Ecommerce How to Start a Dropshipping Store Using Shopify, Oberlo and AliExpress
How to start a dropshipping business

How to Start a Dropshipping Store Using Shopify, Oberlo and AliExpress

In this guide you will learn how to start your own Shopify dropshipping store, using Oberlo and AliExpress. We will look at how to build your store, import products directly from AliExpress using Oberlo and how to customize your stores design.

This is a step-by-step tutorial for beginners, so you won’t need any technical or design experience. You will see how easy and simple it is to build your own Shopify dropshipping store. If you want to skip ahead to any of the steps, you can use the table of contents below.

What is dropshipping? A quick summary.

Before we start, lets quickly look at what dropshipping is. Dropshipping (or drop shipping) is a retail fufillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, orders are transfered to a third party (usually a supplier or manufacturer) who then prepares and ships the order directly to the customer.

Dropshipping businesses make their profit the same way every ecommerce business does, by listing their products for sale at a higher price than the wholesale price. The main difference is dropshipping stores don’t store any inventory or ship orders themselves, the supplier is the one who takes care of this.

The biggest benefit to dropshipping is lower startup and management costs since you don’t have to buy products in bulk or manage inventory yourself, the product is stored by the supplier and paid for by the customer once an order is placed.

This is how dropshipping works in 5 steps:

  1. You import a product into your Shopify store using Oberlo and list it for sale.
  2. You sell the product for a higher amount than the suppliers wholesale price.
  3. When a customer places an order on your Shopify store, you confirm the order.
  4. Your supplier ships it directly to your customer.
  5. You keep the profit between the wholesale and retail price.

Your supplier holds the inventory for you and every order is shipped “blindly”, this means your customer never knows that it came from the supplier. This way you can continue to dropship without customers going directly to your supplier.

Video Tutorial: If you prefer to watch a live video tutorial instead of reading, you can watch our video version of this tutorial on YouTube here.

Now that we have seen a quick summary of what dropshipping is and how it works, let’s get straight into the tutorial.

Step 1: Sign up for the Shopify 14 day trial

The first thing you need to do is signup for an account with Shopify.

To create an account, sign up for the 14 day free trial here. On the free trial page, enter your email address and click on the Start free trial button. Next enter a password and name for your Shopify store, then click on the Create your store button.

Shopify free trial page, enter email address, password and name for your store.

I recommend creating a new email address for your store since all store related emails, including orders and customer enquiries, will be sent to the email address that you used to sign up. To keep it simple, you can just create a gmail account with the store name in the email address.

For this example I created petcitydemo@gmail.com.

On the next page Shopify will ask you to fill out a little survey. This is just data Shopify is collecting about people who use their platform and it will not affect you in any way. You can also just skip this section if you like.

Once you have completed or skipped the survey, you need to add a business address for your store so you can get paid. If your business doesn’t have a physical address you can use your home address instead. 

Your address is solely for Shopify’s internal use, and your customers won’t see it anywhere. It is also a legal requirement for you to enter the correct information. Make sure you fill out the details and click on the Enter my store button. 

That’s it, now Shopify will load your information into your store, it will take just a few moments to load up first.

Now on to Step 2.

Step 2: Choose a Shopify theme

For this step, we are just going to be installing a Shopify theme for our store. During the later steps in this tutorial, we will actually customize the look of the theme.

On the left side menu click on Online Store, this will take you to the Themes page. 

First go to Online store, then scroll down and click on "Explore free themes".

Once the page has loaded, scroll down and click the Explore Free Themes button under the store preview window.

You have a lot of free themes to choose from and for this tutorial I am going to choose the Minimal theme. Minimal and Debut are both great Shopify themes for dropshipping stores.

The Minimal theme has 3 different styles you can choose from:

  • Modern
  • Vintage
  • Fashion

I’m going to stick with the Modern style since it is nice, clean and simple.

Note: Most Shopify themes have multiple styles, don’t be afraid to preview the different styles available.

Once you have chosen a theme and style, click the Add to theme library button.

Once the changes have loaded, click the Actions button and then click Publish. Next, you’ll get a confirmation pop up box so just click the Publish button and wait for it to load.

And that’s it, we just successfully installed a Shopify theme. It’s time to move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Choose a Shopify plan

The Shopify free trial is great for trying it out and seeing if it’s right for you, but if you actually want to sell to your customers then you need to purchase a paid plan. Luckily the lowest cost plan is perfect for most people, so let’s go through the process.

