“Getting started with dropshipping is easy” said no one, ever. But the good news is that it’s not nearly as tough as it used to be. Starting a dropshipping business does require a basic understanding of the concepts that drop shipping companies use like logistics and fulfillment. And to be successful with your store, you’ll need to have an understanding of marketing and how to increase the exposure of your products using social media, PPC, SEO and other proven methods.

If you are drawn by the entrepreneurial world and are looking for a great place to start, dropshipping might be for you.

So, what is dropshipping?

In a nutshell, It’s a retail fulfillment method in which a retailer does not keep goods in stock. Instead of managing inventory, the retailer transfers orders and shipment details to another retailer, manufacturer, or a wholesaler who then ships directly to the customer.

In other words, the retailer sells the item but someone else fulfills the order for them.

So what kinds of business do well with dropshipping? Pretty much any business that doesn’t want (or can’t) manage inventory.  Drop shipping can be ideal for any “solopreneur” who’s looking for a great place to get started in growing world of eCommerce.

So who doesn’t do so well with it? Retailers who want more control over the buying process or companies looking to profit off order fulfillment. Drop shipping companies “charge” retailers for overhead, stocking the products, managing the orders and all the other fun things that go along with managing inventory.

Remember, everyone in the retail chain needs to make a buck so the more links you can take on in the chain, the more money you stand to make.

Drop shipping is a very effective way to start a business

I’m guessing you’ve heard of the largest dropshipping in the world, Amazon.com. While Amazon certainly sells and ships their own products, they also stock millions of products for retailers all over the USA through their Fulfillment by Amazon program, otherwise affectionately known as FBA.

So how do you get started? Well, here are the few simple steps we’ve put together to get you started.

1. Pick a niche

Don’t be everything to everyone. The Amazon’s of the world get over 50% of all internet sales and going up against them isn’t a good strategy. Instead, focus on a niche. Something you know you can compete in. Since you’re in this for the long run, best to select something that holds your interest and you have (or willing to acquire) expertise in.

The best way to do this is by brainstorming. Just start putting pen to paper and write out anything you have an interest in.

Here are some examples:

  • Automotive Parts and Accessories
  • Healthy Diets
  • Body Weight Fitness
  • Novelty Items
  • Online Food Ordering Portal
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel Backpacks
  • Pet Accessories

From there, it’s time to narrow it down to a workable list. Here’s how you can do that: How to narrow business ideas to Niche Market

How dropshipping works

2. Research

Conduct an Amazon search or check the Google Trends

Google Trends is a great way to see what people are searching on. There are 3.5 billion searches on average every day, and Google is the first place many people turn to when they want to know something, find something or buy something.

Amazon search lets you see what people are buying.  While it won’t give you insight to every product being purchased online, it’s the best tool we having when we’re trying to better understand what consumers are buying.

Conduct a Google Keyword Planner Search.

Google’s gift to marketers everywhere is  Keyword Planner. It provides you deeper insight into what and how many times terms are being searched. It’s a must for anyone serious about market research.

Research Social Media Sites

Do hashtag searches on Twitter and Instagram, look to what Facebook groups might use your products. While Facebook is king when it comes to number of users, different social media sites attract different types of users. If you haven’t yet, start to create a target customer profile and align that profile with the social media sites they are most likely to use.

Not sure which sites to research? Click here

3. Contact Supplier

Once you’ve figured out your niche, it’s time to look for a supplier who will dropship your products for you. A simple Google search will give you thousands of manufactures who are happy dropship to your customer. Many eCommerce applications had dropshipping modules built into them.  For example, we fully support DOBA a dropshipper that manages over 300+ wholesale distributors, manufacturers, and craftsmen. DOBA doesn’t actually stock these products, they act as a facilitator between you and the dropshipping. Getting started is as easy as starting a free trial with us. This allows you to easily drop ship.

Follow these steps on how to set up DOBA in PinnacleCart.

When you sign up, you gain full access to all the drop ship wholesalers and their wholesale product catalogs and are able to select their products directly through your website. Since everything is drop shipped and automated, you manage no inventory and experience no worry about the headaches associated with storing product. Just select which of the 1.2 million products you would like to sell on your store and our fully integrated system will manage the products, inventory and even ship the order out to the drop shipper.

4. Create your store

The next step is to create your store. As stated above, our application allows you to easily bring in over a million products through DOBA. Not interested in using a middleman? Don’t worry, just about every eCommerce application ( including ours ) supports droppershippers. Just add your product and tell the application where to send the order when a customer buys.

5. Ready to launch

Finally, it’s time to set your plan in motion and launch your store.

Remember, sales won’t start rolling in overnight. The “set it and forget it” days of eCommerce are over. Now it’s time to starting putting the marketing side of your brain into overdrive. As a business owner, you need to become a master promoter and get your products in front of your target customer when they are the most receptive to receive these messages.