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Guide to Dropshipping – eCommerce Without Inventory

Wish to start selling online but don’t truly have the capital? Or perhaps you’re unsure whether it’s for you and you want to check the waters initially? If you responded to yes to either of these, then a dropshipping service might be the answer. It’s an excellent gateway to online retail that requires less financial input than a routine online store, and you don’t require a storage facility to begin.

Firstly, pick a product/niche that’s simple to dropship. Ensure that there’s enough demand for your product(s). Next, research and study your competitors to give yourself a feel for the market in order to decide what you wish to sell on your website. For more info on choosing what to sell online, have a look at this guide. And for item concepts that will make you cash online, have a look at this post. Finally, for many hopeful eCommerce business owners, finding a reputable supplier is the hardest part of beginning a dropshipping company. Beware of dropship agents, real dropship wholesalers almost always have a physical warehouse and delivery service.

Are you aiming to begin an e-commerce service without the requirement to stock inventory yourself? Or are you wanting to broaden your existing service by providing more products? For both of these, dropshipping might be the way to go. Dropshipping allows you to partner with a supplier to show their items in your shop. To put it simply, you can offer their goods and they ship it directly to your customer.

Dropshipping meaning

Dropshipping at its many basic level means another party ships products from a seller. (and may package it too). If you are an online store that is using dropshipping suppliers, that 3rd party supplier would package and ship for you to the area you offer. Historically, items have been shipped from the brand name or maker to a distributor who aggregates products.

Some retailers are also now starting to use dropshipping for their online presences. They will purchase from the distributor or brand name and instead of having the product ever come to them, it’ll be delivered directly to the end customer.

Dropshipping suppliers uk

When you choose to dip your toes into eCommerce’s lucrative waters, dropshipping is an appealing first-time option. Having suppliers satisfy your orders without requiring to store, plan, and send out stock can look like a low-risk, simple approach, and there are numerous services out there loving this design. The troubles come when you attempt to make it profitable.

So how do you complete and make decent revenues? The secret is choosing the finest place to source products from. Discovering an excellent dropshipper that provides timely delivery, has competitive costs, and one you are able to depend on can significantly increase your chances of success. I’m going to detail the different ways you can source dropshipping providers and I’ll note a few of the best dropshipping directories to help you start.

Essentially, it’s a buying and fulfilment technique where the online seller doesn’t need to stock, package, or send out their own items. Rather, when a customer makes a purchase, the order is sent out to a dropshipping provider who ships the products directly to the consumer. The crucial thing to note is that, with this technique, sellers don’t need to purchase stock ahead of time, eliminating the threat of purchasing products that they can’t shift.

Amazon dropshipping

  • With Amazon, providers, and even small companies, can grow rapidly and operate worldwide. Amazon suppliers get assistance from account supervisors to strategically guide their business to increase profits long-term. Significantly, Amazon has 300 million active users. Thus, having Amazon as a sales channel for your company can mean big returns. Offer the best product at the right price and you can draw in brand-new clients to make profits.

AliExpress dropshipping

  • AliExpress dropshipping has actually gotten a lot of promotion recently, with recognised services sharing their success stories about how it assisted them grow. It’s been promoted as a magical ecommerce website that lets anyone to dropship from China at no charge. While that’s partially true, not everything about dropshipping with AliExpress is remarkable. China is a quite a trip away, making breakage likely for large pieces. Further, quality control standards for large goods such as furniture have always been lax, as opposed to those for smaller accessories. AliExpress may be good for buying small goods such as jewellery and accessories in bulk, but it’s not the way to go for larger goods like furniture.

Shopify dropshipping

  • One example is Oberlo (read our full Oberlo evaluation), a dropshipping app that works solely with Shopify. Loaded with terrific features, Shopify provides a host of means that let you develop an e-commerce business (not just a site). In addition to its online store home builder, which allows you to design and set up your site, Shopify likewise has features to manage your sales, marketing, and payments.

It may be packed with functions and functionalities, but that doesn’t mean it’s overwhelming overwhelming. The business does an excellent task with directing merchants on how to use its sleek software application. Now that you have a better concept of the benefits of dropshipping with Shopify, let’s discuss how you can construct your dropshipping service utilizing the platform.

eBay dropshipping

  • eBay dropshipping is ending up being a no-go, according to eBay’s upgraded dropshipping policy. With eBay threatening to “remove your listings from search, show them lower in search outcomes, or eliminate them completely from the website,” eBay dropshippers have actually been searching for alternative channels to promote their items.

eBay states, “purchasing the product from another merchant or marketplace that ships straight to your customer is not enabled on eBay.” So, dropshipping from Amazon to eBay isn’t permitted: You can’t list something on eBay, buy it from Amazon, and after that deliver it to your eBay client. And eBay is rigorous about this policy, stating that they’ll get rid of or reduce your listings in their search results page.

