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Build A Drop Shipping Business - Part Three

Build A Drop Shipping Business - Part Three

Tony Cooper  
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Build a drop shipping business part three

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Last Updated
October 12, 2017

Our drop shipping website at CelebrityFab is coming along nicely, and in this post, I'm going to show you how to finish building out the template, add the text for pages that appear in the footer links section and set up the payment system.

To fill out the links in the footer, I created the pages first (about us, contact us, terms and conditions etc.) and then made the links point to the newly created pages. It's straightforward to do. When building links always create the pages/categories/collections first and then you'll be able to see them when you want to create a link.

Adding more pages to Shopify

Once the links have been added to the footer section though, you'll notice they appear in a vertical column. Vertical columns are elegant if you have four columns (like we do here on Storebuilder) but it takes time to grow a site out and add more links. Rather than begin to create extra pages that we don't need at this stage I made the links appear horizontal across the page to fill the space.

Making the links appear horizontal

Here's the code I used to make the links appear horizontal across the footer:

//Make the links in the footer horizontal

.site-footer li {

display:inline-block;

padding-right:15px;

}

Add the above to the end of your theme.scss.liquid file in assets and notice I've added the // comment at the beginning so that when you come back to look at the file at a later date, you know why that piece of code is there. It's always important to annotate your code edits.

At this point, I also deleted all the other themes that I'd downloaded to eliminate any confusion with which files are being edited, removed the “powered by Shopify” byline (in footer.liquid) and amended the links header to “useful links”.

Then I filled in all the text on the newly created pages.

Now for some detail on how I handled the shipping/delivery method:

First of all, I set up advanced pricing rules so that higher-end products have a lower corresponding mark up:

advanced pricing rules

Products from £0 - £10 get a multiplier of x2 (double the cost price) £10.01 to £49 is 1.8 and $49.01 to £500 is a multiplier of 1.5 which is a 50% margin. 

The way that Oberlo works means that the customer will purchase the product through your website and you'll receive the payment into your Paypal account or chosen payment gateway (which I'll discuss in part four).

Becuase you are drop shipping, the products are not being delivered from your origin address, and so standard shipping rates will not apply.

You could set up shipping rates to equate with the weight of the product, but I opted for the more comfortable option of making all shipping costs free and making sure I have enough markup in the product to compensate. This should hopefully persuade more customers to opt for the more extended product lead time as they are getting free delivery into the bargain.

The trick to make this work is to use the Oberlo chrome extension which will allow you to sort products directly through the Aliexpress interface. The Oberlo chrome add-on makes it easy to find all products for your search that are delivered free by ePacket. You can see that in action below:

oberlo chrome add on

Once I'd seen how the Oberlo Chrome add-on worked, I realised that it would be effortless to add more collections to the store. So, as in the image above I've begun to add in nested categories (Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Face Concealer, Eyeshadow etc.) to make the navigation more comprehensive. By tagging items with multiple tags, you can make individual items appear in numerous collections. That makes building out the store easy, and there's no need for duplicate products to achieve the same end.

daytwo

 

It was at this point I suddenly realised that it was going to be possible to create a store with a vast range of products. At the outset of the project I was of the opinion that creating a store with twenty or so products was the way to go but now that I've seen the power of Oberlo and Shopify I've changed my mind. One way to compete with other established stores is to offer a broader range of products. The drawback with this is:

  • It's going to be time-consuming to add thousands of products to the store.
  • What happens if Oberlo disappears? It's not likely but if anything bad happens to them your business will go down the pan with them.

In the UK we don't have retail directories for dropshipping like Aliexpress, but at some point in future, I'm sure we will see Apps for Shopwired and EKM that can achieve the same result.

Import And Export

It took me several tries to get my products successfully imported and to understand what I was doing! When you import products from Aliexpress into your Shopify store, they exist in the Shopify database so you can still retrospectively apply advanced pricing features to the entire set of products.  Very useful if things aren't going so well and you want to reduce the prices across the board to generate more sales. When you do this a handy red "sale" circle appears over the product which looks quite neat. You could of course also increase prices in the same way.

Tagging Products

It's imperative to get your products appropriately organised from the beginning rather than going back and trying to update everything after you have imported all the products. For this reason, I deleted all my products that I'd used to see how everything worked and started again using everything I'd learned to make it better.

Summary

It's taken another four hours to establish how the shipping rules are going to function and how to create lists of products using the Oberlo App that have free ePacket shipping to the UK. That's on top of the 8 hours so far invested in the project, so we are in for a total of 12 hours. The main lesson learned is that you need to be very organised in the way you import products to your store because with so many products to choose from it is going to be very easy to create a messy omelette from which you'll never recover. Adding hundreds and hundreds of products in one go is not the way forward. Far better to take the time to categorise, create a collection and tag your products as you go.

You don't want to be the angry man eating soup with a fork as Noel Gallagher memorably mused of his brother.

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