5 essentials for setting up a dropshipping store

Looking for a way to make easy money in 2021? Starting a dropshipping business might be the best solution for you.

On average, manufacturers report that the dropshipping profit is 18% higher than using traditional retail store models. In 2018, the global dropshipping market size was valued at $102.2 billion and is expected to register a CAGR of nearly 29% by 2025. 

dropshipping storeToday, anyone can easily start an online store for less than $25. However, while the low entry barriers and the increase in preference for online shopping have contributed to the popularity of dropshipping stores, they also made the industry highly competitive.

So, if you are thinking of starting a dropshipping store, you’d better set yourself up for success from the very beginning, Here are 5 simple tips that will help you get started.

1. Choose your niche

The first step towards starting a dropshipping business is choosing your niche. Let’s look at some tips to help you choose the best one for you.

  • When choosing your niche, make sure it is highly focused and that it’s something you’re actually passionate about. A focused niche is easier to market, and working with products you’re passionate about means you are going to have unique knowledge of those products. 
  • Do some research to check if the niche you’re interested in is too competitive. If so, will you be able to beat the competition?
  • Make sure that the niche is profitable. Ideally, you want a profit margin of at least 40% after taxes, shipping costs, and seller fees.
  • Don’t forget the shipping costs as well. Although the shipping will be handled by the manufacturer or supplier, too high shipping costs can easily repel customers. Ideally, you should find something that’s inexpensive to ship but also gives you the option to offer free shipping. 

2. Find a supplier

Choosing a reliable supplier is crucial, so take some time to conduct proper due diligence before making the final decision. But how do you actually find a supplier?

You can search for suppliers online by simply typing in your product plus “supplier” into Google.  Another option is to use sites like AliExpress.com or a wholesale directory where you can choose from a great number of vetted and verified suppliers. 

Make sure the supplier is actually a dropshipper: Not all product suppliers are dropshippers, some of them are simply manufacturers or wholesalers. In addition, ensure that they provide fast shipping and don’t charge huge shipping fees. 

Having in mind that most dropshipping suppliers are located overseas, communication is also a very important factor. A well-informed and helpful sales rep is a good sign, but if you have doubts, continue looking. 

3. Build your website

When it comes to building a site that supports a dropshipping business model, the best solution is to use an eCommerce platform like Magento, Shopify, or BigCommerce. The main upside of using these platforms is that you don’t need to invest tons of money in a developer to get your store up and running. 

Another good option is to use WordPress. Everything you need to run a dropshipping store is pre-built in WordPress in the form of plugins. For instance, WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that will power your store with all the necessary features.

Which elements should you pay attention to when creating your website? Here is a list of elements that can help you create a more customer-centric experience and convert more site visitors:

  • Product-focused design. Your website design should make it clear right away that you’re selling the products the customer is looking for.
  • Your logo. A clean, recognizable logo is not only an element that builds trust but also goes a long way toward branding your dropshipping store. 
  • Search box. If your website offers a huge selection of products, you should include a search box. 
  • Customer support. Offer multiple customer support channels such as email, phone number, live chat, and a knowledge base. Bear in mind that no matter how great your knowledge base is, at some point your customers are going to need human support. And when that happens, a WordPress helpdesk plugin offers a convenient way to offer centralized and timely support.
  • Icons for accepted payment options. Your customers should know whether your website accepts their preferred method of payment.
  • Social media functionality. By allowing your customers to share their wish lists or purchases in a single click, you will get free advertising for your store.

4. Create a customer acquisition plan

Once you’ve chosen your products and built a great site, it’s time to let the world know about them. One of the fastest and most effective ways to attract customers is to start a Facebook ad campaign. Facebook allows you to put your offer in front of a highly targeted audience, which gives you an opportunity to compete with the biggest retailers and brands and generate sales from the very beginning.

When it comes to long-term options, email marketing and SEO should also be a part of your customer acquisition strategy. Email marketing is an easy, affordable, and effective way to take advantage of your existing customer base. Find the best ways to grow your email list and use it to set up automated email sequences that offer special offers and discounts to keep your customers happy and coming back for more.  

5. Research your competition

Don’t forget that you will be competing against hundreds of other dropshipping stores, as well as big players like Amazon and Walmart. So, if you want to rise above the rest, you’ll need to find a way to be better than your competitors. How can you achieve this? By analyzing your competition

Start by identifying your competitors by finding the top sellers in your niche on eBay and Amazon. Analyze their product listings: see what their images are like, what kind of copy they use, and try to figure out how you can make yours better. 

In addition, check out the customer reviews. Seeing what customers liked and what they disliked in your competitors’ offering can help you refine your own approach to customer service.

Final thoughts

There you have it, we’ve got you covered on how to start a dropshipping store in five easy steps. By applying some of the suggestions in this article, you’ll be able to start building an online empire of your own.