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How to Start a Successful Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is a business model which has grown in popularity over the past several years, particularly among small-business owners and online entrepreneurs. If you’re looking to start your own dropshipping business, it’s important to be familiar with what dropshipping actually is, as well as how to get started with it.

Choosing a niche

After you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to narrow down your niche. Chances are, there’s already a market of buyers looking for products or services that fulfill their needs. All you have to do is find them and create offers they can’t refuse. For example, if you want to start an online jewelry business, then look at competitors in your space. Is there room for something new? Or are their niches filled?

Choosing your eCommerce platform

Before you get started with an eCommerce business, it’s important to determine which platform you want to use. If you already have experience with Shopify or BigCommerce and are confident they’re a good fit for your business, then go ahead and start building your site there. If not, I would suggest giving WooCommerce or Magento CE2 a try. Both of these platforms are open source, meaning they’re free. However, they do require more technical knowledge in order to set up.

Setting up your Shopify store

When you’re starting out, you can use Shopify as a platform for your store. You can even create an online store for free and pay only when it starts making money. Once you’ve created your account, you can start building your website by adding products. To do that, simply click on Products in your dashboard and then click on Add product. The next step is to add some photos of your products with some details about them: name, price, description etc.

Finding suppliers on Alibaba

Alibaba is currently one of the biggest online marketplaces in China, with thousands of sellers and millions of customers. Anyone can open an account on Alibaba and list their products for sale; you don’t need to be incorporated or even located in China. The company provides very detailed profiles for each member, including contact information and product images. Before you start shopping, spend some time getting familiar with Alibaba so that you know what it takes to be successful at dropshipping on this site.

Optimizing your Shopify store

Before you launch your store, you’ll want to prepare it for success. There are several things you can do to ensure that you get off on a good foot. To start, there are two key components of your store: The product itself and its presentation on your website. Optimizing both is critical if you want customers to feel comfortable and trust that they’re shopping at a reputable online store. Here are some tips for optimizing each aspect of your Shopify dropshipping business.

Shipping and returns

If you plan on selling your products via dropshipping, you'll have nothing to worry about in terms of shipping and returns. However, if you want your customers to pay for shipping or get return service, you will need an ecommerce solution with shopping cart features. Some providers offer these services for free when you sign up for their services. If not, there are many affordable third-party solutions that can help you out here as well.

Marketing your online store

It is easier than ever before to start an online store and sell physical products. In fact, many sites will even handle your shipping and packaging, taking a cut of your sales along the way. The trick to being successful lies in marketing your store—you can’t expect customers who don’t know you exist to just find you one day. With some legwork up front, though, you can ensure that shoppers are seeing what they need when they search for what you sell. Here are some strategies to get started: