Dropshipping is a tried and tested business model by this point, and one that still offers great opportunities for those who want to invest in an ecommerce venture.
Like any commercial endeavor, there are things you need to take onboard before you get stuck into launching a dropshipping business, so we’ve put together a few key considerations that will assist any budding online sellers.
Dropshipping can be highly automated for efficiency, e.g. using EDI
The more automation you can integrate with your dropshipping operations, the easier it will be to get them off the ground and make them viable in the long term.
A good example of this is through the use of an electronic data interchange, or EDI for short. It’s basically a means of sharing info with other organizations, including suppliers and logistics firms, so that you can streamline core processes.
For a more detailed look into EDI tech and dropshipping automation, check out this guide to Electronic Data Interchange.
Having a narrow audience is better than being too broad in what you stock
The leanest, meanest dropshipping websites are built around a very specific category of products, or even just one particular item that people are interested in buying.
It’s a bad idea to try and take on Amazon by having every conceivable category of product under the sun, because you’ll have an easier time of identifying your audience, and of optimizing for search visibility.
Certain products are more suitable for dropshipping than others
Another element which will focus your attention on particular products for dropshipping, while ruling out others, is based on the hands-off approach which running this type of business naturally revolves around.
If a product is complex, fragile or heavy, all of these elements could lead to issues during shipping, or when a customer receives the item and wants to get it up and running.
A savvier solution is to select products which are comparatively robust, straightforward to use, and light enough to be inexpensive to ship.
Following market trends & predicting demand will get you ahead of competitors
Dropshipping can be a fickle business, with sites soaring high for a short time only to fade into irrelevance when the category of product they supply falls out of favor with consumers.
That’s why it pays to be on top of the latest trends, which you can do by tracking rising searches on Google, and also keeping an eye on social media to see what’s hot, and what’s not.
Trustworthiness is important
In order to create an online presence for your dropshipping business, you need to consider how it will be perceived by new customers, and whether they’ll be willing to trust it over a more established ecommerce brand.
One element that’s key to this is your domain name. It’s not just the name of your website that counts, but also the top level domain you choose.
Buying a .com domain name is best for this purpose, since it’s a well regarded suffix which is widely recognized.
Having a site that offers secure payment options, and is founded on an established e-commerce platform, will also give customers peace of mind that any transaction they carry out will be protected and free from interference.
There’s still a lot to gain from starting a dropshipping business, but don’t believe the hype that this is an easy niche to get involved with. It’ll take hard work, as well as some trial and error, to carve out space for yourself in this market, particularly if you don’t have prior ecommerce experience to fall back on.