How to set up a dropshipping business

By: Jamshaid Choudhary

Date: 13 February 2019

A smiling businesswoman checks the orders in her ecommerce store and calls her dropshipping supplier.Starting a new business - any new business - is scary. We've all heard the statistic that at least half of all new businesses fail within five years. However, the idea of becoming one of the successful ones, running a thriving enterprise, leads many people to take the plunge each year.

A good place to start if you're new to ecommerce is dropshipping. In this business model, you have an ecommerce store as usual, marketing products to your target market. However, with dropshipping you don't need to purchase stock up-front, store products or fulfil deliveries.

Instead, you simply find suppliers that offer a dropshipping service for the products you sell. When somebody places an order through your store, you forward the order to the supplier and they fulfill it for you - all under your brand.

Getting started with dropshipping

In order to get started with dropshipping, you will need to decide on your niche, the type of store you'd like to have, and what type of products you'd like to sell.

In order to find the best dropshipping products, you'll need to do your research to find suitable suppliers who can fulfil your orders.

It is highly advisable to look for suppliers both on- and off-line, and strike your own deals with manufacturers. This can be achieved by setting up a meeting or call with a supplier, and asking them whether they can offer dropshipping. Many businesses that don't currently offer dropshipping will consider your request, and may be happy to offer the service to you.

This is a great strategy to gain access to products that are not easily found through a Google search. It can allow you to truly cater to your audience, and ensure that you sell the best product range.

Dropshipping and quality control

When you decide to offer a particular product through your online store, it is important that you dropship at least one or a couple to your own home or office, and check the quality yourself. Images can be deceptive, and the last thing you want to do is sell a product that is disappointing, defective, or doesn't fulfill its intended purpose.

This quality control process is essential for protecting your online brand, as bad products will lead to negative reviews.

Getting traffic to your online store

Once you have set up your online store, you need to get potential buyers to visit. There are many ways to generate traffic to your ecommerce store, but the most popular methods include paid online advertising, social media and SEO.

If you're on a tight budget, then SEO is definitely the way to go. Even if you do have the budget for advertising, an SEO strategy will help you get even more traffic, which will translate into more sales.

When it comes to paid ads, you need to be sure you are reaching the right audience. For example, if you're selling men's accessories, you wouldn't include women in your target market. If you're selling luxury children's clothes, you would target parents with the appropriate level of disposable income.

With careful targeting, you can ensure a higher conversion rate from your ads.

Testing ads and copy

In the dropshipping model, your ad design and copy is extremely important for generating clicks and conversions - so it's a good idea to carry out split testing. This means taking one aspect of your ad, and testing two different versions of it to see which one delivers better results.

Say you're selling dog collars, for example. You could create one version with an image of a Labrador modelling the collar, and another with a terrier, before running both ads, and taking note of the reaction each one generates.

When you see which version performs the best, keep that variant, and go on to test other elements until you get a version that converts at the highest possible rate.

Conclusion

When it comes to starting a new ecommerce business, the dropshipping model is an excellent place to start, as it removes the need to personally fulfil your orders. The only thing you need to do is build your brand, and focus on optimizing your ads and site for higher conversions.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2018 Jamshaid Choudhary, professional blogger, industry watcher and technical writer