Is Shopify Dropshipping Worth It In 2024? 3 Ways It Can Still Make You Money

November 8, 2023

Shopify dropshipping is still worth it in 2024 if you can find a product with proof of concept. Or if you can jump on hot new trends and make a ton of sales before the market gets saturated. Insider Intelligence says there are 2.64 billion digital buyers in 2023. That's 33% of the world's population who are spending money on products they find online. 

Further data suggests that 56.6% of US consumers prefer to shop online instead of in person. But the problem with Shopify dropshipping is that it's not sustainable long term. Unlike local lead generation, that's a well-established business model and a more viable choice if you want to make a passive income online in 2024

What Is Shopify Dropshipping?

The Shopify dropshipping model is a type of order fulfillment where you don't need to own inventory or ship products. Instead, third-party suppliers take care of all of the heavy lifting. Data suggests that over 4.4 million websites globally use Shopify, and it's the top choice for most dropshippers in 2024.

Backlinko says that nearly 1.75 million merchants sell on Shopify. The platform integrates with most dropshipping suppliers. But it also has key features to help you automate processes. Then you can scale your online business fast. Statista reports that Shopify owns 10% of the global ecommerce platform market. In 2024, Shopify is one of the best ways to stay relevant and be a competitive dropshipper. 

Is Shopify Still Profitable In 2024?

Yes, Shopify dropshipping is still profitable in 2024. But you need to consider current economic pressures. People feel less wealthy due to the recession. As a result, they won't spend money on things they want. Instead, they'll spend more money on products they need. According to Abdalslam, the global dropshipping market is set to reach $243 billion by the end of 2023.

The key to profitability is to think of products that consumers are using now, for example, home health and fitness products. (Then they can cut costs with gym memberships). But choose a dropshipping product a customer sees value in. Pick things that solve a problem or are high-quality items that aren't easy to find. The idea is to select products that make customers feel comfortable about spending money. 

Tidio suggests that the number of digital shoppers has increased by 40% over the past five years. But to earn an income with Shopify dropshipping, forget about selling cheap goods. They won't make you money. Instead, find high-quality products you can sell for profits. Then learn how to read the data and keep track of KPIs with tools like BeProfit. As a result, you know what's working and where you need to make changes to drive more sales and increase profit margins. 

Why Do So Many People Fail At Shopify Dropshipping?

So many people fail at the Shopify dropshipping business model because they don't take the time to learn the business. Others have unrealistic expectations and think they can make a ton of money super fast. A lack of capital and poor choices are other reasons people fail. 

To be successful with Shopify dropshipping, first, consider if it is the right business model for you compared to other online business models such as affiliate marketing, Amazon dropshipping, or Amazon FBA. Then learn as much as you can. Dropshipping has a learning curve. Don't try to avoid it. The key is to understand and practice. Learn the right skills like:

  • Building a successful Shopify store
  • Running profitable dropshipping ads
  • Mastering website design & copywriting
  • Becoming an expert in video editing & analyzing data

Things are going to go wrong when you start your dropshipping journey, like suppliers letting you down and customer issues. But this is normal. Dropshippers need to be ready to invest time and be prepared to lose money initially. Then be willing to test and test and test again until you find a winner.

What Are The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Dropshipping On Shopify?

Dropshipping on Shopify has advantages and disadvantages, like testing a ton of products for minimal cash. Shopify and the Shopify app store offer automation and features like Shopify Plus and a Shopify payments option to build and manage your dropshipping company seamlessly. But the business model lacks sustainability. So unless you can find a product with proof of concept and build a brand, you're always chasing the newest trend. There are other advantages and disadvantages to Shopify dropshipping:

Advantages Of Shopify Dropshipping

One advantage of dropshipping on Shopify is that you can start fast and get access to an immediate cash flow.

Another advantage of basic Shopify dropshipping is that you don't need much investment capital to become an online store owner.

The biggest advantage of Shopify dropshipping is that you can sell various products in any niche and from anywhere in the world.

Disadvantages Of Shopify Dropshipping

A disadvantage of Shopify dropshipping and one reason why dropshipping is a bad idea is that you will lose money.

Another disadvantage of Shopify dropshipping is that the learning curve is enormous, and if you don't understand the business model, you may find it hard to stick with it

The most significant disadvantage and why many people quit the dropshipping industry is that anyone can outplay you from the market. For example, ads and websites are too easy to copy; anyone can steal your creatives or undercut your prices.

Is Dropshipping Too Saturated? 

