Flowing with queries about starting a dropshipping business, maintenance of its profits, products to sell, and their markets? You’re probably encountering this article during your initial research and we’ve carefully designed it to concisely convey some important things you need to know at this stage.
The uncertainty that’s a part of any kind of business follows and is a part of a dropshipping startup even if you don’t have to pay for products upfront or hold any inventory. That’s why mapping out your dropshipping journey before starting is the best way to make things more predictable and save your time, energy, and money.
Take a look at 5 things to know before starting a dropshipping business below.
Make It A Niche Store!
Why spend time in research and make it a niche store when you can offer a variety of products and target multiple audiences? Well, you’d rather buy a laptop from an electronics store than a stationery shop, right? Launching a niche store narrows down your competition and helps you get in comparison with big platforms like Amazon and eBay where a small startup has a huge competitive advantage in the form of better customer interactions and flexibility that these large-scale stores often lack. Then, it becomes much easier to find and target a specific audience that is and potentially could be interested in your product.
Narrowing down the range of types of products to sell helps you in drawing a clear and detailed marketing plan. Moreover, in the case of a general store with products from all niches, it can get nearly impossible to make your website SEO-friendly. Picking a niche will allow you to easily pick the required keywords. And once you’ve picked your niche, you can set your online niche-based store on a proper eCommerce platform like Shopify (read more about Shopify), Wix, or Weebly.
Focus On Product Quality
Oftentimes, new drop shippers go for suppliers with cheaper rates in order to minimize their risk. Going cheap when starting a dropshipping business is the worst idea. It most likely will result in tons of bad customer reviews and complaints about the subpar goods you picked for a lower price.
Sourcing products through Alibaba and AliExpress is fine as long as you’re not compromising on the quality of the product. The quality could be ensured and checked by placing a test order with the chosen suppliers to see their service, packaging, and overall quality of the product.
This way you get to experience exactly what your future customers will receive. Building trust and feedback is crucial for a successful dropshipping business. You should always go through comments, reviews, and ratings before making the purchase to assure yourself.
Have Multiple Suppliers & Traffic Sources
As discussed, selecting a good supplier will lay the foundation for your dropshipping business, but you can easily make a mistake if you have a single good supplier. If you don’t have multiple suppliers to back you up, you’ll end up with a backlog of orders unfulfilled and plenty of chargebacks from frustrated customers for the delay. This can also put you at the risk of getting your merchant account shut down. You can avoid such disasters by keeping three to five reliable suppliers for each product you sell and forge strong relationships with them as that’ll pay off in the long run.
Furthermore, never rely on a single traffic source, or a better way to explain this is to not put all your eggs in one basket. If the main source of traffic is Facebook, it can eventually eat into your profit margins with its ads becoming more expensive with each passing day. Alternative traffic sources could be in the form of Pinterest ads, Snapchat ads, Google AdWords, Google Shopping, and SEO. Having multiple sources for your traffic flow will spare you from the negative impacts of Facebook and Google’s algorithm updates as well.
Figure Out Your Payment Gateways
Before you start your dropshipping business, make sure you know how to make customers feel secure and safe with their money. This means eliminating any reasons why your online store could appear as shady or untrustworthy. Set up a secure payment gateway before you start and consider all possible problems that you may encounter.
Check that the chosen gateway is accessible in the countries and areas where your target audiences reside. Do not just go for the cheapest option when it comes to transaction fees, take your time and research.
Since you must aim for the global market, make sure the gateway has multi-currency support for it and it accepts all the major credit and debit cards (MasterCard, Visa, AmericanExpress, etc.) and PayPal payments. Examples of good payment providers include 2Checkout and Stripe.
Know The DON’Ts of Dropshipping
Dropshipping is one of the most enjoyable and lucrative ways of doing business if you do it right. It relieves you of the complicated process of shipping, storing, and checking inventory regularly and makes running a business steadier. Despite the ease, wrong product choice can land you in hot water right at the start as it’ll invite rage and anger from unsatisfied customers. There are some products that you should never get into when planning to dropship.
Such products include famous copyrighted products, fragile and heavy products that add unwanted complexity, expense, and risk to the delivery process. Moreover, technically complex products like electronics should be avoided at all costs as there’s a lot that can go wrong with them.
With the right mindset, patience, and strategy you can start and scale your dropshipping business while overcoming every challenge gracefully. Knowing these five basic things from this article before starting a dropshipping business will save you plenty of your precious time and energy that you might’ve otherwise spent on experimenting and learning by yourself. Remember, persistence is the key here!