How Dropshipping Works - 10 Steps to Building a Successful Online Dropshipping Store
Dropshipping business has been a buzz of the eCommerce world. It has made it easier for people to enter the arena of online entrepreneurship.
Dropshipping business is a unique type of retailing method. It has a website that displays the products, which aren’t available with the retailer. The retailer purchases the products ordered by a customer, from a third-party supplier. That party will be responsible to ship the product to the customer. The retailer enjoys the cut from the sale of a product from his website.
An eCommerce dropshipping store doesn’t have to worry about stocking up the products, handling them, or shipping them to the customer. The supplier takes care of these things.
If you want to become an online seller but don’t want to risk a lot of investment and maintain an inventory, then maybe you should consider dropshipping business. Out of every 100 businesses on the internet, 33 of them are dropshipping stores. This proves the popularity of the increasing number of dropshipping businesses.
Are you tempted to have a profitable dropshipping store? If it’s a yes (which is!), then great!
In 10 simple steps, we will teach you how to build a successful dropshipping business.
Ready? Let’s dive in…
10 Steps To Building A Successful Online Dropshipping Store
1. Select A Niche
The term ‘Niche’ is frequently used in the eCommerce world. It refers to the particular area of a selected industry in which you are working. For instance, you can operate your store in the fashion industry, and your niche can be selling clothes for working women, or teenage girls, etc.
By having a niche, you’ll be able to focus on how to develop your dropshipping business website, design your content, and most importantly how to target your potential customers.
It will improve your SEO too. Search engines will direct the people to your website if they want something specific in which you deal. For instance, if you have goods for senior citizens, then search engines will direct all the people looking for goods for old aged people, to your store.
Write down your options, conduct research, and then finalize your niche.
2. Determine The Competition In The Market
The second step to building a successful dropshipping business is to research the level of competition in the market and who are your main competitors.
Researching about the competitors lets you know if the product you are planning to sell has a wide demand or not. It also makes you aware of the prevailing price level in the market, reviews of the customers about the product, and what are the weak points of your competitors’ store on which you can capitalize.
3. Find A Supplier
Once you’ve finalized your niche, your next step for building a successful dropshipping business is to find the right supplier. Selecting the supplier is the most important step for your business. It could take your business to new heights or can make it a big failure.
The goods that will go to your customers will be shipped by the supplier under your business name. This means that your brand’s image is at stake. Therefore, thoroughly research the suppliers available in the market. Read the reviews given to them by people and then decide if you want to display their products or not.
If possible try ordering a few pieces of the sample from them. This will allow you to check the quality of the product, how well it was packaged, and how much time did it take to reach you. All these factors will help you to decide that either your customers will be happy with such a product and service, or not.
If you are satisfied with the quality, have a proper conversation with the supplier. Ask tons of questions and clear your concerns before you select them. If you have doubts or are not comfortable dealing with him, then keep looking for a better supplier.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with designated dropshipping platforms for assistance. For instance, DropCommerce is a leading eCommerce application that enables businesses and entrepreneurs to dropship high-quality products from North American suppliers.
Nihao Jewelry offers both wholesale and dropshipping services with no minimum order to make your dropshipping business easy.
4. Build Your Website
After selecting the supplier, let’s move on to the next step; building your website.
Your website is the place where people will select the items and place their orders. Make sure that the website you develop is properly built for providing the best shopping experience to your customers.
You don’t have to get a degree in web development to build your website. No need to write long strings and blocks of code to make an eCommerce website. There are myriad platforms available on the internet to build your website with just a few clicks.
If you are using WordPress to develop your website, then there are many themes available to choose from, for your dropshipping business. Some themes are free, and some are premium i.e. you have to pay for it.
The same applies to Shopify, there are many themes to select from. Make sure whichever theme you pick is suitable for your business. The layout is clean, the navigation menu is clear and visible, colors and designs go with the idea of your brand and products.
Furthermore, check how products will be displayed on your website, will they appeal to your potential customer or not.
Before finalizing any theme, check its demo. It will give you an idea of how your website will appear to people.
