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Beginners Zone Dropshipping

WooCommerce Dropshipping: An Easy Guide to Setup Your First Online Store

Looking to set up & start your first dropshipping eCommerce store using WooCommerce by WordPress? I’ve created this article to help you start your dropshipping business quickly – by setting up an online store using WooCommerce.

This article will help you:

Understand: What You Need to Know About Dropshipping on WooCommerce, How WooCommrece Works & When You Should Consider WooCommerce over Shopify & Other platforms? And When you should not use WooCommerce?

Create: Follow Step by Step Process to set up your Online Store using WooCommerce by WordPress

Earn: Setup Payments Gateway & Start Earning

In this article, I am not going through every different method of creating your online store using WooCommerce because possibilities are endless – there are many different themes to use, plugins to choose & ways to build; Instead, I’d stick to the easiest way to quickly get your store up & running.

Dropshipping on WooCommerce by WordPress: What You Need to Know

I assume you understand the dropshipping fundamentals already, but to keep this article informative for all users landing here, this section quickly explains a few basic things around WooCommerce, dropshipping & various aspects in setting up your dropshipping business using WooCommerce.

Dropshipping is a business model wherein you can list & sell products via your online store, without having to manufacture, hold or own the product inventory – you bring sales, accept orders & forward details to the supplier (who then deliver for you to the customer), whilst keeping the commission/profit in your pocket.

How to Get Started with Dropshipping?

  • Discover & finalise a niche you want to work in
  • Build your online store
  • Find dropshipping suppliers/products marketplace & integrate your store with it – and add or Import products to your store from these marketplaces
  • Setup Payments Gateway
  • Start Selling

How this goes? Follow the article.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce, as you might know, is a plugin on WordPress that adds eCommerce functionalities to your WordPress Website.

WooCommerce is an extremely powerful plugin that helps you build basic to advanced eCommerce stores – depending on your technical expertise & requirements.

According to the latest report “Market share of leading e-commerce software platforms and technologies worldwide as of April 2021” by Statista – WooCommerce is the second most globally used software for building online stores, holding a global market share of 23%. (See image below)

WooCommerce is the second most globally used software for building online stores, holding a market share of 23%.

Data doesn’t lie. If you’re curious to know more, below are some reasons to consider WooCommerce over other platforms:

Why Use WooCommerce?

There are many reasons to use WooCommerce for building your next dropshipping store, including:

  • You own WooCommerce: WooCommerce (WordPress) being a self hoted website, is your property, unlike other all-in-one store building platforms like Shopify. That means, with WooCommerce, you are not bound to the change in terms/usage of services – that might affect your business.
  • WooCommerce is Free to use: When building stores using WooCommerce, you just need to pay for the domain name & hosting. WooCommerce is also free like WordPress. Keep in mind that you would need to pay for add-ons, depending on your additional requirements.
  • WooCommrece is Open-Source & Popular: Using a popular & open source technology not only means it is free to use, but also means you can customize it to the fullest (you can scale it with your business growth) & there will always be plenty of community support when you get stuck somewhere.
  • WooCommerce is Easy to Install & Use: Once you go through a basic tutorial on How WordPress & WooCommerce works, you’d be able to manage & work with WooCommerce easily.
  • WooCommerce is reliable, reputed & has good customer plus community support.
  • Development for WooCommerce is active: WooCommerce is trusted by many small, mid to big sized businesses across the Globe & hence, WordPress market offerings for WooCommerce has many free & premium products (like themes, add-ons, etc) to help you embrace the power of this plugin
  • Search Engine Optimization friendly: You can optimize your store as per your SEO requirements.

When You Should not Use WooCommerce?

  • If you’re looking for one-stop solution: WooCommerce definitely is powerful enough to achieve what you want with your online store, but is not a done-for-you tool; that means, to setup the store & many other features, you’d need to rely on additional plugins.
  • If you don’t (or don’t want to) know how to use WordPress

Why WooCommerce is a good solution for Dropshipping?

WooCommerce is definitely good for dropshipping because of many reasons including:

  • Since your WooCommerce store is a self hosted website, you can try different experiements with a single hosting plan, unlike Shopify – that allows you to use it for one domain only
  • With WooCommerce, you get more room to optimize, design & customize product pages
  • There are plenty of plugins available to use for free with WordPress, to add additional features to your dropshipping store
  • WooCommerce is more scalable when your business grows – especially to the point where you can hire WooCommerce (WordPress) developer to do the store customization work for you.

What do you need to get started with Dropshipping using WooCommerce?

  • Domain name + Hosting
  • Business Account or Payments Gateway Account – on Paypal, Stripe, etc

WooCommerce Dropshipping: Step by Step Process to Setup Your Online Dropshipping Store

You can easily dropship with WooCommerce – setting up an eCommerce store using WooCommerce is easy & doesn’t require technical expertise or so.

Step #1: Finalize a Dropshipping Business Name & Purchase Domain + Hosting

Just like we set up a normal website, the basic thing to do is to purchase a hosting space & domain name for your dropshipping business website.

Domain Name or Website URL: Your dropshipping business website. www.examplestore.com

Hosting: A storage space to store website data so that it can be accessed on the internet.

WooCommerce is Free to use but doesn’t offer a space to host the website. I’d recommend you get a hosting & domain name for your dropshipping business from a reliable hosting partner service.


Actionable Steps:


Remember: 
* When you are into eCommerce, especially planning to drive sales from paid traffic, it is advisable to avoid "shared hosting" & invest in "dedicated hosting" because shared hosting plans doesn't offer good website loading time - because your website in shared hosting plan is hosted on a server shared by other websites.

* Do not settle on hosting plans that allows you to use only one domain in the hosting. Make sure that your hosting plan can be used for more than 3 websites - so you could use it for launching different websites if required. 

*Purchase domain name & hosting from the same company - so you don't need to mess up with technical stuff like changing Domain Name Servers. 

Step #2: Install & Setup WordPress

Once you’ve purchased a domain name & hosting, you’d be able to set up a WordPress website on that domain name.

