Drop Shipping

10 Steps to Starting a Successful Drop Shipping Business

Read Time: 6 min

Starting a successful drop shipping business not only requires the ability to offer high-quality products to online customers, but it also requires drop shipping merchant services. This ability minimizes the risk of missing out on revenue or losing your business operation altogether. By setting up your business correctly from the start and managing expectations, you will have an easier time getting going. From hashing out a business plan to finally taking that first credit card payment, the journey will be much easier with a plan. Using a high risk credit card processing company as your payment processor is the only way, you will find, to do business securely. Find out how to conduct business in this industry without interruption or disruption to your flow of income.

1. Choose a Niche Market

Drop shipping companies and websites have become saturated in some industries. This is especially seen in markets that offer generic items such as baby clothing or kitchen utensils. In order to stand out and increase your chances of generating sales, it’s best to enter into a niche market. This way you will have an easier time standing out from the competition as well. That thing that sets you apart could be what propels your business forward.

2. Determine Your Target AudienceBusiness Owner Drop Shipping

Consider the audience you intend to reach with your drop shipping company. Determine the age range, gender, location, and any other relevant descriptors for the prospective users you want to reach online. Once you have a target audience in mind, it is much easier to move forward. You will be able to put yourself in their shoes and see what tactics work best to acquire them. No matter if you’re handling clothing drop shipping, electronics, or something else, you will have an easier time as you grow. Then you can begin stocking inventory and strategizing your digital marketing campaigns.

3. Research Current Competition

Once you have chosen the starting path with your drop shipping business, you can then begin to research your direct competition. Researching your competitors is a great way to gain insight into what works and what doesn’t. Learn how your competitors display and sell products and what differentiates them. Study marketing strategies and the online presence of each of your individual competitors. This way you will be able to do it one step better and outshine them.

4. Find Suppliers and Manufacturers

Finding high-quality suppliers and manufacturers is essential when starting a drop shipping business. You only have one opportunity to make a positive impression on your visitors and online customers. Selling low-quality or defunct products can quickly cause you to develop a negative reputation online. Without a positive reputation, it becomes increasingly difficult to motivate and incentivize users to complete the checkout process.

Whenever you are in the process of building a drop shipping business, it is important to source your products through solid and reliable manufacturers. Suppliers and manufacturers are key components in determining whether or not a drop shipping business or eCommerce merchant will survive.

5. Create an Online Presence

Starting an online presence is a must for any drop shipping business today. With the rife competition, it is important to establish your business online before you begin selling products. Create and launch an official website, blog, and social media presence. If you intend to sell products and services online via your drop shipping website, find an eCommerce solution that is right for you. One of the most well-known eCommerce solutions available for beginning businesses is WooCommerce with a WordPress plug-in. It is a reliable and time tested solution for basic drop shipping needs.

After you have built and launched your official website and blog, it is time to establish your social media. Use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest to help promote your drop shipping website. Using multiple social media platforms simultaneously is a way to ensure that you are always maximizing your online reach.

6. Consider Your Sale Structure

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Consider the overall structure of your website and how you intend to generate a profit. Are you thinking of profiting through straight sales or do you want to venture into a subscription service?

If you intend to implement a subscription service into your drop shipping website, it is best to know the different sales structures. You will need a more intuitive customer management system (CMS) in order to keep track of users. On top of that, implementing recurring billing will be a top priority. Be sure that you can save card information securely and that you have an auto-updating system. With all of these integrations, you may find it helpful to reach out to your website platform, CMS system, and payment processor for streamlined implementation.

7. Obtain a High Risk Merchant Account

Researching for a high risk credit card processing account is imperative for anyone who is starting a drop shipping business. The reason that you need to find a high risk provider is because of the industry type. Many banks and payment processors categorize it as riskier due to the lead times, fraud, and chargebacks. A high risk credit card processing service provides businesses with the ability to accept and process payments even if they are in the high risk space.

Once you have found a credit card processing provider for high risk websites or accounts, complete and submit your application. You will be required to provide verifiable identification as well as other information pertaining to your business. This may include current bank account statements, prior processing history, and a voided check where you want your deposits to go.

Once you get set up, you will be equipped with eCommerce fraud prevention best practices, a secure virtual credit card terminal, and a full shopping cart.

8. Develop a Customer Acquisition Strategy

In order to build a successful drop shipping company, you must first determine where you will acquire your customers online. Developing a customer acquisition strategy is extremely important, especially with a limited budget. This will help your marketing efforts stretch much further and be more effective.

Consider the method by which you intend to acquire your customers and why. How do your target consumers typically search for the products or services you are offering? How do you intend to promote your inventory both online and off? Why should your target consumers choose your drop shipping business over alternatives available?

9. Implement a Digital Marketing Strategy

Implementing a digital marketing strategy is also one of the most important elements of starting a successful drop shipping business. This could be through online ads or even just social media marketing. But without a digital marketing strategy, remaining relevant to your target audience and customers will become increasingly challenging.

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While working on your digital marketing strategy, it is important to remember your target audience. Your tone of marketing as well as where you go to do it will change depending on your audience. Some of the most popular social media platforms available include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Choose the platforms that are right for your drop shipping business based on the target audience you intend to reach and their favorite social networks.

Anyone who owns a drop shipping business understands just how important it is to keep up with the latest trends in their industry. Keep an eye out by monitoring your competitors, researching keywords regularly, and joining online communities dedicated to your chosen industry.

Starting a drop shipping business online does not have to feel complicated. Once you have planned ahead for your initiatives, you will take the whole thing in stride. With high risk drop shipping merchant services, high-quality products, and a thorough understanding of your target audience, begin selling products and services using your drop shipping business with little to no trouble at all.