Starting a dropshipping business is a great idea to step into the world of eCommerce. You can build your store, sell products and earn profit. And the best part is, you don’t need to invest in a huge inventory to get started. You only have to pay the supplier when a customer buys from your store.
But, dropshipping requires time and effort, like every aspect of eCommerce. In this article, we’ll discuss seven steps to build a successful dropshipping store in 2021. Let’s dive in.
What Is A Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping is when an entrepreneur runs his store without holding any inventory. He displays the products on his website and collects orders. The supplier will take care of all the packaging and shipment. The entrepreneur will keep the profit from the sale and send the cost of products to the supplier.
Still on the fence about starting your dropshipping business? No problem. The following stats will change your mind!
- In 2017, the dropshipping model made 23% of all online orders worldwide.
- 27% of online sellers run dropshipping businesses.
- Suppliers make 18.3% more profit selling to dropshippers than selling on their own to the customers.
- Dropshippers earn 50% more profit than sellers who buy their inventory.
Dropshipping is a promising model, right? So how can you get started? Let’s move on to the next part.
Seven Steps To Opening A Successful Dropshipping Store In 2021
1 – Choosing A Dropshipping Business Idea
What you sell matters!
So the first step to open a successful store is to choose the products to sell in your store. If you sell the products that people love, you’ll get high profits. Therefore, make sure you research the market and select the trending products. You can head over to social media, blogs, or forums to see what people are discussing these days.
For example, if you want to sell women’s apparel, you can check the blogs and videos of famous fashion bloggers to understand what’s new in fashion.
2 – Analyze Your Competitors
The second step for opening a dropshipping store is to analyze the competition in the market.
Yes, dear readers. The eCommerce market is cutthroat. There are millions of eCommerce stores online. Someone may already be selling the products that you are planning to sell. Thus, you need to understand what they do and how they do it.
Google search can help you with that. Head over to Google and type the product you want to sell along with your location. Suppose you enter “Winter Boots Colorado”. Check out the results that pop up on the first page! These are your competitors. Check their website, product photography, social media handles, etc. It will give you an insight into how they run their business.
3 – Find A Supplier
Suppliers are key players of a dropshipping store. They’re the ones who’ll fulfill your website orders.
Find a trustworthy supplier who has outstanding quality products. Spend time researching. Do not rush to make this important decision for your business.
Alibaba and AliExpress are famous platforms for finding suppliers. Shortlist the suppliers and make sure to ask tons of questions. Also, it would be best if you order a few sample products to check the packaging and quality of products.
You can also find out more about the suppliers by searching them up on Google. Read their reviews and once you are 100% satisfied, then finalize working with them.
- Products? Checked.
- Competition analysis? Checked.
- Supplier? Checked.
So what’s next?
4 – Develop A Business Plan
After finalizing the suppliers, it’s time to develop your business plan. You need to have a solid plan for:
- E-commerce Store
Decide which platform you will use to build your website? Which theme, features, and plugins will you use? And how will you categorize your products?
A solid marketing plan attracts the right audience and converts them into customers.
- Customer Service
How are you going to solve your customer’s problems? Will you exchange their product or offer a refund?
5 – Build A Dropshipping Store
It’s action time!!!
Thanks to eCommerce platforms, you don’t have to build your website from scratch. You only need a computer, internet connection, and a few clicks to launch your store. You don’t even need to hire a web developer or learn to code at the first stage.
Platforms like Shopify offer thousands of themes for you to design your store. You should select the theme according to your catalog size and make sure it is fast and mobile responsive. People in the online world are impatient. They’ll quit your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. I am confident that you wouldn’t want to lose huge traffic, right?
Done building the store? It’s time to attract customers.
6 – Go Crazy With Marketing
After setting up your store, you have to do three important things:
- And again… marketing!
Yup, that’s right!
Without having customers, you won’t make sales and earn profit. Hence, go crazy with marketing and leave no channel to market your business. Use the following tips for marketing your brand:
- Invest In Paid Ads
Pay-per-click marketing is the perfect way to reach your targeted audience because people go to Google for their questions. Google receives 63,000 search queries every second of the day!
Wouldn’t it be great if your website ranks higher on result pages when people search for the products you sell?
If yes, then set up your ad campaign NOW!
Don’t worry, you won’t have to break a bank for this. You get to set up your budget.
- Collaborate With Social Media Influencers
How can we forget social media while talking about marketing?
Create your business profile on popular networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. Social media has millions of active users so you have many opportunities to reach out to your potential audience. Engage with your followers on social media and post content to direct people to your eCommerce site.
If you want to increase your followings, get help from influencer marketing! Influencers create content and build an audience around a particular niche. For instance, many beauty influencers create content on makeup tutorials, skincare, etc. Collaborate with the influencers in your niche and expose your brand to thousands of people.
- Display Customer Testimonials On Your Website
Did you know that 9 out of 10 people read online reviews? And, almost 50% of online visitors read at least four reviews before buying a product.
So, display customer reviews about the product on your website.
If you dropship your products from AliExpress, you can use tools such as AliExpress Review Importer to import reviews from AliExpress products. After importing reviews, install a review app such as Judge.me to display those imported product reviews and ratings on the website.
7 – Offer Outstanding Services
Customers are kings! If you want to keep customers and win their loyalty, go above and beyond for them.
If your prospects have queries about a product or shipment, reply to them at your earliest. Make sure that you respond to them if they send you an email or message on Facebook or Instagram. Also, help them with order complaints.
You may sometimes receive negative reviews. In those situations, stay calm and reply professionally. A lot of people read the store’s responses to reviews from the customers. If you reply unprofessionally to negative comments, you’ll scare away new customers. Not to mention it’ll harm your reputation in the market.
Hence, treat your customers the right way. And you’ll have a successful and profitable business.
It’s Now Time to… Open Your Dropshipping Store!
There you have it: 7 steps to open your very own successful dropshipping store.
Remember, a dropshipping business will not pump up your bank account overnight. Like any other business, you need to work consistently to make it successful. Dropshipping business model is no exception. Hence, stay focused and keep working to make your mark in the online world.