The Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping with WordPress
The online market is undoubtedly huge and ever-growing as more and more people have access to the internet and electronics. Nowadays, people tend to choose more convenient and faster ways to purchase goods. For this reason, they tend to turn to eCommerce stores rather than going to brick-and-mortar ones. According to Statista, by the end of 2021 more than 2.14 billion people are expected to buy goods online. If you want to have your share from this ever-growing market, you first have to decide which business model you would want to use.
Dropshipping has gained popularity over the past decade because the barriers to entry are relatively lower than traditional eCommerce. You basically only need a reliable supplier or a group of suppliers, a greatly functioning online store, and of course your marketing skills. Dropshipping, in general, is less risky than the traditional form of eCommerce as in this case you would not need to hold any stock or deal with inventory management yourself. Your supplier will be the one who sources, stores, packages, and ships all the products to your customers that you sell in your own eCommerce store.
If all this sounds like your cup of tea, then let’s see how you can achieve it. If you do not yet have an eCommerce store, there are several options you can consider that allow you to set up a store without any technical skills. One of the easiest and most popular ones is WordPress which is also a CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to manage online content without any programming knowledge. WordPress and WooCommerce made it easy for everyone to create websites or eCommerce stores, hence you can see so many of them flooding the market today. But if you want to stand out and be successful in WordPress dropshipping read along and we will equip you with the best tips and tricks you can follow. Let’s start at the very beginning.
Choose your niche and product
First of all, you need to start by selecting your niche and the product or product category you would want to offer them. You have three main things to look at when you are doing your research on your possible future offering. First, you have to evaluate consumer trends to see the best-selling products. Second, you have to be familiar with your prospective customers’ purchasing habits to be able to forecast your future traffic and sales. Third, look at the market saturation you are planning to enter. This step is highly important as you would not want to get into a situation when you need to compete for your customers’ attention solely based on price with much bigger competitors. If you evaluate your possible niches based on the above-mentioned three characteristics you will surely be able to determine which suits your business the best.
Once you have established the product and your niche you will be offering these to, it is time for you to find the perfect supplier to support you. There are many ways to find your best match, so we encourage you to read one of our previous articles on how to find the right dropshipping supplier for your business.
Build a WordPress website for your business
Once you have your target market, products, and supplier set up, it is time to create your actual eCommerce store. If you are planning to do your business with WordPress, first you will need to set up a WordPress website. WordPress is the first choice of many first-time eCommerce retailers and not only because it is free but it also has many other useful attributes you would want to get the advantage of. It is an open-source website, so it offers you all the freedom to customize and automate your WordPress dropshipping business. Moreover, hosting prices are significantly lower than its counterpart’s so there is no question why it would benefit you greatly to have a WordPress dropshipping store. But what are the steps you need to complete to have your eCommerce site ready for business?
Get a domain
In order to have any website that people can access freely, you would need to have a domain. Without getting too much into the technical details, simply explained the domain is the identification of your website established through the computer it is hosted on. If anyone searches for your business’s name or the domain you choose you should be their first go-to option. If you have your domain, you need to pay a host to host your website and its content on their servers. Make sure you pay attention to choose one with an SSL Certificate. This will enable your site to move from HTTP to HTTPS which is more secure. It will facilitate SSL encryption and contains the website’s public key alongside its identity and other information. It is used to keep your user’s data secure and prevent attackers from creating a fake version of your site.
Choose from a variety of themes and plug-ins
Once you have all the essentials set up, it is time to create your WordPress dropshipping site. You will need to begin with setting the tone of your brand or shop by the outlook of your eCommerce store. You can do this by choosing one of the free or paid WordPress themes presented to you. You will have thousands of options available at your fingertip, you just need to pick and install the one you like the most. It is important to know that these are pre-built themes but whenever you want you will be able to customize them even further to better match the outlook you envisioned. Now you have a domain and a website theme which means that your eCommerce shop is basically up and running, but you would not want to stop here.
