Do you want to create a profitable dropshipping business? This article is for you, beginners in dropshipping, in order to know the basics to start in dropshipping.
What is Dropshipping?
The dropshipping is a method of e-commerce in fashion for several years and here in simplified, how it works
- You have an e-commerce site that offers products for sale that you do not have in stock.
- The customer places an order on your dropshipping site.
- You place an order with your dropshipping suppliers of the product ordered by the customer.
- Your dropshipping supplier sends your order directly to your customer.
- The biggest advantage of the dropshipping business is that you have no stock. This of course reduces costs and the risk of loss. The biggest flaw is that delivery times are generally extended due to the fact that your suppliers are abroad. Note that there are more and more European suppliers who can compensate for this defect.
I often hear this kind of saying: it sounds so easy when you watch on YouTube, everyone earns millions! This is the first mistake! In most cases, if you look in detail at this type of video, you will quickly see that it is almost nothing but commercial blah and that you do not learn anything concrete to start your online business.
The reality: with a lot of work, you can make a lot of money with a profitable dropshipping site. It is not enough to launch your shop, import products into it, quickly put a logo and then wait for orders! Me too, I would have liked the tickets to fall from the sky! No, no and no it doesn’t work like that!
The first word that must be engraved in your head to work in e-commerce is: PERFECTIONISM
Every detail counts, a poorly written text, an image on the wrong product page or a gray action button, the wrong theme, all these small elements, if they are not well optimized can make you lose thousands of euros, or rather not make you win them!
What does it take to start dropshipping?
There are still some prerequisites in order to start a dropshipping business properly and not to struggle for months without making sales. The first essential thing you need to have to create a profitable dropshipping site: an entrepreneur mindset!
- Plan your days:
Contrary to what many people think, you are not going to work 3 hours a day, when you start anyway. You will not count your hours during the launch phase of your online activity! A good organization of tasks will save you a lot of time to develop your online business.
- Patient and persistent:
Everyone knows, patience is a virtue. Like a lot of business, it is rare to hit the ground running from the first days when you start dropshipping. A technical problem? An ad that doesn’t work? No worries, take the time to fix the problem without getting discouraged. You will have to be patient and persevering both in creating your online business and in the long term to improve your business strategies.
- Motivation and determination:
If you only focus on earning money, you will not succeed. It takes a minimum of passion for the work you do so that your motivation constantly pushes you forward. Be determined, see no limits to what you can accomplish at the cost of a lot of sacrifice at first. It doesn’t matter if others go on vacation while you work. Later you will go on vacation while continuing to earn hundreds, even thousands of euros.
- The ambition to reach your dreams:
Project yourself into the future! What is your purpose in life? Have a nice house? Buying a nice car? Travel around the world? Always keep in mind the goal you have set for yourself. Write it down on paper and hang it above your desk! This will allow you to do everything to reach your goal and go even further, you will have no limits!
Υοu still need a minimum of money to start dropshipping
I advise you to have a starting budget, between 500 € and 1000 € to start.
The domain name, the subscription to a sales platform like a shopify store, any paid marketing tools and of course online advertising, all these costs. Alas, there are few effective and free tools these days, for example yo can get free shopify themes to reduce cost. Also, keep in mind that your very first ads will often be tests with which you will earn little or no money.
How to choose your products to start in dropshipping?
It is advisable to choose carefully the items that you will sell in your shop. We will take as an example the case of the best known platform: Aliexpress
Check the number of items sold
It must still be consistent, when you start it is better to leave on a safe bet. This element will tell you that there is demand for this item and therefore good sales opportunities.
Never choose brand imitations or counterfeits
You don’t want to have problems with the authorities, do you? You also do not want to fool your customers with false products of poor quality? The list goes on, but just those two factors tell you why you shouldn’t be selling counterfeit products.
Check customer reviews
Consult customer reviews on the products you are likely to sell. Customer reviews can teach you a lot about the quality of the product, its packaging and how to take care of shipping. Try to only take products with a minimum score of 4.5 out of 5 when you start dropshipping.
