How do I set up a dropshipping website

How we built an online shop from scratch and generated $ 922 in sales in 3 days

It all started with a challenge:

We wanted to start an e-commerce business from scratch and then see how many sales we could generate in three days.

For many aspiring entrepreneurs, building their first business is pretty nerve-wracking: There are hundreds of different steps, ways, and ways to start your own business and drive traffic and sales. It is therefore best to just start once. That was our challenge.

Most of the time, however, the entire process of setting up and starting an online shop is over-analyzed and thus leads to paralysis by analysis. The truth, however, is that running an e-commerce business can be pretty easy - if you want to.

We were not only enthusiastic about our self-imposed challenge, but also saw it as an opportunity to show others that setting up an online shop cannot be overly complicated, cost a lot of money, involve a great financial risk or take a lot of time got to.


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In this case study you will learn step by step and exactly how we decided on a product for sale, found a supplier and sold products worth almost 1,000 euros within just a few days.

Table of Contents:

  • 1. First steps and tasks
  • 2. What should we sell online?
  • 3. Deciding on an e-commerce business model
  • 4. Find a good quality dropshipping provider
  • 5. Ordering product samples
  • 6. Determination of the product price
  • 7. Creation and conception of a brand
  • 8. Creation of product labels
  • 9. Product photography with our smartphones
  • 10. Setting up our Shopify store
  • 11. Sales channels and marketing strategies
  • 12. General setup and marketing expenses
  • First steps

    In most cases you need something Money to make money. We decided to give ourselves a modest, but noteworthy start-up capital of 500 euros to start our business.

    In this article, we explain how to create a business plan for your company - including a template!

    Before we started, we sat down at a table to clarify the tasks that had to be done to get the business started.

    After a quick brainstorming session, we agreed on the following tasks:

    • Determination of the product to be sold
    • Selection of a suitable business model
    • Researching a supplier
    • Ordering samples
    • Determination of prices
    • Building the brand
    • Establishment of the online shop
    • Taking product photos
    • Creation of blog content
    • Setting up social media accounts
    • Launch / market introduction
    • Testing different marketing channels
    • Generating traffic
    • Generate sales

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    What should we sell online?

    Since we had already written the guide to finding products to sell online, we naturally started with it. We only had three days for the entire implementation. So we decided to concentrate on the chapter that deals with current product trends.

    Tip:You can find a very current article on the subject here.

    The ten products described in the book were just as good to start as any other product. We then took a close look at each of the products described there and discussed them in detail.

    After some discussion, we realized that we all liked the idea of ​​selling matcha tea, a finely ground green tea powder that is mainly grown in Japan.

    Reading tip: Do you need more ideas? How about print-on-demand products? You can find all about it here.

    We chose matcha tea for various reasons:

    • It's a trending product.
    • It's relatively light and easy to ship.
    • It usually comes in a can or a sealable bag, which makes it very durable.
    • Demand is relatively stable across all seasons.
    • Matcha is a consumable item, which makes it ideal for customer loyalty and recurring sales.
    • Matcha is a real passion for tea lovers.

    Podcast: Janet Carstensen also had the dream of her own business. She systematically searched for trendy products - and found two! Here she reveals how she proceeded and what tips the likeable Hamburg woman has for your business. You will also learn how Janet has convinced in "The Lions' Den".

    However, as we quickly discovered, the idea also had some potential problems and drawbacks:

    • Matcha (in the quantities the average person would buy) is a relatively inexpensive product ($ 20 to $ 30).
    • So if you opt for a dropshipping model here, the margins would be correspondingly lower. With such a cost-effective product, this would bring with it its very special challenges.

    With these pros and cons in mind, we ultimately decided that matcha would still make a great product for sale online.

    So it was time to get the hang of it.

    Reading tip: Are you interested in the tea business? Paper & Tea have perfected it! You can find the whole story here.

    Decision for an e-commerce business model

    The next step involved determining our e-commerce business model.

    From the start there were a few things that we knew would make our decision easier. For example, since we only had a few days to build the business and generate revenue. B. realized that we had to sell directly to end customers instead of wholesale to other companies.

    We also decided to offer matcha via dropshipping instead of producing or having the tea produced ourselves. Granted, producing our own product would most likely have given us a better margin. Even so, we chose the dropshipping option because it gave us a quick start without having to worry about managing or shipping inventory.

    We give you an overview of all tips and topics on dropshipping here

    To the dropshipping tips

    Find a good quality dropshipping provider

    In our mission to find a suitable dropshipper, we paid attention to the following: He should offer his services at a low price, be able to grant us the rights of use as a private label and also be reliable with low shipping costs.

    First of all, we looked locally. A simple Google search for different terms such as B. "dropshipping tea toronto”, “wholesale tea supplier toronto" and "wholesale tea toronto”Gave some results.

    We emailed the vendors among the first results to see if they would be interested in working with us. Unfortunately, this more or less led to a dead end.

    We learned that the majority of wholesalers and suppliers in the tea business wanted to protect their own brand and were not interested in providing a private label program.

    The local vendors were more geared towards working with resellers who would sell their teas in a tea shop or café. However, that was not what we wanted.

    So the search continued as we broadened the scope of our search.


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    Expansion of our search terms for product suppliers

    The new search terms were "tea and coffee dropshipper ""tea suppliers""white label tee""own brand tea""tea wholesaler". The results here were rather confusing and widely scattered.

    It is really not easy to find a supplier. A back and forth email with multiple suppliers revealed that in most cases no one wanted to work with us without weekly minimum order quantities.

