For most people, owning a business would be a dream come true.
However, the capital constraints and overhead costs that come with setting up a profitable venture are a turn off for most people.
Thankfully, the advent of online businesses has made it possible to start thriving ventures with a budget.
An online drop shipping business is a low-risk venture that you can start with no stock, inventory management, rent, or employees.
Just you, your e-commerce service provider, supplier, and loads of hard work.
If you are considering starting an online dropshipping business, you can visit this website for information and follow these tips:
1. Select your niche
What kind of products do you intend to deal in?
This is a major factor to consider, as a broad spectrum of goods will be difficult to manage and market.
For easier and economical management, choose a niche that you are an expert in, or are passionate about.
Try to include a set of different products that are not so far removed, so that in case one brand fails, the others provide a solid fall back plan.
For instance, you can sell many types of gardening tools, not just lawn mowers.
Again, be sure to select a profitable niche to make the most out of your business efforts.
To generate the highest possible sales, choose a product that is often searched for and bought online, and is so attractive to site visitors that it prompts impulse buys.
Another vital factor to consider is the cost of shipping.
If you deal in products that ship expensively, they will consume your profits and run down your business.
2. Perform market research
One of the best places to do some research for free is Amazon.
Their “Bestsellers” by category is an excellent source of reliable information.
Research is important to help you set yourself apart from other drop shippers and enterprise level businesses like Amazon and Wal-Mart.
Determine if the product you have chosen is competitive, the prices that your competitors set, and the best possible marketing strategies.
Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing can also provide reliable information through keywords.
These words and tools like Google AdWord keyword planning tool and Google Trends can give you free information on what products are most searched for online.
This research will also help you determine if your product is flooded in the market, meaning that business may always be low.
A mistake that many drop shippers make is dealing in cheap products that are readily available or products that again have very little competition owing to low demand or expensive shipping.
3. Get a supplier
The most critical partner in your business will be a supplier; be sure to pick a reputable supplier who realizes the need for effective communication.
Many notable suppliers are usually abroad, so be sure to confirm their communication ability.
Ask all the relevant questions, read customer reviews and check if they have other reputable clients. If you are not sure about them, start looking for others.
A popular solution to the problem of finding the right supplier would be to start a dropship marketplace.
A dropship marketplace makes it incredibly easy for beginners to start and run a drop shipping business by automating the entire drop ship process.
They work by integrating with e-commerce platforms, which makes it possible to search for goods to sell and add to your store, display inventory to avoid back orders, and automate shipping confirmations.
Again, with this kind of business, you can forward orders to a supplier and pay in full after your buyers have paid for the products.
With a dropship marketplace, you can add a unique set of products to fit your brand requirements.
4. Create your e-commerce store
Once you identify a reliable supplier, the next step would be to build your e-commerce store.
You are highly advised against making a website from scratch as it is expensive in the long run.
Instead, opt for popular e-commerce website builders like Shopify.
With these site builders, you get a stable, user-friendly online store in minutes at a fraction of what it would cost you to build a website from scratch.
With site builders like Shopify, you need not to be a tech expert to build a beautiful store, all you need is to pay their reasonable monthly fee (as low as $29/month).
They also give you a whole host of apps to help you run your store.
5. Start your marketing campaign
With your store all polished and new, you now need to get yourself customers to complete your business.
One of the best ways to acquire customers would be through social media marketing.
Check if your e-commerce service provider has features that enable you to start a Facebook or Twitter marketing campaign quickly.
Alternatively, you can launch your own sponsored campaigns on all major social networks.
Platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram provide you with an opportunity to market your business and interact with potential customers across the world.
Long term marketing solutions include SEO friendly features, e-mail marketing, discounts, newsletters, all of which will go a long way in exposing your unique brand.
Again, most e-commerce platforms have ready features and apps for these, which you should take advantage of.
6. Use business intelligence
Business intelligence is the use of metrics and analytics to help you make the best business decisions.
Examples of these would be Google Analytics and Facebook conversion pixel data, which are designed to help you find patterns and trends that will help you lay the best possible strategies.
These applications monitor the activity of people who visit your site (whether they stay and browse through your products or just leave), transaction metrics, and track what products are your repeat customers’ favorites.
Joining the world of e-commerce has never been easy.
However, with consistency, an open mind to new opportunities and trends, and aggressive marketing campaigns, you could rise to the ranks of Alibaba and Amazon.