Click on the Select a plan button. 

Click "Select a plan" on your Shopify dashboard.

If you cannot see a Select a plan button, click on Settings, then click on Account, and click on Compare plans, under Account overview.

When choosing a Shopify plan you have three different options. Most of you will only need the $29 per month “Basic Shopify” plan, since it has most of the features you need to sell on Shopify. I recommend the higher plans if you need more than 2 staff accounts, gift cards and professional reports. 

If you already run a profitable business that can cover the higher costs, then you could benefit from the higher plans additional features and lower transaction fees. However for most people starting out, the $29 per month plan is enough for now.

You can always upgrade your plan later once your store starts to become more successful. So for this example I will choose the $29 per month “Basic Shopify” plan.

On the next page, you can choose to pay monthly or pay yearly upfront. You’ll save money with the yearly plans but for most people I would recommend sticking to the monthly plan at first. Once your store starts to become successful, you can then switch to the annual payments if you wish.

Next you just need to fill out your payment details. It is a legal requirement that you enter the correct information in this section

After you have filled out your payment details click the Start plan button.

That’s it, you are now ready to sell. Onto Step 4.

Step 4: Install the Oberlo Shopify app

For Step 4, we are going to install the Oberlo dropshipping app for Shopify. Oberlo is a powerful and free Shopify app, that lets you build an almost fully automated dropshipping store.

Oberlo allows you to import products directly into your Shopify store. It also makes fulfilment easier by automating most of the order process for you, which is very important when it comes to growing your dropshipping business.

Oberlo is free to use for up to 500 products with unlimited monthly orders. If you want to import over 500 products, you can move onto the Basic Plan with over 10,000 products and extra features or the Pro Plan with over 30,000 products, extra features and multiple staff accounts.

As you can tell, the default free plan is very generous, making it the perfect choice for starting your dropshipping business.

Now lets go through how to install the Oberlo app.

On your Shopify dashboard, go to the left side menu and click Apps.

Go to Apps, then click on the Oberlo app, or go to the Shopify app store

On the Apps page, click on the Oberlo app. You can also click on the button that says Visit the Shopify App Store, but for this example, we’ll visit the Shopify app store.

On the Shopify app store page, go to the search bar and type in Oberlo.

On the results page, click the on the Oberlo app, then on the next page click on the Add app button and wait for it to load.

Once it’s loaded, you’l be taken to an installation page. Scroll down and click on the Install App button. and wait for it to load.

Now we need to adjust the settings, so lets move onto Step 5.

Step 5: Oberlo Settings

Once inside the Oberlo app, click the Settings button in the bottom left side corner. Next, go to the Store Name section and enter the name of your store. 

Oberlo settings, add store name, set unit of measurement and tick "notify my customers".

Next you want to come down and tick the box labelled “Set unit of measurement for product weight”, then change the unit to pounds (lb) if it is set to kg.

Next, scroll down to Notify customers about shipped orders and make sure the Notify my customers box is ticked, so your customers will know when their order has been shipped.

Oberlo settings for auto updates

Next scroll down to Auto updates and make the following adjustments.

For “When a product is no longer available”, click on “Set Quantity to Zero” and click “Notify me”.

For “When variant is no longer available”, click on “Set Quantity to Zero” and click “Notify me”.

For “When the cost changes”, click on “Do Nothing” and click “Notify me”.

For “When inventory changes”, click on “Update Automatically”.

Once finished, click on Save settings.

Now we need to change the supplier settings. Onto Step 6.

Step 6: Oberlo Supplier Settings

After adjusting Oberlo’s settings we need to change the supplier settings, which is very quick and simple to do.

Now. I’ll just go back to the Oberlo settings and show you how to adjust the supplier settings.

On Oberlo’s Settings page, scroll up and click on Suppliers on the left side menu.

r settings, select ePacket, add your phone number and add a custom note.

Under Default shipping method, select the ePacket option.

Next, add your phone number under Override Phone Number. This feature enables the Oberlo Chrome extension to automatically fill in your phone number in AliExpress orders instead of collecting customer phone numbers.

The Override Phone Number feature has 2 benefits:

  1. Carriers will be able to contact you about the status of an order, keeping your customers from knowing the original suppliers identity.
  2. You won’t need to ask your phone numbers for their phone numbers when placing an order, making the checkout process more smooth.

This option works internally within Oberlo and your customers will not see your phone number.

