Dropshipping is one of the easiest ways, if not the best, to start an ecommerce store especially if you are new to ecommerce on the online world. Dropshipping is a process whereby the entrepreneur sells products without first buying or stocking them.
Dropshipping is very easy and simple to start, it needs low capital to start, it has low rate of risk and are very highly automated.
But it is much easier to get started, and you could run your business from anywhere in the world with or no much capital attached.
In this article, I’m going to break down for you, what drop shipping is all about. I will do with a simple definition, list the benefits, list some tips to know, tell you why you should drop ship, and give solutions to some common problems associated with drop shipping.
Let’s go in detail now:
What Is DROPSHIPPING?
Drop-shipping is a method of eliminating the steps of keeping goods, instead of enabling the seller to purchase wholesale products individually and then sell it for a profit online.
Drop shipping is a retail method in which you don’t keep products in stock. Instead, you look for a partner with a wholesale supplier that stocks its own goods, then transfer customer orders and shipment details to them, and they ship the goods directly to the customer.
Reasons Why You Should Drop-ship
Drop-shipping is a great business model for new startups and the already existing once. It deals with low risk, low cost, easy to start up, and is highly automated.
- Low risk business: You only pay for goods sold to customers. There is no need to buy bulk inventory to get wholesale prices as drop-shipping prices are already very low.
- Low cost: Due to most goods is been imported from China, the cost of goods are low. Since product costs are low you can price your products at market value and still have enough profit in your business.
- Easy to start: Products can be imported quickly and since you won’t carry goods you can start promoting them instantly.
- Highly automated business: Products can be imported in one click. Orders can be processed in one click too. This is great for those with full-time jobs, currently in school, or with busy schedules.
The Benefits of Drop Shipping
There are a number of reasons you should consider doing drop shipping:
- You Don’t Need So Much Money: Drop shipping makes it so easy to get started selling online. You don’t need to invest heavily, still you can offer thousands of items to your customers.
- Its Convenience & Efficiency: Successfully launching and growing an ecommerce business takes a lot of work, especially if you have limited resources. Not having to worry about fulfillment is incredibly convenient and frees up your time to concentrate on your marketing plan, customer service, and operations
- Mobility: With all the physical fulfillment issues handled, you are free to operate your business anywhere you can get an internet connection.
- It’s a Trusted Model: You might be thinking that this sounds like some sketchy words, fly-by-night model but it’s not. Some of the online stores, even major retailers like Sears,use drop shipping to offer a wider selection of products to their customers without having to deal with increased inventory hassles.
How To Drop-ship On Online Stores
Step 1: Find a Supplier
A successful online store drop-shipping business comes down to quality customer service and the right supplier. You might choose to source local suppliers, or to find wholesale suppliers online.
When choosing a supplier, consider these key factors:
- What shipping methods does the supplier offer? Are there options for expedited shipping?
- How long does it take to ship a particular order made by a customer? Suppliers that can’t guarantee their delivery times put you at risk of having dissatisfied customers.
- Will they ship worldwide, or only to specific countries? You could be limiting your customer base without expanded shipping options.
- How do they conduct quality control? Poor quality can lead to poor reviews.
- Can you use their source material (photos, specs, product descriptions) in your listings? Professional-style images and descriptions can give a boost to your sales.
Once you’ve selected your suppliers, contact them. Let them know you’d like to become a retailer for their products and ask about their policies on drop-shipping.
Step 2: Set Up Your Online Store Seller Account
Setting up your account takes just a few minutes, but there are some important steps that many online sellers overlook.
- Pay attention to online store’s seller information center, which contains useful links and guidelines for setting up your store.
- Choose your account name wisely.
- Online store may require a tax ID for seller accounts.
- Set up your payment method.
- Set up your profile page with details about your shop and its policies, including shipping and return policies.
Step 3: Create Your Listings
Using the information provided by your supplier, create your online store listings for each product. Factors such as pricing, timing and auction.