To set up WordPress, all you need to do is login into the hosting Control Panel (known as cPanel in short). Login credentials are generally provided by your hosting provider inside a welcome email

Two common ways to get into the cPanel:

  • Putting /cpanel at the end of your primary domain & you’ll be redirected to the login page. Example – www.yourwebsite.com/cpanel (login credentials are generally provided by hosting provider in a welcome email; search for “cpanel” in your inbox)
  • You can also get into the Cpanel from hosting providers website by logging with the account using which you purchased hosting – there you’ll find an option to get into the cPanel.

Still confused? Just contact your hosting provider & ask them how to set up a WordPress website & they’ll be happy to guide you & help.

Managed to log into the hosting cPanel? Follow further steps below:

#1 Locate or Search for “WordPress” or “WordPress Manager by Softaculous” inside of cPanel

Setting up WordPress on your website is very easy. Almost every hosting provider has one click and is easy to install “WordPress installer” on their platform.

When logged into the cPanel, you’d be easily able to locate the WordPress Installer named “WordPress Manager by Softaculous” from the cPanel home screen

You can also search for “WordPress” in the search box & locate it.

Depending on the Hosting Provider, there may be different types of WordPress installers. However, the process remains similar & easy. You’d be easily able to recognize how to install.

#2 Begin Installing WordPress using the WordPress installer

Once you’re into the WordPress installer, locate the option to begin the installation.

Before installation, you’d be asked to fill in basic details about the Website you wish to set up, you can

  • Select the dropshipping business domain – where you want to install WordPress
  • Choose the WordPress version (keep it to latest, recommended)
  • Fill in Site Name & Description (You can easily change this later)
  • Fill in admin username, email & password (that you wish to use to login to the WordPress dashboard)
  • Choose basic Plugins to install if it asks (Enable Loginizer plugin)
  • Select a temporary theme as for now

Fill in the details, click Install & you’re good to go.

Upon successful installation, you’d be able to log in to the website’s WordPress dashboard by putting /wp-admin at the end of the website URL. Example – www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin

Sometimes it takes a longer time than usual to properly propagate the installation & you might not be able to access the WordPress dashboard of the website immediately. If that’s the case, wait for some time or call your hosting provider.


Actionable Steps:

  • Login to your hosting control panel, known as cpanel. To access control panel:
    • Sign in to your account on hosting partner website & get into cpanel from there
    • Or, put “/cpanel” at the end of your primary domain (www.yourwebsite.com/cpanel). Login credentials can be found in your Welcome Email from the hosting provider at the time you purchased hosting
    • Or, ask your hosting provider to help you get access to cPanel
  • Locate or search for “WordPress” & click on WordPress installer you see. In most cases, it is “WordPress Manager by Softaculous”
  • Proceed with installation Wizard
    • Select the Domain on which you want to install WordPress
    • Choose weather your domain has http or https
    • Keep the installation version number to latest
    • Fill in your Site Name & Description (can be easily changed later)
    • Fill in admin account details with which you would like to login to your WordPress website
    • Choose your Language
    • Enable “Limit Login Attempts (Loginizer)” plugin, if it asks.
    • Select any theme as for now, we’ll change this later
    • Click on Install & wait
  • Once installed successfully, login to your website using the URL www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin (with credentials you’ve put while installation)

Step #3: Install WooCommerce Plugin to WordPress

Now that you’ve WordPress installed on your Website, it’s time to make this basic website an eCommerce store – using the powerful “WooCommerce” plugin.

Login to the WordPress dashboard & go to Plugins > Add New from the left sidebar menu. Search & Install the “WooCommerce” plugin


Actionable Steps:

  • Login to your WordPress website. www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
  • Go to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search “WooCommerce”
  • Install the “WooCommerce” plugin & Activate
  • Complete the setup wizard when prompted

Step #4: Choose an eCommerce Theme, Import Demo Website & Tweak Content

The next thing to do is to decide on what theme you’ll use for your dropshipping store. While the product pages are pretty similar in many themes, your initial focus should be on designing the Homepage.

To build your eCommerce store homepage, there are two ways to go:

  • Setup & design homepage using page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, etc
  • Install theme that offers free starter website templates (demo content) & tweak an already built-for-you eCommerce store

To save time & be more efficient as a beginner, it is recommended to stick to themes that offer “free demo content”. With demo content or starter templates/websites, it’s easy to begin working on the website content.

One powerful & free theme that offers good demo content is the “Astra”. You can also try finding other free WooCommerce websites on the Internet that offers free demo content.

If looking to build a very professional-looking store by investing some amount, you can try outsourcing the work to a WooCommerce website developer/designer or purchase a premium theme from Themeforest.

Note: 
* If you're facing error while importing demo content to the website, read the theme documentation & server requirements for importing demo content & ask your hosting provider to reconfigure the server for you

* By importing demo content, you'd automatically get the menus, widgets & other things set up.

To demo import demo content to your WooCommerce store, follow the theme guidelines on importing content.

Once you are done with importing content, you’d be able to see your demo eCommerce website with dummy products & texts for your reference.

Moving forward, you’d need to tweak the website content & various other things as per your business requirements.


Actionable Steps:

  • Login to your WordPress website
  • Install Theme:
    • Go to Dashboard > Change your theme completely
    • Or, Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Add New > Search & Install “Astra”
    • Activate Theme
    • If prompted with a Setup Wizard, fill in & complete the required details & continue
  • Import Demo Content / Starter Website: (step vary for different theme, this tutorial is for Astra)
    • Go to Dashboard > Appearance > Astra Options
    • Find “Starter Templates” section & select the option “Install Importer Plugin” – Install & Activate this plugin
  • Finish Setup Wizard:
    • Select your preferred page builder (Elementor is recommended)
    • Search for themes. Use filter to find “Free” themes (if looking for free themes only) & search “Ecommerce”
    • Browse through theme collections & choose a theme you’d like to import
    • Select if you want to import complete site or a few selected pages
    • Finish the Wizard: Check the boxes to Import everything (customizer settings, widgets, required plugins, content)
    • Click on next & wait for website to get imported

Step #5: Select a Dropshipping Marketplace, Find Suppliers & Import Products to Your Store

In order to start selling, you need to find suppliers & add or import dropshipping products to the store. This can be done in two ways:

  • Method 1: Add Products Manually: You can manually add each product to your WooCommerce dropshipping store.
  • Method 2: Integrate Your Store with Dropshipping Supplier/Product-Sourcing Marketplace: You can connect your store to popular dropshipping marketplaces & one-click import products from there

If you are shortlisting your dropshipping products & suppliers from various marketplaces, then you’d be required to add products to your store manually.

