Have you ever wondered as to How to Start a Dropshipping Business? You might have noticed the hype all over the internet. Beginning a dropshipping business is a giant leap for an entrepreneur. One can set prices, market and build their brand name using dropshipping. Holding inventory will not even cost you until it is sold to your customer. More work you invest in this, you could build a very successful brand name.
Are you still on two minds about starting your online business? There have been 3.4 trillion dollars of consumer spending worldwide on eCommerce sales last year. Taking this as an indication, starting an online business is a wise option now. You will learn how to start a dropshipping business by reading this article. Furthermore, talking about ideas and the essential aspects of dropshipping.
What is Dropshipping Business?
A business model where you can implement to start running your store without having to own inventory. After you receive a sale, you place the order with your supplier. They will then ship your products directly from their warehouse to your customer. You never have to get involved in storing, packing or shipping products. Let’s get to in-depth details on how to start a dropshipping business.
How Does Dropshipping Business Model Work?
Three key players can be identified in this business model: The manufacturer, The retailer and The customer.
Role of The Manufacturer
The manufacturer’s role in the dropshipping business model is to produce the products, store inventory, ship orders to customers on behalf of the retailers, receive returns if any defects and restock accordingly. The retailers get a price of the whole sellers when following this model.
Your role in dropshipping is to sell the selected products on your website under your brand or eCommerce platforms like eBay, Etsy, Bonanza etc. Choosing and marketing the products are your duty. Pricing these items with a fair profit margin after covering the shipping costs are also up to you.
Finally, the customer purchases the products from you. If any issues arise, the customer will contact the retailer where they made the purchase.
Is Dropshipping Profitable?
This is a FAQ of dropshipping that everyone has and asks often. It is one of the most profitable business models as we are cutting on so much of the cost of production and shipping. With these profits, you can begin to see growth in your store after having the right suppliers.
Is it a good idea to start a Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping can be identified as a low-risk business model. There are little start-up costs, whereas, you pay for the products as you receive orders. You will not have to worry about the cost of production, storing and maintaining inventory and salaries for employees. Starting your own dropshipping business can be a massive leap to entrepreneurship. The business can be maintained with less time in your daily life or during weekends. There is an effort put into processing orders with your supplier, and now these also can be automated. Opportunities from dropshipping are endless, and all you have to do is begin.
Can You Make Money by Dropshipping?
Yes, you can make money through dropshipping, as many others have done. This model allows you to find products with considerable profit potential. Setting up the business and selling the products is the only tasks that one must put effort to. When the sales start coming in, you will be motivated to keep selling more. You are most likely to invest in marketing, generating more profits.
Is it worth to Dropship?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. If you do not put in work to develop your online business, you will not see the reward from it; likewise, dropshipping is worth the time and money. Just as it takes time to set up a store, decide prices and begin selling, dropshipping also takes time.
Are there Dropshipping Businesses for sale?
If you don’t feel like building a dropshipping business from scratch, you can easily find them on sale. There are plenty of market places that offer operating companies for the right price. One can directly focus on marketing by purchasing such a business. A great collection of online stores, along with dropshipping businesses, can be found online. This will vary from niches and prices and can be selected based on your budget and interest.
Things to consider before purchasing a store
Before you purchase a store, consider the design and how old the website is. Next, look at how much has been earned using the website, niche, type of business and business practices. Finally, look at the cost of the website and if it fits your budget.
- The design: Does the online store have a professional design? Is it easy for visitors to navigate the website?
- Website age: An older website has high chances of search engine rankings by now. It is better to purchase such an online business than a relatively new one.
- How much money has been earned: At a glance, you will see that a store earned a massive sum of money. What you should focus is the growth curve and how much they made at the peak and how much are they making now. This will help you understand if its worth to purchase and develop that business.
- Niche: This is one of the vital factors to succeed in dropshipping. You probably don’t want to keep selling an old product which trended sometime ago. Instead, you need to cater to the market at present. If the store is focused on broad niches, it is most likely easy to develop from that point forward. On the other hand, for specific niches, it is quite a task.
- Type of Business: You need to determine what kind of business you are purchasing. If it is a dropshipping business or an eCommerce store which will require much more investment from you, furthermore, you have to check if the website has been penalized. In case the website has been penalized, it may be hard for ranking.
- The cost: Finally, you have to analyze if the price you are paying is worth and you can grow the business as per your business plan.
How to Start a Dropshipping Business: The Business Plan
Step 1: Choosing a Business Idea [Dropshipping]
What do most people tell you when you go for business advice? To pick a topic that you are passionate about. Actually, in dropshipping, this method could change. Sometimes, not only what you are passionate about sells. You get the opportunity to explore many niches and understand and learn the subject matter and analyze the demands before coming out with an idea. When the idea is unique, and you are solving a problem with a product, you easily make profits. It’s easy to be passionate when you’re generating income.
Find out what is trending
Using tools on the internet, you can identify trending products at the time you want to launch your dropshipping business. On the other hand, you could come up with a trending product yourself and make the customer want it. Spend some time analyzing different dropshipping business ideas for you might see what is lacking in no time.
If you’re coming up with your business ideas instead of relying on tools, here are a few things that might help you:
- Google Trends is a tool you can use to understand if your selected niche is performing well. However, you cannot only determine whether or not a niche is viable with only Google Trends as some search terms may not have enough search volume.
- UberSuggest’s Keyword Tool: This tool by Neil Patel helps you see the search volume for particular keywords and tell you how competitive it is. This tool will give you an idea about the current state of your niche and give your future business ideas based on what people search.
