A buzzing word among young entrepreneurs these days is dropshipping businesses. The world of e-commerce has opened business opportunities for us that we have never thought of before. Dropshipping is one such opportunity. And that is exactly what we will be helping you out with.
What Is Dropshipping?
If you would ask us for a straight-cut answer to what is dropshipping, then we would say it is a form of retail business wherein the seller accepts customer orders but does not keep goods sold in stock. However, that is very vague. So let us simplify it.
You can start dropshipping through various sites like Amazon and Aliexpress. However, for example, let’s talk about Aliexpress. Let’s say you find this really unique product and decide that this is what you want to sell. Go to Shopify and create a website of your own through which customers will be able to place their orders. You will be listing your products there for a higher price than you see on Aliexpress. Whenever a customer will be placing an order on your website, you will take the information and simply put an order on Aliexpress and the shipping address will be of the customer. The additional amount the customer has paid on your website will go to your pocket.
First Things To Do
Now that we are clear on what dropshipping is and how it works, it is time to make sure you do the right things to ensure the money keeps rolling into your account. And for that, you will need to know the three main pillars of succeeding at dropshipping.
Since this business involves buying and selling products, your product needs to be one that sells. So, selecting the right product is going to be a real challenge – take your time in the process. Innovative and unique products might sell more but they will also be a risky investment. On the other hand, basic products will sell but won’t give you good returns. Calculate the equation of high risk and high return before deciding on your product. As it is your first time, we would suggest going for a simple product and nothing too fancy.
The website is your first and only contact for customers. Naturally, the website’s outlook and aesthetics will play a role in keeping the customer on your website and making a sale. Shopify has an easy interface and loads of themes to choose from for creating your website. Keep it simple and easy to read.
You can have a life-changing product, the prettiest of websites, and it would still not account for anything valuable if people are not aware of your website and what you are selling. This is where the importance of marketing and advertising your product comes in. If you want to know how to advertise and market your products, then that is a whole different topic. Regardless, for starters, go for influencer marketing and social media ads. Start with a low number of ads and then increase the amount gradually as you gather traffic.
Mistakes to Avoid Before Starting a Dropshipping Business
1. Not Having Patience:
9 out of 10 businesses fail, and a dropshipping business is no different. However, do not let that demotivate you. Just like any other business, dropshipping will require your commitment over a long period of time. Keep in mind that you would need to wait a long time before you start making decent sales. Set realistic expectations and invest in ads accordingly. Expensive ads won’t get you anywhere if you do not use them smartly.
2. Not Focusing On A Niche:
We have talked about product selection briefly before. It is always better to select a niche that you are well familiar with and that goes with your interest. There are two key advantages to this. First of all, you will be able to build your whole website around the particular niche and it will become specialized. A niche website will always generate more traffic than one with stuffed-up products of all types. Secondly, consumers of niche products are passionate about the products,
3. Not Studying Google Trends:
If you have no idea about what SEO is, then this section might be a bit confusing for you. Regardless, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is something that you should definitely do some research on as soon as possible. To keep your website in the top rank of Google searches, you will need to ensure that the keyword you are working with is being searched often. This is where study and research will come into place.
By using keyword research software and tools, you will need to make sure that you are optimizing the trending keywords so that more people enter your website. Keep an eye on other websites that are optimizing your keyword as well and what they are doing differently.
If you want to check the volume of searches for a keyword, go to Google Trends.
4. Working With The Wrong Dropship Supplier:
For a business where you won’t be stocking any products or supplying them yourself, the supply chain will be crucial. However, the majority of people who are new to dropshipping fall into the trap of using the wrong supplier. A tip from us would be to connect to suppliers through Oberlo.
Oberlo is basically a marketplace that will take the hassle of managing or forwarding the orders to your dropshipping supplier. A lot of hassle gets sorted out this way and ensures a smooth flow of operations.
5. Losing Sleep on Shipping Costs:
One of the biggest problems of dropshipping businesses is the shipping costs. However, there is no need to stress about it. Identify the priority areas where your orders are coming from so you get a clear idea about the shipping cost range. We would suggest putting up a flat rate as it would make things easier.