    However, since we were still at the very beginning, we could not guarantee any minimum purchase quantities.

    At this point we went deeper into the research.

    Arrived on the 10. On Google's side, we started to feel a little discouraged. However, one thing became clear to us: The best way to be taken seriously by a contact person is to actually pick up the phone and speak to someone in person.

    It's a little scary to talk to someone and essentially introduce them to their (non-existent) business over the phone. But that is usually what works best and has proven successful in our case as well.

    After all the research, we ultimately found a dropshipping supplier that offered everything we were looking for. The supplier convinced us with the following:

    • Low cost per unit
    • Private labeling (the use of our own brand name and corresponding labels on the product)
    • packaging
    • Low shipping costs within the US

    One of the best things about the dropshipper we selected is that the company is run by people who really care about the product.

    They were ready to discuss the details with us over the phone or email and were always available to answer our questions.

    Reading tip: We present 10 online business ideas with low capital requirements (without any inventory!) Here.

    Ordering a product sample to evaluate the quality

    Before we could go any further, we had to request product samples for testing and assessment. Of course, we had to try the tea before we could offer it for sale. We also needed the samples for our first product photos. So we ordered a can by express delivery.

    Unfortunately, the cost of shipping to Canada was $ 30 due to the supplier's shipping restrictions. Due to the high shipping costs for delivery to Canada and other countries outside the US, we quickly realized that we would be limited to shipping within the US.

    After receiving the sample, testing started in the office. For this we recruited some passionate tea and matcha drinkers to get their expert opinion. The reaction of all test drinkers was consistently positive.

    Now it was time to take the next step.


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    Determination of the product price

    We wanted to create something in the direction of a premium brand and therefore had to set the price accordingly. We did some research to see what price similar products were being offered for. The price ranged from $ 15 to $ 30 for 30g of matcha.

    Ultimately, we agreed on a retail price of $ 24.99. Our cost was $ 10.25 per can. So we were at a profit margin of almost 60 percent for every unit sold. In the world of dropshipping, a margin of 60 percent is considered quite high.

    Looking at various psychological pricing strategies, we knew that most customers associate price with quality. This concept worked in our favor.

    Reading tip: We explain here how to calculate your product prices in dropshipping.

    Creation and conception of a brand

    With our higher price point in mind and the knowledge of the current trend towards a full, pure and healthy lifestyle, it was clear to us that our shop and our brand should reflect exactly this.

    We looked at a few different brands and lifestyle companies operating in the same environment, including SkinnyMe Tea, Lululemon, and some lifestyle-focused Instagram accounts.

    Here we observed a few similarities in terms of design and color: Lots of empty space, tidy formatting and various text techniques that were used to paraphrase the concept of “a better self”.

    And in the end, it was precisely on these elements that we focused our attention. As you will see below, this is conveyed through our messages and the branding of our shop.

    Reading tip: Do you need a few examples of really good brands? Here we introduce you to 20 of them!

    Assignment of a company name

    When it came to the company and product name, we were looking for something that would be simple and accessible. We decided to try a few name generators, including the Shopify name generation tool itself.

    After some brainstorming and searching through the various services, we narrowed our list to 12 candidates:

    • Pure matcha
    • Matcha love
    • Zen Matcha
    • Official Matcha
    • Touch of Matcha
    • Taste of Matcha
    • Hello Matcha
    • Daily Matcha
    • Inspire Matcha
    • Matcha Lux
    • Dreaming Tea
    • Dreaming Matcha

    In the end we agreed Hello Matcha. Hello Matcha was simple, friendly, easy to remember and reflected the brand we wanted to build. The “.com” was also available for this.

    Design of a simple and effective logo

    In terms of logo, we were looking for something that would reflect the “pure”, “fresh” and “pure” character of our brand, which was currently being built.

    Had we had more time, we would probably have considered bringing in a graphic designer who would then have helped us create a logo that perfectly fits our brand. Unfortunately, our schedule didn't allow that.

    None of us on the team are designers, but we have a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop. So we ended up with a logo that mostly relied on the use of a font instead of extensive graphic design.

    Do you also need a logo? We'll show you how to get the perfect logo in 3 different ways

    Click here for the logo guide

    After some adjustments and a bit of back and forth in terms of the font, our logo was ready to use.

    We used a simple sans serif font and one of the standard special shapes in Photoshop for our tea leaf.

    The final result:

    Not too complicated, but it conveys our message and looks great in different sizes too. It was perfect for us.

    Creation of product labels

    The next step involved creating product labels. Some voting rounds were necessary here. Since we didn't ship the product ourselves, we had to make sure that the labels were the right dimensions, the correct color profile, and as high quality as possible - all without being too expensive.

    After a conversation with our dropshipper, we received the exact dimensions for the labels, which we could then start with. We made a few different designs in Photoshop, all of which were relatively simple but very effective.

    Some of the accents that the label should have included were:

    • logo
    • instructions
    • Our social media presence
    • A quote on the topic of healthy lifestyle and tea

    After a good 30 minutes we had developed several variants:

    Here they are, printed out on regular computer paper:

    We then agreed on the final label for printing:

    We then ordered a few test versions of the label sticker from a local print shop very close to our office at a price of around $ 16.95. The point here was simply that we wanted to check the actual feel, quality and appearance of the labels.

    It was a fantastic feeling to hold the stickers in my hands and watch the product slowly develop.

    After we had picked up the printed samples and were satisfied with them, we sent the print document to the online printing company StickerGiant. The cost was $ 85.56 for 250 label stickers.

    W.