If you are looking to start an e-commerce business that offers a lot of potentials, you have probably heard of the term dropshipping. This is a word that gets thrown around the business world all the time and is extremely popular with millennials. In fact, roughly 23% of online sales were made through dropshipping in 2017. However, only a few people know how it works and what it entails.
For many, dropshipping can seem very intimidating and overwhelming especially if you have a meager budget. If you are still starting out on the e-commerce scene, you probably have some worries on finding the means to store and ship your goods. Thankfully, starting a dropshipping business has never been easier because it requires almost nothing in capital investment.
You can finally throw your blues away because dropshipping lessens the risk in financial investment caused by buying goods that will not sell. This is why your operating expenses stay low. Who knows, with effort and dedication, your store might become one of the biggest stores online. If you want to know everything about dropshipping on a tight budget, keep on reading.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail method wherein a store does not keep the goods that it sells in stock. When the store sells a product, it buys the item from another shop and has it shipped directly to the consumer. Meaning, the dropshipping store itself does not even see the product but it gets it in the hands of the consumer and generates income.
One of the most asked questions about dropshipping and other non-traditional retail stores is that the former does not need to have its own inventory or warehouse to stock their products. This is because everything that they need comes from their partnership between a dropship supplier, another third-party manufacturer, or seller.
How Dropshipping Works
First, a customer places an order on the dropshipping store. Then, the store forwards it to the third party, and finally the dropshipping supplier ships the goods directly to the customer’s address.
What is Needed to Start Dropshipping
Despite the little to no monetary investment, it requires tons of hard work and research. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
Steps to Undertake
To start dropshipping, you need to select a certain niche or a focused group of products that will surely be a hit with the market. You can research this by analyzing the market or by picking unique products. You also have to worry about the shipping costs. Remember that if the shipping is too high, your customers would most likely skip the purchase.
Then comes securing a reliable supplier. According to Gogo Dropship, 84% of suppliers say that finding the right supplier is the basis of starting an online business. This is essential because choosing the wrong third party can be the downfall of your business. Do tons of investigation and research to be confident that the company will not fail you. Furthermore, consider your communication. Since many third-party suppliers are located overseas, communication is vital. Also, do not be afraid to ask questions. If you are not fully sure, do not risk it.
To own a dropshipping business, one has to have a website or a store on a marketplace like eBay. Launching an e-commerce shop has become so easy these days. If you have a tech background, you can even build the website yourself. Having a budget can help you commission someone to create a superb website. After you have done this step, you’re all set!
Other Important Factors
Starting a dropshipping business can be quite challenging. However, it is possible even with limited funds. Since a third party fulfills the order, the operation costs and even your time is cut down significantly. With this, you can start dropshipping with $0.00 if you please.
Practically, you would need costs to cover costs if you would prefer to go for e-commerce platforms such as Shopify or Oberlo. Fortunately, these websites offer a free trial. After that, it will cost you around $29 to as much as $299.
You would also need funds if you want to make sure how the products turn out by ordering it beforehand. Depending on what you plan to sell, you should prepare around $75 for this. Additionally, you should allocate funds for social media advertising. If you are still uncertain about where to get funds after your trial has expired, try to acquire a cash advance for starting a business. This is one of the most foolproof ways to have a capital.
Knowledge and Skills
Dropshipping is still a business so you need to do tons of research. If you want to keep your business at the top, building your knowledge as you go along is key. Everything that you have done for your dropshipping including the effort you did to look for the supplier and the work you put on your website would be for nothing if you do not look for more ways to attract customers.
Elevating your knowledge on how to start ad campaigns and targeting your audience is a must. Educate yourself on how social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram can help you. E-mail marketing for dropshipping is also one of the best marketing techniques you should keep in mind. Being well-versed on search-engine optimization also helps.
Additionally, you need to know how to track your metrics and data. This will tell if the strategy that you undertook worked. By tracking your conversions, you can find out where the majority of your customers come from. This allows you to know which marketing efforts need to be eliminated.
About The Author
Lidia Staron has been working as a writer, editor and literary coach for 5 years. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning and decision-making processes.