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Sourcing products for fashion brands can be tricky and challenging if you are in the e-commerce business. But with the incessant growth of e-commerce, dropshipping has started trending as a convenient model of e-commerce business strategy.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a retail convenience method where the sellers don’t directly handle the products. The store operating on a dropshipping model purchase the item from a third party and ships directly to the customer. Therefore, the seller in this case does not stock products or even owns any inventory. There is an involvement of a third party who is either a wholesaler or a manufacturer.
Dropshipping is basically an order fulfillment method, without having to invest in any stock.
If you are dropshipping, the relationship is between you, the manufacturer/wholesaler, and the customer.
There are easy five steps to set up a dropshipping business :
1. Choose a business idea
Choosing a niche is the first step in any kind of business plan. You might be inclined to choose a niche you are passionate about, but you need to remember that what you sell impacts your revenue. You are undoubtedly in for a profit, so you need to be strategic about your decision. Take some time, do extensive market research, learn about various business models and then proceed to the next step. Have a team of professionals to help you with the data collection and analysis.
2. Analyse the competition
Dropshipping can be exhaustingly competitive, especially if you are dealing with fashion brands. A close lookout for the competitors is a most advised step. See what they are doing and how they are operating. Collect data about their strategies and revenue flow. Find out what worked and what didn’t. You can shape your own business model accordingly. As a fellow competitor yourself, you wish to stay ahead in the game or at least catch up fast to your competitor.
3. Find the supplier
The dropshipping model dictates that you collect the product from a source and ship the same to the customers. So finding a supplier is a crucial part of your business planning. Now you will get plenty of suppliers but you need to be very careful about the selection. Dropshipping can be a risky strategy since you are not in charge of any stock. Hence it is imperative that you partner up with a reliable supplier with quality products. Remember it is you who would be dealing with the customers. Given the shipping activities, you may go local at first. This will give you some space to grow before you decide to go big. Plan out the shipping time by comparing different websites. Ensure several meetups and thorough discussions with your suppliers before you decide.
4. Build the store
You need an online storefront to pitch your service to the customers. Grab a theme and build a domain name for your business. Include appropriate contents to complement your service. You can sign up for Shopify for this purpose. Design your website with attractive themes. Higher content creators to write suitable content like product descriptions, missions, and objectives, etc. Make your website user-friendly and transparent for promoting goodwill. Be clear about payment methods, shipment and offer multiple payment options.
5. Market your business
Once you are set up with your supplier and a store, you can go an extra length to promote your business. You will have a team to monitor the market scenario and come up with ideas to make people know about your service. The best way to reach out to a greater audience is to use social media. You can opt for Facebook advertising. Tap social media talents like influencers to speak in favour of your company. This can be the easiest and cheapest way to grab the attention of your potential customers.