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Dropshipping for Newbies: A Comprehensive Guide

Dropshipping is an eCommerce business approach in which store owners process orders through third-party vendors or suppliers; the third-party dropshipping supplier takes responsibility for fulfilling the order to the customer.

It is unique in the sense that the retailer does not store inventory but instead delivers customer details to the supplier who ships the orders on the retailer’s behalf. Thousands of people make a comfortable living through dropshipping, and there is no reason you can’t do the same.

How dropshipping works

Dropshipping is based on a simple concept. It includes 3 simple steps

Step #1

The seller (drop shipper) publishes items he/she wishes to sell through his online store. The customer sees the items and places an order through the drop shipper’s website.

Step #2

The retailer gets the order details and forwards customer information to a dropship supplier (this process may be manual or automated).

Step #3

The supplier then packs and delivers the required products directly to the customer with the store owner’s branding.

Advantages of dropshipping

Easy setup

Establishing a dropshipping business is relatively straightforward. All you have to do is find a supplier, set up a website, and sell goods. Done the right way, it is easy to manage with minimal investment.

Minimal setup cost

Although traditional business ventures require massive amounts of startup investment (warehousing, purchasing inventory), dropshipping removes all these hurdles and costs. All you need to pay for is the cost of running and maintaining your website.

Reduced overhead

With dropshipping, you needn’t worry about renting or buying an office.

Limited risk

Since there is no need to hold inventory, your business has little to lose. Furthermore, there will be less pressure to make sales.

Location independence

You don’t need to have an office or warehouse to run a dropshipping business.

Product variety

Dropshipping lets you sell anything you want. You can enter any niche, and you don’t have to commit to any one supplier

Efficiency

In the conventional business model, you must work harder to earn more. Since the supplier ships the products to the customer, you can offer thousands of products without holding inventory. The shipping process is more straightforward, reducing the risk that items will be damaged in transit.

The drawbacks of dropshipping

Like everything else, dropshipping has disadvantages. Here are some of the most significant:

Relatively low margins:

Since you’ll be purchasing single items, you may have to pay a higher price. Most wholesalers and manufacturers do not dropship, which means you’ll have to buy from (more expensive) retail vendors. It is a costly arrangement that hurts your product margins

Full liability for losses.

You will be held responsible for anything that goes wrong when the supplier ships products to your customers, and it will affect the perceived value of your brand.

Limited control

In the dropshipping model, sellers have no say over the way their brands are portrayed to the customer. This happens because the supplier handles the order fulfillment process.

Shipping problems

If you have several suppliers for a single order from your customer, you may experience transportation problems.  Different suppliers charge different shipping rates based on product type, location, and other details.

Competition

With eCommerce rapidly gaining popularity, dropshipping has become a fiercely competitive industry.

Is dropshipping ideal for you?

Dropshipping does not fit all business types. However, there are several entrepreneurial models for which it is an ideal strategy.

Validating entrepreneurs: with dropshipping, you get the freedom to try out new products before investing in inventory and stocking. Stocking products involves taking on the risk that they will not sell. The strategy allows you (the entrepreneur) to lower risks and validate the demand for products before acquiring inventory.

Budget entrepreneurs: with dropshipping, you can sell online at a minimal cost. Consequently, it is the ideal model for entrepreneurs with limited budgets or startup companies interested in cutting their expenses.

New entrepreneurs: if you’re selling online for the first time, then dropshipping is the best model to implement.  E-commerce can be tricky. If you have no prior knowledge of digital marketing, then it’s best to start with dropshipping until you can handle the challenges that come with full-fledged eCommerce fulfillment.

Furthermore, because dropshipping requires little investment, you may use it to build brand value. It also gives you room to learn about online selling, conversion optimization, driving traffic, and other eCommerce fundamentals.

Large-scale entrepreneur: if you want to sell a wide variety of products, this business model might be the right one for you. Dropshipping lets you offer thousands of products that would require large amounts of funding to maintain if you were holding inventory.

How to find drop shipping niches and products

Choose the right niche.

Find ideas. Take a survey of everyone around you (yourself included) study what people like to buy online, what they like to take on vacation, and so on. This will give you a rough idea of the kind of products and niches that are good for dropshipping.

