Ready to be a dropshipper, but not sure how to start a dropshipping business? You’ve come to the right place then. Becoming a dropshipper requires a relatively low upfront cost, making it low risk with a high reward potential. There are a few things necessary to start a successful dropshipping business. Let’s take a deeper look.
If you’ve been hearing that dropshipping is one of the hotter eCommerce models to use, you’ve heard correctly. But what exactly is dropshipping and how does it benefit you? Let’s take a look at this.
The core benefit of dropshipping is that it is a low-risk but potentially high-reward eCommerce sales method. Usually with eCommerce stores, you have to buy the product upfront and then sell it from your site. This leaves you responsible for shipping, inventory management, and any leftover merchandise that does not sell.
With dropshipping, your customer purchases an item from your store. From there, you place an order with a supplier and they blind ship the product directly to your customer’s door. This gives you a few advantages.
First off, you are not stuck with leftover merchandise that has outlived it’s sales potential. Those products often end up being sold at a loss or donated. You can try out new products with little risk for the same reason: If it doesn’t sell well, you haven’t cost yourself an additional expense to find out. Let’s take this point one step further. If you find that the initial niche you chose is not working out, you can switch niches with only having lost money on the advertising. This financial flexibility can be used advantageously in multiple scenarios.
Next is that you are not the one going to the store and dropping off a bunch of packages to be shipped out. Let’s be honest, time is money and your time is important. Most people won’t consider having to package and ship out on a daily basis a fun use of their time.
Another huge advantage is the extra flexibility you will have with your life. With no inventory and shipping responsibilities, you can live by your own schedule. While you still have to put in the time on marketing, being able to spend time doing what makes life go round for yourself is a priceless luxury.
What does every eCommerce store need? Products to sell, right? But before you can decide on the products, you must decide what niche of products you want to sell.
So why just stick to a niche? After all, the more products you have the more chance someone will buy from you, right? The answer is usually no for first time entrepreneurs. While it can be done, you will spend way more money on marketing while receiving diminished returns on your money.
Consider advertising with Facebook. Let’s say your budget is $400. Facebook gives you multiple options to help maximize this budget.
One of these options is deciding who to advertise to by selecting certain interests that people have liked, reacted to, or searched for. Narrowing your niche means that you can now target the people most willing to purchase something and focus on them, driving sales. Starting small and growing bigger is a recipe for success.
An example of this would be outdoor activities. Well, that could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. But let’s consider hiking and camping. These complement each other and you will be trying to sell to a much narrower group of people. You can take this even further and just focus on camping gear. People that come to your site are searching for something specific now, and if you have it, chances are you will make a sale.
It should also be something you are passionate about, or at least enjoy. After you have a store up and r+unning, your primary focus will be marketing and it is more difficult to market something you are not that into for most first-time entrepreneurs. Additionally, potential customers will feel that energy in your marketing, which can influence how much customer traffic comes through your store.
First-time eCommerce stores are generally not going to immediately blow up into a powerhouse unless you have incredible connections. This means that people who have already been selling in your niche already have market share. You won’t be able to compete with giant general shops like Amazon on price, so you have to differentiate your store by the experience so people choose you. This is where the quality of your site and customer service come in. It makes a huge difference on how people view their store, and word of mouth is a huge marketing benefit
Read more about: How to Pick a Niche for Dropshipping
Once you have chosen your niche, you know which product genres you want to sell. But how do you go about finding quality products to fill your store with?
In terms of dropshipping in the U.S., using U.S-based dropshipping suppliers is everything. People have gotten used to shorter shipping times. How often do you complete an online purchase after seeing that the shipping time would be 10-14 business days (barring toilet paper at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic).
Using products from U.S-based suppliers cuts that shipping time down by more than half. Additionally, U.S. suppliers tend to have higher quality products.
They also tend to have higher quality customer service due to being available during similar time zones, unlike Chinese suppliers. Normally, there will be an email chain interaction, and you will receive some emails after you’ve gone to sleep.
Your customers will appreciate these things.
Whenever you start an eCommerce venture there is one thing that you need above all: a website. Without it you must remove the e from eCommerce.
But how do you get one? That depends on how you choose to start your dropshipping business. Here are three usual ways for you to create your store.
The first option is to hire people to create your store for you. This isn’t a bad way to go if you don’t mind the ongoing costs of maintenance and development teams cost. You have to make sure you store has all of the necessary security and a reliable payment system. While this gives you more control, it is expensive.
Most new entrepreneurs will not have the capital to go down this route.
The next path to take would be to pay for a website with the payment processing and security build in. However, there are some downsides to this as well. The different companies that do this have different fees that apply to different things, such as payment processing, site bandwidth, sales volume, and other sit performance factors.
Additionally, not all of the site templates are as functional and stylish as you need. For a dropshipper, this path will give you a site to sell your products, but you still have to go out and find suppliers for your site and manage their performance and fees. This is a method that saves you money on website creation costs, but the fees and extra charges still add up.
The best path for new eCommerce entrepreneurs is to use a dropshipping platform combined with a website platform. Typically what this means is that you are provided a web store using one platform, and then you have to use a second app for the dropship integration.
I’ve mentioned style and functionality a couple of times now, and it is time to explain what that means. When you go to a site, what do you look for? What makes you feel good about the site. The fact of the matter is that if your site looks cheap and not well put together, it makes the customer hesitant to shop there.
Additionally, if the navigation features on your site aren’t intuitive, people will give up. We live in a time where if shopping is not easy, then customers move on. This includes the shopping cart. Having a dynamic cart that is accessible from anywhere on the site helps reduce abandoned carts, increasing your sales. You also want your site to be able to give you information about what customers are typing into the search bar so you can improve your product keywords and featured products.
When you use Shop1, which is the only all-in-one dropshipping platform in the world, you get a stylish website with all the bells and whistles. You will also be connected with our list of U.S. based suppliers. No extra apps necessary.
You know what you need and how to start a dropshipping business. Now it is just time to put it together and start selling. We’ve talked about the easy way and the hard way to travel your dropship journey. Shop1 helps make this journey the easy way. While you are off making money and carving a name for yourself, we will be the tool in the background.
Because Shop1 is the world’s only all-in-one dropshipping platform, Shop1 is able to provide you with a stylish website with the bells and whistles you need and access to our catalog of U.S. based suppliers.
– Run your promotions and coupon strategies.
– Get your advertising going.
– And start selling today.