Shopify Dropshipping: Is It Valid in 2019?
Shopify dropshipping has made a lot of people rich. But, like any business model, it will eventually fade away.
The question is:
Is there still any money to be made with Shopify dropshipping?
How Shopify Dropshipping Works
The dropshipping model is all about selling stuff without keeping inventory. There are three players in this game:
- You (the seller)
- The customer
- Whoever makes the product
If you decided to open a retail store tomorrow, you would first buy the products in bulk and then sell it to your clients. That’s how brick-and-mortar shops operate. It’s also a model that some online stores use. They keep inventory, pack, and ship out the orders themselves.
Unlike that traditional model, dropshipping skips the storage altogether. The manufacturer ships the product directly to your customer. You are just the intermediary—but you might not ever touch the product.
Dropshipping And E-Commerce
Dropshipping in itself doesn’t have to be about e-commerce. You could use snail mail to communicate with the factory and your client and it would still be drop shipping. Shopify is merely a platform for creating online stores.
You can use it to sell products that you physically own…like Martin and I do with Selo Oils.
Or you could use it for dropshipping.
That being said, yes, Shopify is mostly used by drop shippers.
It usually goes like this:
- Set up an online shop on Shopify (there is minimal coding involved)
- Import products from Aliexpress via Oberlo (it’s a free app on your browser)
- Start marketing your store and selling stuff
Shopify Dropshipping: Know Your Competition
Dropshipping seems so easy it makes you wonder:
Why doesn’t everybody do it?
Well, for starters, it sounds easy but like any business, it requires time and money investment. The question in 2019 is:
Does the effort still pay off?
And the answer will vary drastically, depending on who you ask!
Think From A Client’s Point Of View
When you’re trying to sell something, it helps to think about the customer first. This is not some, “The client is always right” BS.
Think about it:
If it were you, why would you buy from your store (and not directly from Aliexpress)?
It will be significantly cheaper if you shop on Ali!
The cool thing about Aliexpress products is they are very cheap. People have literally made millions selling inexpensive stuff with a huge profit margin.
And the best part is:
No matter how big your margin since the original price is so low, you would still have affordable products for your clients.
So The Stuff Is Cheap—But Not That Cheap…?
Yes. When a customer buys from you (as opposed to shopping from AliExpress), they pay for:
- The site that you created (hosting and all)
- All the marketing and paid ads
- Your work
- … and yes, finally, the product
When you buy from an intermediary, the price always goes up. But, in essence, that is what being a merchant is all about. Buying an item and re-selling it for a higher price.
The question is:
In 2019, will people still buy from your Spotify dropshipping business?
Set Yourself Apart
Why The Noobs Are Failing At Shopify
With Shopify dropshipping, you will not typically have instant success. It’s a myth that you can make millions within a few months. Sure, there’s always the one guy who has done it. Props to the dude, it doesn’t mean that you will have the same overnight success.
But those “how this dude made a fortune in months” stories are what draws people in. We are all a bit greedy. If money is your end-goal, the legends of overnight success will surely lure you in. Besides, Shopify dropshipping is not a pyramid scheme. It is a proven business model that works. Smart (but still very greedy) people can see that and success will seem impossibly close.
Plus, the revenue screenshots can be faked. Knowing revenue is worthless without knowing the profit. Someone might have revenues of $5,000,000—but they spent $7,000,000 on ads. The revenue screenshots don’t even have to be faked. You can Right Click > Inspect Element in Google Chrome and change the number to whatever the hell you please. After that usually comes the $997 course sale.
That said, there is one DS course I do recommend—Start Dropshipping Stuff.
James and I go way back and he is the real deal, but, as always, do your own research and draw your own conclusions. I’ve been offered dozens of other dropshipping courses to review, but James is the only one I’ll recommend as of now.
As with anything:
It takes work, time, and a lot of trial and error to make it.
Look at all the huge entrepreneurs. None of them was successful with their first venture. In fact, some of them have failed more spectacularly than ordinary folks can imagine.
