Dropshipping is the easiest way to start earning money online from your WordPress store.
In this article we will talk about Dropshipping, how to start your own store with Dropshipping model, the pros/cons of dropshipping, how to break your fears and start your business online just with some clicks, and at last we will teach you how to automate your Dropshipping business at WordPress to be like a money-making machine.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an eCommerce style which means that the supplier will ship the product you sell at your store directly to the customer.
So as a store owner/manager you will need to contact suppliers to get the product price (which includes order fulfillment, packaging, and shipping) and then add your profit margin to get the final price that you will put at your store.
When the customer requests this product from your store, he will pay the full price then you will cut your profit margin to send the supplier the base price, and order the product from the supplier to ship it to the customer’s address directly.
Dropshipping in numbers
Fact 1: Retail e-commerce is a $220 billion dollar market in the U.S. alone and is growing by nearly 17% a year. (eCommerce Drop Shipping Standards)
Fact 2: 22-33% of Internet retailers have adopted drop shipping as their primary method of order fulfillment. (E-DSS.org)
Fact 3: In 2012 Dropshipping accounted for 34% of products sold in 2011 by e-commerce giant, Amazon.com. (Forester Research)
- Easy to start with small money, just need to open an online store.
- No need to worry about inventory and shipping, as the supplier will do that for you.
- You will focus more on marketing plans and engaging with customers.
- Less risk, as you will not pay the supplier before getting the full money from the customer.
- You can manage your business from anywhere.
- Lower profit margin compared with wholesale (But this will be good with a higher number of sales when choosing a winner product).
- You aren’t controlling the full process as it’s managed by the supplier itself.
- When you have a problem with shipping (delayed or needed return), the customer will contact you and you need to talk with the supplier so you are in between!
- Harder to get the customer trust as customers like buying from brands or trusted stores (But if your product is unique with affordable price, Customer will not look into that part)
- You need to get your site synced all the time with the supplier so if the supplier raised the product price this needs your attention to reflect on your store’s price also this is related to the product count at inventory so you don’t need customers to buy more then what is there on supplier inventory.
How much may I earn from Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is good as a start point in the eCommerce world so don’t expect that you will get millions of dollars just after opening your store but I guarantee that you will find it very profitable after finding the winning product and doing the steps to automate the process mentioned below.
I saw some Dropshippers got thousands of dollars on daily basis after understanding the play and been part of it!
Who Dropshipping is right For?
As mentioned before, Dropshipping is a perfect way to start in eCommerce world as you will learn a lot about marketing, customer engagement, sales, store management, …etc.
Also if you have good community or know how to reach them, this will help you a lot in reaching more audience.
Why WordPress for Dropshipping?
WordPress is a perfect place to start your online store for the following reason:
- Free and open source.
- WordPress has a huge community behind it.
- WordPress has tons of free/paid plugins so you easily can install eCommerce, SEO, Marketing plugins, …etc.
You can learn more about WordPress at this article: What is WordPress and how to install it?
Dropshipping main components
Defining below the main components/actors at Dropshipping process:
If you think that choosing the supplier is the key step towards success at ecommerce in general and at Dropshipping specifically, you are right and you are not alone at that.
As 84% of online sellers find that establishing a Dropshipping supplier or wholesaler relationship is the #1 roadblock to starting an online business.
Two of the most common approaches are to find a supplier manually and the second one is to use a plugin that instantly connects you to thousands of suppliers, for the latter, we recommend the AliDropship plugin (we will talk in details in the next section about AliDropship plugin)
Manually find a supplier:
You can search using Google or using the AliExpress site and search for suppliers with good ratings or even search for products themselves then check their suppliers.
If you used Google, you may take some time to reach good suppliers as those suppliers are traditionally terrible at SEO, marketing, and promotions.
You need also to recruit/qualify the supplier before working with him, here are some questions you should definitely ask:
- Do you offer Dropshipping?
- Do you offer customizations?
- Can you put my company’s logo on the packaging?
- Do you offer private labeling?
- Are there any fees?
- How should I send you orders I get from my customers?
- How will you invoice me for orders?
- Do you accept credit card payments?
- What is the policy for damaged or missing orders?
- How long does it take for orders to be processed?
- Are you the manufacturer of your products?
Use AliDropship WordPress plugin:
Using this awesome plugin you will get the following features:
- Access to tons of suppliers.
- Fulfilling orders automatically.
- Easily (Automatically) monitoring inventory levels.
- Calculating inventory margins automatically.
- Automatically handles shipping and tracking orders.
- One lifetime payment.
The process of finding your own supplier can take quite a while, sometimes weeks.
All customers aren’t created equally and finding the right products will really help set your Dropshipping business up for success.
My advice to you is to look for a niche market, A niche market is a segment of a larger market that has its own preferences, identity, and needs.
Let’s talk about some guidelines that will help you narrow your focus:
When picking a product, we need to look for something that will be able to sell between the $40 and $200 price range.
