Dropshipping with WordPress: Beginner’s Guide

This post will guide you through all the aspects of dropshipping with WordPress, from zero to your first sale without too much investment

Learn how to create a dropshipping with WordPress business, and earn money remotely selling goods from different suppliers.

dropshipping with wordpress

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One of the most lucrative business models that the internet has created is dropshipping. In this post we will explain how you can start dropshipping with WordPress with relatively low investment. This is one of the lowest investment business models and anyone can start with less than 100 $.

The other advantage of this is that you can manage it from virtually anywhere in the world, you don’t have to be a resident of the US or any other “main” country (UK, Canada, Germany, etc).

What is Dropshipping

First of all, we must understand the dynamics of Dropshipping.

You may have heard or read about it, right? But it is not so easy how to find a detailed explanation on how you can build a dropshipping business. The setup is probably easier than you though, but making a lucrative business out of it is a different story.

Dropshipping is basically a business model in which you do not have an inventory. The supplier ships directly to the final costumer, while your website is basically a “middle-man” in this transaction.

dropshipping-steps

1. The user buys an item on your website. 2. You send the order to your supplier 3. The suppliers dispatches the item to the buyer

The fact that you are selling products which are not in your possession may generate doubts and uncertainties, both from your customers and yourself. How are you going to do a quality and logistics control, if you don’t even have your products on your warehouse?

In fact, it is all a matter of finding a reliable supplier and building a good relationship. Most suppliers are obviously looking for customers and they are unlikely to cheat you out of a couple of orders. However, try to check if your supplier has a good reputation.

So basically, in a dropshipping type of business, you will need online marketing channel (a website, a social media account, an YouTube channel).

You will advertise the products on your channel, and resell them at a higher price your supplier offers you. The margin is your revenue, and subtracting the costs you will have for maintaining your business channel, you will have your profit.

How you can dropship with WordPress

The very first thing you need to know is that your WordPress website will be an ecommerce venture. For that you will need WooCommerce.

woocommerce-site

A website using WooCommerce WordPress plugin

WooCommerce turns your average WordPress website into a full blown online vending. And that’s not everything, WooCommerce is a free plugin.

All it takes is a PayPal account and a WordPress website with WooCommerce installed, that you will be set to sell anything. With WooCommerce you can sell both virtual and tangible items, and it’s backend is also excellent to control your orders, shipment status, inventory, products with variations, promo codes, discounted prices, and many other features.

Chronology of Building a Dropshipping with WordPress

After this brief introduction about Dropshipping with WordPress, let’s analyze all the steps involved to successfully build your dropshipping business.

Some people may have a slightly different order to start a dropshipping business, and there is room for small changes here. What is essential, is to take each step carefully and avoid skipping steps on your dropshipping business plan:

Study the Niche

The first part of your dropshipping venture involves studying market niches.

You must find a product that has some key characteristics, that will be important to your success. Among them, the most important ones are profit margin, easy logistics, low return rates.

Make sure you can find a product in which you can have a good profit margin. If you want to sell t-shirts for 100$, it will be very hard to find buyers.

Products with big dimensions or easily breakable, can be very problematic. Jewelry is an example of easy product to ship, as its light, and it doesn’t have a defined market price. However it can be pretty hard to find costumers.

Once you have found a niche in which you can attract a decent number of potential customers at a low cost of advertising (or zero cost), you can start looking building a relationship with a supplier.

Finding a Supplier

Firstly, I would recommend trying to scan for the highest number of possible suppliers possible. Ideally, you should find a supplier in the same geographic region as your customers, but that’s not mandatory, it really depends on what type of product you have and how long clients are willing to wait.

aliexpress-page

You can find suppliers using different websites, one example is Aliexpress.com, if you are looking for Chinese retail suppliers. There are many websites from different countries from each you can find and talk directly to suppliers. Alternatively you can visit countries which sell the products you are looking for. You can even search for them on Ebay, contact them and arrange lower prices for a direct dropshipping deal.

Once you found prospective suppliers make sure you order a few products from each one of them. This will let you have a better quality control of what you are actually selling, and also, have a real expectation of how long a supplier takes to ship an order, and how long the mail takes to delivery it.

I would strongly advise on choosing a supplier that will ship orders with a tracking code. This a guarantee of many important factors: that the order has been shipped and that the order has been delivered.

Hosting and Setup

After a strong research on the niche, and analyzing all the viability of your dropshipping operation, you can start looking for a hosting service.

If you have previous experience on this, you can choose for a hosting of your preference. If not, you can choose for a simple shared planning, to maintain costs at minimum levels.

