This is a complete dropshipping for beginners’ guide. In this new guide you’ll learn how to get started with drop shipping in six easy steps:
- Decide on a platform.
- Choose your niche.
- Find good dropshipping suppliers.
- Create a dropshipping store.
- Drive traffic to your site.
- Get sales clicks on the products.
Interested in tapping into the billion-dollar dropshipping industry? This guide will help you get started.
According to Statista, business spending on e-commerce will hit $740 billion in the U.S by 2023.
So start today, and you’ll be in a prime position to take advantage of that.
Disclosure: Odicki is supported by its audience. Buying a product or service through our links gets you a discount and in return, we may earn a commission. So thank you for your purchase.
But before that, let’s cover some basics.
Ready? Let’s go!
What is dropshipping for beginners?
Dropshipping is when you promote other companies’ products in your online store without keeping inventory. When someone buys through your store, you make a profit from the price difference of the sold product.
Your supplier does all the heavy lifting of fulfilling for you while you enjoy the money.
You save lots of startup funds because there’s:
- No bulk buying.
- No rigorous documentation of the shipping process.
- No need to rent a warehouse.
- No need for shipping/fulfillment agencies.
As an e-commerce dropshipper, you’re a salesperson for the manufacturer. You help to make a sale, the company rewards you.
The best thing about drop shipping is that you can do it at scale. A typical salesperson only sells products from one company. For example, if you’re an insurance salesperson for company “A” you only sell insurance packages of than company nothing more.
But as a drop shipper, you can promote products from many different suppliers and earn a commission from all of them.
How does dropshipping works for beginners?
You find a product you wish to sell to your carved customers. Your dropshipping supplier will give you the product pictures. You then display these products in your branded webstore with a marked up price.
However, when you sell a product through your store, you forward your consumer’s shipping details to the supplier. They will then handle your order until your customer is happy. You, however, make profits from the price difference.
Here’s an example of how it works.
Imagine you want to dropship winter jackets. You find a manufacturer who sells a unit for $15. However, these jackets are being sold for $100 in our regular mum and pop stores.
You can then build a beautiful woocommerce dropshipping store. And display high-quality pictures of the winter jacket selling for $90.
Your core duty as a dropshipper is promoting the item through various channels (social media, organic search traffic as well as paid ads). If I land on your site through your promoted links and buys from you.
You will then forward the details I provided during checkout on your site to the supplier after you have paid them their $15 bucks. Immediately I received my order you can peaceful pocket the difference in price per unit.
You’re to handle communications, refunds, and other related issues should the need be. However, effective communication runs the success engine of this business.
Related reading: How to start a dropshipping business.
How much money can you make as a dropshipper?
The simple answer is that there is no limit. It depends on your niche, the amount of work you put in and, how long you stick with your niche.
The most successful dropshipping entrepreneurs earn six or seven figures a month.
For example, Tony from Mexico made $42000 in one month of his first sale.
Meet Micheal from Uganda raking in $80000 to $150000 per month thanks to dropshipping e-commerce sites.
Still feeling skeptical these stories will help ease your fears.
Keep in mind though that these people have done an excellent job building their brand. It’s taken them years of hard work to reach this level.
If you’re just starting out, your checks might look more like this for a while:
But hey, try not to give up on your dream e-commerce business.
Mistakes dropshipping beginners make and how you to avoid them
Yes, mistakes are inevitable when starting a dropshipping business in 2020. However, ones you know them you can avoid them like plaque and catapult your business to success.
The number one mistake newcomers make is building a general store. Hence selling everything to everyone.
Beginners always want to sell to a larger audience in other to increase revenue.
Right? Wrong. The riches are in the niches they say, so it’s ideal you build a specific type of store for a segment of the population.
Secondly, entrant drop shippers chose the wrong dropshipping solutions. Do you remember the saying, not all that glitters is gold?.
Although every solution out there has some limitations, but going for the wrong one will end your career on the launch date.
Alternatively, the onetime payment aliexpress dropshipping solution for WordPress with lifetime support and updates is what I recommend.
Thirdly, Don’t dropship guns, high tech products, electronics, and fragile products as many are in the habit of doing.
These are high in demand yet may cost you a fortune when the deal goes bad. You will see a significant amount of money when tailoring your marketing efforts on selling accessories instead.
Also, many countries won’t allow you to be selling guns to its natives.
It violates their own customs regulations. So before getting yourself involved in this business educate yourself.
I hope you are taking notes of this mistake and hopefully won’t repeat them. Now read on for the 7 ways you can drop ship like the PROs
How to start dropshipping for beginners in 6 easy steps.
Now that we’ve warmed ourselves up with the basics definition of dropshipping and how it works, it’s time we get our hands dirty. Well, follow these seven steps.
- Decide on a platform as a newbie.
- Choose your niche.
- Find good dropshipping suppliers.
- Proving steps to create a dropshipping store.
- Drive traffic to your new dropshipping website.
- Get sales clicks on the products.
