCart, Magento, etc. fall into this category.

Do It Your self

Sometimes you might be thinking to get paid support from a professional to create your store. If you don’t have time to spare, doing all the research and building a shopping cart, this can be an option for you. However, consider that as a last resort.

The main advantage of creating your store by your self is, when you need a small change here and there, you can easily do it by your self.

While running a store, you might have to do a lot of small changes to your site. If you got a paid support for creating your web store, then you have to spend a fortune on them doing these changes. Also, one day when your site got good traction and running well, you can even train a team by your self to handle the functions. So, in the long run, it is more beneficial to create your dropshipping site by you.

Outsource if needed

But to be honest, we all do not have the same skills when it comes to the aesthetic aspects. So, maybe it would be a good idea to outsource your graphics jobs, like logo creation, to someone who can do it better.

So, your site would look professional and trustworthy. But when you outsource for a logo, you don’t need to have a 1000USD logo right now.  You can use freelancing services like Fiverr to get a basic logo for under 10USD.

Refer to the instructions given on your selected platform for more details

Once you have selected your store building platform, you can find a lot of forums, videos and instructions about their solutions.

So, rather than trying to explain them in here, let’s focus on the thing which they do not offer. Anyone can build an online store with those instructions, but let’s focus on the concepts of how to create a successful online dropshipping store.

2. How your dropshipping store should look like, before going public

Believe me, most of the dropshipping startups get trapped in here. They spend months and months perfecting their store, paying for the subscription without making a single sale.

Do not fall into that trap. It is true that your site should look professional and trustworthy. But, you don’t have to compare that will those well-established sites. They must have their own webmasters, graphic designers to do that. You don’t have to beat it. All you have to do is, start small and grow. In my opinion, making the first Dollar is your top priority. Then you get all the confidence, ideas, and insights to do the rest.

The easiest way to make your dropshipping site look professional and trustworthy is by following a good brand identity design.

How many products should I list before going public

There is no hard and fast rule on that. Sure, if you have more products, your site will look like a legitimate store. But, do not waste a lot of time adding more products.

The reason is, to get the first sale you have to advertise on somewhere. And, advertising on social media is the best place to start.

When you advertise on social media, you have to advertise some specific product or two. So, people come to your site looking for this particular product. If they like your other product listings, they will go through them. However, in most cases, you are going to get a sale right from your landing page.

If you know how to create a killer product page for your store, you can increase your chances of making a sale. So, make sure to follow the best eCommerce practices when it comes to creating product pages for your dropshipping store.

The number of initial products depends on the niche which you have chosen. If you have low-value items, maybe you should list more things. But, if you have high-value items, even less than eight products are good to go.

3. A little bit about SEO

This is a bit technical, but we will try to explain it in simple terms. At this stage, understanding the basic concepts of SEO is essential for the growth of your dropshipping business.

SEO is short for the Search Engine Optimization. If you need to rank your dropshipping site up on the google search, you need to optimise it. In that way, search engines like Google can understand what your site about, and show that to the interested people.

What works better, advertising or SEO?

Now you may ask, why do we need to rank it up, can’t we get traffic from advertising? Well, the answer is yes. But, in the long run, if your store starts getting sales through organic traffic (unpaid, traffic through searches), that is going to be more profitable. Otherwise, you have to have ongoing ad campaigns all the time, draining most of your profits.

But right now, with our race to make the first Dollar, we don’t have to go into detail. But, there will be a day, where you have to take this seriously. Obviously then you might be able to get support from an SEO expert to do the SEO for your dropshipping store. But, our advice is just to create your dropshipping store with good SEO practices, which can help in later SEO efforts.

All you have to do is follow a few simple things.

1. Find the right Keywords

There are so many free keyword planning tools available online. Since you are already familiar with Google Trends, you can even use it to identify the popular keywords (the actual words, people search for) related to your niche.

Also, you can use Ubersuggest to do the same for free. It is a very beginner-friendly site. Just type in your niche, select the country of your choice and hit search. Then it will give you a whole bunch of data about the actual words people search related to the niche. You can sort them according to the volume, and see the exact words people search in this niche.

2. Use the right keywords

Now you have to use the keywords you found in the above step in your content marketing strategy. Pay attention when you add headings, tags and image titles etc. Try to add the related keywords in a meaningful manner.

And, do not overdo that. Google really hate your site when you exaggerate that. Always remember, you are making your online dropshipping store for people, not for search engine robots.

3. Stick to the template

When you add headers, use the standard header formats given in your templates. Do not use regular paragraph text and custom format. Because your template is developed in such a way that search engine bots can understand the headers. So, they use the information in headers to understand your site.

4. Titles and Tags

Do not skip the titles, alternative titles and tags. Name them properly. They can even help the search engine bots to understand your store.

You can use this Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide from Google to understand these concepts further.

Now you know how to create a dropshipping store, what’s next?

Now that you know how to create an online dropshipping store, what should be your next step? Marketing!

Improve your digital marketing skills

We have compiled a list of 30
essential marketing skills that every small business owner must learn. Learning those marketing skills will help you to accelerate the growth of your business.

There is no point of creating the best dropshipping store ever unless you know how to handle marketing for your dropshipping store.