In this post I will show you how to start your Dropshipping business through a list of simple steps that you could easily follow.
If you read my previous post What Dropshipping is? you already know the basic concepts to encourage you to this new project.
5 steps to launch into Dropshipping
Once you have made the decision to have your business online and that you consider that it would adapt well to this model, let's now see the steps to follow to do dropshipping, from finding product ideas to marketing your online store.
1. Choosing a niche for your business
Before starting your business, it is very important that you define what you want to sell and how to do it.
To define a market niche, it is essential to decide what your target audience is.
A market niche is a specific category of a business sector.
There the type of products and services, the price range and the quality destined to satisfy the client's needs are determined.
En los ejemplos gráficos que te mostraré en este artículo y en el siguiente, nos referiremos al nicho “artículos y accesorios para mascotas”.
Es el caso de un cliente mío para quien he desarrollado su tienda online.
Here are some ways to choose a niche for your business:
- Determine your interest or passion: Choose a niche with which you are well familiar and which you understand a lot about it.
Do not get involved in topics that you will not know how to handle with certainty, do it conscientiously and do not improvise.
- Find a solution: If you have a problem, other people probably have it too.
Customers will naturally discover your business if you offer solutions to their problems.
- Research the best-selling products: You can make a lot of money selling products that are fashionable or trending.
Use tools like Google Trends and TrendHunter , or check popular products on sales platforms to see what people are currently buying.
In the image above we can see how searches in the world for pet toys have changed in 2021 according to Google Trends.
This tool can give you an idea of what they are the products most sought after by people today, so you can focus on the ones that are popular.
In addition to the popularity of the product, you must take into account the region to which you want to offer your products.
In the above case , my client is located in Los Angeles (CA, USA)
On the other hand, basic products, such as industrial tools, household appliances, entertainment items, etc., are always in high demand.
Bet on a niche with items that people need on a daily basis.
You must consider that you can find a lot of competition in popular dropshipping products, especially from big retailers.
Once you've found your niche, come up with good ideas for your business and make a list of the products you want to sell.
Choose original products for which it is worth waiting for the delay in delivery and also, that cannot be easily acquired in any commercial premises in your area.
Make the only option to buy them either through an online store ... yours one!
2. Do market analysis
Market analysis is a thorough assessment of your business sector.
It includes an assessment of the target market, the competition, and your brand promotion strategy.
Market research is crucial because it will allow you to understand the needs of your customers.
It is also useful for advertising purposes, to estimate revenues and profits, and to predict the growth of your business.
Do not improvise. Always hire an online marketing professional to advise you.
A good market analysis should answer these questions:
- Who are my potential clients?
- What are your needs and buying habits?
- How big is the market and how much are they willing to pay for the product?
- Who are my main competitors?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What items should be considered?
The following tips will help you carry out a good market analysis:
Research the volume and value of the industry
Detailed statistics on the size, trends, prospects and growth rate, to know if there are enough customers interested in the products you want to sell.
Define your target audience
Starting with demographic targeting, age range, gender, income level, hobbies, and lifestyle preferences.
Observe the size of the market and the buying habits of customers
It is important to observe the buying patterns and behavior of people, which will allow you to see what motivates and drives their demands.
By knowing your target market, it will be easier for you to reach them.
Research and know your competitors
It is highly recommended that you get to know your committers.
Visit their websites and observe their way of selling and contacting their customers, the general aesthetics of their websites, etc.
You can use tools such as Similarweb and Alexa to find competing sites and examine their performance.
Perform a SWOT analysis to know your strengths and weaknesses
A SWOT analysis consists of evaluating the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your competitors.
You can always learn from the mistakes and successes of your competitors to create a reference for your business.
This will allow you to innovate in your field . Innovating means “improving what already exists” and that implies being in growth.
In addition, observing your competitors allows you to know the average sale price of a product and the price range.
3. Find product providers
Finding dropshipping suppliers will be easier if there is a solid list of products to sell based on the market research you've done in the previous item.
It is essential to find a good dropshipping provider, capable of responding effectively to your needs and those of your customers.
Make sure the company is trustworthy, meets your criteria and has an excellent reputation.
You should bear in mind that a supplier will become your "partner" in this commercial activity, and their behavior towards your customers will also speak of you and your business values.
For this reason, it is advisable to order or buy some samples and review them carefully, before publishing them on your website.
As the product reaches your hands, it is how the supplier will deliver it to your customers.
Some details to observe
The following tips will help you find a good supplier:
- Check that they are legitimate and legal: Always work with trusted providers.
Ask for the business license or vendor identification number and verify it on the local government website.
- Verify the phone number and the address of the company: Make sure you can find the data in Google Maps and they are not registered in the name of another company.
Check if they have a professional email address domain name, of the type firstname.lastname@example.org
If you use free email services or webmail, (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) it is not reliable, since anyone can obtain those accounts in anonymously.
- Verify that they have their own website: Having their own website (in addition to publishing on AliExpress) implies being the holder of a document on the Internet and being legally authorized.
- Find out if they have experienced and attentive staff: Customer service is essential. Don't be afraid to call them and ask them questions.
- See what other products it offers for sale: A good and varied stock of products shows commitment and commercial experience of the supplier.
- Always watch reputation: Read other buyers' reviews and ratings.