Step #1: Decide on a dropshipping platform as a beginner
Theoretically, you can start selling products on almost all platforms. Even on Facebook and Instagram. However, it is much easier to build a tribe of loyal customers to increase sales with your own website.
Selling involves exchanging products or services for money. There are a number of dropshipping ecommerce platforms like Magento, OpenCart, Bigcommerce, Shopify, Woocommerce and WordPress for instance that are e-commerce optimized to help scale your business.
Starting a dropshipping website is relatively easy and cheap than it uses to be. There are plenty of tutorials online to teach you how to get started. The best part, It’ll likely only cost you a few dollars per month.
Once your site is live, optimize it for search engines to stand a better chance of ranking high in SERPs. From there, feel free to add your products to your store (there is more art to doing this so I will discuss that later in this guide.)
As a beginner who is under a budget, it is advisable to choose a platform that is free and user-friendly.
Shopify, for example, is a great platform for dropshipping yet it cost at least $29 a month recurring fee.
Whether you make a sale or not you need to fulfill this obligation if only you want to keep using their service. Besides, you can check out their FREE 14 day trial period to test things out.
But there’s a much better alternative I am going to introduce you to, just read on.
WordPress, woocommerce, and alidropship plugin are my go-to software every time I want to sell online. Because they’re great platforms to start your dropshipping journey.
Since we’re working with a budget most of my recommendation going forward will be on using the free and onetime payment softwares.
Step #2: Actionable ways to choose your niche
I must admit that: if you’re starting a dropshipping website today, you’re facing a ton of competition. Statista estimates that the number of website owners in the United States will reach 31.7 million by 2020.
However, to stand the best chance of success, niche down.
Choose a topic that focuses on a specific category. For example, the topic of “Pet supplies” is an enormous category. Rather than tackling that, try something more specific, like kitten wear and accessories.
Keeping your topics tight can help you build a more focused audience and potentially help you rank higher in search engines.
That is what I did when l started my very own website when I didn’t know a thing about SEO. Instead of working in the adult industry I focused on toys for women.
Even though I knew nothing about the niche. I did what Gary Vaynerchuk ones put it “document, don’t create” Documenting is the process of writing your dropshipping for beginners guide for others who are interested to follow your progress.
This can be a creative piece of content for your readers.
I see many new store owners abounding their projects when they’re not seeing monies in their few months of dropshipping.
I feel the frustrations and share your pain. But you’re not alone I have been there too.
For this reason, you are to start in a niche you are very interested in. Doing so will help you keep your adrenaline flowing even when you have millions of reasons to quit.
In the meantime, you can use this free niche validation tool for niche research. It’s work by presenting you with 11 sets of questions about your niche.
Ones you are done with your shot quiz, then our system will tell you if it’s a good niche for you or not. In terms of long-term profitability, revenue, interest, and the potential to grow.
Moreover, if time is not on your side or you want to avoid mistakes then let our experts do the work for you. With $49 your dream niche is a click away from you. Get your custom tailor niche here.
SIDE NOTE. Want some ideas to get started quickly? Here’s a cool list to check out
Step #3: Find a good dropshipping program to join
How do I find suppliers for my store?. This is a question a friend of mine asked. And I’m using this medium to address it. Your dropshipping business cannot be completed without companies willing to drop ship your orders.
Dropshipping services are a pool of companies or manufacturers who are willing to fulfill your customer’s orders either in a single unit or bulk deal. These manufacturers are the suppliers for your dropshipping store.
There are three types of drop shipping programs you can join.
A. Paid Dropshipping service: These drop shipping companies connect suppliers to store owners for a monthly fee.
Their core duty is to find suppliers, register them and confirm the legitimacy of their business.
In so doing they protect both the supplier, the end user, and store owner from scammers and fraudsters.
For example, Salehoo, Doba, Worldwide brands… are dropshipping service providers where store owners use for ready-market suppliers.
It’s important to say that these services are not ideal for dropshipping beginners since they require a significant amount of money.
Its billings are recurring, so when you sign up for their service, you will have to pay whether you make a sale on your shop or not.
Also, some of these services have 30 days trial period you can test drive these platforms.
More so one notable downside to this service is its limited supplier base due to the strict confirmation procedures.
This puts off many manufacturers from joining such a platform. Hence you’re limited to your choice of dropshipping suppliers.
So I won’t recommend it for a budget entrepreneurs.
However, if you are a skilled marketer who can afford the money then it’s a great place to find premium high-end dropshipping suppliers for your new or existing business. Take a peek at their service here
B. Free Dropshipping Service/Program
We all love freebies, so this section is the ultimate choice for the new dropshipping business owner.
Starting a 6 – 7 figure business with very little to no investment is a dream come true for any entrepreneur.
The Aliexpress dropshipping program is the best dropshipping program for beginners and professionals alike.
Why? It’s the home for over 80,000 plus verified manufacturers engage in the drop shipping model.