Make sure you make a comfortable margin
Remember the cost of running your business, including the cost of acquisition. To put it simply, this corresponds to the price you will pay in advertising in order to acquire a new customer. Ideally, for a profitable dropshipping site, allow a margin of at least 3 to 4 at least, so if you buy a product at 5 €, you should ideally sell it at least 25 € including operating costs.
Which sales platform to choose to start dropshipping?
To start in dropshipping I advise you to use the now world-famous platform, namely: Shopify
It should also be taken into account that thise platforms will take a percentage of your sales of around 2% at the start of your online activity (reduced depending on your subscription). Include this cost in calculating your margins to make profitable dropshipping. Note that this platform dedicated to dropshipping offer you a free trial of 14 days.
I will not make a comparison here, but it must be recognized that Shopify has many additional advantages compare to other sales platforms thanks to its app shop which will allow you to integrate many marketing tools to your online store.
Take care of the presentation of your dropshipping store
Often overlooked by beginners, the design and ergonomics of your store is nevertheless an essential element for making sales. If your prospect does not immediately understand where to click, they will simply leave the page and go elsewhere. There are unlimited range of free shopify themes to choose from.
I often see shops with badly chosen colors or that do not match. Tiny action buttons in the same color as the other elements. Texts in blocks not optimized or even worse, just imported and not reworked.
In short, there are many mistakes when you start dropshipping, take the time to look after your presentation so that it looks professional and inspires confidence.
Always think “USER” and put yourself in the place of a prospect to make your choices.
Here are some tips when setting up your profitable dropshipping store:
Display your delivery costs transparently
Use your delivery information page, your product sheets and your basket even if the delivery time is 15 days. A lot of beginners do not display them. Why? They are afraid to scare the client away.
The reality is that if the customer is not informed, he will expect to receive his package in 48 hours. And so, 75% of your customers will make a claim that will take you time and ask for a refund that will take you longer.
Result? Unhappy customers, a lot of time and money wasted. The opposite of what you want, right? It is better to lose 10 prospects in a day than to spend it making repayments.
Order the items you want to market
If you reference a new item on your dropshipping e-commerce site, I advise you to order it from your supplier. The purpose of this process is to control the delivery, packaging and quality of the product by yourself and to be able to answer questions or complaints from your customers.
Completely rework the product sheet
After importing a product sheet into your shop, you will need to redo the text and images in order to make a product that sells as treated in a previous article. The original product sheets are often poorly translated or simply don’t mean anything, so it’s an essential step.
Communicate with your dropshipping suppliers
Remember to tell your suppliers that you are doing dropshipping and ask them not to put an invoice or advertisements in the package when registering an order.
Branding to create a strong brand image
Branding to strengthen your image and give more confidence to your prospects. What is branding? It is the fact of creating a brand for its products in order to give them a unique identity and to strengthen their communication powers. Having a brand artificially strengthens the quality of your products with consumers.
How to create a brand? To explain simply without going into every detail: Choose an available name, create a logo and a slogan and finally submit your file to the INPI. If the file is compliant, it takes approximately 3 months for your brand to be validated.
I do not advise you to brand with a catalog of more than 20 products, you will clearly lose credibility with your prospects.
Once all these elements are put in place carefully, only then can you start to get into paid advertising in order to boost your traffic very quickly!
One last point, you need to analyze your data regularly, it will tell you for example which page is systematically leaving, where your prospects are coming from, how many visits you have, the keywords that bring in the most traffic. There is a lot of data and it will help you optimize and move in the right direction to convert more.
For this, I advise you to use the essential: Google Analytics
Summary of how to start in dropshipping
Here is a summary of the points that we covered in this article devoted to beginners in dropshipping:
- The mindset and the prerequisites to start in dropshipping
- Choose carefully the products which you will offer
- Select a platform to create your profitable dropshipping site
- Take care of the presentation of your e-commerce site
- Branding to increase the confidence of your prospects
You now know the basics of dropshipping, it’s up to you to go further and get started!
Keep in mind that there are no miracles, only motivated and ambitious people will succeed with work!