If you are looking for an easy way to make money online, you can hardly go wrong with dropshipping. Creating a dropshipping site with woocommerce and WordPress is probably one of the easiest ways of earning online.
So to help you get started, we have created this ultimate guide to WooCommerce dropshipping. You’ll also find out the true meaning of dropshipping and how to build your WooCommerce dropshipping store from scratch.
- What is dropshipping? How does it work?
- Why WooCommerce?
- What do you need to create a dropshipping store?
- How to build your Woocommerce dropshipping store
- Which products should you sell?
- Tips for promoting your store
What Is Dropshipping? How Does it Work?
This part is for those who have little or no idea of what dropshipping is. If you already know what dropshipping is all about, then skip to the next section on how to get started.
Dropshipping is a business model wherein a store receives customer orders but does not stock the products it sells. All orders are sent to a supplier (or dropshipper) who fulfills the order on behalf of the store owner.
Here is how it works:
Compare it to the traditional eCommerce model below:
In the traditional eCommerce model, the business owner:
- Stocks the products to sell
- Promotes or advertises the products
- Ships the product to the customer when an order is made
- Is responsible for record-keeping, inventory, and every activity that comes with retailing.
This model requires a lot of resources to maintain.
Dropshipping, on the other hand, does not require so much. In fact, if you need to start selling immediately, you can. Here’s how it works:
- Get into an agreement with a third-party supplier
- Promote the products and receive orders from customers
- Inform the supplier and they ship the product
- Get a cut of the profit
Benefits of dropshipping include:
- Low risk
- Low overhead
- Easy to start
Why Use WooCommerce For Dropshipping?
WooCommerce is an open-source, customizable WordPress plugin. It is one of the most popular CMS in the eCommerce industry and is used by over 90% of all WordPress eCommerce sites.
Although there are several eCommerce platforms on the internet, here are a few reasons why you should dropship with WooCommerce?
- It is free: You can download WooCommerce from the WordPress plugin repository and install it right away.
- It is easy to install and configure: With just a few clicks, you can install and configure the plugin. As a result, anyone can use it.
- Several extensions: You can improve the functionality of your store by installing WooCommerce extensions.
- There are no restrictions on what you can sell: There are no terms of service restricting what you can sell.
- No transaction fee: This feature gives WooCommerce an edge over other platforms like Shopify. There are no transaction fees which means more profit.
Now, let’s get into the details of creating a WooCommerce dropshipping store.
What Do You Need To Start WooCommerce Dropshipping?
Even though WooCommerce isn’t without flaws, it is one of the easiest ways of launching an eCommerce business.
To get started, you need the following:
- A WooCommerce dropshipping store
- Products to sell
- A reliable supplier
How to Create a WooCommerce Dropshipping Store
To create your WooCommerce dropshipping store, you need to:
- Get a domain name
- Purchase web hosting
- Install WordPress Software
- Install and configure WooCommerce
- Get a suitable theme
- Add products to the store (Manually or through Plugin)
Get a Domain Name
Your domain name is your store’s name – e.g. mystore.com. So to get one, visit a domain name registrar like GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc. Then, make a search to know if your preferred name is available. On average, a domain name costs between $10 -$15 per annum.
Remember that your domain name defines your brand and is your first impression, therefore:
- Use a popular domain extension like .com, . org, or . net.
- Avoid domain names that are too long.
- Choose one that is easy to type and pronounce.
- Avoid the use of hyphens.
- Consider using a name that reflects what you do.
About that last point, let’s say you want to create a WooCommerce store to sell watches. It is better to use a name that contains that word, say xyzwathches.com.
Purchase web hosting
A hosting company offers all the technologies needed for your dropshipping store to be visible online. They host your WordPress and WooCommerce files and products and then make them available to internet users worldwide.
While there are lots of hosting companies available, you shouldn’t opt for just anyone.
Before selecting a hosting plan, look out for:
- Uptime guarantee.
- Customer support.
- General Performance.
- Upgrade options.
- Plugin Compatibility.
A good hosting plan offers you all of the above.
On average, you can get a WordPress hosting account with a reputable web host for as low as $2.95 per month (for a shared hosting account).
For better speed and performance, you can opt for fully managed web hosting which may cost between $25 and $250 per month. With the plans, you’ll enjoy extra services like nightly backups, free SSL, CDN, premium chat support, staging site, and several other features in one place.
Install The WordPress Software
After signing up for a hosting plan, the next thing to do is install the core WordPress software.
Several WordPress hosting companies come with one-click installs. This means you do not have to go through the manual process of installing WordPress. Simply log in to your web hosting account and install WordPress.
However, if your web host does not offer this feature, you can install WordPress manually or contact our team of WP experts to help you.
After a successful WP installation, here is how your WordPress dashboard should be:
The next thing to do is to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin.
If you do not know how to do this, please read our detailed guide on how to install the Woocommerce plugin.
Now that you have installed WooCommerce, you should activate it.
Upon activation, WooCommerce launches the setup wizard which is a six-part form that allows you to configure your store.
You may choose to set up WooCommerce by clicking Let’s go or click on Not right now to skip.
Let’s show you the setup process.
The first thing to do is to add basic settings, like location, currency, etc.
The next screen requires you to set up a payment gateway. This is the method by which you will receive payments from future customers. You can skip this section and set it up later.
The next section allows you to set the shipping method. This is applicable if you are selling physical goods. It is at this point that you set your shipping rates.
The next page allows you to enhance your store with the required themes and plugins like the storefront theme and mailchimp. If you are cool with the Storefront theme, select it as we did in the sample below. However, we will discuss themes further and give you better information to help you choose.
