Dropshipping is, no doubt, one of the best business models for those who would like to start an online business.So, what is dropshipping, exactly?In a nutshell, it is a business model that you can use when running your store without needing an inventory. What happens is that you can start a Shopify store to collect orders from online customers.And then, you will forward those orders to your suppliers and manufacturers. The suppliers and manufacturers will be responsible for picking, packing, and shipping the products to your customers.In other words, you do not need to store, pack, or ship your merchandise.Now, what are the essential things that you need to know before launching your Shopify store?Here are nine must-know Shopify dropshipping tips for beginners:Excell in BrandingThere's a chance that you will be selling the same products with your competitors.Now, to help you stand out from the rest of the pack, you need to craft a good brand and marketing strategy. This may include having a well-designed logo, effective advertising campaigns, and even a robust SEO strategy.Without these things, you will likely compete for the price. This can cause you to go for a lower profit margin, which you do not want to happen.Master SEOUnless you're driving significant traffic to your online store, your efforts wouldn't amount to anything.Prospects need to find your e-commerce store before you can make decent sales, and you wouldn't succeed in marketing without SEO.So, unless you have significant start-up capital, outsourcing your marketing and SEO can be challenging. That's why you need to put in the effort to enhance both your SEO and marketing skills.You can follow this Shopify SEO Checklist to optimize your online store for higher ranking and visibility on Google and other search engines.Sell Best-selling ProductsOne of the most important things that you need to remember is that you couldn't choose your products based on preference alone.You need to study the current market trends and then spot items you think have the most significant selling potential.One of the ways that you can do that is to envision who your target audience is. Then, calculate that demand using Google Trends or Google Keyword Tool to know what people are looking for and what they need.For instance, long-tail keywords allow you to know more about the specific characteristics of a product that people want to buy.You'll know which particular search terms are gaining momentum and which ones are declining. You might also want to focus on the local and seasonal shifts if you plan to drop ship internationally.Work With Good SuppliersBeing a brand, you need to gain your customer's trust. To make that happen, you have to ensure that the products that you're selling are high-quality.Because you don't play a role in producing or handling the products, the supplier you're working with should be reliable.In a sense, your supplier acts as your business partner in Shopify dropshipping. That's why you have to ensure that you choose carefully the people that you want to work with.Do Not UnderpriceIf you are a beginner, it is quite tempting to underprice your products to compete with your competitors. This is not something that you should try if you want to be successful in Shopify dropshipping.It would be ideal if your business model allows you to source your products at prices that are relatively close to wholesale pricing.To do that, you need to consider your business expenses. This includes advertising and marketing costs. And then price the products that allow you to make a profit.Like we said earlier, do not underprice to compete with your competitors.What you can do instead is to provide them with more value. Make sure that your store is appropriately set-up and is running smoothly.Create a Compelling OfferAnother essential dropshipping tip that you can do is to come up with a compelling offer.Don't be that store who doesn't hold sales or bundles on items. If none of your things are on sale, most people wouldn't have the motivation to buy your products.But if you provide them with tempting offers, then they'll more likely be going to convert.Optimize Your Inventory ManagementAnother important aspect of having a dropshipping business is inventory management.If you properly manage your inventory, then you'll be sure that you don't oversell your products.When you oversell your products, it can hurt your business in the long run. Let's say some of your products appear to be in stock in your Shopify store, but it's already out of stock with your supplier.So, if this situation happens, two things can happen:Cancel the customer's order and lose his or her trust.Wait for your supplier to restock the item, which prolongs the waiting period.Both of these aren't good for your business in the long run. To prevent this kind of situation from happening, it would be best to optimize your inventory management.Doing so ensures an accurate display of products' stock numbers on your e-commerce site.Provide Excellent Customer ServiceYour customers are essential to your business. If you don't look for ways to regularly make them happy, they'll move on to your competitors.Meanwhile, if you offer them quality customer service, it will be easier to stand out from your competitors.This boosts your customer service because you're making others think that they feel valued.You need to respond to their queries as quickly as possible and provide them with a refund if required. Once you make your customers' happiness and satisfaction a top priority, it's easier for success to come in the long run.Automate Your BusinessLet's say you are working a full-time job, yet want to earn with a side-hustle. Knowing how you can optimize your business gives you more freedom to pursue other passions and interests.Several e-commerce automation tools allow you to scale your business over time.Buffer, for instance, helps you automate your posts on social media. Meanwhile, Kit allows you to automate your marketing tasks such as emails, retargeting, advertising, etc.Final ThoughtsDropshipping can be fun yet challenging at the same time. That said, here is a recap of the nine things you should know when starting a dropshipping business:Excell in brandingMaster SEOSell best-selling productsWork with good suppliersDo not underpriceCreate a compelling offerOptimize your inventory managementProvide excellent customer serviceAutomate your businessBy following these nine dropshipping tips, you will be easier to create a more impactful customer journey over time.Even if you are a beginner, following the tips listed above can help set up your Shopify dropshipping business for success. Good luck!