Dropshipping is a lucrative stress-free low-budget and profitable business. As for many that want to start an e-commerce store or start an online business but are having set back due to start up cost, this business is the very way to dip your feet in the water before diving. With drop shipping, you do not need to pay for warehousing, the logistics to fulfilling orders, etc.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where the seller doesn’t have a physical stock of the product he/she sells. Instead, serving as a link between a customer and a supplier. So, when an order is placed for product in the store, purchase is made for the item from a third party (Supplier) and shipped directly to the customer.
As a middleman between the supplier and customer you don’t even have to see the product, no stress of making delivery, all work needed from your end is to contact the supplier and give delivery details of the customer.
You don’t need to own an e-commerce platform to make your sales, fortunately the Nigeria e-commerce business is growing and there are a lot of sites you can register on to open a store for your dropshipping business. In addition you can also make use of social media platform which is one of the trending means of trading in this age.
How To Start A Dropshipping Business.
Find a niche.
Finding a niche means you need to decide on the type and category of product you want to be dropshipping. Don’t be a jack of all trade, focus on a product. The best way to find a niche is ;
- Evaluate your passions and skills– It is advisable that your niche is something you enjoy doing. Don’t just choose a niche because you’re “kind of interested” in it; to be sustainable, it should ideally be something you can see yourself being passionate about for at least 5 years. Finding an area that you’re both knowledgeable about and that you love is the sweet spot for identifying your niche
- Figure out if there’s a market for your niche – Although, it is important to go for what you are passionate about but you also need to consider if there is market for your passion (niche). One way to start figuring out the market is with some basic keyword research. The Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for this. All you need to do is add a keyword closely related to your niche to see how marketable it is. The planner also helps you know how competitive your niche is.
- Research your Competitors- Competitors are one of the forces that drives business, it is however left to your if its towards success or failure. To succeed in any line of business, you need to know your competitors enables you to identify your specific and unique traits that are appealing to customers
- Identify problems related to your niche – To create a profitable business, you first need to find problems your target customers are experiencing, or their complains about the product or a particular brand then find ways to be a solution provider. If there are complains about a brand, this helps you to know the type of brand to market and also help you find a product that solves the problem the other is facing.
Find a supplier
Your suppliers are a key factor that determines your dropshipping business success. Doing business with the wrong supplier can be detriment to your business. Before choosing a supplier you must look out for some basic quality that makes a good supplier.
- Price– The main factor to focus on when choosing the right supplier is price. You must make sure your price is competitive with your competitor, therefore, you need to find a supplier that offer the best cost price for your product. However, although money is quite important for the growth of the business but a good price is not what makes the right suppliers there are other factor associated with it. These include;
- Reliability– After price, reliability is probably the key factor to look for in suppliers. A good suppliers will ship the right number of items, as promised, on time so that they arrive in good shape. For this reason it is sometimes advisable to have more than one supplier, in order to be ready for the unexpected.
- Stabilty– It is also advisable to to sign up with vendors who have been in business a long time and have done so without changing businesses every few years. suppliers with a solid reputation with other customers is a promising indicator that a company is stable. Hence, you need to make research before any transaction.
- Location-This is a great factor to consider when choosing a supplier. You need to know that the success of an online business is related to how quick your delivery is, therefore you need to consider your suppliers location with your market location.
After all this factors have been considered, you need to reach out to the supplier. The easiest way to find a wholesale supplier is by reaching out to the product distributor directly.
If you wat to make your purchase from outside the country you can choose form any of these dropshipping suppliers: AliExpress, Shopify, eBay, Amazon, SaleHoo, Doba, WholeSale2Be, WorldWide Brands, WholeSale Central, Sunrise, Wholesale, Mega Goods, Inventory Source, National Dropshippers.
Choose your platform.
Having reach an agreement with your supplier, you now need a market to sell your product through an online store. To market your business, you can either set up your own e-commerce store, or sell on popular e-commerce platforms in Nigeria (eg. Jumia, Kara, & more dealdey) that allows other merchants to sell on their platform.
Promote your Store
People won’t just start patronizing your service, hence, you need to market your store. The best tool to use in marketing your business is digital marketing. This can be done by running targeted ads on Facebook & Instagram, using SEO to optimise for certain keywords on search engines like Google, Email market, you can also try affiliate marketing and many more growth hacking tactics you can use.
Conclusively, with the aid of this guide you could start earning without stress or huge investment. However, it is important to know that the happiness of your customers is the most important part of any business.