In the Custom note section, add a custom note to make sure that customers don’t get any invoices or materials that can reveal the original supplier to them.

You can use the custom note below:

I am dropshipping. Please DO NOT put any invoices, QR codes, promotions or your brand name logo in the shipments. Please ship as soon as possible for repeat business. Thank you!

Once you are done, scroll up and click on Save settings. Now lets move onto Step 7.

Step 7: Install the Free Oberlo Chrome extension

Now that we have Oberlo setup, the next step is installing the free Oberlo – Aliexpress.com Product Importer extension for Chrome. As you can tell by the name, this extension allows you to easily import products from AliExpress into your Shopify store.

The easiest way to do this is by installing the Oberlo Chrome extension, and using it to add products directly from AliExpress to your store. To use the Oberlo Chrome extension you will need to have the Chrome browser installed, or a Chromium based browser like Brave.

Note: A quick note about Brave browser, it is a free browser created by Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Firefox browser and creator of JavaScript. It blocks adverts and website trackers, giving you faster browsing speed and increased privacy.

Brave also has its own cryptocurrency called Basic Attention Token (BAT). You can earn BAT by opting-in to view privacy-respecting adverts which show up as small, unintrusive notifications on the side of your screen.

You can use BAT to tip your favourite content creators and websites, or you can withdraw and sell it for cash in a cryptocurrency exchange.

Since Brave is based on Chromium, it supports all extensions and updates that Chrome supports, so the Oberlo Extension will work with Brave too. So if you want to earn BAT and support HomeGrown Income, you can download Brave here.

Remember, for this step you need to be using the Chrome or Brave browser. Download the Oberlo Chrome extension. To do this, just click Add to Chrome and on the popup box, click Add extension and wait for it to install.

Next, you’ll get a popup notification telling you the Oberlo extension has successfully been installed and you’ll see the Oberlo extension in the top right of your browser. That’s it, onto Step 8.

Step 8: Import AliExpress Products via Oberlo

For this step we are going to go to AliExpress and use the Oberlo Chrome extension, to import products directly into our Shopify store.

Before we start this step, you need to do the following things, if you haven’t done so already:

  1. First open up your Chrome or Brave browser.
  2. Next, open your Shopify store in one tab, and then open up AliExpress in another tab.

Once you are ready, you can follow the rest of this step.

Go to AliExpress and type in the name of the product that you want to add to your store and click the search button. The first product I am going to add is a bed for house pets. 

On the results page, sort the results by Orders, this will rearrange the results, showing you the products with the most orders first.

AliExpress, sort by orders.

Next choose a listing you like and on the product page, click on the Oberlo extension to import the product. When you click on the Oberlo extension, click on Add to Import List.

Oberlo, add to import list

When you get the success box with the green tick, it means that you have successfully added the product to your import list.

Once you have added all the items that you want to import, click on the Oberlo extension and click Open Import List. This will take you to your import list inside Oberlo.

Once there, click on the Images tab and select the images you want to keep for your product pages. Once you are finished, click the Import to Store button.

Oberlo import to store

Your products will now appear under the Products tab in your Shopify dashboard. You can now edit the product pages, and sell the products in your store.

Once you have added all the products you want to your Shopify store you can move onto Step 9.

By the way, if you are enjoying this tutorial, subscribe to the HomeGrown Income Newsletter below to get more tutorials like this sent to your inbox, plus some free online business resources.

Step 9: Create product collections

Product collections are basically Shopify’s product categories, which you can use to group your products together. Collections make it easier for customers to browse your store and find certain products.

Product collections are very simple to create as you will see in this step.

Shopify, create a product collection

On the left side menu, click on Products, then on the Products sub-menu, click Collections. On the next page click the Create collection button. 

To create your first collection, go to the title box and type in the name of your first product category. I am going to name my first collection “Pet Beds”.

Next, go to Collection type and choose Manual, then click the Save button.

Edit your product collection

That’s how easy it is to create a product collection, again, a Collection is just a product category.

Now you just need to repeat this process to for all the product categories you want to create for your store.

I’m going to create 3 collections for my store Pet City:

  1. Pet Beds
  2. Pet Grooming Products
  3. Dog Jackets. 

We will be using these product collections throughout the rest of this tutorial, adding products to their own collections and showcasing our collections on our store homepage.

I recommend having at least three products of the same type before creating a collection, having less than three products in a collection would make it look a bit empty and less neat.