How do I start a dropshipping business?

Dropship is a popular way to build an e-commerce business without the need to keep stock or ship goods. Here’s 5 steps for you to start a dropshipping business!
Select a niche
This has to be something you’re genuinely interested in. The rules of choosing a good niche are that it should have attractive profit margins, low shipping costs, appeal to a large sector of people and not be available locally.
Perform competitive research
Choose products that have competition, this implies there’s demand for them, but put your own twist to it. A strong brand image goes a long way.
Secure a supplier
This is key – a good dropship supplier can create a flourishing business. Choose one that works best with your product and brand, can scale well, and has effective communication especially if they’re based abroad.
Build an e-commerce website
The best way may be to use a platform such as Shopify – plug and play options are ideal when your business is just starting out.
Create a customer acquisition plan
There are a lot of ways to attract potential customers, but a facebook ad campaign is the best initially. Further, search engine optimisation and email marketing should be a focus as well.
Analyse and optimise
You should keep track of all metrics and data to help you grow your business – Google Analytics traffic and Facebook conversion pixel data is your friend, it’ll help you scale well. There’s no fixed method, but constant testing enables you to optimise your growth strategy.

Is dropshipping illegal?

Absolutely, dropshipping is simply a sourcing method in which you use a dropship supplier to store and ship goods directly to your customers’ doorstep when they order something from your website. That’s all it is – a risk-free order fulfilment method like any other, but with these added advantages which make it popular with new e-commerce retailers.
The only problems with dropship may be not choosing the right supplier or picking the wrong niche. A wholesaler with poor delivery times and low quality products would harm your business, and may even lead to your account being banned from sites such as Amazon and eBay. There’s little risk besides this because you aren’t storing any goods, you won’t lose any money on unsellable stock. Lastly, while not illegal, the vast majority of dropship companies do not work with the public – you need to have a company to do so. Therefore, there’s absolutely no legal barrier to dropship – it’s a perfectly normal, if highly effective, means of running a new e-commerce business. You’d do well to incorporate it if you’re starting a new business and wish to source goods without massive investment.

Why is dropshipping bad?

Dropship is an effective sourcing method for new businesses with little capita. But 90% of drop shippers fail within the first year, so what are the reasons behind these failures?
Selecting the wrong niche
This should have demand, relatively low competitor, comfortable profit margins as well ease of shipping.
Lack of investment/resources
Although you don’t need much investment, a monthly budget for marketing and research is essential in addition to buying the goods themselves.
Wrong Platform
If there are multiple companies on your platform (Eg Amazon, eBay and AliExpress) offering similar goods, it may lead to lower sales for you. The best method is to sell on multiple platforms.
High prices in Dropshipping
Due to competition, it’s a good idea to keep prices lower than other companies while being profitable.
Bad Customer Support
Dropshipping doesn’t end when a product is shipped – if you don’t interact and support customers post sale, you’re unlikely to succeed.
Delayed Shipping
With faster delivery times becoming the norm (eg Amazon Prime), too many dropshippers still way too long to deliver. This turns off customers.
Inconsistency in managing business
Dropshipping is like any other business – it’s important to be consistent and plan ahead. Several dropshippers fail to do so.
Unattractive website design
This is most customers’ first interaction with your product, and a poorly made website not only creates a bad first impression but turns off potential customers.

Artisan Furniture’s dropship programme allows you to ship solidwood, handmade furniture directly to your customers’ doorstep without the need to store or ship any goods yourself. The sign up process takes less than 60 seconds (you have to be a business, we don’t sell to the public!), and you’ll have support from both our London and India teams as well as our own manufacturing unit to help you grow your business.

To those of us who have recently joined Artisan Furniture in its journey to support independent business owners across the world, below are some of the salient features of our renowned dropship program:
  • 60 second sign up process
  • No set up fee
  • No monthly fee
  • No stock holding requirements
  • No minimum order restrictions
  • No monthly value restrictions
  • Free UK mainland delivery
  • Extensive worldwide dropship delivery program
  • No RRP restrictions in any market
  • 1000’s of SKU’s
  • Bespoke options on all products
  • Self Service Trade account dashboard
  • Downloadable product data CSV’s
  • Downloadable product images
  • Downloadable stock feed
  • Chat support
  • Customer support through online tickets
For those retailers who wish to avail themselves of extra discount, and who have the space or infrastructure to cope, then Artisan Furniture also offer a special Wholesale Program.
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