You have an e-commerce store selling handmade items or products supplied by reputable merchants. It’s doing well with a six-figure revenue annually, which translates to several thousand dollars in net profit per month. Your e-mail newsletter has 50,000 subscribers. Overall, this online shop is doing really well, and you’re earning enough to quit your day job.
Now you’re considering to expand, including opening another e-retail shop and adding more product categories to the mix. However, you haven’t found reputable suppliers for those items. Most importantly, you can’t simply experiment selling a new product category as it would require a significant startup capital to begin with.
What if those items don’t sell well? You’d end up with hundreds of items in the storage. Worrying about expanding a business is normal. However, with the dropshipping business model, you can expand your existing online business without having to worry about startup capital, storage, and unsold merchandise.
What are the steps?
First, understand more about how dropshipping business works.
Dropshipping is a business model in which you, the seller, only need to promote the online store and provide good customer service. You will purchase the products only after they have been bought and paid for by the customers. This means you don’t need to spend any startup capital for stock inventory.
And the best thing of all is that the suppliers will pack and ship the orders on your behalf. This being said, you don’t need to spend a large upfront capital.
Second, connect the dropshipping section of your store to the existing shop.
With current web design technologies, it’s possible to create seamless subsidiary pages that look and feel like they’re an integral part of the primary pages. You can either use WordPress or Shopify platform. If you use the latter, a dropshipping app like Oberlo provides more convenience with auto-publish and global price setting.
Third, find highly-marketable products or product categories.
Dropshipping business model allows for the low barrier of entry. In other words, anyone who wishes to start an online store can do so with ease and almost zero startup capital. This being said, it also means that there are many sellers for one identical product and they might price it more attractively. Thus, it’s crucial to find highly-marketable products or product categories and price them competitively.
Fourth, source from pre-vetted dropshipping suppliers.
Selecting products to sell requires research and ordering samples to ensure that the quality of the merchandise and the service is up to par. However, if you use Oberlo app, one of its features includes pre-vetted dropshipping suppliers, so you can directly select and publish the products to sell conveniently from the dashboard.
Fifth, promote, promote, promote.
Since you already own an online store, promoting the new dropshipping business should come naturally. If you haven’t done an influencer marketing campaign, consider starting one with Instagram “micro influencer,” for instance, which you can start small. Better yet, be your own influencer and begin creating impact with the blog and social media posts and ads.
In conclusion, it takes a few hours to set up a dropshipping section as a part of your existing online store. With minimal startup capital and convenience in sourcing and fulfilling the products, you can expand your existing business without adding extra costs.
About the Author
Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author, columnist, and serial entrepreneur based in Northern California. She is also a digital strategist for several e-commerce and app companies. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, Fortune, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Business.com, Business2Community, Addicted2Success, Good Men Project, Positively Positive, and others. Her blog is JenniferXue.com.