There are two different ways you can run an ecommerce business. The first one is traditional e-commerce and the second one is dropshipping e-commerce.
Dropshipping is a fulfilment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. The store acts as a middleman and when a customer purchases a product from the website the products are sent directly from the supplier to the customer.
Dropshipping is a great business model for those who want to start a business without any upfront investment as it’s accessible and it’s low risk because the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the seller purchases inventory as needed from a third party—usually a wholesaler or manufacturer—to fulfil orders.
Below are five main things that have been put together that you need if you want to start a dropshipping business.
The first step is to start sourcing your product and the best way to get your product is from Aliexpress. Aliexpress is basically like a wholesale supplier website and there are all different categories which are like a big warehouse or a big company that has all these different suppliers that supply products. It is very important to keep one thing in mind while researching which product you want to start selling is to ensure that the product solves a problem.
Look at some of the ecommerce companies out there for e.g. teeth whitening kits, IPL laser hair removal & skincare products the reason why these companies are successful & profitable is simply because they solve a big problem i.e. appearance which is very important to people so for teeth whitening kit, it solves the problem of not going to a dentist as they charge so much money plus it is so inconvenient to go to a dentist and get ripped off instead you can get a teeth whitening kit delivered to your door.
A level of research is required before jumping into any product that solves a problem. You also want to make sure that the product isn’t available locally so that it is unique and usually something that the person that you’re actually selling the product to hasn’t seen before. Always try to sell the product at a lower price range and that’s because a product at a low price range means it’s an impulse buy which means people won’t have to go do all the research for hours and check reviews out for weeks when they buy the product because it’s only a small amount of money. That is where the opportunity lies to actually make the profits by doing big volume even though we make a small amount of each product but if you are going to do huge volume that’s how you can actually scale the business.
If you click on any product on the Aliexpress website there would be thousands of suppliers that sell different types of products. However, it is always better to just work with one supplier because it would become hard to maintain relationships with multiple suppliers at once. It is always recommended to check out the reviews in Aliexpress before you work with a supplier to make sure it’s a good one. When reaching out to suppliers for quotes you do not have to accept the prices quoted by the supplier as there is always room for negotiation with them and get a good price which ultimately will help with the profit margin.
You can actually use software like Oberlo which helps to automate the delivery of the product so when a customer comes to the website after seeing an advertisement or some type of email marketing and they purchase the product you can set up the process in such a way that in Oberlo that it can send an automated notification to the supplier about the purchase and the supplier can then ship the product to the customer.
The logo is one of the important things once you start your dropshipping business and I am sure you’ve seen this with every brand out there that you interact with that has a logo regardless of any business. The logo is a representation of the brand, it represents the values of that brand so it’s important that you need a logo that helps your customer to associate your logo with a brand or a value and remember the logo every time you engage with a customer.
Before jumping in designing a logo it’s a good idea is to study the competitors so if you’re starting a lipstick brand and you’re thinking of a logo to create go and research all the other successful beauty makeup and lipstick brands in the world get all their logos together and show that to the designer that will design the logo.
There are a lot of ecommerce platforms out there that can help you to build your ecommerce store so that you don’t have to build it from scratch with no coding experience required. The store is going to be used to sell the products and that is the platform the ecommerce website is actually hosted on. First of all, register a domain with GoDaddy and then host the e-commerce store on a platform that can sell it so there’s a lot of different ones out there. The most popular hosting platforms are Magento, Shopify, WordPress, WooCommerce and BigCommerce. See the difference between the platforms in this article.
For all ecommerce businesses in this world you need to have a paying customer otherwise it’s not a viable business. The first step to getting customers is to start with getting traffic. Traffic refers to getting people to visit your website. It’s more like a general term and the way that we actually do that is using social media for e.g. Facebook and Instagram ads either via paid/organic marketing. For paid marketing, we invest money on Facebook to show our ads to people that are going to likely buy our products.
There’s a lot of other different social advertising platforms out there like Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest but Facebook and Instagram are most commonly used by ecommerce business effectively and give the best results for ecommerce brands as it is easier to get targeted people through these platforms if done right. Marketing is all about showing the right product to the right people so with Facebook if we’re selling let’s just say a lipgloss we don’t want to show that to 80-year-old men because it is not going to get the return on investment or the return on ad spend compared to showing that lipgloss to a 20-year-old girl that might be interested in cosmetics or Kylie Jenner. Facebook makes it easier to target people as it actually knows how to show your thing to people as it does interest-based targeting so if people are interested in specific apps, movies, public figures or have specific hobbies we can target them based on their shopping behaviour or their browsing behaviour.
Dropshipping isn’t a perfect, stress-free way to build a successful online business—hard work is always required to start a dropshipping business. The model has some definite advantages but comes with a number of built-in complexities you’ll need to address.
We’ll be examining these challenges, and how to best address them, in the next blogs. The good news is that with some careful planning and consideration, most of these hurdles can be resolved and need not prevent you from building a thriving, profitable dropshipping business.
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