Dropshipping 101: Top 11 Successful Shopify Dropshipping Stores To Learn From
Having some trouble getting your dropshipping store off the ground? Chapter 3 of PageFly’s Dropshipping 101 series has you covered. Everyone needs a little inspiration from time to time; our list of the 11 most successful dropshipping stores is proof enough that dropshipping dreams are never beyond your reach.
Below, you’ll learn what the big guys do so well and how you can recreate that success for your own store!
I. The 5 Hallmarks of a Successful Dropshipping Store
There’s two truths about dropshipping that many newbie dropshippers conveniently forget: you don’t become a success overnight and you don’t become a success by chance.
If you’re looking for a successful dropshipping store, you’ll be looking for some of these 5 hallmarks:
1.1. Unique selling point (USP)
Think differently to establish your USP. Image credit
Always ask yourself: what does my store have that others don’t?
This is the essence of a unique selling point, or USP. You want to sell women’s clothing? Or running shoes? Well, so do thousands of other dropshippers. How are you going to differentiate your store from theirs? Why would someone decide to purchase from your store as opposed to someone else’s?
This is a huge problem for many stores – they have no sense of identity. This is inexcusable really; customers get sick of copy-and-paste stores and long for something attractive and unique to pop out at them. Here’s how you can develop your own USP:
- Custom fonts (Notebook Therapy // Blue Crate)
- Your own photography (Aesthentials // Mooshe Socks)
- A great-looking logo (Aesthentials)
- Personal website design (Mooshe Socks // Notebook Therapy // Aesthentials)
- Unique products (Oddity Mall // Wallplate Warehouse)
Remember, the most successful dropshipping stores don’t look like dropshipping stores at all. Put your personal stamp on your store and be proud of it – you’ll be surprised how many customers will latch onto the solo path you’re forging.
1.2. Clear and simple store
Clear and professional layout from Bidet Genius
Attention spans are miniscule these days. Not only must stores be eye-catching, but they have to have a clear and simple layout that lets customers go from A to B to Cart.
Colourful design is great, but be sure to counter-balance it with plenty of whitespace so as not to overload the visitor. More in the way of images and less in the way of text is a pretty good rule of thumb.
Set out your store so that it’s clear where the customer is going. Highly successful dropshipping stores usually go:
Of course, you’ll want to add features along the way that boost your sales: maybe a ‘frequently bought together’ section or ‘from the same collection’ section, but the simple progression that turns leads into customers should never be broken. Both Bidet Genius and Wallplate Warehouse are great at this.
1.3. Great SEO score
Those stores sitting at the top of the dropshipping pyramid are those with a fantastic SEO score. Everyone wants their store to rank first on Google for the keywords that their customers are searching, but how are you supposed to do that?
We’re aware SEO is a huge topic, so we’re definitely not going to dive into the deep with it here, but we’ve listed a few simple ways you can get your store’s SEO off the ground:
- Install an SEO plug-in – Shopify has a great range of SEO plug-ins on its app store that analyse your site and give you suggestions for optimising your SEO.
- Be original – Google loves original content. The more original the words and images are on your page, the higher the chance that you’ll rank well on Google.
- Add keywords – As long as it sounds natural, try to include on your page the keywords that customers are searching to find products like yours. You can include these in URLs, meta descriptions, product descriptions and the alt tags of images.
- Write a blog – A blog is an excellent way to advertise your products through writing. If your blogs rank well for a certain topic, you’ll be reaping the benefits of increased traffic and increased conversions.
Check out this article from the guys over at Personalization for more on how successful dropshipping stores get their great SEO scores.
We also wrote a detailed article about SEO for Shopify Product Page before, check it out:
1.4. Free shipping
Aesthentials have the perfect shipping policy
At this point, if you’re not offering free shipping on your dropshipping site, you’ve already lost out to the competition. Free and low-price shipping is increasingly being seen by customers as the standard norm of online shopping, rather than the generous luxury it once was.
