Interestingly, the term ‘dropshipper’ can refer to two different types of entrepreneurial activity. Sometimes, a supplier involved in product stocking and shipment is called a dropshipper, and sometimes, the same word is used to describe a person who simply runs a dropshipping store and never deals with product issues. In this article, we stick to the second meaning of this term and talk about the newcomers who would love to sell someone else’s products through a self-owned online dropshipping store.
How to become a dropshipper: why should you start a dropshipping business?
Before talking about how to start a dropshipping business, let’s find out more about this business model.
To make money online, one can launch a traditional eCommerce store instead of starting dropshipping. So, what’s so good about it? And how does dropshipping work?
A traditional brick-and-mortar or eCommerce store has to buy products in bulk before offering them to customers. However, if you dropship goods, you purchase them only after a customer places an order with you. After that, your supplier sends the goods to the buyer directly.
This simple difference determines a few important benefits of the dropshipping business model.
No need to manage product stock
First of all, you don’t need to manage the inventory, take care of packing and shipping. Instead, dropshippers can focus on promoting the goods and providing excellent customer service.
Dropshipping requires less investment
Since you don’t need to buy products in advance nor rent a warehouse, your expenses are much lower compared to traditional business. As a result, the entry threshold for dropshipping is lower too! So, even if you don’t have a large start-up budget, this kind of business is still accessible.
Dropshipping is less risky
It’s difficult to predict the level of demand and how many products one will be able to sell. So, whenever you order a consignment of goods from a wholesaler, you risk losing some of the money you invested.
But in dropshipping, one buys a product only after somebody orders it. Although dropshipping carries certain risks (just like any business), in this matter, one can feel secure.
If you have analyzed different eCommerce options and found out that dropshipping is the perfect choice for you, you are probably wondering how to become a dropshipper. We have prepared this detailed manual for those who have no idea where to start.
Going into dropshipping business is not as difficult as it may seem, but eCommerce newcomers often make mistakes of choosing a risky niche, conducting no market research, focusing on the wrong things and whatnot. Want to have a smooth start? Here’s what you should do step by step.
How to make money with dropshipping? First of all, you need to pick a product niche and find dropshipping suppliers. With the AliDropship plugin, you can sell goods from AliExpress – a huge eCommerce platform with millions of products at affordable prices. In our experience, this is an excellent option for dropshipping goods worldwide.
How to become a dropshipper: find your niche
The first step to take before launching your store is to find a suitable niche.
Your perfect niche should be:
- Interesting to you
- Neither too broad nor too narrow
- Popular enough, but not too competitive
Where can you find the ideas for an online store? Brainstorming, web and social media surfing, visiting popular online retail platforms will help you greatly. Your hobbies and interests can inspire you as well. Use such online tools as Google Trends and various tools for keyword selection – you can get lots of valuable ideas there.
To evaluate the chosen niche, check the following parameters:
Enough products on AliExpress
If you decided to follow our advice and dropship goods from AliExpress, first you must make sure there are enough products belonging to the niche you want to try. For certain niches, it’ll be enough to have about 50 items in your catalog. But if you want to sell clothes, for example, you’ll need much more.
The suppliers offer low shipping costs
If the products within your niche feature too costly shipping, your end prices may turn out non-competitive. Fortunately, many AliExpress sellers offer free shipping.
These products are unavailable locally
An ideal eCommerce product is the one people can’t buy offline. And that’s why they have to order it online. So, when picking a niche, make sure there are product types or models that can’t be easily bought in a brick-and-mortar store.
The products are non-seasonal
It’s Ok to sell seasonal products in your dropshipping store. But building a business based solely on seasonal goods is a big mistake! In this case, you will make no sales most of the time.
Google Trends shows high demand
Another way to check if a niche is worth your attention is to use Google Trends. This free tool will show you how the demand for a particular product or product type behaves, if it goes up or down.
Search results between 5,000 and 50,000
Entrepreneurs often promote businesses with search engine optimization. But even if you’re not going to do it, you should still use a keyword planner to check the corresponding search volume. The optimal results range from 5,000 to 50,000 searches.
The niche is popular in social media
Also, try looking for social media groups and communities related to the niche of your choice. If there are at least 10 groups with 30,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, it means the niche has nice potential in terms of marketing.
You can use our specialized tool that checks the potential of any dropshipping niche in 11 steps.
Besides, you can take advantage of the DropshipMe plugin which allows importing nice products from an awesome dropshipping database. The DropshipMe product database includes thousands of best-selling products in dozens of trending categories. Our experienced dropshipping team has made thorough niche research and picked out best-selling items in promising niches. So, you can greatly save your time and start importing products to your store without preliminary niche and product research.
How to become a dropshipper: finding suppliers
If you picked a niche, there’s another thing you should take care of before importing dropshipping products to your store. I’m talking about choosing reliable suppliers.
Since AliExpress is a huge eCommerce platform, there are thousands of sellers offering the same or similar products. So, how do you know which one is worth your attention?
Search for suppliers by picking popular products
By searching for products to sell, you will also be able to find reliable suppliers. Whenever you type something in the AliExpress search bar, also tick ‘Free shipping’ and ‘4* & up’. Then sort the results by the number of orders.
