E-commerce

E-commerce Guide

Getting Started

Dropshipping is the quickest, cheapest, and easiest way to get started with e-commerce. You could legitimately have a store up and running and making sales in one day if you set your mind to it.

How does dropshipping work?

A dropshipper builds or buys a store and adds products to their store from one or more wholesale vendor(s), marking up the price to be profitable. They run traffic to the store through various marketing methods, including social media marketing, influencer marketing, and/or Google Ads. Once a customer places an order, the dropshipper then buys the product from the vendor and the vendor sends the product to the customer. Some dropshipping suppliers will include your own personal branding in the shipments so it looks like the product came directly from you.

There are multiple methods of dropshipping that people have found success with. One of them is dropshipping products from AliExpress with Dropified. Dropified is an automation software that allows your dropshipping business to run almost entirely hands-free. I have used Dropified with multiple stores that have generated multiple millions in revenue over the past couple of years.

Click here to get started setting up your own dropshipping business.


What if all you have is an idea?

If you have an idea for a product you want to create but don't know where to begin, you need to contact the amazing entrepreneurs at Prouduct so they can help make your idea a reality. This is exactly what they do, and they do it well!

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Dropshipping

Here are a few common myths of dropshipping:

  • You have to dropship products from China
    • Fact: You can dropship products from many different locations, China being one of them. You can choose to only dropship products from the US if you'd like.
  • You can only dropship expensive, or “high-end” products to make a profit
    • Fact: You can use marketing and offers to increase your average order value (AOV) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) to keep your store profitable
  • Dropshipping is “dead”
    • Tell that to the thousands of successful dropshippers, including myself! I more than tripled my husband's income with dropshipping in one year. You just have to know how to do it right!

Check out this screenshot from one year in one of my dropshipping stores, selling products from *gasp* China!

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Getting Started

I 100% recommend starting with Shopify because it's easy, efficient, and because of the integrations that are available for dropshippers with Shopify. Dropified is my dropshipping app of choice because it integrates seamlessly with Shopify, it places bulk orders in one click, and it saves me about a million hours a year in busy work. Shopify is affordable when you're just starting out, starting at just $29 a month with a 14-day (at this time) free trial.

You can also pause your store while you get it set up so you're not paying the full fee for a store that's not open yet if you need more time after the 14 day free trial. Or, if you're an experienced developer, you can register to become a Shopify Partner where you can have virtually unlimited Shopify stores in development for free.

You will need to pick a niche, find products, and choose a name for your store. You can find all of Shopify's listed dropshipping apps here. Here are some of the most popular dropshipping apps and how they work:

Generating Sales

Once you have your store set up, looking legit, and ready for new customers, you'll need to send traffic to it to generate sales. This is called marketing. You'll need to get your products in front of people who want to buy them, and typically you need to buy some internet real estate to do that. You can use Facebook ads, Google Ads, web ads, influencer marketing, or a combination of them. I personally use a combination of Facebook ads, influencer marketing, and web ads.

If you're ready to learn how to run profitable facebook ads, you can start with facebook's own training platform, Facebook Blueprint. I always recommend learning from the very best when it comes to anything, so Cat Howell's facebook ads training is my go to for learning how to run any type of facebook ads.

Once you have a steady flow of traffic, you should set up email marketing so that you can stay in contact with people who have visited your store and subscribed to your newsletter or placed an order. Email marketing has the highest ROI out of every marketing method out there, so it's something you want to get set up ASAP. I recommend using Klaviyo with Shopify. It's user-friendly, super easy to set up, and it comes with lots of “flows” already set up for you, all you have to do is activate them to start sending emails to your customers automatically!

Learn

I wrote a comprehensive guide detailing every step to building a successful dropshipping store. You can purchase my 7-Figure Startup guide for the price of coffee for you and a friend on Amazon here.

Recent Dropshipping Articles

White Label

White Label myths:

  • You have to buy a LOT of product up front
    • Fact: You can buy small batches, sell them, and then reinvest the profit to buy larger batches
  • You have to pack and ship orders yourself
    • There are countless fulfillment centers that pick, pack, and ship orders for businesses of all sizes
  • You have to design/create your own products
    • You can purchase wholesale items directly from distributors, or you can brand your own products through an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM)

I personally run a white label store using a combination of ODM and print-on-demand products in the dog niche. I bought a lot of inventory up front, but it wasn't required. You can start really small!

Getting Started

I 100% recommend starting with Shopify because it's easy, efficient, and because of the app integrations that are available with Shopify. Shopify is affordable when you're just starting out, starting at just $29 a month with a 14-day (at this time) free trial.