Now, this doesn’t have to mean emptying your pockets to send a waffle iron from Vermont to California; you have some options:
- Offer blanket free shipping across all products and cover the costs with your profits.
- Offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount to encourage bulk buying.
- Offer low shipping costs and cover the difference by increasing the price of your products.
No matter which method you prefer, we strongly recommend you offer some form of free or low-cost shipping on your site. You’ll notice how all of our 11 successful dropshipping store examples below employ one of the 3 shipping options above.
1.5. Great social media following
Ecommerce sites like Shopify now integrate very nicely with social media. Image credit
Social media is firing out gargantuan numbers in the ecommerce field nowadays: 89% of marketers use Facebook for online marketing, while a staggering 90% of Instagram users follow a business on the platform.
Really, you’ve got no excuse for your store not to be on social media in today’s day and age. Not only do these platforms help to increase customer bases as well as overall knowledge of your brand, but they also help you enter or amass communities that are invaluable sources of information about what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and what you need to be doing in the future.
Of course, not every product is fit for social media (Bidet Genius and Wallplate Warehouse, anyone?), but finding your leads on social media could mean huge business for your store.
II. Top 11 Successful Dropshipping Stores
Take a look at our list of 11 successful dropshipping store examples and grow your inspiration. We’ve included what each store is doing right and how they’ve taken off in the dropshipping world.
01. Notebook Therapy
Notebook Therapy homepage.
|Niche||Japanese and Korean Stationery|
|Peak Traffic||45k (May 2020)|
We’re going to kick this off with quite possibly the most well-designed dropshipping store on our list. Notebook Therapy has a great layout and the perfect pastel colour palette to attract their young, Eastern culture-loving audience.
They found a trendy niche and a devoted community within it, which has made them a huge success.
1.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Most products have unique appeal.|
|Clear and simple store||Very easy to navigate with plenty of whitespace.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S for ‘Japanese stationery’.|
|Free shipping||Free tracked shipping on all orders.|
|Social media following||Huge on Instagram and YouTube.|
1.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Killer design – Clear, simple and cutesy. Much of the store uses custom fonts and hand-drawn doodles amidst a pastel colour scheme – perfect for the audience they’re targeting.
- Incredible Instagram following – Over 1 million devoted followers who enjoy product updates and short tutorials on cute art creation. Their Instagram following is linked with their impressive YouTube following to maximise the impact of young influencers on both platforms.
- Amazing blog campaign – Notebook Therapy’s blog offers articles on how to draw certain doodles along with the best types of stationary to use (obviously those that the store dropships). This generates a ton of organic traffic from young, Western enthusiasts of East Asian culture.
02. Club Fit Wear
Club Fit Wear homepage.
|Niche||Workout clothes with printed designs|
|Peak Traffic||1.1k (December 2019)|
Motivation is the name of the game with Club Fit Wear. Their large collection of printed workout clothing attracts the gym-going audience, predominantly in the U.S.
The products are cheap, foldable and easy to ship, which, combined with a ‘free shipping over $40’ policy, means that customers tend to buy in bulk.
2.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Products aren’t particularly new or cutting-edge.|
|Clear and simple store||A little clogged with pop-ups on first arrival, but a decent layout overall.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S for ‘strong women lift each other up’.|
|Free shipping||Free U.S. shipping on all orders over $40.|
|Social media following||31,000 likes on Facebook.|
2.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Huge catalog – Club Fit Wear’s products are essentially unlimited in their potential. You can stick any motivational saying on any piece of fabric and, undoubtedly, someone’s going to wear it.
- Knows its audience – The target audience of the store is middle-aged women, so it does well to appeal to them with a strong Facebook presence and predominantly middle-aged ambassadors.
- Good ambassador outreach – The store offers cash incentives to get their audience to show off their wares on Facebook and Instagram. Happy customers are almost always better advertisers than the companies they buy from.
