Using Shopify for Dropshipping is a very popular choice for many new online ecommerce entrepreneurs. It’s ease of use and extensive library of feature rich add-on apps allow new Shopify business owners to setup their stores quickly, and allows them to channel their time and efforts into effectively marketing their new dropship stores.
The World Wide Web is pretty amazing. No one can really discount the benefits of selling online, especially when you can earn money while you sleep. The Internet allows businesses to reach numerous customers in a matter of seconds.
There have always been situations where you could make ancillary income. But, in the past, they usually involved you having to physically show up for work. Not so with online stores. You can manage your online store remotely, using a Shopify smartphone app.
Making easy money has never been easier. After you decide to sell products online, you might want to get some help in setting up your store. Unless, you are a computer programmer or Web designer, you might need some help.
The Shopify eCommerce software can be used to display your products, create a shopping cart and process credit cards. Shopify is a trusted global drop shipping platform.
The name is easy to remember, isn’t it? It has been around for more than a decade and is one of the Top Five eCommerce software systems. Some well-known celebrities and global businesses are big fans because Shopify is so easy to set up.
But, what features are offered by Shopify? What are the best products to sell on Shopify? Which products might be difficult to promote on Shopify? Which are the top Shopify apps (i.e. Oberlo)? Can any of them be used to find product suppliers?
This Shopify review will give you an honest appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages of this powerful ecommerce software used by many online businesses using dropshippers. We will also address some of the more powerful apps. Hopefully, this Shopify review will help you make the most informed decision.
The Shopify eCommerce software has been around for a long time. It was established back in 2004 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is a proprietary, hosting sales cart powered by the computer language Ruby on Rails. Users don’t need to know how to write any source code, Shopify does it all for you.
The eCommerce platform made for you is the slogan of Shopify.
When you want to start selling products online, Shopify provides you with the storefront, shopping cart and payment systems to make your dream a reality. This software is easy to set up, right out of the box and is the choice for many new entrepreneurs looking to start a business utilizing dropshippers. This feature has attracted a loyal following of Richard Branson, 50 Cent and the Foo Fighters. The Shopify brand also has synergies with Amazon and Ali Baba. Using Shopify For Dropshipping has also been popular because the company embraces the drop shipping concepts and continues to develop solutions related to drop shipping.
Shopify Market Share
Shopify has consistently remained in the Top 5 for all drop shipping software systems. These are Fourth Quarter 2017 Datanyze statistics for Shopify:
- Number of websites running Shopify: 241,959
- Adding Shopify: 3,220 websites
- Dropping Shopify: 2,120 websites
- Market Share: 11.11%
- Ranked 2nd out of 404 eCommerce platforms by Datanyze
Of course with a market share of 11%, Shopify must be doing something right.
Using Shopify For Dropshipping
If selling online is easy money, then why isn’t everyone doing it? The truth is that selling online is no guarantee of earning ample profits. The only real reason why people refer to it as easy, is that
it might be easier than working a full-time physical job.
Consider a normal 9 to 5 job. You must get up early, wash your hair, toss on a uniform, arrive at work, clock in and start working for your boss. If your boss tells you to do A, you must do A; irrespective, of whether you think it is wise or not. You are only paid for the time, you are physically at work.
Consider an online store. You can set it up using Shopify. Import images of your products, set up the credit card payment system and shopping carts. Then depending on your level of determination to effectively market your dropship store, you can literally run the store from anywhere in the world, on your terms and in your time.
That is why eCommerce can deliver easy money.
Anyone can run Shopify. You don’t need a university education. The eCommerce industry is available to all.
But, now that you have the desire to create your own online dropship store, how do you do it? Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are doing on the World Wide Web, you might end up like a bug tied up in a spider’s web. That is where Shopify enters the picture.
Top Shopify Features
You can test out Shopify using their free 14-day trial. The dashboard has tabs for the following: Orders, Products, Consumers, Reports, Discounts and Apps.
Fast Set Up
If you don’t know much about computer source code, then the Shopify drop shipping solution is a great fit. You get a website running quickly, right out of the box.
Click on the icons for product, title and description. Apply a discount to an entire order, collections or selected products. Shopify gives you the basics.
You can find free or paid themes (aka templates). This creates the graphical user interface (GUI) for your visitors.
You have a variety of monthly hosting payment plans to choose from at Shopify. You can upgrade to higher levels based on your sales volume. Here are the primary fees charged by Spotify:
- Monthly hosting
- Credit card
- Add on for third-party apps and plug-ins
Every website must pay hosting and credit card fees. The transaction fees were the norm for the industry, but most of the older software companies have since phased them out. Not Spotify.
Shopify will take a “transaction fee” on every single sale you make. This might be around 2%. For many, this is their biggest bone of contention with Shopify.
You are basically a business partner with Shopify. They believe that their service is so indispensable that they deserve a portion of your profits.
Is it worth it?
Many beginners will argue that they do not have the requisite technical knowledge to set up their own online store. Therefore, they need Shopify. And, that could be true.
But, after you start running your company, you are likely to gain knowledge. Then, you might reach a point where you wonder if paying 2% off the top to Shopify is worth it. You already pay for hosting and credit card processing, so what new work is Spotify doing that should be repaid with 2% of your sales? they still do quite a lot.
Shopify Conducts PCI Compliance
Shopify saves you time by completing your Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance. Shopify can also get you lower credit card rates.
Shopify has their own monetary clearance system, called Shopify Payments. You can choose to use Shopify Payments or not. You can use Shopify Payments, along with any of the other popular online payment systems. Shopify offers 24/7 customer service too.
Short List of Cool Shopify Apps
If you are a beginner, than Shopify is a great eCommerce storefront option. The Shopify App Store offers 1,500 apps to improve your store. Some are free and some are paid. And, some will even charge you a transaction fee.
