Setting up an Online Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping is a great way to offer real physical products online without the complications of holding your own stock. In a dropshipping business you offer products for sale and the orders are fulfilled by a third party. For this articles we will be using our own site www.childrens-furniture-store.co.uk as an example. 

Identify what you plan to sell and find a provider

It is essential to get this stage right. There are many products which can be sold online but will not be popular, which are already being sold online by market giants or which cannot be practically be sold online. Books for example have proven to be an enormously popular ecommerce product but you will have little chance of successfully completing with amazon as a general provider. The following list of dropshippers and dropshipper directories should provide you some inspiration in this task

http://www.gadgetdropshipper.com
http://www.doba.com
http://www.hktdc.com
http://devilwear.co.uk
http://www.esources.co.uk
http://www.theselect.co.uk

Once you have identified a product or product type as well as a provider you need to check up on the provider. The risk of fixing your wagon to a flaky provider is not insignificant and a mistake at this stage can be costly later on. Many providers offer either substandard products described as better than they are or simply don't deliver at all. If your dropshipper doesn't deliver to your customers as agreed you as the merchant are responsible for refundung them. I speak from personal experience when I say this is a painful trick to fall from and when the dropshipper is from a country like China or Malaysia you have no legal recourse. You can mitigate this risk by making your early order using a credit card. This allows you to make use of your credit cards legally mandated fraud protection. I ofcourse did not do this and I have a big box of empty 64GB pen drive casings to prove it. http://dropshipforum.co.uk is a great source of information and advice for novice dropshippers from industry veterans.

Create a Website

This topic is far too vast to cover in the space I have available here so I'll be brief:

1) Pick a domain name

It should contain keywords relevant to your products. It should also be short, memorable, obvious to spell when spoken and above all it must be catchy.

2) Get a hosting package

Their are many hosting packages and types of hosting available. If you are planning on making many sites for many products and businesses then you should get a reseller account. Hostgator offers then best resesller accounts. If you are only planning on launching one website for the time being then our own hosting accounts will be ideal. You can find more information about Pixeko's hosting accounts here.

3) Pick an ecommerce platform and develop your site

Ecommerce developers have many options available to them. Each has benefits and drawbacks and unfortunately their is no ideal solution for all situations and users. I would recommend researching your options thoroughly before settling on a candidate, once you begin development it becomes increasinlgy difficult to change the software your site is based on. Here are some of the platforms that are available:

http://www.oscommerce.com
http://www.zen-cart.com
http://www.cubecart.com
http://www.ubercart.org
http://www.actinic.co.uk
http://www.easycart.com

Launch your site and market it

Once you have created your website you need to upload it to your hosting account. Configure aspects of it such as postage policy or payment gateways, add in all your product records and market it. For more advice on marketing you can look through WebDevFAQ's marketing and SEO sections.

Conclusion

Dropshipping offers entrpreneurs a great opportunity to offer a wide range of products without the overheads of holding a large number of items in stock. It requires a great deal less startup capital and in many areas of the business the workload is significantly reduced. However it is not without its risks and drawbacks. You are required to place your faith and reputation in the hands of a dropshipping provider who you like likely have never met in person and will probably be from a different country to you. Different countries have different cultures especially when it comes to business. Depending on the country of the provider you deal with your legal recourses may be obfuscated or non existent. Your profit margins will also be reduced compared to operating a business where you hold the stock yourself. Returns and refunds become more elaborate and time consuming as well. Despite all this it can still make for a successful venture with thorough research and hard work.

If you have a business idea based on dropshipping and would like a website professionally developed for you in order to give you a greater chance of success then you may want to look at Pixeko Web Design, the creators of this information resource. Pixeko has a proven track records of developing reliable and effective websites for a variety of industries and subject matters.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (10 votes)