We have talked about how to start a dropshipping business earlier, but that was very precise. So, we have decided to start with the basics, meaning that we will elaborate on all the steps you need to start your dropshipping business.
If you follow our articles, you should have an idea of dropshipping business models and how they work. For those who are new to this website, a dropshipping business is where you can sell merchandise to your customer. Dropship businesses don’t need any inventory at all, and that’s the plus point! You can sell items to your customer from your store at retail price. All you need to do is to work with a trustworthy supplier. Once you receive an order, your supplier’s job is to ship the items directly to the customer under your business name, and you earn the profit.
How dropshipping works?
As demonstrated earlier, you don’t need any inventory for starting your business. A dropshipping business requires a website/online eCommerce store, items you want to sell, and a good connection with your supplier. The rest of the procedure is relatively easy. Here are the three critical points of how dropshipping works.
- Your targeted customer orders an item for your online store at retail
- The order is then forwarded to your supplier to whom you pay the wholesale price
- The supplier then ships the product to the customer under your business name.
Statistics & Facts About Dropshipping
Statistics and fact-checking are required before you start any business. People tend to be very cautious and skeptical about starting new businesses, and you should be. Therefore these are some stated facts that will help you understand the dropshipping business better and give you mental peace.
- Dropshipping businesses are responsible for selling 34% of products from Amazon 2011.
- Almost 33% of online retailers have adopted dropshipping as the primary business model.
- 84% of online sellers say that establishing positive relationships with suppliers can be the most challenging part while starting an online business.
- The average profit of a manufacturer for dropshipping business is 18.33% higher than a manufacturer with traditional retail models.
How to make a profitable dropshipping business
1. Find the perfect niche for your business
Choosing a niche is the first and probably the most important step for building your business as it can make or break your business. A niche acts as a selective category. For example, makeup is a massive part of the market, and under makeup, you find products like lipsticks, eyeshadows, etc. These are the niche of the makeup department. The niche factor isn’t limited to makeup and skincare only; in fact, every selection has a niche. And you need to find a niche that works for you.
However, the rising popularity of the dropshipping business is bringing the challenge of finding niches. So, dropshippers choose any niche they find. That’s not how it works. Choosing any niche won’t give you success and profit if the niche is saturated. A saturated niche means niche that are common and filled with sellers.
2. Find a reliable supplier
To find a legit supplier because that’s the toughest job of this business, consider the following key points:
An experienced individual: You should always go for a supplier that has years of experience with dropshipping. Experienced suppliers know how to deal with issues and won’t let you have a bad reputation. Finding a supplier that has your back is difficult these days, but it’s never impossible. A good tip is to check if your supplier knows a thing or two about dropshipping or not. Sometimes, you don’t even need to ask them questions; you would just know hby the way they talk to you about business. So, keep an eye on that.
Charge reasonable order fee: This is pretty much self-explanatory. Everything has a price! Dropship suppliers typically will charge a small fee for their services. But don’t pay them more than $5 - $6, or else you may end up losing a significant amount of money.
Responsive & acts fast: You can tell a supplier is good if they act on orders as fast as possible. Most dropship suppliers are located in other countries like China, and therefore you can expect a slight delay in shipping. You can expect the time frame of shipping in between one or two weeks; any longer than that can result in negative customer feedback.
Have good quality products: An intelligent way of ensuring the quality of the products is trying it yourself before you sell. This will give you an idea of how good the products are, the product’s packaging intact, whether the products have an actual expiry date, etc.
Get a Sales Tax ID
If you are setting up your business in the US or Canada, you most likely need a sales tax ID. A sales tax ID is also known as a retail license or tax ID. The sales tax is levied based on the sales of the goods to consumers. The tax charged is typically 6-9% of the sales price. However, if you live outside the US or Canada or states like Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Oregon, you may not need a sales tax.
To apply for a sales tax ID, visit your local county clerk’s office. You can even do a google search using “your state + sales tax ID”. To get the ID, you may require having a business company or a sole proprietor (for home-based online businesses) and have a Federal Tax ID number.
Choosing a selling platform
Now onto choosing a selling platform. Sounds easy yet confusing, right? Which platform is easier to set up? Which is the most trusted platform for the consumers? How much fee do they charge for the sale? These are some questions that most new dropshipper ask either themselves or the internet.
First of all, let me tell you that there are two selling platforms: Established or Independent. Established platforms are platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, etc., and independent platforms are platforms that you create by yourself, for example, your custom eCommerce online store. There’s no right or wrong way to this; it solely depends on your preference, your time, and the amount of money you want to spend.
Using Customer Acquisition Strategy
All the primary steps are completed. Now it’s time to develop your strategy. A customer acquisition strategy is a strategy to attract your potential customers with advertising, offering attractive discounts, etc. If you are afraid of spending money that your regulated budget, you don’t need to panic. You can take the fast or slow approach to gain your customers. The fast path is the paid version, and the slow path is free. Let’s see what the approaches consist of.
- Facebook Ads for dropshipping
- Google Ads for eCommerce
- Social Media Marketing
- Blog Marketing
- Forum Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing (self-marketing)
- Email Marketing
- Polls & Survey
That’s pretty much everything you need to get your dropshipping business started. If you have read until the end, you may have noticed that we didn’t elaborate on the acquisition strategy approaches. This is because explaining the approaches will need an article of its own, so let us know if you want us to cover it. Also, don’t forget to share the steps you are following to make your business the best online dropship business.