Dropshipping is a good way to get started in business at minimal cost. With this business model, you’re spared the costs of manufacturing, warehousing and shipping goods. You’ll fulfill orders as they come in by transmitting customer requests to your supplier — who, in turn, delivers the product to your client on your behalf.
This makes starting a drop ship business one of the least expensive ways to open a retail outlet online. However, there’s more to it than just cutting a deal with a supplier, throwing up a website and watching the dollars roll in.
You have to be strategic in your execution to see success.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Problem & Your Customers
Every successful business solves a problem for its customers. Given we all have more in common than differences, look for problems in your own life certain products can solve and consider offering them.
Before you do so however, take some time to figure out who has the problem you’re solving.
In other words, identify your ideal customer. Who are they? Where do they live? How much money do they make? How much education do they have? Where do they work? Where do they congregate online?
Choose Your Goods Carefully
The key traits for which you should look when considering a product line for your drop ship businessare a wide profit margin, low shipping costs and solid appeal to shoppers with disposable incomes. You want something for which there is both considerable and repeat demand that people can’t find in their immediate areas. And, you want something you can brand as your own product so your customers learn to look to you to replenish their supply.
Scout The Competition
That the item you choose is in high demand means you’ll be facing some pretty significant competition from the likes of Amazon. Don’t be put off by this. Instead,lookat how they operate, observe their strengths and weaknesses. What are they doing well? Learn from it and incorporate it into your game. What are they doing poorly? Improve upon it to help you beat them at their own game.
Find Your Partner
Lots of companies offer drop shipping these days because ecommerce has made the model more profitable. In many cases, your ideal business partner will be located in another country. It’s important to establish a strong relationship to ensure timely communication and accurate responses to your needs.
Remember, your customers will have no idea the product is coming from a third party. It’s your reputation on the line. Research the company thoroughly before you sign a contract with them. Be certain they can meet all of your needs. Look for others who have worked this way and pick their brains for guidance in this regard.
Establish Your Site
“Building” an ecommerce site is easier today than at any other time in history. Templated sites you can customize to reflect your branding are offered by companies such as Shopify. BigCommerce and Wix. They are easy to use, flexible, feature rich and provide outstanding value for the money. You’ll also find strong support, all of the plug-ins you’ll need to operate your specific enterprise and best of all, you can do it all yourself with no tech background at all.
Always Be Marketing
Work up your marketing plan while you’re building out your site. In fact, you can even start Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube and TikTok teaser promotions while your site in in production to help build anticipation.
Look for every possible opportunity to stimulate your business. Targeted campaigns offered by each platform can help you get in front of the people who need you the most.
Observe and Adjust
Once you’re up and running, you’ll need to keep a close eye on things to see what works in terms of attracting customers and serving them — and what doesn’t.
Amplify the things that work, correct the things that don’t. One of the best aspects of ecommerce is it generates lots of data you can use to analyze the results of your efforts to get a feel for what’s working and what can be improved.
Starting a drop ship business is indeed one of the least costly ways to become a retailer. However, like every other venture, what you get out of it will be determined by what you put into it. These tips will help you get off to the right start.