No, dropshipping isn't saturated. More people are indeed doing the business model in 2024. But the products themselves aren't saturated. Consider that there are over 6.7 billion active users on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram that you can sell to. That's billions of people that you can advertise your products. So it's not too late to start dropshipping.

But it's about how you market your product and the products you sell. For example, What markets will you target? How will you set yourself apart from the competition? Develop a unique angle. Even a tiny switch can change your consumer base. But dropshippers can't sell any product they think is cool. Instead, check the data with tools like Google Trends. See what was working in the past. Then check out what's working now. For example, find products that are trending. Next, find products that gel with that trend.  

The key is to stay a step of the curve, like seasons, trends, a specific holiday, or an occasion. It's always data over your opinion. Develop a marketing strategy and dial in on your creatives with video tools like Invideo. How you advertise your store is what drives traffic. Be active on social media and understand the unique needs of your ideal customer.

  • What problems do they have? 
  • How can your product make their life better?
  • What can you offer to invoke emotion and get impulse buys?

Abdalslam suggests that dropshipping stores active on at least one social media platform generate 32% higher revenue. People are shopping online more often, and the number of shoppers is increasing due to smartphone penetration and the colossal growth of the ecommerce industry. But to get in front of a ton of eyeballs, you need to sell a product people want to buy. So find winning dropshipping products and go crazy selling. Then provide the best customer journey you can.

How Much Does The Average Shopify Dropshipper Make?

The average dropshipper makes around 10% and 30% profit. In 2023, a Shopify dropshipping store can earn $100-$100,000 a month. But a more realistic number is $1000-$2000 per month. Data suggests that the average Shopify dropshipper makes around $1300 per month in their first year.

However, this can increase to $2000-$3000 as you get more experience. But you need to learn how to find selling products for your business. Then develop the right strategies to drive a ton of online traffic to your offers, provide excellent customer support, and make sales.

3 Reasons Why Shopify Dropshipping Can Still Make You Money In 2023

1. More People Are Shopping Online

Dropshipping still works because ecommerce continues to make record-breaking numbers when it comes to sales and retail sales. Unless ecommerce goliaths like Amazon die, dropshipping will continue to work in 2024. Statista says that by 2024, global online sales are predicted to reach more than $7 trillion. Dropshipping is just a different way of handling order fulfillment methods in ecommerce.

But it's still the same industry. It's just a business model within a business model (ecommerce) that lets people sell products already in warehouses that consumers want to buy. Of course, it's not the end all and be all. But it is a way to get your foot in the door of business and find proof of concept. In addition, more people are buying products than selling products online, and there is consistent ecommerce growth. 

More shoppers are demonstrating a preference for online shopping. And the offline retail crisis continues to offer new opportunities like social commerce. Research from MarketingDive says it's expected to grow 3X as fast as traditional ecommerce globally. The key is to do product research and know how to find a winning product. Then develop a digital marketing strategy to drive online traffic to your Shopify store.

2. Dropshipping Rules Have Changed

Dropshipping doesn't work the way it worked ten years ago. But it still works. The market is just more saturated because so many people are doing it. Now dropshippers need a massive advantage, or they'll end up losing money. In 2023, it's about knowing how to play with a different set of rules that includes things like:

  • Sell products that meet an actual demand, fill a gap in the market, or solve problems
  • Create a sustainable online store with a user-friendly website
  • Focus on the customer experience and provide a better customer journey than the competition
  • Sell quality products with fast shipping times
  • Get social proof like reviews and testimonials and showcase them on your website and social media pages
  • Design creatives that catch the eye of shoppers
  • Get niche-specific and choose products that have limited availability in your target market
  • Sell on more than one online marketplace
  • Create a unique marketing angle

Use scarcity tactics and FOMO techniques like timers or limited-time offers to increase the perceived value of your products. (Research suggests that urgency, bonus offers, and scarcity in your dropshipping store can double conversions). Take the time to learn and understand the business model. And have a big enough budget to test the market for a couple of products. Dropshipping lets you test products quickly without a ton of risk or capital.

But you need money to run ads and buy dropshipping traffic for your Shopify store. Or have the skills to create videos with virality potential. But even then, it's challenging to get in front of the right target audience. Consider investing in a Shopify dropshipping course to get support from an industry expert. Then you'll learn what mistakes to avoid and how to leverage the best approaches to capture the attention of your target market. But be willing to execute new methods like:

  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Use influencer marketing
  • Host live streams
  • Get active on platforms like Reddit & Quora

The more value you share, the more potential customers you can connect with. Then you'll make a better profit margin as a business owner.

