To meet the growing consumer demand for online shopping, solutions are emerging to allow ambitious entrepreneurs to get started in online business.
Among them, dropshipping is by far the solution that has been able to grow more and more. But what is it and how to get started?
How dropshipping works
Dropshipping differs from e-commerce by its mode of operation. Instead of only offering its products on its website, the e-merchant offers its products via marketplaces such as Amazon or RueDuCommerce. The dropshipping with AliExpress is also a particularly popular option for merchants, for many products of all kinds that can be found in this place known worldwide market.
To do this, a tripartite organization will be set up: the consumer orders his items on your shop (therefore on the marketplace), but as you have no stock, it is your supplier who will receive the order, to send it to him. You play the role of intermediary, who offers the product for sale between the end customer and the wholesaler. It is, therefore, the same principle as e-commerce, except that you have no stock!
Advantages and disadvantages of dropshipping
Marketplaces are just as popular with traders as consumers. The latter indeed appreciate them for their ability to offer a large plurality of products, even the same product but at different prices.
For the merchant who has opted for dropshipping, this represents increased competition, but if he knows how to position himself in terms of price, payment and delivery facilities, he is likely to be able to sell his products to this company. large clientele.
Non-existent inventory management and logistics
The biggest advantage for the merchant is undoubtedly the complete lack of stock of goods.
Since it is the supplier who manages this part of the work, the e-trader does not need to buy the stock of products from the start. This element can indeed represent a high cost, which is very often an obstacle for any entrepreneur wishing to embark on sales on the internet. By limiting costs, you benefit from an important starting lever, which will allow you to test the viability of your online business.
By not managing the various stock-outs and other supplies, you are also absolved of storage costs (warehouse, purchase or rental of storage racks, etc.) and do not need staff to manage your products, their storage or even shipments.
The drop shipper depends on the supplier
A small disadvantage of dropshipping: certainly, you do not have stock to manage, but it also implies that you do not have control of your products. So, if the supplier decides to stop the production of a product or increase the price, you can only follow the movement!
Choose reliable and reputable suppliers, and try to stand out from your competitors with wholesalers of original products. If a potential buyer sees 4 pages of the same product offered, he will quickly tire. Try to play the difference, with more original accessories, while optimizing costs.
How to start dropshipping?
It is extremely simple to get started in dropshipping! First of all, it is obviously essential to follow the administrative procedures allowing you to justify a company name and adequate business status. Thereafter, two solutions are available to you: the subscription system or the creation of your site.
SaaS solutions, with a monthly subscription to start
To get started, nothing beats a Shopify subscription. This SaaS solution is simple and fast, suitable for even the most novice. It is indeed very difficult to get started by creating a real website when you know nothing about it, and the costs from a professional are particularly high.
With Shopify, you get a domain name, a professional email address, and in less than an hour, your storefront is created to be able to offer your products for sale in dropshipping.
Your only investment is the small monthly subscription linked to the service, far from the thousands of euros necessary for the opening of a real e-commerce site and the associated inventory management.
On the platform, you will be able to personalize your product sheets. So, in the interest of both the supplier and yours and that of the customer, be sure to offer complete, fair, informative and semantically optimized files.
The wholesaler is thus certain that his product benefits from a good description, the customer will not be disappointed by his order and will be more inclined to trust you if you seem to know what you are talking about, and on your side, you position yourself better in terms of internet searches.
The WordPress solution
The WordPress CMS allows you to create a real website, in order to optimize your chances of reaching your target. On the one hand, you project a more positive image of your business.
On the other hand, you multiply your chances of sales: you can maintain your place on the marketplaces and you benefit from a professional and visible interface.
The WooCommerce Plug-in is perfect for this and offers you the possibility of choosing or personalizing your theme according to your preferences. You also benefit from inventory and order management tools and can customize your payment methods, in particular with PayPal.
It is important to know how to choose your suppliers because of their efficiency, speed, and conformity of packaging will be key elements that will determine the image that you will convey to your customers. An unscrupulous supplier and your brand image will suffer.
Among the different choices, there are paid platforms and free platforms. If a supplier asks you for a payment to view their list of products, run away! Also, don’t stop at the first page of search results. The fact that they are there does not prove their seriousness. User opinions will be a great help to you in setting your own opinion.
Also, look for the best producers or manufacturers among the products you plan to sell . Then, you will have to contact them, in order to ask them if it is possible to envisage a collaboration in the form of dropshipping, because not all do it. Even if it seems long and tedious, the good image of your online business depends on it.
For this, small producers are often preferred. They offer quality products and if they are located in France, you will have better control of the exchanges. Delivery times and costs can also be reduced with French suppliers.
Finally, work with several suppliers or wholesalers if you only have one and it loses you, you will not have a second chance and will have to start all over again!