If you ever decide to take the physical product route when starting an online business, there are so many factors that you need to consider to avoid losing your money on the spot.
Even if you are sure of that particular product, don’t keyword research and, in the end, have a salivating audience waiting to consume your product as soon as it lands, you still need to employ as many processes as possible to keep the cost of distribution as low as you can.
There is a solution that allows you to sidestep all those hassles. And it makes the whole startup process for your online venture that much easier.
It’s called drop shipping, and it has taken the online business world by storm. A drop shopping business is one of the fastest, easiest, and most low-risk ways to start an online business. Even with little or no capital at all.
Let me break things down so that you understand how dropshipping works.
1. Identify a product.
2. Create an online store or, better still, an eCommerce website.
3. Customer places an order on your website and pays you on top of it.
4. You send orders to a reliable supplier who already stocks your product.
5. Your dropshipping supplier Fulfils the order on your behalf.
There are several reasons why most people will not start a business, and one of these reasons is the level of risk involved when building a business.
Every business has its own risk, and the inability of business owners not to be able to manage these risks properly has caused many companies to fail.
Can I introduce you to a business model that has risks, but this time these risks are very minimal and can be managed without any hassle?
This business model is straightforward and does not require too many principles; anyone can start this business right from the comfort of their home and even keep their 9-5 jobs if they want. Dear readers, this business model is called Dropshipping.
What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model that allows individuals to sell products without holding any inventory. As a result, you don’t need to have those products in stock before you start trading.
When a customer buys a product from a dropshipping store, a third-party supplier ships it straight to them.
The buyer pays the retail price you set, you pay the suppliers’ wholesale price, and the rest is interest. As a result, you never have to manage products or buy inventory.
Dropshipping is very minimal risk; it has been given the title of the most flexible business model of the 21st century.
To sell products, you need to register an account with a supplier and showcase those products via an online platform for your buyers to see.
Why Should You Start a Dropshipping Business?
For wholesale buyers, performance and comfort in ordering and shipping products to their buyers is a principal factor in finding business owners to partner with. That is why it is necessary to take note of the advantages of dropshipping.
Proposing dropshipping to wholesale customers will give you an edge over businesses that do not. As a result, dropshipping has become one of the most lucrative and risk-minimal businesses in the 21st century.
1. Low startup cost.
It demands a lot of capital to stock a warehouse. You can eradicate the risk of going into deficit to start your business by using dropshipping.
Instead of buying a vast inventory and hoping it sells, you can start a dropshipping business with a blank checklist and make money immediately.
2. You Don’t Worry About Delivery.
Order accomplishment usually requires you to a warehouse, organize, track, label, pick, pack, and ship your stock.
Dropshipping lets a 3rd party take care of all of that. Your only job in this system is to ensure they get your customer orders. The supplier will handle everything else.
3. You Don’t Worry About Customer Service.
When starting a dropshipping business, you don’t have to worry about customer service because everything is handled by the initial supplier, intended to save you time and energy.
4. Dropshipping Offers Flexibility.
In dropshipping business, Wholesale merchants can run the business anywhere and anytime as long as they have an Internet connection.
With the internet, shoppers can quickly communicate with manufacturers or store owners simultaneously with customers.
It gives flexibility to suppliers since they can partner with many wholesale suppliers and sell more products to their customers. Manufacturers also get more flexibility since there is more product flow.
How To Start a Dropshipping Business.
Let’s say that you have made up your mind and want to start dropshipping products and start making money from them, there are numerous ways to do this, but in this section, I will be walking you through these steps one after the other.
1. Choose a Dropshipping Business Niche.
Choosing a product niche allows you to research the best selling product. For example, you don’t want to start a dropshipping business with zero knowledge of what the market is like; you will end up recording loss; imagine someone creating a dropshipping company to sell typewriters; how many people do you see today use or demand for typewriters, I know you can now see where I am coming from.
There are many ways to decide on a dropshipping business niche, and most of these tactics include doing keyword research online to see how many people are searching for the product.
One way to get this information is to use keyword research tools like Google keyword planner, Google search engine, and even Google trends.
Here is an example below of the average online search for sunglasses.
You can see that the term sunglasses have a fluctuating online search; with this information, you can decide if this business is going to make you tons of money or not.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started with keyword research; click the link below to read that article.
2. Do competitor research.
The next step in getting your dropshipping business up and running is to recognise your competitors and the know-how they work.
Competitors hold great hints to success and can help you develop a more robust marketing plan for your dropshipping business.
