You’ve always wanted an online store selling products to your customers right?
I know i have, I’ve always wanted to own a computer store that sells laptops, desktops and eve custom built computers, although i have not realized my dream of woning an online store yet, after hearing about the wonderfulness of dropshipping i realized that it actually is quite possible to create pretty much any kind of online store without having to know manefacturers, distribution companies or other suppliers, All you really have to do is dropship the products right to your customers.
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping in it’s simplest form is the act of buying products from other stores that is cheaper than your own, then shipping those products to your customer.
An example would be my online E-Cigarette store(because it’s a new and hot niche right now), although I only ship one product the principle is the same, when a customer pays me for the product, I go to my supplier, and purchases the corresponding product in the customers name, and then the product will be shipped to them.
The important thing is to sell the products for a higher price then what you pay for the products yourself, in my chase the product i sell costs 80 USD on my site, but i buy them for 65 USD leaving me with a 15 USD profit margin.
How to start an online store?
The first thing you have to think about when starting an online store is a domain name, a good ecommerce domain name promotes trust, reliability and is relevant to the product or products that you are going to be selling.
Or you can go with a total SEO name like “PhoneCases.com”, in that chase you will get a little bit more SEO benefits due to your keyword being in the domain name itself.
I tend to choose my domains based on relevancy, trust and writeability(is the domain easy to type on the keyboard).
Once you’ve got your domain name(which i recommend that you buy from Namecheap as they are very realiable and their support is great), you are going to need a web hosting provider, and some form of eCommerce script or solution, You can use Hostgator or MDDHosting for hosting and OpenCart as my eCommerce software.
I recommend MDDHosting as they are a great web hosting provider that gives you hosting for a decent price as well as EXCELLENT support.
Another thing that is nice with MDDHosting is the that it is is very easy to install an SSL on their service, if you’re having trouble you can always contact them for support as well!
Once you’ve got your hosting and domain all figured out (how to connect your namecheap domain to your hosting account)
How to find Dropshippers?
I’ve compiled a list of dropshippers and wholesalers that i got from various sources, some of the links might be dead and some of the companies have gone out of business it seems… but its a great list to get you started to find products that you can sell in your own online.
There are also other websites that you can use to source dropshippers and wholesalers, a lot of them are a service that you have to pay for but you might be interested in them anyways.
The two most popular services seems to be these two:
Setting up your store!
Once you’ve gotten hold of some dropshippers that you can use to sell from, you gotta setup an online store, since I told you to use OpenCart I’m going to assume that you are using opencart, so when it comes to installing opencart you should follow the official documentation that comes with OpenCart here.
Or if you are using softaculous then you can follow this tutorial.
When it comes to setting up OpenCart you can follow this tutorial, I found it very helpful and it would be pointless to reinvent the wheel and make another tutorial exclusively for this.
Marketing your NEW Store!
Once you’ve got everything up and running you should start writing unique product descriptions about the products you sell, it is an advantage to actually know a lot about what you sell in order to write good product descriptions, the more unique and informal your descriptions are the more likely it is that Google or any other search engine will rank you higher than a competitor who has used a generic and common product description.
When it comes to marketing your store, what you should do, depending on the product that you are selling is to go to various related forums and post a couple informal posts about a product, maybe someone in a forum somewhere has already bough the same or similar product to waht you are selling, hop in the thread and give your opinions on the product and include a subtle link to your product page.
Another great way top market your store and to get traffic is to give free review copies of certain products to influential bloggers and youtubers in your niche, this will of course cost you a bit of money because you have to purchase the product from the dropshipper you are using and send it to the reviewer, but if it generates 2-3 sales it will already have paid for itself.
Thanks for reading, I Hope you found this post useful!