Dropshipping is no get-rich-quick scheme. It requires a lot of organization, time, and planning to get your store off the ground and gain some traction, all while running on tight profit margins. We want to encourage the eCommerce entrepreneurs among you to by all means give it a go, but your only chance of success is to go in with your eyes open. So today, we’re not mincing our words, we’re delivering some home truths about the realities of expertly running a Shopify dropshipping store.
The “go for it” list
If your store already ticks several of these boxes, go full throttle into it and you’ll be able to run a Shopify dropshipping like a pro:
- You have researched trusted suppliers
- Your business is a tight operation
- You’re looking to expand/ supplement your already successful eCommerce business
Getting new suppliers is always a risk. You need to trust that they’ll produce a quality product, fulfill the delivery on time, and resolve any issues that may occur. If they fall through on their promises, it’s your business’s reputation on the line. Mistakes happen, but when the supply chain is out of your control, as it is with dropshipping, you want to be sure they’ll cooperate and help you resolve your issue.
Do all that you can to minimize the risk. Oberlo is an app that integrates with Shopify. It helps you find and research suppliers. It also has an active community of eCommerce entrepreneurs that are happy to exchange experiences and tips.
If possible, research the product to find their other retailers and see what customers are saying in reviews. This is more difficult with niche products, but it’s worth a shot.
Specifically, your customer service needs to be top-notch and you need to organize to immediately resolve issues with your suppliers. And there will be issues. You might sell a product that’s out of stock, there may be a faulty product, there may be shipment delays – you are the middleman responsible for managing communications between your supplier and your customer. You need to keep your customer in the loop and manage their frustrations.
Starting a successful Shopify dropshipping business from complete scratch is definitely doable, but it’s definitely not a walk in the park. Margins are tight, and you need to dedicate a lot of time to get it off the ground. However, if you already have a good following on your existing Shopify store, that ceases to be an issue.
For you dropshipping is a great way to add variety to your online store. Maybe you sell your own line of products, but feel as though your range is limited, and you could draw more interest by supplementing your range with related products.
The “not so fast” list
If the list below resonates with you, it might be time to hit the brakes on your dropshipping business idea.
- You’re after a get-rich-quick scheme
- You don’t want to (or don’t have the budget to) invest in marketing for your store
- You’re expecting juicy profit margins
Someone else makes something, you build a website to sell it and get a cut of the profit. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Water-tight. Well, hold your horses. Running a Shopify dropshipping store requires dedication, expert organization, and money to find your niche audience and get your business off the ground.
While it’s true that there are few overhead costs associated with running a dropshipping business, people still need to find your website. It’s not simply a case of “build it and they will come”. You’ll need to invest time, and yes, money to market your website successfully to others.
Since setting up a dropshipping business is so accessible, lots of people are at it which means competition is high. Sellers shave off the retail price to get the edge on their competitors which has driven profit margins down to a razor edge.
So how did you fare? Is Shopify dropshipping right for your store? If you’d like to bolster your store’s virtual environment in preparation for your new venture, get in touch and we’ll come up with the best custom solution for your business.