5. Add Products To Your Website
After building and designing your website, it’s time to turn it into an online shopping store.
For every eCommerce store, images are of utmost importance. The pictures will have to do the job of appealing to the senses of your customer and convincing them to order the products.
Since you won’t be having the inventory to take the pictures and upload them on your website, you can display the pictures of the products that are uploaded in your suppliers’ store.
Many dropshipping inventory management apps simplify the job for you and save you from adding the pictures manually on your store. It also calculates the shipping charges, the charges of your supplier, your profits, etc.
If you don’t like the pictures uploaded on your supplier’s store, then you can ask him to send you a few samples and then you can take the aesthetic pictures of the products and upload them on your website.
6. Set A Fair Price
What is the main objective of running a business? To earn a profit, right? To make your dropshipping business successful and profitable, you must set a reasonable price of the product that covers the cost of the product and other overhead expenses.
A simple rule of thumb to set the price is to multiply the actual cost of the product by 3.
This will allow you to manage your marketing, day-to-day, and other expenses of running the business. You can increase or decrease the price depending upon the amount of profit you wish to earn.
Don’t set a lower price to compete with your competitors. Reducing your price means lowering your profit, or covering the expenses from your pocket.
7. Write Catchy Descriptions
Pictures alone cannot convince the customer to buy from your website. You need persuasive product descriptions so that your customer has no other option than adding the product in their shopping cart.
A good product description increases the chances of a sale. Therefore, make sure that you provide all the relevant information about your product. Highlight its design, size, and other necessary details that a customer would be interested in knowing.
Make sure to use easy to understand language. Refrain from using difficult vocabulary and terms that will be hard for the general audience to comprehend.
8. Invite The Public To Shop From Your Store
Congratulations! Your store is ready. Now you just need customers. For getting numerous customers, let’s take help from the marketing.
Without having customers, your dropshipping business will be useless. To bring in more customers and generate sales, you’ll have to market your business like a maniac.
Thanks to the dropshipping model that you don’t have to worry about purchasing goods, storing them, or packaging them. This leaves you ample time and resources to work on your marketing strategies and to invest in various marketing channels.
Select every possible channel and start making your presence there. Capture the attention of a huge audience by joining social media by making your business profile there. Create engaging content, connect with prominent people of your industry, stay active in groups and communities to let people know that you exist in the market and have excellent products for them.
Also start blogging. Blogs are an excellent way to drive organic traffic to your store. It lets you incorporate the keywords that your prospective customers will use to find you. Create useful and engaging content, add graphical elements like images, infographics, GIFs, and videos, and make it useful for the visitors.
If you deal in tech-goods or the products that require proper demonstration, then you can even create your own YouTube channel and create videos that demonstrate how to use the product, or what other benefits can be driven out of it.
9. Create Exciting Offers
Amazing ways to attract customers to shop from your newly established dropshipping store is to offer compelling deals and bundles on your website.
Hold sales and offer special discounts to your prospective customers to make them buy from your store. Reduced prices speed up the decision-making process of the customers.
Bundles are also a great way to induce them into taking out their credit cards.
You can create a bundle of your bestsellers and offer a few pieces for free, or for reduced prices. To make it more effective, create a sense of emergency in your buyers. Run a timer on your website, when the audience will see that the time is running out and the offer will expire soon, they’ll take less time in thinking and more time in filling up their carts.
10. Stay Active
To pump up the revenue of your dropshipping business, you need to stay active to drive in orders and profits. Try to spend at least a few hours on your website and your business social media accounts. Reply to the questions and concerns of your audience, engage more on social media to increase your brand awareness. Try to process orders at your earliest. The sooner you begin processing, the sooner your customer will get their ordered goods, and it might earn you a loyal customer. Lastly, you can use a shipment tracking app to help your customers keep an eye on product delivery and improve the trust factor for your store. Rush Shopify app is one of the best options for offering automated shipment tracking to your customers with a beautiful interface.
Wrapping It Up
If you are still thinking of starting a dropshipping business, then stop thinking and create one right now! Follow the above steps to build a profitable dropshipping store with dropshipping software.
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies, and mentoring programs.