Shopify Dropshipping: 7 Steps to Start a Print-On-Demand Business (2024)

Shopify Dropshipping: 7 Steps to Start a Print-On-Demand Business (2024)

Dropshipping is a convenient and low-risk online business model. To start your own dropshipping store with Shopify, you’ll need to pick a reliable supplier with an automated fulfillment process and eCommerce integration.

In this article, we’ll guide you through how to start dropshipping on Shopify using Printify as your dropshipping provider. We’ll cover the fundamental information on dropshipping with Shopify, market research, and store setup.

What Is Dropshipping?

Shopify Dropshipping: 7 Steps to Start a Print-On-Demand Business (2024) 1

Dropshipping is a business model that works as an order fulfillment method for online stores. Instead of selling their own products, dropshippers select products from wholesale manufacturers and sell online at a higher margin.

Shopify dropshippers partner with third-party distributors to handle inventory and shipping. Once a customer places an order in the Shopify seller’s store, their supplier receives the order and automatically delivers it to the customer.

Dropshipping on Shopify involves:

  • Selecting a dropshipping supplier or platform with a dedicated Shopify integration.
  • Setting up a Shopify store using its eCommerce and website-building tools.
  • Deciding on a niche and picking appropriate supplier products to sell on the Shopify storefront.
  • Marketing to increase sales and boost brand awareness.
  • Responding to feedback and providing customer service.

Why dropship via Shopify?

Shopify powers almost 4 million live websites, and 12.3% of these stores have boosted their sales by offering at least one dropshipping product.

Shopify allows integrations with multiple dropshipping suppliers and platforms, providing advantages for independent sellers and entrepreneurs:

  • Low initial investment
  • Zero product inventory
  • Automated shipping logistics
  • Easy setup and flexibility
  • Large product variety
  • Location independent

The platform includes integrated dropshipping apps, analytics plug-ins, and ready payment gateways. Learn more on how to sell on Shopify in our article.

Why Dropship With Shopify and Printify?

Shopify Dropshipping: 7 Steps to Start a Print-On-Demand Business (2024) 2

Printify’s product fulfillment platform has a long-standing partnership with Shopify. Connect multiple products to your own online store – Printify will automatically route orders, produce, and deliver to customers on-demand.

Explore the advantages of selecting the Printify x Shopify dropshipping integration:

Hundreds of Dropshipping Products

Printify has the most extensive dropshipping Catalog with over 900 unique print-on-demand products and frequent new releases.

Simple Mockup Design Tools

Printify’s Mockup Generator offers free online design tools to create your own printed dropshipping merchandise.

Easy Shopify Integration

With just a few clicks to connect your store, you can publish and list custom Printify products using the Shopify integration.

Worldwide Print Providers

Printify has partnered with over 90 Print Providers worldwide with decades of experience in product fulfillment and dropshipping.

24/7 Customer Support

Facing any issues while setting up your dropshipping business? Printify has a dedicated Support Team and Help Center to help.

Create an Account With Printify and Start Dropshipping Today

How to Dropship on Shopify in 7 Steps

Step 1 - Plan the Upfront Costs

Many new entrepreneurs are tempted by the promise of a profitable and completely free eCommerce business but are later disappointed when faced with paying for subscriptions, plans, and apps.

Although dropshipping is cost-effective and low-risk, there are some initial expenses.

You’ll have to pick a plan on Shopify to start your eCommerce business, as well as pay for a domain name and, in some cases, invest in marketing. Start a free trial of Shopify and learn the basics of setting up your online store.

When you’re ready to go live and sell online, prepare for the following factors that influence upfront costs:

The basic Shopify plan costs $39 per month.

However, you can choose to pay less in the long term with an annual cost of $348, equaling a cumulative payment of $29 per month.

Domain prices fluctuate depending on the service provider, the top-level domain, aka extension (.com, .net, etc.), and the competition of keywords placed in the domain.

Most businesses can expect a domain to cost between $10 – $40 annually. However, premium domain names with highly competitive keywords can get up to a three or even four-digit price.

