There are many ecommerce platforms and WooCommerce is the second-best ecommerce platforms following Shopify. Many people who start a dropshipping business choose WooCommerce to open a store. WooCommerce has many advantages among the ecommerce platforms. It doesn’t come with a recurring fee or additional costs such as the transaction charges every time the customer buys from you. Furthermore, getting it to work is simple and you without any coding skills can add and configure it on your site all by yourself. In addition, you have more flexibility and full control of your store because it is set on WordPress. Due to this you can customize or tailor the store in ways other platforms can’t offer. So how to open a dropshipping store on WooCommerce? The article will introduce the 6 steps to open a dropshipping store on WooCommerce.
1. Get Domain, Hosting, And SSL
To open your store, you need to get a domain name, web hosting, and an SSL certificate. It is necessary to choose and buy a domain name which is your website’s address on the internet. And knowing how to choose a domain will help you. Next, you need to buy a web hosting where your website lives on the internet. It allows you to store all your website content and make it accessible for any Internet user. Then, make sure that you get an SSL certificate so that you can accept credit card payments on your website. It adds a special security layer on your website thus you can accept sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal information.
You can buy a domain name from Namecheap and go for Bluehost to buy a web hosting. Namecheap also provides web hosting and setting up a WordPress site on it is as easy as pie. Bluehost is an official WordPress and WooCommerce recommended hosting provider and take care of your site’s maintenance, updates, and security with SSL. And you can get started for $19.95 / month basically. You can also buy a domain name from other registers and use other web hosts such as SiteGround, Hostgator, WP engine. But be sure that you go for a reputable hosting company to avoid hosting-related problems such as downtimes, poor security, and low resources.
2. Setting Up WordPress
Set up WordPress using your preferred web hosting provider and your domain name. First, download the latest version of WordPress, and upload it to your web server. Next, you can fill some information in settings, including setting up your WordPress site title and description and change your WordPress Address and Site Address to use https instead of http.
3. Setting Up WooCommerce Store
Then you need to launch the WooCommerce setup wizard on your WordPress admin pages. Next, you can set up a few things include page, store locale, shipping &tax, payment. Just confirm and fill relevant information and click continue button on every step.
WooCommerce has few essential pages for cart, account, shop, and checkout and needs to be filled with where your store is located and which currency and unit measures to use. And you can choose whether to shipping physical goods or not. You also need to answer the tax question so that WooCommerce can help you automatically calculate and add taxes to your prices. In addition, you need to choose a payment method for your online store among PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripepayment gateways. Using the PayPal Standard is the easiest way to accept payment. Actually, there are many other payment methods available for WooCommerce that you can install later if you need.
4. Add And Manage Products
You can visit Products » Add New page to add a new product. In specific, you can fill a title, detailed description, and short description, product-related information like pricing, inventory, shipping, linked products, etc. Pay special attention to writing catchy product descriptions and choosing good-looking images. Furthermore, you can choose a product category and add the main product image and a product gallery. Proper product categories and taps help to make it easier for your clients to navigate the store and make a purchase decision. It also helps to achieve good results SEO. Don’t forget to click on the Publish button to make it live on your website. And you need to repeat the process to add more products. If you have lots of products to add, you will need to spend lots of time to do the repeat things. However, if you have corporate with CJDropshipping, you will be able to sync products from CJDropshipping to your store in one button.
5. Choose A Theme
Themes control how your WordPress sites look to the users when they visit it. And they also control how your products are displayed on the WooCommerce store. There are a huge variety of paid and free themes available. And you can see them on WooCommerce Theme Store page. The most popular theme offered by WooCommerce is Storefront with 3411784 downloads so far. It is free, intuitive, flexible, responsive, and fully localized that make Storefront so popular.
If you want to get a theme from an independent developer, be sure that it is:
Easy to use and navigate for store visitors
Responsive, good-looking and functional on any type of devices (mobile phone, laptops, PCs, tablets, smartphones, etc.)
Suitable for your dropshipping store structure and niche
To further customize, you can use plugins and extensions to add new features to your website. There are over 46,000 WordPress plugins available. Some features aren’t built into WooCommerce. For example, follow up with the buyers who didn’t complete the purchase, offer dynamic pricing and coupons, enable customers to calculate shipping costs before placing an order. For these, you need to use free or premium WooCommerce plugins.
Here are tips for operating a Shopify dropshipping store.
With 500,000 active users, Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms on the market today. And that number steadily grows as more people decide to start their own dopshipping business. Newcomers may be confused about how to operate a dropshipping store using this ecommerce platform, thus the following will give some tips on how to get started.
Buy a domain
When you initially set up your Shopify store, you will be given a free myshopify.com domain, so your store URL, here’s an example (http://sportshoes.myshopify.com) This doesn’t look great from the customer’s perspective and it also doesn’t help you build a strong brand. Your URL should be short, recognizable, simple to remember and easily printed on any material. Try coming up with a few names and see if they are already taken, once you have settled on a good URL you can purchase the official domain from GoDaddy or Namecheap and direct your domain to Shopify store.
