Dropshipping is a business model which you can use to run your store without ever holding any inventory. Once you’ve made a sale your supplier will ship your products from their warehouse, straight to your customer’s doorstep. You’ll never need to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products.
There are three key players in the dropshipping business model: the manufacturer, the retailer (you) and the customer.
The manufacturer’s role in a dropshipping business model includes creating products, carrying inventory, shipping products to customers on behalf of the retailer, replacing defective products, and restocking them. They sell products to the retailer at wholesale prices assuming the risk of unsold inventory.
In the dropshipping business model, the retailer (you), sell the manufacturer’s products on your website under your own brand. You’ll be responsible for choosing and marketing those products. Plus, you’ll also be responsible for their shipping costs and setting prices that make you a profit.
Lastly, in the dropshipping business model, the customer buys the products directly from you, the retailer. If questions or issues arise, they contact the retailer they bought the product from.
Dropshipping is a great business model for aspiring entrepreneurs to start with because it’s accessible. With dropshipping, you can quickly test different business ideas with limited downside, which lets you learn a lot about how to choose and market in-demand products. Here are a few other reasons why dropshipping is such a popular model.
Probably the biggest advantage to dropshipping is that it’s possible to launch an ecommerce store without having to invest thousands of dollars in inventory up front. Traditionally, retailers have had to tie up huge amounts of capital purchasing inventory.
With the dropshipping model, you don’t have to purchase a product unless you’ve already made the sale and have been paid by the customer. Without significant up-front inventory investments, it’s possible to start sourcing products and launch a successful dropshipping business with very little money. And because you’re not committed to selling-through any inventory purchased up front, like in a traditional retail business, there’s less risk involved in starting a dropshipping store.
Running an ecommerce business is much easier when you don’t have to deal with physical products. With dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about:
Because you don’t have to deal with purchasing inventory or managing a warehouse, your overhead expenses are quite low. In fact, many successful dropshipping stores are run as home-based businesses, requiring little more than a laptop and a few recurring expenses to operate. As you grow, these costs will likely increase but will still be low compared to those of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.
A dropshipping business can be run from just about anywhere with an internet connection. As long as you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily, you can run and manage your business.
Since you don’t have to pre-purchase the items you sell, you can offer an array of trending products to your potential customers. If suppliers stock an item, you can list it for sale on your online store at no additional cost.
Dropshipping is a useful fulfillment method for both launching a new store and for business owners looking to test the appetite customers have for additional product categories, e.g., accessories or wholly new product lines. The main benefit of dropshipping is, again, the ability to list and potentially sell products before committing to buying a large amount of inventory.
With a traditional retail business, if you receive three times the number of orders, you’ll usually need to do three times as much work. By leveraging dropshipping suppliers, most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you to expand with fewer growing pains and less incremental work.
Sales growth will always bring additional work—especially related to customer support—but businesses that utilize dropshipping scale particularly well relative to traditional ecommerce businesses.
Yes, you can make money through dropshipping, like many of our successful merchants continue to do. Dropshipping allows you to find products with huge profit potential, and set up a business selling them. When you are motivated to sell products you are more likely to invest more time into promotion and marketing, leading to more profits from your endeavours.
Yes and no. Dropshipping is worth the time and money you invest into it. If you don’t invest time into your online business you will never reap the rewards. One of the reasons why people quit dropshipping is the lack of consistency and perseverance. Dropshipping takes time as you need to set up a store, import products, decide your pricing strategy, and starting selling. Nothing can happen if you don’t put in effort.
Truth is, what you sell matters. You should take some time to find the best dropshipping business ideas. Most people tell you to pick a niche you’re passionate about. But that’s only a half truth. It’s about a combination of profit and passion, skewed towards profit. The reality is the best dropshipping business ideas are usually the profitable ones. It’s a lot easier to be passionate when you’re actually making money.
Once you have decided what to sell you now need to educate yourself on who your competitors are, what they sell, and how they sell their products. There are many ways to do this.
Go to our Shopify stores page and choose one of them. All of them are fully automated and ready to make sales. Don't forget if you will have a professinal store, then you'll have more chance to make sales.
So at this point, you’ve found your product and built your store, now’s the time to market your dropshipping business like there’s no tomorrow. This is a crucial step in your dropshipping business plan. So don’t keep making tweaks to your store design and pretend like you’re making improvements. You don’t need to be scared of putting yourself out there. Getting your first sale is one of the best feelings!
Once you have spent time building your website, brand, and marketing you can start to analyze the results of your hard work. You may find that certain marketing activities are hugely successful while others are not so much. Or you can look at your pricing against competitors and see if you could change things up a bit to make things more competitive.
You can use tools like Google Search Console or Analytics to evaluate your online traffic to make sure that traffic is increasing, not decreasing. If you are using third-party tools for email marketing or social media reporting, set up weekly or monthly automatic reports so that you will be reminded to analyze this information regularly. Even a quick snapshot of data from a tool can be enough to decide if a campaign is working or not.
Overall the most important part of a successful online ecommerce store is to test and optimize in order to increase the revenue that you generate online. This makes sure that your website will not fall behind best practices and keeps you ahead of your competitors too.