It’s no secret that dropshipping is one of the fastest-growing industries in eCommerce. It is a convenient, low-risk business model that you can easily start with just a little capital. You don’t have to worry about managing the stock of goods, and you simply have to focus on making a sale.
That said, if you’d like to try this business model, here are the steps to follow to start an effective dropshipping business.
1. Choose the Product
‘What should I sell?’
This is the first thing you need to consider when starting your dropshipping business. There are thousands of dropshipping product ideas you can find and sift through.
Start with the general idea of the product category you’re interested in. Then look for trending niches and products that are already popular with customers. Fashion, fitness, beauty products, and electronic accessories are some of the good entry points to start your dropshipping business.
For instance, print-on-demand shirts and items are some of the most popular items. If you’re looking to dropship customized shirts, you should consider partnering with print-on-demand dropshipping companies. You can learn more about this by visiting printful.com/drop-shipping-products.
2. Choose a Supplier
Once you find the product you want to sell, it’s time to find the right partner to supply those products.
A dropshipping business is only as good as the items it sells. So, you want to take your time finding suppliers that will provide you with quality products at reasonable prices.
Check a wholesale directory to find vendors for your chosen products. Contact a shortlist of suppliers and ask important questions so you can find the right one for your business needs.
Make sure that you find a supplier with enough experience in the dropshipping industry. They should be able to handle the packing, production, and shipping items with ease.
Remember, if your customers experience product quality issues or slow shipping, your business will be the one to suffer.
3. Spy on Competitors
Once you have an idea of what products you want to sell and find a supplier, you now need to take a closer look at who your competitors are and how they sell their products.
To find your competitors, a simple Google search will do. Then you can use a competitor spy tool that allows you to track your competitors’ online activity.
Then, you can visit their online store, look them up on social media, read their customer reviews, sign up for their email marketing, and more. Make sure to gather as much data as possible to determine what your competitors are doing, taking notes of their strengths and weaknesses. The data you obtained will give you a leg up once you launch your dropshipping business.
4. Build Your Online Store
With suppliers and products secured, it’s time to build your digital storefront. And you have two options for this:
- Ecommerce Platforms
This is the recommended option for every dropshipper. You need to build your own eCommerce website, providing you with more flexibility and functionality in managing your dropshipping store.
You can find several eCommerce platforms out there, and which platform to use will depend on who your supplier is since most provide direct integration and what kind of store you want.
- Ecommerce Marketplaces
If you don’t want the hassle of building your own store, selling on well-established eCommerce marketplaces such as Amazon is a better option. Setting up an online store in these marketplaces is easy and is generally trusted by users.
Unfortunately, eCommerce marketplaces are limiting, meaning you don’t have full control over your branding and marketing. Plus, you’ll need to adhere to their terms of service, and they’ll charge you a fee for every sale you make.
5. Think About the Payments
Your business’s ability to accept payment and handle transactions is key to closing sales. Customers want to have several payment options and feel secure about how you handle sensitive financial data.
If you choose to run your own store, you need to invest in a high-quality payment gateway to handle the transaction. If you’re using an eCommerce platform or marketplaces, most offer integration to reliable payment software. So, you don’t have to worry about this.
That’s it! Dropshipping is a lucrative business with huge scalability potential. And if you want to jump on the dropshipping bandwagon, there are only six steps to start your dropshipping business. Make sure to invest in the right tools and learn more about this business model to have the best chance to grow.