Do you want to start dropshipping to earn money, work from anywhere, have your own business and become a real e-merchant?
This online business is becoming more and more popular and can bring you big profits! Whether you are an individual or a company, you can open an online dropshipping store easily and quickly.
To learn more about this business model and trend, I’ll explain in more detail what dropshipping is, show you why it’s a good idea to become a dropshipper and help you find out what product to sell.
Finally, I will show you the different steps to create a dropshipping online store with the French solution 100% dedicated to dropshipping.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an ultra-simplified online sales system.
By launching this business, you are an intermediary distributor and you simply put forward products that do not belong to you to the consumers.
Also known as “drop shipping”, dropshipping is divided into 3 phases.
- The customer places an order on your e-commerce site and you are notified of this purchase.
- You inform your supplier / wholesaler of the sale.
- This same supplier will take care of the logistic part and will send the package to your customer.
It’s as simple as that!
Now that you know the definition of dropshipping, I will detail a little more the concept.
How dropshipping works
When you are an e-merchant, your only ambition is to sell your products. Logistics add many daily tasks to your work and you are less focused on your core business: selling.
With dropshipping, you can focus on one thing: communication and marketing.
Your only goal is to make sales and generate revenue!
On the other hand, the supplier or wholesaler you have chosen also focuses on his job: logistics. He manages the entire stock, from production to delivery.
If you take a closer look, you can see that various marketplaces have been using this business model for a while.
For example, Rue du Commerce is a website offering products from suppliers. As soon as a user places an order on this marketplace, the wholesaler receives a notification and will take care of sending the parcel. The site receives a commission on the sale. This is of course the case for other well-known marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, etc).
And if you dig deeper, you will realize that supermarkets, department stores and even TV shopping shows use this method of selling.
Dropshipping is a practice that has been around for many years!
To have more details on the subject, discover our article: what is dropshipping?
Now that you have understood what dropshipping is and the concept of this business model, I’m going to tell you about some undeniable advantages to get into this practice.
Whether it is for you, e-merchant, or for your supplier, dropshipping has many advantages.
The absence of logistics
Among the benefits of dropshipping, you can probably guess that we find the logistics.
Inventory management, package preparation, box packing and shipping will never be among your tasks. Your wholesaler takes care of everything!
With this reduction of tasks, you will focus on the distribution of the products you offer on your online store. Your only mission will be to make sales and set up efficient communication means.
Moreover, with the development of the web, the webmarketing levers are more and more important: natural referencing (SEO), paid referencing with Google Adwords, online advertising with Facebook Ads, e-mailing, social networks, affiliation, etc.
With the constraint of logistics out of the way, you can focus solely on the visibility of your e-commerce site!
The low financial investment
This advantage brings me to talk about the financial investment.
Dropshipping allows you to create an online sales site with very few expenses.
The management of stocks represents a significant cost for the e-merchants. With a supplier, you choose your products in the catalog of your wholesaler and you add them on your website.
You sell items that you do not store… No financial risk!
Your only expenses will be in webmarketing levers. And if you communicate effectively, you will have good returns on investment.
This money spent will generate sales on your website!
As I mentioned above, this practice also has advantages for the wholesaler.
As we often hear, to each his own. And so it is for a supplier. Successfully selling on the internet is not a trivial task. It requires a certain expertise and a certain level of knowledge. If this was not the case, each wholesaler would have his own e-commerce site to sell directly to customers…
With dropshipping, the supplier can focus on his supply chain and let the distributors promote his products.
If you want to discover other advantages of dropshipping, I invite you to read our opinion on dropshipping.
Dropshipping: elements to take into consideration
Dropshipping has its advantages. However, it also has a few things to consider.
They will vary depending on your position in the online dropshipping chain.
If you are a distributor, you will encounter different elements from the supplier and vice versa.
On the wholesaler side
The dependence with the platform
When you are a supplier or wholesaler and you want to promote your products through other websites, it is quite possible that you will use the e-commerce behemoths: Amazon, Cdiscount, Rueducommerce, eBay, etc.
And when you start to integrate these different marketplaces, you will quickly realize that you have to comply with certain requirements and conditions: content to be created for the product sheets, restrictions on the delivery time, percentage of commissions on the sales made, etc.
If these requirements are not met, you risk exclusion from the marketplace.
Nevertheless, suppliers and wholesalers can make a very large turnover on these marketplaces. This is a real opportunity. And that is why they continue to sell their products on these channels…
On the other hand, this disadvantage opens the doors to dropshipping with individuals. By doing business with e-merchants and dropshippers, you can set your own sales conditions!
That’s why more and more suppliers and wholesalers are offering unit sales.
Information about your products
When you offer other merchants to sell your products on their e-shop, you don’t really control the communication that is done around your items.
A dropshipper will write a product sheet with certain information. He will also create advertisements with sales arguments, etc.
All this communication can be beneficial to you. However, sometimes it can be detrimental to your image.
This is why it is important to set up an effective communication between you and your distributors. Present your product line and your catalog to them effectively to help them sell your items and use reliable and concrete arguments.
To limit the circulation of bad information as much as possible, you can set up certain conditions with regard to the resellers. Your products will only be available for sale if the dropshipper meets certain obligations (e.g. being a self-employed person).
Of course, fewer people will call on you but you will avoid unpleasant surprises.
On the reseller’s side
The dependence with the wholesaler
Yes, it is not only for suppliers that dependence is a disadvantage. It is also the case for dropshippers!
When you start this business, you don’t manage any stock and you don’t store any product. So your products are totally dependent on your wholesaler.
Imagine that you create your website, that you work on a specific category (writing product sheets, ordering products to make beautiful photos, creating ads, etc.) and that, from one day to the next, your supplier stops producing the product.
This decision will directly impact your dropshipping store and you will lose all your work…
Of course, this is quite radical and quite rare. However, other decisions can conflict: price changes on products, unavailable stock, etc.
In short, the dependency with your wholesaler is well and truly present. To avoid these problems, establish good communication with your supplier in order to build a relationship of trust.
In dropshipping, competition is tough. Chances are that your products are also present on other online stores.
Unless, of course, you negotiate exclusivity with your supplier, but this is not usually the case.
Most wholesalers and suppliers are quite accessible. They open their catalogs to a large number of e-tailers.
Even if you can rework the visuals and photos of the products, the only real difference is going to be the universe of your site and the price.
And if you start implementing a price marketing strategy, you risk losing the battle…
To counter this competition, you can negotiate prices directly with your supplier if you make a lot of sales. You can also differentiate yourself and create a brand and a community for your dropshipping e-commerce site.
No control over delivery
The big advantage of selling online without stock is the absence of logistics. But this advantage can quickly become a disadvantage if your supplier is not of good quality.
As you know, your wholesaler will take care of all the production and logistics. As a dropshipper, you don’t know the quality of the product and you don’t manage the quality of the shipment to the final customer.
That’s why it’s important to choose a good supplier and to order the products you sell in advance to test them. You will be able to analyze, by yourself, the delivery time, the packaging or the quality.
With a good dropshipping strategy, you can bypass these disadvantages and turn them into advantages!
Now I will help you to find your supplier and the products to sell.
Which product to sell in dropshipping?
There are a multitude of suppliers and wholesalers in the world to do dropshipping.
However, you must be careful because a bad choice can negatively impact the reputation of your online store.
First of all you need to think about the products you want to sell. Here are some tips to find the perfect product:
- Avoid certain products: in dropshipping, some items are to be banned. Of course, it will depend on your supplier but as a general rule, electronic products, cosmetic products, food products, baby products and finally bulky products should be avoided.
- Choose a niche: to avoid being too generalist, you must focus on a theme and create a niche e-commerce site that targets enthusiasts.