03. Oddity Mall
Oddity Mall homepage.
|Niche||Unique and wacky gifts|
|Peak Traffic||240k (March 2020)|
Oddity Mall has really nailed the bizarre gift niche. They’ve tapped into an audience that is sick of giving the same old gifts to their loved ones and want something original and unique to offer.
Their website works completely off affiliate links, meaning that they technically don’t sell any of the products on their site, they merely advertise it for the companies that do.
3.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Uniqueness is Oddity Mall’s whole bag.|
|Clear and simple store||Easy navigation and nothing too ‘in your face’.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S. for several of its products.|
|Free shipping||Oddity Mall doesn’t ship, it directs its traffic to other companies that sell the product.|
|Social media following||3.1 million Facebook fans.|
3.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Huge viral potential – Pretty much everything linked by Oddity Mall has the potential to go viral. It’s all quirky and it all has the feel of something totally one-of-a-kind.
- Incredible gift guides and blogs – The amount of detail in gift guides such as ‘unique gifts for gadget lovers’, or in blogs like ‘10 unique toasters that belong in your kitchen’, means that Oddity Mall generates huge organic traffic through their writing. This means that they don’t have to rely heavily on expensive paid adverts.
- Gargantuan social following – If 3.1 million Facebook fans isn’t enough, how does over 10 million unique viewers monthly on Pinterest sound? These are frankly ridiculous numbers and they contribute so much to the revenue of the store.
04. Until Gone
Until Gone homepage.
|Peak Traffic||13.2k (October 2018)|
Until Gone bases its whole approach off the psychology of FOMO. Everything on this store is geared towards making the customer feel like this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to grab something special, encouraging them towards an impulse decision.
Ever bought a chocolate bar at the supermarket while you’re waiting at the checkout? Until Gone is essentially an entire online shop of digital checkout chocolate.
4.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Encourages customers to act in the spur of the moment.|
|Clear and simple store||Very simple design but the layout is clear.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S for ‘until gone’, a keyword that receives 5,300 monthly searches in America alone.|
|Free shipping||Free shipping for orders over $25.|
|Social media following||Enjoys 20,000 Facebook fans but brings in just 0.5% of its traffic through its social media channels.|
4.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Trust building – Until Gone realises that leads may have trust issues when being pressed to ‘buy this now’, so they flaunt their good TrustPilot rating and provide warranties on all goods.
- Customer retention – Another popular strategy amongst many of these dropshipping store examples is to offer a loyalty program that rewards repeat buying. In Until Gone’s case, they offer exclusive coupons and up to 3% cashback.
- Not too pushy – It’s typical for stores that focus on daily deals to be overly pushy when it comes to making the sale. Until Gone has a nice design with clear spacing that helps customers to feel free to make their own decisions.
05. Dog Pawty
Dog Pawty collection page.
|Niche||Everything dog and dog-related|
|Peak Traffic||3.8k (June 2018)|
People are increasingly spending more money on their dogs, with costs reaching near to $2000 per year in some cases. More disposable income means that dogs are getting spoiled more and more, which is how Dog Pawty has made a name for itself.
Not only do they sell indulgent luxuries for dogs, they also sell the latest healthcare products and even a little something dog-related for owners as well.
5.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Lots of unique-looking dog merchandise.|
|Clear and simple store||Certainly clear, but maybe a little bit too simple? The store lacks a little character.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S for ‘hot dog bed’, potentially a viral product.|
|Free shipping||Free shipping for orders over $40.|
|Social media following||15,000 Instagram followers with some viral videos of individual products. Still yet to effectively link Instagram to their site, though.|
5.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Doggie ambassadors – Dog Pawty encourages customers to upload pictures to Instagram of their pup wearing a Dog Pawty product. This is a great way to get their target audience to fawn over their stock.
- Extended merchandise – The store isn’t limited to just dogs. They’ve branched out their merchandise to ensure that dog-obsessed owners can buy doggie-themed shirts, mugs and even jewellery, which has expanded their revenue potential.