- See if the supplier sells on different platforms: Find the same product from the same supplier on AliExpress, Ebay, Amazon, etc., and observe their ratings.
- Check that the product is of good quality: Do they resemble the photos published on the supplier's website? Does the description on the website correspond to the product?
- Check if the packaging is presentable and safe: Try to order a fragile item and make sure you receive it in perfect condition.
See if the suppliers are consistent with the packaging by sending some products to your friends. Make sure that your commercial data does not appear on the package that reveals its origin.
- Ensure that the shipment and execution of the order meet your criteria: How long does it take to process an order and send it? Do they handle returns well?
4. Develop an online store
Once you have defined your niche, analyzed the market and chosen your suppliers, it is time to develop your own online store.
If you are not familiar with the subject of web design, I suggest you read my article Requirements to have a website to know the previous steps and everything you need to start your business online.
I recommend that you hire a good web designer and webmaster who has experience in e-commerce developments with Dropshipping.
Unlike traditional e-commerce, which is generally developed with WooCommerce, the stores that use Dropshipping are quite different due to to the very nature of the operation of this type of online sale.
Therefore, it is good that your designer is suitable to be able to give you the best performance of your online store and avoid many inconveniences later.
Your virtual store, in addition to being functional, must have an aesthetic and corporate character, which shows business strength, responsibility and commitment to your customers.
It is not as easy as it looks
Designing an online store in WordPress is not too complicated, and there are many free video tutorials on the web that encourage you to do it on your own.
What is really complex and requires specialized professional attention is its configuration, functionality and start-up.
Special attention should be paid to optimizing content for SEO and above all, to security to carry out commercial transactions online.
Never dispense with the professional gaze of an experienced designer, who knows precisely the inner workings of a virtual store and will guide you to obtain the best results for your online business.
I know many clients who have wanted to make their own websites and have abandoned it at the first try, since it involves a lot of technical and functional aspects that are beyond their ability to understand.
5. Perform Marketing and SEO
After creating the website, it is time to work on promoting your business.
Do not think that having your own online store has already been solved.
It is necessary to promote it, optimize its contents to be found in search engines such as Google (SEO), conducting online marketing campaigns, etc.
These are some tips that you should consider:
Create a landing page or "coming soon" page
This page generates anticipation before the official launch of your store or a product.
Keep it simple as it should primarily display your brand name, logo, and a short description of your dropshipping business.
Feel free to add a couple of product photos, a discount coupon and a subscription form.
Create social media accounts
Your social networks will allow you to drive traffic to your website and improve your brand presence.
Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are great platforms for sharing high-quality product photos.
I recommend that you hire a good «community manager» capable of creating their own and original content on your social networks, taking care of the aesthetics and maintaining the graphic coherence of all your publications, to favor your institutional presence.
Optimize content for search engines (SEO)
If you do it right, your products will rank high on search engine results pages, increasing the chances that people will click and buy.
Research the most important keywords related to your niche is an essential step when it comes to SEO.
There are online tools such as Keyword Planner from Google and the Keyword Explorer from Ahrefs that can help with the process.
Include the keywords in the names of the products, the descriptions, the labels and the alternative texts of the images.
I recommend you read my article How to improve SEO on your website for more information
Do content marketing
Start by creating a blog page where you can write your own content related to the niche, and articles about your business.
You can write articles with reviews, recommendations, modes of use and benefits about the articles you sell.
This will boost SEO and site traffic.
Update the contents
Take care to add new products regularly, this way you will keep your website active and updated and your store will grow gradually.
Do not allow your store to remain unchanged for a long time, as it does not favor the SE.
Google will consider your contents as little relevant for its indexing in search engines if it does not register changes for a long time.
Create mailing lists for email marketing (Newsletters)
Enable a subscription section and regularly send emails to your subscribers about new products, content, events and offers.
You will not only drive traffic to your site, but you will convert your subscribers into customers.
If you have the budget to invest in advertising, show product ads through Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
You will get a greater reach and higher conversion rates.
I suggest you do not do it on your own and hire a specialist in online marketing, as it is a very complex subject.
It will allow you to optimize the performance of your budget and the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.
Taking advantage of influencer marketing is very favorable for your business.
Contact experts in your niche who have a social profile with many followers and propose an agreement to promote each other.
Find other ways to promote your website
For example, look on Reddit or Facebook groups for people discussing topics related to your dropshipping business.
Don't forget to check the group rules to see if promotions are allowed.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it was useful to you.
Ahora ya conoces todo lo que necesitas tener para iniciar tu negocio de Dropshipping.
Si quieres saber Cómo crear una tienda online para Dropshiping, te recomiendo leer mi próximo artículo.
If you wanted to have your website and you consider that I am a suitable professional, do not hesitate to contact me and I will advise you with great pleasure.
In the Related Articles section below, you will find many articles with specific topics that complement the one you just read. Thank you!
Adrián Pablo Conti
I am a Graphic and Web Designer graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA)
Since 1993 I have run Web4, my own freelance graphic and web design creative studio, located in the City of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Me I specialize in the development of visual identity, institutional communication, web sites and online stores, editorial design, catalogs, magazines and packaging design, among others.
The images shown in this article were obtained from the web for illustrative purposes and belong to their respective authors.
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