Once you have created all of your product collections, its time to move onto Step 10.

Step 10: Edit your product pages

In this step we are going to edit the pages for the products we imported back in Step 8. We will also adjust the product details and put some of our products on sale.

On your Shopify dashboard, go to the left side menu and click Products. On the next page, click on the product you want to edit. For this example I’m going to edit the pet beds I imported from Step 8.

How to edit a product page for your dropshipping store

On the product page, the first thing you want to do is delete the imported title and re-write it to look more presentable. When you import a product from AliExpress, all of the product information from the AliExpress listing is copied to your store, so you want to delete and replace the information.

After rewriting the title, delete the imported product description and replace it with your own version. In this example, I just copied and pasted a product description I previously wrote.

Edit your product page description, title and collection

You should also format your description to make it look presentable, add spaces after every two sentences and use bullet points where needed. At the end of the description, include a shipping disclaimer so your customers are aware of how long it could take for their orders to arrive.

You can write your own shipping disclaimer or use the one below:

We provide FREE SHIPPING on all orders! Please Note: Due to high demand, please allow 3-5 business days for processing and 2-4 weeks for shipping.

Next, if you want to add your product to a collection, click on the search box under Collections on the right side, then select the collection you want to add your product to.

Edit product variations

If your product has multiple variations, scroll down and you will see a list of all the variants including their color, size, price and SKU. 

In this example I will edit the “Camel” pet bed variant, changing the Color name from “Camel” to “Brown” instead. To do this I just go to the Color column, delete the word “Camel” and replace it with the word “Brown”. Once I am done I just click Save.

If you want to change a products size, price, inventory or SKU, you can easily change it the same way.

Now lets look at how to delete a variant. To delete a variant, find the variant you want to delete and click Edit.

On the variant page, scroll down and click on the Delete variant button. A confirmation box will now pop up, so click on Delete Variant to delete it. However for this example, I won’t actually delete this variant.

Change a product variants price and put a product variant on sale

There are two ways you can change the price of a variant, you can do it directly on the product page or on the variants page. We will look at both methods below.

On the product page, go to any variant and you can change the price quickly by changing the number in the Price box. However if you want to put a variant on sale you need to go to the variant page, so click Edit.

On the variant page scroll down to the pricing box and add the price you want. To put your product on sale, enter the sale price in the Price box and enter a higher price in the Comparison price box. 

For this example I will put this pet bed on sale for £24.99, from the comparison price of £29.99.

Once you have put a product on sale, click Save.

Important Note: When you make changes to a product variation, the change only applies to the edited variant. If you want to edit other variants or put them on sale, you need edit each one individually.

Now, I’ll select the next variation, and as you can see, the price has not been updated for the Green, Size L pet bed. This is because you can adjust the price for each individual variation. So I’m going to change the prices for each Large variation of the pet beds, and put them on sale too.

After you edit a product variation, don’t forget to save before you go to the next one.

This brings us to the end of Step 10, once you have finished editing your product pages and product variations, move onto Step 11.

Step 11: Add Trust Badges to your product pages

For this step we will add trust badges to all of our product pages using a free Shopify app.

Trust badges or trust seals are symbols that we place on a web page to instil trust and assure customers that all of their data is processed through secure third-party service providers. Trust badges are a good way to reassure your customers when taking payments.

In this example, we’ll add trust badges showing some of the payment gateways used by Shopify to process customer purchases. Just follow the steps below.

On your left side menu, click on Apps, then on the Apps page click Visit the Shopify App store. Once you reach the app store, search for “Free Trust Badge” and on the results page, click on the Free Trust Badge app. On the Free Trust Badge app page, click Add app.

Free trust badege app on Shopify

Next, you will be taken to an installation page, once there click Install App, and wait for Shopify to finish installing it.

Once the Free Trust Badge app installed, close the popup message and align the badges to the left of the page.

To do this, scroll down and click on Product Page settings, then go to alignment and click on the left alignment icon.

Finally, scroll up and click on Activate Badge to add this badge to all of your product pages. Then Save and move onto Step 12.

Step 12: Shipping & Payment settings

For this step we are going to add free shipping to our store, and setup customer payments. Whilst setting up the payments, we are going to set the store currency to USD.

We are doing this because in my opinion, I believe it’s best for beginners especially to target the US market.

