Do you envision yourself as an entrepreneur? Yet, you’re struggling to bring your entrpreneurial dreams to light.
Worry no more. Because I have some exciting news for you.
Starting an ecommerce-base dropshipping business is a great step into the world of entrepreneurship.
You’ll be able to sell products to customers. Set your own product prices. And market to your customers under your own brand.
You don’t even need to pay for inventory until it’s sold to an actual customer.
If you’re willing to put in massive action with massive thinking, you can build a successful brand.
In today’s lesson, you will learn how to start a dropshipping business.
You will be able to explain:
- what dropshipping business is?
- How does the Dropshiping business model works?
- Where you can find the best dropshipping business ideas for sale?
- How to start a dropshipping business successfully?
- The right amount of thinking and action needed to see results with this business.
- The 3 costumer acquisition channels for dropshippers
- Also I will show you how to build your own dropshipping store with zero hustle.
If you’re excited, let’s read on. Remember to turn off all forms of distractions so that you get the most out of this detailed guidepost.
Table of Contents
- 1 My Honest Disclaimer:
- 2 What is a dropshipping business?
- 3 How Does Dropshipping Work?
- 4 Why Starting a Dropshipping Business makes you Awesome?
- 5 Where to Find an eCommerce Dropshipping Business for sale?
- 6 7 Things to keep in mind when hunting for a turnkey drop shipping business for sale on Exchange marketplace.
- 7 How to Start a Dropshipping business: The 4 Step Drop shipping business Plan
- 8 Make google Trends your friend
- 8.1 Step #1 Head over to Google trends.
- 8.2 Step #2: The results for Beauty Products is displayed below.
- 8.3 Step # 3: Check for the regional and subregional interest
- 8.4 Step #4: Widen your net with the related industry and Searches
- 8.5 Step #5 Conduct Buyer Intent Keyword Research for your Dropshipping Business
- 9 How to Start a Dropshipping Business with AliExpress.
- 10 I wanted to cut down on monthly fees
- 11 Order a Turnkey Custom Dropshipping Store Today
- 12 So why use AliExpress for your dropshipping business?
- 13 Things to Keep in Mind About Running an AliExpress Dropshipping Business
- 14 The 3 Customer Acquisition Channel for your dropshiping business
- 15 Additional Resources
- 16 Conclusion
My Honest Disclaimer:
This post is not intended to promise any quick riches, financial goals or any kind of financial or business advise.
Rather, it’s a guidepost written for entrepreneurs who want to leave the rat race behind.
And build a future their family, company and themselves can be proud of.
Earning potential for dropshiping business ideas may differ.
Whatever works for me may not necessarily be profitable for you.
Your success depends largly on your offerings, promotional strategy and the hours of work dedicated to the success of the project.
Are you poised for action, then lets get to work. What is dropshipping business ideas about?
What is a dropshipping business?
This ancient wisdom dropshipping business is a retail supply chain management system whereby you (the store owner) don’t hold inventory of the products on sale.
Rather, when you sell a product through your store, you then forward the buyer’s shipping details to your suppliers, manufacturers or wholesaler.
So that your supplier’s ship out (fullfils) the customer’s orders straight from their warehouse to the doorstep of your customer under your brands name.
You’ll never worry about storing, sorting, packaging or even the mountain of paperwork associated with shipping.
How Does Dropshipping Work?
The dropshiping business model have 3 major players; the manufacturer (product owner) , the retailer (you-the middle man) and the customer (the end user) .
Player #1:The Manufacturer or Supplier
The manufactures role in the dropshipping model is product creation, keeping of inventory, documentation and shipping out your customer’s orders.
Plus, replacing of defected products, restocking of inventory.
Finally they retail products at wholesale prices, risking the cost of unsold stocks.
Player #2: The Retailer (middle man or betweener)
As the retailer (middle man) in the dropshipping business model, your duty is to sell the manufactures products in your store. Under your own branded ecommerce website.
You’re in charge of customer service, after sales support, mediating refunds and product exchange if any.
Plus, products choosing and marketing budget all rest on you.
Pro Tip; you should not wait for your customers to complain before you act. This will give the cat a bad name. Always be in constant communication with your buyers since happy buyers spreads the word like wild fire. You’re to do everything possible to avoid angry customers like a plaque. Because online reputation repair is hard to combat.