Another great thing about competitor research is to be on the bright side of the order of things and store pricing, which is essential for any business to thrive and make sales.
Some ways to go about your competitor research include;
1. Running a comprehensive Google search to see how many online stores do the same business as you.
2. Browse social media like Facebook and watch out for paid ads in your business niche.
3. Subscribe to competitors’ email lists if they have one.
Learn everything about your top competitors: their website, prices, marketing methods, product descriptions, and reputation. Then, you can eventually pick it up from there and eventually build a great business.
3. Choose a dropshipping supplier.
Now here comes the central part of your dropshipping business, which is choosing a dropshipping supplier.
Choosing a dropshipping supplier is a significant step toward creating a thriving dropshipping business. Without suppliers, a dropshipping business would not have any products to ship to consumers and cease to exist.
At this point, you vetted what products you want to sell and know they can be thriving. Now you want to make sure you find a dropshipping supplier that gives you the best service you need to grow.
When choosing a dropshipping supplier, you should consider many important factors, including delivery, pricing, and efficiency.
Some of the famous places where most dropshipping get their products include; Alibaba, Aliexpress, 1688.com, Taobao and many others.
The win is Alibaba.com; I wrote a comprehensive guide about starting an Alibaba business on this blog; click the link to get started.
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Another solution that I recommend for your dropshipping solution is the Spocket app. Spocket is a dropshipping app that connects with both Shopify and WooCommerce stores.
All you need to get started is just a few clicks of a button, and you can launch your dropshipping website on the go.
The Good side of it is that you can launch a dropshipping business selling products from suppliers located in the States, UK and the EU, Australia and New Zealand.
To ensure quality assurance, you can order sample products from various suppliers on Spocket.
You can use these samples to test the speed of delivery and take your product photos to make it look genuine to the end customers.
Using Spocket, you are free to sell all kinds of goods ranging from; Fashion and Clothing, Electronics and Tech, Home and Garden, Automotive, Toys, Gaming and Computing.
You can also filter through their massive list of products and narrow your search by typing keywords into their search bar or using their price filter.
Most people prefer to buy from Alibaba or Aliexpress because they feel the prices are low than what they can find elsewhere on the internet. Still, Spocket guarantees you 30-60% of their retail pricing, which allows for a healthy profit margin.
The good news about the whole process is that Spocket allows you to directly integrate your Shopify or WooCommerce store to work with the Spocket app.
For newbies new to dropshipping, I recommend using a trusted solution like Spocket; with this app’s help, you could import and start selling products within minutes and not days.
Another fantastic fact about Spocket is that they only associate themselves with top quality suppliers so that their users can provide their customers with a premium experience.
TRY IT NOW – Spocket. co
4. Build your eCommerce store.
Now is time for things to become a reality, and finally, you started that dropshipping business that you dreamed about all these years.
At this time, you need to build a website to display your inventory. The type of website required in this case is not just a business website but something more dynamic and multi-functional, and in this case, it is called an eCommerce website.
An eCommerce store does the hassle of online product listing and hosting, and even collecting payment is carried out for you by an eCommerce store.
Getting your eCommerce store is cheap and does not need much technical know-how, making it very easy for a computer illiterate to develop their eCommerce website.
All you need to start an eCommerce store is an eCommerce software, a domain name and a web host.
I wrote a comprehensive article to help you get started; click the link to get started.
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5. Choose A Payment Gateway.
At this point, you want to devise the best possible means to collect payment from your end customers. This is where the use of a payment gateway comes into place.
A payment gateway allows you to collect payment from customers who purchase something from your website.
You don’t need to worry about payment collection and verification because the software handles everything with a payment gateway.
Payment can be withdrawn to your local bank account and used to process other things needed.
There are so many payment gateways out there; most are restricted to a specific region, while most of them are available for use worldwide.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best payment gateway; click the link to the article to get started.
Promote Your Business
You already have a dropshipping business and Yipe!!! Is now happy. The whole thing does not stop there, as more work needs to be done to ensure that you make money. One important thing that should not be ignored is marketing.
You need to be able to attract people to use your online store, and there is no other way to accomplish this than marketing.
There are many ways to promote your dropshipping store, but I will list a few of them in this section.
1. Content Marketing.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy centred on creating and sharing helpful, meaningful, and regular content to draw and retain a precisely defined audience and, eventually, drive profitable customer action by optimizing search engine optimization.