Paying for a product sample is crucial. For every new dropshipping listing you publish, make sure you’re the first to order and see whether it matches the quality standards listed by the manufacturer.

While a consistent marketing budget depends on how much revenue you can afford to invest back in your shop, it’s best to invest initially for at least some exposure and media outreach.

Advertising platforms provide pricing metrics at different budget caps, with social media predominantly determining ad fees per costs-per-click (CPC) or costs per impressions (CPM).

As your business grows and the profit increases, you can rethink the costs, add Shopify dropshipping apps and functions, add new products, upgrade your Shopify plan and theme, and evaluate the best ways to market your store.

Step 2 - Target a Niche

Before launching a store, businesses conduct market research to evaluate the viability of their retail strategy. This allows the store owner to segment its potential market and analyze consumer behaviors to align the store’s name, domain, and design to marketable trends.

One part of market research is picking a dedicated niche. A niche is a market segment of customers with shared interests, needs, and wants. Determine your ideal target audience and discover consumer trends by analyzing a potential niche through various research methods:

  • Social media networks

Using social media as a research channel can be a primary way to discover a potential target audience and determine the marketing channels that users frequent most often.

Join relevant communities, interact with contemporary trends, consider what users are most excited about, and discover the major concerns when purchasing.

  • Keyword research tools

When looking for keywords to use for your business name, product titles, descriptions, and content, Semrush, Ahrefs, and other analytics platforms offer great resources to research a niche and see how online users interact with it based on multiple metrics:

  • User search volume
  • Traffic per region
  • Competitive difficulty
  • Keyword trends
  • Related search terms

Use keyword analysis to consider the scope of your potential target audience, align your content with customer search intent, and find subjects related to your niche and competition.

  • Reviews and focus groups

At the initial stage, you might not have the resources to conduct blind focus group interviews, but it’s still valuable to seek a second opinion from merchants and customers.

You can easily start with family or friends, shared community users, and even move on to finding advice in dropshipping communities, like the Printify Rockstars Facebook Group.

Additional Printify resources: learn more about picking a niche and finding relevant products. 

Step 3 - Pick a Name and a Domain for Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

Ideally, a business name should be simple, memorable, and brandable. Don’t hesitate to use an online brand name generator if you need some help. Consider also researching successful Shopify stores to get more name ideas.

After you have an idea for the name of your Shopify dropshipping store, check if there’s an available domain name on Namecheap,, or other domain registrars.

Shopify offers a free sub-domain, but a tailored one improves SEO and your marketing strategy. Besides, it looks more professional to have your own store domain.

It’s possible to purchase new domains for your Shopify store, but you can also connect and transfer existing ones.

Step 4 - Create and Configure a Shopify Account

Initial Setup

Start by creating an account with Shopify: 

  • Register. Go to Shopify’s homepage and create an account.
  • Authenticate. Check your email box and confirm your email address.
  • Add a store name. Return to Shopify and enter your Shopify dropshipping store name.
  • Finalize your business. Answer some questions about your eCommerce experience, intended sales channels, and personal information.

That’s it. Before launch, Shopify offers a three-day free trial and a $1/month subscription for the first three months on select Shopify plans. However, you won’t be able to make sales during this trial period. 

The Shopify Settings Menu

Adjust the settings of your Shopify store:

  • All Shopify functions.

Navigate through store functions in the Shopify dashboard through Shopify Admin. Access the settings in the bottom-left corner.

  • Payment options.

To add payment gateways like PayPal to a Shopify dropshipping store, go to the Settings page and select the Payments tab on the left-hand menu.

  • Store policies.

You can automate store policies on Shopify by using tools like the privacy policy, refund policy, and terms and conditions generators.

They can be accessed in Shopify’s settings at the bottom of the Checkout section. Make sure your dropshipping partner policies align with Shopify’s.

  • Shipping settings.

It’s possible to configure shipping settings in the Shipping tab. You can also define shipping zones, such as domestic and international.

  • Shipping rates. 

