This is a step-by-step guide on how to start a dropshipping business, one that many of you have been asking us to write.
Here comes the longest article we ever wrote on this blog. We hope you can make it till the end because believe us, it’s worth it.
So, let’s start with the most basic questions about dropshipping.
Table of Contents
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model where a store owner or retailer can sell products without having an inventory of their own or a distribution center to store and ship the items.
The products they sell come from a supplier or a manufacturer, who is also the one who ships those items directly to the customer.
In other words, these retailers sell products only by posting beautiful images on their online stores, with the suppliers being the ones who actually fulfill the orders.
Below, is how the process works on AppScenic.
Is it still a good time to get into dropshipping?
The interest in dropshipping exploded around 5-6 years ago when millions of people around the world found out about this awesome eCommerce concept.
Of course, people got extremely excited to find out they can launch an online store and run a business without even touching a physical stock. A business where the supplier is responsible for the entire storage, packing, labeling, and shipping to the customers. How awesome does that sound!
And all these still apply today. But to prove our statement about dropshipping still being a successful business model now, here are some hard facts from credible sources that can back all these up.
According to a report done by Grand View Research published in 2019, the global dropshipping market is expected to grow at a rate of 28.8% from 2019 to 2025.
Another market study done by Research and Markets states that the global dropshipping market will reach $591.77 billion by 2027.
Did you know that 22-33% of online retailers have adopted the dropshipping model as their primary method of order fulfillment?
There are also other important statistics that show 56 percent of online sales on Amazon were sold by third-party sellers through dropshipping.
And last but not least, Shopify’s revenue (one of the most popular dropshipping platforms used by online retailers) for the twelve months ending June 30, 2021, was $3.85 billion, meaning an 85.25% increase year-over-year. This is just impressive and it clearly shows the force of dropshipping.
If you want to know more about these, then here’s an article on our blog
Start with choosing the right niche and products
Before even starting a new ecommerce business, you need to put all your efforts into finding the right niche and doing the research to uncover all about it.
Finding the right products to sell from the right niche can make your online store a success story or not. And knowing which products to go for only comes after extensive research.
The right niche is the one that’s not only seasonally trending, but will always be on-demand. You can also check Google Trends to see what’s trending or not or even what other online or physical stores are always out of stock due to high demand.
Another way to choose the right niche is to browse through AppScenic Product Catalogue for niche ideas.
And these are just some of the strategies you can use to identify the best dropshipping niches for you.
According to Shopify, the best dropshipping niches in 2022 and beyond are the following:
- Health and personal care
- Wardrobe and accessories
- Kitchen and grocery
- Home and bedroom
- Office products
- Tools and home improvement
- Camera and cellphone accessories
- Car accessories
Now, once you know which niche to choose, you have to build a strong product strategy, so here’s a great article on the main points you need to consider that can increase your chances of success in the ecommerce and dropshipping industry.
Choose a name for your online store
Have you decided on a niche? If yes, then now is the moment to choose a name for your online store and then buy a domain name.
Where can you start? Well, it depends, maybe the name of your store and business will come to you all of a sudden, or while you’re doing a Google search for a certain product and/or niche. Or maybe you schedule a meeting with your business partner if you have one, family, or friends and start brainstorming for a name. You can also look at your competition and see how they named their stores.
Try to come up with a few ideas for a name, don’t settle for just one. Pick a name that’s unique, but that can also represent what your online store and business are.
As soon as you have your online store name options, then you can check which one has a free domain name. You will see that many domain names are taken, and it’s even more difficult to look for a .com domain name, which we recommend if you want to sell internationally.
Incorporate your company
Now that you have chosen a name for your online business, it’s time to choose your business’s legal structure.
It’s very important that you pay extra attention to this step as it will have huge legal and financial implications for everything related to your business.
As we don’t want to go into too much detail about this step, we will only give you some points on all of these and direct you to some articles that can help you further.
So, you can choose to go for a sole proprietorship, general partnership, LLC, or corporation (C-corp). If you want to know more about each of them, we suggest you go check this article.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each of them, that’s why you should also consult an attorney or another legal professional for advice on the best option for your business. The business structure you decide to opt for actually dictates how your business will be legally recognized and taxed.
The most common choice for dropshipping store owners, one that’s also the simplest to take, is a sole proprietorship.
Now, all you need to do is choose a 3rd party ecommerce marketplace platform and start building your online store. Some of the most popular third-party ecommerce marketplace platforms include Woocommerce, Magneto, BigCommerce or Shopify, among others.
Want to know if you should have a business license or not? Or what are some other legal requirements you may need when starting a dropshipping business? Then go check this article on our blog.
Create your ecommerce store
Another step you need to go through is actually building your ecommerce store. So let’s say you chose Shopify and already have a domain name, now is time to start working on how exactly your online store will look like.
Most e-commerce platforms will give you all the tools needed to create from scratch your ecommerce store. From picking up a theme to customizing your design, add your domain (or purchase one), manage inventory, take and ship orders, receive payment, and more.
Keep in mind that you also need to create your store visual identity, such as a logo and fonts or colors to use. Also, don’t forget to purchase a business email address, we recommend Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite).