6. Unnecessary researches:
Before you start, do some research to be sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s a valuable skill to be able to spot prospective problems before they become real ones. However, it is never wise to spend too much time carrying out research. It’s best to maintain a balance between time and research. Take advantage of the tools available online to learn the basics of dropshipping, but keep in mind that you will never know everything – but you will learn a lot in the process.
7. Poorly Designed Website:
The experience that your clients have when browsing through your online store determines the success of your dropshipping business. You must ensure that everything is sorted out simply. Due to the low entrance barrier to dropshipping, you may be tempted to rush through the process of creating your website. Several beginners lack the coding knowledge required to create an ecommerce store from the ground up. You can start and grow your dropshipping business with platforms like Shopify if you’re not ready to launch a well-designed website.
8. Don’t Go for a Manual Approach
When you first start dropshipping, you will undoubtedly strive to save as much money as possible by doing everything yourself. To an extent, that is correct. However, it is also a significant reason why so many beginners burn out and quit, therefore it’s a mistake. You should try to automate as much of your dropshipping store as possible.
9. Bringing the Price Down
Cutting the rates to undercut your competitors is another common dropshipping blunder to avoid. This may appear to be a logical strategy to expand your dropshipping business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Low pricing signals to potential customers that your product is of poor quality. Only well-known brands can get away with price reductions. Only if you are in a niche where things are inherently expensive will this method work. You can still make good money in this situation.
10. Overlooking Customer Feedback
Your online store’s survival is based on the support of its customers. When you finish an order, certain consumers may give feedback and reviews on the product they received. It’s possible that the item was damaged or that the shipping timeframes were not as stated. You might be tempted to dismiss these criticisms because the fault resides with your vendor. Customers, on the other hand, only know your brand; they have no idea who your source is. This might ruin your reputation and lead to a loss of market credibility. As a result, you must follow up. If it requires correcting your vendor’s standards, go ahead and do it.
These are the 10 prime mistakes made by dropshipping business owners. However, a few more aspects should be considered here.
Just like any other business model, the dropshipping business also requires a positive mindset of the owner. This can be as simple as not expecting easy money and worrying less about shipping costs. We’d also suggest not to rely on vendors. To make the business more customer-friendly, try to make order information accessible. Often, order modifications and cancellations are not given much importance. Try to ensure proper execution of any activity related to orders before starting a dropshipping business.
Some FAQs about starting a dropshipping business are as follows:
Is dropshipping a hard business?
As dropshipping requires little to no cash, the competition for starting this business is a lot higher. Most people come to this platform thinking of it as an easy money scheme. But the majority of them fail and leave it quite soon – it’s quite hard to sustain in this business. The larger a firm is, the lower its markups can be in order to give the best prices. Dropshippers are practically trapped, with little to no choices but to hope that the supplier resolves the issues while comforting the consumer about something beyond their control.
Furthermore, communication is delayed as the drop shipper switches back and forth between the customer and the supplier. When one responds slowly, all communication comes to a halt, and problems take longer to solve.
Can starting a dropshipping business make me successful?
Starting a dropshipping business is an excellent way to get your foot in the door of entrepreneurship. Customers will be able to buy things from you, and you will be able to establish your own prices and market your brand. You don’t have to pay for inventory until it’s sold. You can establish a successful brand if you are willing to put in the effort.
If you are still skeptical about beginning an online business, it might help to know that global eCommerce sales totaled roughly 3.5 trillion dollars in 2019. Therefore, if global e-commerce statistics are any indication, launching an online business is becoming a more profitable alternative right now.
Why do drop shippers fail?
You might face failure due to a delay in the time of shipping. As dropshipping is typically done from China, the shipment period must be at least 20 days. People can’t afford to wait this long for their goods. Another reason most drop shippers fail is that they do not use ePacket to place their orders.
To wrap up, we would say that dropshipping isn’t some quick money scheme. It requires a model, dedication, and consistency just like 10 other businesses. In 2021, to start a dropshipping business, focus on creating value for your customers.
You can refer to many successful stories of drop shippers to know more. Put your hard work into this business and see where it takes you!