Reasons for this include:

  • The United States has some of the cheapest shipping options for dropshipping
  • The US has the highest number of online shoppers, with over 91% of its population expected to shop online in 2023.
  • The US Dollar (USD) is seen as a global currency by most of the world, allowing you to target both US and non-US (international) customers.

When you combine targeting the US (and international) market with free shipping on all orders, you can expect a more streamlined and profitable dropshipping experience.

Now, lets go back to our Shopify dashboard so we can setup the shipping and payment settings.

Go to Settings in the bottom left corner and on the Settings page, click Shipping.

Go to settings, then shipping

First we’re going to delete both of the default shipping zones, so scroll down to Shipping zones, and next to the Domestic shipping zone click Edit. On the Domestic shipping page, scroll down and click on the Delete Shipping Zone button. Then on the confirmation popup, click Delete Shipping Zone.

Delete shipping zones

This should take you back to the Shipping settings page. Now you just need to repeat the process for the remaining shipping zone, so go to the Rest Of World shipping zone and click Edit. Again, scroll down and click on the Delete Shipping Zone button. Then on the confirmation popup, click Delete Shipping Zone.

Add new shipping zone

Once you have deleted all of the default shipping zones, scroll back to Shipping Zones and click Add Shipping Zone. On the next page, go to Zone name and type in “Free Shipping”.

Shipping zone settings

Next you have to choose the countries you want to ship to, so go to Countries and regions and click Manage. As I mentioned earlier, for beginners I recommend only shipping to the USA, since they have the cheapest shipping rates for products from AliExpress. As your store grows and you become more familiar with how dropshipping works, you can add more countries.

So search for United States and make sure you select United States (62 of 62 states/territories). Once you have done this, go down to Weight based rates, click Add rate, then tick the small Free shipping rate box and click Done.

Now that we have finished setting free shipping, click Save and now its time to adjust the store currency and weight formats.

To adjust your Shopify stores currency and weight units, go back to Settings in the bottom left corner. On the Settings page click General, then scroll down to Standards and formats. Make sure that the Imperial System is selected under Unit System, and Pound (lb) is set as the Default weight unit.

Standards and formats settings

Now you want to scroll down to Store Currency and make sure US Dollar (USD) is selected as the store currency. Also make sure the store address section is filled out. Once you are done, click Save.

Now its time to setup your Shopify stores payments, so go back to Settings and select Payment Providers. For most of you, Shopify Payments and PayPal will already be available as payment methods. If Shopify payments is not available in your country, don’t worry you can use PayPal for now.

So under Shopify Payments, click on Complete account setup. On the next page you need to fill in all of the details on this page, including:

  • Business type
  • Business address
  • First name & Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Product details
  • Phone number
  • Sort code & Account number

It is both a legal requirement and also very important that all of the information entered on this page is accurate. This step is very simple however and I’ll walk you through it below.

Under Business Details, make sure your Business type is selected and your Business address is filled out correctly. Company Registration Number and VAT number are optional so you don’t need to fill those out yet.

Under Personal Details make sure all of the information is filled out, including your first and last name and your date of birth.

Under Product Details, click on the description box and type in a simple sentence explaining what you are selling. For my example store I simply wrote “Pet products and accessories”, which is enough information.

Under Customer Billing Statement, you will need to enter your correct phone number.

Under Banking information, enter your Account Number and Sort Code. Make sure this information is accurate so you can get paid whenever your Shopify store makes a sale.

The Payout Currency will be set to your local currency, and it cannot be changed.

Once you have finished entering your details, scroll to the bottom and clickon Complete Account Set-Up.

Now you’re done! Now for most of you PayPal will already be setup, if that’s the case move onto Step 13. If PayPal isn’t already setup for you, click here to see our quick PayPal setup tutorial.

Step 13: Add branding to your checkout page

In this step, we’re going to customize our stores checkout page to match our brand. Branding your checkout page makes your business look more established and professional. Having a branded checkout will also reduce checkout abandonment and increase the number of customers who complete their purchases.

For this step you will need 2 things:

  1. First you will need a store logo. You can make one yourself using a logo generator like Shopify’s free Hatchful logo generator.
  2. Secondly, you will need a brand color for your store. This color should match your logo, so your brand stays consistent.

We will also be using our brand colors and logo throughout the tutorial to brand our Shopify store, and make it look professional.

So, lets add some branding to our checkout page.

On the left side menu, click the Online Store button. This will take you directly to the Themes page. 