However, this method is quite old-fashioned because it is very tedious to add each product manually if you’re selling various products around various categories.

Nowadays, popular dropshipping supplier/product marketplaces like AliExpress, CJDropshipping, Spocket, etc, offer product importing tools that help you import products directly & easily from these marketplaces to your WooCommerce store.

Some of the marketplaces that offer integration with WooCommerce are:

  • CJDropshipping: A marketplace where you can find dropshipping fulfillment products & suppliers. CJDropshipping has suppliers & manufacturers from China, and also has various warehouses around the globe for faster shipping to countries like the USA & UK. CJDropshipping is free to use.
  • Spocket: Spocket is another marketplace where you can find quality products by the US & EU suppliers. Spocket thrives on quality of their products & if you want to avoid manufacturers/shipping from China, you can try Spocket.

All you need to do is sign up for any of the dropshipping suppliers/product marketplaces you want to work with, & connect your WooCommerce store with them.

Once your store is integrated with such marketplace, you can browse through the marketplace & import products to your store.


Actionable Steps:

  • If you plan to add products manually:
    • Go to WordPress Dashboard > Products > Add New
    • Explore various options & create a product
  • If you want to integrate your store to supplier or product sourcing marketplace
    • Sign up for a dropshipping marketplace like Spocket that integrates with WooCommerce. Here is a list of popular US dropshipping suppliers.
    • Go through their tutorial / documentation on how to integrate the marketplace

Recommended Read: Here’s How to Find & Choose the Best Dropshipping Suppliers in 2021

Step #5: Setup Payments Gateway & Start Selling

Another mandatory step is to set up a payment gateway on your WooCommerce store – which is an easy process.

To set up a payments gateway, you’d need to consider what merchant you’ll use for accepting payments – depending on your business requirements & country availability.

Since you are using WordPress, you can find tons of payment gateway provider plugins to use – including the popular ones like Paypal & Stripe.

Sign up to Paypal or Stripe & get started with filling in details that the payment gateway plugin would ask. Don’t worry about the process – you’d find documentation on your payment partner website easily on how to set up a payment gateway – on WooCommerce.

WooCommerce also has its own payments plugin but is available to only a few countries. Check availability here.

Once you are done with setting up the payments gateway, you can proceed with further optimizing your dropshipping WooCommerce store.

When everything is done, start running ads to get traffic & generate sales.


Actionable Steps:

  • Discover Payment Gateways & plugins: Depending on your requirements, eligibility & country availablity. You can start with Paypal or Stripe
  • Search for plugins in the marketplace. You can find a list of popular payment gateway plugins here.
  • Install & Activate the required plugin. Go to WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add new
  • Read the plugin documentation on how to set up the plugin to accept payments

Some Frequently Asked Questions About WooCommerce Dropshipping

How does WooCommerce integrate with dropshipping?

Since WooCommerce is a plugin & works with WordPress, there are many other WordPress plugins that support various dropshipping operations. Depending on your requirements, you can integrate various features using plugins

Is WordPress good for Dropshipping?

Yes, WordPress is pretty good for dropshipping or any other type of website (website building) requirements.

Why Should I Use WooCommerce

There are plenty of reasons to choose WooCommerce, including:

Does WooCommerce Integrate with Aliexpress

Yes, there are many plugins to integrate your WooCommerce store with AliExpress

Which is better for dropshipping WordPress or Shopify?

WordPress is still a powerful website-building tool – be it for dropshipping or anything else. However, Shopify is much easier to use than WordPress

Which platform is more scalable, WooCommerce or Shopify?

WooCommerce – being an open-source platform, there are many small to big-sized businesses that trust WooCommerce.

Does WooCommerce take a percentage of Sales?

No

How much does a WooCommerce dropshipping standard cost?

An initial budget of $500 is required to make dropshipping work.

Categories
Dropshipping

How Much Money Do You Need For Dropshipping?

Unlike other businesses, dropshipping is a fantastic way to build a business & generate $$$.

Why?

Because of many reasons, including the low barrier to get started & fewer capital requirements.

But exactly how much money is needed to start a dropshipping business?

The answer is subjective and it is recommended to have at least $500 – $1000 with you before jumping into it. Expect to burn & lose at least $500 before you see money pouring in.

After all, Money makes Money right.

Of course dropshipping can be done merely below $500 but in order to craft an effective strategy & sustainable business, you need at least $500 or more than that.

There are people or Gurus (to sell their course) who might say you don’t need much money to start a dropshipping business, you just need a little money and you are good to go. I am completely against this statement.

Starting with a low budget not only makes your strategy ineffective but also makes you more demotivated in the end – if your campaign doesn’t work out as expected.

This is because a stringent budget does not allow you to utilize dropshipping to the fullest & you end up thinking dropshipping is dead.

For example, with a low budget, you cannot test a product to the fullest, you cannot outsource the work to an FB ad expert to make the campaigns work out, you cannot order product samples to create advertisements & marketing assets (product photography, videography, etc)

Coming to the point, let us look at various aspects of dropshipping and how much money you’d need to get started with it:

Domain Name

To run a website, this is an obvious & upfront investment.

A domain name gonna cost you somewhere around $14. You can purchase it from any trusted domain name provider like Hostgator, Hostinger, or BlueHost.

eCommerce Platform for Store Building

This is another upfront investment like the domain name.

You need to decide on what eCommerce store building software you’d like to use to build your store.

Two of the popular options are 1) Shopify & 2) WooCommerce by WordPress.

I recommend starting with WooCommerce by WordPress & not Shopify as a beginner because WordPress not only teaches you a lot but also going to cost you less in the short as well as long run.

