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Traditionally, starting a business is capital-intensive. You need money to rent a storefront, buy inventory, hire employees and display advertisements. Dropshipping has changed that. Today, with a small budget, you can start and run an online store in a few clicks.

WooCommerce dropshipping allows you to sell products online without buying inventory. You only need a target audience and a great marketing strategy, then you partner with a supplier of a high-quality product. As simple as it sounds, this used to be a costly feat.

Nowadays, you can use plugins to turbocharge your online business. WooCommerce dropshipping plugins automate critical business processes, allowing you to focus on growth.

So where do you start? In this guide, you’ll see why WooCommerce is an excellent tool to run your dropshipping business. Then, you’ll learn the steps to setting up an online store that’s ready to go. Read on to discover:

WooCommerce dropshipping 101

WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. It allows you to configure an eCommerce store attached to a WordPress website. It’s free to use and easy to set up.

You may wonder why WooCommerce is an excellent platform to run your dropshipping business. A report by Datanyze indicates that WooCommerce is the go-to solution for 40% of eCommerce businesses, which is the highest global market share among its competitors. Why is it so beloved?

Here’s just a taste of what the WooCommerce add-on enhances:

  • Inventory: You can sync your inventory to a supplier to detect when their stock level is low, which keeps you from overselling.
  • Orders: The plugin helps you organize order information. For example, you can send it to the supplier in a CSV file, with a single click, which simplifies order fulfillment. You can also make orders directly from your dashboard.
  • Suppliers: WooCommerce helps you manage the different dropshipping suppliers your business will rely on.
  • Payments: You can integrate with various payment gateways, like PayPal for WooCommerce or WooCommerce Payments, so you can accept payments in the customers’ preferred methods.

You’ll reap many other benefits by using WooCommerce for your dropshipping business. Consider some more, in-depth.

The benefits of dropshipping with WooCommerce

WooCommerce seamlessly integrates with WordPress. This is because Automattic (the company that heads WordPress) is also the developer of WooCommerce.

WooCommerce has a large community of users, each contributing to solutions for common and uncommon problems. Your online store will run smoothly since most of the issues you’ll ever encounter have already been identified and resolved by another person.

The plugin is highly customizable. You can entirely adapt WooCommerce to your business requirements. Connect to whichever suppliers you want, radically change your user interface, create new functionalities by using plugins and build whatever you envision.

Although some other platforms restrict the types of products you can sell, WooCommerce doesn’t. You are free to sell anything you want. On the other hand, abide by the law for your own good.

With WooCommerce, you have tighter control over your budget, enabling you to keep your online store running. Unlike some other eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce is completely free — no recurring payments. You only pay if you need access to specific features or plugins.

WooCommerce also has a strong developer community, which consistently works on security patches to fix vulnerabilities. You can always do more to protect your dropshipping store, as there are many ways to reinforce WooCommerce you can implement from your couch.

The benefits of dropshipping with WooCommerce.

Your hosting provider will be one of the most impactful factors in your website’s security, so pick one that understands your circumstances. Bluehost, for instance, has specialized WooCommerce hosting plans that offer responsive, 24/7 customer support to help build your online store and deal with error messages that arise.

You’ll discover more benefits to this plugin as you progress in your WooCommerce dropshipping journey. But now that you know what WooCommerce does, the next question is: How do you set up dropshipping?

Dropshipping with WooCommerce

1. Purchase a domain.

2. Install WordPress.

3. Install and configure the WooCommerce plugin.

4. Install plugins to find dropshipping suppliers.

5. Install plugins to automate your business.

Below, you’ll learn how to set up an eCommerce website that’s ready for dropshipping. If you’re unsure about how the business model works, check out our guide that describes making a dropshipping business plan, step by step.

You can create a functional WooCommerce dropshipping store, with no hassle, by following the steps.

Purchase a domain

You’ll need a domain before you begin. A domain enables your website to be hosted on the internet at a specific digital address. If you don’t have a domain, pick a provider; they’ll give you instructions on purchasing one. For convenience, here’s how to buy a domain from Bluehost.

Head to the Bluehost control panel and log in or create an account. Once you’re signed in, you’ll see a screen like the one below.

