Before considering how to get started in dropshipping, it is worth asking yourself why. If you think dropshipping is an easy way to become a millionaire, you are wrong. Yes, it is possible to make money with dropshipping, but no, it is not easy. Like any entrepreneurial project, there are difficulties to overcome, and nothing is ever won.
But if you have the plan to open an online store, going into dropshipping is clearly the least risky option. Indeed, with the drop shipping e-commerce formula, you do not need to manage stock or take care of delivery.
If you are developing your dropshipping store well and making a profit, this is the most attractive and profitable option.
Saying that you can easily make money with dropshipping is a misconception that should be broken. On the other hand, you can be successful with the right tools and the right mindset.
Here are four tips that will get you on the road to dropshipping success.
To get started in dropshipping, lower your expectations
If you go into dropshipping with the idea that you will quickly become a millionaire, you are going to screw up. Not because this claim is false. Far from there. Many dropshipping entrepreneurs have indeed become dropshipping . But you will fail simply because you will not be ready for difficulties and at the slightest obstacle you may become discouraged.
But there are obstacles, as with any business creation. You will make errors in judgment, you will perhaps come across bad suppliers, choose products that will not interest anyone or fall into many other traps of this kind. But the big advantage of dropshipping is precise that you don’t take any risks, unlike an online store based on the classic model. So you can experiment with what works and what doesn’t work over and over again until you find the right formula.
This diagram represents dropshipping and how this option is much more interesting than the classic economic models of e-commerce.
Also, even if you make little or no mistakes, growing an online store, whether it’s dropshipping or not, takes time. We do not go quickly from the anonymity, in which you will be when opening your store, to the popularity that allows you to earn a salary in several figures. Initially, no one knows you, your online store will not rank well on search engines, and there is no reason for people to find you easily. A dropshipping business can grow quickly, but don’t focus on this point, otherwise, you’ll be disappointed again.
Dropshipping takes mental investment
For a dropshipping business to really work, it’s not just about selling products, it’s about building a real brand. When you start dropshipping, it feels like you just need to put two or three products online and run a Facebook ad or two for sales to take off. It is not the case at all.
As you probably know, competition is intense in e-commerce and you are certainly not going to knock out competitors who are already well established, just because you have opened an online store. The products you choose are undoubtedly sold elsewhere and contrary to what you might think, it is not the price differences that make the difference, but the attraction of your brand.
But before you start developing it, you have to find the right dropshipping niche .
What is a niche? This is a range of products aimed at a small number of people. In e-commerce, it makes more sense to launch into niches than into consumer products. For example, if you sell lighters, you are talking to everyone. You probably think of smokers first, but in reality, the whole population uses a lighter. But this is a problem because by targeting everyone, you are not targeting anyone. It then becomes very difficult to have effective marketing because your target audience is too broad.
Conversely, let’s take the example of a lighted dog leash. Suddenly your target shrinks considerably and at the same time, the means of reaching it are much more obvious. So you’re talking specifically to dog owners, who probably live in town and like gadgets. You will therefore not only be able to offer other products likely to interest this target but also to advertise much more targeted.
Find the right products before starting dropshipping
You must therefore focus on one or two complementary products and decline them in several colors or variations. There are several techniques for finding successful products to sell.
Sites such as Amazon , Wish or AliExpress are real sources of inspiration to find interesting products. All of these sites have a ‘bestsellers’ or ‘bestsellers’ page. Study the tops of these lists and see if there are any products you like. You might as well take the opportunity to sell products that interest you yourself, you will sell them even better.
- Your future competitors
If you already have a niche idea, head over to potential competitors’ sites to see what works on their site. Most online stores also have a top sellers or top sellers page. What works for others will also work for you.
- Watch for Instagram or Facebook ads
Have you noticed this sponsored content appearing in your Instagram or Facebook feeds? They are often rather attractive products… Have you never clicked on these advertisements? Maybe you even bought some products, when you didn’t think about it at all a few minutes ago?
If you did, others will. This is why these ads are good sources of inspiration for finding products to start dropshipping.
The advantage of this formula is that it allows you to launch your online store and your brand without taking any risk. If there are tips for finding the best suppliers, you already know that they are also resellers and therefore have a reassuring customer experience.