Let’s understand the costs associated with each of these eCommerce website builders:

1) Shopify

Shopify is an easy-to-use eCommerce store-building tool that allows you to create your store as well as host it – you don’t need to purchase hosting when using Shopify.

All you need to do is sign up with Shopify, connect your domain name & start building your store.

Shopify is extremely easy to use & it comes with everything that you need for eCommerce – extra features might cost you more with Shopify.

What’s good with using Shopify is that you don’t need to worry about the technical aspects of managing an online store – such as website hosting, security & more.

Costs Associated with Shopify

1) Shopify Subscription

To get started with Shopify, you can sign up for a 14-day Free trial wherein you can only set up your store.

In order to make your store public & start accepting orders, you need to subscribe to the Shopify premium.

As shown below, there are three main subscription plans to choose from on Shopify:

  • Shopify Lite: $9 a month (You won’t get a hosting space with this plan & cannot use shop builder | In short, with this plan you need a website as well before selling)
  • Basic Shopify: $29 a month
  • Shopify: $79 a month
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 a month

For drop shipping beginners, the Basic Shopify plan costing $29 a month would definitely suffice your needs.

2) Third-Party Apps

Some things cannot be achieved without adding extra features to your Shopify eCommerce stores.

Just like Plugins on WordPress adds extra features to the website/store, there are tons of Shopify apps you can use to add the extra features.

However, the cost of third-party apps on Shopify is something you should be concerned about – because they are costly as compared to plugins on WordPress.

You should be concerned about these costs because as you start building your store & learn more about eCommerce, you would come across several additional features that you might need to boost your dropshipping business sales.

These are features like:

  • Countdown timer on the sales page to boost scarcity & create FOMO
  • Cart Abandonment feature to get back potential customers
  • Product review apps to display visually appealing reviews & ratings
  • Upselling & Cross selling feature
  • Adding Guest checkout feature

These features are going to cost you much more in Shopify when compared with WordPress.

Frankly speaking, the amount that you pay monthly on Shopify apps can alternatively be used on WordPress to hire a WordPress developer & get the features for a lifetime for free -because WordPress is open source 🙂

The same can be done with Shopify too, but Shopify developers are expensive and Shopify is closed-source – which means, you cannot customize Shopify to the fullest even if you hire developers.

3) Transaction Fees & Credit Card Processing Fees

When you use Shopify, they charge you some fees on credit cards & other transactions – if you don’t use Shopify Payments – which is Shopify owned payment gateway.

Below is the pricing table for transaction fees on Shopify:

Pricing table for transaction fees on Shopify – Shopify Basic, Shopify & Shopify Advanced plan respectively
4) Themes

With Shopify, you get 10 free themes only – if they are not fitting well with your design & UX expectations, you would need to spend somewhere between $150 – $300 for premium ones.

2) WooCommerce by WordPress

You might know WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems / Website building tools to build websites of any kind. When it comes to building an eCommerce website using WordPress, you’d need to use the WooCommerce plugin – that adds eCommerce features & functionalities to your website.

If you ask me what path to choose, I’d recommend using WooCommerce since the costs are comparatively low & possibilities with WordPress are limitless – even if you’re not much technical.

Also, when you wish to do some customizations or when something goes wrong, Shopify developers are going to cost you much higher than WordPress developers.

Also, WordPress is a skill that you should have because it helps you understand how actually a Content Management System / Website building tool works.

On the other hand, Shopify is easy to use – with less learning curve.

Another reason to choose WordPress over Shopify is that features extensions on your eCommerce store can be done with Free plugins with WordPress – and Shopify apps are pretty much costly as compared.

The decision is up to you on what store-building software you wish to choose.

Costs Associated with WooCommerce by WordPress

1) WooCommrece is Free; You Need to Invest in Hosting

Using WooCommrece by WordPress requires a hosting space to run your eCommerce store, whereas, with Shopify, you do not need hosting because Shopify itself hosts your eCommerce store.

However, this investment shouldn’t be of concern because by purchasing a website hosting space, you can host more than one website; with Shopify, you can only host one.

A typical shared hosting would cost you around $12, while costs for dedicated hosting are on the higher side.

A few of the good hosting companies are Hostgator, Hostinger & BlueHost.

2) Plugins

Just like we have “apps” on Shopify for extended features – which are a must for any website to boost sales & conversions – WordPress has “plugins”

What’s good with WordPress is that most of the time, Free plugins are adequate for basic needs, however, sometimes, you might need to pay for plugins for advanced features extension to the store.

3) Themes

As compared to Shopify, there are tons of themes to choose from.

However again, if free themes do not meet your expectations – you might need to invest in a premium theme. One thing to note is that you can get a premium WordPress theme between $30 – $60, whereas, with Shopify, this scale amounts between $150 – $300.

Order Sampling

Dropshipping is an easy (but not so easy) business to start with. That’s because you won’t have to involve with product manufacturing.

You can literally start without having to touch the product – as you already know.

However, that should not mean you don’t need to engage with the product physically. When you’re serious about your dropshipping campaign, it is recommended to order a product for sample & test it – if it is worth selling & risking your money/efforts.

By ordering a product sample, you not only test the product quality but can also use the sample to generate awesome creatives/assets (images for ad creatives, product photographs, mockups, model shooting, videography, etc) for marketing, branding & advertising.

Product Photography / Mockups / Videography

Spending money at this part is completely optional – as this can also be done by yourself for free – better if you have product samples already.

To make your product page appealing & convertible, you need appealing product assets (product images, mockups, video) to display to users & use in ad creatives.

Creating those assets like product mockups requires designing skills & preferably, you should outsource & get it done by professionals – only If you have some money to invest in your dropshipping business.

However, If you’re low on budget, you can avoid spending on product mockups or videography & do it all on your own.

When choosing the free path – you might get some product images from the vendor, but those images are generally not so much appealing.

If you don’t have the product sample, & only have images provided by vendors, it would be hard to edit & enhance those images.

Ad Creatives & Copies

This is another investment you should keep in mind if you are not well versed in creating assets for advertisements. If you’re a complete beginner with running adverts, it is recommended to outsource the work to experienced professionals.

