There is an increasing demand by the unemployed and underemployed for jobs that can be done remotely.
People are beginning to opt for jobs and businesses that can be done from the comfort of their homes.
Freelancing jobs, virtual assistants, online trading, affiliate marketing, and dropshipping, to name just a few are some of the work-from-home jobs.
These remote jobs offer the benefit of flexible working hours, the power to determine pay rates, choice of who to work with, and the choice of payment method.
This post is a guide to one of the rapidly growing work-from-home jobs we have today, I’m talking about Dropshipping.
For a successful business take-off, it is essential that you carry out due diligence in order to find out if a proposed business is viable. That is the same reason for this post – to offer you the needed information that will prep you for a successful dropshipping business.
Before delving into the required tools for a successful dropshipping business, let’s provide you with the basics of dropshipping.
The main topics covered in this write-up include:
What is Dropshipping and how do You Get Started with a Dropshipping Business?
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
- Shopify + Oberlo
- Amazon Best Seller
- Google Analytics
- Live Chat Inc
What is Dropshipping and how do You Get Started with a Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping is an e-commerce business model where store owners offer products for sale online while shifting the order fulfillment to the manufacturer.
Using this business model, an online retailer uploads product descriptions of items available for sale. When a shopper pays for the products, the packaging and delivery of the product are then passed to the manufacturer or producer.
The seller earns income by removing his commission before making payment to the manufacturer. Under this arrangement, a seller does not need to hold any inventory before advertising the products for sale.
Sellers who use this business model enjoy the benefit of low startup capital requirements, flexible working hours, and the opportunity of working from home.
Starting your own dropshipping business may not be as tedious as setting up a brick and mortar shop, but it does entail an investment of time and resources.
Here are simple steps to follow for those interested in starting their own dropshipping business.
Step 1 – Decide on a Specific Niche
Search on popular online stores to find out hot selling products or product categories. Online stores like Amazon, AliExpress, and eBay should provide you with ideas for selecting a niche.
Step 2 – Research Suppliers
Suppliers could be manufacturers, producers or wholesalers of products selected in Step 1.
Discuss with them to find out how much discount they are willing to offer. Don’t forget that the margin is what you earn as a commission. The higher the margin they are willing to offer, the higher the earning potential!
Step 3 – What Platform Will You Use for Selling?
This is the online store where shoppers see the displayed products and place orders.
You can decide to set up a store on any of the popular online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, or you create your own store using Shopify or WooCommerce.
The first option is better for those just starting out because running your own store entails more capital investment.
Step 4 – Get Paid
Every order that is received is forwarded to the supplier for packaging and shipping, while you receive your commission earned.
To help you get started with your own dropshipping business, I have compiled a list of top 12 dropshipping tools you will need.
1. Google Trends
Google Trends is a tool that tells you when particular keywords were searched and by who. You can access the search results for the past few months or years depending on its relevance to you.
Google Trends is essential for researching products and categories that you want to sell. A thorough search will tell you if the products appeal to your target market, and also if it is still relevant to them at the moment.
Armed with this information you can conclude if your proposed products will appeal to a larger number of your target markets.
2. Google Keyword Planner
This is one of the best tools to research keywords for your niche. Remember that we mentioned deciding a niche in an earlier section of this post. Well, this tool helps in researching the products in the form of keywords.
Examples of keywords to research using this tool could be “food processor” or “men suits” depending on your chosen niche.
You can narrow your search down to the specific country, region or age groups or other parameters associated with your target market.
DropshipSpy is an easy-to-use platform that offers tools for users to search and find hot selling products. It has an intuitive dashboard from which search options like Facebook Audience Builder and Instagram Influencers can be narrowed to get desired results.
The DropshipSpy Facebook product hunt provides you with people’s information that may have an interest in your product.
The product analytics provide detailed information about the product which includes the description, the buy/sell prices and the expected profit margin on each completed order.
The Instagram Influencers feature helps you locate relevant information about the product or influencer, including details like engagement percentage, follower counts and prices. This information provides time-saving benefits when researching your niche.
DropshipSpy offers 3 pricing plans for users namely:
- Basic Plan – starting at $15/month
- Premium Plan – starting at $25/month
- Pro Plan – starting at $35/month
4. Shopify + Oberlo
Shopify is the most popular online destination for dropshipping. The company provides tools for creating customized stores, theme selection, quick and easy way to add/remove widgets, and all-in-one product management platform.
Shopify offers flexible plans that are pocket-friendly for the newbie, plus a free 14-day trial to familiarize everyone with the store. At the expiration of the 14-day trial, subscribers are expected to opt for one of Shopify’s premium plans.
Using Shopify as the platform hosting your online store, you can use AliExpress as the source of your suppliers. This requires an integration of your store with AliExpress and Oberlo.
Oberlo is a great tool used for integrating your Shopify store with AliExpress. It works by importing the chosen product from AliExpress to your store with one click.
