What do we mean by a dropshipping business ? As a layman, it simply means that I can ship the products to my client in any country without actually taking delivery of the goods i.e. the warehouse directly ships it to my customers. However, it is not as simple as it seems. Different countries may have different regulations regarding the same. For example in Qatar the dropshipping business is not easy to establish. it is extremely expensive and one needs to have a license. The difficulty can be ascertained from the fact that Qatar does not have Amazon in their country. In a few countries it may be extremely easy too, considering relaxed regulations. Tax regulations also differ amongst countries, and one should be aware of them. The best part about this business is that it can be operated from anywhere in the world.
Following are the important steps to get going:
Selecting a product niche
Now, product niche selection can be the most important part of the dropshipping business. A lot of niches may not entice your customers. Thus, you should be mindful of selecting those which add real value to your target clients. There are numerous videos which highlight the best niches in a dropshipping business on YouTube and elsewhere. Do a simple Google search. This can be a good starting point for you. Select a niche about which you are informed. If you are selecting a niche where sufficient knowledge is lacking and you are not aware about the potential, then it makes sense to know about it. Search on any platform where all categories are listed e.g. Aliexpress, CJ Dropshipping etc.
The next step in setting a dropshipping business is to do in-depth product research. One can easily do research by visiting YouTube and searching for the top dropshipping products. Another effective way is to visit Aliexpress or Alibaba websites to search for best selling items. You will also get an indication about the product when you see the actual sales made on these websites. Shipping times, availability, margins and costs would be other factors to consider well.
One can use the following template to keep track of researched products.
|Product name||Category||Product no||VG retail price||Min order||Min order for customisation||Price $||Min QTY price INR||Expected shipping cost||Expected landing cost||Expected retail price||Margin||Quality||Prev orders in $||No. of years in business||Response time||Approx shipping time||Dropshipping Yes/No||Amazon price|
Domain name and registration
Searching for an appropriate domain name is extremely important and it should reflect or communicate the niche of your offering. This would help clients to identify your website with the product very easily. In the initial stages an unrelated name may pose difficulties. However, once the brand is established, the name would be irrelevant in attracting new customers. Please weigh the pros and con as well as your objectives when deciding a domain name for registration. Domain name selection would also depend on domain name availability. Popular domain names are usually taken and one may need to pay a higher price to obtain it. Several providers like Godaddy, Google domains, Namecheap, Hostinger will provide domain registration services.
Making a Dropshipping website
After you have registered a domain you will need a website. There are various options available in the market. Shopify is the most popular but at the same time most expensive. They have a host of features to build an eCommerce website, which one may find useful. When using a wordpress website, one can install a free woocommerce plugin to customize their website. Please be aware that wordpress business plan would only allow installing plugins. Another good option to make your eCommerce website, include Ecwid, which is cheaper in comparison and easy to set up. It is even free for a basic version, where you will not be able to include a customized domain name.
Registering the business and other regulations
When commencing a dropshipping business you may have to to register it with your local regulator. This would be required only if your country regulations and the dropshipping site specifically request the same. The business name maybe thought carefully so as to include other businesses or categories in future. For example, if you also plan to start a home improvement category and make a new website, you may want it to be a subsidiary. Hence, the an umbrella organization would need to be created. In India, one may be required to register for GST and at least form a sole proprietorship organization. Also, if you are dropshipping in countries outside of India, you will be required to get an export import licence from DGFT. All of these are easy to obtain and Voitto Insights would also be able to help anyone in this regard.
Selecting a dropshipper
Selecting a drop shipper would require a few considerations. This would include the type and quality of products, dropshipping timelines, shipping cost and typical response time. If you would like the warehouse to be near your target customers, then make sure to select such dropshippers only. CJ dropshipping is one such dropshipper which has warehouses in important countries. Few other popular dropshippers include Wiio, Oberlo, Aliexpress, Spocket dropshipper.com etc. Wiio can also act as a Chinese agent to directly source from products listed on Alibaba.
Now that you have the store ready with the desired products listed, it would be great to start advertising them. Else, how will the general population know about your offering. There can be paid and unpaid promotion. Depending on the budget that you have, you can choose either of them.
Unpaid promotions would include, blog posts, podcasts, YouTube channel, Instagram posts and reels, Facebook posts etc. While the paid channels of advertising may include Google ads, Google smart shopping, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, guest posts in a popular blog, engaging an Instagram influencer etc.