While using Printify with your Shopify store, shipping rates can be configured in two ways. Choose between weight-based or price-based shipping costs (for basic or regular Shopify plans).

For a detailed explanation of how to configure shipping rates, including tips on free shipping, please check this article in the Printify Help Center.


Users with the Advanced Shopify plan or carrier-calculated rates can enable the Printify Shipping Calculator for precise shipping information.

  • Launching Your Store.

To launch your store, click Add an Online Store, which you can find under the Sales Channels option in the Shopify Settings menu.

Step 5 - Looks Matter: Design Your Shopify Dropshipping Store

Your Shopify website is the first impression you give to potential customers. With the immense competition from other eCommerce entrepreneurs, poorly designed websites have less chance of success.

Well-designed eCommerce stores help enhance brand credibility. Maintaining site responsiveness and ease of navigation ensures the customer is less likely to experience long wait times and more likely to continue their purchase.

The platform offers paid and free Shopify themes customized for every kind of business, from Shopify clothing stores to hobbies and crafts. They can be applied to your store from the Admin under the Online Store Menu.

You’re also able to customize Shopify themes. Switch from different themes without losing content or rebuilding the store from scratch. You can start your eCommerce store with a free theme and upgrade it after gaining revenue and experience with your dropshipping business model.

Many Shopify store owners begin with free themes and, as a result, look similar. Therefore, consider upgrading your theme at some point to stand out from the competition. Also, check out some Shopify store examples for inspiration.

The premium themes cost $150 to $380 and can be tested before purchasing a lifetime license. Third parties, such as Out of the Sandbox, Pixel Union, and ThemeForest, provide additional themes.

Design a Logo

Create a logo using graphic design tools like Photoshop or other free alternatives. You can also use Shopify’s free logo maker, guaranteeing a quick and easy way to create a memorable brand.

Step 6 - Integrate Your Shopify Dropshipping Store With Printify and Add Products

Once your dropshipping Shopify store is designed, it’s time to add products and collections. Before that, however, make sure to integrate your Shopify store with a Printify account to automate the order fulfillment process.

You can connect your Shopify account with Printify from either Shopify itself or directly on the Printify platform.

You can also consider alternative Print-on-Demand platforms for starting a dropshipping business on Shopify. Explore other dropshipping suppliers:

Find the top 15 dropshipping suppliers for your eCommerce business.

Integrate Print-On-Demand Products From the Printify Platform

Log in to your Printify account, open the store menu in the upper left corner and click Add new store.

Select Shopify from the available integrations and paste your store’s URL. You can find and copy the URL from the Settings menu on your Shopify page.

Add your Shopify account to continue. You’ll be redirected to the Shopify App Store. Click Install app, and your Printify integration is complete.

Integrate Print-On-Demand Products From the Shopify Platform

Log in to your Printify account. Then, return to Shopify and search for Printify in the Shopify App Store. Click Add app, then Install app.

Printify’s page will open inside Shopify. If you haven’t logged in before, you’ll be able to from here. When you publish the products in your Printify account, the changes will reflect on Shopify.

Adding Products

To add products, go to your Printify account, click Catalog, select a product and create your merch using the Mockup Generator.

After that, go to the My products section to edit the Unpublished product information. Finally, click Publish to create a product listing in your store.

You can customize all Printify product listings in the My products menu. Edit titles, descriptions, tags, Shopify categories, and sync other product details.

Watch our detailed video on how to add and edit your first products with the Printify Mockup Generator.

If you want additional information on what to sell on Shopify or are struggling with designs and product ideas, you can check these articles on our blog:

Using Collections

Shopify collections are an easy way to group your products by category. This lets customers navigate your store more efficiently and purchase products similar to their previous orders. Organize Shopify products into two types of collections:

  • Automated collections.

This collection will automatically add products according to 60 selection conditions that merchants can add themselves, i.e., title, tags, price, or weight.

Automated collections save time and work, but products can’t be removed from them individually. Use this feature for seasonal offers and bulk-upload products.

  • Manual collections.

This collection type includes products picked manually, one by one. This kind of collection allows for in-depth customization but is more time-consuming.