This is the Bluehost control panel.

From the sidebar on the left, go to Domains > Purchase Domain. Type in your preferred store name, and Bluehost will check its availability. If the name you entered is available, add it to your cart.

Add your domain to the cart in the Bluehost domain name search tool.

Once it’s added, initiate checkout by clicking on the shopping cart icon on the top right corner of the page. A popup will show the particulars of your cart. Click on Go to Checkout.

A domain name and its extra features, ready to purchase.

Verify your account by following the steps provided, then finalize the purchase by submitting your credit card info or other payment details. The domain is now yours. It will show up in the My Domains section of the control panel.

This is where to see the list of domains you own via Bluehost.

After acquiring a domain, move on to installing WordPress.

Install WordPress

There are two ways to proceed; both require a hosting plan.

For the most simplified route to setting up your dropshipping store, pick from Bluehost’s specialized WooCommerce hosting plans. They come with an express installation of WordPress and WooCommerce, plus over $450 worth of plugins already added.

With the online store preconfigured, you can already add an unlimited number of products, accept payments securely, print shipping labels and maintain customer accounts.

If you’re wondering about customization, you can download templates for everything from product pages to cart abandonment notifications.

If you want to install WordPress manually, that’s also easiest with Bluehost.

Log in to your Bluehost account control panel. Navigate to Marketplace > Hosting. Select a suitable hosting plan and add it to your cart. Proceed to checkout and submit your payment details.

Bluehost has an array of WordPress hosting plans.

Once your hosting plan is confirmed, navigate to My Sites and click Add site. You should land on the page shown below. Provide a website name and a tagline for your WordPress store. Click Next.

Choose your new WordPress site’s name and tagline.

In the next step, provide your domain name and a directory for your WordPress installation. If this is your first website on this domain, ignore the directory box and click Next. Bluehost will automatically install WordPress.

Choose the domain and directory you'd like to use.

When the installation completes, navigate back to My Sites. You should see a list of all your websites.

You’ll see a list of your active websites.

At this point, your WordPress website is ready for use. The next step is to get your WooCommerce set up.

Install and configure WooCommerce

It’s time to set up and configure WooCommerce so you can start adding products. The steps below will guide you through the configuration process.

From the Bluehost account panel, specifically the My Sites tab, click Manage site. It will lead you to the website’s dashboard. In the top right corner, click on Log into WordPress.

Each individual website has a dashboard.

WordPress will load in a new browser tab. In the WordPress menu, navigate to Plugins > Add New.

Add a new plugin by clicking here on your WordPress dashboard.

On the plugins page, use the search field to type “WooCommerce” — press Enter to find the WooCommerce plugin. Click Install Now, as shown below.

The WordPress dashboard’s plugin search results page.

After installing the WooCommerce plugin, the Install Now button will turn into Activate. Click on it to activate the plugin.

The plugin’s install button turns into an activate button.

After activation, WordPress will redirect you to a setup wizard for WooCommerce. Start setting up your online store by clicking Set up my store.

This is the WooCommerce setup wizard.

The setup wizard will request that you select the option that best describes you. Pick one and click Continue.

Choose the option that best describes you.

The second stage is where you provide a store name, select the type of product or service you’ll be selling and disclose the location of your business. Click Continue after providing this information.

Fill in some basic information to describe your store.

In the next step, you select the free features you’d like to preinstall. Uncheck the perks you don’t anticipate needing. Then, click Continue.

A list of free add-on features from WooCommerce.

The wizard will ask you to connect your account to WordPress. Then, it will finalize the installation and redirect you to a page where you add your first product.

Speaking of products, you’ll need to find yourself some suppliers.

Install plugins to find dropshipping suppliers

To thrive, you’ll need high-quality suppliers to source your dropshipping products. This is the core of your WooCommerce dropshipping business. So how do you find a supplier?

There are plugins for that. For your convenience, here are some popular dropshipping supplier plugins:

  • CJdropshipping.
  • Spocket.
  • Syncee.
  • SaleHoo.

To find a suitable dropshipping supplier plugin on your own, follow the steps below.

