Shopify is an online-based tool that makes it possible to build an ecommerce store. Additionally, Shopify is also sometimes seen as a synonym for certain type of ecommerce: dropshipping. In dropshipping the owner of an ecommerce store is ultimately just a middleman who forwards the information of a customer’s order placed in their store to the manufacturer of the ordered product. The manufacturer is then supposed to make sure that the customer gets what they ordered.
In other words, despite of selling products in their store, those engaged in dropshipping really never buy products for their store. As a result, dropshippers also don’t have to take care of packing and shipping products. Those who do dropshipping generate profit by pricing products higher in their store than the price they have to pay for the manufacturer to take care of practically everything related to the products is.
Given how easy dropshipping is, it is no wonder that a large number of people have been attracted to it when looking for ways to make money online. And the interest towards dropshipping was taken to the next level when videos in which people claimed to be making significant amounts of money in very short periods of time, started to appear on Youtube.
That then led to a lot of people opening a Shopify account and starting their own droshipping business. However, as more and more people realized that making money with dropshipping might not be as easy as they had hoped, people understandably started to question if Shopify+Dropshipping is even worth spending money and time on. (While dropshipping itself is practically free, Shopify charges for using their service for dropshipping).
And now in 2021 the questions about if you should even bother trying Shopify and dropshipping appear to be becoming increasingly common. And as I have some knowledge about both dropshipping and Shopify, I have decided to try to provide an answer to those questions. The answer is in form of an FAQ followed by a conclusion.
Can you still make money with Shopify dropshipping?
Yes. There are still new Shopify-stores opening that make good money with dropshipping. A proof of this is the successful new business that get listed on marketplaces such as Shopify Exchange and Flippa.
Below is a picture of couple of recent examples from Shopify Exchange, both of them are rather new and quite successful Shopify-stores. The amounts of money mentioned in the picture refer to the asking price. The store listed on top in the image was for sale for 3x the stated monthly profit and the store listed below was for sale for 3.5x the stated monthly profit.
Is it more difficult to make money with Shopify than it used to be?
Yes. The ever-increasing competition has led to, for example, prices for advertising going up. Additionally, as customers become more aware of marketplaces such as AliExpress, they are increasingly likely to buy straight from them, instead of buying from a dropshipping-store with marked-up prices.
What is often left unsaid when discussing successful Shopify stores?
Costs. A lot of people hyping their success with Shopify and dropshipping conveniently only highlight the revenue they generate and don’t discuss how much it cost to generate that revenue. In other words, you shouldn’t assume that someone generating a lot of revenue is running a successful Shopify store. If they don’t reveal their costs, it is possible that their real business is built around them appearing more successful than they really are.
How can you be successful in dropshipping in 2021?
If you want to make money with dropshipping in 2021, it is instrumental that you do proper market and product research: find the products that are going to be hot, but are not that quite yet. That is because that way you will be able to generate sales but do not have to go against people who might have an information and budget advantage over you.
Additionally, you need to be willing to invest a lot of time and effort in making sure that your ads and store convert well. It should also be beneficial to start treating ecommerce as a long-term business and not as something you do to quickly generate money: one of the main reasons why companies such as Amazon are so successful is that they have over the long term been able to establish a well-known brand.
How much should the cost of Shopify-plans matter when deciding if you should try dropshipping?
Very little. Shopify’s cheapest regular plan costs $29/month. While it is obviously some money, it is a relatively irrelevant amount of money in the context of trying to operate a high-volume dropshipping business – most dropshipping businesses aim to be high-volume as the margins per product are low.
Conclusion: Is Shopify worth it in 2021?
It can be. But only if you are willing to be serious about ecommerce & dropshipping and realize that it is not an easy way to make money.