What is Dropshipping?
Many people nowadays still shy from online business startup because of the risks and high costs despite their passion. It's understandable, starting an ecommerce store isnt a walk in the park, it's hard work. It requires a good understanding of things like fulfillment, logistics, and marketing, to name a few, but focusing on these elements before you even get started won’t get you anywhere. Sometimes you just need to get started. Any action is better than no action at all. However, in this modern life, there’re a lot of business models which are extremely smart and creative have come out and brought outstanding results in the history of business and technology development. That’s where drop shipping comes to the rescue. Online business now does not simply mean that keep your products in stock then sell it through online channels or eCommerce platforms in the context of inventory and out-of-date fears. Imagine that you stay in-house and your product supplier will directly ship to your customers, even if you do not have access to a physical product. Only after you get the money from the customer, you pay the supplier to fulfill the order. The biggest benefit of drop shipping is you don't have to worry about fulfillment or inventory issues. As a small business owner, this frees up more of your time and lets you concentrate on making sales.
Dropshipping isn't something new. Nowadays, up to 33% of the entire eCommerce industry uses dropshipping as their primary inventory management model.
I don't know anything about dropshipping, can I start with it?
Keep in mind there’s no easy-to-succeed startup business. Dropshipping is an innovative and effective model because of its low risk. If you only learn about dropshipping theoretically then you think it is too easy. But nothing is simple until you do it. Want to start with dropshipping, you have to find out thoroughly, and to succeed with dropshipping you need enough time and experience enough. If you are still confused do not know whichever guide is trustful. Never fear, because this beginner's guide will answer all your queries. This article will help you in getting started with dropshipping and get started in just one hour. It will show you every single step to do and what the next to do.
Follow these steps and you'll learn about dropshipping:
Step 1. Find Your Niche And Your Products.
The biggest hurdle that every new dropshipping entrepreneur have to face is picking niche and products to focus on. And so, it will make huge and long-term consequences on your success or failure of your business. If your goal is to build a profitable shopping site, you need to do some market researches, not only focus on your personal passion.To choose a product that will be profitable as well as the best supplier, you have to answer yourself some questions:
- How is the price?
- Is it passion market?
It depends on your target market and target customers.
- Be sure that the products that you’re going to choose have been sold with a lot of orders.
To answer all the questions above, you need to brainstorm ideas. Your head is full of dropshipping ideas: your hobbies, products you like, Google Trends products, and newly-discovered passions. Write everything down without overthinking or hesitations and you'll be able to answer all of the questions above.
A popular and effective way for you is to research media platforms such as Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, etc. You need insight into how your potential customers are engaging with you niche on social media platforms. Choose platforms which your potential customers are most active on. Below we have narrowed it down to Reddit, Facebook and Instagram.
Reddit is one of the best social networks to conduct research on because it has lots of passionate groups of people sharing common interests and hobbies. This can be a goldmine for you.
The users of Reddit subscribe to specific categories known as “subreddits” which are basically like niche markets on a smaller scale. Search the subreddits to find the one that it most relevant to your niche. In our case, we selected the “Fitness” subreddit for our workout clothes and the “travel” subreddit for our travel backpacks. Using these subreddits we’ll be able to get a glimpse into the workings of the niche market, what our potential customers talk about, how they talk about it and what they’re interested in.
If there aren’t any relevant subreddits for your niche, then perhaps there isn’t a viable market for it. However, if your niche is new and upcoming this could be your chance to share it with the world of Reddit by creating a subreddit for it.
Using Facebook to research about famous brand and influencers as well as hot trends is a highly effective way for you to find out your niche.
Facebook is a social media which is used by the largest number of Internet users all over the world. Their interests and hobbies are shown based on their interaction with brands on Facebook.
Just looking for successful brand and influencers on this channel, define what takes Facebook users attention. Pay attention to how they build their brand image, what their products are, find out how they engage with their audience and the way they bring the value to their customers. Remember to focus on true quality and the price must be value for money.
On Instagram, there're also many kinds of product that fit with people interests and hobbies. Below are 5 profitable eCommerce niches on instargram that you can conduct.
