Dropshipping has been the rage lately, so it’s really easy to feel interested in starting your own eCommerce around it.
With so many people flocking into the business recently, it’s also easy to think like you lost your chance – that the market is already overcrowded and you “wouldn’t fit”. That’s the topic we’ll tackle today.
To answer the question, yes, you dropshipping is still worth your time and effort if you do things right: from your mindset to your approach. Your entire success will depend solely on your dedication: finding the right niches and products, marketing properly, implementing the right strategies.
Your business will depend 90% on you and just about 10% on market conditions, so don’t worry about it being “too late” to start.
What does it take to dropship?
Dropshipping is a very flexible alternative to other business models as well as a very profitable venture. It boasts several advantages over traditional options, and you don’t need to be a business expert to start as long as you’re willing to learn.
It doesn’t take long to build your own store and brand, and the same goes for listing products. As long as you take it seriously and research your market properly, this reduced effort can become a long-term income.
We still need to be realistic: dropshipping is a business like any other, so not all attempts will be successful, much less so during a first try. This outcome becomes more possible if planning and research aren’t taken seriously.
Failure costs can be quite high in some cases, and failing a business is always frustrated. Some people will close their store after a few days from launch, and that’s even worse since they could have fixed their errors.
You must remember that dropshipping success has little (if anything) to do with chance. A dropshipping store is still a business; it requires work, investment and discipline. That will increase your chances for success exponentially, but you can’t expect any money if you consider it a “get rich quick” scheme.
People claiming that it’s an easy way to make money quickly are also people you should keep away from you. Many people has made a business out of offering online training programs, and they’ll always paint unicorns and rainbows to make it easier to sell their courses – which are often poor products as well.
That leads people to think dropshipping is a scam, not so different from the famous pyramid or Ponzi schemes. However, that’s definitely not the case. That’s why I’ll explain the business model to you in the following section.
Dropshipping is mostly about learning; you want to get as much information about the business and market as you can. Costs aside, it’s not so different from starting a retail store: you need to know what people want to buy and how to build your business.
That’s why the best advice I can give you is to find a course that will teach you all of the necessary steps for a reasonable price. You’ll see courses circling the thousands, but that’s way beyond what you should expect to pay for training.
But, what’s dropshipping?
Dropshipping refers to a business model in which you offer products you don’t really own or even keep in stock. You advertise products from a supplier to your own audience, and while customers order from you, you just forward the order to your supplier. Your supplier then takes care of packaging and sending the product to your customer.
This method also means you save any money related to keeping inventory: storage, products, etc. You only need to buy a product whenever you make a sale.
There are different methods you can apply to dropshipping: you can sell expensive products (thousands and more) for more profits, print your brand label on white label products, and more.
Regardless of the approach you take, the process remains the same. You still market products directly from your provider, and they take care of processing your orders.
The most obvious attraction in dropshipping is that you get to skip product creation and handling shipments. You also order products whenever you sell, so there’s no need to buy in bulks.
Besides, you basically pay your supplier with the money your customer just paid you. That means you don’t really have to invest any of your own money to fulfill your orders. Your profits come from the margins you make on your products after covering the item, shipping, and marketing.
The good and the bad
Any business model has its own advantages and disadvantages, and dropshipping isn’t different. While it can be incredibly profitable, there’s a reason why not all entrepreneurs jump into it.
The first advantage people advertise is your freedom: the chance of leaving bosses behind and making your own schedules, and that’s actually true.
However, the main benefit is the low entry barriers.
First off, you don’t need to register any complex paperwork to build your store – or firm any contract other than subscribing to the tools you need. You also don’t need to invest thousands on stocking your store, and the same goes for experience; you have intuitive platforms and all the resources necessary to understand your business.
You can access both paid and free resources to learn how to manage your business. You basically only need your PC and good internet connection to work, which also means you can work from anywhere.
Then, there’s variety.
It’s a highly versatile business model since you can find thousands of niches to focus your business. Inside each niche there are also countless products you can add to your store to target specific audiences.
There’s also variety in the tools you have at your disposal. You have different platforms to build your store, and each one comes with different features to make the process easier. Then, there are apps and plugins for each platform as well as themes to improve your store’s design and different integrations to automate certain tasks.
You can also outsource different tasks that you can’t outright automate. Leaving your marketing or product research to a virtual assistant can free up lots of time you can focus on building over your store’s success and scaling your earnings even more.
Speaking of marketing, you can use the most powerful advertising platforms in the entire world right now: social media. You can target your audiences with unbelievable precision, and with affordable costs and different channels, knowing how to market will yield huge amounts of traffic to your store.
Finally, since you have access to thousands of different suppliers, you can always find a better offer if you research properly. That’s why profitability is so high, and you’ll even find products for a couple of bucks that you can sell for $20 or more.
First, you need to pick your niche and products since some markets are highly competitive, and newcomers might have lots of trouble making sales when competing against larger brands. Fashion, electronics, and health are very competitive, and if you don’t know how to narrow down your niche, you’ll have a hard time.
Also, while social media can be an affordable marketing solution, it can get out of hands. If you don’t know how to advertise properly (i.e. writing copy, designing image and video ads, targeting, when to scale and kill ads, etc), you’ll find yourself wasting hundreds of dollars if you’re not careful.
Shipping times are often another issue, especially if you’re sourcing from China. You need to be transparent and offer features like estimated shipping times, order tracking, and different shipping options if you don’t want your customers to feel discouraged by the length.
Lastly, it requires a lot of dedication – sometimes more than other traditional business models. You need to take your product research seriously to find demanded and profitable products. Even once you’re making sales, you must keep track on your site’s analytics and the market to determine your next steps and how you’re going to scale your business.
What does the future hold for dropshipping?
Dropshipping has been around for years, but it’s becoming more famous now thanks to all the platforms brought by the internet. It’s made commerce a lot easier since entrepreneurs don’t need to invest in traditional brick-and-mortar necessities like employees, stocking, bills, etc.
An internet connection and a computer can create an online store and make sales with products sourced straight from the manufacturer.
If you have doubts about the future of dropshipping, you just need to take a look at the retail industry. Lots of stores keep closing or moving their presence.
Dropshipping stores currently handle trillions in sales, and estimates say it’ll only increase. The only reason why dropshipping could fail is entrepreneurs not knowing how to do it.
Is it worth your time?
Like any other business, it’s only worth it if you can make a profit. That’s why you need to prepare yourself and take your dropshipping venture seriously.
However, with the right approach, dropshipping can be one of the most significant income streams available today.