Dropshipping is a business model in which eCommerce stores do not keep goods in stock. Instead, when a store receives an order, it simply passes the order information to the wholesaler or manufacturer who will ship the products directly to the customer’s door.
Dropshipping is a business model that has been around for several years and has become more popular lately. It is also called “e-commerce without inventory”.
Dropshipping can be very lucrative as there are no upfront costs, so it allows anyone to start their own e-commerce business with little investment.
How Many Hours a Day Do Dropshippers Work?
Typically a successful dropshipper can work between two and eight hours a day depending on the number of orders they have received and the tasks they have to do to build and promote their business.
Dropshipping is often advertised as a form of “passive income” which isn’t entirely correct. Yes, your website can process orders while you sleep, but in order to make a successful website and thriving business, many hours are needed every week.
11 Things to Consider Before Dropshipping
Dropshipping in the UK – A Good Option in 2022?
What Jobs Does a Dropshipper Take Care Of?
Typical jobs that a dropshipper with an established website will handle include:
Some dropshippers may have an automated process where orders are sent directly to their supplier and others may have to submit their orders manually.
Checking orders on a daily basis is important to understand the number of sales achieved, any emerging trends with products and any requests for refunds or failed orders.
Just because your website doesn’t handle the stock like a traditional retail business, your customers may still have questions for you, especially if your products are technical.
As a minimum, you should offer contact to your customers via email.
Stock management (if not automated)
Some dropshipping platforms and suppliers offer live stock feeds to your website meaning that your website will always display live data.
Others without this facility will need to consistently stay on top of the stock availability displayed on their website. For some, this could be a manual process that will take longer to administer depending on stock level, for others it can be a simple .csv file upload to their web platform.
A large element to running any successful digital-based business is creating quality content. Content creation can be very time consuming depending on your skill level and can include things such as:
- Blog posts
- Product descriptions
- Product review videos
- Social media graphics
- Product listings
Building an effective social media following can be a “shortcut” to success in establishing a successful online business.
Identify the best social media platforms for your business and look to create consistent content for your audience.
CoSchedule Social Media Calendar Template
Hootsuite – How to Create a Social Media Calendar
Other effective ways to increase traffic and eyeballs to your brand is to advertise. This can be done via search engine advertising, social media advertising or even influencer marketing and working with affiliate marketing networks.
Promote a Business With Online Advertising
For dropshippers and online business owners, they need to pay close attention to their online advertising to make sure they are converting into sales and offering an acceptable return on investment.
Staying on top of the latest products in your niche can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors and provide new streams of revenue.
Taking the time to familiarise yourself with your supplier’s latest offerings and also monitoring the status of existing listed items is a good way to make sure you always have products that are available.
Many suppliers will also be able to provide information on their best selling product lines which can give you guidance on what products to promote and make more visibly prominent on your website.
Product research can also help uncover product reviews that might make you want to think twice about listing a product on your website.
Optimising your website to be search engine friendly is essential. In the link below you will find an excellent resource on how to learn what this involves.
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Once you have a fully optimised website that the search engines recognise, it is important to continue to monitor your performance to understand what keywords your website is ranking for and identify opportunities for improvement. Do this using Google Search Console.
SEO is a very vast subject and one that can take years to master. You should invest time into learning much about it and how it helps drive traffic to your website.
What Do You Need to Learn for Dropshipping?
What Is Dropshipping – How To Start Dropshipping
How To Make A DropShipping Website With WordPress
How to dropship on Shopify
Fundamentals of digital marketing
Facebook and Instagram advertising
How to use Canva
There are many quality free resources of learning materials on the internet. We advise utilising these rather than paying for expensive courses that often share the same information.
Growing Your Dropshipping Business
Owning a dropshipping website is no different to running any other online business. It requires dedication, consistency, skill, effort and also a plan.
Like with most things, you will get more out of a digital business the more you put into it.
If you are looking for a quick solution to success then dropshipping and e-commerce, in general, might not be for you. We discuss this in more detail in our article Should I Start a Side Hustle?
Building a dropshipping website and learning the skills that go along with it is an exciting journey and the skills you learn can be used in other areas. However, one of the major reasons websites fail is that they simply do not attract enough people to them.
Focus on building a professional website that you yourself would purchase from and then begin to build a plan of how you will promote it.
How Long Does It Take To Start Making Money With Dropshipping
The time it takes to start potentially making money with dropshipping depends on a variety of factors, two of the main ones are; how soon you can launch your website with products listed, and the methods of promotion you will use to drive traffic to your website.
Other factors that will determine how long your website will take to start generating money include:
- the level of competition you face
- the quality of products available
- your pricing strategy
- how trustworthy your website and brand looks
The time it takes to get your website live will be dependent on your skills and experience along with the time you have available, providing you have chosen not to outsource this.
Once your website is active you need to consider how you will drive traffic to it.
Pay Per Click (PPC) – Advertising on popular search engines is a way to drive traffic to your website instantly. However, PPC can be costly, especially if your traffic does not convert into sales. You might want to test the water with small budgets first to fine-tune what does and does not work for you.
Social Media – You can begin on social media for free, creating free accounts on multiple platforms and posting to them. You can utilise hashtags and post in different groups to raise awareness of your website.
Social Media Advertising – advertising on social media platforms is powerful as you can build a custom demographic aimed at people likely to be interested in your products. Like with PPC it can drive traffic to your website instantly but comes with a cost so we advise starting small and fine-tuning as you go along.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – learning the principles of SEO is a must for anyone operating a website and will help you in developing fresh content for your website to gain organic traffic for free from search engines. For brand new websites, SEO is a slow process and it can take many months to begin paying dividends and driving traffic to your website.
Driving traffic to your website is a must whether it is by paid or free traffic sources, however, in order to convert clicks to sales your website needs to look professional and your product listings need to have professional photos/videos, appropriate pricing and good quality product descriptions. Without these things, you risk severely reducing the number of sales your website will make.