What Is Dropshipping?
In short, dropshipping means zero-order inventory commerce.
Here is a simplified dropshipping definition-A seller promotes the products on his website or online store for a third-party manufacturer or retailer. After a seller obtains an order from a customer, the third-party manufacturer or retailer will fulfill the order for the seller. In this case, the seller does not have a tangible product in his stock. It is how dropshipping works.
If you want to know how to make money with dropshipping, the following content will be helpful for you.
How to Choose a Free & Reliable Platform/Partner for Your Dropshipping Business
Before we dive directly into the dropshipping platform selection, we should know something about the pitfalls we will encounter. The following 3 factors are the problems beginners often face when looking for the best dropshipping sources.
The Internet is flooded with countless websites and companies claiming to be the best dropshipping providers with high-quality products. However, many of them are fake or unreliable. When choosing a free drop shipping platform or partner, it is difficult for us to scrutinize the company.
We usually choose our dropshipping partners only after reviewing the website and reading customer reviews. Still, it does not mean that everything is settled. To start a dropshipping business, you need to choose a viable membership level from various plans. You can choose basic, advanced, or professional membership levels. These levels have different access to different product categories, discounts, commissions, prices, and functions.
No one wants to cause disputes and conflicts. So people are often confused when analyzing the policies and guidelines of free dropshipping websites. Sellers all want to maintain a safe and stable relationship when dealing with customers. Therefore, they are susceptible to whether its policies and regulations are beneficial and targeted for them.
Be careful with your customers' banking information. When choosing a payment solution partner, you should always look for a big brand such as Paypal, Stripe, etc. These brands have a strong foundation for transaction security. Since they offer many payment options, they can help speed up checkout and reduce cart abandonment.
6 Free Dropshipping Centers/Websites
AliExpress is one of the popular dropshipping software. They have various products, from clothing, cars, books, electronics, entertainment, health, family, children to sports.
All vendors are verified so that you can trust them without uncertainty. But it is not AliExpress providing the dropshipping services. It is a supplier or manufacturer registered as an AliExpress member offering dropshipping services.
Thomasnet is considered one of the best B2B sourcing service providers. The company has suppliers from electrical equipment, hardware, fluid, and gas to chemicals. If you want to sell products with a high commission rate, these products are suitable for you. Thomasnet verifies all suppliers, so you don't have to worry about their authenticity.
Wholesale Central is a top-notch B2B website with access to suppliers from various industries. Their powerful sourcing tools help dealers easily find trustworthy wholesalers, importers, distributors, and manufacturers. The website does not require a login to use its search feature.
You can view more detailed information about the supplier only when you register and become a member. At the same time, not all the listed suppliers and manufacturers are dropshipping suppliers. You will need to find those suppliers with dropshipping programs yourself.
The company provides direct access to wholesale suppliers, so there is no profit sharing. You need to know that this dropshipping website charges members a subscription fee. The supplier needs to include this fee when pricing the product. There are over 16 million products with certification.
You can access all major product catalogs, such as healthcare, clothing, music and musical instruments, industry, collectibles, tools and hardware, vehicles, crafts, supplies, etc.
The main benefit of using Oberlo is that you can purchase goods from AliExpress. Through Oberlo, users can access thousands of suppliers on AliExpress and obtain information such as product pictures, detailed information, and prices they provide. Oberlo's dropshipping platform is suitable for sellers on Shopify.
Doba is one of the comprehensive dropshipping companies because it provides detailed information about manufacturers and wholesalers. Users can manage all their dropshipping orders in one place.
Doba can export data and upload it to platforms such as Amazon and eBay. Still, the page is too messy, the product category is less, the product SKU is less, and the price is higher. The advantage is that it can be shipped overseas.
3 Essential Tips for Starting a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping is one of the fastest ways to start an eCommerce business with a small budget. Before you get started, there are 3 things you need to check.
Dropshipping usually makes sales based on website traffic. If your website or store does not have visitors, there will not be any sales. To attract visitors to your place, you need to make helpful content that focuses on solving your visitors' problems.
As a new dropshipping store owner, you should focus on the essential marketing channels at the beginning because your time and energy are limited. It is recommended to start with Google SEO(search engine optimization) & SEM(search engine marketing), Facebook & Instagram Ads. These are the most popular sales channels so far.
Hubspot is a great free marketing software with helpful content for learners from all levels if you are unfamiliar with marketing.
2. Order fulfillment
Once you turn traffic into sales, the challenge that comes next is order fulfillment. Although you can start your business without inventory, you still need to deal with shipping issues.
When you receive an order, you contact multiple suppliers to ship the products and forward the tracking number to your customers. In this case, you may need to work with some couriers yourself because some suppliers won't do the shipping for you. Besides, you need to track every order yourself in case you can't properly handle something unexpected. Not to mention you need to handle return issues.
To solve this issue, you need to use reliable shipping & tracking software to help you ship a product at the lowest cost and automatically track the shipment update. Here is a list of free shipment tracking software. They offer shipping and tracking services for all online sellers. You will find a suitable one there.
3. Customer support
You can manage all your customer support work with the spreadsheet in the early stage. When your website or store is getting popular, you will face a lot of customer emails and requests. By then, you can try to implement a help desk and build a help center. It is one of the proven ways to offer timely and helpful support to your customers.
You need to offer customer support because the word-of-mouth effect is powerful. You can persuade return customers to buy more with less cost than new customers.
There is a list of customer support tools. There should be one that fits your need.
Are you looking for all-in-one tracking & shipping software?
KeyDelivery is a multi-channel shipment tracking software. We help online sellers ship their orders at the best possible price and track courier or package status automatically.
Besides, our branded tracking pages can help you increase profit margins by sending order tracking information product promotion in an email marketing campaign.