- Blog to attract organic traffic – Writing about what’s best for dogs is a great way for Dog Pawty to attract traffic, plug their products and even to collect some affiliate income from other dog sites. The blog is fairly basic at the moment, but regular updates will help to push up the store’s overall SEO score.
06. Mooshe Socks
Mooshe Socks homepage.
|Peak Traffic||3k (January 2020)|
If there’s one thing that Mooshe Socks have nailed, it’s branding. All socks dropshipped from this store come with the elegant Mooshe packaging, which is lightweight, cheap to make, but really increases the exclusivity of the brand.
What they don’t do well, however, is customer service – take this as a lesson never to neglect your customers!
6.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Cute socks are nothing new but the simple packaging adds a very unique touch.|
|Clear and simple store||Beautiful website design; loaded with pictures.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 2 in the U.S for ‘planet socks’.|
|Free shipping||Free shipping for orders over $60, but so many negative reviews claiming that products don’t arrive.|
|Social media following||95,000 followers on Instagram and 72,000 monthly unique viewers on Pinterest.|
6.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Personalised design – The heart of Mooshe’s appeal is that the socks they dropship, don’t seem dropshipped. Their products appear to be their own, which ups the exclusivity factor and distances Mooshe from copy-and-paste dropshipping stores out there.
- Simple and in-demand product – Socks are the perfect product for dropshipping: cheap, lightweight and with tons of unique design potential. They haven’t convoluted their store by branching out into unrelated products: just socks, done well.
- Excellent social media following – Cutesy design and unique photography helped Mooshe amass its huge following on Instagram and Pinterest. It’s also popular amongst budding entrepreneurs looking for example dropshipping stores, largely thanks to this video.
07. Bidet Genius
Bidet Genius homepage.
|Peak Traffic||34.6k (September 2019)|
It’s pretty unbelievable that a store that dropships bidets could reach a peak of 34,600 visitors in a month. Those are crazy numbers for a product that’s pretty bulky and expensive, but also isn’t particularly glamorous.
Bidet Genius’ success has been down to a professional attitude, free shipping, a decent blog and a lack of competition in the market.
7.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Who else is dropshipping bidets?|
|Clear and simple store||Crisp and professional design with a blog that brings in a surprising amount of traffic.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 4 in Canada for ‘tushy’, a keyword that, unbelievably, receives 18,000 monthly searches in the country.|
|Free shipping||Free shipping on all orders in the continental U.S.|
|Social media following||Non-existent following in a niche where it’s almost impossible to develop fans. 148 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube – bless them for trying.|
7.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Lack of online competition – There certainly aren’t many other companies dropshipping bidets. Bidet Genius recognised a viable market and went after it; and they’ve certainly reaped the rewards.
- Free shipping – Bulky items could incur a large shipping fee, but by either taking on the cost themselves, or by adding part of the cost to the product price, Bidet Genius has ensured that all shipping to the continental U.S. is free. This is a big incentive to shop with them to avoid the inconvenience of a brick-and-mortar shop.
- Successful blog – How much success can you have on a blog about bogs? In Bidet Genius’ case, quite a bit! Incredibly, just one of its articles contributes to almost 50% of the store’s traffic per month.
08. Blue Crate
Blue Crate homepage.
|Niche||Hilarious and personalised gifts|
|Peak Traffic||6.5k (May 2019)|
Blue Crate works a little bit like Oddity Mall in the quirky gift niche, with a great eclectic design style to complement it.
However, there’s one big difference – this store offers personalised products featuring customers’ printed images. This really sets them apart from the competition.
8.1 What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Personalised, hilarious products.|
|Clear and simple store||Fantastic quirky web design with clear layout. Could certainly benefit from a currency converter though.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S for ‘horror mask’.|
|Free shipping||No useful information about shipping on site.|
|Social media following||18,200 fans on their main channel, Facebook.|
8.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Personalisation – Blue Crate specialises in personalised gifts. There is still the potential for this in dropshipping, you just need to get products sent from your supplier to a printing or packaging company before they arrive at your customer.
