Updated: Jan 2
New entrepreneur, most especially Millennials and Gen Xers, have now taken to the extremely popular Drop Shipping, which is majorly due to internet marketing skills far outweighing financial capacity. Drop shipping business can be started with minimal capital since its operation does not entail stocking or handling the items you are selling.
E-commerce websites that operate drop-shipping businesses utilize manufacturers and third-party supplier to supply the items they sell to the consumer by purchasing the items from the manufacturer and third party supplier and having them deliver it to the consumer. Business owners can get more time to focus on getting customers while also reducing operational costs.
For those who are set for a drop shipping business with limited budget and yet looking to stay competitive, the following six steps are essential processes to follow. However low the capital for startup may be, it requires sufficient hard work to get going.
1. Determine your niche: For the success of any business, interest is vital. Thus, you need to select a niche that you are quite passionate about genuinely. Ensure that the product range of your business is focused, as it will be difficult to market otherwise. Once you are excited about the company, in the face of hard work and challenges, you will eventually be able to scale your drop shipping business. In choosing the niche, you should consider the following;
Consider the cost of shipping: Even though your customers are paying for the delivery, it does not attract a new customer or retain old ones, when your manufacturers charge too much for shipping. If you could find products that are relatively cheap to ship, you may even be able to offer free shipping to your customer and thus end up attracting more sales.
Ensure a significant online presence: Before choosing your niche, use Trends and Google's keyword planner to check on the standard search keyword related to the niche you are considering. There is no rationality in opting for a niche that people are not searching for, as this is a sign that the niche is not trending.
Product appeal is significant: Driving traffic to your website is your primary goal, and the only to ensure that the generated traffics converted into sales is to make your products appealing. The product must be attractive enough to trigger an impulse to buy in the visitors.
Select an attractive profit niche: the goal to scale your business is fostered when you are actively engaging in marketing and gaining a customer. As such, the effort required to sell a $15 product is the same needed to sell a $1000 product. It is better, then, to select a niche with higher priced items.
Sell something available mostly online: in selecting a niche, it is advisable to sell products that are not readily available locally; products that the customer cannot dash down the street to get.
· Sell with your brand: rebranding whatever you are selling and passing it on as your own would increase the value of your drop shipping business. Therefore, you should select a niche with products that you can white label to sell as your own with your custom branding and packaging.
2. Know your competitors, and compete: Most drop shippers take the wrong steps by avoiding competition by choosing products without competition. In itself, a product with no match is a bad omen as this implies that such a product isn't in high demand. This may be due to its high cost, high shipping cost, reduced profit margin or even supplier or manufacturers' issues. Products that have top competition should be your target as this shows that the products are in high demand and ensure business sustainability. It is essential that you remember that retails giants like Walmart and Amazon are your competitors, as well as other drop shipping businesses.
3. Select the right Suppliers: This is not a step to rush. Your business is ruined the moment you partnered the wrong supplier. Your drop shipping suppliers would mostly be overseas and thus, and you have to ensure consistent, effective and efficient communication. Respond on time and be clear with your messages. Avoid doing business with customers that you are not a hundred percent confident of their communication capabilities.
A significant resource that you can employ in your search for potential suppliers and manufacturers is Alibaba. During communication, ensure to ask lots of questions, learn about their production capabilities and be sure that they can scale along with your business.
4. Build an e-commerce website: there is no faster and better way of starting a drop shipping business than to use a simple e-commerce website that supports it. It is not necessary to have a tech background to do this as there are plenty of apps already that can help you boost sales.
You may have the resources to hire a web designer to develop an e-commerce website for you, and it is still wiser to use a plug and play app at first. Wait until you are well established with steady revenue inflow before exploring the ancillary option of building a custom website.
5. Develop a plan to attract customers: It is quite tasking to get a great product and website up but without customers patronising the business, it's an all futile effort. Attracting customer is, and one of the most effective means of doing this is to run a Facebook ad campaign.
This allows for quick scaling by generating sales and revenue right from the start. Facebook ad campaigns are used for sending your business advertisement to focus on your targeted audience. It gives you a competitive edge even against large brands and other retail brands.
A long-term solution is to increase your brand awareness through email marketing and search engine optimisation. While email marketing doesn't appeal to people as it used to any more, you can also think of deploying powerful marketing soon.
6. Optimise and Analyse: Track all available data and metrics towards growing your business. Facebook conversion pixel data and Google analytics traffic are some of the tools you can use. By tracking data and knowing the sources and pathway of your conversions, you can refocus your business to target the common areas and identify the areas to improve on. There no marketing or advertisement strategy that requires you to set and forget about it, you need to keep seeking out and testing new opportunities and also improve on your campaigns. By doing this, you will know when to optimise and decide if or not to shift campaign spending.
I have also made a Youtube video regarding The RAW TRUTH About E-commerce & Dropshipping Click the link or picture to check it out:
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