If you want to start an online business but not willing to maintain product inventory by your own then drop shipping idea can be ideal for you. Dropshipping is now trendier and more ecommerce store owners are engaging in this sector.
With dropshipping you can sell your products directly to your customers without maintaining product inventory and shipping process of your own. You have dropshippers or product suppliers who do the product storing to product shipping on behalf of you. This type of ecommerce activity helps the store owners to make more sales at a time and to run their store from anywhere anytime.
This article will describe the basics of dropshipping, its benefits and the steps to open your own dropship site.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is selling product directly from a supplier to your customers without having that product in your store physically. Dropshipping works like regular ecommerce retailing but this process requires a supplier or dropshipper from whom you sell your product.
You must have an online store for dropshipping but you don’t have to stock products or to manufacture products rather you make copy of supplier’s products and then post them on your store. When a customer want to buy that product from your store just pay the money to the supplier and ship directly to your customer. Your customers will not know that you dropship your products.
The difference between standard and dropshipping is that if you have standard store you can stock or produce goods but in dropshipping you never see the products!
Benefits of dropshipping
Dropshipping is now trending not only for its low capital requirement but also for hassle free product management. Dropshipping has some benefits and they are-
Dropshipping requires less capital and it allows you to cut most of your business related costs like additional shipping cost, product inventory cost or warehouse cost. You don’t need to pay more dollars behind your store front as you are not manufacturing your products.
In dropshipping you make sales without purchasing products where your suppliers ship the products directly to your customers. Even you don’t have to pay for damaging or returning of purchased products-these all are your supplier’s duty to fulfill.
For example, dropshipper has limited shipping cost that you have to pay but small and medium shops may pay more shipping costs with additional fees and charges.
With dropshipping you don’t have to deal with physical products so it is much easier to start than standard ecommerce business. Maintain and updating physical products often creates complexities and many small and medium ecommerce stores fail in the competition for this fact. When you dropship products from your dropshippers you do not have to maintain and keep them in your store physically which also let you spend more time on making deals to enhance store’s functionality.
In traditional ecommerce business store owners always are careful about trending products to minimize the risk of losing their customers. If you have an ecommerce store with physical goods you have to keep track with present test and trend of customer’s choice otherwise you will fail selling your products. But with dropshipping you can engage more customers by focusing on exactly what they want by reducing the risks of product inventory and product ordering.
Dropshipping minimizes the risks and costs of product inventory and product shipping to your customers by employing dropshippers, most of the work has done by them so you can expand your business so easily. Dropshipping allows you to make more deals by fulfilling customer’s order with less incremental work.
Another fact of dropshipping that allows you to grow your business more quickly is that it increases your order fulfillment capacity by offering a wide variety of products by giving you access to both niche products and popular best-sellers.
Dropshipping makes your business more flexible allowing you to maintain your business from anywhere anytime. Leveraging dropshipping allows you with more free time and you can contact with more customers. You can also run your dropshipping site as your side business as you do not have to worry about your product inventory and front up.
Steps to start a dropshipping business
Here are some important steps of starting a dropshipping business.
The first step of starting a dropship business is to choose the best product which you want to sell. There are thousands of similar products and you have to choose the best sellers or top notch products to attract more customers.
You can search products using the following methods-
Which method you use to search your products try to make a comprehensive list of desired products before selecting one form them.
Following facts to keep in mind when selecting products-
Analyze recent market trend to get clear idea of which type of product you need to choose for your dropshipping store. If you already have the idea which product you want to sell online than compare it with recent trendy products to understand product’s recent market value.
Look through various magazines and sites for most reviewed and most purchased products. It is helpful to understand the market’s vibe of products demand and to plan necessary steps to meet the demand.
Product pricing is the key to success in any retailing business. Compare product’s market price whether it is static or dynamic.
The most critical and important step is to find the best dropshipper for your store.There are numbers of wholesalers and you don’t know which one will be fake or fraud. So here are some ways to find the best dropshipper –
The best way to find a supplier is to contact with manufacturers. Every manufacturer has its own list of distributors; try to contact with the manufacturer of your desired products for the supplier’s list.Then contact with the suppliers to convince them to dropship your products.
You can simply search “wholesaler” or “dropshippers” of your key product in Google and will find a list of all possible results. It is kind of hard to find a legitimate and real supplier in web searching but with so much patience you may find a dropshipper.
Some tips to make the search more fruitful-
You can use paid directories to find out suppliers. A supplier directory is a database of suppliers made by the market and you can find genuine suppliers from the directory. You may find web searching free of cost but supplier directories may cost you.
There are many alternative dropshipper websites like SaleHoo or Doba which are a mix of both directories and dropshippers. These websites are more legitimate and provide genuine wholesalers.
Another method of finding supplier is to check your competitor’s supplier list. It is not the best idea but it sometimes work. Locate other possible dropshipping sites and order something from them and when you get your product you can search for the supplier address.
Now you have decided what to sell and from where to sell the product. Now open your own ecommerce site or store and make it legal by opening an account with your dropshipping company. Get the EIN number and other legal requirements like business license.Make your marketing strategies to enhance your store’s functionality and product’s brand.
Choose a platform for your store to sell your products. The largest online auction market place is eBay. But you can use Shopify one of the most dynamic ecommerce platform for your dropshipping site. Shopify associates with Aliexpress offers the most easy and automated drop shipping for the beginners. Amazon is also a great choice for dropshipping. Once you integrate your shop with one of these platform your sales begins automatically. You can also dropship from your own store without these platforms.
Now you are ready to make your first sale! Copy products from your suppliers and add to your store. Make sure that your customers do not know you are selling dropshipped products. Shopify offers Oberlo dropshipping inventory app to add and manage your products either from Oberlo supply or directly from Aliexpress.
Some tips to make more sales-
Partnering with a dropshipper company is certainly helpful to extend and scale up your ecommerce business. But you will have to be more careful to keep your store in right track as similar to other types of business dropshipping has also some disadvantages. To maximize your profit by minimizing risks and by customer retention you can easily grow your dropshipping store as one of the largest ecommerce site. So do researches before you get started.