The Quick, Easy Way to Get Your Online Store Up and Running
If you regularly use the internet to shop online, you’ve likely browsed or bought something from a dropshipping store…and not even realized it.
To the consumer, dropshipping sites look and feel exactly like any other online store. You can look through the products, order an item, and have it delivered to your home or business. But behind the scenes, things are working quite differently than with typical online stores.
This is because dropshipping sites are storefronts, so they don’t actually hold any inventory. And this makes them significantly easier to set up and operate.
What Is Dropshipping?
Many people may not be familiar with the term dropshipping, but it’s a growing part of the ecommerce industry.
As a dropshipper, you basically act as a middleman. You build an ecommerce site and attract customers. Then when a customer makes an order, you contact your supplier and have them ship the item directly to the customer. This way you never have to worry about shipping logistics, storage space, or unsold stock.
Plus, because you don’t need to hold any inventory, you don’t need a lot of working capital to get started. So if you love, say, drones but lack the capital to fund a typical online or brick-and-mortar drone retail business, you can set up an online dropshipping store and start selling drones without breaking the bank.
Of course, while this business model may sound straightforward, you need to know which tools and platforms to use to build your store and achieve success. And the most important platform you’ll need to learn about is Shopify.
How to Set Up a Store
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows anyone to create an online store. It offers not only hosting services, but also free and paid themes, thousands of apps, and 24/7 technical support.
By providing comprehensive solutions at an affordable price (the basic plan costs $29 a month), and demystifying the technical side of ecommerce, Shopify has made owning an online store a realistic option for any aspiring entrepreneur…even those with little or no technical knowledge.
There are other options out there like WordPress, but the difference is night and day. For instance, when using WordPress, you have to find third-party applications to boost the store’s functionality, which increases your expenses. With Shopify, everything you need is in one place and available at a reasonable price.
When it comes to starting and running a successful dropshipping business, what matters most is finding your niche. There are millions of options to choose from, but not all will be profitable.
The best way to identify a profitable dropshipping product is to ensure that demand is high and sustainable. The product must also have a wow factor, so that it naturally attracts an audience. And ideally, competition in the niche should be low.
Many niches have high demand, but strong competition, so you’ll find it hard to stand out. Others will have low competition but little wow factor, so the demand may not be high enough to sustain a business.
Building a store is one thing. Getting people to visit it is another. Many Shopify dropshipping stores have disappeared because of a failure to attract customers.
There are various ways of driving customers to your store, but the mediums that have worked best for me are Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and influencers. Social media advertising is an effective way to expand your reach and find customers. With influencers, you need to find a high-profile person in your niche, like a blogger, and ask them to help promote your site. Both these methods cost money, but an investment in advertising is generally necessary to build an online business.
Once you get people coming to your online store, you need to learn the art of converting a browser into a customer. A crucial approach here is retargeting, showing ads to people who previously browsed your site to get them to come back and make a purchase. This is something you can do through online advertising.
Once you learn these basics, the process of dropshipping will be demystified and you’ll have your dropshipping store up and running in no time.
Written by Samwe Dollah