TOP 5 PROFITABLE E-COMMERCE NICHES ON INSTAGRAM
- Health & Fitness
- Information Products
- Beauty & Wellness
- Clothing & Fashion
After doing all of above suggestions, but if you still haven't found out what to sell, consider browsing other shops. This is an effective way to discover products you may never even have heard of before. Many stores have a tremendous amount of data and employ entire departments to organize their sales and pick their products. Use that information to your benefit, it’ll help you come up with some great drop shipping ideas.
Step 2. Choose A Supplier
Your success or failure dropshipping eCommerce also depends on your wholesale dropshippers. So, before starting you need to select your product source wisely. About choosing suppliers, you need to do some researches about:
- Choose a wholesale product source with a good selection of products. An ideal supplier is a company with a diversity of products that meet your customers' demand. For example, if you want to start an online bookstore, you’re going to need a product source that has plenty of books for you to offer customers. Having a variety of products within a niche, or correlating with your niche, is also extremely helpful because it will allow you to utilize such effective sales techniques as cross-selling, bundling and upselling.
- How long will it take for an order to be shipped once you have placed the order with them?
- What shipping methods do they offer? E.g. overnight courier, or for international suppliers, which company they use and what their tracking systems are like.
- Shipping Fees. If a customer needs urgently needs an item to be delivered, you do not want to turn him away and miss a sale because you cannot deliver in time. So, you need to select a dropshipper which ensure in-time delivery. In addition to the shipping charges, some companies may also charge an extra fee per item for the service.
- What are their quality control systems? You don't want to be dealing with sub-standard products, it will mean lots of hassles with returns, which wastes valuable time you could spend on making money.
- Do they offer warranties?
- Can you use their product photos? Large wholesalers often have professional product photos taken which will make your listings all the more professional looking.
- Their Reputation. Research the company and how long it has been providing services. You can verify by asking for the registration number before negotiating. It will be a good sign if the company has been established for at least 2 years. But you can also research its customers' comment or review. If the company doesn't provide any, consider staying away from it and looking for other suppliers.
Follow these answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Aliexpress Dropshipping:
Aliexpress Dropshipping is one of the most popular dropship methods today. You can easily copy products from Aliexpress.com through the Shopify store using the Oberlo application and customize the selling price/margin. And when there are customers to buy products, you just need to buy from suppliers on Aliexpress and send to customers, then you're done!
AliExpress is a marketplace where Chinese companies offer products for international customers.
Do my customers know that my products are picked from Aliexpress?
Unlike other marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay or Etsy that have retail strengths, Aliexpress is specifically designed for dropshipping. So, the sellers on Aliexpress know and understand how this works. So when shipping to a customer they will only name the sender as the retailer.
Why are customers buying products from me instead of being able to buy on Aliexpress for the lower cost?
Simply because your service is better!
You are more powerful than Aliexpress because you only sell items in a certain area and you understand it as well as how to reach the target customers. More than that, you can build a reliable brand identity system so that customers will feel safer when buying on your store.
You will never be able to sell at the cheapest price, so never try to compete on price or you'll fail. Instead, set a reasonable price and provide your customers with shopping experience or value-added articles, reviews, recommendations, product manuals, reviews, etc.
How to find a reliable supplier on Aliexpress?
As you know, one of its cons is you probably will not know the customer's experience with the product because you never hand in the product, it is delivered directly from the distributor to the customer.
To be successful with dropshipping, you need to know the customer experience and choose a reliable supplier. In addition to Aliexpress's own policy for quality control, you should also find yourself a reliable supplier with quality products.
According to above questions, there are some suggestions for you to consider:
First, keep in mind that it is not always the cheapest. On Aliexpress, there are always harshly competitions. If a product is sold for $100 with high quality, immediately there is a product with the same image but much worse quality sold for $50. As such, these companies reduce the quality as well as the price, again and again. So, the quality of the product will be proportional to the price, on Aliexpress.