Content marketing is slow at first; if your website does has not developed the necessary qualities to rank on the search engine, you can find yourself having to wait for months before you start to see search results, but in the long term, content marketing can help you generate potential customers that will eventually become active buyers.
Start a blog about your dropshipping niche and create content that inspires and educates your target audience. You could also begin a YouTube channel, design infographics, or start a podcast to help get the word out about your brand.
To start utilizing content marketing, you need to understand how search engine optimization works.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you understand the basics of search engine optimization; click the link to get started.
2. Facebook Ads.
Facebook is the largest social media on earth, with over 3 Billion worldwide users and 2.7 Billion active users every month.
Facebook has also extended its tentacles by owning other huge communities such as Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp; the good news is that all of these platforms are synchronized into one to make businesses easily transactable.
Facebook ads can help you reach out to a definite audience with just a tiny budget Ad. I wrote a comprehensive guide on getting started using Facebook ads; click the link to the article to get started.
3. Search Engine Advertising (Google Ads).
Google Ads is an online advertising program created by Google. Advertisers request to present brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users using the Google search engine.
It can place ads both in the results of search engines like Google Search and on non-search websites, mobile apps, and videos. Search engine ads are also another means to promote your content search and your search engine rank.
With Google Ads, you can get the highest place on the search rank and generate more potential customers.
Google ads are as potent, with an ROI as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With Google Ads, you will likely get potential and strategic clients who want to buy from you.
I wrote a comprehensive guide that can help you optimize your Google ad campaign, click the link to the article below.
4. Email Marketing.
Email Marketing can amplify your marketing, but it works more effectively when you already have a list somewhere.
Maybe you don’t have a list; you can always create one by sending tons of traffic to a custom landing page anytime. I wrote an article on how you can amplify your email marketing effort.
5. Influence Marketing.
Influence marketing is a kind of social media marketing that leverages support and product placement from influencers, people, and organizations with a portrayed authority level of experience or social influence in their field.
Influencer marketing works because of the enormous trust that social influencers have built up with their following.
Influence marketing is rapidly growing now in this age because of the vast engagement created all over social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
When choosing an influencer, you should check out influencers’ profiles that are dominant in your location of operation.
The bottom line is that you should not endorse an influencer designed for the American audience for a Nigerian market.
6. Use Instagram Shopping.
Instagram is a photo-sharing platform owned by Facebook, inc, it was acquired far back in 2012, and it has become a second home for Facebook users all over the world; in 2021, Instagram boasted an estimated about 1.4 Billion users on its network, and if you ask me I would say, this is a vast potential revenue-generating platform.
There are various ways to promote your dropshipping business on Instagram, which involve using it as a source of the traffic to your eCommerce website or using the in-built Instagram Shopping features launched by the platform not too long ago.
Instagram Shopping is one of the latest introductions in the user experience. And, as an eCommerce business selling via the dropshipping model, you need to invest in marketing heavily.
Since you’re selling products that you’re not manufacturing or shipping yourself, you have to be marketing-savvy and present these products differently and attractively.
You need always be a step ahead of your competition, use platforms and techniques they aren’t using yet, and look for new trends.
I wrote a comprehensive guide on how to get started on Instagram. Click the link below to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dropshipping.
Just in case you still have more questions that need answers about how this business works. In this section, I will answer very few questions bothering your mind.
1. How much can you make as a Dropshipping Business?
Many dropshipping business owners earn up to $100,000 per year with a thriving dropshipping store. It also depends on how effective your marketing strategy is.
2. How hard is it to start a dropshipping business?
Starting a dropshipping business can be highly competitive. Because you can begin a dropshipping business for free, you may face a lot of companies who are marketing a specific product at similar prices.
3. Is dropshipping profitable?
Yes, dropshipping can be a profitable business model for merchants because you are not responsible for shipping or manufacturing. It’s a low-risk business model that does not acquire huge costs like a wholesaler usually does, and you can earn a significant profit margin with suitable suppliers.
Whether a fresh entrepreneur or an eCommerce expert, a dropshipping enterprise is a great low-risk, low-cost way to start selling online.
Running your business online is no longer a strain with the rise in third-party apps and marketing automation tools.
Dropshipping comes with its drawback, most of which includes;
1. Less Control Over Order Fulfillment and Lead Times, which can eventually piss off your customers.
2. Poor Customer Service. If your supplier delivers products late, destroys them, has the incorrect items, or otherwise screws up your customer’s order, the customer will take it out on you, and you get to take all the blame.