Have you ever asked yourself how to start a dropshipping business? If you didn’t, you should check some numbers about online sales:
- $1.6 billion users worldwide had bought online in 2017;
- $2.3 trillion dollars in revenues in 2017;
- Revenues are estimated to grow to $4.8 trillion within 2021.
If you are shocked about these numbers I guess it’s time to think seriously about opening an e-commerce business.
The time is on our side, the market will grow constantly for the next 3-5 years, that’s why it’s a good moment to claim a piece of it.
In this blog post I will talk about the available resources online to start building your dropshipping online store and start making money.
Let’s get started.
What is ecommerce?
E-commerce includes all kind of transactions conducted online, meaning the sum of the activities to buy or sell products/services over the Internet.
There are several ways to conduct an e-commerce business, you can sell:
- Physical products;
- Digital products;
- E-based services.
Regardless of the type of product or service you sell, there are mainly 3 different platforms where to sell:
- Online Storefront, using ad hoc softwares directly on your website such as Shopify or WooCommerce;
- Online Marketplace (Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Alibaba)
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram)
What I want to focus on this blog post is the possibility to run your e-commerce business without having your own products, delegating all the operational part related to storage, delivery and customer care. This is what is called Dropshipping.
How to start a dropshipping business
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product. Shopify
As you can see open a dropshipping business sounds much simpler than a normal e-commerce business. That’s not necessarily means that is easy to run it and to get satisfying results. Let’s go in order.
First of all you’ll need a series of elements if you want to know how to start a dropshipping business:
- Select a niche;
- Choose your domain & hosting;
- Choose a platform or software to run your store;
- A supplier for the products you sell.
If it seems to be hard, in fact it’s not. All of the points mentioned above can be easily overcome. Let’s discover Shopify.com
Shopify.com is definitely the best platform available today to build your online store.
Shopify.com is the most popular cloud-based software on the web that pretend to make the e-commerce easier for everybody, even for those without particular technical skills.
That’s why the audience it can be considered wide large, involving mostly sole traders, small and midsize businesses.
Everybody interested about how to start a dropshipping business, can do it with Shopify; the site is very intuitive and it helps you designing the store.
Shopify.com gives you the possibility to try its services for free for 14 days before you decide which offer fits better your needs.
You can easily design your store, thanks to a drag-&-drop system, and your website will be automatically optimized for mobile as well.
Manage the store thanks to an intuitive dashboard that will keep you updated with all your commercial activities. Shopify allows you to integrate more than 2,000 apps that will help you scale your business and be ready to attract customers.
Main features of Shopify
- Fully customizable Website, Online Store or Blog;
- Unlimited product inventory;
- Possibility to sale on multiple channels (Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, Ebay)
- Accept payments via credit card (Shopify Payments)
- Shipment Service to save you money and time (Shopify Shipping);
- 24/7 customer support;
As I told before, you can start your free trail of 14 days just clicking here.
Once your free trial period has been done, you will be able to choose between 3 different plans, depending on your needs and size of business.
If you are just starting out with your business you can choose the Basic plan for just $29 a month.
Subsequently, once your business is growing, you can upgrade your plan for $79 a month or even upgrade to the Advanced Plan for $299 a month.
Here below you find all the info related to the 3 different plans.
Once your store is online and ready to use, what you miss is just one thing. Products to sell!
Shopify it’s integrated with another software called Oberlo, that I strongly recommend you.
Oberlo is an app developed to easily import and ship products to your store. With just a few clicks you will be able to find millions of products on Oberlo, ready to be shipped trough your Shopify store. Very cool, isn’t it?
Main features of Oberlo
- Easily find products to sell (million products in the marketplace);
- Verified Suppliers (high quality service guaranteed);
- One-click Order Shipping (very easy to ship products from the supplier to your customer);
- Inventory and Price Auto-Updates (price and stock levels always on track).
Thanks to this, you are able to focus on your marketing, growing you business, while you extend the catalog of your products and you build a relationship with the suppliers.
The experience of your customers is at the core of Oberlo. With its amazing features you can customize and edit the description , title and images of your products in order to comply with SEO and let the customer find you on the net.
Moreover you can build pricing rules, when customer wants to buy in bulk, and tracking the orders and sales really easily thank to the dashboard.
Differently from Shopify, with Oberlo you can keep your account for free if you don’t go over 50 orders per month. In case you would like to upgrade your account, Oberlo provides 2 different plans. The first for $29,90, up to 500 orders, meanwhile the second for $79,90 with unlimited orders.
Definitely using Shopify and Oberlo together will help grow your business faster than building an e-commerce website from scratch. With constancy and the right knowledge it’s really possible to scale the market and start a real business online.
If you are really interested on how to start a dropshipping business with the best dropshipping suppliers, take a look as well at Salehoo.com by clicking below.
Pros & Cons
Obviously as every business, as well dropshipping is not perfect. That’s why before to start taking it in consideration is better to understand the implications behind it.
Let’s briefly describe what are the main pros and cons in opening a dropshipping store.
- Less capital required: possibility to launch a store without investing in inventory up front.
- Easy to start: no experience required, less operations to manage compared to a normal e-commerce.
- Flexible location: possibility to work just with your laptop from wherever you are.
- Wide range of products: possibility to choose between thousands of suppliers, without fix costs.
- Easy to scale: most of the work will be on your suppliers, with you focus on promoting the store.
- Low margins: super competitive business, low costs to start make it easy for everyone.
- Inventory issues: supplier could change them inventory on daily basis, leave you without the products.
- Shipping costs: different suppliers to deal with, shipping costs not easy to manage.
- Supplier errors: possible refunds from the customers in case the supplier made a mistake.
As you can see, it’s not straightforward take decision on how to start a dropshipping business, but if you take the things seriously and do an in depth research prior the opening of the store, you’ll have better chances to succeed.
I hope that with this post you have now a better idea about how to start a dropshipping business and how to open your store online. As everything in your life, nothing will happen without dedication and passion but for sure starting with the right tools will give you an enormous advantage in this high competitive world.
As soon as you will take action, I’m sure you will change your way to approach the business and start changing your life.
Take a look a this Shopify dropshipping guide if you need more info.
Leave a comment below if you are interested in opening a dropshipping store or if you already have one.