It involves partnering with a supplier who handles the storage, packaging, and shipping of products to customers.
What is a Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping is a retail business model where the seller doesn’t own or store any inventory but instead partners with a supplier who stocks and ships the products directly to the customers.
The drop shipper promotes and sells the products, and the supplier takes care of the storage, packaging, and shipping.
This allows the drop shipper to focus on marketing and growing their business without the hassle and expense of managing inventory.
Why Should I Start a Dropshipping Business?
Starting a dropshipping business can be an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start an online business. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider starting a dropshipping business:
1. Low Startup Costs.
Unlike traditional retail businesses, dropshipping businesses have low startup costs. You don’t need to invest in inventory, storage space, or shipping supplies. All you need is a website, marketing tools, and a partnership with a supplier.
2. Flexible Location Independence.
With a dropshipping business, you can work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. This means you can run your business from the comfort of your own home or while travelling.
3. Wide Product Range.
With drop shipping, you have access to a wide range of products to sell. You can choose products from multiple suppliers and offer a diverse range of products to your customers.
Dropshipping businesses are highly scalable. You can easily increase your sales by adding more products or partnering with additional suppliers. You can also expand your business by targeting new markets or niches.
5. Low Risk.
With drop shipping, you only pay for the products that have already been sold. This means there is no need to worry about unsold inventory or wastage. This also means you can test new products without risking large investments.
7. Dropshipping Offers Flexibility.
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, if you don’t want to start a dropshipping business with zero knowledge of what the market is like, you will end up recording a 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.
Here is an example below of the average online search for sunglasses.
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;
3. Subscribe to competitors’ email lists if they have one.
Learn everything about your top competitors: their websites, prices, marketing methods, product descriptions, and reputations. 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, the 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 the 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.
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.
6. 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 traffic to your eCommerce website or using the in-built Instagram Shopping features launched by the platform not too long ago.
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.
6. Process Orders.
When customers place orders on your online store, forward the orders to your supplier who will handle the shipping and delivery of the products. Ensure that you provide accurate shipping and tracking information to your customers.
7. Provide Excellent Customer Service.
Provide excellent customer service to build a loyal customer base. Respond promptly to customer queries and complaints, and ensure that your customers are satisfied with their purchases.
8. Analyze Your Business Performance.
Analyze your business performance regularly to identify areas of improvement. Use analytics tools to track your website traffic, sales, and customer behaviour. Use this information to optimize your marketing strategies and improve your store’s performance.
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.
With low startup costs and the ability to work from anywhere, dropshipping businesses offer entrepreneurs an exciting opportunity to build a successful business without the hassle and expense of managing inventory.
By following these steps, you can build a successful dropshipping business that generates revenue and provides a valuable service to your customers.