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Common Questions and Answers
Dropshipping is a form of selling online. Unlike other ecommerce business models, dropshipping doesn’t require you to actually ‘own’ your inventory. Instead of having to pay for, ship, store, and dispatch your goods, you simply take the order online, pass it along to your supplier, and let them do the rest.
The continued rise of dropshipping over the last ten years has been meteoric – and it’s easy to see why. Not having to pay through the nose for shelf space, staff wages, and stock volume is very appealing. Modern entrepreneurs are turning to dropshipping for a low-risk, wallet-filling route to a successful ecommerce business.
So, how can dropshipping increase your burgeoning online company’s ecommerce sales, exactly? Read on to find out!
The key tenet of dropshipping is that you don’t have to hold the stock you’re selling yourself.
Yep – your dropshipping supplier takes care of all that for you. Perhaps the most prominent benefit is that you’re not limited by the amount of stock you can physically store.
Since a lack of access to funds and cash flow is one of the biggest barriers freshly-formed US businesses face in getting off the ground, this is a huge boon for the newcomers. But how can it help you increase your ecommerce store’s sales?
Well, look at it this way. As you’re not limited to selling only what you can afford, dropshipping allows you to compete with larger companies. You won’t need immediate access to a big budget to get an immediate slice of that sweet market share.
Plus, most ecommerce store owners will have experienced being unable to fulfil an order due to stock levels. It’s not nice – but when you dropship, those concerns are a thing of the past!
So, you’re already saving money by not having to pay to own your stock, or to store it.
You’re also freeing up cash by not having to pay staff, or the costs of fulfilment and shipping. Basically, you’ve got a lot of budget to spare. And what are you going to spend it on?
Your marketing, of course!
But that doesn’t mean you should dive straight into the deep end, and plunge all your carefully-curated funds into heavy-hitting paid advertising campaigns. This method – which involves paying for click-throughs to your site – is expensive. It’s also unlikely you’ll be able to match the leviathan budgets boasted by the industry’s biggest players.
Nope – you’ve better off coming up with long-term content, SEO, and brand-building strategies. These help foster greater customer loyalty and engagement.
Just ask Ricky Hayes, dropshipping expert and co-founder of Shopify theme ‘Debutify’:
“The [dropshipping] industry is now moving towards building a brand, which basically is just obtaining a loyal customer who will buy from you time and time again. This is the only way to combat the high expenses of marketing and running an online business in 2021 and beyond.”
So without further ado, here are a few quick tips for building a brand in 2021:
Of course, not all of the above costs money – it’s more time and energy than anything! But, when you select dropshipping, you’ll be freeing up plenty of stocks of all three.
And, when you’re at the stage when you’ve grown a business and budget that rivals your competitors, you can start thinking about funneling some of those funds back into paid campaigns, and making some seriously big bucks.
One of the obvious ways that dropshipping can increase ecommerce sales is through the doors it opens to international markets.
It’s simple – because you’re able to work with suppliers based all around the world, you can sell to customers in countries you’d never thought it was possible to. Plus – unlike a traditional business model – you won’t be liable for shipping rates when delivering your products to overseas addresses.
But don’t just take our word for it – ask the experts!
Raitis Purins, who’s in charge of marketing operations for dropshipping giant Printful, believes internationalization presents one of the top opportunities for scaling dropshipping businesses – particularly across the pond, and even further East.
“Currently, our biggest focus is on the US market, [but] we’re continuously investing in expanding our market to Europe, too. The Western European market grew by 150% in 2018, compared to the previous year.
“Another market we’re starting to explore is Japan. We’ve launched a website in Japanese, and are currently evaluating the market’s potential. Since the start of our Japanese marketing campaigns, our number of Japanese-speaking customers has increased 73 times… indicating good potential!”
Despite the scope of international dropshipping to increase your store’s ecommerce sales, another leading expert offers a warning:
“I wish I’d known that selling cheap products from China with long delivery times was not the business model that would sustain me for the long term,” says Lewis Smith, a dropshipping entrepreneur from London, England. “Dropshippers do a lot of experimenting when they first start out. I dabbled in the sale of poor quality men’s fashion accessories – sourced from AliExpress – for my first store.”
“The lesson I learned was that, by working with reputable UK-based suppliers (known as domestic dropshipping), and selling higher-priced items (high-ticket dropshipping), I could deliver faster, and make for happier customers.”
While expanding beyond borders can increase sales, working with more local, higher quality suppliers should be your top priority!
If you do it right, starting a business comes with plenty of rewards. But to obtain them, you’ll have to be comfortable sitting with no small amount of risk, too.
There’s the risk of ordering too much stock, for example, and being unable to sell it. There’s the risk of trends or events conspiring to render your products obsolete, or unpopular. Of course, there’s also the opposite. Not being able to order enough stock to feed consumer demand, and standing by idly as your competitors colonize a topical new frontier of the market.
Of course, dropshipping does away with all of these problems for you.
Not having to purchase and store all your stock beforehand, dropshipping makes it easy to capitalize on customer trends. It enables you to sell in a more agile, versatile way. Rather than having to wait weeks for a product to arrive in your warehouse, you can start selling them immediately. And potentially even undercutting your competitors – who aren’t dropshipping – by offering shorter waiting times.
Plus, there’s no chance of you getting stuck with obsolete stock, either. With dropshipping, you only pay for the stock you’ve already sold through your ecommerce store. There’s all the reward, with none of the risk!
Ultimately, it’s easy to start a dropshipping business. What’s less easy, though, is making it successful. It’s not for people just looking to make a quick buck. Or for those uninterested in putting up the necessary time and financial commitments that are inevitably involved.
Dropshipping is for you, if you have the persistence and passion to make it work. Moreover – if done right – dropshipping can increase your store’s sales by freeing you up from having to own the stock.
With the increased volume, reach, and marketing budget this allows for – not to mention its handy minimization of the risks – dropshipping offers the foundation you need to grow your online business from the ground up. Good luck!
Enjoyed this article? Be sure to check out the range of related content on our blog for more sales, marketing, and tech inspiration!
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