How To Build Your Dropship Website
The work starts before you even start to think about your website. You have to put a lot of research into what you sell, and how you sell it. If you don’t, you risk getting off on the wrong foot: setting up shop in a crowded market, not knowing who to market to or worse. So make sure you put the research in to your decision before you make it. Start by…
Sell What You Know on Your Website
You absolutely, positively have to sell what you know. If you’re selling something you have no interest in- say, foot cream and bunion correctors- then those long days and sleepless nights setting up and running your site are going to be a real drag. Pick a niche that you know well, because what you don’t have to deal with when it comes to shipping, you will have to deal with when it comes to complaints, queries and customer service.
Checking For Competitors That Use Dropshipping
Once you have a few ideas for your niche, check for competitors. How many competitors are there? Are they specialist sites, or general sites that also sell your products? If there’s a well-established competitor in your exact niche, you might want to consider another one. You can get away with it if you’re competing against a general store, because you can position your site as the expert one for real fans of whatever you’re selling.
UX Above All
The design of your site has to focus on UX above all. It doesn’t matter how good your site looks: if it’s not easy to navigate and simply structured, customers just won’t use it. Think of eBay and Amazon. Neither site is beautiful on the eye, but both get the job done, and that’s what matters. Something else that helps is if your site loads quickly, because not everyone has a 100 Mbps download speed at home!
SEO vs. Paid Ads?
Once your site is designed and ready to go, you have to think about getting the word out. There are two main ways to do that: through search engine optimisation and through paid ads. There’s no reason why you can’t use both. Just make sure that however you advertise your site, you’re making your money back!
The Tricky Bit: Dropship Sourcing & Selling
Having built your site, there’s only one thing left to do: actually source some products and sell them. If you took our amazing advice above and chose to ‘sell what you know’, you’ll have a head start here: you should be able to make a basic list of products that should appear on your site.
Initial Research with Dropship Websites
Start off with a little research. Pick a particular product: say a kind of cat toy. Find as many manufacturers who make it as possible and assess their products for quality and price. Either search online or use dedicated dropshipping software, some of which has product lists.
Source Other Products Through The Manufacturer
Once you have a few products in place, by far the best way to source other products is through that same manufacturer. Ask them for a product list and see what else they make. Do this for each of your manufacturers, and with luck you’ll have dozens more products you can sell.
Pick Products Very, Very Carefully
As a rule, the smaller the better, and the less difficult to damage the better. Bear in mind that everything a customer buys will be shipped direct from the manufacturer, normally in China. If you ship a wardrobe (for example), then the odds are that it’ll arrive with scuffs and marks on it, if not some dents and cracks. Smaller products fare better.
Automate, Automate, Automate!
Our final point is to automate as much as you can. In dropshipping, you’ll spend most of your time talking to customers and resolving disputes. So any kind of automation can help! Luckily, there are CRMs and all kinds of neat software that can help. Without getting into too much detail, a CRM can help you:
- Manage customer and supplier data without breaking GDPR regulations
- Communicate with customers/suppliers on different platforms through one channel
- Import your supplier’s inventory levels
- Get accurate delivery dates so you can sync shipments from different suppliers to one customer
- Gather data about what sells, when and why so that you can make more money
- Manage multiple sales channels (your site, Amazon, eBay etc) through one platform
…And more! Now, we won’t pretend that this is everything you need to know about dropshipping. Behind each one of the points above are another dozen questions, and the process of sourcing and selling products is a complicated one. But these are problems that research and experience will help you iron out. So get cracking!