Need guidance for your dropshipping start up? Dropshipping is great when you decide to cut free from the 9-5 routine, but there is a lot of market research to be done before you start. Read till the end to know all about dropshipping.
Dropshipping is becoming famous day by day because it’s so easy and hassle-free. You can sell products without having to manage, store or ship inventory. This is as easy as it gets; you do not have to get into the hassle of sourcing products, packaging, and sending them to the destination. You are not required to make sure of quality standards either. Instead, you connect with dropshipping suppliers and source products remotely to sell online.
Customers can check out and like products on your website. If an order is placed for a product, you forward the order info to the supplier, and then onwards, it’s the supplier’s headache. Dropshipping has a wide margin for-profit, and still, it requires the bare minimum effort from you.
Unlike traditional online retail, dropshipping frees the merchant from the tedious responsibility of fulfilling their orders. That means you are giving very little time to this business and saving on the manufacturing costs, stock acquisition, inventory storage, and shipping to customers.
Dropshipping efficiently and seamlessly streamlines and simplifies the fulfillment processes for merchants. This is the biggest reason it is the most preferred business model these days. It also reduces initial overheads and outlays, which is a huge advantage for new businesses with a lot more to cover without any cash flowing in. The dropshipping model is perfect for eCommerce setups operating on small investments.
It is easy, but that doesn’t mean you can do it without learning the basics. To be successful, you need two things; determination and knowledge. Yes! You need to invest your time in this model when you are beginning. It is also time-consuming initially, and you should never try to rush past the steps. Take everything slow and steady, and you will win the race.
Read below to learn how to start a business, what steps to follow, and what ideas to consider.
Dropshipping business model
The dropshipping business model can be described as a store with no stock. That says it all. It doesn’t mean there is nothing to buy as there are no stocks, this particular type of store purchases the products from a third-party supplier. The supplier is typically a wholesaler or a manufacturer who ships the products directly to the customer- the end consumer, not a store.
So, in this model, you do not need inventory or handle the product anyway as a seller.
Dropshipping is best suited to the needs of beginners as the overhead costs are low, and there is no need to build a store in the market (which is a huge investment). You will need smaller investments when opting for dropshipping. It is so simple; you can start a business without requiring any investment. If you have a laptop, you are good to go!
Below are the five essential steps to a finalized sale in the dropshipping model:
1- Choose products
Browse dropshipping marketplaces to hunt the right products for your business. Product hunting is part and parcel of dropshipping. As a newbie and only brainstorming dropshipping, you may feel it’s a piece of cake, and you can pick just anything to sell while going with this model, but you are not right! Dropshipping is simple but as technical and specialized as any other business model. Finding the right product is not a matter of luck or a fluke; a specified procedure goes into finding the right products.
Market research, trends, and demands are to be studied. There are special product hunting software that you should use. There are particular formulas to be used. In short, you need to learn how to find the right product before you start dropshipping.
It’s essential to do product research meticulously and perfectly. If you choose the wrong product, no amount of advertising and marketing will avail. Use the keyword search and filters to narrow down your options and select products that are high in demand, and the demand is expected to remain persistent.
2- Get items to your online store
In this next step, you will import items to your site, not physically, but only virtually. The items physically remain with your supplier. Develop a proper pricing strategy to fix your prices. The prices you select and the profit margins you keep are entirely under your control.
3- Accept customer orders
Once you start to showcase items on your online stores through your website, you will start getting orders for the products. However, you need to advertise and market products well. Optimize your visibility, attract customers and entice them with fun features or attractive deals.
4- Forward customer orders to the supplier
Once you have orders on the site, submit them along with the shipping details to your supplier. You will pay your supplier from the payments made to you by the customers. The customers have no direct contact with the supplier, and all the funds will be submitted to you. You will have fixed a deal regarding the prices of the items with the supplier by now. It will be as simple as sending in the order and shipping details and funds transfer according to the item’s quantity and type.
5- Ship and fulfill orders through the supplier
From then onwards, your responsibility is over. The supplier will ship each order to your customers’ addresses without your involvement. The automatic system will generate a number for order tracking so you can inform and update your customers. Keeping the customers in the loop is essential because they are connected to you while a third party is sending their purchases. You’ll get a tracking number in the system to update your customers.
Some suppliers offer white label shipping. With the white label shipping, you can use your own branding on the package.
The process is quite simple, and that’s great news for newcomers. There are no extraordinary complexities involved in the process- a feature that suits young entrepreneurs very well. It’s a great way of managing your e-commerce store with minimum effort and time. However, you must understand that the reputation of your business is in the hands of someone else. Suppliers can spoil your name and brand reputation by messing up proper shipping.
