How to start a dropshipping business? 7 steps for a profitable website

How to start a dropshipping business? 7 steps for a profitable website

Dropshipping is one of the most popular business models of our time. Learning how to start a dropshipping business may seem easy, but it isn’t always. Nevertheless, it is often the first step towards entrepreneurship and starting your own business, with the aim of achieving financial freedom.

In this blog post we explain how to start your own dropshipping business and what you should take into account.

What is dropshipping?

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a fulfillment option, which is offered by wholesalers. It is the easiest way to start your own online business. Thanks to dropshipping, you don’t have to invest in purchasing products and stockpiling. The wholesaler owns the stock itself and takes care of delivery to your end customer.

Hoe does dropshipping work?

Have you found a dropshipping wholesaler and a partnership? Then you can start making sales. The wholesale process does not start until you have received the first order.

 

Hoe does dropshipping work?

In the case of dropshipping, the wholesaler is responsible for actually delivering the products on your behalf as soon as an order has been placed. This means that you don’t have to buy stock to start your own dropshipping business.

How do you find a good dropshipping wholesaler?

There are several ways to look for a wholesaler that also offers dropshipping.

  1. Via a wholesale platform such as Alibaba and AliExpress;
  2. By choosing existing dropshipping wholesalers such as vidaXL and BigBuy;
  3. By approaching wholesalers who do not promote the dropshipping business model.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each option:

Option 1) Dropshipping with Alibaba and AliExpress

Pros

Cons
Wide range of products Long delivery times
High margin No quality control of the product, provided you do a quality check yourself in advance
Possibility to purchase volume Language barrier
Live within 24 hours

You can also read: How to Start with AliExpress Dropshipping on WooCommerce?

Option 2) Dropshipping with vidaXL and BigBuy

Pros Cons
European standard for quality Lots of competition
Short delivery times (European distribution centers) Lower margin
Possibility to purchase volume
Live within 24 hours

Option 3) Own wholesaler

Pros Cons
Dutch standard for quality Time consuming
Short delivery times Higher purchasing (lower margin)
Possibility to purchase volume Live within 2-4 weeks
Little competition

If you want to quickly start your own dropshipping business, it is advisable to start with option 1 and/or 2. That way you can already start earning money and expand your range with your own wholesale or volume purchase.

Is there still money to be made with dropshipping?

Absolutely, in any saturated market there is still money to be made. The art is in your approach.Dropshipping has gotten a bad name from entrepreneurs who abuse dropshippers like Alibaba and AliExpress. They sold a product with a purchase value of € 4.00 to the customer for € 40.00. However, the quality of a €4.00 product is not worthy of €40.00. The customer logically feels cheated. This has made many people wary of dropshipping webshops.

Our vision on dropshipping is different. Dropshipping on its own is not a scalable and future-proof business model. In our view, it is rather a springboard to more. Use dropshipping to realize your first turnover, to build a brand and then to invest the money you have earned in your own stock or production of products. Skip buying an expensive car for the first two (2) years and put all the money you earn back into your online business. Then you’ll get there!

How to start a dropshipping business: 7 steps for a profitable dropshipping website

1. Pick a Niche

Because there are already a lot of dropshipping websites, it is wise to look for a niche. That niche can be in the type of products you want to offer, but it can also be in the field of service or business model.

For example, there are already thousands of webshops in pet supplies. There are a few options to reach your niche within this market.

  • Focus on a specific brand and position yourself as a specialist of that brand;
  • Produce your own white label brand;
  • Only offers a subscription model for pet supplies.

Less is more, a webshop with thousands of products is no longer necessary to realize turnover.

2. Find a good dropshipping supplier

Earlier in this blog post, we explained how to find a good dropshipping supplier. It is your choice which option you prefer. We list them briefly for you:

  1. Through a wholesale platform such as Alibaba and AliExpress;
  2. By choosing existing dropshipping wholesalers such as vidaXL and BigBuy;
  3. By approaching wholesalers who do not promote the dropshipping business model.

We advise you to always focus on product quality. Know what you are selling and make sure that the products have been physically assessed at least once.

3. Register your domain name

 To start a dropshipping business at all, you need a domain name. Finding the right domain name can be a challenge, as many domain names will already be taken.

