The online market is undoubtedly huge and growing all the time as more and more people have access to the internet and electronics. Nowadays, people tend to choose more convenient and faster ways to buy goods. Because of this, they are turning to e-commerce stores rather than stationary ones. According to Statista, more than 2.14 billion people are expected to buy goods online by the end of 2021. If you want to participate in this steadily growing market, you first have to decide which business model you want to use.
Dropshipping has grown in popularity over the past decade as the barriers to entry are relatively lower than with traditional e-commerce. You basically just need a reliable supplier or group of suppliers, a well-functioning online shop and of course your marketing skills. Dropshipping is generally less risky than the traditional form of e-commerce because it doesn’t require you to hold inventory or deal with inventory management yourself. Your supplier is the one who sources, stores, packs and ships all the products to your customers that you sell in your own ecommerce store.
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If this all sounds like your cup of tea then let’s see how you can achieve it. If you don’t already have an ecommerce store, there are several options that you can consider that will allow you to set up a store without any technical knowledge. One of the simplest and most popular is WordPress, which is also a CMS (Content Management System) that allows you to manage online content without any programming knowledge. WordPress and WooCommerce made it easy for anyone to create websites or ecommerce stores, so you can see so many of them are flooding the market today. But if you want to stand out from the crowd and be successful at WordPress dropshipping, read on and we’ll equip you with the best tips and tricks to follow. Let’s start at the very beginning.
First of all, you need to choose your niche and the product or category of products that you want to offer. When researching your possible future offering, there are essentially three things you need to look out for. First, you need to evaluate consumer trends to see the best selling products. Second, you need to be familiar with your prospects’ buying habits in order to predict your future traffic and sales. Third, look at the market saturation you want to enter. This step is very important as you don’t want to get into a situation where you have to compete for your customers’ attention with much larger competitors for price alone. By evaluating your potential niches based on the three characteristics above, you can be sure to determine which will best suit your business.
Once you have established the product and your niche that you are offering it, it is time to find the perfect supplier to support you. There are many ways to find your best partner. So we encourage you to read one of our previous articles on how to find the right dropshipping provider for your business.
Once you’ve set up your target market, products, and supplier, it’s time to build your actual ecommerce store. If you are planning on running your business with WordPress, the first thing you need to do is set up a WordPress website. WordPress is the number one choice for many new ecommerce retailers and not only because it’s free, but also because it has many other useful features that you’ll want to take advantage of. It’s an open source website that gives you complete freedom to customize and automate your WordPress dropshipping business. Additionally, the hosting prices are significantly lower than their counterpart so there is no question why having a WordPress dropshipping store would be of great benefit to you. But what are the steps you need to take to get your ecommerce site up and running?
Get a Domain
To have a website that people can freely access, you need a domain. Without going into too much technical detail, to put it simply, the domain is the identification of your website which is created by the computer on which it is hosted. When someone searches for your company name or the domain you have chosen, they should be the first place to go. When you own your domain, you have to pay a host to host your website and its content on their servers. Be sure to choose one with an SSL certificate. This allows your website to switch from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. It facilitates SSL encryption and, in addition to identity and other information, contains the website’s public key. It is used to protect your users’ data and prevent attackers from creating a fake version of your website.
Choose from a variety of themes and plug-ins
Once you’ve got all of the essentials set up, it’s time to build your WordPress dropshipping site. You need to start by setting the tone of your brand or store through the prospects of your ecommerce store. You can do this by choosing one of the free or paid WordPress themes that are presented to you. You have thousands of options available, all you have to do is choose and install the one that you like best. It’s important to know that these are pre-made themes, but whenever you want, you can customize them even further to better suit the view you want. Now that you have a domain and a website theme which means your eCommerce store is basically up and running, but you don’t want to stop there.
Next, you want to install and activate a number of useful plug-ins on your website to automate certain functions. The most important one is WooCommerce which you can use to complete your dropshipping website. Just follow the setup wizard to get your basic information. Once you’re ready, you’ll have a secure website that can protect your customers’ transactions. But you’re not done yet if you want to run a WooCommerce dropshipping store. You’ll need to buy and install the WooCommerce dropshipping ad-on, which will cost you $ 49 annually to use. This extension helps you set your desired margin, route your customers’ orders to your suppliers, send your customers individual email notifications about the status of their order and import your products from your supplier’s CVS files.
Add products to your shop
After completing the previous steps, you now have a fully functional WooCommerce dropshipping website. So it’s time to add your products. Go to your dashboard, select “Products” and click “Add New”. Chances are you won’t have to manually add your products as most suppliers provide CVS files that you can automatically import through your WooCommerce dropshipping add-on. This will help you add a variety of products with all the necessary product information and pictures quickly and easily. In addition, some vendors even have their own plug-ins that you can install that help you not only import the products into your shop, but also view real-time inventory levels.
Start promoting your business
After you’ve set up your shop and made your products available, you can’t expect sales from the first few minutes. You are new to the sea of many other dropshipping companies so you need to make a splash in your business in order to get customers to your website. While organic search can work well when you have a unique product, it probably won’t be enough to get the sales you want.
Fortunately, the dropshipping business model gives you plenty of time to focus on this aspect of your business as inventory management, packaging, and shipping are all taken care of by your supplier. You want to allocate a specific budget to your marketing strategy every month. It’s important to know your target customers well and know exactly where they spend their time online. You could be spending a lot of money on Facebook ads and serving them well, but if your target customer base isn’t using Facebook, chances are you’re not going to direct anyone to your store’s page. Experiment and see which channels, content and tone of voice appeal to your customers the most. If you need some tips to get started, check out our article on Ten Popular Content Marketing Ideas For Your WooCommerce Dropshipping Store.
Manage your orders
If you’ve done your marketing right, now is the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and see your orders come in. First and foremost, you need to make sure that your order gets on to your supplier as soon as possible. You not only have to tell your supplier the goods you have ordered, but also the details of your customer. And of course, now is the time to pay your supplier too. You may be able to do this manually at first, but once the number of your orders increases you will feel overwhelmed. As mentioned above, some providers even offer their own plug-ins that you can install on your WordPress dropshipping website. BrandsGateway, for example, has developed an app that supports dropshipping by providing the ability to integrate and synchronize Shopify and WooCommerce stores. The features of this app allow for easy category assignments, real-time inventory synchronization, automatic inventory updates, currency conversion, and determination of desired profit margins.
These are the easiest for you to communicate with your supplier when adding new products, updating available inventory, and fulfilling orders.
Master customer service
Unfortunately, running an e-commerce shop always involves handling customer complaints. This is even more true when you have a dropshipping shop, as you can never be 100% sure that everything will be done the way you want it to be. When running a WooCommerce dropshipping store, a lot depends on your supplier. But even with the best local supplier, some orders can run into problems.
It is important that you provide excellent customer service at all times so that your customers don’t vent their frustration on your social media channels, which are at the heart of your marketing strategy. If you also excel at helping them with their problems, you can even earn a returning customer. If you want to learn more about how to deal with a dissatisfied customer, check out our previous article on Dealing with Customer Complaints as a Dropshipping Business Owner.
With this article, you have a handy guide with all the information you need to start your WordPress dropshipping shop. While there are always new tricks that you can use to evolve your eCommerce store in the future, this is enough for you to start your journey. Don’t wait any longer to change your life as dropshipping can serve as both a sideline job and a full-time business opportunity. We hope that you feel ready for the challenge and look forward to becoming part of the eCommerce entrepreneur community.