On the Themes page, click the Customize button which will open up Shopifys Theme Editor. Once the theme editor has loaded up, first you want to add a product to your cart. The reason for this is that you cannot view your checkout page if your cart is empty. So choose a product from your homepage or catalog, click on it and add it to your cart.

Once you have added a product to your cart, click on the cart button. On the cart page, scroll down and click the Checkout button.

Once you are on the Checkout page, click on the Theme Settings tab in the editor. Under Theme Settings, click on the Checkout section, then click the Select Image button. Next, upload your logo, for this example I uploaded a logo I designed myself. Once your logo has loaded, click the Select button.

Finally, we are going to change the default button and error colors, so scroll down to Colors.

Under Colors, you will see three things you can change:

  • Accents – Links, highlights and checkmarks. You can leave this at it’s default setting.
  • Buttons – Gift card/discount and next step buttons.
  • Errors – Messages and invalid fields.

Change the colors for Accents and Buttons. For my example store, I just copied and pasted the color code for the blue in my logo.

Now we have a branded checkout page. Click Save and move onto Step 14.

Step 14: Create an “About Us” page

In this step, I’ll show you how to create an “About Us” page for your store. You can also use this process to create any Shopify page you like, for example a Privacy Policy page or a Refund Policy page.

If you want to generate a free policy for your store, you can use the following generators:

Now, lets create an “About Us” page.

On the left side menu, click Online Store, then click Pages in the sub-menu. On the next page, click the Add page button.

On the next page, go to the Title box and type “About Us”. Next go to the Description box and write a brief description about your business.

If you need a free About-Us page template, join the HomeGrown Income Newsletter below, you will then get access to three different “About Us” page templates, plus more free resources you can use.

I recommend adding an image at the top of your description. You can do this by clicking the Insert image button.

Once you have uploaded your image, you can click the Alignment button, and then use it to place your image in the centre so it looks neat.

Once you are done, that’s it, you have created an “About Us” page for your store.

Now click Save and move onto Step 15.

Step 15: Create a “Contact Us” page

For this next step we will create a Contact page, which is very similar to creating an “about us” page but with one small change.

So, go back to Pages and click the Add page button again.

In the title box type “Contact Us.” Next go to the menu under Templates, and select the page.contact option.

Click the Save button and you’re finished, you now have a contact page for your Shopify store.

You can preview your page by View Page next to the eye icon.

All emails sent through your contact form, will be sent to the email address you used to sign up for your Shopify account.

Now, lets move onto Step 16.

Step 16: Create menus for your Shopify store

In this step we’re going to be edit two different types of menus:

  1. Main Menu – The menu that appears at the top of our store, we’ll add our pages and collections to this menu.
  2. Footer Menu – The menu at the bottom of our Shopify store, we’ll add our home page, login and cart pages here.

So, let’s get started.

On the left side menu, click Online Store, then on the sub-menu click Navigation. On the Navigation page, click on Main menu.

Now go to Catalog and click the Edit button.

Change the name from Catalog to Products and click Apply changes.

Now, click on Add menu item. Next click on the Link search box and select Collections, then select a product collection to add to your menu. Once you choose a collection, it will automatically fill in the name for you. Once you are done, click Add.

Next drag your collection onto Products to create a sub-menu.

Next, scroll under the Products sub-menu and click on Add menu item to Products. Now select another collection to add to our Products sub-menu. 

You want to repeat this process for all of your product collections. Once you have done this, a customer can go to your top menu, click Products and see a list of all your product collections.

Once you have added all of your collections, we are going to add pages to the Main Menu again. So scroll down and click on Add menu item. This time go to Link, then Pages and select the About Us page, then click Add.

Now you just need to repeat this process for the Contact page. Make sure the About Us and Contact are not indented under the Products sub-menu.

When you are finished, Save your menu and go back to the Navigation page. Once there, click on Footer menu.

On the next page click Add menu item, then click on Link and select the Home Page (you’ll find it at the top), and click Add. 

Next we will add the Account Login and Cart pages.

To do this, click Add menu item again, this time go to the Name box and type in “Account login”.

Next go to Link and add your store link (for example https://pet-city-store-demo.myshopify.com). At the end of your store link, add “/account/login”.

For example, this is how the link will look for Pet City:

“https://pet-city-store-demo.myshopify.com/account/login”

When you are done, click Add.

Note: This will be the link that customers use to sign in to their customer accounts.

Next click Add menu item again, then go to the Name box and type in “Cart”. Then in the Link box paste your store URL and “/cart” at the end. 

