Someone recommended that you start a low cost e-commerce business, and you want to learn how to sell on Shopify without inventory, in order not to risk a lot of money while starting?
You are in the right place.
I have started with dropshipping a few years ago, and I can show you in a step-by-step process, how you can start your first no-inventory store on Shopify, and start marketing it at the lowest cost.
Sell on Shopify without Inventory in 7 Steps
1 – Decide on Your Niche & Marketing Strategy
Choosing your niche is important before you start your Shopify dropshipping store.
The reason for this is that you need to choose a suitable domain name for your store that connects with your target audience.
You can still do a general store and sell products in different niches, or general products that anyone could associate with.
In any case, one of the main differences between selling on Shopify without inventory using a general store and a niche store is that with a niche store, you can choose from the many ways of driving free traffic to your Shopify store, as you can build a social media following faster when you focus on one niche.
And the same for getting seo traffic.
While with a general store, you mostly need to use paid traffic methods like Facebook ads and Google ads.
Also, with a niche dropshipping store, you can sell print on demand products without holding inventory, such as: t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, …etc., which is a bit difficult when you want to do it on a general dropshipping store.
If you want to start a niche store, then you can choose a niche to be about anything you are passionate about, something you know, or a niche that you want to learn and start with.
You can explore the categories on AliExpress or Amazon in order to find a niche that you would want to work on.
2 – Choose a Domain Name
If you choose a niche store, then you need to choose a domain name that is relevant to your niche, and it is easy for your audience to understand that this store is tailored for them.
Some of the main criteria of choosing a domain name are:
- Short name (1 or 2 words)
- Easy to read, pronounce, write, and remember.
- Brandable, not an exact keyword match.
- Doesn’t contain special characters or numbers.
- Preferred to be a .com domain name.
- Doesn’t violate the trade mark or use the brand name of another company.
For example, if you decide to sell yoga products on your Shopify dropshipping store, then choosing a domain name like YogaProps.com is not a good idea.
You need a name that is more brandable such as YogiSpace.com for example.
And the same criteria can apply to the general store, except that it doesn’t need to be related to a certain audience.
For example, you could use a name like RobinsDeals.com.
One of the most successful Shopify stores that sell without inventory is called InspireUplift.com.
You can use a website like NameMesh.com in order to help you brainstorm ideas for a name for your dropshipping Shopify store.
After choosing the domain name for your store, you can either register it through a domain name registrar like NameCheap.com, or you can register it through Shopify when building your store.
Note that using an independent domain name registrar like Name Cheap has an advantage as it allows you to setup custom email addresses later for customer support, instead of using your personal email address.
3 – Start a Shopify Store with The Free Trial
This is an easy step where you can use Shopify’s 14-day free trial in order to start your dropshipping store.
You do this by entering the email you want to use, your store’s name, and your store’s password.
Note that you can change the email later.
After that, you login to the admin dashboard, which is super intuitive and easy to use even for total beginners.
From there, you need to setup some of the important elements of your Shopify store, such as:
- Choosing a Theme: THere are many free themes available, and paid themes like the Flex theme. I recommend that you choose a free theme at the start and later when you start making money, you can get a premium theme that can help you increase your revenue.
- Adding a Logo: You need something easy to remember and look at, and something that connects with your audience. And while you can hire a freelance designer to create a logo for you, buy you can also use the logo maker by Shopify that is called Hatchful, or Canva, which has a free plan. After you create the logo, you need to add it to your store through the storefront editor.
- Home Page: You need to make your audience understand what your store is about when they visit the home page. Choose relevant images for the header and footer if you have a niche store. And if you have a general store, then you can use general images, even if they don’t show any products in them, like nature photos. Make sure that you use images that you have the license to use.
- Payment Gateway: You need to setup payment gateways that would allow you to receive the money for your customers. Shopify allows store owners from each country to connect with a certain set of payment gateways such Stripe, 2Checkout, PayPal, …etc. Choose the ones that are available based on your country.
4 – Install a Dropshipping or POD App
After that, you need to add the products that you can sell without inventory to your Shopify store.
And although you can find many dropshipping or print on demand suppliers and you can add their products manually to your store, buy Shopify made your life by offering many apps that allow you to add products to your store with few clicks only.