The cliché goes that your ability to stand up and keep fighting is what distinguishes a champion. It’s a cliché for a reason. A lot of get-rich-quick noobs will fail at Shopify dropshipping and proclaim it’s over. Because they did not make money, it means nobody can.
What The “Exspurts” Have To Say
As a wise man once said (and I read it in his forum reply), you should be careful of people saying that X is over. Why?
Because those same experts are likely making good money off X.
In the case of Shopify dropshipping, the “experts” you can go to are:
- People affiliated with Shopify/Oberlo. They are often highly educated professionals, running their own dropshipping businesses. That does not diminish the fact that they’re not objective. The Shopify people will tell you it’s all fine and dandy because they make money from you paying for the platform.
- Online entrepreneurship forums and groups. Once again, there are some solid guys there that know their stuff. They have been in the game for a while and they want to share knowledge. While you can use their path to reverse engineer your own road to success, though, no two paths are the same. Besides, people online don’t always tell the full story – sometimes, they can skip important details to seem more important/successful or to make a point. You will never know.
There is an obvious problem with both of those sources. Shopify-affiliated authors are not interested in your success. They are selling the hope of success. Online store owners can offer their genuine advice (which still may not be relevant to the current situation)… or they might misrepresent the facts.
So where do you go for reliable information?
Facts > Opinions
The data on how a company is doing is publically available. Shopify is an e-commerce store builder. How does it stack up to it’s competitors?
- It has a market share of 10.07%
- There have been 12,407 new websites added in the past month (January 2019)
- 1,273 website owners dropped their Shopify stores this month
Clearly, Shopify is growing and it is also one of the top companies in the niche.
Shopify is also the e-commerce platform with the easiest learning curve. It’s main competitor, WooCommerce is self-hosted software. It has infinite customization program. However, it also involves a lot of code and technical details that a beginner might not be familiar with. You need a host like A2, to install WordPress, then to install WooCommerce—and that’s just the beginning stages.
The cool thing about Shopify dropshipping is it makes e-commerce accessible to people that aren’t pro’s with technology. Since it is so easy to get started, though, the number of people that will “make it” is not that high
Shopify Dropshipping In 2019: It Should Be Customer-Centered
Now, let’s look at why beginners fail at dropshipping. If you just read the success stories, it seems like people are just dying to go and buy overpriced Aliexpress crap from you.
Don’t underestimate your prospective customers. The first question you should ask is:
Why would they buy from me?
Are you offering them something that Aliexpress doesn’t? Sure:
- Curated products
- Customer support
- A personal relationship (believe it or not)
- The option to pay by PayPal (on Aliexpress you can only pay with card)
These are all cool advantages. In an age where you can buy anything from Amazon, why would you shop at any other store? Because you are not just buying the product, you’re buying the story that comes with it.
Apple is a shining example of that. You can buy devices with better characteristics but people still have iPhones. It’s because they are buying the lifestyle.
Unfortunately, most aspiring dropshipping entrepreneurs don’t realise that. Their customers (if they get any) only shop from them once. Think about it!
If you want to make $1,000 online and an average order makes you $10, you would need 100 orders. You could:
- Convince 100 separate individuals to shop from your store.
- Build a solid relationship with 20 people and aim for repeat orders.
Customer loyalty is where it’s at in 2019. You are selling the feeling of community as much as you’re selling the product itself. In fact, this is where your entrepreneurial abilities should shine. Otherwise, what are you giving these people that Aliexpress can’t? You are literally selling the same product for a higher price.
For Shopify dropshipping to work in 2019, you should add value. Newbies are notoriously bad at this.
The dark side of greed is it makes you self-centred. Instead of visualising those millions you’ll make, put yourself in a client’s shoes and visualise how the service you are providing will make their life better.
Set Yourself Apart
Shopify Dropshipping: The Verdict
Contrary to what some “experts” might say, Shopify dropshipping is far from over—though it’s necessary to adapt to the market. Don’t get stagnant. Number one rule of business.
Don’t believe the people that hype you up too much, either.
You can be very successful with dropshipping—but it does not mean that everybody will.
As with any other business, time and concentrated effort is the only way to achieve success.
Take your own crack with Shopify here.