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Dropshipping has been the talk of the town for quite some years. The convenient e-commerce landscape that dropshipping provides has attracted hundreds and thousands of business owners. Especially after the pandemic era, dropshipping has gained immense popularity. But what makes dropshipping popular?
What factors make it an attractive investment opportunity?
Do you need ZERO INVESTMENT to start dropshipping?
Is there still any scope for investing in dropshipping in the coming years?
Well, you can get all your answers further in this blog. Before starting, it is better to understand the business itself thoroughly. So, this blog explains all the critical elements related to the dropshipping business model. It touches on all the sensitive points and provides the readers with ample information before starting their own dropshipping business.
1.What is dropshipping?
1）What is dropshipping?
In simple words dropshipping is a fulfillment model. Since, in terms of business, fulfillment refers to delivery. Thus, dropshipping is a way in which customers receive orders.
The dropshipping model’s simplicity is that all you need to do is list the items for sale in your store.
The order is passed to the wholesaler whenever a customer orders a product. The wholesaler then sends the effect on your behalf. The wholesaler ensures that the product reaches the end customer in perfect quality. You get the money!
2) The dropshipping business model
Through an online dropshipping business model, e-commerce business owners outsource several responsibilities to third parties, such as:
• Shipping and
• Customer care
Below is a clear and concise description of a dropshipping business model:
The dropshipping business model lets you contact the supplier just once, and that too when you receive the order. You place the orders only when you receive orders from the customers. There is no need to purchase the inventory beforehand.
It is the responsibility of the supplier to send those products to the customers.
2.Is dropshipping a good idea in 2023?
Since we have entered the year 2023, many business owners might be skeptical about the fact:
Is dropshipping still a good idea in 2023?
Of Course, Yes
The market share of dropshipping as a business model has been increasing since 2015. Just consider your interest and look at the Google trends data of dropshipping. You will see that people’s interest in dropshipping has been growing. The graph is going up!
A significant reason behind this is that dropshipping business model is a convenient business idea for newcomers. Dropshipping offers a steady income without having to worry about inventory storage. Not having to worry about inventory and the fulfillment process is why dropshipping never loses its charm among aspiring e-commerce business owners.
Do you know the worth of the global dropshipping e-commerce market in 2020?
Statista said it was one hundred and twenty-eight point six billion US dollars. In 2026, the forecast predicts that this worth will increase to four hundred and seventy-six billion US Dollars.
Dropshipping was and will never be an outdated business idea in the e-commerce industry. The previously mentioned statistics indicate that the dropshipping business model will reach more heights shortly. Thus, it is worth it in 2023 as well!
3.What makes dropshipping a convenient business model?
1)Faster product selling
Dropshipping model has made product listing convenient. You can easily add more products and maintain a versatile product catalog. There can be a variable product catalog to meet the needs of the customers and the latest trends.
This will keep your business running and under the market demands. You can also target various customers of various interests through a single product catalog and website.
2) Less risk of failure
Creating your product is a lengthy and stressful process. It involves a lot of stress and time from gathering the resources to maintaining the product specifications. In dropshipping, the risk factor is low as compared to reselling or selling your product. In the case of dropshipping, you find the product and start selling it…
Dropshipping a product that is already in demand further reduces the risk of failure. All you need to do is market the product to the right people interested in purchasing it.
3) Fewer overhead costs
A significant advantage of the dropshipping business is that you do not need considerable investment. This is why so many new business aspirants are joining the dropshipping ecosystem.
The overhead costs in dropshipping are less than in other business models. You do not need a large amount of capital or a large business set up to start a dropshipping business. All you need to do is have some amount to pay the MOQ charges to the supplier. Yet, you do need some amount for your store’s marketing.
4) Less investment
The highest cost in any business is the cost of inventory. Since you do not need to keep a stock in dropshipping, a significant expense is cut.
All you need is to spend some money designing your store and making an upfront payment to the supplier. Do not forget the subscription fee of the online platform you use for your stores, such as Shopify or Big Commerce.
5) Increased business scalability
Dropshipping business model is flexible and scalable. You can use a single dropshipping store to target different regions and countries simultaneously. You might be selling winter clothes to a separate segment of customers and beach costumes to another segment through a single store.
4. Developing a successful dropshipping plan
1) Invest your time and money
Do you know the two most important currencies for starting a dropshipping business?
Time and Money
Although you can start a dropshipping business with a full-time nine-to-five job, if you are a newbie in the e-commerce industry, it is better to follow the bootstrapping and investing sweat equity approach, i.e., investing yourself into the business.
Through this approach, you can better understand the dropshipping ecosystem. A better understanding can lead to more involvement and therefore bring better results.
Personal investment into the business provides a better overview of the customers and the target market. Although one can expect a one thousand to two thousand monthly profit by investing twelve hours weekly. But investing yourself full-time into the business can lead to even more profits.
Whether you outsource the fulfillment process or not, a minimum of one thousand dollars is required to set up a dropshipping business. This investment is necessary to:
• Pay the subscription fee for online platforms such as big commerce, Shopify, etc.
