SOME TOP PICKS
WHAT IS DROPSHIPPING?
DROPSHIPPING is a way of doing online trade business where items are been produced and shipped by a remote third party. The goal and work of the business owner are to create a fast web platform, to advertise the items (paid and using organic traffic), to persuade clients to purchase these items and to establish a great promotional and trade plan to sell them.
WHY IS LOVED?
Dropshipping is loved by everyone, starting a business from scratch with not much investment as the business owners do not purchase the products in order to sell them, do not need to have a physical space and storage to keep them and do no take care of the shipping. Manufacturers are the ones who cover this all.
IS IT COMPLETELY FREE OF INVESTMENT?
Dropshipping is a tricky one. It doesn’t need financial injection upfront, but in order to move it forward and develop, you might need solid advertising which is not cheap. Facebook is the place that most drop shippers use to advertise and Facebook is quite stingy on traffic. There are alluring low-cost offers for day and for a dollar, but they do not bring any success as the social media doesn’t even ‘see them’.
As I mentioned above, Facebook is the one where drop-shippers advertise most. It’s recommendable to focus on a small number of products at the beginning in order to see which one would be the scoring one. 5$ per day and per advert is the minimum to spend in order to see it rocking.
Another used place for advertising os Google AdWords, there’s a current trend that online traders move now to it as Facebook became quite expensive.
If your product is unique, which in dropshipping is not easy to achieve (!), you could possibly rely on organic traffic or social media, but again that’s not straightforward as the product needs a public recognition such as some real testimonials. People should trust it.
This leads me to the fourth method – influencers. Where to find them? Do a Google search. There is plenty of websites there. Look for them on Instagram, check the following. The tricky one here is that not most of the following are genuine and you would need to verify it with websites like this https://igaudit.io/. Best is to find an influencer and to pay them for results, but most find this financially unstable and do not agree.
WHY IS HARD TO FIND A GOOD PRODUCT TO SELL?
Aliexpress is one of the most popular wholesale resources of products. Every new drop-shipper tries their luck in Aliexpress. It is quite crowded and as you can guess everyone goes for the cheapest and product variety is slightly vanishing away. This reflects the advertising as you need to compete with other drop-shippers who have got the same product and do the same at the same moment. But I have done a research and found out another supplier, please visit them here: 100 DROPSHIPPING SUPPLIERS.
A hint: find favorite manufacture and negotiate with them.
Con: you will need to insert your products manually to the platform as there are not universal plugins, apps or integrations.
The first one is quality. Selling based on images does not work. Products should be seen, smelled and tested before spending on advertising. Do not ever rush selling a product that you have not seen. Well, that’s not fatal as the item could be returned and refunded.
But … in any case that’s a bad reputation for your online store and your customers will lose interest in the long run as all these procedures take time.
Which leads me to the second issue: time. Time is a great factor as most wholesalers are based in China and the delivery takes time. That’s true there are options such as e-packet which takes less time than the Chinese native shipping service, but again it increases the price of the item.
The most popular one is to include the shipping into the total cost of the item and to claim free delivery and shipping.
The most popular platforms for dropshipping are Shopify and WooCommerce. Both working with Aliexpress fine. I will dedicate another, more detailed, post on this topic in my next article. Follow the blog posts and you will find a free and to the point perspective on which one to use and why.
We all know Shopify as it’s been on the market for years. I remember the first platform. It was exclusively Facebook-based and remember the alluring advertising with 14 days trial I believe.. as far as I remember. As I am always eager on trying new stuff I got tempted twice to try but really didn’t know what to do with it and was just wasting my trials as I either didn’t have time to focus on that or learn or just e-commerce and all related was very new for me. I guess this was 10 years ago.
Then Shopify changed and then drifted almost apart from Facebook and became a leader on the market. The idea of Shopify was to start from the small to the big: from the small physical shop to convert them to online stores; from the average person to the big corporations.
Shopify made a lot of people a real success. Some of them became billionaires.
USER – FRIENDLY
The platform is so user-friendly: there’s no specific need to know to code in order to operate with it. There’s no need to be a fantastic marketer to use it. It is for everyone out there who has got something to sell or to dropship.