Related Content:

Picking a WooCommerce dropshipping plugin that offers the right features and tools can be a game-changer. Learn more about what WooCommerce drop shipping plugin is right for you

Navigate to the WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New. To find new suppliers or supplier directories, type “supplier” in the search field and press Enter. Please note that only some of the results will be plugins made to find you suppliers. Simply check the plugin descriptions to distinguish supplier plugins from the rest.

Search the word "supplier" on the plugins page.

Scan the results and identify plugins with over 700 active installations.

Reputable supplier plugins can be found by searching WordPress.

Install the plugin of your choice and activate it. Each plugin allows you to explore and import dropshipping products from various suppliers; on some plugin dashboards, you can order directly from suppliers. Most supplier directory plugins require you to purchase a membership.

Keep in mind that unreliable dropshipping suppliers will reflect poorly on your business. If a supplier fails to notify you when specific products run out of stock, or they deliver products late, that’s a sign to immediately change suppliers. Do your due diligence with research to ensure you only work with the best.

Where possible, ensure the suppliers are in the same region as your customers. This drastically reduces shipping times, which helps you get positive customer reviews.

Next, consider WordPress plugins that automate your WooCommerce dropshipping website.

Install plugins to automate your business

These are the search results for WooCommerce extensions.

As a dropshipper, certain plugins are literally made for you. They’ll help you get the most out of WooCommerce, support your efforts and hasten your growth.

Here are some of the best options to consider:

  • AliNext: This add-on imports handpicked AliExpress products to sell online. Furthermore, AliNext enables you to create flexible pricing rules in your online store, which is handy if you have a big catalog. You also can make AliExpress orders in bulk.  It’s a great entry point to AliExpress dropshipping.
  • Dropified: With this extension, you can find dropshipping suppliers and list their products directly on your online store. The best part is that when you receive an order, in a single click you can forward it to the supplier. The supplier will pack and ship the order for you.
  • Klaviyo: This helps you form personalized customer relationships. You can send personalized emails and SMS at scale, an important function to stay relevant to your customers.
  • Google Feed Manager: You can integrate Google Merchant Center with WooCommerce, allowing your dropshipping products to appear in Google searches. But to submit you products to Merchant Center, you’ll need Google Feed Manager, which organizes your products in Google’s preferred, optimized format.

You can find more useful add-ons on the WooCommerce extensions page.

Final thoughts: The essential guide to set up WooCommerce dropshipping

Thanks to WooCommerce, within a few hours you can easily set up a fully functional dropshipping business and start selling. After you install WordPress and WooCommerce, start collecting plugins to find reliable dropshipping suppliers and automate your business.

With specialized WooCommerce hosting plans from Bluehost, nearly everything you need for your WooCommerce dropshipping website comes preinstalled, which means you get started with just a few clicks. Plus, your business will be launched with a reliable host that guarantees high uptime and has excellent customer service.

WooCommerce dropshipping: FAQs

What is the most important component of a WooCommerce dropshipping store?

You can’t run a WooCommerce dropshipping store at all without a solid WordPress website. Other than that, a good dropshipping strategy is based on a lucrative niche and a high-quality product from a reliable supplier. You’ll also need a smart marketing strategy and plugins to automate your business.

Is WooCommerce a heavy plugin?

No. WooCommerce is one of the friendliest WordPress plugins. It has been fine-tuned for years to work seamlessly with WordPress. On its own, WooCommerce doesn’t slow down your website. However, your website may become sluggish if you install a high number of plugins.

What are the key plugins and tools recommended for WooCommerce dropshipping?

To successfully run a WooCommerce dropshipping store, you’ll need WordPress, WooCommerce, a supplier plugin, a payment gateway, a Google Analytics plugin, and a cart abandonment plugin.
WordPress is the foundation on which your dropshipping store is built. WooCommerce lets you build, customize and manage your dropshipping store efficiently.
Supplier plugins enable you to discover products, import them to your store and forward the orders to suppliers. The payment gateway is so you can receive money from customers. If the user doesn’t end up buying, the cart abandonment plugin will help rectify that. Lastly, you’ll want Google Analytics to track your store so you can improve over time.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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