3. New Dropshipping Trends Present New Advantages

Dropshipping is all about the customer experience. In 2024, dropshippers need to be the best in every stage of the buying journey to be successful with the business model. Data suggests that 32% of customers say they'll leave a brand they love after only one bad experience. The key is to offer potential customers customized and personalized shopping.

Then provide a more profound product experience than the competition. According to Salesforce, 84% of people believe that the experience given by a company is just as important as the product or service they are consuming. To get in front of the right people, adopt tactics like:

  • Visual search using AR/VR
  • Create virtual tours & use technology to improve the ecommerce journey
  • Offer digital wallet payment methods
  • Have a BNPL (buy now, pay later) option like Aftepay
  • Provide an ease-of-use website with increased security
  • Offer extra benefits for shopping directly, like referral codes, customer rewards, and discounts
  • Use chatbots or live support on your site

Then create a mission statement. One that aligns with your target market's core values and beliefs, like environmental factors, sustainability, ethically sourced, etc. For example, GWI reports that 58% of consumers will pay more for sustainable products.

Be everywhere. Provide options around communication, shipping, and dial-in on your retargeting. Finally, focus on the customer and be the best solution. SuperOffice says buyers are willing to spend extra for a positive customer experience. So give them what they want, and you can make a ton of money with the business model. 

Does Shipping From China On Shopify Still Work? 

Shipping from China on Shopify will still work if you're prepared only to use it for a short time (2-4 weeks) to reduce the risk. Then when your ecommerce store starts to see consistent sales, order products in bulk. But this will minimize shipping times and reduce customer issues and potential chargebacks. Consider that ecommerce giants like Amazon offer same and next-day delivery.

Research suggests that 32% of customers have abandoned a cart because 'the estimated shipping time was too long.' Shipping times from China are too bad (up to 6 weeks) to use as a long-term solution. In 2024, AliExpress is not the best way to make money with Shopify dropshipping. But if you have to use a  dropshipping supplier from China, be willing to pay a bit more. Then you can get products faster (7-14 days).

Or you can use private wholesalers out of Europe, the USA, and China, who typically offer better shipping times, better quality products, and better communication. Another option is to connect with a wholesaler like Ship To The Moon or CJ Dropshipping. Suppliers and logistics are the most crucial part of your dropshipping business. So do your research, order items to see the product quality, and connect with more than one inventory source. Then you won't have to worry about supply chain issues or a lack of products for your online store.

Is Shopify Dropshipping Dead?

No, Shopify dropshipping isn't dead. The business model is competitive. And the game is a lot different than it was a decade ago. But if you can dominate social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook Marketplace with ads that get people to stop scrolling and take action on your offer. You can still make money as a dropshipper. 

But ads are how you beat out products sold via Amazon. The idea is to be in their face. Advertise showing solutions so they don't need to search Amazon. For example, employ strategies like PPC advertising, viral videos, and TikTok dropshipping for your online store. They just need to click your link and buy your product right now. Show the customer what they want to see. Then you get the sale. But longevity is an issue of the business model. 

In 2024 drop shipping isn't sustainable if you're always selling a trend. As a result, it won't be a passive or automated business. The only way to create passive income in ecommerce is to invest in branding a product with proof of concept. Dropshipping is a way to test products for cheap. But when you find a winner, consider branding your product. Then you can automate and scale fast. 

How To Start A Shopify Dropshipping Business 

To start a Shopify dropshipping business, focus on providing excellent customer service and learn everything you can about the business model. Next, identify the strategy you plan to use to drive online traffic to your offer. For example, you can use organic traffic on TikTok that will run around $300-$400 to start with $50-$100/month minimum plus monthly expenses.

Or you can run paid ads on platforms like Facebook and Google Ads that will cost around $2000-$3000 to start. To make money with dropshipping, you need to test a ton of products as fast as you can. To start a Shopify dropshipping store:

  1. Choosing a profitable drop shipping niche
  2. Finding the right drop shipping products to sell in your Shopify store
  3. Defining your ideal drop shipping customer
  4. Getting a dependable drop shipping supplier
  5. Marketing and advertising your drop shipping Shopify drop shipping store
  6. Delivering the best customer shopping experience possible

1. Choose a profitable dropshipping niche

Dropshipping niches that deliver the best profit margins sell products that solve a problem, fill a gap in the market, are hard to find, or elicit an emotional response from your target customer. Use tools like Google Trends to check out what people are buying now.