• Design the online store, i.e., web development services
• Payment to the supplier for MOQ, i.e., minim order quantity
• Marketing your online store and products
Investing your time and money can be fruitful only if you commit to your business.
2) Find a profitable niche
Market research is crucial to the success of a dropshipping business. There might be several dropshipping business ideas available. But the key is to find the one that makes you earn profits.
Finding a profitable niche is a tricky but exciting process. Here are some ideas for market research that will help you in finding the right place to invest in:
• Google trends are a fantastic way to find out trending products. Not only it indicates the popularity of the product over time. But it also shows the demand for development regarding specific locations. Thus, you can quickly check whether a particular product is in order in your target market.
• Dropshipping platforms such as Ali Express and Oberlo are a constructive way to look for trending products and niches. These platforms show hot-selling products and products’ selling history. Analyzing these statistics can give good market insights.
3) Find out what your competitors are selling
See what your competitors are selling—spy on their stores, Facebook ads, and social media pages. Check which products they are marketing. Check social media platforms such as Tik Tok, Pinterest, and Instagram to see what your competitors offer.
Another creative way of diving into competitors’ marketing strategies is to subscribe to their email lists. This will help you to know what products are in demand. Your competitors will market their hot-selling products through personalized emails.
4) Find a dropshipping supplier for product sourcing
Once you have decided on a particular niche and product, the second most important task is to find a supplier. This step is critical and challenging. The reason is that finding a legitimate supplier can be difficult.
Differentiating between legitimate wholesale suppliers and retail stores acting as wholesale suppliers is challenging. An excellent wholesale supplier buys products directly from the manufacturer. It offers products at reasonable prices.
Below listed are some essential strategies that you can use to find a legitimate supplier:
Contact the Manufacturer:
Have you decided on the niche and the product you want to sell?
Now you have to gather a list of manufacturers of the product and ask them to give you information about legitimate wholesalers of the product.
You can have a list of leading wholesale suppliers of a particular product by contacting several manufacturers in the market. In this way, you will be able to get data from several suppliers. You can choose the one that offers the best prices and negotiable shipping rates.
Attend Trade Shows:
Suppose you want to connect with leading manufacturers and wholesale suppliers of a particular niche. In that case, a trade show is the best option. A trade show provides you with the opportunity of one for one interaction with the suppliers. Yet it works only if you have already decided on your product and niche.
With the investment of time and money, a trade show is the best option to gain market information about suppliers and manufacturers.
Online Supplier Directories:
Segregation is made based on markets, products, or niches. A supplier directory is an online database of suppliers. In most directories, the suppliers are added if they pass specific criteria to avoid fraud. Some organizations maintain their directories. To gain access to these directories, they charge a certain fee.
Many supplier directories are available online. Some of the important names include SaleHoo. Worldwide Brands, DOBA, etc.
Suppose you are willing to spend some money to gain access to many suppliers and need more time. In that case, a supplier directory is the best option.
Like everything else, Google is the most convenient method to find supplier information. But it would be best if you kept in mind the following rules:
• Do extensive research. Only some wholesalers might have a beautiful online presence. Thus, it would be best if you dug in deep.
• Don’t let the poor website design scare you off. Wholesalers usually have quite old-fashioned websites.
• Try various search queries. Use modifiers to gain more variety of information about a particular product.
Popular supplier platforms such as Ali Express, Ali Baba, CJ Dropshipping, etc., give access to hundreds and thousands of suppliers. Such platforms bring both suppliers and business owners together. Business owners can order their products directly. They can also get an idea about trending products and price ranges.
5) Select a suitable platform to create your online store
Now comes the turn to decide on a suitable online platform to create your online store or website. Before deciding on a forum, make sure to select the one that is:
• Drives more traffic
• Provides accessible online marketing opportunities
• Provides more app integrations
Although there are several options to create your dropshipping website, such as:
• Shopify etc.
Yet they all provide different subscription fees, customer care options, and design elements. But the most popular platform among these is Shopify.
Shopify offers more app integrations and more online marketing opportunities. The best thing about Shopify is that it has a highly user-friendly layout. The customization options are endless as well.
You can create your store policies, such as shipping, return, and exchange policies. Shopify also offers default policy pages that businesses can use for free. Its subscription is also straightforward on the pocket.
6) Analyze your finances
Avoid the common mistake of getting your personal and business finances mixed up. Both of them should be kept separate. For this purpose, open a different bank account in your business’s name.
Make sure to use your business account to perform all financial operations of your business. Not just the bank account. You should have a separate business credit card. This credit can be helpful to do all transactions with the suppliers.
Make sure that your business is licensed and registered. It should also comply with all the legal and tax regulations of the country where you operate it.
7) Do ample marketing of your store and products
You have found an excellent [product and created an attractive store. But if you haven’t done the marketing right, it all goes in vain!
The success of your dropshipping business relies heavily on how well the marketing is done. So, whenever you are working on your dropshipping business plan, put some extra effort into marketing.
A fantastic feature of the dropshipping business is that most of the features are automated. This saves time. Business owners, therefore, get more time to concentrate on marketing efforts.