Shared hosting have some limitations, and buying a dedicated IP and buy a SSL certificate and enable https:// is definitely a good idea if you want to improve the credibility of your site (this topic deserves a whole post for it, by the way).

There are some good hostings out there, with similar plans, you can check Bluehost for example.

Website Building

Contrary to what most people think, building a website is actually the easiest part when you want to have an online business. Unless you want a high level of interaction between the user and the website, it is pretty simple to launch a full ecommerce website nowadays.

In our case, we will be using WordPress, and the amount of free and paid themes and plugins for this CMS is virtually limitless.

mythemeshop-ecommerce

WordPress Ecommerce theme by MyThemeShop

For an ecommerce website that dropshipping requires, I would suggest a paid theme like those you can find on mythemeshop, They have a pretty goood selection of WooCommerce themes that will be perfect for your dropshipping with WordPress venture.

Social Presence

Social Presence might have different levels of importance on your dropshipping website success. While in some cases it is pretty important, in other cases it might be almost useless, let’s approach two examples of how important this is:

1 Important: If you have a cosmetics website, it can be quite important to have a defined social presence, as customers that buy cosmetics tend to do it several times a year. The social tools will make your customers engage with your site, and it will be interesting for them when you have new products.

2 Not Important: Color pencils, people don’t tend to buy color pencils often, and there are even less chances that they will be interested in the color pencil industry news. In this case, social profiles are quite useless, and you should focus more on getting organic traffic.

Going Live

Now you have a pretty good setup to start with, we are going to actually getting to the hardest part. Most people believe that great content, or a great idea, or great products are enough to make your business flourish. Unfortunately that is mostly false than true.

It is ALL ABOUT reaching people.

No matter how good your site is, if you can’t make people to find it, it is bound to be a failure. That’s why dropshipping works, because even if you have a higher price than your supplier, customers will buy from you, if they find you and don’t find him.

And why it is relatively easy to beat your own supplier? Supplier are manufacturers, they are often not interested in two things you should master SEO and marketing.

I have been dropshipping for 2 years and my products cost up to FIVE TIMES more than what the suppliers retail them for. Still, the number of sales has been pretty steady. And I often find other websites offering products which are dropshipped and overpriced. Some of them have a pretty good performance.

But HOW to make people find you?

Getting Traffic

Now we come to the most important part of your dropshipping with WordPress project, getting traffic. There are a few ways to do it, and we will have a brief overview at each one of them:

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is the best type of traffic and is in most cases the one you should be aiming for. Why should you focus on it on your dropshipping with WordPress project?

This type of traffic is the one generated when users search for a specific term on google, find your site on the results and click on it. This is the best type of traffic.

What makes of it so good?

google-analytics

Organic traffic is free, and moreover, users are genuinely interested to find more about that keyword. Organic users are often in the “buying mood”, which means that the chances of conversion are also higher.

Set a good chunk of money and time to find ways how you can improve your SEO position. Once this is set, the chances of your business to succeed are just much more significant.

Paid Search Engine Traffic

This is another way to get traffic and will also involve a certain level of SEO and research, however it is much easier. Paying to be seen will put you on the top of any google query, but the price can be hefty.

The price difference for a keyword with high competition to one with low competition can be easily above 1000%. Sometimes it may be even half of the price of the product you are selling.

In some cases, it can be an excellent idea for your dropshipping with WordPress project, but in other situations it may bankrupt your business at a fast pace.

Social Traffic

Social traffic can be excellent or nearly useless. It depends on the type of product you sell and on the type of user you want to engage. If you have a pizza restaurant and you offer coupons and promotions, social traffic can be an excellent way to make customers order from you again.

If you sell forklifts there is not much sense investing heavily on social media.

Paid Social Traffic

The last option to attract traffic to your dropshipping with WordPress site is paid social traffic. The great advantage of paid social traffic is that it is usually cheaper than paid search engine traffic. The difference is especially considerable for keywords with high competition.

The most expensive social network to invest is definitely facebook. The second immediate option would be Twitter. Then Instagram, reddit and many others might be worth considering. It depends on who you want to reach.

The biggest downside of paid social traffic is that people who are using social media are normally NOT on buying mood.

How many things you caught yourself scrolling your social feed aimlessly? This is the time of public that your ads will reach. Even if you will be only charged when someone clicks the ad, I consider the CTR to be significantly lower than those of search engine traffic.

Last considerations

This was really a short insight on how to do a dropshipping with WordPress project. The more you research on the topic, the better are your chances of succeeding.

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