Whether you want to create an additional stream of income or work your way out of your job, starting a dropshipping store is an ideal way to meet your goals. A dropshipping business is a low-cost, low-risk online business model.
Getting started with your own store is much easier today than it was years ago. Today, you have many choices in terms of how to create your store. However, in this post, I will explain how to get your store without spending a lot on software or tools.
Why Dropship Versus Buying Inventory and Selling Online?
The most common type of online retail business involves buying inventory from a wholesale supplier and then storing that inventory in your home or a storage facility.
It requires a lot of upfront costs to get started and is one of the reasons why many people that are interested in opening an online shop are hesitant to do so.
Thankfully, the dropship model has changed all of that and has made it affordable for almost anyone to open their own online store.
How The Dropship Model Works
Unlike the traditional form of online retail, the dropship model doesn’t require you to buy inventory until your customers place an order with you.
In the flowchart above, a customer lands on your store’s website. When they place an order which in our example costs $80, you then place that order with your dropshipping supplier who is charging you $30.
When you place the order with your supplier, you provide your customer’s shipping details as well. Your supplier then ships the item to your customer for you.
You can also specify that your supplier does not send any marketing information such as brochures so that the item appears to come from your company.
Your profit using the example above is $50. It is the difference between what you’ve charged your customer and what the dropshipping supplier charged you.
There are millions of products that you can dropship. You control what your profit margins will be.
The Easiest and Most Low-Cost Way to Open Your Store
There are a number of ways that you can open your dropshipping store. In most cases, the eCommerce platforms that also offer dropshipping require monthly recurring software fees.
That isn’t an issue if you find a platform that you really like. It will be worth the investment. However, if you want a fully functioning dropshipping store with all of the features that you need and without recurring monthly fees, you’ll like the following.
The dropshipping software that I use and recommend is AliDropship.
It is a WordPress dropshipping plugin. WordPress is free website software that you can download and install onto your own domain name. If all of that sounds confusing, don’t worry.
You can bundle in web hosting with the AliDropship plugin and they will install both WordPress and the plugin for you.
The only other thing is registering your own domain name which you can do with any domain registrar such as NameCheap.com.
What You Get With The AliDropship Plugin
The plugin turns a WordPress website into a full-featured AliExpress dropshipping business. If you’re not familiar with AliExpress.com, it is one of the largest online retailers around.
They are a company in which a majority of the manufacturers on the website are based in China. However, they also have suppliers that ship from the United States. A majority of the products are offered at really low prices.
Therefore, your profit margins can be high. Another cool feature is that most products have free shipping which you can pass along to your customers. Other benefits of using AliExpress as your supplier include:
- 200,000 exporters
- Some suppliers ship from the U.S.
- Over 100 million items
- No entry or participation fees
- No limits on your profit margins
- No limits on the amount of products you sell
- Works with individuals and registered companies
- Free shipping on most items
- Ships to over 200 countries worldwide
- Online shipping tracking
- Wide range of shipping methods
- Buyer protection system with full money back guarantee
The AliDropship plugin enables you to import an unlimited number of items from AliExpress into your store.
Let’s say you open a store that sells products to help relieve stress such as stress relief toys, aromatherapy diffusers, etc. You can search for those items and import them right into your store using the AliDropship Chrome extension.
The AliDropship plugin automates many of the necessary features to help make managing your store easy. These features include:
- Search and import an unlimited amount of products
- Auto updates product information
- Pricing automation
- Fulfill orders automatically
- ePacket shipping filter
- Auto order tracking
- Built-in themes
- Product customization
- Unlimited number of products
- Product variations
- WooCommerce support
- Built-In Image Editor
- Discount coupons
- Product reviews
- SEO product tags
- Abandoned cart
- Email lists
- Live statistics
- Payment gateway integrations
- Inventory management
- All-in-One dashboard
- Cash-back system
- Free lifelong updates and support
Consider a Custom Made Dropshipping Store
Another option that you can consider is to have your dropshipping store custom made for you. The AliDropship team can build a custom made dropshipping store for you.
This option is ideal if you don’t have a lot of time to build your store yourself or if you rather not deal with any of the technical aspects of building your store.
What is nice about the custom store buildout is that regardless of the package that you choose, you will be assigned your own personal manager.
Your personal manager will handle all of the details of your store buildout. They will send you a questionnaire, help you select a niche, choose and register your domain name, and much more.
Between 10 and 23 business days (depending on the store package that you choose), your store will be delivered and ready to make its first sale.
What a Dropshipping Business Can Mean for You
There will be things that you’ll need to learn as you go along one of which is marketing. The key to making sales with your new store is to target the people in your store’s niche.
This is easily accomplished when using paid advertising channels such as Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Pinterest ads, and more. Learning how to promote your store will be new to you but there is a lot of free information on how to do so.
The AliDropship blog’s marketing tips section is one great resource to refer to. They provide a ton of free marketing information that you can apply to your own store.
With consistent effort, you’ll be able to create a new stream of income. There are many dropshippers that have started off part-time and have replaced their full-time incomes.
I hope this post has opened you up to the possibility of owning your own online store. Doing so with AliDropship makes it easy. Whether you want to build your store yourself using their plugin or have your store custom built, you get free lifelong updates and support.