If you are just like me trying to break the financial challenges in life by starting an e-commerce business without having much money to invest or you have some money set aside to venture into the world of e-commerce then you through this post on how you can start making money online through Dropshipping.
Starting a dropshipping business is a great way to enter the e-commerce world without having to handle inventory or fulfillment. Dropshipping business can be very lucrative if you can dedicate your time to it. The good thing about it is that you are not limited to just one particular region although it is advisable to market to a few when starting.
Here, I will guide you on how to get started with dropshipping so you can easily start sourcing and selling products from trusted suppliers or wholesalers and I will also describe the dropshipping business concept and its advantages.
Table of Contents
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail business where the seller accepts customer orders without keeping stock on hand. Instead, in a form of supply chain management, the seller transfers the orders and their shipment details either to the manufacturer, a wholesaler, another retailer, or a fulfillment house, which then ships the goods directly to the customer. On the other hand, dropshippers focus on product branding and marketing.
With carefully chosen suppliers, dropshippers form alliances and manage all costs and communications. Any manufacturer, distributor, or retailer can serve as the supplier. Depending on your alliance or partnership with your supplier, you can market the product under your own brand and label. With this custom branding, potential customers visiting your store will not be able to tell if it is a dropshipping store or a regular online store.
How does dropshipping business work?
There are three key players involved in the concept of dropshipping. These three (3) key players are:
- The customer
- The dropshipper and
- The supplier
The process between these three key players can be summarized as follows;
- The customer places an order and pays for the product.
- The dropshipper then forwards the order to the supplier, pays the supplier the agreed amount, and keeps the rest as his profit.
- The supplier then processes the order and ships the product directly to the customer.
How do I start a dropshipping business?
To start a successful dropshipping business, there are non-negotiable steps you need to follow in order to succeed. Each of these steps listed below should be treated with utmost concentration;
1. Choose a niche
It’s important to choose a specific niche or product category to focus on, so you can become an expert and build a loyal customer base.
A niche helps you build a focused audience, influences your marketing and content efforts, and makes it easier to create better products for your ideal customers. it has to be something you are interested in or else you will lose focus.
To also make an informed decision, you should check your niche by analyzing your target audience and competitors.
2. Find a supplier
Once you have a niche in mind, you’ll need to find a supplier that can provide the products you want to sell. You can use a wholesale directory or search online for suppliers. These suppliers have to be reliable to represent your brand well. You can do a review before getting products from them.
3. Set up your online store
Next, you’ll need to set up an online store to sell your products. You can use a platform like Shopify or WordPress to quickly create a professional-looking store.
Having an online store for your dropshipping business is highly recommended. Here are two important things to budget for before building an online store:
- Domain Name: This is the address of your online store. it should be unique and easy to remember, preferably related to your niche market.
- Hosting Service: This is where all the files of your website live. The performance of your website depends on where your website is hosted. A slow website can be a turn-off for potential customers which is bad business. Hosting providers like Hostinger amongst others are fast and reliable hosting providers. I strongly recommend them.
4. Add products to your store
Once your store is set up, you can add products from your supplier to your store and set your retail prices. You should also find products from suppliers that support free shipping to help you reduce costs and attract more customers. Alidropship plugin for WordPress helps you import products to your store seamlessly.
5. Promote and optimize your store:
Finally, you’ll need to promote your store and drive traffic to it. You can do this through social media, search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, email marketing, and paid advertising.
Dropshipping Niche Ideas
Choosing a niche is a crucial step in starting a successful dropshipping business. When deciding on a niche, it’s important to consider the potential demand for the products you want to sell and the level of competition in the market
Here are some of the trending niches that you can pick from:
- Women’s Fashion & Accessories
- Men’s Clothing & Accessories
- Health & Wellness
- Kids & Babies
- Home & Kitchen
- Home and Pets
- Outdoor Gear
- Cars and Motorbikes
- Hair Extensions and Wigs
- Phone Accessories
You can start with the one where the competition is less and still profitable
Where to find suppliers
Here are two trusted sites to find suppliers for your business. You should also review the sites to know which one will serve you better.
You can build a successful dropshipping business with a well know e-commerce giant platform like Aliexpress that has over 10,000+ wholesale suppliers ready to take orders from you.
CJdropshipping is one of the leading dropshipping companies. Unlike Aliexpress where you have different wholesalers/suppliers, CJdropposhing acts as a single entity that owns a supply chain with more than 200k products.
Please note that there are different Third Party platforms that can help you automate the process of sourcing and uploading products to your store. To mention a few, we have;
- Alidropship – plugin built by Aliexpress. The AliDropship plugin gives you everything you need to start your own successful dropshipping business today. it is well-integrated with Shopify, WooCommerce, and other major marketplaces
- Dropshipme – works with Aliexpress and also gives you 50 products to get started with on their free plan. They have manually picked and edited 50,000+ best-selling dropshipping products for you to import to your WordPress store without any hassle.
- MyCJ also has a direct feature to help you integrate and list products on your website. It is well-integrated with Shopify, WooCommerce, and other major marketplaces. They also offer POD, free sourcing, video shooting, and other dropshipping-related services
These third-party platforms work perfectly on WordPress, so I recommend using them to build your online store.
How much money do I need to get started?
Starting a dropshipping business requires a little investment. To get started you will need to budget for:
- A domain name and hosting for your website
- Web Designer to help you design your website while you source for a niche or product
- Online advertising on social media and google ads.
Does Dropshipping work in Nigeria?
I know this question must be going through your mind. Dropshipping has nothing to do with your region or location. As a Nigerian, you can sell products to people in the united states without having to worry about stock inventory or shipping the products to the buyer all you need to do is create an online store and market it to your target buyers.
How much profit can I make dropshipping?
The profit you make depends on the number of sales. The good thing is that you are not limited to how much you can make as you can set the price of the product as you want. For example, if you are dropshipping a wristwatch that cost $15 (including the shipping fee) to the customer, you can set the price to $30 giving you a $15 profit on the purchase.
Why should I start a dropshipping business?
The dropshipping business is an easy and quick way to start an online store without having to manage inventory and logistics. Dropshipping business is suitable for both small and large business owners.
Here are the pros and cons of starting a dropshipping business.
1. Low startup cost
Without upfront inventory investments, you can start selling products without spending much and earn high profits.
2. No need to worry about shipping
You can sell your products without having to stock up inventory and deal with shipping.
3. Flexible location
With an internet connection, you can sell and manage your business from anywhere around the world.
4. Open to a variety of products
You don’t have to stick to one product if it is not doing well. You can offer to sell more products in your store.
5. Great scalability
You can quickly enter a new market; you do not need to be concerned about getting additional orders because suppliers handle the shipment.
- Less control
You have less control over the product quality, packaging, and shipment. This is why you need to get a trusted and reliable supplier so you don’t have to face returns.
2. Sudden stock shortage
Your supplier might run out of stock without informing you. This could mean bad business if a customer has already paid for the product listed in your store. It is advisable to always keep in touch with your supplier.
The Dropshipping business is a highly lucrative business model. It requires low startup costs, good marketing, and perseverance. Yes, perseverance. It is not a get-rich scheme, you just have to follow the right process.
To get started with your online business, I can save you the stress by helping you design a professional-looking dropshipping website with the needed integrations. You can kindly reach out to me to design a professional-looking dropshipping website.
I would also like to know what you think about this business model, if it is a business to invest in, or if it is a no-go area. Kindly leave your thoughts or suggestions in the comment section 👇