Dropshipping is a type of retail business that allows you to sell products online without storing any inventory. It’s less risky than traditional types of ecommerce businesses because you won’t deal with the costs associated with holding inventory. With dropshipping, you purchase products wholesale from a manufacturer or supplier, list those products for sale, send order details to the manufacturer or supplier, and they ship the product directly to the customers for you. While profits are smaller and competition higher, the low inventory risk and easy setup process make dropshipping an attractive option. One way to combat lower profit margins is to start a dropshipping business on WordPress.
WordPress runs 26% of the web. It’s one of the industry’s most popular systems for content management. WordPress offers a free plugin, WooCommerce, to help you start a dropshipping business. It is an affordable alternative to Shopify and BigCommerce and has a high level of freedom to customize. With perks such as no monthly fees and an array of free plugins, you can develop an online store for a lot less money than the ready-made carts. Overall, it’s a great self-hosting option if you’d don’t have access to the development resources needed for an open-source platform like Magento.
1. Choose a Product
To choose the best products to sell online, research great ecommerce niches to gauge where consumer interest lies. Evaluating trends, consumer purchasing habits, and saturation of current markets will give you a range of niches to consider. Once the research is conducted, you can make a more informed decision on what niche works best for your business. Then, look at your target market and competition to decide which products to offer.
With a product or product range chosen, you need to pick a supplier. You can work directly with small or mid-sized manufacturers, use a dropship or wholesale directory to find suppliers, or look for wholesale dropshippers yourself. There are pros and cons to each option, so read up on each to make sure you are choosing the right method.
2. Build Your WordPress Site
Building a functional and appealing site is a straightforward process with WordPress. Since it is an open-source product, there are many premade themes to choose from for your ecommerce website.
Each theme will have a different look and feel, so choose one that best suits your business’s brand. Prices for themes range from $40 to a few hundred.
When choosing themes, be sure to check for responsiveness, support options, security, compatibility with WooCommerce, and page load speed. Research the developers, read reviews and forums, and reach out to the developers with any questions BEFORE downloading the theme. Taking the extra time now to fully understand and research the themes will save you any future headaches. Worried about installing the theme into your site? Developers also offer installation services for retailers not interested in doing it themselves.
3. DropShip with WordPress Plugins
Dropshipping will need to be enabled through a plugin. Here’s a look at your options.
- WooCommerce: Free plugins like WooCommerce work with WordPress, and allow you to seamlessly integrate your back-end system with suppliers. The WooCommerce Dropshipping extension is fairly straightforward. It automates order notifications. Order details are emailed directly to your dropship supplier when new orders are placed in your store.
- Inventory Source: This plugin connects supplier’s inventory quantities, status, and pricing to your WordPress back end, and automatically loads in-stock products to your ready-to-ship catalog. They also provide a list of suppliers, if you haven’t already settled on one. Finally, they offer access to a team of experts in ecommerce to support your business.
- AliDropship: This plugin is not free, but provides some additional features and support, such as pricing automation and built-in themes. It works with AliExpress and easilys automate order routing with them
- Ecomdash: To avoid order routing issues that dropshippers often have, you can also use other apps to make managing an online store a breeze, even when you can’t be in the office. Look into a dropship automation app like ours. It routes sales orders directly to your dropship suppliers and any other fulfillment option that you use.
4. Configure Account and Automate
- Suppliers and Inventory: To have suppliers notified when a customer places an order, you’ll need to integrate your system with their system. Within the plugin of your choosing, make sure to set up suppliers in the backend of WordPress and add in all of the relevant details, so it is possible to integrate with their systems. Exact steps may vary by plugin, but you’ll want to include the name, email address, description, and account number, if applicable.With a plugin like WooCommerce, you can import inventory via a CSV inventory file, which is provided by your supplier. Visibility options for stock quantities might depend on the format the supplier provides. Inventory Source and AliDropship should be able to integrate with your suppliers and inventory data is available automatically instead of importing files.
- Email notifications and custom packing slips: Once you have input the supplier’s information, integrated with their system, and added the inventory, new order emails will be sent directly to the dropship supplier for fulfillment. Depending on the plugin, you may need to set specific rules for these emails to trigger.
- Set up product attributes: With dropshipping apps, you don’t have to worry about shipping, or manually sending orders to various suppliers, but you will have to stay on top of the product details. Keeping accurate product attributes will decrease customer confusion and increase your business’s profitability. Add SEO-friendly descriptions and high-quality images on product pages, upload product videos when applicable, and have a competitive pricing strategy.
5. Customize Your Site
Make your WordPress site one-of-a-kind by implementing plugins that optimize, help with marketing, and more. Here are a few plugins to consider:
- W3 Total Cache: Improve your site’s search engine ranking and user experience with this plugin. It is designed to increase your page load speed and improve web server performance.
- Ultimate Branding: With this plugin, fully customize and brand your site. No coding experience is necessary to remove and replace WordPress branding on your site. Easily add your logo, company name, colors, and brand messaging to have a personalized, beautiful site.
- Defender: This plugin will protect your site from hackers and other vulnerabilities. By performing regular security scans and generating vulnerability reports, Defender will make sure your site’s safety is up-to-date.
Watch your business grow.
Dropshipping with WordPress is a simple, yet effective business strategy. Sit back and let these automated processes work for you!