Road to building your Online Business – Drop Shipping

 

Drop Shipping

Drop Shipping – All you need to know about it.

 

Ohkay, so you have made up your mind to start your online business and have finally zeroed down on a product category. What next?

 

One of the most crucial decisions that you have to make is how do you acquire your product. Not a complex problem,  with four  simple alternatives –

  • Make
  • Manufacture
  • Wholesale
  • Dropship

But the alternative that you choose has direct impact & repercussions on your business operations and profitability.

So let us take a look at one of the modern day alternatives – Drop Shipping.

The main idea of dropshipping is selling products that you don’t actually own.

To explain it in an easier manner lets take a very simple example.

A certain Mr.C (Customer) wants a particular typre of terracotta pots but has no idea of who makes them. You happen to know Mr. M (Manufacturer/Distributor) of Terracotta Pots. So you take the order and payment of Rs.Y from Mr. C and pass it on to Mr. M.

Mr.M  on recieveing the order from you makes it and ships it to Mr. C and charges you Rs. X for it. The Difference between Rs.Y and X is your profit.

As you can see from the above example drop shipping partners not only help in product acquisition but also includes product fulfillment. The process is simple. You take orders from your online business and forward them to your drop ship partner. They, in turn, ship the product to your customer on behalf of your company.

The key to making money with drop shipping is making a profit on the price difference between what you charge and what your dropshipping partners charge you.

Now since we are clear with the concept let us probe into more detail and find the pro’s and cons of the same.

What are the advantages of Drop Shipping?

Lower Capital Requirement – One thing is clear, drop shipping needs minimal capital to start with when compared to other options available. As you don’t need to but inventory, you don’t have block your capital for the same. Without major up-front inventory investments, it’s possible to start a successful drop shipping business with very little money.

Without major up-front inventory investments, it’s possible to start a successful drop shipping business with very little money.

Wider Product Selection: You can make let’s 10 different products with a particular technology/machine, with increment in cost with every new product line. That is not the case with Drop Shipping. You can list as many different types of products you want with drop shipping model of business without any significant extra cost.

Reduced Risk: As you do not pre-stock products/inventory, you carry virtually zero risk of ending up with unsold goods. You do not need to even have storage space- warehouse/ godown for inventory. You can make product based decisions quickly without worrying about financial risks.

Location Independence:You can virtually sell anything everywhere sitting from your home. Since you do not have to worry about inventory and shipping/ order fulfillment you can sell to any location.

Highly Scalable: It is relatively easy to scale up a business based on drop shipping model. No

What are the Disadvantages of Drop Shipping?

Low Margins – Since the cost of entering the market via drop shipping is minimal, it is highly competitive. You will find many sellers using drop shipping and selling at extremely low prices to get more orders and revenue. Profit margins will vary greatly depending on the products you sell. For expensive electronics, margins are thin and will likely be in the 5% to 10% range.

Inventory Issues – If you stock all your own items, it’s relatively simple to keep track of which items are in and out of stock. But when you’re sourcing from multiple warehouses, which are also fulfilling orders for other merchants, inventory changes on a daily basis. While there are ways you can better sync your store’s inventory with your suppliers’, these solutions don’t always work seamlessly, and suppliers don’t always support the technology required.

Shipping Complexities & Supplier Errors – 

If you work with multiple suppliers – as most drop shippers do – the products on your website will be sourced through a number of different drop shippers. This complicates your shipping costs.

Let’s say a customer places an order for three items, all of which are available only from separate suppliers. You’ll incur three separate shipping charges for sending each item to the customer, but it’s probably not wise to pass this charge along to the customer, as they’ll think you’re grossly overcharging for shipping! And even if you did want to pass these charges along, automating these calculations can be difficult.

Even the best dropshipping suppliers make mistakes fulfilling orders – mistakes for which you have to take responsibility and apologize. And mediocre and low-quality suppliers will cause endless frustration with missing items, botched shipments and low-quality packing, which can damage your business’s reputation

How to Start Your Ecommerce Blog in 5 Steps

We have seen in our previous Blog Post about why it is necessary for Ecommerce Players to have their own blogs.

They help you increase visibility on search engines, help you market yourself and your products, tell important company announcements and obviously showcase your expertise and thought leadership.

Tips to start Ecommerce Blog

Now that you know why it’s necessary to blog, we will see how you can go about it in a planned and easy way.

Strategize – 

  •  You have to define the audience you want to reach with your blog. This single factor affects everything you do in marketing and the same applies true to business blogs. For detailed understanding of your target audience create a buyer persona, a representative of the audience in question. If you feel there are more than one type of audience you wish to reach, create multiple personas.
  • What’s the purpose of your blog? Develop a strategy to guide the way you’ll write about your topic.  you can use a strategy statement like the one blow to get started:

We blog about [topics] in a [type of voice and style—conservative, straightforward, humorous] manner in order to [entertain, amuse, inspire, anger, debate with, educate] my readers, who are [the people you’re targeting].

Your strategy statement should be comprehensive and clearly convey the objective.

Write Blogs keeping 2 people in your mind-

Yes, you read that correctly. Write your Business blog keeping your Target Audience and Search Engines in your mind.

  • Try to blog with the specific interests of your target audience in mind using the personas that you have created in particular. The content should be beneficial to them and add value. As you interact with your audience via blog comments & social media, you’ll learn what its needs are and can address those over time.
  • You have to take care of your other  audience who read your blog besides humans – Search Engines. While you really write for people, it’s necessary to write your posts  with keywords, both in the post title and body.

Learn to Write Great Headlines

The age old adage ” Never judge a book by its cover” is hardly followed by the constantly content consuming internet audience.

  • Headlines are your first and only opportunity to catch the readers attention. Invest as much time as possible in your headline otherwise you will lose half your readers even before they click on your blog article. The common but hard to find key, to writing great headlines is to make the benefit of reading the post clear to the reader.

Do Not Read This Section

Ohh, you are still reading!  It is because research shows, negative headlines, and wording attract readers. You can use an alternative message and wording, you can attract attention by letting the reader know you’re a real person and have something different to say.

Some examples of negative headlines:

  • What No One Tells You About _____
  • Strategies You Didn’t Learn for _____
  • Wrong Ways to _____

Create a Calendar for Blogging

If you post blogs too frequently your readers will not be able to catch up, while if you post blogs too infrequently you will lose readers seeking new content.

Ask yourself:

  • How many minutes each week can you dedicate to blogging?
  • How often do you need  to provide new information?
  • How often do your readers check the blog?
  • What list of topics do you want to write about?

And accordingly create a calendar so you can keep yourself accountable for posting.

Write with Passion

To attract readers express your passion and expertise in a way that’s engaging and exciting. If writing for your blog feels like a chore, remind yourself why you’re doing it by revisiting your strategy statement. You don’t need to be the best writer to start a blog and develop a following; readers want to know your expertise.

Use the five tips above to give yourself a strong start in blogging and enjoy how rewarding it can be. We will be here with another tip next week! Leave your Feedback in the comments section.

To know how to start your online business and for customized end to end e-commerce solutions for your business drop me an email at harsh.dubey@ecommerce24.in