Once the product is displayed and an order is made for it, Oberlo automatically orders the product from AliExpress making the process seamless.
Working with Oberlo is easy, as the only requirement is to log into your Shopify store and install it. Oberlo is free for Shopify store owners, and it allows you to edit details about a product including the price.
WooCommerce is a full e-commerce store packaged with the basic needs of an online store. WooCommerce is distributed as a plugin that is installed on WordPress powered sites.
WooCommerce comes as a combo with WooDropship which functions similarly to the way Shopify and Oberlo work. You can opt for combo and still get similar benefits.
After installing a free copy of WooCommerce on WordPress, download and install the WooDropship extension.
WooDropship allows you to import your desired products from AliExpress into your WooCommerce store.
While at it, you can edit the products to reflect your desired product description, images and prices.
SaleHoo is an easy-to-use tool that helps you quickly locate profitable product ideas, and also source products from reliable suppliers.
The tool helps sellers search for top-selling products on eBay and Amazon. With simple gestures as dragging your mouse, you will get access to a directory of suppliers comprising over 10,000 verified drop-shippers, wholesalers and manufacturers.
Some features to expect with using SaleHoo include:
- I. Finding Profitable Products – Tools to use for adjusting sell rate, set prices, set competition and filters for the product from over 1 million products!
- II. Finding Reliable Suppliers – After finding the product ideas to sell, clicking on the product image will reveal a list of potential suppliers that could be drop-shippers, wholesalers or manufacturers.
SaleHoo locates suppliers from America, Europe, China, etc. From this platform, you can refine the details of transactions like minimum order quantity and how much you can buy at any time. You can also work out shipping details with the suppliers from the information obtained from SaleHoo.
The pricing plan for SaleHoo is $67 for one-year access while the lifetime access goes for $127.
7. Amazon Best Seller
Amazon is a good place to carry out research on best-selling categories and products. The Amazon Marketplace features products that you can search for, categories and sub-categories, letting you dive deeper into your search.
After selecting a product from the Amazon Marketplace, type the same product in the search bar to find top best sellers. Get a popularity estimate when you take a look at the product’s rank in that category.
The more the reviews posted, the more the popularity of the product, giving you an idea of the product’s competitiveness!
This email marketing tool is regarded as one of the most preferred for drop-shippers. It provides a cost-effective platform for email marketing automation.
MailChimp is useful for storing emails and keeping track of emails and other relevant purchase histories.
There is a free plan of 2,000 email subscribers and a limit of 12,000 emails monthly. Users can set automated responders and segment email subscriber lists based on when the accounts were signed up.
GetResponse is an email marketing tool that offers a lot of tools including templates for emails and landing pages.
This email marketing tool is great for tracking performance using Google Analytics. It could also be integrated with your social media accounts and e-commerce stores.
Are you in need of the perfect help desk solution? Then turn to ZenDesk to help you create a superior customer experience, automation of customer systems, and online ticketing system.
ZenDesk provides support for users through live chats, phone support, knowledgebase, self-service and ticketing systems.
Users can also build communities to allow customers to interact with one another. It is a great way of allowing your customers to learn and share information in common.
11. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the foremost tracker and analytical tool from the table of Google. It is a free tool filled with features and usability for business owners, bloggers, internet marketers, entrepreneurs, webmasters and anyone who has a hosted site.
Google Analytics is a complex tool that makes it almost impossible for a newbie to get a hang of it. The great thing about this is that Google provides a lot of learning resources and tutorials for anyone serious about knowing how to use it.
Google Analytics easily integrates with WooCommerce with the help of a plugin, while it integrates directly with Shopify.
12. Live Chat Inc
If there are any must-have communication and interaction tool, it is a live chat on your website. Live chats are great for instant connection with prospects that are interested in your products and may have a question that needs to be addressed.
For this, I recommend Live Chat Inc with plenty of features for your sales reps and visitors. Live Chat Inc has a feature called sneak peek which allows you to view the message that your visitor is typing, so you can be prepared with an answer.
Live Chat Inc easily integrates with Facebook and major email service providers.
The tool comes with a free 30-day trial period for you to get a good feel of how it works. The premium version promises many more features for your online store.
Dropshipping is a great opportunity to work from home while selling products to online shoppers around the world.
Even a newbie to the dropshipping business can start making profits from the very first day of operation if properly equipped before starting out.
The tools highlighted in this post cover the basic needs of anyone interested in making money through dropshipping.
To get started, you need to select the niche you want, and then choose the particular products you want to sell.
Get reliable suppliers and a good platform to sell your products on and start earning.
Do you want to have financial freedom through an online business? If yes, then do it the way that guarantees results – the normal way it should be done is owning a website and growing its traffic using content and promotion. Study Online Business through Wealthy Affiliate University and become a successful online entrepreneur in no time.