Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to make your mark on the world of eCommerce or you’re a pensioner who wants to bring in some extra money during your retirement, DropShipping is an ideal solution. Before starting your DropShipping journey, the eCommerce experts at Armaan Resales have put together a comprehensive guide that walks you through the steps needed to get a DropShipping store up and running and advises how long the entire process will take. Let’s jump straight in.
Creating a successful eCommerce business requires just as much preparation as a traditional brick-and-mortar store, minus the physical location and challenges that type of business presents. You must take vital steps to ensure your business starts off successfully and remains that way long term.
What type of products do you want to sell?
The first step, arguably the most important, is deciding which products your business will sell. It’s more complicated than it may seem. To ensure your business will be successful amongst competitors and soar in a niche space, it’s essential to research which products are popular and profitable to sell online. The products you choose will be the face of your business, so choosing products that will distinguish your business from the competition is key.
Here are the factors to consider before deciding what you want to sell:
- Who are your competitors?
- What is your target audience?
- What will your marketing strategy be?
- Will you have a brand identity and message?
- Will you be selling in a niche market?
- What is the wholesale value, and what margin will you look to make?
Measure Up the Competition
Now that you’ve decided what you’re going to sell and know who you’re going to sell to, it’s time to look at the competition. It’s essential to research all potential competitors selling to the same market that you will be, either directly or indirectly. This knowledge will enable you to better position your brand regarding price, product selection and marketing. Additionally, it gives insight into what kind of margin competitors are adding to their products and whether there is an unsustainable price squeeze going on that could impact your bottom line.
How do I source products for DropShipping?
Finding a supplier for your DropShipping business can be tricky. Your business’ success relies on choosing reliable partners who can take care of order fulfilment and delivery in a timely, professional and efficient manner. Choosing a supplier that doesn’t match that criterion can have an incredibly detrimental impact on your business, as their failures can cause high levels of customer dissatisfaction.
While you don’t have direct control over how your wholesaler operates, ensuring they provide excellent communication, have high-quality goods and deliver your products on time is how you protect your business’ longevity.
Here’s what you can do to ensure you’re working with a good supplier:
- Ensure they are legit: Check their website’s age and their Companies House listing and make sure they have an actual address and are easily contactable during your research phase. If they are outside of the UK, check the country in question’s business directory.
- Product quality:Before choosing to work with a supplier, order samples of the products you’ll be selling. This will give you a better understanding of the item’s quality and peace of mind that your customers will be satisfied with their purchase.
With thousands of suppliers worldwide, doing your research and assessing their business practices, product quality and communication can be incredibly time-consuming. Working with a partner like Armaan Resales means you have instant contact with its established network of over 100 trusted suppliers, making this step much more straightforward.
Where can I sell my DropShipping products?
There are three ways to get your DropShipping business up and running. You can choose to work with an established eCommerce marketplace like Amazon, eBay or Takealot. Alternatively, if you want to build your own brand name you can choose to set up a store on Shopify or create a standalone eCommerce website instead of selling under those brands. Here are a few things to consider:
- Usability: Is the website mobile-friendly and easy for customers to navigate?
- PCI compliance: Is your customers’ data safe? Does it comply with GDPR and other global data protection legislation?
- Scalability: Can you grow your business, and how expensive would it be if you did?
- Taxes, freight and accounting: Does your chosen platform or marketplace integrate with your accounting software? Do they offer automated shipping calculations, and are legal tax requirements met for destination and origination?
- Manageability: How efficiently can you manage and run your eCommerce store?
- Cost: It’s crucial to weigh the costs of hosting your eCommerce store with an online marketplace versus building and running a standalone website.
Once you’ve done all the above steps and are up and running, you need to get your products in front of customers to attract buyers. You’ll also want to analyse and assess your business’s performance to ensure you’re meeting your goals.
How to Market Your DropShipping Business
Marketing strategies for DropShipping businesses vary depending on whether you’re using an online marketplace or building your own brand. Whether using social media advertising and organic social growth or emailing people who’ve signed up for your newsletter, it’s important to build a marketing strategy and measure your key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure your campaigns are working. The analysis will allow you to optimise those campaigns to reach your target audience, build your brand identity and boost sales.
How to Measure DropShipping Success
Of course, seeing sales figures rising is an excellent indication of success, but there are other things you can do to monitor your business’s performance. We suggest making use of analytics. These tools can help shape how your business has performed over time and grant insight into the year-on-year or month-on-month performance. It will also help you forecast future shopping periods and scale your business.
How long does setting up a DropShipping store take?
If you’re doing this independently without a trusted partner, you can expect this to take several months. It’s also important to keep in mind that moving from being in the red to being in the black can also take time, and managing your expectations will keep you from being demotivated.
Choosing to work with a DropShipping expert like Armaan Resales drastically reduces the setup time, helps you better manage your business and gives you peace of mind that suppliers will provide you with the products your customers expect. Contact our team to get started on your DropShipping journey!