With dropshipping, it’s easier than ever to run an e-commerce business. Using a perfect-out-of-the-box platform makes launching the site a breeze. Shopify is currently one of the most preferred e-commerce platforms besides other big names like BigCommerce and Magento to name a few.

This is due to a number of factors including ease of setup. You can be up and running in 3 minutes or less with 14-day free trial period.And speaking of ease, what’s cooler than having your e-commerce dropshipping business literally run on autopilot?

Imagine product importation, order management, dropshipping, returns, etc all handled for you! Sounds great right? But before we dive in let’s catch up on some basics.

WHAT IS DROPSHIPPING

Dropshipping is an e-commerce business model where an e-store lists products it doesn’t stock, from different suppliers/manufacturers. Customers place orders, e-store (dropshipper) receives payment, buys from supplier/manufacturer, supplier/manufacturer delivers products/goods direct to customer.

The following infographic breaks it down.

dropshipping

Source: Oberlo

 

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO DROPSHIPPING

Dropshipping has been around a while. TV and radio ads sold items by having owners route them to customers. Similarly, large, bulky items were supplied using this model especially by retailers who didn’t have enough space to store things like furniture.

WHO DROPSHIPS?

Since then dropshipping has evolved. Some notable companies who dropship products directly to customers include

and several multi-million dollar businesses grown on this model like Zappos. Could yours be next?

IS DROPSHIPPING RIGHT FOR YOU?

There are a number of factors that can make your dropshipping business succeed or fail, chief of which is intense competition from retail bigwigs, other mid-sized and smaller dropshippers. Online retail is fast paced; constant innovations, disruptions, and heightening customer expectations are some things to contend with. To succeed with dropshipping requires some hard, smart work.

9 GET-IT-RIGHT-OR-REGRET-IT AREAS OF DROPSHIPPING

In this section, I’ll outline 9 key do-or-die areas of your dropshipping business you need to pay close attention to. The following aspects of your dropshipping business can make the difference between success and failure. You need to watch them closely.

1. PRODUCT SELECTION/SOURCING

Dropship product selection is key to success. What’s the point of effectively fulfilling a faulty device?

Care must be taken to only carry quality items because you do not see what your supplier/manufacturer sends to your customers.

Here, both source and product should be screened. Wholesale Dropshippers Directories have carefully curated lists of trusted suppliers. This saves you a lot of troubles with quality control and avoidable returns.

2. PRODUCT IMPORTATION

After carefully sourcing these products, manually adding thousands of them to your store is another pain point. It takes time and effort. Avoidable errors can occur as a result of stress and strain.

Luckily this process can now be automated. Product importation can be done and dusted with a few clicks and much efficiency, allowing you list even more products in quick time.

3. PRODUCT CUSTOMIZATION

From name, benefits, functions to options, writing unique product descriptions can take up a chunk of your time. Most stores simply copy-paste from suppliers/manufacturers. This is self-defeatist for two reasons.

First, you miss an opportunity for product differentiation, second; you miss out on SEO benefits. Effective product description should be one massive CTA; don’t miss out.

4. ORDER FULFILLMENT

Lots can go wrong between order receipt and fulfillment depending on how you process customer orders to your supplier/manufacturer.

Done manually, key billing/shipping information may be mixed up resulting in wrong order delivery, delivery to wrong address etc. This can result in loss of time, revenue, reputation and relationships. Automatic order fulfillment takes care of this.

5. PRICE-INVENTORY UPDATES

Inventory gaps and price lapses can cause you to take orders for which you’re either out of stock or behind in price and consequently unable to fulfill.

This could cause embarrassment if your supplier is unable to meet up with the order. Keeping up to date records of inventory and prices will prevent this and automation is your best friend.

6. PRICING

Pricing errors can cost your dropshipping business. If you apply discounts, markups or markdowns on products wrongly, you’ll either come too low or go too high, both of which are not too good for business.

Since promos and discounts are part of retail ritual, automating price rules can save you headaches and smoothen your pricing outcomes.

7. SHIPMENT TRACKING

Being able to track orders keeps your customers at ease. Not knowing exactly where their orders are per time can lead to frustration and order cancellation. On the other hand real time tracking information saves you a lot of explanation to customers plus it projects you as being efficient.

8. SALES TRACKING

If order tracking is important, sales tracking is even more important. Without keeping proper track of sales businesses will go off-track in a short while.

Manual measures may work for smaller retailers but as you grow and orders increase you need an effective system to help you scale and automate sales tracking. This need is heightened during holiday shopping seasons.

9. EPACKET FILTERING

A little like Amazon Prime, ePacket filtering helps you see, select and import only the products with fastest delivery times. This can give you a competitive edge. If customers mention in their reviews that you’re fast with delivery, speed conscious shoppers will flock to you. Say goodbye to snail orders with epacket filtering.

HOW TO EFFECTIVELY COVER THESE 9 AREAS

You can search your Shopify store for free apps that cover each of the areas highlighted above, one for each. However, they may have limited functionality.

On the other hand, apps like Oberlo and some others takes off the stress of micro-managing many different apps. It helps you completely automate your dropshipping business.

Getting these essentials right can set you apart from the competition and help you grow your dropshipping business into profits like Irwin Dominguez.

What are your thoughts on dropshipping? Tell us below or Tweet us!