Originally the word Dropshipper was referred to businesses that supply goods to dropshipping stores. But nowadays it is mostly used to describe the owners of such stores.
If you have decided to become a dropshipper, i.e. start a dropshipping store, you’ll have to go through four steps.
Step 1: Choose a niche and find suppliers
Your first task as a beginner dropshipper is to choose the niche for your future online store. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step, as it largely defines your next moves in building this business.
- Most successful dropshippers recommend choosing a niche that you understand and like. Why?
First of all, when you like what you do, you are willing to give it all despite all challenges you may face. Second, experience in a certain sphere allows you to create valuable content for your site, understand the needs and problems of your target audience.
- However, without proper niche analysis, your business may still fail. Start with Google Keyword Planner to understand whether the niche is popular or not.
A result of 5.000 – 50.000 inputs is considered optimal. A smaller number indicates a very narrow niche with too few potential customers. A larger number means the niche is very popular and you’ll probably face very fierce competition.
- Use Google Trends tool to find out if the interest for the given niche is rising or falling.
Do you remember spinners? Recently they were hugely popular, but nowadays people got bored with them. The trend has gone, and the potential of this niche is much lower than it used to be.
- Analyze the popularity of the products in social media.
If you want to become a dropshipper, you won’t do without social media marketing. If there are large communities devoted to the given niche, that’s another ‘check’ in your list.
After that, you need to find manufacturers or wholesalers willing to partner with you. You can try searching in the internet by contacting different firms or find them at popular platforms such as Amazon and AliExpress. Many sellers there are happy to collaborate.
Step 2: Picture your customers
Now that you know what to sell, define the people to whom you’re going to sell stuff.
- Google Trends will show you valuable information about the authors of search inputs such as their age, gender, the language they use, whether they’re married, where they live, etc.
- Use this information to build your average client profile. It’ll help you understand what they need, what problems they face and how you can assist them with your products.
- Another important step is to understand your customers’ financial muscle, i.e. how much they are willing to pay. Remember that younger clients have a limited budget.
Step 3: Build a dropshipping store
In theory, you can start dropshipping goods from a social network account, online auction or another platform, but serious business requires a web store. It’ll be your own website with your own rules. Plus, if made properly, it’ll feel like a professional and trustworthy shop. Besides, a single website is easier to promote, especially in search engines, rather than an account in social media.
You can buy a dropshipping store from its previous owner or order one from a professional company. A firm can design a website following your instructions and help you with the settings. Just make sure the store is suitable specifically for dropshipping business. Most dropshipping stores are made on WordPress, as this CMS works with great plugins for online stores such as AliDropship or WooCommerce and it’s free.
Step 4: Settings and promotion
After creating your own web store, you need to import the information about your products and edit it if required. And that’s when you become a dropshipper for real. All that is left to do is attract customers.
Promotion methods you can use may include social media marketing, search engines optimization, PPC and retargeting, email marketing, and others. In order to develop an efficient promotion strategy, one has to combine these channels with an eye on your target audience and the features of your niche. And remember to always check what works and what doesn’t, so that you could correct and improve your strategy.