The next thing you would want to do is to install and activate a series of useful plug-ins to your website to automate certain functions. The most important one will be WooCommerce that will allow you to complete your dropshipping website. Just follow the steps of the set-up wizard to get your basic information in place. Once you are ready, you will have a secure website that is able to protect your customers’ transactions. But you are not done just yet if you want to operate a WooCommerce dropshipping store. You will need to purchase and install the WooCommerce dropshipping ad-on that will cost you $49 yearly to use. This extension will help you set your desired margin, forward the orders made by your customers to your suppliers, send customized email notifications to your customers on the status of their order and import your products from CVS files provided by your supplier.
Add products to your store
With the completion of the previous steps, now you have a fully functioning WooCommerce dropshipping website, so it is time to add your products. Go to your dashboard, choose “Products” and click on “Add new”. It is most likely that you will not need to add your products manually as most suppliers provide CVS files that you can automatically import through your WooCommerce dropshipping ad-on. This will help you to add a bulk of products quickly and easily with all the necessary product information and images. Moreover, some suppliers even have their own plug-ins that you can install and it will help you not only to import the products to your store but also to display real-time inventory levels.
Start promoting your business
After setting up your store and having your products available, you can not expect to make sales from the first minutes onward. You are new in the sea of many other dropshipping businesses so you will need to make some buzz around your business in order to drive customers to your website. Although organic search can work well if you have a unique product, it is not likely to be enough to reach your desired sales.
Luckily, the dropshipping business model will provide you with enough time to focus on this aspect of your business like inventory management, packing, and shipping is completely done by your supplier. You would want to set aside a certain budget each month for your marketing strategy. It is important to know your target customers well and know exactly where they spend their time online. You could spend a great amount on Facebook ads and run them well but if your target customer base does not use Facebook, you are not likely to drive anyone to your store’s page. Experiment and see which channels, contents, and tone of voice your customers are most responsive to. If you would want some tips on where to start, read our article on ten popular content marketing ideas for your WooCommerce dropshipping store.
Manage your orders
If you have done your marketing right, you can now enjoy the fruit of your work and see your orders coming through. First and foremost, you need to ensure that your order is being forwarded to your supplier as soon as possible. You will need to let your supplier know not only the goods ordered but also your customer’s details. And of course, now is the time to pay your supplier as well. In the beginning, you might be able to do this manually, but once the number of your orders goes up you will feel overwhelmed. As mentioned above, some suppliers even offer their own plug-ins you can install to your WordPress dropshipping website. BrandsGateway, for example, developed an app that supports dropshipping by providing the opportunity to integrate and synchronize Shopify and WooCommerce stores. This app’s features enable easy category mappings, real-time inventory syncing, automatic inventory updates, currency converting, and determining desired profit margins.
These will offer you the easiest communication with your supplier when adding new products, updating available stock, and fulfilling orders.
Champion customer service
Unfortunately, operating an eCommerce store always goes hand in hand with having to deal with customer complaints. Even more so if you have a dropshipping store as you can never be 100% sure that all is done in a way you would want it. When operating a WooCommerce dropshipping store a lot depends on your supplier. But even with the best local supplier, you can have issues with some orders.
It is important for you to provide excellent customer service at all times, so your customers will not take their frustration out on your social media channels that are the heart of your marketing strategy. Also, if you excel in assisting them with their issues, you might even earn yourself a returning customer. If you want to learn more about how to deal with an unhappy customer, read our previous article on handling customer complaints as a dropshipping business owner.
In a nutshell
With this article, you have a hands-on guide with all the necessary information to start your WordPress dropshipping store. While there are always new tricks you can use in the future to develop your eCommerce store further, this will be enough for you to start your journey. Do not wait any longer to transform your life as dropshipping can serve both as a side hustle and a full-time business opportunity. We hope that you feel equipped for the challenge and are looking forward to joining the community of eCommerce entrepreneurs.