For example, this is how the link will look for Pet City:

“https://pet-city-store-demo.myshopify.com/cart”

Once you have done this, click Add.

Before we move on to the next step, feel free to rearrange your footer menu so it looks neat.

Now click Save and move onto Step 17.

Step 17: Customise your Shopify theme

During this step we’re going to customize our Shopify store to make it look more attractive and professional. A professional looking store will increase customer trust and encourage more sales, and in turn earn your store more money.

For this step, you will need your logo, your brand colors and some photos related to your niche or product. I’m also going to use some branded photos I created as part of the design process.

Okay, lets customize our Shopify store.

On the left side menu click on Online Store, again this will take you to the Themes page. Next click on the Customize button to open up the theme editor.

First we are going to add a store logo, to do this click on the Header button, then click the Select image button and upload your logo. Once you have uploaded your logo, click on it and then click the Select button.

Next we’re going to change the custom logo width to 250 pixels, so the logo isn’t too small. If you don’t have any announcements you want to make, uncheck the Show announcements box and then click the back (<) button in the top left side.

Now we will add some images to the slideshow.

I am going to upload four custom made images to our slideshow. However you can add as many as you want to your store.

If you don’t have any images, ask your supplier to send you some high quality product images. You can also use stock images related to your niche, and customize them to fit your brand, like I did for Pet City.

To edit your slideshow, click on the Slideshow section. Once on the Slideshow settings tab, change your slide height to Medium or Large if you don’t like the default small size.

Next scroll down to Content, click on the first Slide and click Select image, then choose the first image that you want to appear on the slideshow and click Select.

Once you have done this, don’t close the slide tab yet, instead scroll down to Heading, and you can change or remove the text that appears over your slide picture.

For this example, I will remove the slide text from every slide. Whether you choose to change or remove the slide text, you will need to repeat this process for every slide you have.

Once finished, click on Save. That’s how you edit a Slideshow on a Shopify theme, just repeat this process for every slide you have. Once you have finished, just click the back button.

Next, we’re going to delete the remaining sections on the home-page, and replace them with sections that showcase the products we have for sale.

The sections we are going to remove from this theme (Minimal Theme) are:

  • Collection list
  • Newsletter (If you have a newsletter campaign you can keep this section)

To do this, click on a section, then under it’s settings scroll down and click Remove section.

Note: Feel free to delete any sections you don’t need for your store, this tutorial is just a guide so you know how to customize whatever Shopify theme you are using. You can even get creative and add any sections that you feel belong on your store, again this tutorial is a guide so don’t limit yourself.

Once you have deleted any unnecessary sections, its time to replace them.

For this example we will add our product collections to the stores homepage. So click on Add Section, and then click on Featured Collection, then click Add.

Under the Featured Collection settings, go to the Headings text box and type in the name of the product collection you just added.

Next go to Collection and click Change, then choose a product collection that you want to be featured on your homepage, and click Select.

If you have any products on sale, click the Show “Sale” circle checkbox, then click the back button.

Next just repeat this process for your remaining product collections, so you have a nice selection of products on your stores homepage.

Next we are going to edit the Footer section.

If you don’t have a blog, delete the News/blog widget, you can always add it back later if you plan on starting a blog section for your store. To remove the blog widget, click on the News section then click the Remove button, then click Remove content straight after.

Next you can either delete or keep the following sections:

  • Social icons – If you already have social media profiles, keep it, if not delete this section.
  • Newsletter signup – If you have a newsletter keep this section, if not delete this section.
Remember: You can always come back later and add a section that you previously removed, so don’t be afraid to delete a section for the mean time.

Once you have finished editing your footer section, press the back button in the top left, then click on the Theme Settings tab. Once you are there, we are going to change to colors, so click on Colors.

Under the Colors settings, make the following changes:

  • Under Background, change the Top bar background to your brand color.
  • Under Buttons, change the Buttons and links to your brand color.
  • Under Text, change the Social media and payment buttons to your brand color.
  • Under Text, change the Top bar to a color that contrasts with your brand color. I used white text for the top bar, since my top bar is blue.

Once you are finished, click the back button, then go to Typography, to change the fonts. Under the Typography settings you can choose the fonts to use for your store. Go through the different fonts, and pick the ones that you feel suits your store design.

Once you have finished changing the fonts, click Save. If you want to preview your store in full screen, click the full screen icon at the top of the page.

