So, you’ve heard of Dropshipping, understand the concept, and now you’re asking yourself, how should I start? The early stages of beginning a successful dropshipping business rely mostly on doing a self-evaluation of your interests, skills, and the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest in making a success of your e-commerce vision.
Therefore, how do you begin a self-evaluation, and how can it help when building your business? Also known as the reflection process, this process can be broken down into three questions:
What? Where? and How? Let’s go through them.
The convenience of the dropshipping model is that you don’t have to worry about the fulfillment part. The rest however relies entirely on you. The art of dropshipping relies on your ability to find an existing product and optimize its appeal to reach your customers, not through price but positive perception.
A successful dropshipper can find a product from a Chinese marketplace, add a profit margin and reach customers the supplier merchant couldn’t.
Bad translations, presentations, photos, and poor understanding of the consumer thought process are common issues for many Chinese merchants and suppliers. Their product might be good, but when it comes to marketing the business they focus solely on the price, mostly because they lack the understanding of the other dimensions that can generate a sale such as a store presentation and good and informative content.
If you think the price is everything, you couldn’t be more wrong. A fair price is essential, but what establishes fairness relies mostly on the perception of value. A great product with poor presentation might be evaluated unfairly. The opposite is also true.
Consumer profiles can differ vastly. There’s a client for different marketing approaches. Dropshipping is a testament to this fact. So how can you choose the right products and optimize them in a way that will maximize their potential? Your experience.
Unless you are an e-commerce enthusiast with a complete vision of market trends on all product categories, it is always best to focus on products you like and understand. If you’ve never seen a makeup tutorial in your life, chances are selling makeup won’t be a match for you. You need to recognize why a product is attractive, describe what makes it good, and predict the trends and the new products that can make the difference for your target audience.
Apart from using Google trends, you can always rely on the analytics of Myyshop, compiling the data of product trends to give you an idea of what is selling and what is popular. This information can only be put to good use with a proper understanding of your niche and how you can market the products you choose. Something that sells very well today might have struggled yesterday. Being able to predict future trends and the hidden potential of a product is something only a true enthusiast can do.
Do you love fashion, buy all the magazines and follow religiously hundreds of influencers on social media? Then clothing and accessories might be the choice for you.
Are you a tech enthusiast always on the look-out for the newest gadgets? Then Electronics and tech are probably the way to go.
Sometimes your strength relies not only on your appreciation of the product category but also on the influence you have on the subject and how you can use this influence to find clients.
For example, if you’re a fitness or yoga teacher you not only understand the value of the products of that category, you’re also capable of using your sphere of influence to market them. Maybe you teach yoga online, maybe your yoga school has a Facebook page or website, maybe students keep asking you about what to buy and where… Those are all great opportunities to give products an unexplored chance of success. There’s a big difference in perception between buying something from a foreign website and a product officially recommend by an instructor or a person with an influence in the field.
No matter the category you choose, make sure this is something you feel passionate about. Dropshipping requires patience and dedication. Loving what you sell will keep you motivated to keep searching for new products and stimulate your creativity on how you should market them. This is about making money and feeling happy doing it.
Also, believe in what you sell and believe in the service that will bring those products to your customers. Myyshop works with local warehouses all over the world to provide a short delivery time, accurate stock information so you never sell out-of-stock products, and does extensive quality control to guarantee the satisfaction of your customer.
Now that you know what you would like to sell, it is time to decide where you want to sell it. The Internet offers several options, you could go for one or all of them but it’s important to be realistic, choose a path and put all your efforts into following it towards success. The platform that will host your store will be a reflection of the type of merchant you would like to be and the strategies you will have to apply.
Out of all the possible options, we can divide them into three big paths:
Create your own website, sell on B2C marketplaces and sell on C2C marketplaces.
Your own website
Unless you’re a talented web designer willing to put the effort into shaping up your store from scratch, chances are you will have to use one of the many services dedicated to eCommerce website creation like Shopify, WooCommerce and Wix eCommerce.
These types of eCommerce site builders have never been more popular. By subscribing to their service, you gain access to customizable website templates, hosting of the website, access to their analytics tools to track the activity of your store, money collection tools to provide the payment methods your checkout will need, as well as many other different features with varying degrees of importance.
This option is great for people that want to have the maximum amount of freedom and customization in their approach to selling. You don’t have to comply with the rules of a platform or suffer the pressure of user reviews and the impact it has on your visibility. Your site, your rules. You can make it as pretty as you would like it to be.