This platform is free to join and easy to navigate as a new business owner. Sign up today to start saving money now.
C. Your own dropshipping program
Are you a manufacturer, company or a small business owner running your own dropshipping business, then no one does it better than you. You have quality control, a faster rate of product delivery. Although this can be a very difficult task to carry out if you’re working out a team. So ideally running a dropshipping program is capital intensive, and not suitable for beginners on a budget.
SIDE NOTE: Finding the perfect drop shipping service or program solely depends on the individual. If you’re looking for premium suppliers, and eliminate the guesswork? then option ‘A’ will suite your needs.
Also, if you’re now testing water. Then I recommend you consider option ‘B’ because is a dropshipping solution for beginners.
Furthermore, option ‘C’ is mainly for product owners who are looking for ways to leverage the billion-dollar dropping industry.
Step #4: Create a dropshipping store
If you really want to start selling physical products online then you really need to consider creating a professional ecommerce website. Since your website gives your visitors an impression of your business. I suggest you invest time and resources into building your business website. There are two roads you can travel when deciding on creating a dropshipping store. Thus option #1: creating the website yourself and option #2: Buying a ready-made dropshipping website from professionals.
Creating your site: Although you are under a budget, I wouldn’t recommend you create the site yourself unless you are tech-savvy. There is a lot of “technical” stuff like niche selection process, keyword research, and search engine optimization (SEO) heddles you have to cross. Once you get them wrong your business is history.
I may be sounding weird, right? But the truth be told. However, you can as well start by reading actionable guideposts, buy courses or watch videos on youtube as you build the site. In doing all this you should learn not to repeat the mistakes we’ve discussed earlier.
Side Note: I have written a detailed guide here that will walk you through the processes step by step, so feel free to check on that.
Buying a ready-made dropshipping website from professionals ideally, is what I would recommend to anyone who is hoping to travel to the land of dropshipping today. Because you’re going to save yourself time, money and efforts which will be needed to promote the site.
There a number of services out there building and selling established dropshipping websites today. The likes of Shopify and Alidropship have similar services to offer. However, I would recommend you choose the latter over Shopify because of their onetime pay policy and flexibility unlike the recurring fees charged by Shopify for using their service.
Step #5: Drive traffic to your site
You’ve created a professional dropshipping website. The next step is to get more people to visit it, so they will buy your products.
Here are three traffic strategies to consider:
A. Paid traffic
This is where you pay for traffic to your site. You can do this using PPC ads. The advantage of paid traffic is that the moment you start paying, you get traffic.
However, there are some downsides.
First, running ads will dig into your profits. It’s quite normal for advertisers to lose money before they make it… if they ever do.
You need to be realistic about how long it takes to optimize a paid traffic campaign.
Secondly, once you stop paying for ads, your traffic will stop.
Generally speaking, ads are a great traffic strategy if you’re making good margins on your sales and that can make the numbers work.
But if you’re completely new to paid marketing and have no marketing budget, then it might not be such a great idea.
B. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of optimizing pages to rank high in search engines like Google.
For as long as you can rank high in the search engines for your target keywords, you’ll get consistent and passive traffic.
On the most basic level, SEO is about:
- Understanding what your target customers are searching for;
- Creating content around those topics/products (blog posts, product pages, etc.);
- Taking care of the “technical” stuff to push these pages higher in the search engines (which includes link building).
You can learn the basics here:
C. Build an email list
Email lists allow you to communicate with your readers anytime. Use them to tell fans about new content and keep them coming back to your site for more. This leads to more clicks and sales.
You can even send email promotions to your list directly.
To build an email list, you need to persuade the readers on your site to sign up. That means offering something valuable.
At ahrefs.com they provide an email slide on every article they publish:
Some websites like Gear Patrol also have a “subscribe” link on their navigation bar:
Step #6: Get sales clicks on the products
Just because you have an amazing looking website doesn’t mean people will click and buy your products.
There are a few things you need to consider.
A. Call To Action
If all your but now links are at the bottom of the product page where people rarely scroll, clicks will be few and far between.
On the other hand, make every other word a link in your introduction, and your product description will look spammy.
Using callouts like buttons, tables, and boxes can help attract your readers’ attention and make the post more skimmable.
For example, the Wirecutter uses eye-catching boxes with product links anytime they share a top pick.
Let’s say you are reviewing the best kitchen knives for under $50 on your site.
Your introduction probably shouldn’t look like this:
The links look out of context and spammy.
This would make more sense:
Side Notes: All these aforementioned ideas work really well on your blog. Where you are reviewing products as well as educating your target audience. If you are into affiliate marketing this strategy work in that industry as well.
No dropshipping wheels were reinvented here. These are the fundamentals, and applying them will get you off on the right foot.
Just don’t expect life-changing income or the freedom to quit your 9–5 overnight. Dropshipping business takes time.
Focus first on making your first sale. As your site grows, set new goals, and continue experimenting.
This is how to build up a site that eventually generates a decent income.