- 1 3. Do competitor research
- 2 4. Dropshipping suppliers are the best
- 3 5. Your ecommerce store is built
- 4 6. 6.Decide on a business structure
- 5 7. Make sure you have your finances in order
- 6 8. Market your dropshipping store
- 7 9. Improve your offering by analysing it
3. Do competitor research
Once you have a clear idea of what you will sell in your store’s sales, it is time to examine the work of your competition. You may find great insights from your competitors and this can help you create a strong marketing plan for dropshipping.
Dropshipping is more successful if there are a lot of competition in your market. If this happens, limit your research to five dropshipping companies. This will help you stay focused and plan your next steps.
Here are some ways you can conduct competitor research:
- Run a Google search. Google is a good place to start. You can use Google to compile a list of five top competitors. Start by searching for key terms, such as “earplugs” or “earbuds.” The top 10 results will reveal who your top competitors and how they promote their products. To focus on specific countries, you can use third-party tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush to search for keyword data.
- Use competitor spy software like SimilarWeb or Alexa to track your competitors’ online activities. These tools will give you information about your competitors’ websites, including their social media profiles and top traffic sources. They also provide details about who their rivals are.
- Explore social media. Look for Facebook ads within your niche to find the best brands. You can also check out how the business communicates and engages with customers. This information will help you to identify ways to make your business stand out and to improve your social media marketing strategy.
- Get updates from your competitors via email. Get a glimpse into their marketing strategy by signing up for their email newsletter. Learn more about their promotions and offers to get customers to buy.
Find out everything you can about your top competitors, including their websites, prices, marketing strategies, product descriptions, reputation, and so on. You can keep your research in a spreadsheet so that you can quickly refer to it when you make decisions about your store. If you are interested in using email marketing to promote your company, you can refer to your spreadsheet to find out if your competitors are doing it.
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4. Dropshipping suppliers are the best
A key step in establishing a successful dropshipping company is choosing a supplier. Dropshipping businesses without suppliers would not have products to ship to their customers, and therefore would cease to exist.
You have now vetted the products you wish to sell, and you know that they are profitable. Now you need to find dropshipping suppliers who can provide you with the quality service you require to grow your business. Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify make it easy to connect Oberlo with your online store and find potential suppliers.
Oberlo makes it easy for you to find products that you can sell online. You can easily find high-profit products from dropshipping companies around the globe and add them to you store, regardless of whether they are electronics, fashion, toys or other trendy items. You don’t have to worry about shipping, packaging, or inventory management. The app forwards orders to dropshipping suppliers. It is free to get started.
Oberlo uses AliExpress to allow you to find and add products into your store. The Oberlo product page has more information about shipping times and product quality.
Clicking a link to a supplier will take you to its AliExpress page. Here you can read reviews and see top-selling products.
Keep in mind that Oberlo products can only be sold if they offer shipping. If your supplier is Chinese, you should not. EPacket allows you to dropship items from China to countries such as the US, UK, and Canada. It is an affordable shipping method. Your customers won’t have to wait for months for their package to arrive in China. Instead, they will need to wait for it to arrive in two weeks, or less, at a very low cost of just a few dollars.
5. Your ecommerce store is built
To start a dropshipping company, you will need an ecommerce platform such as Shopify. This is where you will send traffic, sell products and process payments.
Shopify makes it simple to create and launch an ecommerce website. Shopify is a comprehensive commerce platform that lets you sell online in multiple locations, accept payments in multiple currencies and manage your products.
Shopify doesn’t require you to be a developer or designer. Shopify doesn’t require you to be a developer or designer. You can use Shopify’s tools to create a store, change its look and feel with the store builder or Shopify themes.
6. 6.Decide on a business structure
You will need to establish a legal business entity if you are serious about your venture. Although we are not attorneys and cannot offer legal advice, we can provide a list of three common business structures.
This business structure is simple to set up, but it does not offer personal liability protection. Your personal assets could also be at risk if your company is sued. There are no filing requirements and your earnings can be reported on your personal taxes. You don’t need to file any other federal or state business filings.
Limited liability company (LLC).
By forming your business as an LLC, you can increase your protection of personal assets. Although the liability protection is not foolproof, it offers more protection than sole proprietorships. Additional filing requirements may be required and you will need to pay ongoing and incorporation fees.
Major corporations are usually set up as C-corporations. This provides the greatest liability protection, provided it is done correctly. Because income does not pass directly to shareholders, they are more costly to incorporate.
Which structure should you choose? We are not lawyers, so we recommend that you consult one before making any incorporation decisions. Small entrepreneurs will choose to either form an LLC or sole proprietorship. We have used an LLC to dropship all our businesses. It offers us the best compromise between liability protection, financial autonomy, and cost control.
Note: Information about the business structure and EIN (employer identification numbers) discussed above are only applicable to entrepreneurs in the United States. It won’t be applicable to entrepreneurs from other countries. Please refer to the notes at the bottom of this article for information about incorporating an American-based business outside of the US.
