Have you decided to start your dropshipping business but you’re unsure where or how to begin? Uncertain as to whether or not go with WordPress or Shopify – or perhaps another e-commerce platform managed by someone else? If so, you’re in the right place! In this quick guide, I’ll walk you through how to easily build a dropshipping business website with Jupiter X in WordPress in less than 20 minutes.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model in which you don’t have any physical products and you don’t manufacture items or manage any inventory. Instead, you simply resell products at a higher price from the actual owner.
How this works is that you have an e-commerce site and you list products that you don’t actually have. But when someone buys something from you, you purchase that product from the owner at a lower price point. You then transfer the order details to your supplier, and they will pack and ship it to your buyer. You then send the shipping details to your customer. Sounds quite simple, right? Indeed, this is why, in recent years, dropshipping has become such a popular business model. That said, dropshipping has several pros and cons. Let’s quickly review them. First of all, a major factor in this model is that you don’t spend anything on producing, moving, storing and shipping actual products from point A to place B. All of this is managed by your supplier.
As you’re the middle man between the seller and the buyer, you have to manage thousands of orders from customers and then orders from the seller. But the actual process – which is managed by software – is fairly simple. You just need to find a good supplier that has quality products at the lowest price.
That said, this business model has its downsides such as a relatively long shipping time. Typically, products are shipped from China, which tends to take a long time. This often negatively affects customer satisfaction. Of course, it’s better if you can find a good supplier of the products close to the bury, but this may not always work.
Because of the long shipping times, your customer might request a refund or to return the product, meaning that you need to be ready to create some small inventory to hold returned products. This might not necessarily be a warehouse, but this is something you must be ready for, particularly as sales increase.
Dropshipping on WordPress vs. DropShipping on other platforms
The popularity of dropshipping first started on Shopify and Oberlo (an extension of Shopify). This combination provided an opportunity to easily resell products from other suppliers. Later on, other platforms hopped on the dropshipping bandwagon and began also offering dropshipping services to their customers. The same thing began happening in WordPress as it’s one of the most popular content management systems in the world. Because of this, many software providers began offering their own dropshipping tools.
Both platforms – Shopify and WordPress – have both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to building a dropshipping business website. For the scope of this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of WordPress.
- Easy setup
Are you hesitant about creating a WordPress shop? Particularly if you don’t have any technical background? Well, you might be surprised to learn that in today’s world running such a business doesn’t require much technical know-how.
Once you set up WordPress, install WooCommerce and give yourself a pat on the back – more than 70% of your job is already done! With WooCommerce, pages like My Account, Shop, Cart and Checkout are already created.
WooCommerce also supports several payment gateways you can’t find on other platforms. It also has a wide range of plugins, so you’ll be able to easily extend the functionality of your shop.
- Choice of theme and plugins
Since WordPress is one of the most popular platforms, it has one of the richest selections of themes and plugins. There are thousands of themes and plugins waiting at your fingertips to meet any kind of customer need. What’s more is that new themes and plugins – both free and premium – are coming out on a daily basis. In other words, there’s a plugin for everything.
Most themes are already responsive and are SEO-ready to improve your Google search rankings. You can choose a general theme like Jupiter X or niche-specific themes that are more lightweight and specially designed for one particular business.
Aside from premium themes – which come with premium support – you can also find free themes. If you’re good at writing code, then you could potentially save a lot.
- Power of open source
WordPress is an open-source software, which means that a community of thousands of enthusiasts develop this platform and its ecosystem of themes and plugins. Being an open-source software gives you the freedom to develop your own tailored features and maximize your customization.
Managing open source software is way more effective than a hosting application as you can change your host anytime you want, you can implement your security rules and tap in the territory where hosted applications are unable to tap into.
Tools that can be used as for dropshipping in WordPress
Since we’ve already decided to choose WordPress as the platform to build our dropshipping business website, we have to choose the main tools necessary to run the dropshipping business. We can divide these tools into two categories:
These are plugins that are necessary to run the business. Without them, you cannot manage orders, buy or sell anything on the site. In other words, you would be unable to dropship.