Add a phone number
Add a phone number on your header, footer, contact, and about us page. People calling in are trying to give you money. And having a phone number builds trust with your potential customers. Furthermore, it’s best that you return every missed call and voicemail ASAP.
Use Tidio live chat
This is a free live chat app in the Shopify App store. When someone live chats your store, it’ll push to your phone letting you respond wherever you are.
Add aFAQ page
With a FAQ page (Frequently Asked Questions), you can give the answers to the most commonly asked questions that your customers may have. Having this makes your site look more professional and can be useful in securing a sale.
Install privy exit intent
When your potential customer goes to click off of the tab, a pop-up needs to appear, typically offering a discount code. This can help you secure a sale when you might have lost a customer. Generally when applier for a coupon the customer would have to enter their email, This helps with email marketing further down the line.
Offer afree bonus gift
A free bonus gift means people can get more at the same price and makes people prefer to buy from you. Venders tend to offer a gift after a customer reaches a certain price point, for example “free gift for order above $50!”
It’s a good idea to use a customer feedback to gather information on how to optimize your conversion funnel. A tool like Feedback Lite is an excellent for this purpose. It’s a survey widget you can place on your Shopify that gather information about your customers overall shopping experience. Not only does this service offer 8 different types of feedback widgets (i.e. Multiple Choice, Open-Ended Answer, Rating Scale, Thumbs-Up/Thumbs/Down etc) but allows you to customise the interaction you have with your audience by setting your feedback widget to show automatically, as a slide-out or popup campaign and even on page exit.
Provide more payment options
Give your customers as many payment options as you can. Here are some payment options you should provide:
Shopify Payments (U.S. Based)
Stripe Atlas (Outside of U.S.)
There's widespread support for website integration with CRM systems such as Infusionsoft and Hubspot. And CRM allows you to store the details of anyone who provides you with their email address in a purpose-built sales funnel designed to increase the chances of the customer making a purchase from you. By consistently building the levels of information you have on your customers’ interests, you can run automated marketing campaigns specifically designed to increase expenditure.
Using eye-catching high-quality images is essential to entice to your visitors into making a purchase. Potential customers want the focus to be on your product, using a white background helps drive focus to the product itself.
Lighting is a key component to taking quality pictures. Clamp-on utility lamps and painters lights are practical and affordable. They also ensure you have great lighting and are better than the flash located on your smartphone.
Once you’ve got the product photos you can easily upload them to your Shopify stores backend. If you are an Apple or Mac users then you can use the Airdrop feature to transfer your photos quickly and efficiently.
Ask suppliers for unique product photos is also a good option if you don’t plan on buying a sample or test purchase.
Use Photo Resize
Creating a clean, uniform look on your website should be your top priority. Sometimes you may need to resize images to achieve this goal. You can use Photo Resize, an app in Shopify, to make all your product photography look uniform automatically.
Product reviews convert sales and are key to success. One of the best ways to boost your product review count is by incentivising your customers to make a review on your site when they make a purchase.An easy way to do this is by sending a follow-up email with a discount code when a customer makes a product review. Another great way to encourage reviews is by developing a community culture across your site so that your customers feel like they are helping other consumers.However, when you implement this kind of selling strategy make sure you have a solid support system behind the scenes to assist any customers who provide a negative product review. Often times the review can be redirected unfairly at an eCommerce retailer and that’s the last thing you want.
Best Shopify Apps
Here are some of the best Shopify apps for dropshipping that you can use to drive sales.
Having analytics on your website is one of the most important things when optimizing your website for sales. Google Analytics is the best tool to track your website’s performance. It has become a standard tool because of its ease of use, informative reports, and the fact that it is free. It will give you priceless feedback in regards to how visitors interact with your website and where they bounce off. Your sales data is also accounted for so you can see what genuinely works and what doesn’t.
SEO for Shopify
If you are new to SEO and need a crash course to get you up to speed on cutting edge techniques I suggestions this guide.You should really pick your battles and know your competition when it comes to SEO. You will be able to profile not only the performance of your top competitors, but evaluate the difficulty of ranking for key terms related to the products you are selling by Alexa. If you are just starting out, we recommend trialling these services first: Competitor Keyword Matrix, Competitor Backlink Checker, and Site Keywords.Doing SEO on the Shopify platform is not much different than on any other platform. For the on-page SEO you just need to know what to put in the proper places in the code of your page.
