Starting an online business is not easy, but it does have its advantages. You get to become an entrepreneur very quickly, for one. What’s more, you get to start your own business with very little or even zero investment!
One of the most common examples of such a business is that of dropshipping. Not only is it relatively simpler than starting other kinds of ventures, but it requires no financial sacrifice at the beginning. Hence, anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset and a willingness to work hard could try their luck at dropshipping.
Dropshipping is quite a necessary business in the modern world setup. Basically, a drop shipper takes orders online and then gets the ordered items from wholesale vendors. Finally, they get the goods delivered directly to their customers. All this is achieved without them directly handling or even touching the goods they sell. From this, one can see how dropshipping would not require any initial investment at all.
If you’re intrigued enough to start considering your own dropshipping business, below are some tips on getting started. There’s no need to get confused, but you need to start planning right away to get ahead in the game:
- Set Up An Online Store
The first task in a dropshipping business is to make your own e-commerce website this sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. There’s no need to hire technicians, programmers, or digital marketers. You can be all of these until you earn enough to start hiring.
For now, everything you need is available online, usually for free. Making an online store wouldn’t take more than an hour for most people. Stop by Shopify or any online platform that offers e-commerce website tools. All it takes is a bit of effort and time, and you can have your online store before you know it! Be sure to make it attractive and relevant to what you’re selling. Choose a decent themes, design, and start working on your product and price lists.
There are even smartphone apps that help dropshippers solve the smallest problems that in demand and supply. If you have any twists in your supply chain, these apps could look up alternative means of acquiring what you need.
- Third-Party Website
If one doesn’t feel up to running an online business from a separate website, they can always take advantage of a popular third-party website. The most obvious options are eBay, Amazon, and Etsy. These platforms would allow sellers to market their wares in exchange for a percentage of the earnings. Again, there is little to no investment required here.
When someone places an order in your section of the website, you would then make the purchase from your own wholesale vendor. This could be the manufacturer themselves, or another dropshipper selling at lower rates than yourself. The one you place the order with would directly send the parcel to the buyer. This process may only take a few clicks and could even be automated.
- Focus On Marketing
In a dropshipping business, there’s no need to monitor inventory or even most of the supply chain for your goods. Hence, the main job of a dropshipper is to acquire orders for what he’s offering. Marketing and advertising are hence the most important aspects of a dropshipping business.
Simply put, retailers involved in a dropshipping business are only concerned with attracting traffic to a certain website. The more organic the traffic, the better. They should also be adept at optimizing their content in such a way that visitors become customers. The third major task at hand is for them to provide a proper channel of customer support in order to ensure repeat purchases and consumer loyalty.
Again, the marketing for a dropshipping business is not too much. There are some very cheap and even free marketing channels out there to get your business off the ground. Social media is one of the most effective means, which can cost nothing to attract traffic to your online store.
A study sponsored by the Social Media Success Summit 2009 showed that around 88% of marketers were making use of social media marketing. This was almost a decade ago, so one can imagine how influential social media can be for the world of digital marketing!
Facebook advertisements, in particular, are extremely popular with dropshipping markets. Of course, this also required putting up consistent and effective content. Boosting Facebook advertisements also does not cost too much, and can actually earn you a great deal more in terms of sales and profits. The more social audience you reach on Facebook and other platforms like Instagram, the more sales you would have.
In addition to social media advertisements, you should also reach out to social media influencers. These are individuals or groups who can promote your product and give it a boost among their online followings. This can greatly increase your brand recognition as well as create a loyal customer base.
There are several other marketing options for dropshipping. SEO can attract a great deal of organic traffic from the Internet at large. Email marketing is another great marketing tool which can even convert e-commerce customers. You can get people to subscribe to your business updates by creating a pop-up option on your site.
- Customer Service
The number of dropshipping businesses is increasing every day. In order to make your specific service stand out, some serious effort in the customer service department is necessary. Customers usually appreciate an easy and professional transaction, with no delays or stalling. Several channels for customers support such as chatbots, online messaging, emails, and helplines are examples of a sincere customer service strategy.
When customers receive proper, prompt, and polite support, they would be more inclined towards repeat purchases. Hence, it is important to hold on to existing customers in a dropshipping business. This is easier when you place your own personal brand in order to stand out from the dropshipping competition.
A dropshipping business has several advantages, especially for entrepreneurs who are essentially broke. There are no warehouse costs, storage problem, or even much of a cash flow risk. Most dropshippers make real sales before they have to pay the low wholesale rates for their ‘stock’. This also means that there is no initial debt, which can often cripple a startup before it even launches.
However, great effort is still essential even without investment. One would need to be on their toes the whole time. There are also obvious risks connected with dropshipping. One has to make sure to deliver quality products and make sure it is done within a reasonable time slot.
ABC is the author of this blog. He helps so many students who beg him “please, do my essay”.Being a professional academic writer who knows the ins and outs of writing, he turned to blogging to extend his writing skills. You can communicate with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.