Dropshipping is a great business model for online entrepreneurs. It's simple to set up and manage and doesn't require a significant up-front investment. You essentially run an online store that manages customer orders but doesn't physically hold inventory.
Dropshipping is a great way to make extra money from home, or you can even turn it into a full-time dropshipping business! It's a relatively low-risk start-up business model and great for first-time and online business owners.
If you're looking to start your own dropshipping store, consider this your step-by-step guide on how to start a dropshipping business.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model in which online entrepreneurs sell products without carrying any inventory. When a customer places an order on your online store, the customer order is forwarded to the supplier, who then ships the products directly to your customer's doorsteps. Your overhead is rolled into your listing price.
You'll also need to factor the wholesale price into your listing price. As the online store owner, you never have to see or handle the product yourself. Still, Forbes recommends always testing the specific product yourself before listing it. You never want to be selling faulty or misleading products!
This business model has a few key advantages:
- Low start-up costs: You don't need to invest in any inventory upfront, so you can start your dropshipping business with very little money. Dropshippers come from every walk of life, and almost anyone can do it.
- No need for storage space: Since you don't carry any inventory yourself, you don't need to worry about storing products or dealing with shipping logistics.
- Easy to get started: Dropshipping is relatively simple to set up and manage, so it's a great business model for first-time and online entrepreneurs who are just getting started.
Now that we've covered what dropshipping is, let's take a look at the best platforms for setting up your dropshipping business.
The Best Platforms for Dropshipping
There are a few different platforms you can use to set up your dropshipping business. Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento are the most popular platforms, but Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay are quickly catching up. All of these platforms offer a wide range of features and tools to help you build and manage your online store.
Choosing the right dropshipping platform is essential, and there are many things you should take into consideration. Think about what products you'll be selling and in what quantities.
You'll need to keep in mind the scalability of your dropshipping business. If you're considering turning it into a full-time eCommerce business, you'll need a platform capable of handling large orders.
Shopify is the leading eCommerce platform, and it's perfect for dropshippers. It's easy to use, has tons of features, and many apps and plugins are available to help you run your business. Plus, Shopify has built-in tools for managing orders and shipping logistics.
Shopify is the most popular platform for dropshipping businesses. It's simple to use and comes with everything you need to get started, including a built-in shopping cart, payment processing, shipping labels, and more. Plus, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, so you can try it out before committing to a paid plan. It's the number one choice for ecommerce stores for a reason.
WooCommerce is another excellent option for setting up your online store. It's a WordPress plugin that turns your WordPress site into a fully-functional online store. WooCommerce is more customizable than Shopify, but it can be a bit more challenging to set up and manage.
WooCommerce is free to download and use, but you'll need to purchase a WordPress hosting plan and domain name to get started. While WooCommerce may be better suited for more advanced users, they do offer an AliExpress integration.
Magento is a popular eCommerce platform that's used by some of the biggest online stores. It's mighty and customizable, but it can be challenging to use if you're not a technical person. Magento is best suited for larger online stores with more complex needs. It's perfect for online entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses quickly. Magento offers a free community edition as well as a paid enterprise edition with more features and tools.
Amazon is the world's largest online marketplace and is a great place to dropship products. You can list your products on Amazon and have them shipped directly to your customers. Amazon also has a lot of tools and resources to help you run your business. Plus, if you're already selling products on Amazon, you can easily add dropshipping to your existing online business.
AliExpress Dropshipping Store
AliExpress is the world's largest online marketplace for Chinese manufacturers and suppliers. It's a great place to find low-cost products for your dropshipping business. AliExpress also offers a wide range of features and tools to help you run your business.
Big Commerce Dropshipping
BigCommerce is another popular ecommerce platform that's perfect for dropshipping businesses. It has all the features and tools you need to run a successful online store. Plus, it's easy to use and comes with great customer support.
Things to Sell with Dropshipping
The great thing about dropshipping is that you can sell almost anything! The best things to sell online are products that are in high demand and have low competition. You can find these types of products by doing market research or using a dropshipping directory like SaleHoo, which does the research for you by tracking trending products and reliable suppliers.
Once you've found a product to sell, be sure to do some research on the competition and prices before listing it for sale. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing products to sell, such as the shipping costs, the target audience, and the profit margins.
Shopify's list of the best dropshipping products to sell included apparel and footwear like tshirts and sandals. They said pillows and microfiber bedsheets performed well in the home interior category.
Pet supplies were another top category, with people looking for pet poop bags and cat litter. They also noted that baby products did especially well with top-selling items like water-based wipes and no-touch forehead thermometers.
These are just a few examples of things you can sell with a dropshipping store. The list is endless, and the sky's the limit when it comes to dropshipping. Just make sure to do your research before selecting any specific product. Finding the right supplier is just as important as the specific product you sell.
Once you've set up your online store, it's time to start promoting it! You can do this through online advertising, email marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). There are many ways to use effective SEO in your online store. Your product descriptions should all include keywords that you've found through research. Social media marketing should include Facebook ads and Instagram ads.
Consider working with an influencer to boost your online store's visibility. This works by paying the influencer to wear or use your product and they in turn advertise your online store. If you choose to work with an influencer, you'll want to ensure you're aiming toward your target audience.
If your store has new products regularly, consider working with your online platform to automate email marketing. Email marketing has a massive ROI and should be used whenever possible.
Working with your online business platform, you may have access to Google trend analytics. You want to make sure that potential customers can find you in a quick Google search. If you're unsure how to take your new small business to the next level, reach out to Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing. We know how to bring your business idea to life!
Tips for Running a Dropshipping Business
You may qualify for business counseling from the Small Business Administration if you choose to commit to turning your dropshipping side hustle into a full-time job. You'll need to register for a business license to turn your dropshipping business into an entire business. This means you'll need to choose an appropriate business structure. Will you be an LLC or act in sole proprietorship? These are all factors to consider. See our other articles for more tips on how to register a small online business.
The dropshipping business model can seem straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind while running your Shopify store. While you may have a great idea and well-thought-out business plan, there are still a few things you need to make sure you stay on top of when it comes to dropshipping and your ecommerce website. Here are a few tips for dropshipping:
- Offer great customer service: Since you're selling online, it's crucial to offer excellent customer service. This includes responding quickly to questions and concerns, offering refunds and returns, and providing tracking information for orders. Your dropshipping company should have a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section on its website to answer commonly asked queries.
- Choose the right products: Not all products are created equal when it comes to dropshipping. Some products are more expensive to ship, some are more likely to be returned, and others may be delicate and require special packaging. Do your research before selecting any specific product.
- Find a reliable supplier: The right supplier is key to a successful dropshipping business. Dropshipping suppliers should offer competitive prices, fast shipping times, and good customer service. It's also important to find a supplier that you can trust to send you high-quality products.
No matter the specific product you choose to sell, the dropshipping business model you decide to use, or the platform you use for your online store, make sure to follow our step-by-step guide on how to start a dropshipping business.