With the rise in the number of eCommerce stores, the niche online stores have started making space for themselves. Since the market size of niche stores is limited and uncertain (can be huge or slim), the sellers are moving towards the concept of Dropshipping.
Read: What is Dropshipping – Pros and Cons
Once you understand what is dropshipping, the next obvious question is how to do it. In India, this buzzword is catching up and you, as a seller, are supposed to know about it. Considering the pros and cons of being into the dropshipping business, let’s assume that you’re making up your mind to enter this spot.
Here’s how you can start your own dropshipping business in India stepwise:
Step 1: Pick a Supplier
From a ton of suppliers, choosing that one seller for your store is a crucial task. Even if you have to spend some days in completing this first step, please do. If this goes wrong, there’ll be no point regretting later. Your chosen supplier should be trustworthy because mostly you won’t be meeting them everyday as your employees and so you can’t monitor their activities much.
In India, a lot of suppliers have started dropshipping for the sellers like you but all of them don’t provide the value that you should look for in a supplier. It’s a tough task in India as you can find some of them to be fake too. To choose your supplier, look for these signs of caution:
1. The supplier should manufacture the products too. It should not happen that the supplier himself uses some third party manufacturer’s services. It will be a long chain then which will be very difficult for you to track. If, in case, your supplier is not manufacturing, ask for their distributors and try connecting with them. They might be authentic and high chances are that they own huge inventories.
2. Study the profit margins that you can make with the suppliers. Since you’re just starting up or at least switching your retail online store to a new dropshipping model, you need to look at profits first. Considering the prices quoted by your suppliers, set your own prices keeping a healthy margin on all products. Obviously, higher the margins, higher will be your profits.
3. Check what delivery time does the supplier promises. To stand out from other similar stores, you need to provide a fast shipping service to the customers. Since this is dropshipping business, you’re completely dependent upon the supplier for the shipping also. Where other reputed online stores deliver in a day, you have to take the responsibility of delivering in at least 3-4 days because no customer will be ready to wait beyond that time.
4. Does your supplier provide white-label products for your customers? White-label products mean that the products will be manufactured and packaged under your brand name. This is a brownie point for you because your customer will expect the product to be coming from your store with the particulars of your brand ONLY.
5. Your supplier can charge you in a number of ways. They may ask you for a one time setup fee in the beginning and then per order, which tells that the supplier is trustworthy. They can also ask for a fixed monthly subscription. Some suppliers also ask for a minimum purchase order just to separate the serious sellers from others.
Step 2: Decide your products to sell
There’s a reason that choosing the products should not be your Step 1. What if you choose perfect products according to you but cannot find good suppliers in India? Even if you find suppliers, you’ll have to go through the process of scrutinizing them to see if they suit your brand. This will just be a waste of time and money.
So, once you fix your supplier, browse their products and talk to them to discover about the best-selling products they have. According to their suggestions and your interests, check for the same products on other online stores like Amazon and Flipkart. See the varieties available, the pricing, the description and product images. You’ll have a pretty great idea about which product to start with.
Step 3: Get your GSTIN
Introduction of GST has molded the business a little. Now, if you are a registered company, provide your GSTIN to the supplier for all the transactions so that you can claim the input credit later. But, if you’re not a company, you can easily do the dropshipping business in India as an individual.
Before starting up with any supplier, clarify the GST requirements with them to stay guarded from any legal issues that may occur in future.
Step 4: Design a website for your store
Not the inventory, but you virtually have all the products to sell online. Buy a domain name and create a website (You can use platforms like Shopify and Woocommerce to manage a responsive and beautifully designed eCommerce website.) for your store. Remember that your website should not look ugly and haphazard.
The visitor who visits your website for the first time should get an impression of high quality products you sell. Your website design and all the content throughout the website should speak of your authenticity and trustworthiness. Just don’t overdo it.
Provide all the modes of payment that you can and keep your technical side strong to manage your store because that’s the only thing you have in your hand in dropshipping business.
Step 5: List your products and market
Now, for listing the products on your store, try sharing all the relevant details of the products with the customers. Ask your seller for product images for variations to increase options and chances of selling. Once you’ve listed your products, move on to market your brand and take this as a game changer step.
Until and unless people don’t know of your presence, how’d you expect them to buy from you! So, go for social media marketing and running paid campaigns on social media and Google Adwords to get buyers for your products. If you actually do this right, you’re sure to sell like hot cakes.
Your new store may or may not catch fire instantly among your audience, so be patient and make the right moves. If your first products couldn’t sell well, there could be a lot of different reasons like bad marketing, wrong product choices, wrong audience, lack of variety, boring website and media messages, bad customer care service and the list can go on.
So, take the initial period for experimenting and giving variations and improving your choices and strategies. Certainly, you will hit the spot and make your dropshipping business profitable.