Your success rest on your efforts and level of thinking about your business.
Player #3: The Customer or Buyer
The most important player in the dropship business is the customer.
Why? Because, they are the fuel running the engines of the dropshipping machinery.
Without buyers, the business cease grinding.
The customer will make purchases directly from the retailers store awaiting it’s delivery.
Whenever, there’s a problem he or she communicates to the middle man via email, Skype or direct call.
The saddest thing is, they don’t know the retailer is just the middle man. And that’s the beauty of the dropshiping business model
Why Starting a Dropshipping Business makes you Awesome?
The dropshipping business model has made it possible for anyone to own an eCommerce business today.
Undoubtedly, it’s one of the lowest cost effective and easy to start online business opportunity.
What excites me the most is this: You don’t need any huge upfront investment.
Since you’re not going to buy and keep any inventory until your customers makes an order from your store.
More so, you have the prerogative to display the products from your dropshipping supplier on your store (In our case AliExpress).
Because you’re using aliexpress dropshiping business, it’s possible hundreds or even thousands of entrepreneurs are displaying the same product description and images used on the manufacturer’s website on their store.
This can cause a serious challenge for you because, google sees your content as duplicate.
And your store can get serious punishment from google (Google is smart enough to detect duplicate contents and will not rank your store’s contents high in SERP).
The higher your rankings the more your traffic as simple as that. Google loves fresh contents and now wonder it’s amongst their ranking factors.
For this reason you have to device an effective search engine optimization strategy for your dropshiping business.
However, when a customer buys from your store as a result of your relentless marketing efforts.
You then visit AliExpress.com, pass on your customer’s order to one of the numerous suppliers there.
Your supplier from aliexpress will then ship out your customer’s order with the shipping details you provide.
Moreover, depending on how much you charged on your store, your profit (P) is determined by subtracting the wholesale price (WP) from your retail price (RP).
Mathematically; Profit = Retail Price – Wholesale Price.
Pictographically, some of the benefits of starting a drop shipping business is demonstrated below. Brorrowed from Oberlo.com
Whatever the niche you decide building your dropshipping business in, AliExpress has gazillions of products for you to choose from. So do not worry if you fancy boring niches. They have you covered.
Where to Find an eCommerce Dropshipping Business for sale?
Finding the right dropship Store to buy can be one hell of a task. Especially if you’re new to owning an online property. You can decide to build one from grounds up, if only you are a tech savvy.
However, If you do not want to get your hands dirty building a dropshipping business from scratch. There are great places I will recommend to you. Remember I only recommend products I have prior experience with and trust they walk the talk .
Where they will take care of all your hustle. Mistakes are your enemy when building businesses online. So take precautions to avert then from get go.
Now let take some time to digest how to get the most out of these resources.
7 Things to keep in mind when hunting for a turnkey drop shipping business for sale on Exchange marketplace.
When choosing to buy turnkey store from the Exchange marketplace take into account the cost, the design, the age of the website, how much money it has made, popularity of niche, penalizations, and the type of business.
How much money do you plan spending on buying the ready-made store. Do not forget the advertising budget.
Many people overlook the risk they’re getting into when buying their premade stores. As Jet Lee puts it in one of his thrillers “No Risk No Reward”.
You’re not going to make a penny from your store if you don’t promote your business to your targeted audience.
Remember, the space is getting competitive by the day which makes marketing efforts (SEO, Paid ads…) an inevitable factor if you want to maximize ROI.
Hence, if you’re on a budget try working on your bargaining skills in other to get a better deal.
Your website is the official brand ambassador of your business. And I don’t need to reiterate the importance of branding here. It’s your virtual salesman.
And first impression is very important in business, so your site’s architecture needs to be taken as serious as your business ideas. The internet users has very short retention.
An average visitor at your store will spend less than a minute to decide whether to buy from you or the girl next door?
Does the store look like it was designed by a professional or by a new entrepreneur who’s looking to make a quick sale?
If the store design looks professional, clean and easy to navigate it may be worth pursuing.
Age of website:
On Exchange, you can choose a dropshipping business base on its age. An older website will typically have a better chance of ranking online than a newer one.
If you’ve been around the web for sometime, you’ve read or heard Google’s ranking factors.
Well if this is your first time these are factors taken into consideration before a page is displayed on search engine results page.