Plus, with Shopify and Oberlo, opening an online store and starting selling can be done in just a few hours. Of course, the more time you spend on your store, the more you develop a good marketing strategy, the more likely you are to be successful.
Trust is really an essential ingredient in e-commerce in general and in dropshipping in particular. Indeed, some people have a bad image of this business practice. This is why, the more transparent you are with your customers, the more likely your business will be to take off.
Find the right suppliers
Trust already starts there: between you and your supplier. If you don’t trust your suppliers, chances are you are right. This is the bit intimidating aspect of dropshipping at the start: letting people you don’t know take care of preparing your customers’ orders. In order for everything to run smoothly and your customers to be happy, you need to find the right dropshipping suppliers and test them.
But how do you choose the right suppliers when several of them sell similar products? Contrary to what you might think, choosing the cheapest is not necessarily the right strategy. Because there is a good chance that a much cheaper product is of very poor quality. But you want your customers to receive a quality product, don’t you?
Plan several suppliers, in case one of them fails you. Two per product category will be ideal. Once you have selected them, it is strongly recommended that you test them, ordering product copies and discussing with the supplier if there are any issues. This allows you to see how that person will deal with any delivery complications. If you trust your suppliers, then your customers shouldn’t be disappointed.
Consumers can be patient and flexible as long as they know what to expect. If your delivery times are a bit long, as it can be with dropshipping, be clear about this. Visibly indicate the delivery conditions.
In the same concern for transparency, remember to clearly display your contact details, as well as an FAQ to answer the most common questions your customers may have.
Take care of your branding
The appearance of your online store, and of your brand in general, also matters a lot in the relationship of trust between you and your customers.
Take care of your website. You will be able to open a turnkey online store thanks to sites such as Shopify which offers site themes in all styles. You can of course also order a website from a freelance developer .
Either way, your online store should be ergonomic, that is, pleasant to visit and practical. It must present beautiful product sheets, with unique descriptions for each model.
Think about your business name and logo. There are plenty of resources online for finding an original brand name, a hard-hitting slogan, and a logo that makes an impression. This whole process takes time and requires you to already know a little about your customers. What are the tastes of the community that your potential customers form? Which trending products work? What colors do you like? The lifestyle? For effective marketing, your brand must reflect the tastes of your target audience.
So bet on the visual side of your brand. Put beautiful product or mood photos on your home page. Punctuate the navigation of your site with vibrant colors. If you can, embed product demos as videos or photos.
Again, do not hesitate to seek inspiration from the competition.
Take a good look at your dropshipping marketing strategy
To get started in dropshipping, you can think that two or three ads on Facebook will explode sales. As much to tell you right away, this is not the case at all.
First, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how ads or product placement work on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
Advertising on social networks relies on quite complex algorithms, the mastering of which takes time and patience.
In a second step, you will have to study your target, in order to identify the groups to which your advertisements will be shown. To do this, you will have to indicate age groups, places or even centers of interest.
Finally, you must define a budget according to your pricing policy. Setting your prices is also an extremely important step. This is the part you should spend the most time on after product research. To get started in dropshipping, you have to make realistic forecasts. How much do you pay your supplier for the product? What are the delivery costs? What price are your customers willing to pay and will the remaining margin be enough to pay your advertising costs? Here are the questions you need to ask yourself.
Once you’ve answered all of these questions, you can start experimenting with advertising. You will mainly have the choice between advertising on Facebook or influencer marketing on Instagram.
Go dropshipping with Facebook advertising
Facebook advertising is great for analytical minds. It will take a lot of work at first to fully understand how it works. It involves logical thinking and analysis, but once you know what you’re doing, advertising works for you.
It is by doing tests that you will learn which ads to stop and which to scale. Start with a small budget and a small group and take your tests seriously, as you may lose money quickly.
Go dropshipping with influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is all about asking influencers to talk about your products, in return for a financial or in-kind contribution. It will be ideal for those who are comfortable in contact and communication, but it takes a long time. Indeed, you will have to spend long hours looking for the right influencers for your brand and negotiating with them.
The ideal is to combine the two over the long term.
You now know the pro tips for getting started in dropshipping. Stay motivated, rigorous, and patient and your dropshipping store will develop at its best.