Don’t try to make it work when you don’t have the necessary experience.

Why?

Because creating assets (images, videos, title, short description) for advertisements differs a lot from creating assets for social media posting.

Of course, you can create advert assets on your own as you might have some designing skills, but, getting it done by a pro will bring you a much higher return on investment.

When creating assets for adverts, you should keep in mind what image, heading, video will perform better in terms of Click Thru Rates.

Whichever be the case, you should be aware that adverts with improved CTR perform better.

One recommendation is to test video ads in dropshipping because video ads are performing better

Advertising & Marketing – FB Ads, Video Ads, A/B Testing, Remarketing

This is another upfront dropshipping startup cost that you cannot avoid.

In order to bring in some sales, you need to pay to get traffic. Of course, you can get organic traffic as well – but the journey will be long, hard & probably you won’t sustain as a beginner.

There are several popular advertising channels like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, YouTube Video Ads where you would have to burn money to get traffic.

Not only you’ll have to run a few campaigns, but to yield results – you need to work on ads optimization, A/B Testing, Remarketing & more – that definitely takes money to make it work.

As a beginner to start with, consider spending somewhere around $5 – $10 a day on a single ad campaign that you run – which accounts for $300 a month or more.

Product Sourcing & Fulfilment Software

Gone are the days when people used to manually search the marketplaces & source them to their dropshipping store one by one.

Now is the time of tools & automation.

There are now tools, services & software – that help you browse through popular & quality products (fetched from marketplaces) whilst enabling various dropshipping business operations such as product importing, orders syncing/fulfillment & much more.

Such software directly integrates with your eCommerce store so you could one-click import the products to your store – and you don’t have to do it manually.

One such software/service is the Spocket – which is a dropshipping tool cum marketplace that offers high-quality products from the US and EU suppliers. Once your store is integrated with Spocket, you can browse through quality products & one-click import them to the store. Spocket also comes with features to automate many dropshipping tasks like inventory syncing, orders management, orders fulfillment & more.

Read More: Spocket Review: Is it a good alternative to AliExpress & Oberlo for Dropshipping?

Quick Note: Spocket premium also offers a “branded invoicing” feature to help you boost your business branding efforts – by including your business logo/name in the invoice.

When you’re dropshipping, it is recommended to use these tools/software so you focus your energy & time on the important things – and not on unnecessary tasks like – manually uploading products, inventory management/tracking, manual orders fulfillment, etc.

Product Research, Competition Analysis or Other Similar Tools

There are many dropshipping product research methods & tools you’d come across over time.

While some of the methods & tools are free, you might want to invest in some tools like Sell The Trend, Ecom Hunt, Niche Scraper – to help you with competition analysis, product research & more.

Investing in these tools is completely optional, but having these premium tools will definitely boost your dropshipping efforts & profitability.

Some Freuquenty Asked Questions About Dropshipping Startup Costs

How to start dropshipping for Free?

You can dropship for free on third-party eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay. However, to be more scalable, flexible & controllable, you need to have your own store for which the two upfront investments are – domain & hosting (or eCommerce store builder like Shopify).

How Much does dropshipping cost?

It is recommended to have at least $500 – $1000 with you before jumping into it. Expect to burn & lose at least $500 before you see money pouring in.

Categories
Dropshipping

Common Dropshipping Mistakes to Avoid; (mistake #7 must be avoided)

We all make mistakes, and drop shipping beginners make a lot of mistakes. Even those who are making money with dropshipping still make mistakes at times.

But, some mistakes must be avoided & that’s where you make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Standing out from the crowd nowadays is very important – especially when it comes to dropshipping – because the digitization opportunities in eCommerce are bringing high competition to the market.

Consumers are now modern & smart – they expect to buy products from a business that seems authentic & has some credibility in the market.

But how would you achieve this authenticity & credibility? That’s another topic of concern but of course,

One way to do this is by focusing on the long-term strategy & brand building

Dropshipping is a business & when you’re running a business – mistakes must be avoided.

Let’s look at some common dropshipping mistakes that beginners make when starting out:

Mistake #1: You Don’t Take Dropshipping as a Serious Business Model

Dropshipping is a part of eCommerce – it’s a type of fulfillment method in eCommerce.

Everything else works similar to a typical eCommerce business –

  • Researching & finalising niche
  • Building a brand name / store name
  • Building store
  • Building brand assets
    • About the brand (vision, mission, about, description, etc)
    • Brand Theme / Color Scheme
  • Products & Supplier Research

& there is a lot more in the play.

Therefore, you should take your dropshipping business very seriously to make it work out.

Right from keeping your store well designed to implementing your own selling angle on products, each & everything contributes to the success of your store.

When you’re running or about to run a dropshipping business, you should be paying close attention to the user/customer experience and work on improvising your business operations.

This includes strategizing various aspects of the business including:

  • Offering easy return policies
  • Delivering quality customer service
  • Focusing on brand building
  • Marketing
  • Store & Product pages Optimization

& more.

On top of that, the challenge will be to crack advertisements.

To build a successful dropshipping campaign, you need to take care of everything from email marketing to collecting audience insights – & much more..

Similarly, there are a lot of other things to be taken care of if you want your dropshipping business to succeed.

The problem with most of the drop shippers is that they get into dropshipping just because it’s easy to get started – but they aren’t serious or prepared for running a business.

You should be avoiding this mistake at any cost.

Your drop shipping business will work out only if you dedicate enough time, resources, energy & money to the business.

In simpler terms, you have to be hell serious about the business.

Mistake #2: You Get Overwhelmed with tons of ideas; It’s a Bad Sign

Right from trying out different dropshipping product research methods to creating an Ad campaign, there is a lot in the play.

When you are starting out as a beginner, you are motivated & learning as much as you can.

Oftentimes, you might jump from one blog to another & watch various different videos to understand dropshipping in depth.

This is good! Being resourceful is good.

But you should not overdo your research to the level that you reach a point where you get confused on where to start, what products to choose, which ad strategy to try out, which type of dropshipping method to start with, etc, etc.