Collections can be added from the Products menu and can’t be altered after their creation.

Step 7 - Market Your Brand and Sell Your Merch

You’ve built your Shopify store, integrated it with Printify, added products, and organized them in collections. Now, it’s time to make your store visible online and start selling.

Market your store to reach a broader audience, promote brand authority, build trust, and cultivate loyal customers. Consider using content marketing, social media, and email marketing channels to boost your dropshipping sales.

  • Social Media Marketing

Create social media content with your Shopify business account using multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more. Consider paid ads, as well as influencer marketing.

Learn more about running Facebook ads, creating an Instagram business account, and how to use TikTok for business.

  • Email Marketing

Send personalized messages to potential customers and create an email mailing list to automate post-purchase and abandoned cart emails and increase conversions. Promote products and content via newsletters.

Learn more about how to create successful mailing lists.

  • Content Marketing and SEO

Create content like blog articles, guides, highlights, and videos to increase search visibility. Use SEO tools to optimize page titles, URLs, website metas, and product descriptions.

Dive deeper into how to improve SEO on Shopify.

  • Shopify Apps to Enhance Your Marketing

Shopify offers multiple useful platform apps and integrations for eCommerce analytics and marketing tools. Check out the best free Shopify apps.

Get the latest trends and insightful marketing strategies on our blog.


Shopify dropshipping is an online business model where, instead of selling their own products, merchants partner with wholesale distributors and list them on a Shopify store. Shopify dropshipping requires zero inventory and has the potential for high-margin sales. 

With Shopify dropshipping, sellers have to research and pick a dropshipping supplier. Then, they create a Shopify store and choose from a selection of dropshipping products offered. They then need to integrate the supplier with Shopify and start selling and marketing.

Set up dropshipping on Shopify with partnered dropshipping suppliers. Create a free Shopify trial account for the first three days and build your storefront. Select a supplier like Printify and choose what to sell from its selection of wholesale products. Finally, integrate your products via the supplier’s Shopify Dropshipping app and start promoting and selling to customers.

Using Shopify for dropshipping is a low-risk way to sell products, and it’s currently the leading eCommerce platform for the online business model. If you’re considering partnering with a dropshipping supplier for free, sign up to Printify and start dropshipping on Shopify right away.

Dropshipping does not involve any additional fees from that of a regular Shopify store. To dropship products on Shopify, you will need to consider an initial budget for hosting fees and marketing.

Dropshipping is conditional on the level of involvement and eCommerce management. Dropshippers can make any amount of money relative to their input and workflow, the profitability of their niche, and the popularity of their brand.

Conclusion – Dropship on Shopify With Printify

The dropshipping business is profitable, and its market share is growing.

Shopify remains a top online store builder, while Printify provides you with the most cost-effective and flexible POD dropshipping option available.

You’ve now learned how to start a successful Shopify dropshipping business in partnership with Printify. In a nutshell, these are the steps you should follow:

  • Plan upfront costs
  • Do market research and choose a niche
  • Pick brand and domain names
  • Create and set up a Shopify account
  • Design a beautiful and SEO-optimized online store
  • Integrate your Shopify dropshipping website with Printify
  • Market, sell, and scale your business with zero inventory.

If you decide that Shopify may not be your best option, check out our article on Shopify alternatives

You may also be interested in comparing different platforms, like BigCommerce vs Shopify or WooCommerce vs Shopify.

Create an Account With Printify, Integrate With Shopify, and Start Dropshipping

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  1. Isabelle Gervais
    January 6

    Hello ,

    I’m a canadien artist and il want to start m’y dropshoping product with my desings on mugs,candles. posters….ect Could Ido it from Canada ? Or is it just for People in the usa ? I starter to do m’y Web site on wix, .Is shopify a better way ?
    Thank you.

    1. Ariel Summers
      February 8

      Hi Isabelle,
      Yes, you definitely can. Here is more information on taxes for Canada. In regards to which sales platform to use, it depends on your goals. This article might be helpful to decide: Good luck! 😉


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