Would you like to automate order fulfillment, sync with Social Media or reward your customers? Shopify apps add all of these functions and more. Find the weak points in your business model and add an app to fill the gap. Here are some of the more interesting, reasonably-priced Shopify apps:
Do you know how YouTube recommends other videos that you might like? You can do the same with the Boost Sales app. Once your customer adds something to his shopping cart, this app offers a cross sell list of other merchandise, they might be interested in. This immediate gratification fulfillment shows that you understand what your customer wants and needs. This could be particularly useful for clothing.
The Easyship app can save you up to 70% with more than 100+ shipping companies.
Some people just want to “fit in.” An interesting app lists the most popular items purchased on your store. This is based on the “social proof” or “herd mentality.” Nielsen confirms that 83% of consumers trust recommendations. Some people want confirmation that the merchandise is popular. It is also similar to a winning sports team. People buy their jerseys after they won their championship, so they can feel like winners. Shoppers might buy the same merchandise because “everyone is doing it.” The FOMO (FOMO stands for “Fear Of Missing Out”) app displays a small pop-up on your store showing the most popular purchases.
Pre Order Manager
Some items are simply must have (i.e. the hottest toys during the holidays). Some consumers will wait in long lines for them. Wouldn’t it be great to allow people to add their names to a list for out of stock items? You could sell items before you even have them in your inventory. Talk about efficiency. Well, now you can with the Pre-Order Manager app; your customers can even pay for out of stock items, ahead of time. This could be especially useful during the holidays. This app also gives you a free 7-day trial.
How can you increase referrals? The RewardStream app rewards customers with discounts when they refer products to friends and family. Statistics show that referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value than non-referred customers. This app works with your favorite Social Media brands.
SEO Image Optimizer
Did you know that search engines crawl your images? The SEO Image Optimizer improves your images, so you will be ranked higher.
Tidio Live Chat
You have probably seen those Live Chat pop-up windows that appear right when you visit a website. How can you get that feature on your website? The Tidio Live Chat app provides your clients with real-time customer service. You can even track customer questions from your smart phone. This shows that you care about your customers and are willing to go the extra mile.
There are also some apps, developed by Shopify itself, including Buy Button, Point of Sale and Messenger.
If you want to find suppliers using Ali Express, then the Shopify Oberlo app can be of use. This is free. It helps you find products to sell.
Oberlo was founded in September 2015 and claims to have sold 85 million products. You can import dropshipped products directly to your online store. Oberlo offers three plans: Free, Basic or Professional.
The Oberlo app automatically update inventory and price information. When you use the Google Chrome extension, it will add information automatically to speed up customer orders. It also fixes any address errors.
Scroll over the item, then click one button to import. It pools all of the data from the vendor’s sales page to your own list. You can edit the description. It pulls all of the images from the vendor. You can decide which images to display on your page.
Unfortunately, this only finds suppliers through Ali Express. So, what is Ali Express?
What is Ali Express?
Back in 1999, Billionaire Jack Ma founded the Chinese based Ali Baba Group, which owns eCommerce portals, payment systems and search engines. It started by connecting Chinese manufacturers (exporters) to overseas (buyers). Ali Express is a subsidiary of Ali Baba – it enables for Chinese individuals and businesses to sell to foreigners.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a subsidiary of the Ali Baba Group?
China is the manufacturing hub of the world. When you don’t have any other suppliers lined up, starting with the Chinese based Ali Express might be a good idea. You can probably get cheap merchandise.
Ali Baba might be the #1 eCommerce brand in the world. Ali Baba’s 2017 market capitalization was US$486 billion. Therefore, when you buy from its subsidiary, you might be indirectly competing with Ali Baba. Who will get a lower wholesale price from Ali Express – you or Ali Baba?
There have also been complaints with respect to fake Ali Express suppliers. Even when they were found out, Ali Express did not necessarily reimburse the victims.
Exercise caution with Ali Baba Express. Do you really want to be limited to only one supplier? You can find your own supplier, easily enough by subscribing to the internet’s Largest Wholesalers and Dropshippers Directory
When Should You Use Shopify?
If you don’t have technical expertise and want to set up a website quickly, then Shopify is one of the best solutions. It is a favorite for those who create websites and flip them quickly for profit. If your product has simple descriptions, then Shopify suffices. by now you would have read the Comprehensive Dropshipping Guide which has compared Shopify to Magento. Shopify is a great beginners tool, and if you later on feel that your business has outgrown Shopify and you’re ready to move onto something more advanced like Magento, well then that’s also possible
Which Products Don’t Work So Well With Shopify?
Shopify Payments has prohibited certain products and industries. Here is a short list of Shopify Payments prohibited products or businesses: financial, legal, virtual currency, tobacco, gambling, event tickets, pharmaceuticals, Social Media, video game and high risk businesses. You should read the Shopify Payments “Terms of Service” for more information.
Still stuck deciding what to sell? Check out “Choosing The Right Merchandise For Drop Shipping”
These are the advantages of using Shopify:
- Better Credit Card Rates
- Customer Support
Shopify has synergies with Amazon and Ali Baba.
These are the disadvantages of using Shopify:
- Transaction Fees
- Limited Functionality
Whether you like or not, Shopify is your business partner. They receive a transaction fee of every sale. This adds up.
Also, users cannot easily tweak things in Shopify. You cannot make very detailed product descriptions.
Shopify is Easy to Set Up
Shopify is a well-respected “global” platform. You can set up a professional looking website, easily. Shopify takes care of your hosting and PCI compliance.
Shopify allows you to make money, while you sleep. It won’t be easy, but it might be fun. You can make money at your speed with the outstanding Shopify ecommerce application to setup and run your new dropshipper reliant store.