Study your competitors: study other dropshipping brands to find niches that might be too competitive, then ignore them. You may use google search, AliExpress, and Facebook search for this endeavor. For more on that, you may want to read “how to find the best product niches for dropshipping in 2020.”

study customer loyalty: Avoid products and niches that are dominated by national brands-

Target expensive niches: the higher your product cost, the higher your profit margins will be.

Avoid highly returnable products: don’t drop ship products with style and preferences as they have extraordinarily high return rates, and you don’t want that.

Avoid seasonal niches: selling products with stable demand helps you maintain constant sales volume – it’s a good thing because it allows you to predict consumer behavior trends.

How to find dropshipping wholesalers (suppliers)

After you’ve found the right niches and products, it’s time to look for dropshipping suppliers. You can use several strategies, remember though, that this may be the most challenging part of starting your business.

Before you reach out to potential suppliers, you should prepare. Have all the legal paperwork, plus your business vision and mission ready. Most reliable suppliers will ask for verifiable proof that you represent a legal business before partnering with you.

Talk to manufacturers

Product manufacturers know reliable wholesale partners because they often work together. Ask (politely) for a list of wholesale distributors and call them to schedule meetings so you can see if they dropship. Some manufacturers will have drop shipping programs for resellers.

Check directories

Whether it’s in an actual book or digital database, your work will be a lot easier if you have a database of suppliers sorted by their products or niches

Google

Use google to find reliable, high-quality suppliers. You should know how to do search engine research for the best chances of success. There are several eCommerce blogs and forums that will provide useful information on how to find reputable suppliers.

Visit trade shows

Trade shows are the ideal way to connect with manufacturers and dropshipping suppliers. Look for tradeshows within your niche and attend them whenever possible.

Pro Tip: It may be hard to know whether you and your drop shipper will be a good fit. Consequently, you should ask all the necessary questions and verify that they can deliver as promised.

Qualities of reputable suppliers

The following tips will help you find reliable, high-quality dropshipping suppliers:

Capacity

They should possess sufficient infrastructure: at the very least, a good supplier should provide a comprehensive digital catalog, real-time inventory updates, customizable d searchable order history, and customizable data feeds so you can manage your operations. If your supplier lacks technological capacity, they may fail to deliver when you need to scale up your operations.

Support

Your supplier should have helpful sales representatives. It is wise to look for dedicated representatives who can help you quickly sort out technical problems.

Reliability

The ideal supplier should be orderly, punctual, and efficient. Customers value fast shipping and will buy from retailers with the shortest delivery times, even when it’s more expensive. For this reason, you should find drop shippers who can deliver between 24-48 hours, without fail. You should also partner with suppliers who have the lowest failure rates. You can evaluate their punctuality by placing a test order.

High product quality

Reliable suppliers Provide quality products. The best products will satisfy your customers and get you positive testimonials and product reviews.

Start dropshipping

If you’ve reached this point, you know what dropshipping is, how it works, its benefits and drawbacks, and you’re sure you want to start a dropshipping business. You’ve also identified a profitable niche and found the best suppliers. Now it’s time to really get to business

Launch your online store/website

Create an online store. There are multiple ways to do this; if you may create a WordPress website and add an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce, or you could let wholesale2b build a site for you.

Manage your inventory

There are several inventory management platforms available online. They will handle the most strenuous tasks for you, but you’ll still have to manage stock – even if it’s not on hand.

Develop a customer acquisition plan and evaluate your metrics.

You need customers, and one of the best ways to get them is through targeted ads. Launch Facebook and google ads campaigns to target your audience. This will help you generate quick sales.  For longer-term results, consider search engine optimization and email marketing. They will help you cut back on your advertising spend.

Pro tip: Remember to track your conversion metrics. Knowing where your customers come from and how they buy will help you optimize your marketing strategy. You

Optimize the order fulfillment process

Order fulfillment optimization will help you keep your customers satisfied and avoid disputes. For optimal fulfillment, follow these rules

  • Give customers tracking numbers, so they know when their products are processed and shipped,
  • develop a strategy for returns processing or exchange policy to handle damaged goods.
  • Once an item runs out of stock or is discontinued, do your best to find it for your customers, your customers will appreciate your effort and come back.
  • Have a clear returns policy, provide clear shipping communication, and reliable customer service.

Next Steps

Choose a dropshipping platform.

While it is possible to run your dropshipping business manually, it can be highly stressful and leave you prone to error. The ideal approach is to choose a dropshipping tool to help you manage things.