When you are ready, move onto Step 18.

Step 18: Add a favicon to your Shopify store

In this step we will add a favicon to our Shopify store. Also known as a website icon or tab icon, a favicon is a small icon that represents your website and appears in the tab of your web browser.

Favicons make it easy for anyone to find your website just by looking at a browser tab, it also adds a professional touch to your store. When creating a image, ideally it should be your logo icon on a clear or white background.

However if your logo icon is a light color, in this case you can use a dark background for your favicon image. Ideally your favicon should be 32 x 32 pixels large, however Shopify will scale down the image for you if the image is larger.

So, lets add a favicon to our store.

On the left side menu, click Online store, then click Customize to open the theme editor. Once it loads, click on the Theme Settings tab, then click the Favicon button and upload your favicon image. 

Once you have uploaded your favicon image, click Select. Again, if your favicon image is not 32 x 32px, it will be scaled down to that size.

Once you are done, click Save and move onto Step 19.

Step 19: Upgrade Shopify plan

Even though the $29 per month “Basic Shopify” plan is enough for most people, as your store becomes more successful you might want to upgrade your Shopify plan.

Reasons for this include lower transaction fees, additional staff accounts, professional reports and gift cards. Gift cards in particular can be very useful as part of a loyalty program, to gain new customers and to encourage larger orders.

Whatever your reasons may be for upgrading, in this next step I will show you how to do so.

Note: This step is optional and intended as a guide for people who want to upgrade their Shopify account, if you want to stay with the Basic Shopify Plan for now, you can skip this step.

On the bottom left corner, go to Settings, then go to Account.

On the Account page you will see your current plan information, and the features you will get with the higher plan.

To upgrade, click on the Upgrade button, then click Upgrade again on the confirmation popup. Upgrading your Shopify plan is that simple.

Now, lets move onto Step 20.

Step 20: Buy a Domain name

For this step we are going to remove the default myshopify.com URL and replace it with our own branded link.

When choosing a domain name, always choose a “.com” domain if it’s available. It is seen as an international domain and it’s the most commonly used domain extension. 

An exception to this, is when you are exclusively selling to one country. For example, if you wanted to sell exclusively in the UK or Canada. In this case you would choose a “.co.uk” extension for the UK, or “.co.ca” extension for Canada.

However, if you are selling in the US, or selling internationally, you should 100% get a “.com” domain.

Here are a few tips when choosing a domain name:

  • Keep your domain name short and memorable, no longer than four words.
  • If a “.com” domain is not available, try adding the words “shop”, “buy”, “store” or “online” to the domain name.
  • Avoid “.net” or “.org” domains for an ecommerce shop.
  • Choose a name that is easy to pronounce.
  • Avoid complicated names that are likely to be misspelled.

Now, lets buy a domain name for our dropshipping store.

On your Shopify dashboard you can do two things:

  1. You can click the Add Domain button if it’s showing up
  2. On the left side menu, you can click Online Store then click Domains in the sub-menu.

Once you are on the Domains page, click the Buy new domain button. Next type in the domain name you want to use, for this example, I’ll find a domain for Pet City.

For me, “petcity.com” is not available, so I’m going to try adding the word “store”, or the word “shop” to the domain.

Now, we can see that “shoppetcity.com” is available, so I’ll click the Buy button. This will take you to a confirmation page.

If you don’t want your domain to renew automatically, uncheck the auto-renew checkbox.

Finally, click Buy domain and you’re done.

Now, lets move onto the final step.

Step 21: Take your Shopify store live!

This is the final step in our tutorial, and the most simple. All you have to do is disable the password that stops customers from viewing your store.

I will show you how to do so now.

You can do this in three ways:

  1. On the left side menu, click Online Store, then click Themes, then click the Disable Password button on the page.
  2. On the left side menu, you can click Online Store, then in the sub-menu click Preferences.
  3. You can click the Disable Password button if you see it.

On the next page, scroll down to Password protection and uncheck the Enable password checkbox. Click Save once you have this.

Disable password for Shopify store

Congratulations! Your Shopify dropshipping store is now live and ready to take orders!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful is starting up your dropshipping business. If it did help you, feel free to share this tutorial with anyone who would find it useful (sharing is caring).

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below (if you haven’t already) so you can get your free resources and get more tutorials and guides sent straight to your inbox.

Founder @ HomeGrown Income. I create educational resources and provide startup services for business owners.

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