How to Start a Dropshipping Business from Scratch

by Emily on May 15, 2020

in Articles

With the leap of innovation in eCommerce and its growing role in the global markets, it’s easy-to-understand when more and more people want to have their own business. Everyone is dreaming of building up their own business from nothing. It sounds impossible, but dropshipping can make their dream come true more easily than ever. 

Did you know that dropshipping generated 23% of online sales in 2017 and takes up 33% of online stores? 

It’s definitely a tempting playground for entrepreneur spirits. If you’re harboring ideas about starting a new online business, dropshipping is a good start. 

This article will delineate what you need to do to start a dropshipping business from scratch.

What is dropshipping? 

Dropshipping is the practice of selling products online without holding any physical products and taking part in inventory fulfillment. Instead, products are shipped to the buyers directly from the manufacturer, distributors, or suppliers. 

With dropshipping, retailers who start selling online don’t need to purchase the items beforehand and stock them into readily available condition to sell. They can only focus on marketing, handling orders online, and anything else that skyrocket their business. 

Frankly, dropshipping is considered as one of the most risk-free business models out there. Indeed, people who are just starting can run their own business with limited funds. 

How to start a dropshipping business from scratch?

Is it effortless to start a dropshipping business without any experience? 

Yes, of course, it does. 

However, when you really bring your dropshipping ideas into reality, there are some keys you should never ignore if you want to keep your business on the right track from the beginning. 

So, here are 7 steps a newbie can take to come closer to the dropshipping world: 

1. Decide on a niche

A niche is as important as your business idea. If you choose the wrong niche, your business will suffer, even it’ll fail right from the start. That’s why this step is put first out of the rest. 

So, what will you do in this stage? 

It’s simply choosing what you’re going to sell and whom you’re selling it to. As your niche will determine the whole aspects of your business from choosing suppliers, sales strategy, marketing to customer service, it’s essential to put a great deal of effort into identifying your niche. 

Consider something that you’re interested in and something not too broad-based. It will help if you take a tour of what people are actively searching for to shop online. In this case, Google Trends is a useful tool. 

2. Evaluate market viability

After choosing your niche, the next step is to evaluate the product viability that determines whether you should continue your business with it. 

Now, it’s time to go through all the tactical aspects of your products to conclude how they will affect your entire business in both negative and positive ways. Here’re some factors to consider: 

  • Product size and weight
  • Product SKUs
  • Product fragility
  • Competitors

3. Research your competitors

It’s crucial to understand who your competitors are. Not only do you need to identify your competitive advantage but also the viability of your products.  If you figure out that you are going to compete with some retail giants, such as Amazon or Walmart, your product is more likely to be in sustainably high demand. On the contrary, if it has little or no competition, you might start off the wrong way. 

4. Choose the right supplier

Suppliers play a vital role in dropshipping. Choosing the right supplier can help you reap substantial profits while the wrong one can ruin your business. Your suppliers depend on your products. So before making a list of potential candidates, think again about what you’re selling. 

Make sure that the communication between you and your suppliers go smoothly and clarify as many queries as you can so that both sides can understand each other. And most importantly, you can rest assured that whether your partners have the capabilities and ability you demand.  

5. Build a dropshipping website

To build a dropshipping store, the first thing you need is a domain name to secure your business for a long time. You can take advantage of free business name generators to select a domain name. No matter what, remember to make it simple, unique, and relevant to your business. 

By now, it’s time to choose the right platform for your dropshipping website. Shopify is one of the most comprehensive eCommerce options. With Shopify, it’s easy to build a site using optimal features, tools, resources, and get innovative apps consistently. Oberlo is a superb app for dropshipping as it enables you to find products online in several niches and sell them on the same day. 

6. Test your new store and launch

If you’ve finished all the steps mentioned above, don’t rush to bring your dropshipping store to the world. It’s extremely imperative to double-check your site and all aspects of your business to make sure everything is impeccable.

7. Market your new business

Many dropshipping start-ups go wrong as they overlook promotion and marketing. If your website is already launched, but conversions and sales are not up to your expectations, it’s time to actively bring your business in front of your target audience. 

The simplest way is to expose your brand via social media. Build a social presence for your brand and take care of it on any social media platform where your target audience is mostly on. After that, based on your goal and budget, you can implement suitable promotions and advert campaigns. 

Final words

This simple guide may save a lot of time for you to find ways to start out a dropshipping business. Bear in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all method. If you see other people succeed while you fail, don’t be discouraged and try a new one. And finally, remember that customer service is a powerful asset in any case. It can be a weapon helping you to beat up your competitors. 

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