A guide to making money from dropshipping: No hype
Dropshipping is a recurring buzzword in eCommerce. If you have ever spent time looking at pre-roll YouTube ads you will know this. Dropshipping is a lucrative business that has seen success stories of dropship millionaires, six-figure sales and overnight success.
You might have wondered if you should buy into all the hype. Dropshipping?
It all depends.
Dropshipping is a viable business option, whether you are looking to make a side income, start a business, or expand your product line. Although it is possible to achieve stratospheric success, it is best to adopt a realistic as well as a measured approach. These are not get-rich-quick schemes.
This article will introduce you to dropshipping, explain how it works, and give you a step-by-step guide to how to get started and start making real money.
Are you ready to start a low-investment eCommerce company? Dropshipping with Wix is a great option.
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What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping, in short, is a very popular eCommerce model. It is a different eCommerce business model because it allows you sell products without the need to store, ship, or handle inventory.
This model allows you to outsource both inventory risk and order fulfillment to third party manufacturers or suppliers.
Dropshipping allows you to source any type of inventory from trusted suppliers around the globe. Because the suppliers handle all aspects from storage to fulfillment, it can help you save time, money, as well as risk.
It sounds great, right?
There are many reasons why dropshipping is a good idea. Dropshipping can be done with a limited budget. Dropshipping is a popular business venture (as global Google Trends will attest), and it has helped lower the barrier of entry.
What is the model of dropshipping?
Dropshipping typically involves three parties: (1) The customer, (2) The online retailer and (3) The dropshipping supplier.
The three-step process involves these three parties:
- The customer makes a purchase. Dropshipping is when a customer orders dropshipping products from your eCommerce website. They pay the shipping and retail prices that you have set.
- Your supplier will then forward your order. You then send the order to your supplier. You may be able to receive their order automatically or semi-automatically from suppliers. This will reduce admin time and allow you to fulfill orders quickly. You can connect your Wix store with dropshipping platforms such as Modalyst and Spocket. Importify is another example. These platforms can be connected to a list of international suppliers that stock millions of products. Start selling by choosing your products and synchronizing them with your store.
- The rest is handled by your supplier. Your supplier will prepare and fulfill your order and ship it directly to you.
Is dropshipping profitable? Can I really make a living ?
Yes. Yes. Take a look at Spocket’s case study. There are many examples of dropshipping stories that have reached six figures. Dropshipping is used by 40% large retailers to lower inventory costs and compete with Amazon.
Wix stores who add dropshipping products to their orders increase their average order value by 40%, and sales revenues by 79% in the first four months.
Dropshipping success is not an exception as it is with many eCommerce businesses.
Dropshipping: The challenges
Dropshipping is a process that requires a lot of dedication. You’ll have no shipping or order fulfillment requirements, but you will still be able to focus on attracting customers, maximising sales and maintaining a smooth operation. You’ll be dealing with:
- There is stiff competition. There are many dropshippers who want to enter the market due to the low entry barrier. The number of Wix users who have dropshipped to their accounts jumped 123% YoY from January to May 2021. Your inventory may be filled by the same suppliers who supply inventory to other sellers. They could even be filling the exact same product.
- Marketing is key. You must make sure your product branding and marketing are strong in order to stand out from the rest. Although this is not a problem, you need to be prepared to invest the money and time necessary for your products’ marketing. You must maintain a high-quality website.
- Low profit margins. Dropshipping reduces upfront costs but you will need to accept that some of your hard-earned money may be used to pay your suppliers. To get the same return as traditional retailers, you will need to sell more units.
- Rely on suppliers. Dropshipped products are at your suppliers’ mercy. Your business could be affected if your supplier has problems with shipping, quality, or any other task. Customers may be angry and disappointed, as well as increased returns and the difficulty of finding a replacement supplier.
- Maintaining order. You are not able to inspect the products before they leave the store or have full visibility of the production floor and warehouse. You must find reliable partners and keep in close contact with them. You must have a contingency plan and/or diversify your supplier pool while maintaining inventory levels under control. You will need to have a plan for automation. The more you grow, the harder it will be to do all this manually.
Is it worth starting a dropshipping company?