- Eye-catching website – Colourful design and funky shapes really helps Blue Crate to stand out. Their use of vibrant pictures and plenty of whitespace strikes the perfect balance.
- Great following – Their young audience can, and do, keep up to date with the latest products through Blue Crate’s great integration of Facebook and Pinterest.
09. Life Booster
Life Booster homepage.
|Niche||Everyday accessories and gadgets|
|Peak Traffic||1.3k (April 2020)|
Life Booster is all about items that boost your life. The clue is in the title, really. They have a great array of everyday accessories and gadgets that you may have never even thought you needed.
For a store less than a year old, their fun and funky website has really helped to get themselves off the ground.
9.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Products aren’t hugely unique.|
|Clear and simple store||Clear layout, bright colours, large images and playful font.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 5 in the U.S. for ‘plant water filter’. Not amazing, but not bad at all.|
|Free shipping||Free shipping on all products.|
|Social media following||Not much of a following so far, but their products have high viral potential.|
9.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Good products – Everything that Life Booster offers solves a customer pain point. They’re all small, neat and cheap ideas that are easy to package and ship, which the store showcases through large images and detailed product descriptions.
- Easy browsability – The kind of products that Life Booster sells are great for window shopping. The store capitalises on this with easy navigation and sections for similar products. They also have a great library of reviews for each product, powered by the fantastic Shopify app Loox, which helps convince leads to take the plunge.
- Not overreaching – Life Booster is a great example of a new store that is managing its steady success. They’re proof that you don’t need a big team, huge advertising budget or super flashy website to launch your dropshipping business; you just need patience, hard work and a good niche.
Wallplate Warehouse homepage.
|Niche||Decorative wall plates and switch plates|
|Peak Traffic||6.1k (April 2020)|
Like Bidet Genius, Wallplate Warehouse is further proof that you don’t need to be sexy to be successful.
Wall plates and switch plates are far from the most glamorous of products to dropship, but this store has found its niche and is enjoying very little online competition, all while gradually branching out into more exciting products and raking in millions in revenue.
10.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Almost definitely the only wall plate dropshipper you’re going to find online.|
|Clear and simple store||Easy layout but maybe lacks a bit of pizzazz.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 4 in the U.S. for ‘switch plate covers’, which receives 5,300 monthly searches in the U.S. alone.|
|Free shipping||Free shipping on orders over $50.|
|Social media following||Like Bidet Genius, Wallplate Warehouse really struggles with creating a social following around such a bland product.|
10.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- A very niche niche – What might seem at first like an unpopular niche actually makes sense the more you think about it. Every house has wall plates and every house needs them. Finding this kind of totally necessary but untouched niche is absolute gold dust in dropshipping.
- A substantial blog – Wallplate Warehouse has a staggering 20 pages on its blog housing about 100 individual articles. It’s certainly not easy to write so much about walls, but having such a meaty blog really helps drive traffic to the site, even if they don’t have a huge readership.
- Localised to the U.S. – The fact that American wall plates aren’t suitable for overseas use means that Wallplate Warehouse has to dropship exclusively within the U.S. Far from being a drawback, this actually means that shipping can be speedy and simple while the store focuses exclusively on its American audience.
Read more about Wallplate Warehouse’s million dollar success here
|Niche||Unique clothing for teens|
|Peak Traffic||44k (December 2019)|
Vibrant, floral and stylish – Aesthentials certainly know how to attract their target audience.
Young teens flock to this store in their thousands every month to find unique clothing and K-pop style accessories, all displayed via original photography.