Create a retailer account on AppScenic
AppScenic is a dropshipping platform that gives store owners or retailers like you access to over 1 million dropshipping products from top-tier suppliers worldwide. With us, you can connect with the fastest and most reliable suppliers from the USA, EU, UK, CAN (and beyond).
To help you set up your AppScenic Account, here’s a bit about all the steps you need to complete. Don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes.
Step 1 – You need to add your store and integrate AppScenic with your Shopify or WooCommerce stores. More integrations will be available soon.
Step 2 – Select your plan. After setting up your store, you need to pick a subscription plan.
Step 3 – Now you need to setup and configure all your Shipping Details. Watch the video below to see how easy is to do that.
Step 4 – The next step is called Price Formula and it has to do with configuring the default price formula for the products in your store.
Step 5 – This is where you need to setup your Store Wallet and all Payment Details for delivering your first orders.
Step 6 – It’s time to import your first products. So, browse through our extensive catalog and choose what to sell from over 1 million products.
That’s all, now you can start importing and selling more products that are in your niche.
How to discover, browse and import new products from AppScenic to your store
As you can see above, once you connect your store to our platform, you can go through our catalogue and start browsing and importing products to your store.
At the time we are writing this article, our catalog has over 1 million dropshipping and wholesale products, but we’re estimating that we will be having more than 2,000,000 by the end of this year.
New items are added every month, that’s why we know how easy it is to get lost quickly if you don’t know how to navigate through our catalog and identify the winning products that you want to sell.
So, to get you started in the best possible way, here are some best practices regarding our product catalog.
Search, browse and filter – You can filter products by category, stock status, premium only, shipping time, prime availability, ship from and ship to countries, shipping cost, free returns, and many other helpful filters. The idea is to help you get fast and easy to the products that interest you the most.
Explore the right category – with over 100 categories and thousands of sub-categories you can choose from, you need to know your niche before starting your AppScenic journey.
How to import products to your store – Once you find the product you want inside our catalogue just click on the “IMPORT NOW” button that’s below the product card. This will send the item to the “My products” section of your account where you have the chance of reading through its description and all the info provided by our suppliers, from product variants to supplier policy, before deciding to publish it in your store.
Push products to your store – When you’re sure about selling a specific product, you also need to push that product to store in order for it to actually be published on your store. Here’s how to do that: go to “My products” section of your account, and find the product you want to add to your store, then just click on the “PUSH TO STORE” button placed on its right side. Confirm your choice and your product is now published in your store! Hurray!
Start advertising your products
Once your AppScenic Account is ready and all the products are imported to your ecommerce store, you should start advertising your products and online store.
Of course, there are multiple ways you can market your products, from Google Ads, and Social Media Ads to the more traditional ones like word of mouth. What we recommend is to first have your website optimized for Google and implement all the features that come included with the ecommerce platform behind your online store.
After you do all that, you are ready to set up your first Google Ads and Facebook Ads. These are the 2 most important platforms that we think you should start with.
If you are new to advertising on Google and Facebook, here are some free courses for you:
How much money do you need to get started?
Now, many of the dropshipping beginners out there ask this question – what is a realistic minimum budget to start a dropshipping business?
Well, honestly, that is quite difficult to say as it really depends on the type of store, niche, niche size, type of products, audience, competition, and many other things.
But if you want to do this right, and set up a proper store with everything it’s needed, all the features and the tools included, and also keep some budget for advertising, you need around $1500-2500 to start with.
Of course, we’ve seen people having success at dropshipping with less money than that but if we want to be completely honest with you, and help you set up a realistic budget then this is what you should start with. This amount will help you be prepared for what could happen and let you test at least 15 products, also improving your chances of success.
Why is AppScenic the best way to start dropshipping?
AppScenic has everything you need to start a dropshipping business. It’s a next-generation dropshipping platform that gives you access to top and fast suppliers and a catalog of unique, premium products.
Also, we even dare say that AppScenic is not at all expensive and, if you only want to test the dropshipping business, you can even choose a Free Account that lets you import 500 products, but you won’t have access to its awesome automation features.
Now, when you decide to choose one of our paid plans, our app will automate the entire dropshipping process for you, from product sourcing, product import, and 24/7 stock & price sync to auto-ordering, automatic payments, auto-import tracking numbers, and many other powerful features.
It will mean you have one platform for everything – manage your team, handle orders and, most importantly, find high-quality scalable products from trusted and top-rated suppliers.
How come there are so many people failing at dropshipping?
Despite all we have been telling you above, there are still many that fail. Why? Well, mostly because they make a few basic mistakes that set them from the start on the wrong path.
One important reason they fail is going for the wrong suppliers, as are the ones on AliExpress and Oberlo. These types of suppliers have long delivery times and offer products of low quality.
That was one of the reasons we created AppScenic, we wanted to give you a platform where you can work only with top-tier reliable suppliers that follow high-quality standards and can deliver high-quality products super fast. Some of our suppliers can even offer Prime delivery.
Ready to start your AppScenic journey?
If you are still here, then we hope we did convince you we are worth a try.