It all depends on you. Will you be willing to put your hands up and stay committed to this business venture? Dropshipping has the advantage of being able to start selling quickly with minimal investment. It’s possible to reduce your losses without breaking the bank. You won’t be stuck with any inventory if your products fail to sell. Your lack of control as an retailer is the main problem. You don’t have control over the products so it is harder to guarantee their quality and customer service. Supply chain problems that are beyond your control can be a risk you must take on. Dropshipping has become highly competitive, particularly as stories of wealth have taken root in the industry. Therefore, it is important to temper your expectations.
Dropshipping is easy if you have a Wix eCommerce platform that allows you to centrally manage all your operations.
Five key steps to starting a dropshipping company
Here are some tips for dropshipping if you have made the decision to get into it.
Launch fast, don’t aim for perfection. Test how customers react to the products, and then iterate based upon sell-through.
– Jill Sherman (Co-founder, Modalyst)
01. Select products to be sold
You’ll be amazed at the number of products available once you have connected to your dropshipping platform. It’s incredible to have so many options, with hundreds of product categories and millions to choose from. However, it can be difficult to decide what products to sell.
The following steps will help you stay focused:
- Do your research. Which categories are most popular among online shoppers? What products are in demand within these categories? Google Trends, Google Keyword Search and social media (such as AliExpress, Etsy and eBay) are all useful resources to find out what online shoppers are buying. A glance at Amazon’s Best Sellers is a good place to start. Amazon makes up 40% of all U.S. eCommerce sales. It’s all well and good to follow trends in order to increase sales. But you want to make sure your business lasts. Check out this list of 20 top dropshipping productsto be sold online, or this article about selecting products to dropship. To validate your product ideas, you can use tools such as Think With Google’s Rising Retail Categories and Exploding topics, AMZScout or Jungle Scout.
- Conduct a competitor analysis. Create a list. What is selling well for them? What kind of content do their followers respond to? Look at their websites to find out how they price and market their products. Get insight into their marketing strategies by signing up for their email list. What can you learn about them? And, on the other side, what could you do differently? To run a competitive analysis, you can use tools such as Alexa Traffic Rank. Find out what keywords rank high, where there are gaps in SEO and what is driving traffic to their stores.
- Choose your niche. This will allow you to market more effectively to certain audiences and build a following. You can choose to target any niche market, from outdoor enthusiasts to music lovers. You could end up losing customers if your niche is too narrow. You should be passionate about what you sell. Use your interests to guide you.
- Create your business idea. Determine the range of products you plan to sell and how they fit together. If you decide to open an online home decor shop selling furniture and other large-ticket items, will you also be stocking smaller accessories such as cushions and rugs? Dropshipping doesn’t require you to stock excessive quantities. Dropshipping allows you to swap out products if they don’t sell or if there is a change in fashion.
- You can improve your existing store. Dropshipping can be used to increase your online sales if you have an existing online store. You should ensure that the products you choose complement your stock and are within your target price range.
You can read more about how to start an eCommerce company. It covers everything, from business plans to licensing and registration.
02. Locate a dropshipping supplier
Dropshipping success is dependent on finding great suppliers. According to industry research, 84% of dropshipping merchants see finding a supplier as the biggest obstacle to their business. It is important to link your store with reliable suppliers from both the United States and abroad. They should have a wide range of quality products and offer transparent shipping rates. You don’t have to create a storefront in order to find dropshipping suppliers. Instead, you can do steps 2 and 3 together.
- Independent suppliers It takes intensive research to find dropshipping suppliers. You can search Google for dropshipping suppliers if you prefer independent sourcing. Dropshipping wholesalers that seem trustworthy should be contacted. Also, make sure to check out positive reviews from other merchants before you make a decision.
- Dropshipping marketplaces. Dropshipping marketplaces can also make it easier and give you more product options. Dropshipping allows you to access millions of products from carefully vetted suppliers. Your eCommerce provider will offer you an easy way to integrate dropshippers. Wix eCommerce allows you to browse and install a variety of dropshipping platforms as well as print-on-demand suppliers through the Wix app Market.
- Spotlight: Modalyst. Modalyst, a top-of-the-line dropshipping platform, offers a wide range of products from trusted international dropshipping suppliers. Modalyst allows you to connect to your online shop, create an account and browse products. Once you have synchronized the products to your storefront, you can start selling within minutes.
