Do you want to start a business from your own home? Do you want to make money from clicks of a button? Do you want to be able to build the business in a day? Then dropshipping is the business model for you!
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a method of selling products online – but the product is shipped directly from the supplier/third party to the customer, so the retailer does not see the product in the process and does not have to fulfill it themselves.
Benefits of dropshipping are:
- No time is wasted on fulfilling products, you can focus on the business
- Scaling is made easy, as long as you have a reliable supplier who can cope with higher demands
- You can do it all yourself
- They are really easy to set up
- Dropshipping can be completely systemised
- You can make a lot of money from it!
How much money do you need to start a dropshipping business?
We would recommend around £575
Initially, you will need to access a small amount of funds but this is relatively low compared to a usual eCommerce business.
Domain – £0.99 for first year, or could be more for a premium domain name
Shopify Subscription – $29 a month
Marketing budget – This depends on how quickly you want to grow, but I would recommend around £500 or more for Facebook & PPC campaigns.
And I will also recommend a small pot of money to cover the delay between receiving funds for customer payments and purchasing the products – as the products may need to come out of your own pocket initially. Shopify usually has a 7 day delay from a customer purchasing and the funds entering your bank account.
How profitable is dropshipping?
Dropshipping can be extremely profitable if you get the price and marketing right. Supply of goods are usually very cheap and the set up fees are minimal.
We started out by purchasing items for around 30p (including shipping) and selling them on for £2+, that is a return on investment of 650%.
Finding your product for your dropshipping business
For this article, we are going to focus on AliExpress as that is the supplier we used when starting up our dropshipping business and they sell pretty much everything!
You will want to find a niche product that is trending which will bring in a high sale volumes.
Go to AliExpress, and choose a category of products e.g. Womens Clothing. You can then sort it by the number of orders – which will give you the most popular products of that category. You can run through each category until you find a product that you feel would sell.
Other sources include Google Trends, wish.com and kickstarter.com
Finding the right supplier for dropshipping
Once you have found the product you want to sell, you want to source the correct supplier. As you want to set up the business in a day, you won’t have time to order in and test the goods so checking reviews will be key to deciding your supplier.
Search the product you would like to sell, and ensure the ‘4 star and up’ button is checked. I also liked to include a tick on the free shipping button so that I got a clear look at the full price and I would know that no shipping would be added on.
For each product, check that it is reviewed well and there are images in the reviews. Ensure the seller is rated highly, and ensure they have a money back guarantee.
Once you have found the product and supplier, you are ready to start creating your store!
Building a dropshipping website
You don’t need to be a website developer to do this. There are some fantastic eCommerce software out there including the likes of WordPress, Shopify & WooCommerce which have really easy tools and templates to get started.
This article will focus on Shopify, as I found this is the easiest to use and it also contains a wide range of apps to help increase conversions, as well as provide a great system for dropshipping.
Shopify run a free trial for 14 days – so I would recommend making use of this to begin with whilst you are in your testing period – after this you will have to commit to the plans starting from $29 a month.
In brief, what you will need to do to build your website will be to:
- Sign up on Shopify and choose a plan
- Set up your online store
- Choose a design for your site
- Edit settings on Shopify
- Add products to the site
- Creating a blog (if you want one!)
- Adding your domain name to your website
There are some fantastic tutorials out there on how to build a store with Shopify, including this one by Website Setup. This runs through how to set up the theme, product pages, shipping details, settings and many other features and is a fantastic guideline.
Choosing a domain name and branding for your store
A domain name and branding are vital components to the dropshipping store. It needs to reflect trust and identity, which is suited to the target audience. There are a few things I would recommend:
- Keep the domain name as short as possible
- Create a .com website so you can target worldwide
- Keep the branding simple and clean
- Ensure the branding is the same across the website and social media platforms.
Some examples of great domain names are:
money.co.uk, entrepreneur.com, businessnewsdaily.com
These are all short, sweet and explain what the site is all about. They also include vital keywords for the site. Shorter ones like these can come at a price, but it is definitely worth investing in a solid domain name.
If you want more help on building your eCommerce brand, then I would recommend this article by Neil Patel.
How can you promote your dropshipping business
So you have your product, suppliers and website ready to go – but how do you actually get customers to your store who will purchase your products.
Personally, I have found a lot of success from Facebook, Instagram and Google advertisements.
There are some incredible guides out there which dive in details on how to set up campaigns with these platforms. It is important you spend your money wisely, and keep an eye on all campaigns.
We were churning out new dropshipping businesses daily, with all different themes to them – so we know first hand that this is possible.
So go on, take the first steps to building your dropshipping empire!
Still wondering whether you should start a dropshipping business? We have an article that explains the pros and cons of dropshipping so you can decide for yourself.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you found it helpful – remember to share it with your friends and anyone else interested in dropshipping!
If you want tips on how to start a business with less then £1000 then click here!