Step 4: Manage and Maintain
Now that you’ve got your online store listings, it’s time to make money!
Start building a positive reputation by fulfilling your orders as quickly as possible, and check in with your supplier on a weekly or even daily basis to make sure everything is running the way it should.
Respond to customer complaints and inquiries promptly and professionally, and do your best to create a positive experience that will build loyalty and encourage repeat customers.
Tips For Successful Dropshipping
1. Create an Amazing Offer
If you want to win the heart of your customers, create a good and attractive offer that draws many customers attention to get the offer. Don’t always have in mind to pack everything into your pocket, make a tangible offer to allow them come back in future.
However, if you present the right product with the right deal you will be more likely to convert them.
Bundle deals can also work really well. When creating a bundle deal, focus on selling more of the same product. If people love the product, they will want more of it. What will be hard is to convince your customer to bring out their credit card, but once it’s out, you will sell well.
2. Avoid Under pricing Your Products
The cost of goods is usually relatively close to wholesale price, allowing you to sell products at market value and make a profit. The goal of a drop-shipping business is to be profitable. If you are selling a $5 product, you should be charging around $15-$20 for it. You need to consider the cost of goods, marketing, business expenses, and eventually hiring a team.
If other brands are undercutting their prices, don’t undercut yours. As long as your prices are fair and within market value, you should maintain a profitable price point. You should also work to increase average order value so that you make a higher profit from every order. Create strategies that will allow you to make more money overall.
3. Ensure Your Website is Presentable
This is a very important tip among all, one of the most important drop-shipping tips is to make sure that your website is customer friendly. Many new store owners start marketing their stores when their home page images is missing it only have placeholder text and all of their products are lumped together in one big category.
Before launching your store, take a look at other people’s websites in your niche. How does their home page look like? What’s the format of the copy on their product page? Do their images include logos on them? What types of pages does their website have? Which features or apps does the store include on their website?
4. Offer Exceptional Customer Service
In any business, there are many ways to stand out when selling the same products as everyone else. One of the best ways is to offer a unique and great customer service. Offering refunds and responding to customer inquiries is important but it doesn’t really separate you for many of the big brands out there.
Play and crack jokes around with your customers. Give them a thank you card if they order from your store many times. Run monthly promo and giveaways exclusive gift to customers who have ordered from you in the past even if they are no more coming to buy from you, remind them that you have them in mind.
Do whatever it takes to make each customer feel valued and appreciated. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t become a successful person. Try to build these customer appreciation habits from the very first time of sale.
Customers might not always remember what they bought from your website but they will always remember how you treated them.
5. Be Active Daily
Running a business requires daily effort. You don’t need to spend eight hours a day working on your business but you will need to spend at least an hour a day on your store as you grow your sales. Each day, you will need to process orders so that products arrive to your customers promptly. You’ll also need to respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours (ideally less) so that customers can depend on you.
Marketing efforts will also need to take place each day. You can automate your social media posting at the beginning of the week. However, you should aim to be active on social media in a regular basis. Ensure that your ads are always running all the time.
6. Monitor Your Competition
Another drop-shipping tip is to like your competitors on social media. Check on their websites and social media pages regularly. By liking their page, you’ll start receiving their product and retargeting ads. Which products do they advertise? Does that product get a lot of engagement such as comments or shares?
By monitoring and paying attention to your competition, you’ll know which products you should be selling on your store. When you pay attention to the types of posts your competitors add to their social media pages, you’ll know what type of content people within your niche really like this helps make you a better marketer.
Is drop shipping the path to overnight ecommerce success? No! As with any successful online store, you will need to invest over time in a good and quality website, marketing, and customer service.
But drop shipping does provide an easy way to get started and the ability to leverage other people’s capital without having to invest thousands of your own. When managed correctly, it can form the foundation of your own successful online store.
Thanks and see you at the top.