That’s because this price range will allow us to maximize profit without having to provide extensive pre-sale support, Also impulse buyers generally buy things that are between this price range.
Minimum advertised pricing
This is when suppliers require that resellers price their products at or above a certain level.
If you can find a niche where this is enforced, it’s going to save you a lot of headaches and price wars with competitors later down the road, you never want to be caught in a situation where you are in a race to the bottom.
How many ways can you brainstorm being able to market this particular product?
If you can’t think of any, it’s going to be a big barrier to customer acquisition down the line.
Accessories (upsells and downsells)
When people commit to making a larger purchase, they are less price-sensitive to high margin upsells.
Think about it, the last time you bought a cell phone that was $600 buying that $40 phone case and $20 screen protector seemed like a no-brainer.
So you need to find a product that you may sell a collection of products besides it.
Hard to find locally
Selling a product that’s hard to find locally will increase your chances of success
Smaller is often better
The smaller the item is, the easier and cheaper it is to ship to your customers.
3. Online store
WordPress is the CMS that we will use to build our online store as mentioned earlier.
Customer is the heart of the Dropshipping or any eCommerce process that is pumping money to your business so you need to learn more about how to understand his needs and how to reach him.
How to automate your Dropshipping WordPress based store?
As mentioned earlier, Dropshipping has some cons and here at this section we will try focusing on how to fix those cons and get all benefits from it.
Also we will know how to automate the full cycle of Dropshipping using AliDropship WordPress plugin so everything will be handled without needing to do anything in-between making your store as money making machine.
AliDropship Plugin is fully supplemented by automation tools like the followings:
- Search & Import
You can search at AliExpress for products and with just mouse clicks, those products will be imported to your site, so you can edit the price or any details there.
Based on the AliDropship plugin settings, you can allow getting notified when the product is all sold or update the inventory count automatically at your store (Not to make any order on it).
Also if any info is updated/changed on the AliExpress site, this will be auto-update your store’s product page.
- Pricing Automation
You can make a product pricing plan so you can specify that you need to get a percentage as a profit so the price will be automatically generated at your store and as mention in the previous point when AliExpress supplier changes the product price, this will affect automatically your store’s product price.
- Order Fulfillment
When the customer orders an order from your site, the request will be sent to the AliExpress supplier with the order details so he can prepare the order and send it without needing you in the process.
- ePacket Shipping Filter
As mentioned earlier, ePacket is an awesome shipping solution that ships quickly (sometimes, it needs less than one week to ship your orders), so AliDropship facilitates searching for suppliers that ship using ePacket so you can reach them easily.
- Auto Order Tracking
Customers will get notified automatically when their orders are shipped with a link to track their package and this will help them know exactly when orders will reach them and also moves the headache from you.
Mistakes to avoid while running Dropshipping business.
- Don’t ship worldwide
Yes, most of AliExpress suppliers are shipping worldwide and you may think this is a better way to open in the worldwide market, not a specific country’s market to get more customers, but this is wrong as you don’t want the orders to reach customers in 2 months for example as this will make the refund rate large and this is not good for Paypal and Stripe for example.
So start with the US market as a start and then check what’s next.
- Make shipping times very clear
Be very clear when it comes to shipping times so you can put a clear message on your store and put the shipping policy page link at the footer to be visible to all of your customers, also add this message to the checkout process, and at last add it to the order confirmation email.
- Create the main pages needed like:
- About Us
- Refund Policy
- Shipping Policy
- GDPR Cookies Policy
- Contact Us
- Setup follow-up emails
Setting up follow-up emails after ordering is a very awesome way to engage with your customers as in the following points:-
- The customer needs to make sure that you care about him and his order.
- You need to put your store name always in front of him to back again.
- Make a good relationship with the customer with some surveys which will make you take the right decisions.
- Get some likes for your social media page before selling on it.
You need the customer not to think that you are a beginner and the first impression matters so you can pay $20-$30 to get some likes for your social media page after adding some good posts as a start.
- Spend some money on marketing
Spend money to get money, Yes be prepared to divide your current available money to do the followings:
- Marketing campaigns on social media or even on Google Adwords.
- Some good money to buy the orders from suppliers as Paypal and Stripe will not pay you instantly so you need to have side money for that not to be stuck at your business.
- If you can reach some influencers to market your products to their audience, it would be an awesome opportunity to get more customers.
WordPress plugins to use for Dropshipping store
The following list of plugins you can you to enhance your store and this list will be updated from time to time:
- AliDropship WordPress plugin
- WooCommerce WordPress plugin
- WP Forms WordPress plugin
- Yoast WordPress SEO plugin
If you have a WordPress plugin you need to add to this list, please add a comment on this article and we will review it and add.
WordPress themes to use for Dropshipping store
AliDropship WordPress plugin is compatible with most WooCommerce based themes so the following is a list of themes that you can start using to build your WordPress store:
I hope you learned more about DropShipping using WordPress and I hope also you start earlier your store and joing those people who are freely operating their own business.
Take DropShipping as a transition stage just to let you into eCommerce world.