B2C could be defined a trade between a business and a consumer. Marketplaces that are built on this principle allow professionals to sell their products inside their ecosystem in exchange for a commission on sales or a subscription fee.
We’ve all purchased from one of those websites at some point. Amazon, Etsy, Rakuten, Wallmart, Target etc. Every country has its own site, some selling pretty much anything, others focused on certain categories. Not all of them will allow dropshipping while others accept will have no clear position on the subject. Out of those that do not allow dropshipping some are either proactive on the subject, actively banning merchants, while others will simply ignore them.
No matter what their position is, if you decide to choose this option, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the platform rules and how they work.
- What is forbidden?
- What is the mandatory delivery time?
- What happens if I fail to match their rules?
- How does their search engine decide which products show up first?
- Who are their users?
- How should I optimize my content to gain maximum visibility?
You either already know all of those things or will have to do a deep analysis to find the best marketplace for your products. While competition might be fierce, the rules are clear, and you’ll know exactly what you can and cannot do to be successful. A B2C marketplace provides the customer with a sense of security by giving credibility to your offer. Giving your credit card details to an unknown website can scare a lot of people. B2C marketplaces will often have a quick purchase button with the payment information and address of their users that allows them to impulse buy in just a few clicks.
Marketplaces have activity calendars; you’ll know when they are and how to participate. Some have merchant support content and account managers to reply to your questions and help you improve your store.
With all of that in mind, B2C marketplaces are a good option for people that would like to have some kind of structure around their business. That would like to focus more on products and less on customization. Those that are willing to learn the platform rules and how to navigate them to achieve success.
Client to client marketplaces is a good compromise between a personal website and a B2C marketplace. While their main focus is the trade between non-professionals (usually secondhand products) the freedom they give has allowed the presence of professionals within their ecosystem. Sites like eBay or Facebook marketplace have the advantage of providing a platform for free and give the seller the freedom to define the conditions of the deal. Communication between merchant and client is done through chat and plays a big part in the trade process. It gives you a chance to clarify the doubts, convince and adapt to secure a sell.
While those platforms are usually free, their profit usually comes from ad revenues. Be prepared to make It your primary investment if you decide to follow this path. Also, while some do offer money collection options, more often than not it is up to the buyer and seller to find a way to complete the trade using methods such as bank transfer, face to face and PayPal.
From a client’s perspective, your payment option can influence the confidence they have in the trade and could scare them away. The other inconvenient of the C2C model is that having second-hand goods next to new ones sold by professionals can easily confuse the customer and distort his vision of your price. If your product description and product title don’t make it clear, the customer could think you are selling second-hand at the price of new.
Despite that, the popularity of the C2C platform model in the dropshipping world can’t be denied and many dropshippers are very successful with this approach. If you want to minimize your investment, are a good communicator, and feel comfortable in an open trade environment, this option might be the right for you.
It is time to establish your commitment to dropshipping eCommerce and what it will mean to your day-to-daylife. You need to create a mental picture of your business based on the time, budget, and skills that you have available to dedicate to it.
- Will you do this a few hours per week?
- Make it your full-time job?
- How much money do you have to spend on expenses?
- Can you run an ambitious ad campaign?
- Or would you rather focus on using your influence and word-of-mouth?
- What will make your store different from the others?
- What are the skills and attributes you have or intend to have that will be the cornerstone of your success?
All those questions are essential to define your path and properly set your expectations. Dropshipping might be accessible, but just like any other business, success relies on commitment and perseverance. The story of your future success needs to make sense based on the options you are willing to take. Not every action you take will bring the expected results but having no plan whatsoever or believing things will go well with no idea of how won’t cut it.
You’ll have to register your business. Make sure to be aware of the legislation of your country on the subject, and not overlook the consequences of going against the law, which at best, destroy all your efforts and at worst, put you in serious legal and financial trouble.
How will you fulfil it? How will you find the products you want to sell? How will you establish your commission? All those questions will need to have an answer. All of them can be answered through Myyshop.
How Myyshop can streamline your dropshipping business
A one-stop solution like Myyshop combines all the aspects of your business in one single platform. It provides a wide range of product categories, quality proofed, and with a clear, secure, and fast fulfillment solution.
Myyshop focuses on products located near your customer. It is compatible with all the major e-commerce platforms and solutions so the majority of the sales process can be handled automatically, giving you the time to focus on product hunt and selling.
Register and try Myyshop for free now and let us help you in your path towards success.
Find out more about MyyShop, and how to kick-start a successful dropshipping business HERE.