Finding products for dropshipping
Dropshipping revolves around impulsive buying, so you have to get the hang of customer psychology. It’s a win-win situation if you know how to tackle your customer with a great-looking odd and even more attractive price. Keep the costs low, and you will have half the chore done. You can keep the prices low and still profit by doing thorough market research during product and supplier hunting.
Do not just rely on your website, SEO, and organic orders; take the plunge and cover the social media sites. They are great resources for you if you want a flood of customers. Choose the medium that is mostly used by your target audience, for example, if you promote a product that teens and early twenties use, go for TikTok and Instagram. Instagram has the broadest appeal because everyone uses it without regard for age.
Do not worry much, though, everything sells. You just want to know how to attract and retain your customers. Knowing your targeted customer does the trick; if you know how their psychology works, you can carve a place for yourself in almost everything you choose to sell. When you know their thought pattern and emotional affiliations to products, you know how to engage their brains for emotional attachments, which does wonders for your brand advertising and sales.
However, you must keep in mind the buying power and the trending items in view. Without these two’s optimization, no amount of psychology will help. A charming ad lures them in, and a low price hooks them to your product. Your products will be gone in no time if you are smart with advertising.
How to find the best dropshipping products to sell
Finding your dropshipping product is not instinctive. You are required to conduct market research and determine the possibility of success whenever you see potential in an option.
Follow these three steps to finalize best dropshipping ideas:
1- Do your research
This goes without saying. You’re probably tired of hearing it because everyone is saying it all the time, but seriously. Without research, it’s just a blind shot, and it can misfire easily. Use the available market research tools to begin your research and find out about the ideas that will presumably work for you. Give the best-selling products a go to see if some of them are a good match for you and the investment you have.
2- Figure out your profit
Figure out how your product will sell. You can’t predict exactly how things will work, but keeping costs and overheads in mind, you can have a general idea, which will suffice at this stage of business. This initial estimate of the profit helps keep your expectations on track. It also helps you have a direction.
You mustn’t keep huge margins or profits in the initial phase of a business. As a beginner, start with less expensive products and keep your prices low to attract buyers. This means you will have to keep the profit bar down initially.
3- Study your competitors
It is one of the most critical aspects of your initial research. You do not just want to sift through those selling the same products like yours, but you want to study them. You want to know what they have done to be your top competitor, and you want to do even better. If you do not know your competitor, you do not know their advertising techniques, and you will be directionless!
If you are doing business on Amazon, you can check the list of your competitors. Many other softwares let you check your competitors quickly and effectively. Thorough market and competitor research is the key to success.
Best selling dropshipping product types
- Useful products priced under $10 sell great, for example, meat thermometer, red pepper spray, key chains, Kitchener dish towel washcloths, cleaning tools, microwave cleaner, wipes, brushes, etc.
- Hard-to-find products are also a hit choice for dropshipping. Since they are not everywhere on the market, you will easily rank higher and faster when the searches are done for them in search engines or on social media. The competition is low on these products, and that serves your purpose. These products will also come with a good profit margin.
- Life improvement products are the new love of the people, like air purifiers, instant water filters, etc. They sell hot even if they are a little expensive because the potential customer is more interested in the quality of life than the price tag. If you make them believe that the product adds value to their lives and positively influences them, they will happily pay the price.
Dropshipping business ideas
Many people dream of having an independent business where they make money and enjoy the freedom that seldom ever comes with a job. However, most just keep thinking because it’s a lengthy process, and it takes a lot of determination and detailed work. Most people will get stuck with the business ideas as nothing seems viable to them.
If you are one such person who is dying to have a business of his own, but the whole product hunting is giving you anxiety, then check this list below; you will have some great ideas, and if nothing in the list works for you, you can, at least, use the ideas a launchpad for coming up with your own, unique choice.
1- Gaming headset
If you are into gaming or you know people who are, you are probably already aware of the fact that the numbers of gamers are growing, and they invest in accessories. Check Google and know that the gaming accessories demand has been on the rise since last year. Starting your dropshipping journey can be great with this product. It is sure to sell as millions are searching for it online. It fits the criteria of the best product by all standards.
Smartwatches are gaining popularity among youth and middle-aged people alike. The reasons are obvious; people love that they can monitor some of their essential virtual activities without sticking to their phones. Tap into this new instinct of freedom and choose smartwatches as your first product.
Google Analytics shows remarkable success trends for those venturing with smartwatches; hop onto this new trend. Wearable technology is the next trend, and the market is expected to grow to $29 billion by this year (2022)—massive scope for eCommerce guys and dropshippers.