Whether you’re just starting a dropshipping business or looking to simplify your current setup, Wholesale2b offers a comprehensive dropshipping solution that grants you access to the best dropshipping suppliers through a single dashboard. With no credit card required, its risk-free solution will streamline your dropshipping operations and help you get the best products for your customers.

New Shopify Data Feed For Dropship Products

Adding dropship products to your shopify website has just become much easier.

Today we added a new feed template to our datafeed dropship plan.  This new feed is specifically designed to be imported in the Shopify platform.

For those using the Shopify wbesite, you can now import tons of dropship products from your wholesale2b account.  Simply add a custom feed to your datafeed plan by choosing the Shopify template and your feed will be ready in 24 hours.

Feeds are updated daily, so you can download your feeds as often as you want and import them to your Shopify shopping cart.

5 Reasons Why You Should Advertise Your Products On Shopzilla

When we mention the words “Pay Per Click” we often relate this to companies like Google, Yahoo and MSN.  Bing is also take some space in our thoughts recently, however what about other PPC companies that focus more on products offered by retailers?  I am referring to sites such as Shopzilla, Pricegrabber and Bizrate.  These companies offer shopping comparison services directly aimed at shoppers looking to buy actual products from retailers.

The typical pay-per-click method offered by sites such as Google allows advertisers to bid on ads using keywords.  When surfers do a search on Google using your keywords, your ads are then displayed either on the first page, or second page depending on how high your bids are.  This is typically referred to as pay-per-click, because you are paying each time someone will click on your ad.

Advertising on shopping comparison websites such as Shopzilla is technically the same as Google pay-per-click (adwords), because you will also pay each time someone clicks on your product ad.  Google audience is very large as opposed to Shopzilla, where the audience is narrowed down to people looking buy products only.  This makes it much more profitable for merchants that are trying to sell products from their website.  It will increase traffic to your site and your will see a much higher return on investment (ROI) as long as you have good products on your site and an excellent response to your buyer’s questions.

Here are some good reasons why you should consider Shopzilla:

1. Easy to load products from your website. You can import a large number of products all at once with an import feed.  If you have a website hosted by wholesale2b.com, then you can easily achieve this by simply getting a custom Shopzilla export feed for your site.

2. Get TWO for the price of one.  With Shopzilla your ads will actually be displayed in 2 places: a) Shopzilla, 2) Bizrate.com, so you are getting double exposure for the price of one!

3. Beat the competition.  Shopzilla allows shoppers to compare the price of your products with other sites.  If you have a special promotion on your products such as free shipping, then your ads will stand out from the crowd and you will grab the attention from potential customers that are ready to buy.

4. Get your website rated: Buyers that click on your ads will be given an option to rate your website.  Customers tend to rely heavily on product reviews when making a decision about a purchase.  The ratings options offered by Shopzilla is free and can help you build a great reputation for your online business.  Once you start receiving ratings on your products, your store will be given an overall rating score such as “Positive”, “Neutral”, or “Negative”.  Your score rating will be shown whenever your products are displayed and will certainly help your buyers feel more confident about making a purchase on your website as opposed to going on a competitor site.

5. Get your account “Customer Certified”. Once you reach 20+ reviews and maintain a good positive rating, then your store will become “Customer Certified”.  This will furthermore increase confidence from potential buyers as this will indicate that your store has consistently performed very well over time.

I definitely recommend Shopzilla.com and Bizrate.com if you are looking for targeted traffic from real buyers to your website.

Furthermore: you can now easily configure your Shopzilla categories directly from your wholesale2b dropship website admin console.  Your custom Shopzilla feed will pick those categories automatically for you so you won’t need to manually edit your feed each time you import your products to Shopzilla.

You Might Also Want To Read The Following Posts

==> https://blog.wholesale2b.com/shopzilla-categories-now-supported-in-your-wholesale2b-dropship-website-plan/

==> https://blog.wholesale2b.com/export-your-website-to-a-shopzilla-datafeed/

When you advertise on Shopzilla you will of course require a website of your own in order to send buyers to a product detail page and make the purchase of the item advertised.  If you don’t already have a website then don’s abandon the idea.  Wholesale2b can help you create a turnkey website in just one business day and it will be loaded with all the products from your chosen suppliers.  Furthermore you will also have access to a Shopzilla category mapping page from the admin section of your website so you can easily map the Shopzilla category ID numbers with the ones on your site.  This can all be done in just 1 business day.