When you come across a lot of ideas & strategies, you get overwhelmed with information available on the internet – which diverts your mind from being focusing on each thing at once.

At first, you might think you can do better with three niches, starting with Facebook ads.

The next few moments, you come across another profitable niche & boom.. the previous idea is gone. You would now focus on the next things that seems profitable to you.

This way your mind gets diverted & you reach a confusing state that stops you from starting or taking actionable steps.

  • Learning is a good skill & there are tons of things to learn & implement.
  • There are tons of niches & products that seems profitable
  • There are tons of advertisement strategies & ideas that seems to be working

& there are tons of other things too.

But don’t overdo ideas brainstorming. Instead of moving from one idea to other, pick one thing, test it & see if it works. If it’s working, then master it & move on to other.

Mistake #3: You’re Searching for a Proven Strategy

This is a mistake that most of the dropshipping beginners do.

When you are completely unexperienced & want to start out, you start learning about dropshipping in deep & in the midst of that, you are at a stage point where you get an idea on how to start.

But you could not start. What’s stopping you?

It’s because you’re searching for a proven strategy that works.

But the fact is, there’s nothing like one-size-fits-all.

This ends up in spending a lot of time in finding products, campaigns, niche, etc, that are proven to work.

To build a successful campaign, you can’t just blindly implement what experts are saying & what blueprint they’ve provided.

You need to test products on your own & make the ad campaign work out for you on your own.

You need to add your own marketing angle to the campaign & see where you can improve.

Take inspiration from others but don’t do the same as they are doing – and so, don’t search for a proven strategy.

There are tons of unexplored products & hidden profitable niches/sub-niches that no one is talking about in their resources.

That is where opportunities are. Get better with research, analyze competition and test on your own.

Mistake #4: You’re Not Aware of User Experience & SEO

SEO & eCommerce are completely different topics – but you must understand SEO as well when starting with eCommerce.

By learning SEO, you not only understand how search rankings work, but also the logic behind why & how search engine treat different type of websites.

When you learn SEO, you get an idea on what should a marketer do on the website to deliver a good user experience – which ultimately helps in improving conversions.

Remember, SEO is not optimizing the website for Search Engines – it’s optimizing the website for Users & deliver them better user experience – so that search engines can recognize your efforts & provide you more discoverability on search engines.

Dropshippers who are aware of SEO & User Experience tends to play close attention to important elements of your eCommerce website such as Product Title & URL, Website Speed, Website navigation / structure, & much more.

BY having some SEO knowledge in mind ensures that you’re building presence on the World Wide Web the right way – that actually works.

Mistake #5: You’re not Researching; and if you’re researching, you’re not implementing

There are a variety of people.

Some research a lot that they get overwhelmed – as discussed above.

And some are too lazy to do research.

And then there are those who are researching & learning, but not implementing – this makes it hard to crack the code.

In order to make things work out, you need a balance; Just like you need a balance in life. It’s important that what you learn must be implemented by yourself to see if you can yield results.

If you fail – try to improvise. If you win, you win.

Without implementing, you get nothing & always live in a delusion – thinking this or that might work.

At the end of day, what’s important is how much you implement out of your learning – so you’re sure of what works & what doesn’t.

Mistake #6: You Start With A Low Budget Which Makes Your Strategy Ineffective

Are you also the one who wish to start dropshipping because you’re broke?

If that’s the case, think back again.

Imagine what would happen when you’re broke & you manage to invest some money in dropshipping – hoping that things will work out.

What would happen if your first product or store fails?

Would you end up broke again?

or

Would you try again?

Most of the people at this stage don’t try again & end up thinking that dropshipping doesn’t work because you’ll feel hopeless.

But the fact is, dropshipping actually works – and there’s no denying it.

For the same above scenario, imagine if you are able to make some decent sales – how would you then scale aggressively without having some decent budget in place?

Of course, you can reinvest the money, but that’s gonna take more time & effort to yield results. In order to scale, you again need money man.

Therefore, it is not recommended to start with a low budget.

Use your common sense – Drop shipping is a business & to run a business, you need money – so that you can be very efficient with what you plan & strategize.

Marketing requires money, designing requires money. In simpler terms, you need money to test & scale.

Having a decent budget of ~ $700 – $1000 USD for dropshipping ensures you have enough opportunities to make things work out.

Read Also: How Much Money Do You Need For Dropshipping?

Mistake #7: You Expectations from Dropshipping are Wrong

Thinking you can make good money from your first few dropshipping campaigns?

Fewer chances!

what about in the long term with dropshipping?

Of course, you can.

How much money you can make from dropshipping?

No Guru can claim this. Its completely dependent on you.

I believe there are tons of similar questions in your head when you’re starting with dropshipping. But finding answers to these won’t get you anything.

Yes, you can research around these questions to boost up your motivation. But this should not make you expect a lot from dropshipping.

You cannot make good money in just a matter of weeks or months. Exceptions are always there, but I am speaking for the majority beginners.

You should be realistic with the expectations so that once your few campaign fails, you won’t quit & again test instead.

I am not demotivating you – I am helping you get out of the delusion & think practically – so you can create a realistic plan for your campaigns, instead of daydreaming.

Don’t forget that in order to make things work out – you would also need to reinvest every bit of profits so that you can aggresively run ads when you find a successful product.

On the other hand, those who expect higher than usual, they just end up demotivated & thinking “Dropshipping is Dead

If you follow some successful dropshippers, they’d mention how long it took to find their first winning product.

Instead of daydreaming about money, your profit expectations from your first few dropshipping campaigns should be $0 – and instead, you should expect to learn from the experience so you can do better in the upcoming campaigns.

Expect that from the first few campaigns, you’d get deeper & practical insights about how things work in dropshipping.

Mistake #8: You Can’t or Don’t Want to Outsource work & Invest Money

It’s very hard to run a business alone. When it comes to dropshipping, there are a lot of tasks that needs to be outsources so you don’t feel burned out – or you don’t compromise on quality.

There are many tasks that need not to be done by yourself, instead it would be a smart move to hire a team or outsource the work.