Get an EIN number to help your business
All businesses must have an employer identification number, which is a Social Security number. This number is required to file taxes, apply wholesale dropshipping accounts, open bank accounts, and basically do anything related to your company.
It is simple and easy to get an EIN number. You can request an EIN number online .
7. Make sure you have your finances in order
When starting a business, entrepreneurs often mix their personal and business finances. If you are ever audited by the IRS, this can cause confusion and make accounting more difficult.
It is important to keep your personal and business finances separate. It is best to open new accounts under your business name. The following accounts are recommended:
Checking account for business
All of your business finances should be managed through one main checking account. You should deposit all business income into this account and withdraw any expenses from it. This will make Accounting easier and more efficient.
A business credit card should only be used for business expenses or dropshipping inventory. You can earn serious rewards by choosing the right rewards travel card, as you will be purchasing a lot from suppliers. Capital One offers the best travel rewards program, while Fidelity Visa/American Express has the best cash-back program.
Collect sales tax
Only if you can prove the following:
- Sales tax is collected by the state where you are operating.
- Someone living in your state places an order
You won’t have to collect any taxes on orders from residents of other states. These laws may change in the future, but the tax laws that are applicable to small online merchants for now are quite advantageous.
Be prepared to pay sales tax if your state has it. To register as a retailer in your state, you will need to contact the Department of Commerce. They will also tell you how often you must submit the tax.
Licenses for local businesses
Most towns and cities require that businesses obtain a business license which must be renewed on an ongoing basis. Dropshipping businesses may not need to meet this requirement, as many dropshippers will operate from their home offices. To find out what is required, you can check your local laws.
Incorporating outside of the United States
Although it can seem complicated, international merchants can incorporate a company in the United States. This will allow them to access dropshippers and customers from the United States. To complete all paperwork, the merchant must travel to the USA to meet with a trusted partner who can assist him, or hire an agency.
These resources will help you get started understanding the process. However, we recommend that you consult with a lawyer before taking any decisions.
- Doing Business In the USA: A Bullet Point Guide For Foreign Business People by Aaron Wise, a New York attorney
- Nonresident Delaware LLC and Corporation for Foreigners by Delaware Corporate Headquarters
Learn more: How does Amazon dropshipping work? This is a no-nonsense guide
8. Market your dropshipping store
Now that you have an idea of how to start a dropshipping company, let’s talk about how to market your store. You may need to invest more in marketing and advertising to make your dropshipping business stand out.
Dropshipping is so automated that you can focus on marketing and promotion instead.
- Paid ads (Facebook or Google). A Facebook ad costs around .97 cents a click. This is a good price if you are new to advertising on the social media site. They are flexible, can be used by products, and tap into impulse buying. You can create Shopping Ads in Google to target long-tail keywords that are more likely for shoppers to buy. Google ads are more expensive than other options, but it might be worth your while to try it.
- Influencer marketing. You may be a dropshipper with a small budget. Because people trust influencers better than traditional advertising, Influencer Marketing is an affordable way of reaching your target audience. You can negotiate an affiliate fee or flat rate with the influencers if you choose to go this route. This is a win-win scenario, as they will make more from each sale, and you will pay less.
- Content marketing. To build long-term traffic to your dropshipping store, you should include content marketing in your business plan. Create content that educates and entertains your target audience. Start a blog about your dropshipping niche. To help spread the word about your brand, you could also create infographics and a YouTube channel.
- Join communities that are passionate about your topic. Reddit, Facebook Groups and online forums are great places to start conversations with potential customers. Don’t be too salesy when you engage with a community. You should aim to build trust and relationships with potential customers to ensure they are comfortable using your brand and will want to purchase from you.
- Mobile Marketing. This broad term refers to businesses connecting with customers via their mobile phones. You can create a VIP text club to encourage site visitors to sign up and receive exclusive deals and promotions. You can also provide customer support via Messenger chat. You can automate lead generation, customer retention, cart abandonment campaigns, and other mobile marketing platforms like ManyChat to increase sales and revenue for dropshipping businesses.
You must keep track of which channels are performing well and which ones are not, especially if you are investing in paid ads. You can adjust your marketing strategy as your business grows and improves. This will allow you to reduce costs and increase revenue.
9. Improve your offering by analysing it
Once you have been managing and marketing your dropshipping business for a while, it’s time to start seeing the results of all your hard work. Shopify analytics will help you answer important questions about your online shop, such as:
- Sales What are my most successful channels? Which channels should I spend more advertising dollars? Which are my top-selling products? What are the best products to create and sell Which are my top customers?
- Shopper Behavior: Do people buy more on mobile or desktop? What is the conversion rate for each device
- Profit margins Which products and variants of SKUs are most profitable? How do my gross and sales figures compare month to month?
Google Analytics and Search Console can be used to track search traffic and improve search engine optimization (SEO). You can also check your reports monthly if you use a third-party app to manage your Messenger marketing or social media.
You should create an analytics system that is data-informed when creating dropshipping ecommerce stores. Keep the same data you are using over time, and compare your store’s performance to clear KPIs. This will allow you to make better decisions and help your small business grow.