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 dropshipping business.
So, let’s dive into details about what dropshipping is and how to start a dropshipping business today.
What is Drop Shipping?
Dropshipping 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 dropshipping 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 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 dropshipping business that will allow you to start doing actions today.
1. Find a business niche for dropshipping
What I like the most about dropshipping is that 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:
Search for the most wanted and most sold items.
Try to search for top-selling items on Amazon.
Check trends and search volume for your business niche.
2. Find dropshipping suppliers
When you defined the products you’d like to sell it is high time to search for reliable partners.
Actually, the ability to find the right partners is a key to success in a dropshipping business. Since 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, and add the following information there:
- partner’s website
- partner’s products type
- contact details
- date of first contact
- status of communication
Make sure to update the document every time you work with the list.
Where to search for dropshipping suppliers?
There are a lot of supplier directories where you can find a partner for the dropshipping 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.
You can also use social media like LinkedIn to connect with decision-makers. Remember you are building win-win relationships and you should show a manufacturer the benefits of working with you.
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 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 template of a dropshipping partnership request:
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 yourself by completing simple forms.
3. Create an e-commerce website
Starting a Dropshipping business can be a hustle if you do not know the right e-commerce software which is a big part of the business. Dropshipping businesses require a platform that has an e-commerce storefront, high demand for products, and exceptional services. Big Commerce and Shift4Shop both support their users every step of their way and provide the right tools for success. With these two, you can start Dropshipping in a few hours and successfully run an online store.
Meanwhile, the decision of choosing the platform depends on the various factors including user experience, payment plans and cost, design and themes, transactions and credit card fees, payment methods, shipping, SEO, and marketing tools.
When it comes to ease of use and navigation, both are pretty good and provide high-quality services. It is important to know about the services offered before going to make the final decision. Let’s get into detail, and make our decision based on complete and authentic information.
Also, when you decide to Launch Dropshipping business, keep these three points in consideration;
- Sign up with a marketplace like Amazon to sell products through their site
- Use platforms like BigCommerce, Shift4shop, or WordPress to set up an independent store
- Using the basic one, combine both methods
Using Dropshipping store with ready-made, customizable themes makes it easier and allows handling every aspect of your business.
BigCommerce vs Shift4Shop – what is better for Dropshipping business in 2022?
BigCommerce has seen tremendous growth in the last few years contributing lifetime opportunities for entrepreneurs including Dropshipping business. Dropshipping set is set up in simple steps such as devising your selling strategy, choosing a pricing plan and signing up, creating a BigCommerce Drop-shipping store, choosing a product sourcing App, and starting making money. With a single click, you can import products from various websites to your store. Such as Aliexpress.
Meanwhile, before jumping on the BigCommerce and clicking that ‘’Launch store’’ button, let’s review the services to clear the fog away and help you make a better decision.
Key BigCommerce features
Here are the key BigCommerce features:
- One of the most attractive features is no transaction fee to keep your profit margin higher
- You can reach out to users all over the world without border restrictions, customers can see prices for the goods in their specific currencies
- Customer support agent for language translation
- It offers only SaaS local development environment and allows you to test your site simultaneously on a tablet, mobile and desktop.
- For traffic growth, it provides Advance SEO tools similar to Shopify SEO
- Provides multiple layers of security and super-fast speed. For prevention of unauthorized access, server-specific firewalls, file integrity scanners, and intrusion detection software is installed
- You can also provide free shipping for specific products by creating a coupon code
- BigCommerce plans is very comprehensive and also available at a lower cost for advanced features
- Multiple Currencies option is available
- Real-time shipping calculations are available on any plan
- No transaction fees are charged by BigCommerce, even if you use the third party payment method
- It has built-in product review functionality.
- Great SEO features with Short URLs creation option, AMP format is available for all templates
- BigCommerce in comparison with its competitors charge quite a lot to avail abandoned cart functionality
- Limit on annual online sales, if you reach the limit, you’ll need to upgrade your plan to a more expensive monthly plan
- There is so much similarity among the free themes available
- Also, there are no shipping discounts available on any plan
Bigcommerce Pricing model
Standard ($29.95 a month)
- No additional transaction fees
- Unlimited Product, file storage, and bandwidth
- Unlimited staff accounts
- Online Storefront, Point of Sale
- Facebook/Instagram /Google shopping
- Mobile responsive website
- BigCommerce mobile app
- Page builder
- Single-page Checkout
- Apple Pay, Google pay, Amazon Pay
- Real-time Shipping quotes
- Professional Reporting Tools
- Product rating and reviews
- Tech support (Phone, Chat, Tickets
- Many other services that you can check out
Plus ($79.95 a month)
Plus is one of the most popular plans including all the standard services with a monthly cost of $79.95. Additional services include:
- Customer groups and segmentations
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- Persistent Cart
- Stored Credit Cards
Pro ($299.95 a month)
Similarly, the Pro plan includes all the services provided under standard and plus plan with some additional services at a higher cost. Which includes;
- Google customer reviews
- Product Filtering
- Customer product filtering
Additionally, it offers 15 days trial to check which plan is right for you.
