How to start an online dropshipping store

Dropshipping has made it possible for many digital entrepreneurs to start an eCommerce website quickly.

In essence, the concept of dropshipping eliminates the need for buying and storing products until you sell them. A supplier, wholesaler or manufacturer you partner up with will be responsible for these tasks.


A few years ago, dropshipping was named the future of eCommerce.

Statistics support such grandiose claims.

Currently, 33 per cent of online retailers adopt dropshipping as their fulfilment model.

There’s one more fact that determines the growth potential of dropshipping and that’s the changing behaviour of consumers.

By the end of 2019, 13.7 per cent of retail sales worldwide will occur online. The number of global digital buyers during the year is anticipated to reach 1.92 billion people.

Getting started with dropshipping right now is a smart move. There are several essentials you need to understand and a couple of decisions that will be determining for the success of your endeavour.

Choose the right niche

Dropshipping success depends heavily on niche specialisation.

You want a targeted audience of people interested in certain products. Thus, you should look for a specific field within an industry that can attract a loyal clientele.

The field should be niche without being way too narrow. After all, you want some room for growth in the future. In addition, you should identify a niche that does not feature a big number of well-established players. Combating such serious competition when you’re a newcomer to the field could turn into a mission impossible.

A good dropshipping eCommerce niche is one you’re knowledgeable in/passionate about, one that’s niche without being too narrow, that’s evergreen rather than just trending right now, characterised by customer loyalty and the potential of a growing clientele.

You can go on Amazon and eBay to see best-sellers in different fields and get a better idea of hot products and hot niches.

Choose the right platform

You already have a niche and now you’ll have to choose the platform that will host your eCommerce website.

There are many popular options when it comes to dropshipping website establishment. A few of the top picks include WooCommerce (on WordPress), Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento.

These platforms are especially designed to address the needs of eCommerce website owners. Each one of them has pros and cons you’ll have to examine alongside each other. Based on such research, you can draw a conclusion about the best platform for your needs.

One more thing to look at is whether the respective platform is dropshipping-friendly.

For example, some of these platforms allow for direct product importing from big dropshipping providers. There are also automated order fulfilment options that will reduce burden down the line.

Here’s a detailed guide that will shed more light on comparing platforms.

Dropshipping partners

Here’s one of the most crucial steps you’ll have to go through when getting started with dropshipping.

Selecting where you’re going to source products from will make or break your business.

A few of the prominent choices right now include:

  • AliExpress: the Chinese retail giants is one of the best dropshipping product suppliers, whether you plan to serve a UK audience or sell products internationally. There are many tools for AliExpress dropshipping automation and order fulfilment.
  • Chinabrands: another massive Chinese product supplier. It is one of the biggest dropshipping platforms with over 100 product categories. The website is a wholesale distributor and it partners up with businesses from more than 200 countries.
  • WorldWide Brands: if you want an alternative to the Chinese suppliers, this US dropshipping platform may be a good choice. WorldWide Brands gives you direct access to wholesalers, over 16 million products and specialised dropshipping services.
  • Oberlo: this one works really well with Shopify and it allows dropshippers to import products from multiple sources to their online store.

Other important considerations

To make your dropshipping efforts successful, you’ll have to focus on several additional essentials:

  • The name of your online store: Choosing the right name to distinguish your brand from the competition is crucial. Do a bit of brainstorming and once you come up with a cool and fun name. Use a tool like to develop some great name ideas and find out if the domain is available.
  • Your pricing policy: When doing dropshipping, you’re free to set your own prices. This is how you make money but be careful. See how others in the same field are pricing products. You don’t want to go overboard because people will never give you a try if your markup is massive.
  • High quality content: importing product descriptions from AliExpress isn’t going to cut it. Many of these come with errors and information that native English speakers find difficult to understand. Invest in rewriting the product descriptions. That’s a good idea both in terms of providing a high quality service and ensuring the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your store.

Only a minimal investment is required to get started with dropshipping. Keep in mind, however, you’ll have to invest time and effort in bringing the idea to reality.

Do your research in advance and don’t rush it. Having a clear concept simplifies the process of seeking suppliers, choosing the right eCommerce platform, website design and content. You may also want to think about the initial budget, including some money for advertising and customer acquisition. If you spend enough time on these initial steps, you’ll make it much easier for your dropshipping website to take off.