Then go to People Also Ask, Facebook or TikTok Made Me Buy It and see what questions people are asking or what products are selling right now. Third-party software like EcomHunt or BigSpy lets you check out competitor ads. See what they're selling and where they're lacking. Can you create a better offer? What unique angle can you develop to grab people's attention?       

2. Find the right dropshipping products to sell in your Shopify store

To find the right products to sell in your Shopify store, you need to sell something people want to buy. What products are trending? Is there an item that's not easy to find? Check out TikTok Made Me Buy It, and Facebook Audience see the products that are going viral.

Then use Google Trends to see what evergreen products are popular. Or visit Amazon and Alibaba and see what is on their most popular lists. Find similar products that you can sell for a price point between $30-$120. The idea is to sell for at least 2.5X more than you pay for the product, including shipping. Then you earn a decent profit margin.        

3. Define your ideal dropshipping customer

Dropshipping is all about customer service and giving people the best shopping experience possible. So learn as much as you can about your ideal client. For example, Where do they hang out online? What questions are they asking? What type of product will make their life better?

The more you understand customer psychology and what drives a person to take action on your offer, the better creative and ad copy you can post. The goal is to get attention. Dropshipping relies primarily on interruption marketing. So you need to create content with a WOW factor. Something that will get people to stop their mindless scrolling and click on your offer.      

4. Get a reliable dropshipping supplier

A reliable supplier is the crux of your Shopify business. As a dropshipper, your only job is to sell products. Find dropshipping suppliers using a Google search or on sites like CJ Dropshipping and Spocket. Or check out Amazon and find other dropshippers. 

Then reverse search to see where they're getting their products. But pick a supplier that doesn't require MOV and can integrate with your Shopify store to make inventory management seamless. Be sure to vet your supplier carefully and ask things like:     

  • How long have they been dropshipping?
  • Where are they located?
  • What kind of customer service & support do they provide?
  • Are there extra shipping costs or added expenses?
  • Can they offer fast shipping times?
  • What is their refund & return policy?
  • Are they willing to send a product sample? Can they ensure high-quality items?

The idea is to find one or two reliable suppliers. Then you have less stress around supply chain issues. And you don't risk running out of inventory.

5. Market and advertise your Shopify dropshipping store

To drive online traffic to your store, you need to advertise. Start with a well-optimized website that's easy to navigate. Your website should have:        

  • Professional images & persuasive product descriptions
  • A clear call to action & social proof (reviews & testimonials)
  • An FAQ & refund & return policy
  • Customer support information & contact information

Advertise your store using organic methods like email marketing. Or share valuable video content with virality potential on YouTube and social media. Another option is to pay for traffic on Facebook and TikTok. But remember, the profit margins with dropshipping are already razor-thin.

Ads are expensive, and the costs are rising. For example, retail Touch Point advises that Meta's CPM has increased by 61% YoY. So monitor campaigns. Don't let ads that shouldn't be spending run the ad spend, or you'll lose money.

6. Deliver the best customer shopping experience possible

Dropshipping is all about who provides the best customer experience. The ecommerce growth rate for 2023 is 8.9%, and global ecommerce sales worldwide are set to hit over $5.9 trillion. That means more buyers are shopping online.

But today's consumer expects engaging and consistent interactions with brands. On more than one channel and more than one device. Dropshippers who want to stay ahead of the competition need to adopt an omnichannel customer journey and focus on things like:     

  • Self-service options like chatbots & personalized shopping
  • Interactive content like video & AR/VR
  • An active social media & online presence
  • Outstanding customer support & easy returns

Be everywhere and provide the best solution to the problem. Answer the questions your ideal audience asks. Then overdeliver, and you can make some real money with your Shopify dropshipping store in 2024.

Why Local Lead Generation Is A More Sustainable Business Model In 2024

Shopify dropshipping is still worth it if you can find an untapped market, a unique angle, or an item people want to buy right now. But dropshipping is about trends. Dropshippers need to sell a ton of inventory before the competition outplays them from the market. It's just too easy for another dropshipper to come in and steal your ad copy and creatives or undercut your prices. The biggest issue with the business model is that it's not sustainable, unlike local lead generation.

Consider that the local lead generation model is a proven concept. The idea is to build and rank micro websites in one location that offer one service. But you're not competing at a national level like with drop shipping. Instead, you use local SEO strategies to get your sites to the top of Google in six months or less. Lead generation is about owning digital real estate. You own the website, the tracking number, and the leads. So no one can outplay you or steal them. Instead, you sell leads to local business owners and secure a passive income.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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