Most effective domain names reveal what you’re selling. For example, if you sell food for dogs, you can think of onlinehondenbrokken.nl. Potential customers immediately know where they stand on your webshop and search engines such as Google are also fans of significant domain names.

Let’s hope that the domain name is still available to your liking!

4. Choose a Website Builder for Creating Your dropshipping Website

Choose a Website Builder for Creating Your dropshipping Website

Have you registered the domain name? Then you can start building your webshop. For this you need a webshop platform. Which platform suits you best depends entirely on your knowledge, budget and inquisitiveness.

Do you want a simple dashboard, flexibility and a quick start? We advise you to consider only two (2) webshop platforms:

Both have sufficient market share and are evenly matched when it comes to user-friendliness and flexibility.

4.1 Choose a web hosting in case you whant to use WooCommerce (WordPress)

WooCommerce is completely free!

That’s because WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, so if you whant to start an online dropshipping business, this might be a great platform for you.

WooCommerce only takes care of the e-commerce part of your website and since it is a plugin, the web hosting will be left to you.

So, although the platform is “free”, you should not forget to take into account the budget to pay the hosting cost, which ranges from $20 to $30 for a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or cheaper for a Host Shared.

When using WooCommerce, you will sacrifice a little in terms of hosting, but you will get it back in versatility. Instead of having to choose from a limited number of storefront themes, you can enhance your brand from the start by purchasing custom themes.

Also, you will be self-hosted, so WooCommerce will not charge any transaction fees! You will only have to pay the costs associated with your WooCommerce payment gateways.

Additionally, you should also be well prepared to pay for any additional plugins to increase functionality and versatility (although this is the same for an ecommerce platform like Shopify).

Even so, you will have full control of your platform and access to over 55,000 WordPress plugins! And if you’re already a WordPress blogger, why not consider a dropshipping store?

4.2 Select a theme for your dropshipping website

WooCommerce and Shopify are excellent tools to create amazing online dropshipping stores and spend very little using WordPress or Shopify platform. They offers a lot of functionality and features, but to use its full potential, you need to choose a better theme for your dropshipping online store.

It is important to remember that WordPress offers a multitude of free and paid themes, but not all of them are designed to work with WooCommerce. This means in practice that it is important to choose a WordPress theme compatible with WooCommerce to use all the features that this plugin offers.

You can check out the best wordpress theme for dropshipping, which include free and premium themes. By installing any of these themes on your online store, you will gain a professional look and have all the features offered by WooCommerce on WordPress.

5. Put your products online

Have you chosen a webshop platform and set up your webshop? Then you can start putting products online. Depending on which dropshipping supplier you have chosen, you can automate this process.

There are plugins and apps for both WooCommerce and Shopify that automate the entire dropshipping process, from importing products to sending orders to the supplier.

WooCommerce Shopify
vidaXL Dropshipping plugin vidaXL Dropshipping app
BigBuy Dropshipping plugin BigBuy Connector app
AliExpress Dropshipping plugin AliExpress Dropshipping app
Van der Meer Dropshipping plugin

 

6. Start your marketing campaign

To actually realize sales in your webshop, you need visitors. You can attract visitors to your webshop in different ways. The most simple and economical way is organic traffic. However, this way takes a lot of time and requires a lot of patience.

So determine which marketing strategy best suits your goals.

  • Facebook & Instagram advertising
  • Search Engine Optimalization
  • Affiliate Marketing / Refer a Friend
  • Google advertising
  • TikTok advertising

7. Analyze and optimize your dropshipping website

Have you finally started your own dropshipping business? Then it is necessary to analyze and optimize. There are a number of KPIs that you should keep an eye on, with the aim of achieving more turnover:

  • Number of unique visitors per month
  • Conversion
    Number of orders / number of visitors * 100 = x percentage
  • Average order value
    Total Revenue / Number of Orders = Average Order Value
  • Number of orders per customer
  • Sales performance by product

There are of course many more KPIs that you can analyze and optimize. However, you can already optimize quite a bit with the above five KPIs, in order to achieve your desired turnover goals.

Start your own dropshipping business

Starting a dropshipping business  is still very lucrative. It is important to make well-considered decisions about your assortment, webshop platform and marketing strategy. Focus on the long term and building a stable dropshipping business instead of “make money fast” and “get rich quick”.

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