WooCommerce – This is your store’s engine. WooCommerce is one of the most popular, open-source shop plugins that can be used to sell anything from physical to digital products on your site. Setting up this plugin is fairly easy and does not require advanced knowledge of website development.
A dropshipping plugin – This type of plugin will do the majority of managing your dropshipping business. The main things a dropshipping plugin does includes:
- Importing products from the supplier website, which could be a marketplace like AliExpress or a dedicated site of a brand
- Listing products on your site and managing all product details like price, inventory, description, etc..
- After a product is purchased, the plugin will place the order on the supplier site with the order details
- Managing tracking information. Once the supplier sends the product, the plugin will automatically update the order on your site with the tracking number.
That’s it, these are the minimum requirements for a dropshipping plugin. However, due to high demand for similar plugins, you might want to search for the right plugin that offers features particular to your dropshipping business.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the Ali2Woo plugin, which is free and can be found here.
Tools that are nice to have
Other plugins might not play a direct role in the function of dropshipping, but they could greatly extend the functionality of your website. For instance, there are plugins for newsletters (to send updates on orders), abandoned carts, payment gateways, as well as after-sales automation, among others., This list of tools depends on the particular project and may vary depending on the store owner’s needs.
Now, let’s jump in and learn how to create a simple and functional store by using Jupiter X and the Ali2Woo plugin.
The setup of a basic dropshipping store is fairly easy and can take up to 30 minutes. And by this, I mean you can make the first sale and accept your first payment in this time period. Let’s dive in.
- Set up the Jupiter theme and template
For our purposes, we’ll use the Clothing Shop template, which you can find here. This template is good for shopping for clothes, but you can use it for other purposes if you like the style.
I used the template installation and, in just two minutes, the template was successfully deployed onto my test site:
- Plugin installation and setup
After we installed the desired template, we’re ready to install the dropshipping plugin. To do this, head to WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New, type Ali2Woo Lite, and install it.
While this plugin has a premium version, the free version will do the job.
During the plugin installation, it will ask you to install a Chrome extension, which is necessary for normal functionality, so please follow the instructions and install the extension.
Once you install and activate the plugin, head to the settings and set up the basic aspects of your website. From this page, you can set up rules for the dropshipping plugin such as language, currency, pricing rules for imported products, reviews of the product, shipping details, product description, images, words filtering and nearly everything you need from the plugin. This is how it will look:
3. Searching and preparing products for import
Once you’ve set up the plugin, you’re ready to import products. Ali2Woo works with AliExpress, since the latter is one of the main sources of cheap products from China.
Head to the Search Products page and start searching for products you want to dropship. It will look like the following:
You can search for a nearly unlimited variety of the products you’d like to sell on your site. Once you’ve selected what you’d like to sell, click on the Add Import list. Repeat this step as many times is necessary.
Once you finish searching and adding products to the list, you can then move onto the next step.
4. Products review and import
In this step, you have to review products by adjusting the name, fixing broken description text or images, adding it to the appropriate category and adding tags to the product. Or perhaps you want to add something extra to the name or description – or simply want to change the price – all these tasks happen on this page.
Once you’re finished with this step, click on the Push to shop button, and this will appear in Products on your WooCommerce site.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to accept your first order and get paid for your job. Once someone places their order, the plugin will place similar orders to the supplier with the order details – and all of this is automatically done by the plugin.
Essentially, in this post, we covered how you can build a dropshipping business website with Jupiter X. However, there’s more to it than that. In real life, you’ll definitely want to extend the functionality of your store by adding extra features, analytics, optimizing SEO, implementing security measures, among other things. The good thing is that if you choose Jupiter X as your theme, you’ll be covered since it already has all the above mentioned points.
The dropshipping business model is still on the rise, so, don’t waste any time and set up your million-dollar store as soon as you can! 🙂