Install an eCommerce theme
Your theme determines how your store looks and feels. Therefore, getting a theme with the right colors and font is what you need. To achieve this, use one of our best WooCommerce themes. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of free WooCommerce themes. But if you can afford it, buying a premium theme is a better option. They cost approximately $60-$100.
Add Products to the Store (Manually or Through a WooCommerce Dropshipping Plugin)
If you intend to sell only a few specific products from one supplier, you can simply manage the products using the native WooCommerce functionality.
However, if you want to sell more products, you can purchase a dropshipping plugin that connects your store directly to your suppliers.
How to Add Product Manually
To add products manually, go to Products >> Add New in your admin section.
Enter the product name and a short description for the product you need to add.
After that, scroll down to the ‘product data’ section.
At this point, you’ll be required to select the product type.
If it’s a single physical product like a piece of jewelry, leave it set to “Simple Product”. If it’s a physical product that comes in various colors and sizes, then you need to select “Variable Product”. For more information on which type to use and how to set it up, kindly go through the official WooCommerce docs.
Next, you’ll need to input the product’s data like price, dimensions, weight, stock status, etc.
If you click the links on the left menu, you will see other fields to fill:
- SKU: This stands for Stock Keeping Unit. It is a unique code for identifying a product in a store.
- Upsells: These are the products you recommend while a customer is viewing another.
- Cross-sells: These are the other items you promote based on what the customer views.
- Purchase note: After purchase, a message is sent to the customer. It’s called a purchase note. It is optional.
Enter the required data. Then, hit Publish.
Repeat this process until you have added all products.
Adding Products Through Plugins
WooCommerce dropshipping plugins provide you with a marketplace of products so you can easily import products from AliExpress and other suppliers. These plugins for WordPress remove the need to manually add products. They also eliminate the need to call or chat with suppliers directly.
The best WordPress dropshipping plugins help to display all product data on your page. So, when an item is no longer available or when the price changes, it reflects in your store. Some of the plugins also enable you to send orders directly to your dropshipping suppliers when a customer requests an item.
Some WooCommerce Dropshipping plugins include:
This is an excellent WooCommerce dropshipping plugin designed to help you sell products from AliExpress. When installed, you can easily import products into your WooCommerce store from AliExpress.
You can change the pricing for dropshipping products to include your profit margin, track your orders. You can also send notification emails to remind a customer of an abandoned cart.
It costs $89 (one-time payment) and comes with free updates and an unlimited number of products.
Just like the Alidropship plugin, this one also allows you to import products from AliExpress to your WooCommerce store. As a bonus, it has a Google Chrome extension that lets you quickly add products to your store while you browse the website.
Woodropship helps to sync product inventory, ensuring that users do not order products that are out of stock. It also allows you to add your preferred pricing with your profit margin included.
You can edit all product images to remove the AliExpress watermark.
The plugin is worth $14.99 monthly with a restricted number of products and orders. For unlimited products and orders, you should opt for the highest plan which costs $49.99 per month.
DropshipMe is another helpful WordPress dropshipping plugin that lets you import products from the best suppliers into your store. Each supplier has a proven track record of delivering orders on time and satisfactorily.
It also helps you to build a fully-featured store with detailed product data. The plugin imports real customer reviews to your website.
All the product titles, product details, and images are already optimized for you.
The pricing plans vary depending on the number of products you import.
4. WooCommerce Dropshipping
WooCommerce Dropshipping extension is another plugin that lets you import products using a CSV file. It permits you to add suppliers manually to your WooCommerce store.
You can send order notification emails to a supplier through this plugin.
One downside to this plugin is that it does not allow you to search for products and import them to your website while browsing. It also does not come with features like product availability sync and dynamic pricing.
The plugin is worth $49 for a single site license and comes with a year of support and updates.
4. WP Amazon Shop
WP Amazon Shop is a plugin built for Amazon affiliates. However, it can serve as a dropshipping plugin as well. It works with Amazon and lets you access a wide range of products from your WordPress dashboard.
Then, you can import the products you like into your store. For every product you import, you do not need to adjust pricing. This is because the plugin allows you to add your percentage-based pricing for dropshipping.
Further, you can import product information directly from Amazon into your online store.
WP Amazon shop costs $59 for a single license and $99 for up to 5 sites.
Which Product Should You Sell?
For a successful dropshipping business, you need to sell the right products. The best products to sell are those that meet the following criteria:
- It is in demand
- Competition isn’t so much
- It offers sufficient profit
How To Promote Your WooCommerce Dropshipping Store
Now that your store is fully set up, the next thing is to promote your store. Here’s how:
- WooCommerce dropshipping stores can be optimized for search engines. This will make them visible to potential customers. You can learn how to do this with our complete guide on WooCommerce SEO.
- Utilize the power of social media. Millions of people are on social media. You can take advantage of this by promoting your store on all social platforms. In fact, to run a successful dropshipping business, you need to promote your products using paid ads on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Use the power of images and videos in these ads and you should see good results.
- Build relationships via email marketing. Don’t be comfortable with 1-time sales. Each customer can become a return customer. Collect their email and consent to receive marketing info. Then keep your customers on top of your promos and offers. Don’t overdo this, however! A few emails now and then should do the trick.
And it’s a wrap! WooCommerce dropshipping stores are easy to build. All you need is a functional store, products to sell, and a reliable supplier!
As you start, do not listen to tales of people who made it big in 1 day. Those are mostly marketing gimmicks. It will likely take some time for your store to become successful, but when it does, you’ll reap your rewards.
We hope you found this step-by-step tutorial useful. If you have any further questions, you can drop a comment below.
Also, there are many aspects to running a WordPress/WooCommerce store. We have WordPress tutorials for almost every topic. Do check out our WP College for guides and tips to increase your success.