Among the 200+ ranking factors, one of them is the Age of the site. An older site has a high domain authority (DA), and Page authority (PA) if it’s optimized for SEO.
In simple terms what is the age of the domain (sites name) you’re acquiring. It’s a metric from 1to 100 whereby the higher the metric the older the website.
However PA has similar metric but the page authority of a site is determined by the authority or respect or command it carries in terms of on-site and off-site optimization.
It’s relevant to know that ecommerce SEO is different from the conventional one.
A site like Facebook, Wikipedia…with DA of 100 is impossible to outrank.
Ideally, sites with DA above 30 or higher is good for your rankings.
As a new entrepreneur, these things may be intemidating at first in your head. But it’s ideal you take sometime off to learn them since your money is at risk here.
How much money its made:
What is the #1 motivation for getting into business in the first place? It’s Money right. If money is your only motivation then try to do the evaluation again.
Sometimes you’ll see that a store made a lot of money. And you’re eager to buy that property due to, by and large its revenue numbers.
Where did the money come from?
It’s coming from the amount of work and thinking the previous owner put in his business that brought the returns on investment. Your dying the have.
However what you fail to realise is this, are you willing to put in the same amount( or more) of efforts necessary to achieve that equal levels of income. At least 72 hours a week on your store?
If you’re not then I suggest you keep your wallet away.
Also, a question you need to ask is :
- how much money was it making at it’s peak and how much is it making now?
- how much efforts yeilded that results?
- What plans do you have growing the business?
This thinking levels will help you understand if your dropshipping business is growing or dying.
How popular is the niche:
You probably don’t want to be selling fidget spinners anymore or any trending product. However, if a store is within an evergreen niche and has trending products within it, it could work out well.
Broad topics (beauty) tend to perform better than stores around a specific type of product (makeup brushes).
Most people would advise you to stay away from highly competitive niches such as beauty, health, adult pleasurables.
My question is why are they killing each other for the top position? The truth is, there’s lots of money to be made.
I agree you don’t have the budget for paid advertising. So instead of going head to head with the established brands in your industry.
Look out for a subset of the main category. The riches are in the niches.
Never be in the position to compete with them rather find creative ways to dominate your niche.
What hat is the store you’re buying wearing? I know you’re wondering what am talking about. In the SEO world, there are 3 hats ie White, Gray and Black hats.
These are the tactics, strategies and techniques webmasters adopt to game their rankings in SERP. Like what’s happening in the hacking world.
The white hat SEO follow the conventional way outline by the Search Oracle – Google.
Gray hat is the combination of the white hat and somewhat illegal tactic to get traffic from Google.
The black hat as the name suggest uses all the shady known strategy known by webmasters to drive unlimited traffic to your website or that of your clients.
The only downside is that google will easily fish you out, the second they roll out any algorithm update.
So, before buying a dropshipping business you need to double check that the website hasn’t been penalized.
You can use a tool like Is My Website Penalized to determine if a website has been penalized by Google. Below is the results obtained when I tried this tool.
All in all, if a store has been penalized it may be harder for you to rank in search engines.
You also want to ask if any of their Facebook, Instagram ads were banned?
Type of Business: Dropshipping or eCommerce
If you plan on buying a dropshipping business, you need to select dropshipping on Exchange marketplace or from AliDropship.
Other options (the actual ecommerce business) may require you to buy and hold inventory which can cost more money over the long term, especially in unsold inventory.
How to Start a Dropshipping business: The 4 Step Drop shipping business Plan
Step #1: How to choose the best dropshipping business idea
There are lots of resource our there focusing on how to choose a niche. But I’m not going to repeat the same old stories here. My mission is to find the missing links and plug them.
Are you excited to learn new tactic. If YES, then let’s dive in.
The truth is, we all get into business with one primary motive: to make money. Right? WRONG. Moreover if money is your only reason for starting your business then I suggest you keep your wallet in your pocket.
I recommend you start thinking of ways to serve your clients first before they return a favor.
But you’ll only achieve this financial dreams if you get your business foundamentals right.
All over the world, successful entreprenuers focuses on solving a particular problem. So should your business. Else you’re not going to make any sales. People come to google for soltions to their problems, not for pleasure.
Starting a business online is synanymous to building your house. If your buildings foundation looks weak we all know the outcome.