- Look for trendy products: to choose a product that will be a hit, you can play on the trend. Follow the news and visit trendy websites, you will find lots of product ideas!
When you have found your niche, all you have to do is find the best wholesaler.
Which dropshipping supplier?
You can find hundreds of suppliers on the Internet. There are even websites that list the main dropshipping wholesalers according to countries and product categories.
However, I advise you to do your own research on the Internet and don’t stop at the first Google page!
As I told you, webmarketing levers are not the strong point of suppliers, their website can be well hidden in the search results!
The main supplier is AliExpress but you can find local wholesalers to shorten the delivery time.
Once you go to the AliExpress website, a rating is displayed on all the products taking into account many criteria: the number of orders, the number of customer reviews, the product rating, etc. This indicator is very relevant and will help you choose your supplier and your product!
Which solution to create a dropshipping store?
Several solutions are available to you to create your dropshipping website. You can use open source or turn to SaaS, like most online merchants.
With a SaaS solution, you can create your dropshipping store very quickly and easily without investing a large amount of money!
Unlike Open Source where you have to spend thousands of euros to develop your website, SaaS is very accessible without any prior knowledge.
These platforms work, most of the time, with a monthly subscription and a small commission on sales.
This rate gives you the possibility to have access to an all-in-one tool: hosting, back office to manage your store, marketing features, templates, etc.
Beware, some solutions do not include templates and features natively. You must therefore pay an additional cost and you can quickly find yourself paying several hundred euros per month…
The steps to create a dropshipping website
Now that you know what dropshipping is, that you understand the concept, that you have an idea of what product to sell and that you know how to find a reliable supplier, it’s time to summarize in a few key steps, how to create a dropshipping e-commerce site.
- Choose your sector of activity and your products: this step is crucial because you must sell products that interest consumers.
- Import your products on your online store: with Dropizi and Aliexpress, everything is automated. In 1 click, you add the products from the marketplace to your dropshipping site. We have automated the flow between Aliexpress and your dropshipping store.
- Configure your dropshipping online store: find a name for your online store, create attractive visuals, write your product sheets and define the payment methods. Remember to customize your template according to your theme to stand out from your competitors. Our Dropizi solution provides you with wiziblocks, a unique design tool that allows you to create beautiful websites very easily and quickly.
- Create your company: if you don’t have an official status, you must create one. The auto-entrepreneur status is the most suitable to start a dropshipping activity.
- Set up your webmarketing levers: it is now time to make your website visible! Optimize your e-commerce for natural referencing, launch some paid ads, create a community on social networks,…
- Sell your products!
How to succeed in selling with dropshipping?
If you want to sell online with dropshipping, I have some concrete tips to share with you.
Work with several suppliers
I come back to the disadvantages mentioned earlier in the article. If you work with one supplier and from one day to the next, he decides to stop his production or make big changes (prices, product stock, etc), you risk losing all your work and having to start over.
I advise you to avoid this dependency and to negotiate contracts with several suppliers and wholesalers.
With this strategy, whatever happens, your store will last over time!
Write the product sheets
Why shoot yourself in the foot right from the start by copying the product sheets of your supplier and your competitors? Duplicate content is a real scourge for search engines and SEO so banish it!
You will never be able to position yourself effectively on Google and other search engines by copying content from other sites.
This is really a pity because SEO is an important source of acquisition. It can generate a considerable number of sales without spending any money!
When you add your products to your dropshipping site, I advise you to rework the entire file: title, description, image names, etc.
Of course, this is a time-consuming task. However, believe me, it can really boost your sales.
Negotiate prices and build a relationship with your supplier
At first, this may be complicated.
But once you start generating sales, you’ll quickly notice that some products stand out and are a hit!
After several sales, start talking to your main supplier to try to negotiate, for example, your purchase price and thus make a higher margin.
A trusted supplier-distributor relationship can be very beneficial to you. By making a wholesaler money, they will provide you with important information and make decisions based on you.