3- Wooden watches
Remember how we told you to find unique products? Wooden watches are one example. They are gaining fame as climate change is gaining support worldwide. People are trying to change their way of living, offering some help to Earth. The staunch supporters are pushing governments to make laws that declare environmentally hazardous materials illegal, and believe it or not, things are changing globally.
Organic, non-toxic, environment-friendly wooden watches can win over the planet lovers everywhere in the world. If you advertise well, you might as well make a fortune with this product. It’s true that the world already has big brands and mighty names in the watch industry, but with wooden watches, we are talking about something new and unknown. It’s not about the brand and money; it’s about your commitment to the echo system.
4- Muslin swaddles or blankets
Baby products always sell; with more money in the market and exciting products, people are overspending on baby products. As a business owner, that is great for you. If you are starting dropshipping, give muslin swaddles a try. They are loved globally for their exquisite organic, pure cotton, lightweight, and fine making. Mothers always choose delicate and organic, soft materials for babies, and muslin swaddles match the criterion perfectly.
5- Teeth whitening kit
Yes, a teeth whitening kit is also a bombastic product. With the rise of prices of professional dental treatments, people prefer these teeth whitening kits that can be bought for less and used at home conveniently.
Personal care products are in high demand, and products like teeth whitening kits are the top-rated personal care products because they will not get outdated anytime soon. Everyone has teeth, so you can safely assume that your product will not lose fame in months or years, and there isn’t going to be any decrease in the demand.
Excessive caffeine use like tea and coffee ensures the teeth whitening products will remain in business. The worth of these products is expected to rise to 7.4 billion dollars by 2024.
6- Hair growth serum
Just like teeth whitening products, hair growth products are also in demand. In fact, all beauty-related products are the apple of the consumers’ eyes. Everyone is buying something or the other related to beauty and self-care. If you search for a product that might work in dropshipping, go for a hair growth serum. The prospects are excellent, and they are high in demand too. Good quality ones can sell fast because hair growth issues are prevalent, and the desire for long, lush hair is fierce.
7- Baby carriers
Another fantastic product is the baby carrier. Babies have always needed them, but parents have started using them increasingly in recent years. Since both parents are working these days in most houses and the concept of nannies and helpers is also dying away, accessories that make parenting easy and take the load off parents are becoming extremely famous.
The best part is that parents will spend without giving much thought to the accessories required for the baby. Investing in baby products will always pay off. The market is saturated, but the demand is constantly rising, so go ahead with this one. However, only the quality products sell for good money; safety standards and quality are the lifelines of baby products.
8- Smoothie blender
Health and fitness, lifestyle, self-care, beauty, and baby products are doing great business. Anything that comes with these tags is likely to work. A smoothie blender that comes with health and fitness and lifestyle tags is a perfect option for new sellers. Though there are more prominent brands out there in the market, still not all buyers are ready to pay higher prices if they can get the product for less.
You can run a trial with products, and you should. Consider this for trial; it will work if you keep the price under control and work on marketing.
9- Organic tea
Organic teas are the top choice of all health lovers. They are also loved by those who entertain a posh, high-end lifestyle. Coffee and brown tea are considered standard, while exotic, flavored teas are taken as delicacies. You can easily exploit this sense of your users. Upgrade your packing a bit; add minimalism, and you are sure to attract elite users. The most significant advantage of attracting the higher class is that they will pay just anything.
Market predictions are already in favor of organic teas, so give it a go. They can be your hit article and work as the perfect launchpad for your dropshipping career.
10- Seamless underwear
Panties are indispensable, but panty lines are irritating? How to avoid panty lines without losing the garment itself? The answer is seamless underwear! Panty lines can kill the look of a perfect dress even; they look so indecent and informal.
Recently, the interest in seamless underwear has spiked, and that serves you well if you are starting your dropshipping journey. The item is predicted to increase in demand over the coming years, so now is an excellent time to use it. Go ahead and start your entrepreneur journey by launching seamless underwear!
How to start a dropshipping business with no money
Well, you may be thinking there is absolutely no way you could start for free, but here’s the surprise- you can do it! Yes, believe it or not, you can start your very own dropshipping business without having to invest a penny. We are going to tell you how in a second.
1- Choose a free trial from an e-commerce platform
All the steps you have to follow for starting a dropshipping business will remain the same; you are only required to take advantage of the free trial period of three e-commerce Platforms, namely Amazon, Shopify, and eBay. These platforms offer free trials to start your business without money, but Shopify is the best that does not even ask for your credit card credentials.
