How to create a dropshipping website

By creating a dropshipping website with PrestaShop, you can manage your online sales with a solution that covers all your needs: website design, orders and delivery system, payment system, sales funnel, and more.

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What is dropshipping?

By definition, dropshipping is an economic model based on the sale of supplier services and products from a (dropshipper) through an online store. In a nutshell, Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method where a business doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Starting a business based on the dropshipping model means having no inventory to manage, as the supplier ships the items directly to the end customer.

You can promote your products to an unlimited number of online customers, without worrying about unsold products or shipments. If you want to start up your own dropshipping business, there’s nothing better than the PrestaShop turnkey ecommerce solution to launch your online sales site.

How does the dropshipping model work?
Key steps and best practices:

Choose your area of business and your products well

The first step before starting your dropshipping business is to choose your niche market and your products. In general, merchants choose to avoid creating stores that are too general and instead choose a niche.

A niche gathers together a customer segment with a specific need, limiting the competition on the sales of your products (within the framework of a single-product store).

To find your dropshipping product, you must choose products with the following characteristics: :

  • Well-rated products with verified reviews and a substantial number of orders.
  • Products that can be shipped easily.
  • Products with inspiring, top-quality images.
  • Items with a purchase price that allows you to generate a sufficient profit margin
Marketing tip: Defining your target market & customer base

When selecting your target customer, we advise you to create « personas ». These are the typical consumers you want to reach with the product(s) you have selected when creating your dropshipping business.

Your future items are intrinsically linked to a target category. e.g. Apple vs Microsoft users. Even if these businesses provide similar products, these two types of consumers have different expectations.

Dropshippers must therefore adapt to the needs of their target/persona. In this way, dropshippers will be able to define appropriate targeting for their advertising and marketing activities. Also, when dropshippers create their dropshipping site, it will be easier for them to talk to their prospects and find the keywords the potential online customers use.

Select your dropshipping suppliers

Once you have selected your product, you will need to choose your suppliers. It is important to have several, because if one of them is no longer able to ship your products, you will have to find another one quickly to keep selling.

This can quickly impact your profitability and product purchasing costs and delay delivery.

Make sure that your suppliers are well rated and have already completed a significant number of orders without shipping problems. If necessary, do not hesitate to ask the seller of the marketplace for the stock status.

Create your dropshipping online store with PrestaShop

1. Select a host and a domain name

The hosting of your dropshipping website is a crucial factor. Google is increasingly concerned with the loading speed of sites. Indeed, this can be problematic for your customers who will have to wait for the page to be displayed and it may not offer the expected user experience if your website is not optimized at its best.

To choose the name of your site, also called the domain name, you can use our business name generator. It will allow you to easily find an evocative name for your online store and your brand or to give a name to your products.

We recommend the solution of one of our partners to obtain fast and secure hosting.

2. Create your dropshipping site

For the creation of your dropshipping store, we advise you to use a free open source CMS such as PrestaShop. This will allow you to reduce your website creation costs but also your annual fees. Moreover, the features of your site will be easier to handle.

3. Import your first products

Once your website is installed on your hosting, it’s time to import your products to bring them to market. Thanks to our CMS, you can easily create your pages and differentiate your products by variants:

  • Color
  • Category
  • Size
  • Price
  • Manufacturers and suppliers
  • Promotion (marketing)

Another advantage is that you can import your product flow directly via a CSV file on your dropshipping store to gain efficiency and save time.

The personalization of product pages also involves a particular writing process. For this, we offer you an SEO-friendly text editor to help you rank in the search results and take your brand to the next level.

4. Set up your payment method

The advantage of PrestaShop is the number of secure payment systems available. Accessible from PrestaShop Marketplace, you can choose flexible payment solutions.

Payment methods can be set up directly through your bank’s services or you can choose from the online payment solutions offered by our partners.

5. Shipping method

This is arguably one of the trickiest parts of dropshipping. Depending on the products and their fragility, dropshippers must take into account the geographical location of the supplier as well as the shipping costs. This is to be included in the price determined for the products.

Among the many features related to the logistics management of your ecommerce site, PrestaShop offers modules with the services of the largest shipping companies.

Start creating your dropshipping website now

Implement digital marketing actions

That’s it, you’re finally ready to start promoting your dropshipping website.

Choosing the right channels for your target is essential, and the action levers and web marketing strategies are numerous:

  • Natural referencing
  • Advertising (SEA, Display, YouTube, social networks)
  • Marketplace
  • Affiliation

For all the marketing strategies mentioned above, dedicated modules are available. For this, you can search on PrestaShop Marketplace, the place dedicated to PrestaShop modules, and add the necessary features to your dropshipping store.

Regulation of personal data for dropshipping

As an online seller and more precisely as a dropshipper on the internet, you become responsible for the data collected, its protection and its use. In addition, you are obliged to ask for the Internet user’s consent by informing them:

  • Of the data collected and the tools used: gender, age, email address
  • Of the purposes for which the collected data will be used: marketing, tracking, sending emails
  • Legal notices, Privacy policy, Terms and conditions

For this purpose, PrestaShop provides you with cookie consent modules in accordance with the current laws defined by the EU. Go to PrestaShop Marketplace to choose the most suitable one.

Make your first online sales now

Congratulations, your ecommerce website is finally ready to welcome its first visitors!

As a first step, we advise you to test out various communication types with your target audience to understand and identify which hooks and messages are the most closely linked to purchase intent.

As you experiment, your strategy will reveal which channels are the most suitable and profitable for your dropshipping store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dropshipping profitable?

To ensure the profitability of a dropshipping store, it is important to carry out a preliminary market study in order to propose innovative and original products.

In addition, the control of purchase and resale costs is essential in order to make a profit, especially:

  • Shipment costs
  • Purchase price
  • Advertising expenses
  • The profit generated by each sale
  • Your break-even point

Is dropshipping legal?

Dropshipping is legal. Indeed, a merchant or e-merchant is not obliged to possess a stock of items to comply with the law.

Nevertheless, this practice is subject to VAT as well as to potential customs duties on imports.

Is dropshipping a risky business?

Terms and conditions of sale and use, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), customs duties, product compliance, etc.

In dropshipping, if the seller is an intermediary, they are also legally responsible for what they sell.

Like any business, we advise you to be in compliance with the laws in force.