In the World of dropshipping, those who are better prepared get better results.
When you’re planning to buy an online business, isn’t it better to have an in-depth understanding of what you’re about to purchase?
While taking risks is absolutely mandatory when it comes to business, there are also situations you should avoid, where risking it all is just not worth it. Digital acquisitions require knowledge, which is why you should know about the risks to avoid when buying an online business before reaching a final decision.
Similarly, mapping out your dropshipping journey can help you save both time and money, as well as ensure success.
In this comprehensive dropshipping guide, we’re going to outline seven crucial things you need to know before starting a dropshipping business.
#1: Niche Stores Are Better Than General Stores
If you select a narrow range of products for your online shop, your odds to succeeding in dropshipping increases remarkably.
One of the many advantages of a niche store is that you get around competing with eBay, Amazon, and offline supermarkets that offer the same goods. Large-scale online shops often lack the flexibility and consumer-friendly attitude. This is where you can secure a huge competitive advantage.
Also, it’s easier to find your target audience.
It’s not easy to come up with a marketing strategy when running a general store. For that, you’ll have to know the communities and websites that your potential customers visit.
Narrowing down the goods you sell allows you to draw up a clear, concise marketing plan—and marketing is important in dropshipping business.
Furthermore, SEO tasks become much easier!
You want people to come across your website easily while buying online. That means you need to make your website and product pages SEO-optimized. This task is nearly impossible when it comes to general stores.
Taking a niche enables you to search for the right keywords and make your site appear on top of Google search results pages, helping to boost both your traffic and sales.
#2: Use Google Trends to Find Your Niche
Would you ever purchase a slide projector?
Probably not, unless it is for a museum exhibition, perhaps.
The thing is, the items you sell should be in demand. Or else, your business doesn’t really make any sense.
Luckily, there’s a free tool called Google Trends to help you research the market. You can choose an item you’d like to sell, pick a specific time period, and this nifty tool will show you how many users were searching for this item (or a related topic) on Google.
This way, you’ll be able to see the ups and downs in products’ demand based on the location, season, etc. After that, it’s up to you whether or not the product is worth adding to the list of things you plan to sell on your online store.
Take a look at the screenshot below. Slide projectors clearly won’t bring you enough money.
While at the same time, GPS trackers, should do the trick just fine!
(Source: Google Trends)
#3: Choose Your Domain Wisely
Before starting any business, you should choose a domain for your website.
Many beginners take this step lightly. Meanwhile, it’s one of the crucial parts for the future of your dropshipping business. A good domain name can increase your ranking in search results pages and inspire consumers’ trust.
Find the best domain name generator to choose a domain based on your niche keywords.
Keep your domain name as short as possible so that it rolls off the tongue easily. Why? Because that way, it will be easier for your site visitors to memorize your website name and use it.
Remember, the most trustworthy and SEO-friendly domains go with “.com.” Although it’s hard to find such good ones, you shouldn’t give up trying. And once you find a suitable domain, the next step is to find the best hosting service to build your dropshipping site.
#4: Use the Right eCommerce Platform
Most of the eCommerce platforms charge monthly fees. Besides, they give entrepreneurs a hard time by limiting their ownership. For beginners, this may turn out to be a big problem.
Luckily, there’s a way to solve this issue!
WordPress—a content management system (CMS), allows you to build a convenient and user-friendly site. It’s free and easy-to-use. Creating a website on WordPress doesn’t require any coding skills.
Next, you can use a plugin to convert your WordPress site into a fully functional dropshipping store. So, if you don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, this can be the perfect solution for you.
#5: SEO Is Everything
As already mentioned, SEO plays a vital role in building a successful online business. Unfortunately, many still underestimate the importance of SEO in their success.
SEO is the cheapest and the most effective way to drive traffic to your website. Therefore, every eCommerce business should learn about this promotional instrument.
It’s no surprise that we turn to the web in search for the relevant information. That’s why smart business owners optimize their websites—this way customers can find them easily in search engines.
Write proper titles and descriptions to the product pages. Also, don’t forget to add the necessary keywords in your content. Fill your website with informative, trendy content, and you’ll bring in more visitors to your online store in no time.
#6: Set Secure Payment Gateways
Trust is the most precious thing these days.
You need to assure your customers that they’re safe while purchasing from you. Thus you need to think of your payment gateways in advance. Consider the following things before doing so.
- Make sure the payment gateway is accessible in your region and in your target audience’s resident countries.
- Compare the transaction fees. While it’s tempting to go with the option that offers the lowest costs, you should take your time as there’s something more to consider.
- Check if the gateway supports multi-currency. Keep in mind that you may end up working with international audiences as well.
- Find out if your gateways accept all the major credit cards as well as debit cards (i.e., MasterCard, Visa, AmericanExpress, etc.).
- Also, don’t forget that your dropshipping store should accept PayPal payments.
Now is the time to make your final decision. If you’re still confused about which payment gateways to choose, consider Stripe and 2Checkout payment providers as they’re well recommended by eCommerce business owners.
#7: Your Reputation Precedes You
What’s the first thing you do when you come across a tempting offer to purchase something online?
Yes! You start searching for all the information about the seller as well as the real-life quality of the product. In simple terms, you start looking for trusted customer reviews.
Research shows that 70% of customers look for online reviews before buying something.
The easiest way to check feedbacks is to type the name of the store in Google and hit the search button. Google will then display the buyers’ reviews in the right part of the screen along with the store rating.
Remember, your reputation should not cast any doubts!
Each time a customer sends you a “thank you” email, request them to leave their comments on your website as well as on your business’s social media accounts. If you receive any negative reviews, consider sorting them out as soon as you can. After that, ask the reviewer to change or remove their comment.
Make sure to reply to every comment no matter how hard it seems. Your reputation drives your sales. Therefore, you need to cherish and protect it!
If you made it this far, it’s safe to say that you’re now fully prepared to start your dropshipping business.
We hope this post will allow you to avoid the major risks dropshipping entrepreneurs face while starting their own business. We’re always looking forward to reading your comments and feedback, and are eager to reply!