2- Find a supplier who doesn’t ask for an account creation fee
You will have to find a supplier who doesn’t ask for an account creation fee initially. Do not feel depressed; many offer this service. Absolutely no need to worry. Once you have done these two things, you can start your business having spent no money. You will, however, have to pay at the end of the free trial time.
The pros of dropshipping
Dropshipping is in vogue, and everyone seems hooked to it, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all formula. It comes with its benefits and drawbacks. It will be perfect for those who want the benefits that it offers. In short, it is a great choice, but not for all. Go through the pros and cons to see if dropshipping is for you.
1- Start selling with less capital
If you are a newcomer and want to try your hand at business, dropshipping is the best for you because it’s simple and requires very little startup capital. You do not need millions to call yourself a businessman when you start a dropshipping business; you can take a star without money. No need to have money to stock up your store; your supplier has got the products you want to sell, and that’s enough for you.
No warehouse fees either. There is absolutely no need to worry about buying and managing a store; you only run an online, virtual store to showcase the products. Pictures and short videos are uploaded to attract customers. Some videos are for customer satisfaction as they explain the products. Your supplier is responsible for warehousing, shipping, and related costs (of course, you will pay him for the services).
Since dropshipping cuts many unnecessary overhead costs, it’s possible to expand your product base early on in the business. You do not require a physical store, which means no rents, no storage costs, no salesman pay costs, etc. It’s an effortless way of starting a business because of a straightforward procedure and low maintenance costs.
3- Operate from anywhere
With dropshipping, your business is not restricted to the country you live in or the locality; the sky’s the limit for you. You can start your business in any part of the world; people have stores in the US and Canada while sitting in Asia through dropshipping. That’s one massive improvement over the traditional business model.
If you have operational internet and can connect with the suppliers swiftly, you are good to go!
4- Develop your testing ground
Dropshipping allows you to test a wide variety of products and also quickly adjust your product base to the market trends. When you get your products from suppliers with no extra upfront costs, you can be as quick as the trends themselves because nothing is holding back. Including new options means no additional costs, and that’s a great incentive for you.
If one of your products isn’t doing great, you can remove it from your website and try something else. You can also use online/virtual drop shipping platforms to see what’s trending and causing ripples in the market and quickly add it to your offering list. This is quite unlike traditional retail options, where overhead costs do not allow to hop onto new lucrative trends easily.
5- Scale efficiently
If you receive too many orders in a traditional eCommerce retail model, you need to work more sourcing, packing, and shipping the products. This is the supplier’s headache in dropshipping, so you do not have any added pressure when your sales increase. Your workload will increase, but you will not need to recruit more people and increase overhead costs like the traditional retail model.
Reasons not to dropship
1- Lack of quality control
You have to trust a third party – the suppliers when you dropship. They are sending your customers the products, and you do not know if good quality products are being shipped or if the quality of the products is compromised. Quality control is challenging because you cannot intercept or check every order out of the warehouse. In short, you will have to delegate a substantial part or aspect of the business to someone else, and this could prove to be a bad thing too.
Product quality and shipping times can cause customer satisfaction problems for your business. However, to minimize the risk, you should ensure that you are working with trustworthy suppliers. It’s always better to order test samples so you can see if your chosen products are up to the standards.
2- Customer service challenges
Customer service is not always easy, especially when you have no experience. Since you are not the manufacturer of the products you have not even seen them personally, you may not give satisfactory answers to your customers about the products. To solve this problem:
- Make sure you communicate directly with the suppliers.
- Put in place systems to manage returns and exchanges swiftly.
- Allow refunds for the products too, if possible, because that wins hearts.
- Low-profit margins
The dropshipping market is extremely famous, which means it’s highly competitive. The low overheads and quick setup make it attractive for all who aspire to start a business, especially beginners. With many dropshippers sourcing products from the same marketplaces, you’ll probably notice that other companies are selling almost the same products like yours, and perhaps at even lower costs.
While this is a popular strategy to attract customers and get a foothold on the market, driving down your prices to match the competition will only lower your profits further. An efficient way to handle such a situation is to do thorough research before launching a product. Make sure you dig deep while assessing profit margins and conducting competitor research.
Personal business is the talk of the town; people are losing interest in restrictive jobs that take up too much of their time and lend them no freedom of action. Money is a great motivation, but people are learning new ways to make money that allow more freedom, independent decision-making, and free time. In this quest, we see everyone turning to eCommerce businesses. However, not all those who give it a thought eventually do it. Many people are held back by the risk factor, fear of loss of investment, and the detailed market research that comes with starting your own business. Many more are baffled by the ideas and products that they should choose. This article guides everyone whether you want information, ideas, or the step-by-step guide to starting a dropshipping business.