Shift4Shop is an E-commerce company that develops commerce software for businesses. Its current customers include 200,000 plus with 3.5 billion annual transactions. It’s an industry-leading eCommerce platform with inbuilt features for managing every aspect of the business. It offers various free services including free domain name, free website themes, and free SSL certificate. Also, offers the best product page, customer relations, inventory control, and business management. This site will help you stay organized and grow your business.
Shift4Shop has all the features needed to set up Dropshipping business and connect with suppliers. It is a mobile-friendly, search-engine-optimized e-commerce site. It has accurate shipping rates, built-in integration, email notification, and access to top-quality suppliers.
Though initially it was known as 3Dcart, however, in 2020 it was rebranded offering an eCommerce website builder.
Key Shift4Shop features
- Unlimited Categories and Smart Categories
- CMR (Customer Relationship Manager)
- Unlimited Product Images and Zoom
- 3dfeedback customer Surveys
- Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA Module)
- Product Comparison and multiple Ship-To Checkout
- Visitor IP Blocking and product review
- Powerful website builder with core themes
- Automatic integration of Google AMP for product page
- Optimized code to ensure the importance of page element
- Easy to view, edit and save Carts /customer account and check out
- Convenient and flexible payment processing with unlimited end to end commerce plan
- Design customization and built-in features with core template engine
- Mobile response design
- Phone orders and Manual order processing / Printing labels for poplar shipping carriers like USPS, FedEx, UPS, and more
- Built-in SEO tools/ Built-in Blog
- Social wish list and Coupons and discounts
- Promotion Schedulers
- And much more
- Shift4Shop provides basic website tools that are easy to use along with a fully optimized dashboard
- It has powerful built-in features and strong marketing tools to empower your business
- Payment processing solutions help in avoiding lack of methods
- It also gives an option to hire professional developers to design you store them and create a customized store
- Its features include a huge source of apps which sometimes confuse entrepreneurs to find what exactly needed
- It doesn’t have a wide selection of themes, templates are basic and simple
Though there is no difference in the pricing, however, the features and services differ from BigCommerce. The staff users with the plans differ, as it requires 2 staff for basic, 5 staff for the plus store, and 15 staff users for the pro store. Having multiple store staff make it easier to manage the store, and lessens the burden of work. Also, there are no transaction fees required in any plan which is similar to the BigCommerce Platform. However, all three plans of Shift4Shop include unlimited products. You can include as many products as you can in your store. All essential features are included for the basic, and for the plus store, it focuses on a complete marketing suite.
All the pricing plans include:
- No additional transaction fee
- Domain Registration
- Shopping Cart
- Unlimited orders
- Twenty/four/seven Tech Support
- Facebook store
- Secure Web Hosting
- 50+Mobile-Ready themes
- Built-in blog
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 100+ Payment providers
- API access
Shift4Shop all three plans basic, pro, plus are paid on monthly basis. Make your decision considering pricing, customer service and support, marketing features, payment processing, and reliable Drop shipping available.
4. Promote your website
When you launched a website, it is time to think about the marketing and start a promotion campaign.
So, what are the best marketing strategies for promoting a dropshipping 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.
Dropshipping is one of the best business models where you don’t need to keep stock. You only take an order and send details to suppliers who then send the goods to your customers. However, low startup costs attract a lot of people creating competitive business space. Therefore, using platforms that can bring more traffic would help to cope with the competition. Both Big Commerce and Shift4Shop benefit users through effective store management, design, and themes. Both are user-friendly, and the price plans are quite similar with different services. Also, the payment methodologies and use of multiple currencies make these apps more favorable for businesses globally.
Make your decision wisely, and make maximum profit out of these opportunities, and we would be happy to bring more informative pieces that would ease the decision-making process.
And remember, you can achieve everything if you really want it.
Time to take the first step!