Business

A Quick Guide to Dropshipping

A Quick Guide to Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a popular business model among people that want to start a business without stocking inventory or worrying about delivery. 

This also allows individuals with less capital to also experience owning a business and stress test product ideas before taking the plunge.

Since the barrier to entry is low, more people use dropshipping as a way to own their own business.

Although this model is seemingly simple, it can still be confusing to people that are used to the traditional ways of supply and manufacturing.

So, this quick guide will cover all the basics that you need to know: 

  1. How does dropshipping actually work?

Once your customer places an order, your dropshipping partner finds a supplier closest to you, and the order starts to get processed. In other models, you may have to look for a supplier closest to your customer to reduce delivery timelines. So, if you have to do it manually, make sure you use a supplier that does deliveries nationwide or citywide so that you don’t have to keep multiple suppliers and bounce between them. 

If you would like to cut out dealing with suppliers, you can always try the print on demand model wherein the print on demand service is responsible for order fulfillment and finding suppliers. You can learn more about how each service works by visiting their website. For instance, you can look at Shopify’s dropshipping guide or find the etsy print on demand dropshipping guide in their resources section. 

  1. What are some benefits of dropshipping?

There are several benefits of choosing dropshipping. 

    • It is very profitable
      In 2019, the top 10% of eBay dropshippers made on average $7,731/month profit. It suggests that dropshipping is a profitable business.

    • You don’t need as much capital to start up
      If you choose a print on demand model, you can virtually start up with no capital. For regular dropshipping, you need a nominal amount of capital.

  • It is easy to set up compared to a regular eCommerce business

Since most of the work is handled by website builders, dropshipping partners, or print on demand services, it is relatively easy to set up an eCommerce business.

  • You don’t have to worry about overhead

There are fewer overheads with an eCommerce business but with dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about renting or purchasing warehouses since inventory does not have to be stocked by you. 

  • You can handle it remotely

You can work and travel giving you lots of flexibility to pursue other dreams. Once your business is set up, it will practically run itself on autopilot. So a phone and internet connection is all you need.

  • You can sell pretty much anything

You don’t have to constrain yourself to one industry with dropshipping. You can continue testing multiple products till you hit the nail on the head. 

  • It is easy to stress-test your ideas

If you arrive at an idea through data and intuition but are not sure if it will sell or not, you can create a mockup of your product and stress test it by doing a limited launch. If people bite, then you know your idea has merit.

  • It is easy to grow your business

Since order fulfillment is not your headache, you can focus on growing your business and spend more time bringing down customer acquisition costs.

  1. What are some of the best dropshipping products you can sell?

There is no limit to what you can sell but there are some products that do better than others. Overall, there are 8 categories – 

  1. Health and wellness
  2. Home organizing
  3. Kitchen products
  4. Home decor
  5. Office stationery
  6. Home improvement
  7. Gaming accessories
  8. Car accessories

To find what product sells in each category, you can look at compilation lists from dropshipping services or print on demand services. 

You can also use this framework to identify the right product:

  1. Does it have utility?
  2. Is it aesthetically appealing?
  3. Will it drive return purchases?

Consumables do extremely well in terms of bringing back customers to your site. For instance, if you sell disposable wipes, you know that your customer has to come back to your site to buy them. 

  1. How to plan a marketing strategy for your dropshipping business?

If you are not a well-known brand, marketing is going to help you get in front of the right people and make them convert into a customer. 

Once you find your niche, do extensive competitor research to see what you’re up against. Then, audit their services to see what are their weak spots. Online reviews will also help you understand these. Then make sure that you don’t have those issues with your website. 

Next, you have to start investing in SEO and content marketing. That is the best way to be found, especially for niche products. Remember that retail websites like Amazon and social media platforms like Instagram are also used as search engines. A potential customer types in a bunch of keywords related to the product that they are looking to find. It is important that you get the product descriptions right to increase discoverability.

Other aspects of marketing include measuring your strategies to see if they are yielding the right results.

Final verdict

Dropshipping isn’t as hard as setting up your business online all by yourself, but it does require you to stay updated and have a growth mindset to make quick changes to succeed.

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