Let’s have a look at the various marketing strategies that can be used:
Social Media Marketing:
Social media is a massive power in the present era of technology. Research indicates that social media guide the buying decisions of seventy-one percent of consumers. Almost ninety-one percent of consumers buy a product from a brand only if they follow it on social media.
Over the recent years, more and more platforms have been added to the social media niche. These include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and, most importantly, Tic Tok. Not only can you increase customer engagement through these platforms, but you can also market and list your products.
The new pillar of digital marketing is influencer marketing. One influencer with millions of followers can convey your brand’s voice to millions with just one Instagram Post. That’s the power of influencer marketing!
We are living in the era of Attention Marketing. Influencers drive consumers’ attention toward your brand through their playful posts, reels, and short video endorsements. There exists a strong link between the attention of consumers and their intention to purchase a particular product.
Who knew technology would give power even to words? SEO, i.e., Search Engine Optimization, is the primary driver of traffic to online stores. Strong copywriting skills and convincing customers how much a particular product or service adds value to their life.
With Search Engine Optimization, you can optimize any text on your website. Every piece of content can drive traffic to your website, be it the product descriptions, the landing page content, or policy pages.
Several tools can be used for optimization, such as Google Keyword Planner, Surfer SEO, etc.
5.Costs involved in starting a dropshipping business
You might be planning on starting a dropshipping business, but the thought of the business’s cost might be hindering you. If you are skeptical about how much it costs to start a dropshipping business, then read further.
You will be pleased and amazed to know that you can start a dropshipping business for as low as one hundred US Dollars. However, like any other business dropshipping is also not FREE!
There are certain costs that you need to consider if you want to establish a profitable business. Let’s have a look at each of them:
1) Subscription Cost:
As discussed before, all online dropshipping platforms have a subscription fee. Consider, for example, Shopify being the most popular dropshipping platform. Shopify offers a fourteen-day free trial. After the free trial period, it costs twenty-nine US Dollars a month. It also offers three different subscription plans.
For the store to go live, you need a domain. You can purchase the domain from Shopify or a third party. Shopify charges fourteen US Dollars annually for the domain.
2) Marketing Cost:
Marketing costs take up a considerable chunk of investment in the dropshipping business. Therefore, while starting a dropshipping business, you should never take the marketing cost for granted.
Facebook and Tic Tok are major marketing platforms. To market your products here, you need to create attractive video ads. Creating creative video ads and running ad campaigns must be money.
Moreover, you can use upselling and cross-selling apps to attract more customers. Most of these apps come with monthly subscriptions, thus adding to your marketing cost.
3) Store Enhancement Cost:
Appearances do matter. An attractive store with more features will attract more customers. To add more features to your online store, you might need the services of a web developer, an illustrator, or a coder.
It would be best if you had the capital to order these services, which adds to the project’s cost.
4) Product Validation Cost:
Since in drop shipping, you are not handling the fulfillment process yourself. Your customers may not receive good quality products.
To solve this issue, you can do product validation yourself. You can either request a sample or make a dummy order delivery. This will help you check whether the product quality and packaging are up to the mark.
So, to make your first order, you need some money which is part of the product validation cost.
6.How much profit can be earnt through dropshipping business?
Dropshipping profit margin varies depending upon your niche and product selection. But a general perception is that you can easily earn between fifteen to twenty percent profits from each sale. You can make an average of one hundred thousand US Dollars in profits at an annual rate.
You can earn good profit margins because the products you are selling are at much higher prices than the price you are getting from the supplier.
In most cases, customers also pay the shipping charges for the product. Thus, the shipping cost is also extracted from the end customer. This reduces the overhead cost even further and thus increases the profits.
The amount of profit depends on several factors. Some of these include your skill level—persistence, product research, marketing, and sales.
The amount of profit also depends upon the level of expertise of the business owner. For example, if you are a beginner with a new drop shipping store, you might earn up to one thousand dollars per month or none. If you are an intermediate seller with no intention of scaling, you might earn up to five thousand dollars monthly.
Most amounts of the profits are expected from an advanced expert-level drop shipper. An expert-level drop shipper has all its systems automated. They are expected to make monthly profits of up to ten thousand Dollars.
Do you have some initial investment but need to be more knowledgeable about dropshipping?
Are you skeptical about earning profits?
Don’t worry. Even then, you can operate a profitable dropshipping business. How? Find an experience dropshipping fulfillment provider. Dropshipping fulfillment companies help you conduct all business activities from the comfort of your home. Pay a small upfront payment, and you can outsource the business.
Dropshipping provides a business opportunity with low risk and minor capital investment. If you have been wondering about an entrepreneurial journey of freedom, then here you have it!
With the variety of online platforms and integrations, Dropshipping is the most consumer-friendly e-commerce business opportunity available. There is a reason behind the massive expansion of this business model in the e-commerce ecosystem.
Dropshipping has arisen as a major pillar of the e-commerce business industry. Technological advancements have made dropshipping more convenient to operate. Who knew the drop shipping business model would become influential in the coming years?
Keep these tips in mind and start your quest for the right product now. Remember, one right product and effective marketing techniques are enough to make you a millionaire. Good Luck!