Use platforms like Fiverr wherein you can outsource various tasks like: logo design work, ad copies creation, & more.

Mistakle #9: Not Having A Marketing & Scaling Plan in Place

It’s great that you’re motivated enough for dropshipping, but what about the marketing plan? How would you scale when you witness a successful product?

The fact is that most of the dropshipping beginners doesn’t know this.

They just know how to setup a dropshipping store, how facebook ads work, how to do product research & similar things.

But a very few understand that you need a solid marketing plan in place to make your campaign work out.

Having a solid marketing plan in place means you also have a scaling strategy in place, which includes various things like:

  • ensuring that your supplier is prepared to scale with you
  • ensuring you have defined ad strategies in place when it comes to aggresively advertising the product
  • ensuring you can handle increased customer queries: answeing calls & replying to tickets etc

In short, the work out there is greater than you might expect, so you have to be prepared for your next moves.

Conclusion:

Dropshipping is a fantastic way to learn about eCommerce & when it is done right – it can bring fortunes for you.

Mistakes are inevitable & if you really have the passion & persistence to work – you can learn from your mistakes.

But prevention is better than cure – this is so true. That is why when you start out with dropshipping, it becomes important to be aware of the common dropshipping mistakes that people often do.

To succeed in dropshipping is not easy – however, by avoiding the mistakes I’ve mentioned above, you’ll be able to make the hard way easier.

Happy Dropshipping!

Categories
Digital Marketing

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website? Various Options Explained.

Having a website is no longer a choice – it’s a necessity for businesses nowadays.

Whether you wish to build a website for your business or you’re an individual looking to launch a website/blog, the primary thing to consider is the cost associated to build your website.

How much does it cost to build a website?

The minimum cost to build a website is $50$100; this amount can go up to $200$1000 depending on your requirements.

Type of ExpenseMinimum CostCost Up to
Domain + Hosting$60$100
Website Building / Setup Costs / Development Costs$0 (NIL)$200
Website Theme or Design Costs$0 (NIL)$100
Additional Expenses: Premium Services / Subscriptions / Plugins / Website Maintenance$0 (NIL)$100

In under $100, you can set up a basic website for yourself; and if your business requires a feature-rich website – the cost can go up to $200 or even $1000

The cost associated to build a website depends on a lot of factors, including –

  • What hosting plan you choose?
  • Sometimes, specific domain names can be expensive that increases costs
  • Whom you hire to build the webiste? Are you gonna setup a website on your own or hire a developer. Likewise the cost of a freelancer and agency also vary – depending on the amount & quality of work required
  • What Content Management System (Website Building Tool) you choose?
  • Would you prefer a premium theme? Hire a designer

While there can be many more factors & the two initial & upfront investments for building your website would be on purchasing Domain & Hosting (discussed below in this article)

Other than that, you can of course cut down the costs by limiting the features & doing some work on your own.

This blog discusses the requirements & costs for building a website & where you can save money & build the website at the minimum possible cost.

Let’s get started:

Minimum Cost to Build a Website

Know your Requirements & Goals

First thing first. Before you start building your website & discover the costs associated with building it, it is important to understand your business requirements very clearly.

As already mentioned, depending on your requirements, your website development cost can vary from $100 to up to $1000.

Within $100, you can get a basic website for yourself that has a Homepage & 5-6 other important business pages (contact us, about us, services, what we do, what we offer, etc)

Similarly, if you are a business that sells physical or digital products & requires an eCommerce website, you can build a basic eCommerce website for under $100.

However,

When your business website needs more features & requires additional work or resources – as compared to building a basic website – the cost goes on the higher side.

When gathering the requirements, you need to be very attentive to details.

As mentioned already, the website development costs can also go up to $500 – $1000 when your business requires more features & preferably – you want a custom-built website.

For example, a freight management business would require specific features in order to operate the business operations. A delivery business that delivers packages would require different features than a basic website – such as orders management, order tracking & much more.

Ideally, If you are a small business & just want to get started with your online presence – a basic website might suffice your needs & there are many areas where you can cut down the costs.

So think about the type of business you have & for what purpose you need a website.

Domain Name & Hosting

The two upfront investments in building a website are 1) domain name & 2) Hosting – costs that you can’t cut off.

Cost Associated: $60 – $100

Let’s understand each of these one by one:

1) Domain Name

By purchasing a domain name, you obtain a URL (or say a registered name) for your website – www.yourwebsite.com

This www.yourwebsite.com is known as the URL & can be used to visit your website. It is unique to you.

In simpler terms, you purchase a business name for yourself on the internet, based on its availability.

Technically, if the website URL that you purchase is www.yourwebsite.com, then

yourwebsite” is the domain name and “.com” is the extension type.

You have the choice to purchase the extension type, depending on its availability, as shown below:

An example search for a domain name availability

As I told you, purchasing a domain extension is dependent on its availability with the domain name you choose & below are some of the most common types of domain extensions:

  • .com – This should be your first choice if available because it’s the most familiar extension used in the internet & people remember this because we all have been typing .com into our web browsers for a long time
  • .net – .net is also a popular extension after .com ; This is preffered as the alternative to .com (if .com extension for your business name is not available) & was originally intended for Networking or Internet Service Providers.
  • .org – As the name suggests, .org was originally intented for organizations (especially non profits) but is now available to everyone. .org is also a popular alternative to .com
  • .co – This extension was originally intented for the business websites (country code) based in Colombia but now is used as a popular global extension. Since the .co is familiar acronym to Company, many businesses are chooosing this extensions
  • Other Country Specific Domains.us for United States / .in for India / .ca for Canada & more
  • .gov – limited for government organizations
  • .edu – limited for educational institutions
  • .info – Faimiliar acronym to information
  • .site – Familiar acronym extension for websites
  • .xyz & .ly – Few other extensions for common use

The extensions listed above are some popular ones & in addition to these, there are 1500+ extensions for websites to choose from.

But, at first, you should secure a .com domain for yourself as it is the most used, familiar to remember & popular domain extension.

What is a good domain name?

