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After deciding you’re fed up with bosses, lengthy commutes plus everything else day jobs come with, you’ve decided now is the time to start your dropshipping business and enter the laptop lifestyle world.
So welcome to a great future, but of course, you need a great plan to become really successful and join the ranks of the laptop millionaires! It’s really important for you to choose your products and prices wisely, along with other important stuff to get you started on the right track.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the ways you can get started on your dropshipping journey. Let’s start by finding out the quick answer as to what makes a great drop-shipping model.
What makes a great dropshipping model? Selecting the right topic, or niche area to focus on, with a store based platform for your budget, that suits your technical ability and the way you want your store to look is the best way to get to a successful dropship model. Then testing a few products to launch your business and find what works.
Now we’ve got started with the short stuff, let’s dive deeper into some of the main advantages of running a dropshipping enterprise.
Why should I dropship?
As opposed to many other types of business dropshipping comes into its own in terms of the many different advantages. Let’s take a look.
- Easy to set up
- Huge range of products
- Little or no overhead costs (other than your basic utilities needing to function on a laptop)
- Low start-up costs
- Fluid location
- Great scalability
- No stock
So the main takeaway here is that it’s a great option for startups – or any kind of business looking for selling a large range of products without the huge stock control which usually comes with a high price ticket, plus gives the flexibility to work from anywhere there’s an internet connection!
So now we’ve got you excited about entering the world of e-commerce, let’s begin by looking at one of the most important considerations and one which will define your whole offering and ensure you have a great model to work from. That is which dropshipping platform should you use?
Choosing the right platform to sell your product can be a minefield. There are so many to choose from, all offering different services, costs, and outcomes.
So let’s start by looking at some of the most popular.
Which platform shall I choose?
One of the chief considerations to bear in mind is the complexity of the platform – versus your own IT skills …or those you’re able to outsource. Obviously, although the platform may have lots of added bells and whistles on it to make your store stand out, it’s a pointless exercise if you aren’t tech-savvy enough to get the best out of it. This is, of course, one important thing to think about when creating your dropshipping business. We’ve put together a list of the five main pointers to consider when choosing your online platform.
- Setup time and cost
- Ecommerce Features
- Ease of Use
Let’s have a look at some of the bigger players in the industry to see how they fulfill the above and compare.
This well-known platform is great for those who have some skills in coding. Although it has beautiful designs and is fully customizable, it’s built for WordPress, which can be tricky for those with limited technical ability.
If you have those skills or know someone that does, then it does have advantages. For instance, it’s free to use but there are extra costs attached such as hosting, domain names, and security.
In a nutshell, Woocomnerce is a WordPress plugin. So it works by installing and activating it, in the same way as any other plugin. It’s certainly the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress.
It has great scalability as if you want to upgrade your site, there are more than 75,000 WooCommerce plugins for you to select from.
If you’re working with WordPress, then WooCommerce is certainly a plugin you should try, most of the free features are more than enough to get your store off the ground!
Magento has become one of the most powerful eCommerce platforms for dropshipping. There are two versions to choose from. Magento 1 and Magento 2, and two editions that are Magento Open Source, a free version and Magento Commerce, which is premium.
As for ease of use, it can be fairly tricky to use Magento without expert knowledge, so you may need to employ a Magento developer – at least to get you started.
Shopify currently has over 1 million eCommerce stores around the world, including drop-shipping businesses. With Shopify, there is a monthly fee to use the platform, which ranges from $29 to $299 per month at the time of writing.
One of its chief advantages is that Shopify does not require the owner to know much by way of coding skills. So is perfect for a startup entrepreneur.
Shopify provides quite a lot of useful features for dropship e-commerce stores, which include customers and order management, and a range of themes.
Shopify is our best pick for new startups with limited access to coding knowledge and it’s intuitive and easy to use interface.
So in order to really nail your dropshipping business model. The next thing to think about is your product.
“Shopify is our best pick for new startups with limited access to coding knowledge and it’s intuitive and easy to use interface.”
What niche should I choose?
“Niche” is simply term used to describe your topic area. By doing a bit of Google research on great dropshipping niches, you can find niches that work well and help you arrive at a successful model.
Google searches will provide you with plenty of tips on how to choose the most profitable. It’s worth noting that high-value niches can also be the most competitive, so make sure you take this into account at your product selection stage.
We’ve put together a few great tips for choosing your niche.
Avoid the kinds of products that attract price comparisons wherever possible. These could be basic electronic accessories and basic kitchen tools.Fashion although extremely popular for customers are considered very competitive nich as well. Be original and creative if you decide to tap into these niches.
- Where possible, avoid bulky products such as home appliances as the cost for shipping will be higher .
- Same as the above with regards to products that are irregularly shaped. Most products are shipped from China and will incur higher carriage costs.
So you may be wondering, with a whole raft of products to choose from, should I take advantage of running a general store with lots of different items rather than a store dedicated to one kind of product? Let’s look below and find out.
“It’s worth noting that high-value niches can also be the most competitive, so make sure you take this into account at your product selection stage.”
General store or one-product store?
Based on the most popular drop shipping model, we recommend that it’s best to test a few products to find your best-seller, and then simply focus on the winning products.
For this method, you will need to have two stores. One for testing products and the other as a launch store. So, in short, you need two stores: a testing store and a launch store.
It can also be that if you have lots of products in your store, you may run into trouble when trying to fulfill orders, which can cause a lack of faith in your store along with a serious lack of customers.
However, one of the main advantages of using a general store is that you always have the ability to upsell.
Therefore, when you are starting out, it’s easier to manage a one product store, putting you in the best position to start your learning journey. As you get more experienced you can add more products.
We recommend that when you are starting out, it’s
easier to manage a one product store,
Along with all our hints and tips above on what makes a great dropshipping model, make sure you give a lot of thought, time and effort into the following. Let’s find out why.
Why is customer service important?
The main difference between dropshipping via an e-commerce store and a real live store is, of course, the fact there are no real live people to talk to about your purchase.
This is a really important aspect of dropshipping. In order to build trust with your customers, it’s important to keep connected with them all the way through their journey from order, to delivery and beyond.
If you don’t give enough time to building a strategy to keep in touch, it can have serious consequences for your business. Your customers need to have faith in your ‘brand’ and know you are doing everything you can by building a series of customer touchpoints throughout the process.
These can be in the form of standard mailing messages, emails or even a phone call.
And to finish on…
So what are you waiting for? Dropshipping is one of the most convenient, low cost/high return start-up businesses.
No special skill is required, other than choosing your platform, style of shop and products wisely. Coupled with offering great customer service and a steady stream of contact points throughout the buying journey.
Of course, you will need reliable dropshipping agency, to help source products and handle shipping Contact us today and find out how we can help!