Each e-commerce platform should be fast, otherwise the visitors’ loose temper and leave the website. This is something that Shopify does care about.
HOSTING AND DOMAIN
They also give you hosting, so no need to search one, if keen on buying a domain from them it is also possible, but rates are higher than if you do proper research and find the best offer.
Unfortunately, the free number of themes is limited, but in most cases, they work well. My advice is to check them all in regards to the speed they run with. Do not neglect the paid ones if you need a good working theme and you can afford and invest.
Shopify can be used freely for two weeks.
PRIVACY, COOKIE, TERMS & CONDITIONS, REFUND POLICIES
All are included in the package so you shouldn’t care about it.
A HUGE VARIETY OF APPS
There’s a huge variety of apps free and paid included in the platform. I guess easier to set up and run for a beginner than the WordPress plugins.
OBERLO FOR DROPSHIPPING: If you dropship, Shopify is a better option as Oberlo is free at least up to a certain amount. This app connects your online store with Aliexpress. It helps to calculate the shipping, estimate delivery, etc.
FRAUD ANALYSIS That’s a really great plus as the platform warns against fraudulent activities and blocks them.(2020 update)
Having said fraud, I just recalled myself a beautiful article I read on this topic – that’s really thorough research on the Internet Security made by my colleagues from Broadband And Search Net, so in order to know how to prevent frauds and stay secure online, go and check them: https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/how-to-tell-website-safe-legitimate.
Prices start from as little as $9 per month but keep in mind this is just the initial Facebook integration from the past which I discussed already. The most used plan costs $29 and allows partnering with a coworker. It’s perfect for beginning or small business. Then $79 for bigger enterprises with more working people, with bigger discounts for shipping expenses, access to mail, the POS app allows including working shifts etc and finally the $299 which is for 15 people staff and includes all features. But that’s not all. Shopify experts are very friendly for huge enterprises allowing more than 15 people. It is called Shopify Plus and it is tailored according to your needs.
I am a fan of it and use it for 8 years so far. The thing is that to use it you should be already possessing some knowledge and experience.
As I mentioned above the platform requires some knowledge of how it works technically or at least to try first with Shopify and then to migrate to WooCommerce and Shopify. The reason for that is that Shopify as a paid one has it all so you can actually learn from it and then to move to WooCommerce.
This is one of the WordPress cons as speed is not easily achievable if you not necessarily use a developer. But still, if you select the right theme or optimize the images and cache it won’t be such an issue.
HOSTING AND DOMAIN
These are components that give much more freedom here. You choose the hosting plan, you choose the domain, so basically it will be much cheaper than with Shopify. Eg : domain – $2/year ; hosting : $6/month. If you are looking for no-contract hosting and affordable domain Interserver has got the right solution for you. No contract solution is best as it allows us to suspend the provider at any time.
The variety is massive from free to paid, but also you should have already a practical knowledge on how to customize them or start learning. You can start with a free but if you can afford paid ones, it will give you better quality and freedom.
There’s no such a term here as it is open source and it is completely free.
There’s no such a service here and it is required from you to do research and either find an expert to write them up or use online generators. Keep in mind that most are paid. Cookies warnings are included in WordPress, but they are not enough to cover the specific requirements.
PLUGINS AND WIDGETS
Replace apps here. There’s a great variety of them, most free or inexpensive. In the past was very common to keep plugins which literally destroy a website in a new version. Now by the looks of it, this problem has been somehow solved.
This is the alternative of Oberlo here. It reminds a lot of it, but it’s more limited in terms of the amount of freely included items. But it works and it works well.
This is not something that is native to the platform. But there should be a plugin for that. I am sure that with good research one could be found. There are plugins for everything.
As I mentioned above, WordPress is an open-source platform, which means that it belongs to everyone who would like to develop it, hence free of charge.
The plugin WooCommerce is a totally free, and open-source content management system (CMS).
The cost which you might need to cover is for additional not really necessary features and extras.
If you are an entrepreneur who really starts with no experience, use a Shopify as a kick-off. When you reach the status of ‘know it all’ move on to WordPress and WooCommerce.