You'd better find sellers which have positive rating of over 95%. The reviews system for sellers is really important to any sales network. You will probably not want to buy in a store which has low service and complaints from customers. Take a look at how buyers evaluate how sellers are and listen to their opinions. And look for sellers that have the highest positive rating.
Then you need to test the responsiveness of the seller. The simplest way is messaging them and pay attention to how they reply to you. If they answer autoresponses with nonsense words, consider staying away from them. But cooperate with the sellers to respond sincerely and enthusiastically with the desire to answer you.
On the left is the message which is specifically replied by the seller while the right is a mechanically automated message.
Step 3. Create Your Own Website With Shopify
The alternative to selling through third-party sites like Amazon and eBay is establishing your own online store to sell products. If you’re sellers who are looking for diversity and have a desire of mastering your system yourself, consider setting up your own eCommerce website. This is the method that attracts most people interested in building a successful dropshipping business. There are a lot of tools for online business owners to create and modify their own page. With these tools, you can build a stylish store professionally without coding skills, developers or even designers. It's now easy to master your system yourself. Do you imagine? Shopify is considered as the fast and easy way to open your own store. Now with specific and useful tools like that, you are absolutely able to build a real business around an independently owned website.
Creating your own website, you will get some outstanding benefits:
- More Control: with your own online store you will be free adding more value to your customers. You can customize the look and layout, and create custom product pages optimized.
- Easy Design: Building your own eCommerce store is easy, especially with platforms like Shopify. Simply choose a store design out of hundreds of options, make any customizations you want, add your products, hook up a payment gateway and you’re up and running
- Mobile Ready: Some online store platforms, like Shopify, let you manage your entire business from your mobile design. This is particularly attractive to dropshipping business owners who often like to run their business on-the-go, or even on the beach somewhere.
- No Third-Party Fees: You won't have to pay 10% to 15% of every sale to eBay or Amazon, which will significantly improve your profit margins. All-in-all you’re going to make more money by setting your dropshipping business up with an online store.
This step guides you how to create a Shopify Store.
Go to this URL and sign up for free trial: https://www.shopify.com/pricing
You have 14 days free trial then the price will depend on what plan you choose. A recommendation for you that you should choose the Basic Plan if you're a starter. It will pay for it sales once you got a few sales (it could happen literally for 24 hours after your registration!)
Put your email address, password and your store name. Tip: choose a general store name that would match your chosen niche. Then fill in all necessary information.
- Enter your store. Use all options and settings and save.
- Choose payment: Most customers only use credit cards or PayPal. You will have to put your banking information and your PayPal email for PayPal option.
Save and don't forget to click Check out!
- Next step is shipping option. The shipping will depend on what you want to charge and how heavy it is.
- Next step is to click Account. You need to put your credit card information and you can continue your current Shopify plan.
- Hover the Online Store and put some general information for your store. You can also add Google Analytics if you want. Then choose a Free Theme or Paid Theme, and publish it.
- The next step is to Add A Custom Domain but you can skip it now. You'll never know how profitable it is until you run Facebook Ads. However, if you insist, you can click Domains and Buy A New Domain.
- Next is Add your Product, set price and custom your page. This will be the last step of Creation, once you publish your product page, you will be ready to direct Facebook traffic for it.
- And you're finised! Obviously, there're still other features but for now, just focus on the Basics.
Import Your Product Directly With Oberlo
The most important part of your store is the products. You should take care to choose the right products to add to your drop shipping store. Oberlo is a popular app for the hosted eCommerce platform Shopify. The Oberlo service lets you import products directly from the Chinese superstore AliExress.
Oberlo is a drop shipping solution that greatly reduces the time it takes to add products from AliExpress into your online store. On the Shopify app marketplace Oberlo boasts over three hundred positive reviews and the service is currently being used on over 6,500 Shopify stores to generate 36 million US dollars in sales.
Dropshipping is an advantageous business scheme that does not require investment or risk. It is gaining popularity and becomes more and more competitive every day. However, with specific tools you can get advantages in competition. In order to start a drop shipping business, you don’t need a large start-up capital or storage space, as there is no obligation to deliver the goods to the customer.
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