The system will show you products with the highest number of orders. The idea here is that a seller wouldn’t be able to attract so many customers unless he or she is reliable.
Nevertheless, it’s worth double-checking the seller. And here’s how you can do it.
Check the seller’s stats
Click on a popular product you have found and look at the top left corner. There you will find valuable information about the seller such as the percentage of positive feedback, how long he operates, how many followers he has, etc.
Check customer reviews
You should also look through the comments left by buyers. Read carefully trying to figure out what kind of problems this particular seller might have – the quality of the goods, communication level, shipping delays, etc.
Also, pay attention to the photos of the product taken by customers. This is how you can tell if the quality matches what the seller claims.
If everything looks good, you can be more or less sure that the supplier is reliable.
How to become a dropshipper: define your target audience
Now when you know what you are going to sell, your task is to understand who will buy it. To become a dropshipper, it’s not enough to simply sell stuff! Advertising and promotion are a very important part of this business.
Why do you need to picture your average customer?
Now it’s time to find out who are all these people that are most likely to buy your products. In other words, it’s time to define your target audience. When you focus your marketing efforts on those who are interested in your offer, you have much better chances to convert them into actual buyers. So, answer the following questions:
Who are your customers?
Use Google Trends to make a customer avatar – an average client profile. Here you can find lots of helpful information about your potential customers: region, language, age, gender, marital status and other social and cultural indicators. Try to understand what matters to them, where you can meet them (what social networks and online platforms they prefer, etc.). You can use this information to address this “average customer” in your future promotional campaigns.
What do they need?
Any product should solve some customer’s problems. So, your task is to determine the customer’s demand – and meet it. What do your customers need, what are they looking for? And how can your offer help them?
How much money can they spend?
Your profit is the money that your customers spend in your store. Think about the financial reliability of your customers. Will they be able to make impulse purchases in your store? And try not to target too young an audience – they are not always able to pay much.
When you know the answers to these questions, you can attract the attention of your audience more efficiently, and choose the right tone of communication. Talking to your clients in their language is the cornerstone of effective promotion that lets you increase customers’ loyalty in the future.
How to become a dropshipper: get a store
You can try selling products on various online platforms such as a social network account, or a blog, or an online auction, etc. But if you want to dropship like a pro, you need your own dropshipping online store. Why?
To begin with, it gives you great independence. You will not have to obey someone’s rules and policies. You will not lose your store if your account is banned. No one can suspend you (unless your store sells something illegal, of course).
In the next place, a specialized site looks more trustworthy and inspires greater confidence.
For another thing, it is easier to promote a standalone website and optimize it for search engines.
And the last, but not the least – your own website is a good asset which can be sold any time you want and bring you a pretty penny.
4 ways to get a store if you want to become a dropshipper
So, how can you get a website that is tailored to your business and meets eCommerce standards?
Create a store yourself
To assemble a dropshipping store on your own, you don’t necessarily have to be an IT specialist or have some background in website development. Thanks to smart automated solutions, it is possible to turn any basic WordPress site – even a simple blog! – into a fully functional dropshipping website. To learn how you can create a store that accepts orders, processes payments, and redirects order details to the original supplier, please, read this article.
Order a custom-made store
If you don’t want to bother yourself with technical aspects, remember that you don’t have to! It’s perfectly possible to order the creation of a well-optimized store that meets your personal requirements. In this case, you’ll still be a 100% owner of this store, not limited by any restrictions and free to take your business in any direction you fancy. Kindly read the details here!
Get a copy of a highly profitable store
How would you like the opportunity to benefit from a business experience that is already proven to be successful? In this case, you won’t have to experiment with store designs, or niche, or product offer – you can simply copy the elements of a money-making business. Premium dropshipping stores let you gain an exact copy of a dropshipping store with stable trackable performance and enjoy a truly hassle-free business start.
Eager to become a business owner and start earning profit right away? You can purchase a copy of this awesome store that makes more than $500,000 a month! Furthermore, check out this success story to see how this was accomplished.
Buy an already operating business
That’s right: you can become an owner of an established business that is created, maintained, and promoted by a skilled team of digital marketing experts. These businesses are only put on sale after they achieve a steady and successful performance, and go with detailed stats, letting you make a well-informed decision. If you’d love to invest in a dropshipping business that makes profits already, go here for more details.
How to become a dropshipper: set up the management processes
You cannot imagine how much time you can save if you automate your routine work. Product import, reviews, email marketing, SEO, customer support – all these and many other aspects can be managed in a few clicks instead of long hours.
This is another reason to choose WordPress for your eCommerce business: it easily integrates with different services and applications. There are numerous useful plugins and add-ons that can extend the functionality of your dropshipping site and boost its performance.
Marketing add-ons are your best helpers to provide stable traffic from social networks, stimulate impulse buying, simplify email marketing and solve a pile of other tasks.
And if you use WooCommerce, you can upgrade your store with this selection of smart extensions for any purpose.
Of course, there are more things you will have to deal with – search engine optimization, promotion, customer support… But these are the next steps of your dropshipping journey. And well begun – half done!
So, if you wonder how to become a dropshipper, simply choose one of these options. And pay special attention to the ready-made solutions as these stores are perfect for dropshipping newcomers.
Learn how to become a dropshipper.