11.1. What are their successful dropshipping store hallmarks?
|Unique selling point||Original photography with models helps Aesthentials distance themselves from other stores.|
|Clear and simple store||Fantastic store design for their audience – large pictures, colourful displays and gaming fonts.|
|Great SEO score||Ranks number 1 in the U.S. for ‘school girl skirts’.|
|Free shipping||Free international shipping on all orders.|
|Social media following||Around 400,000 followers spread across Facebook and Instagram, with many referrals coming in from YouTube.|
11.2. Why are they a successful dropshipping store?
- Great personal touch – Aesthentials has done what every successful dropshipping store out there should strive to do – create a site that doesn’t feel like a dropshipping store. Exclusive photography, hand-drawn logo and use of custom fonts really reinforces Aesthentials’ individuality – the perfect example of a USP.
- Free shipping – Of all the dropship store examples we have here, Aesthentials probably has the best policy on shipping. They offer completely free shipping worldwide and probably have to dip into their own pockets to do so, but customers really appreciate a policy like this.
- YouTube outreach – The store brings in over half of its social traffic through YouTube. The platform is great for working with video influencers in the teen market and it’s a strategy that’s done wonders for them.
Aesthentials social traffic and top two channels.
For even more inspiration, check out another 18 Dropshipping case studies HERE.
III. Why are Most Successful Dropshipping Stores on Shopify?
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that most dropshipping success stories are born from Shopify. It’s the world’s leading ecommerce site and an absolute haven of dropshipping stores.
01. The best Shopify dropshipping apps
The most important reason for this is that the best dropshipping apps operate on Shopify. Some, including top dog Oberlo, were created with Shopify optimisation in mind, meaning that they work best on Shopify. You can learn more about Shopify’s dropshipping apps in chapter 2 of our dropshipping series.
There are other apps available, too, of course. Shopify offers a stellar library of downloadable apps specialising in fields such as:
- Customer service – (Facebook live chat)
- Currency conversion – (Coin Currency Converter)
- Upselling and cross selling – (Wiser)
- Product reviewing – (Loox)
- SEO improvement – (Plug-in SEO)
- Page building – (PageFly)
PageFly’s simple drag and drop mechanism makes it easy to build something different.
Check out our list of Shopify apps for beginner, intermediate and advanced store owners here!
02. Great integration with social media
Social media followings for companies and dropshippers are now more important than ever. Shopify has wonderful social integration that allows you to build a fanbase across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and wherever else your audience is located. They’ve even written a great, comprehensive blog about how you can create a powerful social media strategy.
03. Affordable pricing
There are many expenditures to consider when dropshipping, but Shopify’s affordable pricing structure means that you can cover all your monthly hosting costs with just a couple of sales.
IV. What to Take from the Most Successful Dropshipping Stores?
So, what are the key takeaways of this whole thing? We’ve deconstructed some fabulous examples of dropshipping stores here – ones that fly the flag of success for the dropshipping model so well – but what have we learned?
Absolutely the key conclusion to draw here is to prepare thoroughly. Despite what the obnoxious dropshipping ads will say, success comes to those who are prepared for it. Your store will not reach 10k monthly visitors in two weeks and it will not ship 800 orders a month unless you have done your homework.
Adam Greenspan, the owner of Wallplate Warehouse, has been working on his store since 2003. He’s now a millionaire and he deserves every reward he gets, but he put serious time, money and faith into his project to make it one of the world’s most successful dropshipping stores.
Wallplate Warehouse’s success is clear to see. Image credit
He followed the 5 hallmarks of a successful dropshipping store:
- Unique selling point
- Clear and simple store
- Great SEO score
- Free shipping
- Great social media following (well, not particularly this one)
He found a market, built a website and is living the dream. Put in the work and you could be a success as well.
If you’re ready to get started on dropshipping, you can check out the other chapters of our Dropshipping 101 series: how to find the perfect product and niche and how to build a high conversion dropshipping store.
Don’t forget to try one of Shopify’s top-rated page builders, PageFly, for free when you’re ready to build your store!