What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method to sell physical products without having a physical store or having to keep inventory. When a customer buys from a dropshipping store, he/she will input the payment details and address. The dropshipping then purchases the item from a supplier and it will be shipped directly to the customer. In other words, the dropshipper acts as a “middle man” in the sale of products.
One of the most popular methods of dropshipping now is through “Price Arbitrage” from a cheaper online retailer. This means buying from online retailers (eg. AliExpress) and selling at a slightly higher price, and repeating the process.
Get started with dropshipping
1) Dropship with Shopify
Shopify is the simplest and widely used platform you can use to create and run your own dropshipping store, without much technical experience. Being simple and user-friendly, you can start your dropshipping store within the 14-day free trial period that Shopify offers, and start generating sales.
2) Use Printful to customize your own designs
Alternatively, if you may also consider creating your own merchandise and sell that brand/identity. You can do this in the form of printing your own brand/identity on products (eg. T-shirts, hoodies). You can do this through Printful. This method of ecommerce is also known as Print-On-Demand.
Printful is a dropship service provider of apparel, accessories, homeware goods etc. They offer personalized branding options such as adding logo stickers, packaging or custom packing slips.
They provide the products, prints on the products, packages and fulfils the order and sends it directly to your customers. All you have to do is send orders to them and the order details and they’ll handle the rest.
It is free to sign up for Printful, click on the “Sign up” button below:
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Advantages of dropshipping
1) Low capital requirements
It is possible to launch an ecommerce store without having to invest thousands of dollars for inventory or pay rent every month. With the dropshipping model, you don’t have to purchase a product unless you already made the sale and have been paid by the customer.
Your starting capital is relatively low, as you don’t have to deal with purchasing inventory or managing a warehouse. Many successful dropshipping businesses are operating for less than $100 per month.
As you grow your dropshipping business, these expenses will increase (purchasing of apps/services to boost efficiency and profitability). However, it will still be low compared to those of traditional brick-and-mortar stores, where the rent alone could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars every month.
2) Lesser troubles than a traditional retail store
With dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about:
- Managing or paying for a warehouse
- Packing and shipping your orders
- Tracking inventory for accounting reasons
- Handling returns and inbound shipments
- Continually ordering products and managing stock level
3) Flexible Location
A dropshipping business can be run from anywhere, all you need is a laptop and internet connection. As long as you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily, you can run and manage your business.
In the future, you may even hire virtual assistants from Fiverr to assist you in your order fulfilment, handle emails, manage social media accounts etc.
4) Wide Selection of Products
You don’t have to buy any inventory, so you can offer many products to your potential customers. You can list products on your website at no additional cost.
Also, you can set your own prices and take control of your profit margins.
5) Open 24/7
With your own online store, it will be open 24/7 as compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores that have working hours. As such, you can reach out to customers halfway across the globe at all times.
Drive Traffic to your Dropshipping Store
Once your dropshipping store is set up, you need to market it. You cannot rely on SEO to rank your dropshipping store on Google search engines, as it will probably be difficult to compete with similar dropshipping stores in your niche. The only way you can be profitable and scale your store is to advertise and have a good ROI.
Dozens of people post on the Shopify eCommerce forums every week, asking why their store isn’t getting any sales. The problem isn’t the dropshipping website or products, but it is marketing of the store.
The more the number of visitors, the higher the probability of conversions.
Here are some different methods to increase the amount of traffic that you are getting to your dropshipping store:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Online Advertising
- Social Media
- Email Newsletter
- Online Engagement
- Sponsored Traffic
Dropshipping is a method to sell physical products without having a physical store or having to keep inventory. By driving traffic to your dropshipping store, you can make sales any time, with a low capital requirement.