Here is a chart that lists the best Ecommerce platforms ranked by SEO. According to this data, these are the leading platforms most people search for when starting a web based business. The following will focus on the 8 main platforms, and will hopefully give you more insight to which one may best work for you.1. ShopifyShopify is the top tier e-commerce platform that allows you to list products almost effortlessly. It is by far the most popular of its kind and has been used to make millions almost completely passively. Thus being the platform of choice for many dropshippers.Shopify offers you everything you need to set up your online store. It covers the web domain, hosting, payment gateways and so on. Anyone can easily create an online store in just a few hours, with no prior web development experience required. Getting to know the Shopify user interface is fairly easy, though there will be some trial and error for first time users.Massive companies such as Pixar, Evernote and Wikipedia all use Shopify to host their stores. It is a trusted, reliable and invaluable tool to boost your success in e-commerce whilst still giving you full control over the design and layout of the site.There is only one disadvantage that Shopify isn't free. The system costs $29 per month and Shopify also take 1.5% worth of fees from every sale. However, Shopify also offers a 14-day free trial to new users so if you find that you don't like the site you can simply stop using it and not lose out a single cent.2. WoocommerceWoocommerce is a popular WordPress plugin that enables site owners to create and run online stores. It is an open source system with many templates available to help get you started .It is important to understand that in order to build a Woocommerce store you must have a WordPress based website first. And though the plugin itself is free to use, the hosting for your website is not. Building a store with Woocommerce can be daunting for new users, as it requires the knowledge and experience that only seasoned web developers would have. Thus being the obvious choice for established web developers. But for beginners up for the challenge, once you get familiar with the platform it becomes easier as you go. One the other hand, there is always the option of hiring a professional to help you design your store from the ground up.3. 3Dcart3Dcart is a closed platform specifically tailored for E-commerce purposes. A 3Dcart store is extremely easy to create, with users paising how much they enjoy it's collection of features that are updated frequently. The interface is clear and neatly-organized, 120+ built-in peculiarities and 50+ free templates are available.The 3Dcart team boast that they will never charge any commission fees for purchases on their platform. Stating that users will only pay the subscription fee, 20$ a month for the basic package which is up to 100 products and 4,000 monthly visitors. The most advanced package will cost you 100$ a month.4. MagentoMagento is an open source platform created in 2007 developed especially for running and building online stores. It was purchased by Ebay and is considered to be one of the best platforms for creating and managing Ecommerce stores of all sizes.Magento has a good security system, which is beyond SEO ready. Currently, it has two versions; Magento Community and Magento Enterprise. The community version is free and mostly aimed at small businesses. Magento Enterprise is paid platform aimed at medium to large businesses.It offers great features such as uniformed front-end interface for your customers, recently added items display, comparing options, a user friendly shopping cart, clever product catalogs and much more. The only thing wrong with Magento is that is runs PHP, so it requires a bit of skill to program and effectively use. All though it offers great features, it is relatively complicated to use. There is no shortage of PHP savvy developers familiar with Magento ready to freelance. And reputable companies both small and large own Magento based stores, making it a viable option for you to start your business.5. BigCommerceBigCommerce is a statistics lovers dream and considered by many as the best closed platform for online stores. With BigCommerce, you can relish in the nitty-gritty of every component of your e-Commerce store. However the inflated complexity is presented so clearly that it will not interfere with your day to day operations. However, it only provides 7 professional themes for free, as compared to the 26 that are offered through Shopify. It is not a free platform and it has many first-class payment gateway integration options available.You can choose one of three available packages and pay monthly dues accordingly. The most basic online store package cost 30$ a month and the most advanced one 80$ a month.6. SquareSpaceSquareSpace is web platform for building websites of all kinds, including online stores. There are many attractive templates to start with, and each are highly customizable. Creating a SquareSpace based store is a bit complicated at first but over all has the most flexible page editor on the market today. It’s browser based page editor allows you to create your own functioning website either from scratch or from one of it’s award winning templates. There are several subscriptions to choose from, with business packages ranging from $18-$40 dollars a month. With the top tier boasting zero commission fees, unlimited bandwidth/storage space to host all your product pages.7. VolusionVolusion is a popular closed platform that is intended specifically for E-commerce. This platform offers all in one features that are necessary for running a successful online store. It is simple to use and is easy to make changes to designs. A Volusion based store can be used alongside an existing WordPress website. There is the drawback that its price is a little bit expensive. You need to spend 29$ to 299$ per month to open a store on it and you also need to pay for SSL for added security. Furthermore, there is not a feature of post option when creating your website.8. WixWix is a popular closed platform for creating all types of websites, online stores among one of them.You can not freely modify the platform itself or the tools.Building a Wix based online store is easy, anyone who enjoys learning different interfaces can use it. Wix offers a choice between many readymade templates and several package with different hosting and traffic limits. Wix offers e-commerce with paid plans and therefore the free version of Wix will not a viable option. When using Wix you are locked to two different payment gateways; Paypal and Authorize.net. The most basic Wix Ecommerce package costs only 9$ a month and a VIP package will run you 26$ a month.The biggest issue with Wix is performance speed. Their code preloads a bunch of scripts (js) at startup, which slows down loading times. And installing a non Wix API or plugin can become more complicated than it should be.ConclusionIn conclusion, there are many unique e-commerce platforms you can choose from. And it’s always great to have options. Each platform provides the necessary features to build a great online store. However each also has its own unique drawbacks that may hinder your sales in the long run. It would be wise to write a list of necessities that you require when picking a home for your future business, then compare those to the feature list of each platform. However if you just want to get started as quickly as possible, the safest bet would be to start a Shopify account.