- Print on demand. Integrating with a print-on-demand supplier like Printful or Printify will allow you to create a more customized offering. Dropshipping allows you to offer customized products with your logo or design. Select from hundreds of products, including t-shirts and reusable water bottles. Then add your logo or design to the products, then import them to your online shop. The print on demand supplier handles all aspects of printing, fulfillment and shipping.
- Upgrade to premium dropshipping. Modalyst, a dropshipping platform that allows you to import and export a limited amount of products free of charge, is a great way for businesses to get started quickly. Only after you reach the set limit, you will need to upgrade your account or pay an annual or monthly membership fee. These additional costs must be included in your business’s bottom line. However, upgrading can be beneficial. It will allow you to increase your product range into the hundreds, and access to premium suppliers as your company grows.
Wix dropship merchants sell an average of 105 products.
Top tip In order to keep your customers happy, you need to ensure two things: customer experience and product quality. It is a good idea to test the products before you make any commitments. However, it can be very helpful to read reviews from other merchants. You can reduce shipping time and keep your customers happy by choosing suppliers that are close to your shipping areas. These values will help you focus on sales and not customer complaints, refunds, or chargebacks.
03. Create an eCommerce store
A thoughtfully designed online store, built with the customer in view, will instantly increase your credibility and compel customers to shop. It will also make it easy for them to make a payment.
Dropshipping is easy with an all in one platform such as Wix. This platform allows you to create beautiful websites and gives you the tools to grow your company. These are the steps to get you started.
- Choose a template. You can choose from hundreds of pre-designed templates for online stores and then customize them to create your site.
- Create a brand identity. Get help from family and friends to come up with ideas. Try a tool such as the Wix business-name generator . Register your domain name to make it easy for customers to find you online. Wix has a logo maker that allows you to create your logo design. This guide will help you brand your online store.
- Connect to dropshipping platforms Create an account, install your dropshipping or print-on-demand app and start looking for amazing products.
- Add product descriptions. After you have selected and imported the products that you wish to dropship, customize your product listings in the storefront. Add personality and details to product descriptions. You can also shoot high-quality videos and images of the product you have ordered. This will allow you to differentiate your products from the rest and encourage sales.
- Decide on your shipping and pricing rules. Always think about your profit margin. Consider wholesale and shipping costs when setting pricing rules. You can either choose your shipping and mark-up rates, or include shipping costs in your product price. You should consider shipping separate orders to customers if you sell physical or dropshipped stock. You need to find a dropshipping pricing strategy that is affordable and competitive while increasing your revenue.
- Optimize your storefront. To better understand your customers’ experience with your online store, you can view it from their perspective. Is it easy for customers to navigate? Create filters, collections and categories for your products to make it easy for customers to locate what they are looking for.
- Transparency is key. To be able to write clear store policies, you need to learn about the shipping and return policies of your suppliers. Customers should know what to expect when they shop at your store. The Boho Birdy, a Wix merchant, discovered a dropshipping niche that sold a wide range of goods, including clothing and home decor, with a touch bohemian flair. Transparency is a top priority for the boho brand. They clearly state on product pages that they source their goods from many international suppliers. Additionally, they have a detailed FAQ page to answer any questions about shipping and delivery. This strategy helps them manage expectations and prepares customers to deal with the compromise that comes along with purchasing from their store. While shipping time will be longer from overseas suppliers, this model allows The Boho Birdy sell more goods at a lower price.
- Upgrade your account. To sell online or accept payments, you will need to upgrade to the Premium Plan. Take a look at our eCommerce and business plans to find the one that suits your needs and budget.
- Connect with a payment provider. Make payments easy for your customers. Customers will be happy if they have multiple payment options.
- Make your store live. Click the publish button to make it visible to everyone.
- Fulfilling sales. After you have sold a product and received payment from your customer, you will need to forward or place the order to your dropshipping supplier. You must also pay the wholesale price. Your order is fulfilled by the supplier, who then ships it directly to you. Depending on the platform, this fulfillment method may vary. Dropshipping and print-on-demand apps can offer one-click fulfillment, which streamlines the ordering process. Customers can send their order to the supplier by simply clicking one button. Your online store will automatically send the order to others, without you having to do anything.