- Browse websites within your niche: Find out which categories are trending and spy on the most selling products. This helps you understand what you can follow and include in your dropshipping business.
- Monitor the volume of orders: Plenty of softwares related to drop shipping can help you find data on the volume of orders in particular stores. This enables you to understand what a demand a specific product has.
Especially when you’re building a long-term business, trends will not always help you succeed. You have to work on a plan to innovate from time to time and change your products.
Step 2: Analyze your competition.
Once the most challenging area of what to sell is in place, you have to know your competition and their strengths and weaknesses. Conducting a SWOT Analysis of your competition can help you achieve this. Find below some tips you might find useful when focussing on how to start a dropshipping business.
- Search for the products you want to sell on Google.
See what shows on the top 10 search results in Google for the same product as you wish to sell. This helps in identifying your competition and their locations. If you are targeting a different geographical area to sell products, there are third-party tools to your rescue. Tools like SEM Rush or Ahrefs indicates information on search results geographically.
- Search through Alexa to find niche competitors who might not indicate in general search.
This tool will give a summary of the websites you search for along with their social media profiles, advertising campaigns running, traffic information of their website, and a list of competitors for the business.
- Search on Social Media.
One can easily come up with many dropshipping ideas by merely searching on social media. Facebook ads are running for many brands, and we can see them based on our interests. Look at how many likes their page have and How they market the brand. You can understand the engagement the page receives as a brand. Next, think about how you can stand out with what you offer and how to be unique to create that demand.
- Know the competitors content
Identify how the competitors post their content and how it works for them. Use BuzzSumo and replicate the content. This is a tool that will give you insight into what kind of content get social shares, hence you could find new blog ideas.
Step 3: Find a Supplier
- Manual Supplier Research
The most successful way is to do manual supplier research. Many websites support dropshipping, and based on products you sell; you can find many suppliers to cater you. You can have a look at products and reviews, also get in touch and come into an agreement for dropshipping your items on a priority basis. Some websites you can utilize for this is AliExpress, Amazon, Banggood, TomTop, Oberlo, DHGate etc.
- Contacting Suppliers
Make a list of five or ten potential suppliers for your product. Contact them and find our answers for shipping times, quantities, countries they ship to, stock in hand, discounts they can provide you, and the rights to sell their products on your website. From the list, once you have a good communication back and forth, you can order a few samples of the product and compare them. Quality of the product, shipping times, packaging can all be seen once you receive these items. Always think in the perspective of your customer when you place and get the order.
Step 4: Setting up an Online Dropshipping Store
There are certain items to keep in mind when building an online dropshipping store.
Know that the domain name matters when you are building a brand. Always purchase a .com domain. Try to have a domain which speaks about your niche if it is specific so that you don’t have to keep changing domains in the long run. Never use your name for the domain of your dropshipping store.
Sign up for WordPress (Woocommerce) or Shopify
Two tending eCommerce facilitators are WooCommerce from WordPress and Shopify. Both include new resources and updated regularly with features. Youtube is your best friend, where you can learn to set up both platforms. However, Shopify can be a bit pricy in the long run. It’s up to you.
Themes can be changed anytime you wish. WordPress and Shopify both offer you a wide range of theme selection based on your niche for your dropshipping store. Use free themes at the beginning to set up. Once the money is coming in, you can upgrade your store to a better design.
Install WooCommerce or Oberlo
WooCommerce and Oberlo facilitate dropshipping. Oberlo allows you to find products and compare them, making it easy to the source while for Woocommerce you have to do the research. Select a few products initially as you might have to write descriptions for many.
Step 5: Marketing for your Dropshipping Business
Start this step after you have decided on your products and formed your online store. Now it is time for marketing which is an essential item in your business plan. Landing your first ever sale is such a good feeling! I’m sure you’re just starting and is on a tight budget.
Facebook Ads: Everyone who starts with Facebook Ads end up busting a lot of money. Many who are new to this think that you will make money at the first go. Wish it was that easy in this day and age. Keeping your budget low helps you to experiment as you are still testing your products. Don’t only stick to one ad, always create several and figure out which attracts attention best.
Target the Facebook Ad around the world excluding USA, U.K etc. to keep your ad costs low. When you have a bigger budget for advertising, you can run separate ads for these countries.
Retargeting Ads: Once your store has a vast reach and traffic, retargeting ads work well. Have you leveraged Pinterest for free traffic or a blog? With retargeting ads, you convert that free traffic to a customer.
Influencer Marketing: At the beginning, you are unable to afford influencers. But you can offer them an affiliate commission. The risk of your business is lowered when you pay affiliate fees per sale. They will put in the work to get you traffic, and you can monitor if it converts. With influencers, you’ll get exciting pictures for your products.
Step 6: Optimize
When you have done the above, you can analyze the results of your efforts. Certain marketing activities become successful, while others don’t. Tools like Google Search Console or Google Analytics can study your online traffic. Set up weekly reports for social media analysis to identify which campaign is working for your dropshipping business.
Testing and optimizing can make you successful in your eCommerce journey while increasing the online revenue that you generate. This will help you stay ahead of all your competitors. Hope you got some valuable information on How to Start a Dropshipping Business.
Apply some of the tips from this article and set up your eCommerce store. In case you run into any issues along the way, regarding How to Start a Dropshipping Business, reach out to us from the comment section below. Taking the risk to build your business is the first step to this journey. All the best!