How To Dropship – 7 Steps To Build An Online Store
Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Are you always on the lookout for a profitable hustle? Dropshipping is a great way to work from home and make some money with an online store. Let’s go over how to dropship so you can start selling right away.
How Does Dropshipping Work?
Dropshipping is an e-commerce retail fulfillment model. With dropshipping, the online retailer is not responsible for storing, packing, or shipping any inventory. Instead, this is the responsibility of the dropshipping supplier. The profit you make as a retailer is the difference between the item’s wholesale price offered by your dropshipping supplier and the retail price you decide to sell the product for.
We can break down the dropshipping process into three basic steps:
- A customer orders a product from your online store.
- You place the order with your dropshipping supplier.
- The dropshipping supplier fulfills orders and is responsible for packaging and shipping the products to the customer on your behalf.
As you can see, this is a pretty straightforward process. Plus, the owner of a dropshipping business does not have to:
- Own or operate a storage facility or warehouse.
- Pack or ship products to the customers.
- Oversee inventory for accounting purposes.
- Order new inventory to stay fully stocked.
- Manage incoming shipments or product returns.
This means that there are certain advantages to a dropshipping store. For instance, the startup and operational costs are considerably lower than more conventional retail models. This also means that it’s a low-risk model that allows the online retailer to work remotely. In other words, it’s the perfect setup for someone who wants to make money online without having to pour a lot of capital into an online store.
How To Start A Dropshipping Business
If you’ve decided to start dropshipping, here are the 7 basic steps to build an online store:
1. Choose what products to sell
This may seem obvious, but you’ll have to first choose what type of products you want to sell. You may have to do some market research first to help you identify potentially profitable products.
You’ll need to identify some overall trends first. In order to do this, you can start with Google Trends. This is a free tool that shows the search interest for a term or a topic over a period of time, ranging from 1 day to the past 15 years. You can also use the “Related Topics” function to find ideas that relate to your original search term.
Additionally, you can use SEMRush. This keyword research tool is a paid tool that lets you see the monthly Google searches for a keyword. You can use it for free for a limited number of searches per day.
For example, let’s look at the Google Trends data for “essential oils”:
Let’s also look at the SEMRush data for “essential oils”:
Essential oils for instance have a high search demand based on the tools above, which is why it would be a good idea to sell them online. After using Google Trends and SEMRush, you can further refine your research and identify other trends within the wider category of products you want to sell. You can do this in several ways. First of all, you should check out trend publications like:
You can also use a paid tool like Jungle Scout. This is a Chrome extension that fulfills a variety of important roles for a dropshipping store, including identifying and researching potential products. It has a specific tool called Opportunity Finder that can really help you with proper product research.
2. Find a dropshipping supplier
The next thing to do is find a dropshipping supplier who would store and ship the products to your customers. There are also many tools you can use to find a dropshipping supplier, but let’s take a moment to go over the two most common and widely used tools:
- Do a Google search by type of product you want to sell. For instance, let’s say you want to sell organic products, you can enter “organic products dropshipping supplier” and see what the search results are.
- Do a Google search by type of e-commerce platform. For instance, let’s say you’ve chosen Shopify as your e-commerce platform, then you search for “Shopify dropshipping supplier” to find suppliers that will integrate with your Shopify store.
- Use an online supplier directory. These provide lists of prescreened and pre-vetted dropshipping suppliers. The most popular directories include:
Additionally, you should follow these tips:
- Pick a domestic supplier (a dropshipping supplier based in the USA).
- Make sure membership prices are competitive.
- Verify that they integrate with your e-commerce platform.
- Ask if they have any minimum order quantity.
- Make sure they have customer service.
- Look over their inventory to make sure it fits what you want to sell.
GreenDropShip is a dropshipping supplier that meets all of these criteria. With over 20,000 natural and organic products, we have an extensive inventory that fits every niche. We also offer competitive membership pricing, excellent customer service, easy integration with every major e-commerce platform, quick shipping, and all the tools you need to succeed, including product feeds and detailed product information.
3. Choose your e-commerce platform
The next step is choosing an e-commerce platform to launch your dropshipping store. There are a few options, including:
- Shopify – This e-commerce platform has tons of features. It’s very comprehensive, making it an excellent choice for sellers looking to quickly start selling health products. It also has a lot of really useful apps.
- Amazon or eBay – This is the most widely known e-commerce platform. If you choose Amazon to sell products, then you’ll have access to their huge base of customers and their excellent reputation.
- WooCommerce – This is the plugin that makes WordPress shoppable. It’s very popular with sellers because it’s so convenient and easy-to-use with a highly intuitive interface. It also offers web hosting and search engine optimization (SEO) services.