A good domain name:

  • Is preferablly short & clear
  • Is easy to pronounce, remember & recall
  • Has a .com extension (since it is the most common one & people easily recall this). If not available, you can choose from the popular domain extension types as we discussed above – depending on your business type, industry & availability
  • Should not have numbers or hyphens.

Search for a domain name that reflects your business & brand. If the domain name as your primary business name is not available, you can tweak the domain name by including other terms/keywords like the business slogan, industry, etc.

For example, if you have a business or blog that shares information related to search engine optimization & your desired domain name is searchengineguide(dot)com – which isn’t available, you can try variations like – searchenginejournal(dot)com, searchenginetable(dot)com

Now that you’ve known what is a domain name & how to choose a good domain name, let’s understand the second upfront investment in setting up a website

2) Hosting

By purchasing a domain name, you obtain a URL address for your website that you can share with others so they can visit the website.

But in order to display something on your website to the World – you need a storage space to store website files & other data.

This space is known as “Hosting” in the internet industry & this space will be then used to install a website building software & host website files.

Generally, the most popular hosting types are:

  • Shared Hosting: As the name suggests, Shared Hosting services offers website hosting space that is shared by other websites. In technical terms, there are several other websites on the servers where your website is hosted.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting plan offers you deidcated servers that are used for your website only. This is quite an expensive option
  • WordPress Hosting: Shared or Dedicated hosting plan whose server compatibilites are designed to meet the requirement of WordPress websites
  • VPS Hosting: Ideal for websites that have outgrown shared hosting.

There are other hosting types as well. While all these hosting types can be used to host your website files, they differ in some aspects like

  • The amount of storage capacity
  • Server Speed, Performance & Specifications
  • Admin Control
  • Technical Knowledge Requirements

Ideally, to start with, you can choose a Shared Hosting plan – which is cost-effective & preferred for small/low traffic websites.

Once you start witnessing some traffic or may feel like you need to work on improvising the speed of the website, you can choose other hosting plans based on your requirements.

Website Building Platform & Who Will Build the Website?

After getting a domain name & hosting, the next step is to finalize what Content Management System (CMS) or Website Building Platform you wish to use to build the website – after that – who will build the website?

Costs Associated: $0 to up to $200 or more

A CMS would help you set up your new website & manage the content on it.

Installing a website-building software (content management system) to build your new website is not way too technical & you can do this on your own by following some tutorials around the CMS tool you wish to use.

Currently, WordPress is the most preferred CMS on the Internet & I strongly recommend using WordPress as it is free to use & easy to customize – for basic websites.

While WordPress is free to use – the costs are associated when you’re not technical enough to build the website by yourself or you don’t have the time to do it on your own.

If that’s the case, you can hire a WordPress developer that costs around $5 – $10 per hour to build the WordPress website for you.

All you need to do is go over to the platforms like Fiverr & Upwork, & get the freelancer as per your needs.

On the other hand, if you want to save these website development costs & get the website ready for $0, you can go through some tutorials on WordPress & start building a website on your own.

WordPress is really easy to use & trust me you can build a website without hiring a WordPress freelance developer.

Don’t worry about the features & functionalities as there are tons of applications in WordPress (known as plugins) that you can install on your WordPress website to extend features – this can be too done by following some tutorials & internet guides.

Design & Performance of the Website Theme

Your website theme design, performance & navigation plays an important role in the success of your business website. A good theme offers a good user experience in many aspects & unquestionably – offering a good user experience has numerous advantages for SEO.

You can choose either a free theme or a paid one – depending on your choice, requirements & budget.

Talking about the cost associated, there are various routes to go for:

  • You can choose a free theme from WordPress theme repository – Free $0
  • You can pick any of the premium theme from Themeforest or other places – Good premium theme starts from $29 & go upto $149 or more
  • You can outsource the work to a design & get the theme designed – Costs somewhere upto $100 or depending on your design requirements & the designer (Not recommended route if you’re just starting out)

In most cases, a free theme would suffice your needs.

However, if you’re concerned about the design & performance of your website, & looking for a theme with large customization opportunities – you should lookout for a premium theme.

You can find tons of good themes on Themeforest.

However, if you are low on budget, you can stick to a free theme & cut down the costs. OceanWP & Astra are a great choice – both the theme has free versions that offer tons of customization opportunities, & the themes are also lightning fast.

A few cons of using free themes are:

  • No customer support in case when things go wrong with the theme
  • Fewer customization opportinities if you’re not much technical with WordPress
  • Free themes are less updated
  • Free themes are poorly coded as compared to premium themes

A few pros of using paid themes:

  • Customer support when you need them or wish to customize the theme a little bit more.
  • Paid themes are often considered carefully before purchasing & so you can choose a theme that’s light & fast loading – before you

What theme should you choose?

A theme that has both free as well as paid versions – like OceanWP & Astra – so you could update anytime to the premium version when required.

Also, free themes that also have paid plans are better than themes that are solely free to use.

Remember: When choosing a theme for your website, it is very important to consider a few aspects like the website speed, customization options, cross-device compatibility & more. For better information, you can read this article on How to choose the right theme for your WordPress Website.

Additional Expenses: Third-Party Apps/Plugins, Premium Services or Website Maintenance

Depending on your technical/team expertise, expectations from the Website & business requirements, you might need to invest some more in additional expenses that might include:

  • Premium plugin(s) on WordPress to extend features & functionalities
  • Subscription for premium services – like GSuite, email marketing tool, CRM etc.
  • Website Maintenance Costs – Annual Charges for Hosting & other paid tools like Security plugins, backup plugins etc

There can be a lot more hidden costs, but you can completely cut down these costs if you are low on budget.

Conclusion

The above post is a breakdown of typical various steps for building a website & the cost associated with each aspect.

While purchasing a domain name & hosting are upfront investments you cannot avoid, you can obviously cut down costs on other steps by opting for the free available route.

When it comes to website building & theme design, I’ve already explained how you can use WordPress – a powerful website building tool / CMS – to set up & build your website from scratch, choosing your preferred route – free or paid.

In a nutshell, a basic website can be built within $100, and the cost goes up depending on your requirements, expectations & future plans.

Got any questions? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Thank You!