I have seen many new entrepreneur traveling this road at 200km/hr without a seatbelt on the business highway .
So they crush and eventually quit on their promising future. But today, we’re going to correct that.
Choosing a profitable drop shipping business idea or niche is similar to choosing a life partner.
Most so called guru netprenuers will ask you to go after your passion or interest so you don’t quit when you don’t see results on the propagatory stages of the business.
Well they are not wrong.We all enjoy doing what love. But I have a question for you. You can certainly be passionate about eating ice cream, smoking or drinking alcohol.
Who will pay you to do so? No one. So you see some of your passion are not lucrative as they say.
However, there is a better way. And we’re going to learn that today. That’s all odicki.com is about. Uncovering the hidden treasures.
Find your niche by identifying your Fears and Problems
What are the problems you want to solve with your offering? You are not going to sell anything new. All the products or niches are already taken by your competition.
However, your money is in identifying what they are doing wrong. What problems aren’t they solving.
How best can you help reduce the hustle people are encountering with thesese products. Answering these questions is your GPS to finding your niche.
Fitness, fashion, jewelry, beauty, adult pleasurables,tech, purses, and backpacks are some of the evergreen niches that we keep seeing top online stores enter and succeed in.
Use Twitter to do your niche research
Twitter is one of the most under utilize medium for niche research. Do you know Twitter is also a search engine? Lot’s of queries are performed on this social media platform each day which is a great resource.
Use Twitter to determine the popularity of your niche, learn how many people tweets about the industry you’re planning on working in.simply enter your golden keyword in the search bar and see what’s happening right now.
Also, for advanced results, click on the advance search link and set your preferred filters. See screenshot below.
Make google Trends your friend
Google, the search oracle has a cool feature called Trends. Which help entreprenuers make inform decision when coducting market research.
This tool enable us to keep track of the search interest and popularity of a particular industry over a period of time.
Explore: this feature serves as a search engine where you enter your queries for pictorial representation of the searched terms.
It has the option for selecting a time frame, country of choice, interest by region, related search terms and related industry.
You can sort these related search terms by top and rising ( showing in percentage terms)
All in all, before you make a decision on your niche market l suggest you pay google trends a visit. Let’s me explore the power of this tool with the term beauty Products.
Step #1 Head over to Google trends.
Enter the key phrase “Beauty Products” in the search bar.
Hit enter and watch the tool do it’s magic.
Step #2: The results for Beauty Products is displayed below.
In the screenshot above you can see the worldwide interest of beauty products over a 12 months period. The graph shows that the interest worldwide is high and the trends isn’t coming down anytime soon. You can backdate the time range to past 5 years . If you want to know long term profitability of your choosing niche.
Step # 3: Check for the regional and subregional interest
It’s in your best interest to identify your target audience from the start of building your ideal dropshipping business idea. Google trends has reduce the amount of work needed to figure out.
If you targets twrong market or audience, your dropship is dead on launch day. No matter your marketing budget and efforts your ROI won’t appreciate.
Most key phrases in the beauty industry is very competitive. Competition is very important because it tells you there’s lot of money to be made in the market.
However, it’s worth to mention that there’s some hidden e-commerce keywords hidden in the related queries and topics your competitio are not aware.
Always dig deeper into this section for the gems, because anyone with the basic internet usability can do what we’ve done.
However 4 out of 5 people who visit this tool only focus on the trend ignoring the rising terms. A great keywords research strategy.
Step #5 Conduct Buyer Intent Keyword Research for your Dropshipping Business
Keyword research is undoubtedly the most important step in building a profitable business online and drop ship business is no different.
Google the ‘search oracles’ has unlimited data on the subject of keyword research. So l won’t dwell much on the basics.
If you’re hearing this for the first time keyword research is the process of determine the search volume or popularity of a term you intend rank for in the Search Oracles results page.
Our focus today is to conduct a search intent keyword research for your dropshiping business.
But before that, let me tell you a story. Before I met my life partners Anabelle, there were lot of men ( competitor) battling for my current position. How did I win this fearsome battle?
You may ask. I’ve displayed my intentions from the get go, whereas my competitors were simply beating about the bush. Meanwhile, they keep coming at me trying to outsmart me for her love.
