Want to start selling a product online but don’t really have the capital or the storage space? You may want to consider starting a drop shipping business; it is an excellent way to enter the online retail market that demands less upfront financial input than a regular online store, plus you don’t need a warehouse to begin selling. You’ll be able to sell products to customers, set your own product prices, and market your very own brand. You don’t even need to pay for inventory until it’s sold to an actual customer. If you’re willing to put in the work, your drop shipping business can be successful. But how exactly does drop shipping work, what are the pros and cons of using this eCommerce fulfillment method and where can you find a drop shipping supplier?
What is a drop shipping?
Dropshipping is a form of eCommerce order fulfillment that allows merchants to sell products on their website that they are not themselves responsible for warehousing or shipping. Instead, merchants purchase products wholesale from manufacturers or drop shipping suppliers, which oversee fulfillment for them.
The process looks something like this:
- A customer buys a product on a merchant’s eCommerce website.
- The merchant sends the order information to their drop ship supplier.
- The supplier picks, packs, and ships the product directly to the customer.
Today 33% of eCommerce stores use drop shipping as a fulfillment method, and with the eCommerce industry growing at a rate of 17% annually, drop-shipping’s popularity is only expected to rise within the next couple of years.
Drop Shipping Is One of the Easiest Online Businesses you could get into.
Finding drop shipping suppliers
It is much easier to find a drop shipping supplier if you know exactly which products you are trying to sell. So before we go any further, spend the necessary time to decide which products you wish to sell. Once you have identified which products you wish to sell, you need to make sure that you find suppliers that most accurately reflect the level of service that you wish to provide to your customers.
Finding drop shipping suppliers can be a little time consuming, given that suppliers are often based out of Asia and the language barrier could take some getting used to. Even so, there are many drop shipping suppliers to choose from for your business.
Drop shipping suppliers to look into
- Doba is a platform that’s designed to connect business owners like yourself with suppliers around the world. The supplier takes care of all the shipping so that you don’t have to do a thing.
- AliExpress is one of the most popular websites to find individual dropshipping suppliers. It’s an international marketplace that offers access to millions of products. You can find suppliers based on the particular product you’re after.
- SaleHoo is a simple and efficient service that’s great for beginners. It’s a directory service that connects business owners with drop shipping suppliers. Currently, SaleHoo can provide you with access to over 1,000 drop shipping suppliers, all of which are vetted and approved.
- WholeSaleB2 is all about efficiency and streamlined operations. They have many dedicated apps and tools for specific platforms, such as eBay and Amazon.
- Wholesale central is a bit of a unique service. It’s completely free to use. It’s designed to help drop shippers find suitable suppliers based on their niche.
Setting up your drop shipping website
So you’ve decided on a product and you’ve lined up a supplier, now you need an eCommerce platform to start making money. Choosing the right selling platform is crucial to the success of your business, but which platform is best for you? In this article we will a quick comparison of the top 2 most popular eCommerce platforms for first time eCommerce entrepreneurs, Shopify and WordPress.
Ease Of Use:
Value For Money:
Search Engine Optimization:
- You don’t need any coding or technical knowledge
- It’s purpose-built for eCommerce, so everything you need is set up for you
- You have to pay extra transaction fees (0.5% – 2% per transaction)
- Shopify Payments only allows you to sell from certain countries. If you want to sell from another country you will need to use a third-party payment gateway.
- There is no longer an official Mailchimp-Shopify integration available.
- Adding functionalities to your store can be expensive since Shopify is dependent on 3rd party apps that you pay monthly for (It can get very expensive, very quickly)
Ease Of Use:
Value For Money:
Search Engine Optimization:
- More powerful and flexible than Shopify, allowing for total customization
- There are a huge amount of helpful resources online, both from user forums and professional developers
- Search Engine Optimization capabilities can be better than any other platform out there (depending on your developer)
- You will need a decent level of technical knowledge to setup the platform
- You will need to source things like hosting, security, and a domain name yourself
Did you know big brands like Wired, Mercedes-Benz, Time and The U.S. Department of Defense uses WordPress. If you want to see what other big brands that use WordPress? Here’s a good read “Who Uses WordPress? How About These 100+ Famous Brands” by our friends at CodeInWP.
Marketing your drop shipping business
Now that your drop shipping website is all setup and ready to go, you’ll want to get the word out about your brandnew storefront.
Proper content marketing can attract more positive attention, interaction, and sustainable conversions in a way no other marketing method can. By creating and promoting original content, you are ensuring that your audience is receiving new information that matters to them on a continual basis. For more on Content Marketing, read our article: Why is Content Marketing Important.
Social Media Marketing
Now that you have a drop shipping business, you can’t afford to be inactive on social media. 75% of people admit to buying something just because they saw it on social media, and 90% of people say that they will turn to social media if they need help on a buying decision.
The reality of website traffic is most new visitors to your store will never return unless you do something to keep them coming back. When new subscribers sign up for your newsletter, they’re expecting to hear from you, that’s why they signed up. Building an email list and sending useful and compelling messages gives you a way to retain the traffic you worked so hard to earn by providing subscribers with an incentive to stay in touch. Email remains the best way to maintain and strengthen existing relationships over time.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the best and most cost efficient way to drive organic traffic to your drop shipping website to increase your sales. Search Engine Optimization is about understanding what products people are searching for, the keywords they’re using, and the type of products they wish to buy. Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to connect to those people. For more on SEO, read our article: Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Absolutely Needs SEO.
SEO has the highest ROI hands down.
There you go! I’ve got you covered on how to start a drop shipping business. Just remember that competition is fierce. By applying some of the advice from this article into your own drop shipping business, you can work towards building an online empire of your own. If you have questions along the way, feel free to get in touch with me. Good luck!