I cannot remember the time when a drop shipping model of business could be so popular among entrepreneurs as it is now. Browsing the internet and making research on the popularity of modern business niches I came across the fact that drop shipping causes great interest among starters. It is not surprising for me though, since I also have a successful experience with running a drop shipping business.
So, let’s dive into details about what is a drop shipping and how to start a drop shipping business today.
What is Drop Shipping?
So, what is drop shipping? Drop Shipping is a retail method when your partner, not you, is keeping the goods in stock. In simple words, it is a model of business when you act as an agent between business and customer. Here is the process of how it works:
- Find a business niche/goods you are interested in;
- Find a product manufacturer and agree with him on collaboration terms
- Sell your partner’s products
- Tell your partner order details and customer information
- The partner sends his product to a customer
- You earn your commission
Quite simple! Agree?
So, even if you are not an e-commerce expert, you have all the chances to get success in a short period of time. And that is the reason why so many entrepreneurs start with a dropshipping business.
What are the benefits of starting a drop shipping business:
- It is safe. You shouldn’t focus on goods in stock and their on-time delivery;
- It is fast to start. You don’t need to have deep knowledge of business, that is why this business model is just perfect for starters.
- It is flexible. If you see that your product demand is decreasing, just change the product.
- It is simple to run. You only need to concentrate on promoting your business.
But there are some tricks that impact on whether your dropshipping business will be successful or not.
Here is the step by step guide that will give you an understanding of how to start a drop shipping business that will allow you to start doing actions today.
Read also: Build a T-shirt brand with no money
1. Find a business niche
What I like the most about drop shipping, you have a variety of choices. You don’t need to select one niche and dive into its deep business and marketing analysis.
All you need to do here is to select the most popular and high-demand goods.
Make sure people search it on the internet:
Go to Ebay and search for the most wanted and most sold items
Go to Amazon and search for top selling items
Go to Google Keyword Planner and check trends and search volume for your business niche.
2. Find suppliers
When you are sure about types of goods to sell it is high time to search for reliable partners.
Actually, it is a key to success in a drop shipping business, because your future customers don’t care whose fault it is that the shipping is too slow or, for example, too expensive.
Also, you should know that not everyone is ready to dropship and it may take time to find a partner.
Start with creating a Google spreadsheet to manage the list of manufacturers and suppliers you find – their website, contact details, date of contacting and status.
Make sure to update the document every time you work with the list.
Where to search for drop shipping suppliers?
There are a lot of supplier directories where you can find a partner for drop shipping business.
Here is the list of the most popular and highly popular directories among the starters:
From my personal experience, you can find good manufacturers with beneficial collaboration terms quite easily if you pitch them correctly.
Remember you are building win-win relationships and you should show a manufacturer the benefits of working with you.
Advice! Phone calls work better. But emails are also fine.
To tell the truth, manufacturers are more likely to work with big companies that guarantee good sales volume in comparison with a starter who doesn’t have the experience, website traffic, and loyal customers.
But it is not so disappointing as it may sound.
A dropshipping business model is so popular among the starting entrepreneurs. And it means that this business can give you a good start in building something BIG.
How to write a drop shipping request email?
First of all, writing an email remembers that you are contacting a person. Try to sound natural and not spammy.
Your email should be brief and to the point. A person reading your email should understand who you are and why you are contacting them.
Also, it is better to make the final sentence a question.
Here is a simple example of a drop shipping request email:
“Hello [managers name],
My name is [Your Name] and I represent the company [Your Company Name]. We are about to launch our new e-commerce website [yourwebsite.com] and we are looking for suppliers to collaborate with on a drop-ship basis.
Our team has developed a marketing strategy based on the target market analysis that will help us to promote effectively and increase sales once we launch.
Could you please tell me how we can apply for an account to collaborate with you?
Once you get a reply, give a prompt response to show your interest in collaboration. In most cases, you’ll be asked to provide information about you by completing simple forms.
3. Create an e-commerce website
Actually, this step should be done together with the previous step. Even if you are still in search for your partners, you can start working on developing a website.
Nowadays there is a number of popular tools allowing you to create a professionally looking website without special knowledge.
I recommend considering the following e-commerce platforms:
But if you want to make your business look professional from the start one simple website is not enough.
You need a BRAND.
Think about your future brand style: how it will look, what your customers and business partners will associate your brand with.
Having your own branding will help to stand out among competitors.
I always start with a competitive analysis before creating a new brand style.
Branding shows that a business is not a one-day-company. It shows how business cares about its style and strives to impress.
4. Promote your website
When you found a partner, launched a website with uploaded items and updated information about your company, it is time to start a promotion campaign.
What are the best marketing strategies for promoting a drop shipping business:
- Social networks. Best for sales and drop-shipping business promotion are Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook.
- Product reviews. Add reviews to your website to make it more trusty for new customers.
- Influencers. Find popular bloggers and influencers to promote your products. This strategy
- Giveaways. Attract more clients by giving away a product and promoting it on Facebook and Instagram.
- Start a blog. Write about your business niche, create product reviews and inform shoppers about new products through your blog. It will help to attract organic traffic and more returning customers.
As you can see the process of starting a drop shipping business is not very complicated. It is easy to start and grow following the steps described above.
And remember, you can achieve everything if you really want it.
Time to take the first step!