Becuse a marriage can never survive on the love felt on the wedding day, I keep pouring in more love (ie the searchers intent) 😁
Such is the nature of keyword research strategy you should adopt for your ecommerce keyword research project.
Your customers have specific terms they use to land on your store and go on to make a purchase from you. If you’re lucky. Never forget there’s a competitor next door. So, finding these terms makes you a winner of the contest.
Add search modifiers to your keyphrase
No matter what you’ll be selling on your store modifiers like:
- best+ niche
- top rated + product name
- Product + for sale,
- product + current year,
- free shipping,
- product name under + price
… are all modifiers customers who are ready to spend money use to get the most out of their cash. This is the mindset you
How to Start a Dropshipping Business with AliExpress.
The ancient wisdom dropshipping business has been used for decades. Yet, it’s growing traction by and large because lots of people have open stores online sourcing AliExpress products.
We cannot talk of AliExpress dropshipping without paying homeage to Shopify.The eCommerce platform that has helped in illuminating the dropshipping business model to lots of people.
Myself included. I tried out Shopify for dropshipping with AliExpress using their 14-day free trial.
While I like the service, I still wanted a WordPress solution for two main reasons:
I wanted to cut down on monthly fees
- WordPess is free to download and install. That would save me on recurring monthly software fees.
- The AliDropship plugin (AliExpress dropshipping plugin for WordPress) is the plugin that I use and recommend for dropshipping. There is only a one-time fee and lifelong updates and customer support. Therefore, I do not have to pay monthly software fees as you would by using a service like Shopify.
I Wanted Full Ownership of My Store
- When you use a SaaS eCommerce service that charges a monthly fee, you must agree by their terms of service. That means the service has the authority to close down your account at any time for any reason. This is not an issue when using WordPress.
Order a Turnkey Custom Dropshipping Store Today
You can save time and avoid all of the technical aspects of setting up your own AliExpress dropshipping store by ordering a turnkey custom dropshipping store from AliDropship.
All packages include your own personal manager that will keep you updated as your store is being built.
So why use AliExpress for your dropshipping business?
I will share some reasons why as well as how to get your first store up without any worry about recurring software fees.
Below are some of the reasons why you should use AliExpress as your trusted dropshipping partner.
- They have the lowest unbeatable market prices
- free shipping on 75%of their products
- zero registration fees required
- No documentations required.
- Delivers to over 200+ countries and remote regions
- House over 100 million products
- With over 200,000 verified Chinese suppliers
- No limits on your profit margins
- No limits on the amount of products you sell
- Works with individuals and registered companies
- Online shipping tracking
- Wide range of shipping methods
- Buyer protection system with full money back guarantee
Things to Keep in Mind About Running an AliExpress Dropshipping Business
Use ePacket Shipping method to reduce Shipping Times
- A majority of the merchants on AliExpress are based in China. However, thanks to ePacket shipping, shipping times are much shorter. A majority of merchants do offer ePacket shipping on their products.There are also merchants that ship from the United States as well.
Customer Service is Still Required
- You are running an online retail business so that means you will be handling customer service issues such as returns, refunds, and the occasional customer complaint. Always offer excellent customer service to help keep your customers happy.
You Will Develop Marketing Skills
- Your store won’t make any sales unless you promote the products in your store. That will mean posting on social media channels as well as using paid advertising. The most popular advertising platforms that dropshippers use include Facebook and Instagram ads.
Consider Starting a Blog
- Blogging is a great way to drive free targeted traffic to your store. Most dropshipping eCommerce platforms have blogs built in. AliDropship runs on WordPress and has blogging capability built in.
The 3 Customer Acquisition Channel for your dropshiping business
I have reiterated time and again the importance of customers in any effective campaign. Well, if you’re reading this for the first time they are the fuel running the engines of every business machinery 😁
So where do businesses get traffic to their website? Well, this is their little secrets: word of mouth, SEO traffic and advertising.
Traffic Source #1: Word Of Mouth
Word of mouth is one of the effective source drive traffic to your business yet it’s the most under utilized amongst the three.
These traffic is lasser targeted and the conversion rate is exponential. Because the referral has a hands on experience with the service or products on offer.
Here’s how it works: assuming you sell dark spot remover on your store and l make a purchase from you. The product works like charm, I tweet, post and share my experience on social media with my circles.
