To sell physical products online, you have to have the minimum inventory for that product and that involves lots of money. Another very important requirement is an eCommerce website. This is how a general eCommerce business works.
But Dropshipping is different. Here you sell physical products without worrying about the inventory. So no investment is required to maintain the stock of the products.
We focus on offering values to the readers so that they can move forward to a financial stability. In this process we shake hands with different companies to bring the best to you guys. Following that, we may get a commission if you make any purchase using our referral links.
What is Dropshipping?
What if I tell you that this is the kind of business where you can sell physical products that too without owning and storing a single piece of inventory, and by creating your own e-Commerce website. That is one hundred percent true and that is Dropshipping.
Being the leader in this business category, Shopify represented this model to understand droshipping.
Image Source: Shopify
As per Shopify, Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store does not keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product using the dropshipping model, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the seller does not have to handle the product directly.
Shopify lets you create your store with products listing from third party suppliers. There is a base price for every product from the supplier. You can add your margin on it and sell the same product at a markup price. You keep the difference amount and the supplier gets the base amount. So technically you earn from each sale by doing almost nothing.
Shopify offers this service on minimum monthly charges. You can start with a basic Shopify plan that will cost you $29 per month. With little advertising on social media or Google, you can pull traffic on your website. Later you can go for advanced plans that will cost you more obviously, but with added advantages.
You can check the plans with pricing and features here.
How to Setup and Start Dropshipping
There is nothing much to do here. It just needs some time of yours. Let me take through the steps to set up and start your dropshipping business.
1. Choose a Niche
Niche is something that requires special attention. So put some time and research into it. You just cannot choose the random products to sell. This will not help as there are plenty of stores already. Dropshipping is not like a regular eCommerce store like Amazon where every kind of product is sold.
It is rather a different business idea where you choose specific category products. That is how you can focus on customers with similar interests. You can expand to different product lines once you start making good sales every month.
2. Choose a Platform
Shopify offers you to create your own website so that you can sell directly to the customers. However, a newly launched website may take some time to gain customer trust. To sell more, you can use platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. These websites are pro eCommerce businesses and millions of people search for different products here.
Initially, there are chances you make a good number of sales from these platforms instead of your own website. These platforms will also help you to build a customer base and you can promote your website by sending them emails.
3. Choose a Product
For example, if you choose “Bags” as your niche then you have to choose what kind of bags you will sell initially. If it will be school bags, handbags, backpacks, or diplomat bags. This is just to give you the idea of choosing a product.
You might think to sell all kinds of bags but it will be hard to manage at the start because each product category is different so better to focus on one.
4. Know Your Competition
Well, there will be competition always. So better to know your competitors well to be in the race. No matter what niche and product you choose, someone will be selling that already. Idea is to market yourself differently. That is what matters. If you know your competitors, you can research their marketing strategy to take advantage.
5. Building your Brand
Create social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest so that you can connect with the people. Post regularly engaging content. Better to go with infographic content so that followers can relate it with the product. Build your email list to pitch your store and products to the customers.
With consistency, you will start getting hits on your websites. Advertising is another option to promote your website.
6. Choose Suppliers
Do you remember your last online purchase when you were not at all happy with the product and had to return the same? You might have also posted a bad review about it. The answer will be yes. I am sure you do not want this to happen with your products, right.
So choose a supplier wisely. Go with Alibaba and Oberlo as these are well-established suppliers. Ask for a sample first so that you can check the quality of the product by yourself. Product is something that will be converted into a brand, only if the customer likes it.
7. Product Listing and Sales
Ok, then, all set to list your product on your website? There is a pattern you need to follow. You will need pictures of the product with a detailed description so that it can offer as much information about the product.
Chances are very high that you might not sell even a single product in the first month of launching your store. Setting up this kind of business takes time. So do not get discouraged. Invest your time and learn to improve on strategy for better results.
Shopify offers free training courses to learn dropshipping. If you pay attention to that learning, you can start earning a good income very soon. Learning is everything so I would suggest you not to skip it. The initial period is very crucial so just stick to the niche and keep learning new methods to showcase your store o people. Better to go with paid promotion to reach the most targeted audience.