Setting up and managing an online drop shipping store requires a few simple steps, investments and enough time, then you are good to go.
That said, there are numerous platform options available. However, you can start with a simple but recognized platform like Shopify which comes set with plug and play options. You can then do additional customization in future.
Whichever you opt for, here is a step-by-step guide to the basics of how to set up a drop shipping store.
What Will Your Domain Name Be?
The first step for setting up your online store is to register your domain name. This is the name used to search your store in a browser. With that in mind, your domain name should match your business name and be SEO friendly.
This will make your store look trustworthy and your name memorable.
How To Choose Your E-commerce Platform?
Your e-commerce platform will list your products,process orders and handle shopping carts.Therefore, choose a platform that meets your shop requirements, your budget and your time.
Additionally, platforms can be hosted services like Shopify, free customizable WordPress sites or paid licensed software.
Who Will Host Your Store?
After buying your domain name and choosing your platform,you will need to host your site. If for instance you are to use a WordPress site, you should look for a recognized hosting service provider like Namecheap, HostGator and Bluehost.
Most hosting services charge fees from around $15. However, this varies according to the number of features they offer. Platforms like Shopify will also host your sitefor a small fee.
How To Set Up Your Online Store?
If you picked a Shopify store you need to;
- Register and create your account- Fill in all the required information.
- Select your Shopify plan. This can be either Basic Shopify, Shopify, or Advanced Shopify.
How To Configure Your Drop Shipping Store?
Once you have set up your store,you need to configure and customize it. For this reason, you can do it by;
- Selecting a theme that is not only lightweight and well-designed but also SEO optimized.
- Adding information pages like about us, contacts, price guarantee, and shipping rates.
- Adding Privacy, Return and Refund statements –these policies inform your customers about your drop shipping business policies.
You can further customize your store at this point to meet your drop shipping needs and to better brand your business.
How Do You Add Products To Your Store?
This is what you are selling to your potential customers. Since manually adding products is tiresome, you can use automatic tools like WooDropship which manage and automate your store. More importantly, use the best keywords.
Alternatively, on Shopify, you can create automated product collections to ease your work.
How Do You Add Payments Methods and Customer Support?
You need to enable your customers to pay for the products they buy from your site. To do this, you need a payment gateway and merchant account. Some e-commerce sites like Shopify provide this.
For a custom drop shipping store, you may need to sign up for this service from companies which charge a monthly fee.
Customers love good customer support and you must provide it in order to succeed. In particular, make sure you have ready solutions if a customer experiences problems by setting up communication lines like;
- Social Media Accounts.
- Website live chat
When Do You Launch Your Store?
After successfully finishing the above steps,you are ready to go live. You can therefore make the site accessible to the public and start your drop shipping business.
The Bottom Line
By following the above steps, you can successfully set up your online store. Above all, you don’t need a technical background to do this. From this point, your aim should be managing the store professionally and your drop shipping business will have taken off.