Is Dropshipping Worth It?
Are you interested in setting up your own business? Well, it’s easier than you think.
There is no need to make a huge investment to buy stock and construct a brick and mortar store. Anyone can set up a business using the huge potential of the internet and start serving customers online. But when you want to make profits quickly, Dropshipping can be a great idea. After all it requires lower investment and the risks involved are significantly lower than a traditional physical store.
Before you make a decision about stepping into business as a dropshipper, I advise you to go through the details below. In this guide I am going to discuss some essential information about this business idea so that you can decide whether it is worth it or not for YOU to give it a try.
What is Dropshipping?
Many people confuse dropshipping with other forms of online business; hence, it is first important to understand the definition of this business idea. Dropshipping is basically an order fulfilment technique where online merchants do not need to maintain inventory or ship their own products.
Rather, the merchant sets up agreements with a few suppliers in the target niche area to fulfil customer demands. These suppliers could be manufacturers or wholesalers that agree to pick, pack, and ship products on your behalf.
As soon as the merchant receives an order online, he just needs to notify the respective supplier, and the item is shipped to the customer address. The merchant does not need to worry about packing or shipping formalities.
One can set up a website for running a dropshipping business or start through social media channels. There is no need to worry about stock, storage and logistic hassles, all that you need to run your business is an internet connection and a computer.
Different Types of Dropshipping:
There are so many types of dropshipping business models, a few of them are listed below:
This is the most common type of dropshipping business where you need to take products from different sources and make them available for purchase on a single platform. The idea is to make the buying process easier for the general public as they can find all essential items in one place. This type of dropshipping is generally recommended for people who have excellent marketing skills.
Some smaller retail stores do not have any website, either they lack the knowledge, or they lack the time and money. Being a dropshipping business owner, you can represent their niche online so that they can increase their sales. You just have to receive the orders and tell the retail store owners to ship the respective items to the customer. This type of dropshipping requires effort to develop relationships with retailers.
Some dropshipping businesses pick products from different manufacturers/suppliers and amalgamate them into a single package. For example, picking up cosmetics from different vendors and then selling a kit containing many of them to the buyers. Creating such combinations of products requires some creativity and, of course, knowledge about how to make them work together. Moreover, when you are picking products from different suppliers, you have to ensure that they reach the buyer in a single package which would likely be difficult to achieve in a ‘hands off’ manner.
Another amazing dropshipping business idea is print on demand. The idea is to sell products with some custom image printed on them. There is a wide range of products that could fall into this category, such as T-shirts, pet food bowls, mugs, or some office accessories. You can pick some creative images and list them on your website so that buyers can choose the best one while placing an order for Print on Demand product. Or you may ask customers to provide their preferred image and create customised products to serve their specific needs. If you have a good print on demand partner, this business can definitely bring you great returns.
You can see more detail on Print on Demand here.
Now you have gone through some of the best dropshipping business ideas; it is time to pick the best one and start making profits online.
How to Advertise Your Store?
Once you have set up a dropshipping store, the next big challenge is to start the advertising process. After all, there are so many competitors around you need to have a solid marketing plan to capture potential customers.
Below we have listed a few tips on advertising your store online:
• Social media advertising:
You cannot underestimate the power of social media in the business world. Millions of people prefer to make their buying decisions on popular social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter etc. Your dropshipping business needs to advertise on these popular platforms. You can also create story ads to boost reactions online.
• Pay Per Click Ads:
The second-best option in the list is PPC ads. They offer a cost-effective solution to your marketing campaigns since you only pay when someone clicks. One of the best PPC advertising platforms is Google, and it can help you to get more relevant traffic to your business. You can also try other search engines like Bing to capture customers. In fact Bing is an often overlooked potential gold mine to acquire new customers cheaply!
• YouTube influencers:
You can buy help from YouTube influencers to promote your business online. They can recommend your store to their audience assuming you are in a similar niche and divert more visitors towards your website. One can also run YouTube ad campaigns with creative and engaging video content.
• Add customer reviews and testimonials:
One of the best ways to grab customer attention and trust towards your business is by letting them know what other buyers think about your store/products. Try to add more ratings, customer reviews, and testimonials on your store so that other visitors can see the feedback for previous customers.
• Try blogging:
Experts also recommend using blogging for dropshipping business advertising. Start writing some interesting articles and include relevant keywords. Make sure you address the concerns and interests of your target customers with your content so that they will trust your business more.
How can we forget the potential of email marketing? Although the business industry these days has plenty of advertising options, email-based ads are still proven to be a powerhouse. You can invite more people to join your email subscribers list and incentivise them to do so. Keep on sharing relevant details about your niche store from time to time to help buyers make up their minds for new purchase.
Once you start following these simple tips for dropshipping advertisement, you will hopefully see your business grow.
Risks Involved in Dropshipping Business:
There is no doubt that dropshipping offers many incredible benefits, but there are a few risks also involved in this business. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about manufacture, inventory or order fulfilment and their is great scope for scalability, there are few concerns that you may need to address.
The biggest benefit of starting a drop shipping business is that suppliers will take care of the supply chain on your behalf. But the biggest risk is that you have no control over this aspect of the business and also on the quality of products. As the reputation of your business is highly dependent on the type and quality of the product you sell, if they do not fulfil customer requirements, they won’t return to your store. You need to pick your suppliers and products wisely to avoid shoddy workmanship or unreliable suppliers.
Hard to compete:
Although you can start a Dropshipping business with minimal investment, it involves several time-consuming operations along with complex responsibilities in between. When you are just selling products made by some other manufacturer, you cannot build your own brand identity. All that you can do to stand out from the crowd is to make an engaging website, run compelling advertising campaigns, and post quality content on social media. These efforts may lead you to grow your store.
Lower profit margins:
Although you won’t incur many costs of running a store eg. packaging, shipping and storage of the products, this business idea tends to offer lower profit margins. If you are setting up a business with a hope to make huge money, dropshipping may not serve all your dreams.
Despite these issues, many people have succeeded with dropshipping business, and they are making considerable profits online. In general I believe the potential upside outweighs the downside, give it a try; just try to find some good quality products in a particular niche.
Is Dropshipping Worth It: Major Success Stories
There are so many successful dropshipping businesses running online, and they can act as an inspiration to wannabe entrepreneurs.
The Critter Depot and Promos On-Time are two big examples of leading dropshipping businesses. Stats reveal that Jeff Neal from The Critter Depot is making more than $15,000 per month from his store sales. On the other side, Michael Lerner made $500,000 in revenue from his store just within one year. Today, both these businesses are running reputable brands online, and they are serving millions of businesses all over the world.
Is Dropshipping Worth It: Conclusion
As with any business model there are aspects of dropshipping that can be problematical but for someone looking to start a business with a low up front cost then it is difficult to beat. Probably the biggest issue is identifying the suppliers to work with and the products to sell but if you can get that right then you could very well have a successful online business.
It is the right time to set up your own dropshipping business and start building a presence online.