It has been a couple of years since dropshipping has been quite a popular business model among new entrepreneurs, especially the ones trying to achieve big with a minimal investment. Most of this publicity of this concept has been due to a drastic shift of the e-commerce ecosystem to accommodate more marketing-based business models. This concise guide will answer your beginner level questions regarding dropshipping. Before we dive deeper into the basics of this model and answer why it is helpful, let’s start with ‘why?’.
Why should you choose dropshipping?
1. Low initial investment
It is an e-commerce business model that needs little or no initial investment because you do not have to stock an inventory. Thus, a lot of your focus can be diverted from the regular hassles of importing/creating products and managing inventory costs to marketing your online store.
2. No personal inventory
As indicated above, you don’t have to handle any inventory. Thus, this model is particularly beneficial if you're trying to find a web business opportunity without much experience in e-commerce.
3. Minimal risk
Finally, there is almost no risk in starting a dropshipping business. Setting up an e-commerce store from scratch not only takes up a lot of effort and time, but also it sits heavy on your bank account. Thus, it becomes a compulsion to succeed, the stress of which in retrospect can impact your decision-making ability to a great extent. On the other hand, drop-shipping can give you a great start and a first-hand experience at starting and running your own business.
Doesn’t this sound too good? What’s the catch?
An e-commerce website that operates on a drop shipping model purchases the things it sells from a third-party supplier or manufacturer, who fulfils the order. This cuts operational costs and frees up some time to focus all of your efforts on customer acquisition. While it doesn’t take tons of startup funds to launch a drop shipping business, it'll require an immense amount of diligence. Also, your marketing efforts should be top-notch, because now your profit margins are affected since a small cut is also received by your manufacturer/supplier.
So, how does dropshipping work?
There are three important factors in a dropshipping business: the supplier, your store, and the customer.
The supplier is responsible for your order fulfilment and holding the physical inventory. You can find plenty of them near you or via online marketplaces.
Your store –
This is your actual store at which the customer will place their order. You will have to upload the product catalogue ad remember to include clean images, item details, and a unique description.
After an order is placed, you will get a notification, and you can direct it to your supplier. You only need to pay your supplier when a converted visitor makes the payment.
How can you start a dropshipping business right away?
1. Decide what to sell
We have a helpful article just to help you choose products that are easy to sell, to read that guide, click here. The niche you decide on must be something you're genuinely curious about. A product range that isn’t focused is going to be difficult to plug. If you aren’t hooked into the niche you decide on, you'll be more inclined to be becoming discouraged because it takes tons of labour to successfully scale a dropshipping business.
2. Research well
Remember, since dropshipping is such an easy business model to adapt, you will face a lot of competition. Don’t forget that you will be competing with other established e-commerce businesses and retail giants as well. You can increase your chances of being successful with a radical research process of your competitors and the business you're in. The time you save in setting up an inventory or a manufacturing process goes into laying the foundations of an astute online business.
3. Partner with a supplier
Partnering with the incorrect supplier can ruin your business, so it’s important that you simply don’t rush this step. Conduct proper due diligence. Most dropshipping suppliers are located overseas, making communication extremely important, both in terms of response speed and therefore the ability to know one another. If you're not one hundred per cent confident within the communication abilities of a wholesaler/manufacturer/seller, advance and continue your search.
4. Build your e-commerce website
There are multiple easy by which you can own an e-commerce website. You can go for an HTML site, for which you can either hire a skilled developer or an agency. This is not often preferred though because of regular maintenance needs and high monetary requirements. An easier way is to use an e-commerce service platform like Abicart. You don’t need a tech background to own a fully functional e-commerce website. Our platform has already embedded all the tools and features you will ever need to run an online store. And what else, it’s really easy to use! We already have partnered with the best of the best partners, so you don’t have to. You can sign up for a free trial here.
5. Create a customer acquisition plan
Having an excellent product and an internet site is great, but without customers looking to shop for, you don’t have a business. There are several ways to draw in potential customers, but the foremost effective option is to start a Facebook advertising campaign. This allows you to get sales and revenue right from the beginning, which may contribute to quick scaling. Facebook allows you to put your offer directly ahead of a highly targeted audience. This provides you with the power to compete with the most important brands and retailers immediately.
Here is a bonus tip for you to get started right away. If you are not a very ‘people-person’, the most difficult part of starting this dropshipping business for you would be interacting with a supplier or manufacturer. So for an easier way to get started, consider a few suppliers from marketplaces like AliExpress. You can also test their credibility, delivery time and product quality by easily ordering samples. Start your store with five to ten products in the beginning and see how it goes. Then, you can go all out with the products that get the most sales.
Hope this helps. If you would like more assistance or have any doubts, feel free to reach out to us on our website!