==> Get your own e-commerce website in just 1 business day

Mike

How To Create A Google Base Account And Load Your Product File

Selling items on Google Base is a great way of spreading your sales across selling channels.  This will certainly help you increase your revenue stream and best of all its completely free however you do require to have an e-commerce website of your own loaded with products.  Your website is where clicks from Google will lead your buyers to make the purchase.

So the first thing you need is a functional shopping cart with all the bells and whistle of a true e-commerce business.  Fortunately wholesale2b.com has a website plan which can provide you with a turnkey website loaded with dropship products from your chosen suppliers.  Whoolesale2b will even give you the list of dropship suppliers for you to choose from to create your perfect niche website.  This can all be done in just 1 business day from the time you signup for the website plan.

=> Get me started with a turnkey dropship website immediately

Now that you have your own website, you can start spreading the product pages of your new site to Google Base.  To publish your own items, you must create a Google Account.

To submit a single wholesale dropship product go to GoogBase.com and click on ‘Post your own item’. On the Post an Item page, choose an item type from the drop-down menu or create your own item type in the text box below. Then click “Next” to add details, edit, review and publish your item. In about 15 minutes, your item will have a unique web address and be visible to the world. If you have a website that you’d like to lead searchers to, be sure to include an attribute as type “Web URL” which includes the page’s full URL.

If you’d like to submit more than ten items, you should use a custom data file from Wholesale2b to send your product data in bulk in one file rather then trying to market thousands of products one at a time.

Bulk upload files are a convenient way to create multiple items in Google Base. Bulk upload files are assigned an item type, which classifies the bulk upload file according to what sort of items it contains. Once you’ve created your file, you will upload it to Google Base. After your file is processed, your items will be added to Google Base.

Before you submit your bulk upload, you will need to register it with Google Base. Registering your bulk upload lets our system know to expect your file, and what item type it is.

To register your bulk upload, please follow this link and sign in. If you’re already logged in to your Google Base account, select the Bulk upload files tab. You’ll see an option to Register a new bulk upload file.

After you click on this link, you may be directed to the About me page. Fill out as many of the fields in this page as possible. If you’re including links in your bulk upload, please be sure to provide your website URL. Click the Next button when you’re done.

There are two fields on the Specify a bulk upload page:

File name:

Enter the name of the file you will be submitting. This should match the name of the file you downloaded from wholesale2b, and include a valid extension according to the format of your bulk upload. To download a google pre-formatted file, follow these steps:

1- login to your wholesale2b account
2- click on the supplier link on top
3- locate the supplier that provides the products you want to load
4- click on the “Datafeed link” next to your chosen supplier
5- choose the GoogleBase format
6- click on the download button and save the file to your computer

Item type:

Select the appropriate item type from the drop-down menu. If you cannot find an item type that describes the information you’re submitting, you can define your own custom item type. To do this, click on the circle labeled Submit a custom type, then enter the name of your custom item type.

When you’re done specifying your bulk upload settings, click on the Register bulk upload and continue to formatting instructions button. A list of attributes relevant to your selected item type will be displayed; use these to create your bulk upload file, then click on I’m done formatting my file. Continue to upload. You’ll see your bulk upload listed in your account. Now that it’s registered, you can submit your file to Google Base.

How to load your Google Base Product File

Files smaller than 20 MB can be uploaded via Google Base. It is easier to submit your file this way, and you are less likely to encounter errors commonly associated with FTP. The option to submit your file directly through Google Base can be found in the Bulk upload files tab of your account once your file is registered.

Any bulk upload file(s) you previously registered will appear in a list on the Bulk upload files tab. To select the file you will upload, click the “Browse” button in the blue box just under the bulk upload file’s name.

When the find file dialog appears, navigate to the folder on your computer where the bulk upload file is. Select the file you’re submitting, then click Open.

The name of the file you selected will appear in the field to the left of the Browse button. The filenames must match so it is important to verify this. Next, click Upload and process this file.

The upload may take several minutes, depending on the size of your file and the speed of your Internet connection. Once your file has been uploaded, you will see notification on your screen if the upload was a success. The status of any bulk upload file can be found in this Bulk upload files tab. It can take up to 24 hours for your file details to be updated in your account.