One of the most popular dropshipping apps for Shopify is called Oberlo, which is actually owned by Shopify itself, and it allows you to add products from one of the biggest marketplaces available online, AliExpress, which has millions of products in all sorts of niches.
And if you want to sell print on demand products with your unique designs, such as t-shirts, leggings, hats, mugs, …etc., then you can install a print on demand Shopify app that sells these products, such as: Printful, Printify, PillowProfits, ….etc.
You can at the same time add a dropshipping app like Oberlo, in addition to one or even more POD apps to the same store.
5 – Add Products with Prices & Shipping Rates
Now that you have chosen your niche, built your store, and found the app that you want to outsource products from, you can start searching for and adding to your store the products that you want to sell without buying inventory first.
For Oberlo for example, for the user dashboard, you can use the search bar to look for a specific product, or for products in a certain niche, look for suppliers with many positive reviews, import the product in one click, and then list the price you want to sell at, update the title to make it clean and edit the description of the product.
And in the same way you can do the same with any POD Shopify app, but there, before you import any product, like a t-shirts for example, you need to create a design, or outsource it, and then add it to the product before you import it to your Shopify store.
This way, you can sell custom print on demand products on your Shopify store without inventory.
And for the shipping rates, you can either including the cost in the price of each product, and offer free shipping rates, or you can set up the shipping costs in the settings based on the weight of the products, or based on the total order value.
6 – Start Marketing Your Shopify Store
You now need to start getting targeted traffic to your Shopify store in order to start selling the products that you don’t have inventory for.
And depending on your niche, targeted countries, products, experience, and budget, you need to choose a suitable traffic method.
Mostly, if you have a general store, then you main methods you can use would be the paid ads on Facebook, Google and Bing.
You can also create a general Facebook page, build a following, and do giveaway contests.
But in case that you have a niche store, then you can use any of the many paid and free traffic methods to get traffic to your dropshipping store.
One example is using Instagram hashtags to build a niche following, and then advertising your dropshipping and print on demand products on your IG feed or in the stories.
Better you choose one method that you believe is better for your niche, products, budget, and experience, and stick to it until you start making consistent sales.
After that, you decide to keep working on it, or you can start using another method of traffic.
If you decide to use Facebook ads, then you better start with conversion-purchase campaigns right away, unlike what many “gurus” teach on YouTube where they tell you to start with engagement or traffic campaigns.
If you want a detailed training that shows you the different paid and free traffic methods, then Ecom elites by Franklin Hatchett is the best course to learn from.
It is a paid one, but it is affordable, unlike the courses that cost $1,000 or $2,000+ that don’t teach half of what Franklin teaches in his course.
7 – Fulfill The Orders You Receive
After driving targeted traffic to your store, you might start getting sales and receive the money from your customers through any of the payment gateways that you have connected to your store.
Now you need to fulfill the orders you have received by paying the original supplier or POD company their price and shipping cost, and by forwarding the order details to them, which should include the product ordered, the quantity, the address and phone number of the customer, so that the supplier ship the item directly to the customer without having you to touch it.
The nice thing is that most dropshipping and print on demand Shopify apps allow you to fulfill the order with one click where the app exports all the customer shipping details to the supplier automatically.
You better choose a shipping method that offers order tracking, doesn’t cost a lot of money, and doesn’t take long time.
Note that most suppliers would take few days before they fulfill the order, which is why it is better that you start fulfilling orders as soon as you get them.
And once the supplier ships the product, they would usually give you a tracking ID, which you can forward to your customer in order for them to keep track of the item, instead of sending you email inquiries continuously asking you for updates.
Conclusion – Start The No-Inventory Business Model on Shopify Today!
There you go.
With the seven steps listed above, you can start selling products on Shopify without inventory, and at the lowest possible costs.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, which helps you start at a very low cost and risk, and you can use one of the free traffic methods I mentioned in my other article in order to drive targeted traffic to your Shopify dropshipping store.
Or, you can invest in the best dropshipping with Shopify course by Franklin, which gives you a step-by-step, comprehensive training on building a no-inventory business on Shopify, find your niche and research products, and how to use the different paid and free traffic methods to get potential customers visit your store.
If you still have any question about anything mentioned here, or if you need any help, please, let me know in the comments’ section below, and I will be happy to answer you asap 🙂