Dropshipping is a business model that entrepreneurs find very approachable because a lot of the legwork involved in running an eCommerce business – namely inventory management and shipping – is handled for them.
It’s become a popular way of running a business, with a 2020 study by Grand View Research estimating the size of the dropshipping market to grow to $557.9 billion by 2025 with a projected CAGR of 28.8%.
If you want to be a part of the growing dropshipping market, in this guide, we break down how you can start a dropshipping business in 2022 into seven steps.
There are three players in a successful dropshipping model: the drop shipper, the supplier, and the customer. Usually, people start a drop shipping businesses because it has a low startup cost, requires minimal supply chain management, and doesn’t involve high financial risk.
Here’s how you can start your dropshipping business:
Your dropshipping business will only succeed if you try to fill a gap in the market. And to do this, you need to pick a niche and a target audience.
A defined niche can help your website rank higher in the topic-specific search result. But this doesn’t mean you can pick just any niche and product type to sell.
Selecting a niche has become more important than ever because thousands of dropshipping businesses have entered the market. If a niche is too crowded or most of the clicks are going to a handful of competitors, choosing the niche may not be worth it.
While selecting your niche, you must:
Ideally, you want to pick a niche that your store can grow in continually, and several entrepreneurs have found their place in a niche.
For instance, Gone Beachin sells beach clothing and accessories to anybody who loves going to the beach with their family or friends. This business stands out as a well-established brand that offers quality products, making it stand out from many others in the niche.
The pet supplies niche is another niche that always stays relevant. While the niche has become more crowded and competitive over the years, several businesses are still entering the market and supplying the demand. PoochMate is one of these businesses that sell clothing and accessories for dogs and cats.
PoochMate’s carefully crafted pet wellness range makes it stand out from other brands. For an eCommerce business to be successful, getting the product quality, branding, marketing, and pricing right, is essential. The idea is to find a niche where pulling all that off seems manageable to you.
After picking a niche, you must learn about the competitors operating a dropshipping business in the same niche. You can do this using tools such as Google Trends and Facebook Audience Insights.
However, a competitive intelligence tool such as Anstrex is better geared to provide you with up-to-the-minute trends and advertising data of your competitors. We get into how Anstrex can help you in a later section.
Here’s how you can carry out solid market analysis:
Knowing about the logistics of starting and running a business involves quite a few things, like:
As a drop shipper, you don’t manufacture products. You solely depend on the products and services offered by the supplier. So, the one thing that can make or break your business is the supplier, which makes finding the right one critical to your success.
The easiest way to find a supplier is to run a Google search. It’s important to note that most suppliers don’t market themselves, so depending on the niche, you may have to skin through a few pages of Google before you find a supplier.
Another way to go about is to find a supplier directory, search for quality products, and get in touch with the respective suppliers.
Working with an unreliable supplier can result in a bad image because your customer might receive damaged products. Delayed shipping and damaged packaging are other issues customers may have to deal with. When this happens, the customers will hold you accountable.
Here are some tips for finding a reliable supplier:
Choosing the right platform is important because it can affect a customers’ attitude towards your store. That means the success of your dropshipping business greatly depends on where you sell.
You can sell your products on an existing marketplace, or build a website for your business sell it directly to the customer.
Usually, drop shippers choose to run their store on an established marketplace (think sites like Amazon.com and Etsy) because it’s simple. All you need to do is sign up, enter the name of your dropshipping business, and list your products.
The best thing about selling one eCommerce marketplaces is that you do not have to spend money on adding shopping features or designing the storefront.
On an eCommerce marketplace, you will get access to an established customer base, making the products easier to sell. In addition, these platforms have high traffic volume, which can be beneficial for your business.
But the downside is that you don’t get enough control over branding, payment methods, and shipping services. Also, the competition is fierce on larger eCommerce marketplaces.
If you want your dropshipping business to operate for years, creating a website and selling your products on it is the right way to go.
The setup costs will be higher, and it will take longer to get the business off the ground, but if you take your time and do it right, you could build a successful brand that lasts.
While there are several website builders and software that can help you set up your eCommerce store, for most entrepreneurs, the options always narrow down to Shopify and WooCommerce on WordPress.
Shopify is a fully-hosted solution that makes setting up an eCommerce business straightforward. However, it is not free, with plans starting at $29/month.
Using Shopify works out quite expensive, and WooCommerce on WordPress offers more customization flexibility and additional payment options at lower prices. If you want to set up an eCommerce website, we recommend using WooCommerce on WordPress.
Having an eCommerce website gives you more control over the pricing and pictures of products, payment options, and shipping methods. Also, you will enjoy higher profit margins.
But traffic is not guaranteed, and ranking high on the SERPs will take a lot of time and effort. In addition, you will miss out on tapping into an eCommerce marketplace’s large customer base.
After researching your competitors and launching your website, you need to optimize your store. Optimizing will help your customers find your website easily. Better site optimization can also improve conversion rates and decrease bounce rates.
Here’s how you can do it:
Speed optimization: Site loading speeds have a big impact on your ranking and influence your conversions. If you’re using WordPress, using speed optimization plugins to speed up your website and make it look more appealing to search engines is critical for ranking high.
After your site is set up and products ready to sell, you must market your products. It is important to drive more traffic to your site, which will keep purchases rolling.
There are many different ways to do this:
Social media: If your dropshipping business has a social media presence, you can try to engage with your targeted audience through there as well. Also, you can keep better-quality pictures and videos to keep them engaged.
If you’ve never run an eCommerce business before, navigating your way through the market and finding the right products to sell is one of the biggest hurdles you will have to overcome.
Anstrex is a competitive intelligence tool that offers its users data on native and push ads that their competitors are using. However, Anstrex also offers a free tool, Anstrex Dropship, to help users find the hottest selling dropship products.
With over six million products listed on the platform, Anstrex boasts an unmatched dropshipping supplier catalog.
Finding best-selling products is as simple as clicking on the “Viral Products” tab on the menu on the left. You can also search for products you want to sell manually using the filters on the top of the page.
But all of this is only the start. Anstrex makes finding the details of a product simple. All you have to do is click on the product, and the screen that appears will show you:
Furthermore, adding products that you find on Anstrex to your online store is also straightforward. It’s as easy as clicking on the product you’re interested in and hitting the “Add To Store” button on the top-right corner.
You will be navigated to the supplier’s website, and you can then use the Anstrex Dropship Chrome extension to add the product to your eCommerce website directly.
The extension also enables you to automate the buying process from suppliers.
While other competitive intelligence tools offer a similar set of features, Anstrex is the only tool that offers retail store insights and a viral product catalog.
But what’s most impressive about Anstrex Dropship is that it is currently 100% free to use. Since the tool is still in beta, the company is offering free access to the tool.
You can sign up right away and begin using the product to find products to sell and start making money from your dropshipping business.
Starting a dropshipping business is an excellent idea for anybody with little experience in eCommerce having a limited budget. There’s little to no legwork you will need to do, and running a dropshipping business carries significantly lower risks than traditional eCommerce businesses.
With this easy guide handy, you will be able to start a dropshipping business in seven easy steps.
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