All of these e-commerce platforms require paying memberships or transactional fees. Thankfully, GreenDropShip can be used as your dropshipping supplier with any of these e-commerce platforms.
4. Build your online store
Now you’ll need to build your online store, so here are a few steps you’ll need to follow:
- Sign up for a web hosting service
- Purchase a domain name (make sure it’s catchy and fits your brand)
- Choose a website theme
- Check if you need a business license
- Install an SSL certificate provided by your web host
- Choose a payment gateway for your dropshipping store
Also, as both Shopify and WooCommerce offer templates and themes, you don’t need any web design and coding skills to create your store. Check our article on how to make your dropshipping website appealing to customers for more details!
5. Import products into your online store
After you set up your store, you need to import the products you want to sell into your store. You should log into your dropshipping dashboard to do that. If your dropshipping supplier provides product feeds such as GreenDropShip, you have to upload the feeds into your store. Product feeds are usually an excel sheet including all the data about the supplier’s products such as product name, product images, product size and weight, and product description.
Once the products are imported, make sure you add a unique product description that is different from the supplier’s.
Price your products accordingly, making sure to pay attention to market trends and the product research you’ve already done. Your store is then ready to go live!
6. Promote your store and drive sales
By choosing the dropshipping method, you let your dropshipping supplier handle the logistics of storing, packing, and shipping inventory. This allows you to focus on your marketing efforts and promote your store.
That being said, here are a few marketing techniques to help you promote your dropshipping store:
Use Google and Facebook Ads
A good Facebook or Google Ads campaign can build a strong customer base, even if they both require some startup capital.
For instance, Google Ads helps you target keywords you want to get listings for at the top of search results with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. You can create a list of relevant keywords by using the Google Planner keyword research tool and target search terms that are in high demand but have low competition for instance.
Facebook Ads allows you to target social media users based on demographics, what they like, and their interests as well as their behaviors (like what they’ve “shared”). For example, if you decide to dropship essential oils, you can create a campaign that targets social media users who “liked” the feed or photo of an aromatherapy-related profile.
Do search engine optimization (SEO)
Effective search engine optimization (SEO) requires you to create keyword-rich content. In this context, “keywords” are terms or phrases that you want to rank for in Google results. In order to identify these relevant keywords, be sure you use keyword research tools like:
Once you identified those keywords, you have to make sure you use them in your pages meta tags, product descriptions, URLs and website copy. Here is an article on SEO techniques you can use to improve rankings.
Start a blog
A blog can be really useful for SEO as it provides more content to rank for in search engine results pages. It’s also perfect for engaging and educating consumers while developing your brand. You just have to make sure that you implement SEO best practices and optimize your blog copy with relevant keywords. By effectively implementing SEO, you’ll drive organic traffic to your e-commerce store by achieving higher rankings in the search results.
Write informative product descriptions
Good product descriptions are crucial for your dropshipping store. They need to be detailed and educate users on the benefits of your products. You can use storytelling to engage customers and the tone you use will also reflect your brand’s identity. A good product description will:
- Increase conversion rates
- Reduce shopping carts abandonment
- Lead to fewer returns and refunds
- Make shoppers have fewer questions to ask about products
- Improve your organic rankings in search engines (SEO)
Start email marketing
Running a profitable dropshipping business is all about connecting with customers. Building a mailing list can help you reach out to potential customers.
But how do you get customers to give you their email address? Most people will be cautious because they don’t want their inbox flooded with junk. As a result, make sure that you:
- Offer a discount as an incentive. For example, you can have an email pop-up form that offers 10 to 20% off the first purchase if they sign up for your email list.
- Do not overdo it with emails. Be sure you let them know that you will only contact them to let them know about exciting deals, promotions, or products.
Build a relationship with customers and educate them about your products & brand to better engage them.
Segment your email list using an email tool such as Mailchimp to send personalized messages based on a user’s purchase history or preferences.
7. After you get an order, your dropshipping supplier ships the product to your customer
This is the final step for the online retailer. Remember, when you make a sale in your dropshipping store, you have to place the order on your supplier’s dropshipping platform. When doing so, you’ll have to add the shipping address and contact details of the customer.
Once you do this, then the supplier packs and ships the order. When you are going through the process of choosing a dropshipping supplier, make sure you pick one that has fast and efficient packing and shipping times. Nothing will make customers more unsatisfied than delayed orders.
It’s important to note that some suppliers offer automated dropshipping. This means that the order will be forwarded directly to the supplier without having to place it manually.
If you’re looking to start dropshipping, then GreenDropShip is the ideal dropshipping supplier. With over 20,000 natural and organic products, most of which are made in the USA, we have an extensive inventory of gourmet and premium goods. Join us today to become a member and start making money online!