You can also pause your store while you get it set up so you're not paying the full fee for a store that's not open yet if you need more time after the 14 day free trial. Or, if you're an experienced developer, you can register to become a Shopify Partner where you can have virtually unlimited Shopify stores in development for free.

You will need to pick a niche, choose a name for your store, and get it set up and looking professional before you launch.

If you want to create your own branded ODM products, a great place to start is Alibaba.com. or AliExpress.com. These are both Chinese wholesalers that can put your brand and label on already designed products. I found really high quality harnesses that I tweaked and added my branding to on Alibaba.

If you want to purchase items at wholesale and sell them in your store (similar to a boutique), you just need to find wholesalers in your niche. This can be done by searching Google for the trade associations in your niche, or just by searching “[Your niche] wholesale”.

Many wholesalers and distributors will allow you to place smaller orders starting out. A great option for new white label stores is Tundra. Tundra carries unique items from vetted wholesalers and has very small Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ).

Fulfillment Options

Unlike dropshipping, you'll need to find your own fulfillment solution. Fortunately, Shopify is rolling out a new fulfillment service for its users. It's not quite ready yet, but I'll be sure to update you when it is.

Starting out, you can fulfill your own orders, hire someone you know to fulfill them for you, or pay a fulfillment center to pick, pack, and ship your orders for you. I chose a fulfillment center for my white label store because I don't have the time or the desire to fulfill all of my own orders. I wanted to pay a professional to do what they do best.

Fulfillment centers are popping up all over the place, and I'd bet you could find one in your area to work with. A good place to start is by Googling “[your area] e-commerce fulfillment center]”, or “[your area] third party logistics”.

Generating Sales

Once you have your store set up, looking legit, and ready for new customers, you'll need to send traffic to it to generate sales. This is called marketing. You'll need to get your products in front of people who want to buy them, and typically you need to buy some internet real estate to do that. You can use Facebook ads, Google Ads, web ads, influencer marketing, or a combination of them. I personally use a combination of Facebook ads, influencer marketing, and web ads.

If you're ready to learn how to run profitable facebook ads, you can start with facebook's own training platform, Facebook Blueprint. I always recommend learning from the very best when it comes to anything, so Cat Howell's facebook ads training is my go to for learning how to run any type of facebook ads.

Once you have a steady flow of traffic, you should set up email marketing so that you can stay in contact with people who have visited your store and subscribed to your newsletter or placed an order. Email marketing has the highest ROI out of every marketing method out there, so it's something you want to get set up ASAP. I recommend using Klaviyo with Shopify. It's user-friendly, super easy to set up, and it comes with lots of “flows” already set up for you, all you have to do is activate them to start sending emails to your customers automatically!

Learn

Alison J Prince is the co-founder of HowDoesShe and has built multiple 7-figure e-commerce stores, and has an outstanding course dedicated to helping people start and scale their own online stores. She has a free training here that you won't want to miss!

Recent White Label Articles

Amazon FBA

Some common myths about selling on Amazon:

  • You have to sell your own branded products
    • Fact: You can sell anything that you want within their accepted categories whether it's your brand or a big name brand
  • You have to buy a LOT of product up front
    • Fact: Just like other forms of e-commerce, you can start small
  • It's too competitive/too hard to make sales on Amazon
    • Fact: It's not as hard as you think, there are proven systems to making sales that many people follow to crush it on Amazon

Getting Started

One great thing about Amazon is that you don't have to set up your own website. You can jump right into finding products. There are different software apps you can use to find products that are selling well. This is one area of e-commerce where it really doesn't matter how much you like or are interested in the products you're selling. You can sell boring old cables or door stoppers if they're selling well! There are lots of apps out there that help Amazon sellers scope out winning products. One that I have personally used with success is Jungle Scout. Jungle Scout helps with product research and helps you grow your Amazon business with a full suite of products dedicated to your success.

Jungle Scout also has a vetted Supplier Database so you can purchase your wholesale items with confidence. It keeps track of inventory, provides sales analytics and more.

Generating Sales

Unlike dropshipping or white label e-commerce, generating sales on Amazon requires you to win what's called the “Buy Box”. Each product on Amazon is listed in a single product page, with multiple sellers to buy it from. The Buy Box is where the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” button are located. These buttons will only work for one seller at a time. If you don't have the Buy Box for that specific product, then you're one of the sellers at the bottom of the listing, where no one really looks. There are multiple methods that can help you to secure the Buy Box for your products, but it mostly comes down to your Feedback score, Customer Service quality, and Price of the item.

Learn

The Online Marketing Classroom teaches a proven system for winning at Amazon. Their students have had massive success, becoming some of the top sellers on Amazon. They have a 60 Day Challenge to get your Amazon FBA business up and running profitably in 60 Days. Check out the free webinar here! 

Recent Amazon Posts