What Is a Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping is a type of business model which you can run effectively without having to store any inventory. All you have to do is to get an order for the product and then you can contact the supplier who will ship the product from their warehouse down to the delivery address provided by the buyer.
The major benefit of running a dropshipping business is that you need not worry about the inventory and this is the advantage that dropshipping business has to manage an online store by yourself. You need not worry about storing, packaging, and shipping the products.
How Dropshipping Business Model Works
The dropshipping business has three major players: the manufacturer or supplier, the retailer, and the customer
Let’s now look at the roles of each of these players.
In the dropshipping business model, the manufacturer takes up the role of creating the products, packaging them for delivery, shipping it down to the customer on the retailer’s behalf, taking care of defective products. In order to minimize the risk of unsold inventory, they make their products available to the retailer at wholesale price.
The retailer stands as the link between the manufacturer and the customer. It is the role of the retailer to make the products available to the customer by selling the manufacturer’s products on their website under their own brand. The retailer will choose the type of product to sell. Also, the retailer will determine the shipping costs and set product prices
The customer does not have a direct dealing with the manufacturer because they only need to place their order if they see any product they want and the supplier will ensure that t gets to them.
Steps to starting a dropshipping business
Step 1: Pick your dropshipping business niche
If you want to start a dropshipping business, there are many niches from which you can choose. In choosing a niche, ensure that its type has a sizeable market because you wouldn’t want to end up listing your products without getting any customer or recording low sales.
So, you must first ensure that you carry out the necessary research about the niche you decide on. Just the same way y9ou would do market research for an online store to know how profitable it will be, you must also see drop shipping that way.
Step 2: Carry out competitor research
Now that you have decided what you will be selling in your online store, you want to know who your competitors are and understand the way they operate their business. You can not underestimate what you will find out in your competitor research and it will definitely help you build a stronger marketing plan for your dropshipping business.
Step 3: Secure a supplier
Choosing a dropshipping supplier is a very important decision in creating a successful dropshipping business. In choosing a supplier, make sure you choose based on their past records and ensure that they have good ratings, you wouldn’t want to end up disappointing your customer, would you? There are many suppliers you can choose from and you can also move to another supplier if you notice that the one you are using is not effective.
Step 4: Choose a suitable Dropshipping platform for your store
After you have decided on the above steps, the next thing you should do is to choose an online platform that you will use for your dropshipping busies. Some platforms have a prebuild e-commerce function which has made it easy for anyone to set up a store with them, all you just need to do is to brand it according to your business brand and start building your store on it. Examples of such platforms include Shopify, Aliexpress
Step 5: Promote your dropshipping store
Having your online store set up is not enough, you need to also ensure that your products get to the face of your potential customer. This means you will need to set some budget aside for the marketing and advertising of your store. Ensure you do this while building your dropshipping business plan, it will let you forecast the running cost and set it aside so you don’t end up stranded after setting up your store.
Now that you know how to start a dropshipping business, it’s time to talk about marketing your new store. To stand out in your market, you may want to put extra effort into your marketing and advertising efforts when building your dropshipping business plan.