How to Set Up Shopify Dropshipping

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about Shopify dropshipping, how to get started with your own dropshipping store, and how to choose your shop niche with our step-by-step guide.

[Featured image] A woman in a floral blouse sets up a dropshipping business on Shopify on her phone while sitting at a desk by a window.

Dropshipping is an e-commerce method where you build a website that sells products, which a separate company fulfills and ships. As the owner of a dropshipping business, you’re responsible for selecting the products, posting them to your online store, and working with reliable dropshipping companies to make sure the products are high-quality and delivered in a timely manner.

Dropshipping is a business model for people looking to break into e-commerce, who have limited space to store products, and who don’t want to be responsible for shipping lots of products from their own homes. Shopify’s platform makes creating a dropshipping store simple and straightforward without the need to learn any coding. With Shopify, you’ll have the tools to set up your dropshipping store, handle payments, and market your products.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to create a Shopify dropshipping store.

How to set up Shopify dropshipping

Shopify is a user-friendly platform for launching a dropshipping store. Here’s what you’ll need to do to start:

  1. Identify your product niche.

  2. Define your audience.

  3. Open a Shopify account.

  4. Install dropshipping apps.

  5. Set up your store.

Let’s go over these steps in more detail.

1. Identify your product niche.

When choosing which products you’d like to sell in your store, it’s important to balance both your own personal passions and interests with what the market demands. You’ll want to sell something that genuinely interests you so that you don’t burn out or grow bored, and you’ll also want to sell products you know other people are searching for. 

Keyword research and market trends are great places to start. You’ll also want to consider items with a high profit margin that are also specific so that you aren’t competing in a saturated market. For example, phone cases are a high-demand product, but phone cases with 3D designs are more niche.

2. Define your audience.

Understanding the needs of your target audience will help you create more effective marketing strategies, choose better-performing products, and increase your website traffic. Ask yourself about who needs your product, how much they’re willing to spend, and where they like to interact online.

3. Open a Shopify account.

Once you know what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to, it’s time to open a Shopify account. You can sign up for a two-week trial if available and use it to experiment with different products and marketing techniques. Shopify requires an email, and it’s best to set up an email address that’s specific to your store. Then, follow the prompts from Shopify to set up your account.

4. Install dropshipping apps.

Once your account is set up, you can either search for dropshipping suppliers to use on your own, or you can use the dropshipping apps Shopify offers. The apps are available in Shopify’s app store and offer a huge variety of suppliers and products. The Oberlo app is built-in and provides access to products through AliExpress, but they also have other options as well. Select the ones you’d like to work with and add them to your store.

5. Set up your store.

Next, it’s time to set up your store. Choose a domain name that’s short and easy to remember. Follow Shopify’s prompts to select your store’s design, add copy, and attach the domain name. Then, import the products you want from the apps. You can search the products by review, price, and shipping options. Select Add to Import List. Once the items are in the import list, you can edit their price, descriptions, and more. Once you select Import, the items appear on your storefront.

Common Shopify dropshipping issues

One of the key issues people run into with Shopify dropshipping is that Shopify doesn’t generate organic traffic on its own. You’ll need to have a robust marketing plan, including keywords and social media ads, to reach your intended audience.

Learn more with Coursera

Sharpen your e-commerce skills on Coursera with Google’s Digital Marketing and E-commerce Professional Certificate. You have the opportunity to learn the fundamental tools to launch your own e-commerce business.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.