Where do you think I would send them to whenever a friend needs help? Your store of course. As the rumors spread people will start coming directly to your business with your direct involvement in acquiring them.
Secondly, I recently purchased a mattress from a local brick and mortar store (Royal Foarm) . I feel in love with their product and customer service.
It’s exactly what I was looking for. Month’s later my good friend Kinsley was in search of a befitting mattress to buy.
Where do you think I would send him, based on my experience, Royal Foarm of course. So if you’re not using this traffic source I suggest you start. What l like about this medium is this, it’s free.
Pro Tip: Do the work ones and reap the rewards bountiful. Always focus on serving, serving,serving… your visitors without thinking about the profits and they’ll rewards you handsomely.
I’m a true believer in this quote “help as many people get what they want by sharing everything you know for FREE and you will get everything you’ve ever wanted?” Are you crazy? no I’m not.
The drawbacks: With all the positive things said about word of mouth. Its worth to not that its as slow as the snail which needs lots of time, practice and patience to see results or your first sales
Traffic Source #2: Search Traffic (SEO)
Google is undoubtedly the biggest search engine in the world where billions of queries are performed every day.
So leveraging their traffic source in your store isn’t a bad idea.
Even if you’reable to get 1/10000000 of these people coming to your site, the sky is the limit.
Where do people turn to when they was answer to their problems? Or if they’re in the mood to spend money.
These group of people all pays the search oracle a visit for answers to their problems.
Plus they enter some key phrases into the search bar and hit enter awaiting the magic of the oracle.
However, if you take the time to master art of search engine optimization strategy for dropshiping with the buyer in mind.
Then your store will be found by hundreds if not thousand of buyers landing on your website.
And if your conversion rate is 1% do the rest of the mathematics 😁 💰
All you have to do is make sure you do a lot of reading and testing to master this skills.
SEO involve but not limited to, keyword research strategy, content marketing, on page and off page, link building…
You have to do lots of reading and testing to master this skills and success is with reach.
Ones you do, your store will be flooded with customers and orders you can’t handle.
You’re lucky your supplier will be doing all the shipping on your behalf.
The drawbacks: With all the positive things said abseo for dropshiping. Its worth to note that its as slow as the snail which needs lots of time, practice, testingand patience to see results or your first sales. But ones you do these traffic last longer than pad ads (the plug and play advertising)
Moreover if you plan outsourcing your SEO gigs to an expert, I highly recommend you check out Detailed Pro (not an affiliate link) by Glen Allsopp of detailed and Viperchill fame.
Traffic Source #3: Paid Advertising
This medium is the fastest way to get customers to your dropshiping store. Yet it comes with a price.
Traveling this road can help you see results (sales) on launch day.
I recommend the traffic source to readers with the marketing budget.
Some of the known paid traffic source include facebook ads, instagram shout out, Google adwords to name a few.
However each platform has it own algorithms and rules you cannot go against else your advertizing account will be banned.
And you’ll loose your money. To avoid your account from being banned Neil Patel Digital (not affiliate link) is a paid media service you can rely on for all your paid ads done for you .
The Drawbacks: All though this traffic source is as fast as the speed of light in getting sales. its very capital intensive and stops producing results ones you pull the plug.
How to start a dropshiping business ideas is an ideal dream of most budding entrepreneurs.
But very few has what it takes to walk the talk.
Dropshiping is a very lucrative business venture leveraging the ecommerce industry.
Not everyone has the upfront funds to build an ecommerce business like amazon, aliexpress or Etsy.
However, with the right amount of thinking and effort you can take a slices of the trillion dollar pizza.
Whenever, you reduce the amount of thinking and work needed to get your dropshiping business up and running.
Its likely you’re going to reduce the amount of work involved.
There’s money to be made online and drop shiping one of the opportunities.
You have two roads to travel, 1). building a store from scratch yourself. 2.) Order a turnkey premade store from either Exchange or AliDropship.
Try out their service and thank me later
Since this is a long-term investments, mistakes is one thing you have to avoid.
Its ideal you get the basics right from the beginning so you can fast track your success.
Do you know about a different way we can start a dropshiping business with hustle free.
Lets hear your voice in the comment section below.
Let me know if I missed out of something important, since we’re all learning.
All in all if you’ve learned any new thing from this guide do share with your friends, family and social circle.
Don’t forget to like our facebook page to keep the conversation alive