A tip: Dropshipping suppliers are increasingly offering white-labeling as an add-on service. White labeling allows the supplier to add your branding or labeling to the product packaging and shipping during fulfillment. To make your product stand out, you may pay a little more. While this extra cost can reduce your profit margins, branding packaging builds trust and makes your company look professional.
04. Market your dropshipping business
After you have imported dropshipping products to the storefront, you can start advertising and marketing to your target audience. You should focus your efforts on this area of your business once fulfillment is taken care of by suppliers. Dropshipping merchants are in fact in the business to build a brand that will help customers acquire.
A well-rounded marketing plan, which includes these elements, will help spread the word about your company.
- Search Engine Optimization (Search Engine Optimization:Strong SEO improves your organic search engine rank, making it easier to find you by shoppers. Make product pages that are relevant to your business using key phrases and keywords. To add more content to appeal to your target audience, and drive traffic to your site, you might consider starting a blog.
- Make your customers feel like part of a group. Email Marketing: Site visitors should be encouraged to sign up for your email marketing list to receive exclusive offers and discounts. Email automation can be used to engage customers at different stages of their journey. For example, abandoned cart emails reminding them that they must complete a purchase. Or emails asking for feedback or product reviews. Dropshipping businesses need to learn more about customers’ experience with dropshipping. You don’t have complete control of the whole process. Although criticism can be disappointing, it will help to improve. Dropshipping allows for you to be extremely responsive so that you can quickly change suppliers or products.
- Social media. It is crucial to have organic social media content. A viral TikTok or Instagram reel could get your product front and center for millions. You should choose the channels that are most likely to reach your target audience. Post product photos, videos, tips, and customer feedback. Verifiable social proof is essential to dropshipping success. You can create a hashtag and offer customers incentives to promote your products. Trust can be built by sharing user-generated content created by people who have used your product. If you have the budget, consider collaborating with influencers that align with your brand. Connect your store to Facebook Business Page to increase visibility. This will allow you to tag products and convert more browsers into buyers.
- Paid Ads:Reach new clients with targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You can set a budget, experiment with different methods (Google Search, Display and Shopping) until you find the best one for your business. Facebook Adsby Wix uses an advanced machine-learning algorithm that continuously optimizes your ad campaigns and maximizes performance.
- Increase sales and grow with omnichannel sales.Connect your shop to other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to increase sales and reach a larger audience. You could target loyal marketplace shoppers directly with sponsored PPC advertising or search results.
05. Optimize your dropshipping business
You have a website that is working well. The sales are coming in and you are making a profit. What’s the next step? To find areas for improvement, look at every aspect of your business. To understand what’s working, you can use Wix Analytics tools on your website. To understand your store’s analytics, you don’t have to be an expert in data. Many eCommerce platforms offer easy-to-understand overviews and the option to get more detailed reports.
- Sales. Take a look at your monthly sales and profit margin. What can you do improve your current numbers? Dropshipping is so simple that you can easily add or remove items from your shop. This allows you to continuously evaluate your products. Which are your most-loved products? What isn’t as popular? Are certain products fads or mainstream? You can replace products that aren’t selling with other options. Take a look at the Average Order Value. Are there any ways you can increase this? Take a look at your customer retention rate. Are there many returning customers? You can reward loyal customers with a variety of apps, such as Smile Points & Reward, Twism, and Birthday Club.
- Marketing. Make use of your store’s analytics for a better marketing strategy. Which channels are your customers coming from? Are they coming to you through your current advertising strategy? You might consider increasing your budget and doubling down on a campaign that is driving traffic to your site. Or, perhaps you should try another channel to increase your reach. Your store should be optimized for mobile if more people are visiting it from their smartphones. You can add currency converters to your website if you are attracting traffic from overseas markets. Your eCommerce dropshipping business should have a goal to grow, no matter how small or large. To ensure that you meet your key performance indicators (KPIs), set them and monitor the performance of your store regularly. You can make adjustments based upon your findings, and you should continue to analyze, optimize and test your business as it grows.
Dropshipping is easy!
There you have it. Dropshipping can be an efficient way to launch a business quickly and can provide additional revenue streams for eCommerce merchants.
Dropshipping entrepreneurs are free from the risks of purchasing, shipping and managing inventory. They can channel their energy towards building a brand, selling great products and growing an eCommerce business. They should be dedicated to customer-centricity, just like any modern business.