Someone said that starting a business is like planting a sapling. First, you have to invest your time and money into it. Then, you must take care of it while expecting nothing in return. However, being an entrepreneur, devoting everything you have to realize a worthwhile business idea and desire to make profits from it, it must be hard to sink or swim.
That’s when drop shipping comes into play as a powerful asset. It’s a low-risk business model that gives you the power to build up a business of your own without spending a lot of money and effort.
So what exactly makes dropshipping a top-rated business model, and how to dip your toe into dropshipping?
Let’s dive into this article to find all the answers.
What Is a Drop-Ship Business?
A drop-ship business is now a popular business model in which you are selling goods and services without literally holding any stock. After customers place orders, you – as a drop shipper – will process the orders online and pass them to a third party, such as suppliers, wholesalers, or manufacturers. After that, they will take care of all the remaining tasks, fulfilling the orders, including storing products, packing, and shipping the orders directly to your customers. You’re actually going to work via a computer and get everything on the track.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t have any control over the products you sell. One of the most must-have steps before launching your dropshipping business is to determine what product you’re going to sell. At this time, it’s up to you to select any product from any supplier. As long as the products are available, you can add them to your store and allow customers to purchase.
With dropshipping, you can become a business owner more easily than ever without worrying about the stock of products and inventory management.
If you wonder who should adopt the dropshipping model? The answer is everyone, but it’s especially an ideal option for the entrepreneur spirits with limited resources and budget.
How Does Dropshipping Work?
Now, you’ve known what dropshipping is, let’s move to how it works precisely. The working process of dropshipping is quite simple. Here’s a step-by-step overview of the entire dropshipping process:
Why You Should Start Dropshipping for eCommerce
Dropshipping is beneficial for you, and here are the reasons why you should start to drop shipping:
- Easy-to-start: You can start your dropshipping business without any prior business experience. Dropshipping is simple, as I mentioned before, and it requires so little from you. If you have time to learn some foundation knowledge about how to do business, you can get along quickly. The fact that you don’t need to store products and ship out the orders lessens a massive amount of burdens when it comes to running a business of your own.
- Minimal cost of setup: Unlike traditional businesses in which you need a particular amount of money to purchase goods beforehand to fill up your store, dropshipping takes you free from this money-consuming setup. You only need to pay for what you sell. Some costs associated with the setup is to build and maintain your website or market your products.
- Low-risk business: As you don’t hold any physical products or take care of any inventory, you have nothing to lose. You don’t have to worry if your products are in stock while there are no orders at all.
- Flexible business model: Dropshipping is flexible as you can make any decisions that work for your business. You can add any products to your online store whenever you want and decide on the prices for them. Also, it’s easy to automate your dropshipping business, so that everything is still operating smoothly even when you’re off the work.
- Little hassle: You can run your dropshipping business just via a computer. You can get started once you have an idea, find a robust niche, and a reliable supplier. Also, since you will not be involved in the shipment process, you don’t need to worry about the risk of losses and damage of products during transportation.
How to Start Dropshipping
Decide on the Right Niche
You’re going to find what to sell and whom you’re selling to. By doing proper market research, you’ll get the answer more quickly. You can also use product research tools to save time and fasten this process.
It would be best to sell what you’re passionate about; however, it’s even more important to choose a product that has some points as follow:
- Laser-focused: There are so many niches out there, but not all of them are potential for your business. If you choose a wide product range, it’ll be challenging to implement and control activities around your products, such as market penetrating or marketing. You can select a board niche at first, then focus on a more specialized niche.
- Low shipping costs: Your suppliers take responsibility for the shipment, but if the shipping cost is too high, it’ll discourage your customers from purchasing. Low shipping costs enable you to offer free shipping – an effective way to attract customers.
- Products with a lot of competition: If a product has no or so little competition, it might have a high shipping cost, manufacturing issues, or poor profit margins. It’s also a sign that there is poor demand for that product.
- Not easy-to-find nowhere: It’s better to make your online website is the only place where customers can find the product.
- Trending or popularly searched: If nobody is looking for your products, so to whom are you going to sell? Make sure your products are in the crowd’s interest by searching keywords about your niche via some tools like Google Trends.
Choose the Right Supplier
Don’t rush at this step. Choosing a wrong supplier can ruin your entire business even when you haven’t launched your business. Here are some considerations when finding a supplier:
- Always stick to your business need and your product
- Find someone that has the ability and capability to scale up your business with you
- Discuss your requirements, expectations clearly with the supplier
- Make sure you acknowledge the terms and policies of the supplier before signing a contract
- Make sure you can communicate well with the suppliers, especially if they’re from oversea
You might find it challenging to make a final decision. If possible, ask for professionals’ advice or refer to other dropshippers’ reviews. Besides, many free drop-ship websites help you find products and potential, prestigious suppliers.
Build a Dropshipping Website
An online store is what you need after determining what to sell. You ever think about website development with multiple lines of complicated code. Forget it! Now you can have a well-functioned website without any technical background.
One of the easiest ways is using platforms that are specially designed for dropshipping like Shopify. You can create a Shopify and turn it into your Shopify dropshipping store with easy customization. Another way is to find and purchase an available Shopify dropshipping store with various features, ready for sale. Whenever you want to enhance your store with advanced features, you can easily find extensions, add-ons, or Shopify apps for a store from many reliable providers. I recommend some big names like Avada Commerce, Seguno, SureSwift Capital, Oberlo, and more.
Market Your Business
Marketing is even more important for new businesses. If you don’t actively reach out to the audience, nobody knows who you are.
Many start-ups don’t put a lot of thought into marketing and end up seeing the sales like water-drop, some even claim to go bankrupt. The reasons might be the lack of capital to invest in marketing or a professional team to help out.
The good news is, you can start off with social media marketing – potentially an unlimited resource. Choose the social media platforms where your target audience is mostly on and build an attractive profile for your business.
As a newbie in the industry, you need customers’ trust more than anything else. Therefore, whenever you have a chance, kindly ask for customers’ reviews and display proof right on your website. This technique makes your website more trustworthy and beneficial for you to build customer loyalty.
Dropshipping is a great choice if you’re just getting into online business and want to try something new. Even though drop shipping also has its disadvantages, like low-profit margins, it’s a great way to kickstart your own business. I hope that this article adds some valuable ideas to your checklist to perfectly open a dropshipping store. If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below.
dropshipping concept -DepositPhotos