By: Patrick Foster December 05, 2016

Dropshipping is taking the ecommerce world by storm because it cuts out the storage nightmare for entrepreneurs and online merchants. Using dropshipping means that when customers order products through your online store, these products are then delivered to your customers directly from your suppliers. No fuss, no muss. If you’re looking for ways how to earn money from home or want to start up your own dropshipping business, here are the core strategies you need to consider in order to succeed.

Why pick dropshipping?

Before we dive in with what makes dropshipping so awesome as a business model, it’s important to say that dropshipping also requires loads of research and digital skills. It’s more hands-off than traditional ecommerce, but it’s not hands-free. Don’t get too caught up in the benefits or shiny dollar signs without looking at the bigger picture.

What makes drop shipping a good option for hungry online entrepreneurs?

  • Lower starting capital – anyone can start their own ecommerce business using dropshipping without having to break the bank or get an expensive loan. It’s a case of supply and demand – you only purchase the products you will definitely sell. As you manage your own profit margins you can play the market and use branding and persuasive copy to drive up the retail value of your products.
  • It’s low risk – Every new business venture comes with its own risks, but dropshipping is less risky because you’re not locked into expensive stock or retail premises. If things don’t work out the way you thought they would, you are not stuck with loads of products you have to offload.
  • Wide selection of products – you can sell so much more through the drop shipping model because you don’t have to stock anything and you can change tact fast.
  • You can do it from your own home – you don’t have to worry about running a warehouse or stocking your products so you can manage your business from your bedroom. You have more independence and flexibility.

Take a look at how these entrepreneurs built an 800k t-shirt business all through the power of dropshipping. Dropshipping isn’t just for your lowest common denominator products, it can actually help you build a viable brand.

How to earn money from home: multichannel selling for dropshippers

Why go multichannel? Multichannel selling allows you to sell beyond the realms of your website. No longer will your website be the primary place for customers to browse your products, you can make sales through social media, marketplaces and other sales platforms. Customers are shopping in lots of different locations online and your company needs to embrace multiple mediums in order to make more sales.

  • Sell on a marketplace like Amazon or eBay and run this concurrently with your ecommerce store. It will increase your visibility and offer a different platform for your customers to find you on.
  • Many big players in ecommerce sell through marketplaces alongside their own ecommerce store and social media platforms. Multichannel offers you the flexibility to reach customers on a number of different levels.

Worried that you can’t create and design your own ecommerce store?

There are many options you can take when it comes to building your ecommerce website. You can hire a web designer to take care of the techy side, but that can be expensive and might not be the right choice for those just starting out.

Another option to consider is using an ecommerce platform like Shopify. You can open an online store for a fixed monthly fee, giving you the ability to plan and budget for the future (and it integrates directly with Oberlo: a dropshipper must-have).

How to earn money from home: choose your dropshipping suppliers

Investigate and research the dropshipping suppliers you are planning to use. Are they reputable and have a lot of other companies using them? Can you trust them to deliver on time and represent your business well?

  • Buy from suppliers that have positive feedback. Always aim for a feedback score of around 95% to ensure a good service. Consider individual product feedback and any bad comments from customers to determine a suppliers suitability.
  • Carry out spot checks and test orders to assess the company’s timing, communication, and overall customer experience for yourself. You will be able to gauge if they are worth working with.
  • Choose products that are suitable for your brand and customers. Don’t always go for the cheapest product because there are numerous different sellers on AliExpress selling similar products. If one supplier is offering the same product for half the price then chances are they have skimped on quality.
  • Genuine branded goods are extremely rare on AliExpress so don’t be fooled by branded products because they could easily be fake merchandise.

How to earn money from home: deliver impeccable customer service

Once your website is up and running and orders are flying out the door, your part is done, right? Wrong.

Dropshipping handles all of your product demand but you are 100% responsible for taking care of your customers. This means answering their queries, following up with late or missing deliveries, and general customer service. You will be the first point of contact for your customers – treat them like gold.

Bad customer service leads to a downturn in sales and can negatively impact your brand – both personal and professional.

  • Meet your customers where they are – interact with them on social media as well as through email and phone.
  • Offer a live chat feature on your website to assist customers while they shop.

How to earn money from home: market your brand

Just like handling your customers, you will be in charge of running your own marketing. The right marketing strategy will set your company apart; establish a solid promotional strategy and a plan of how you will promote your store. Even if you don’t know everything right now you can easily learn the skills you need to become successful online with free courses and tools.

  • As a dropshipper, marketing is a way to differentiate your company from others selling similar or the same products. Set yourself apart on social media by adding value to your products and your customers.
  • Launch social media accounts for your ecommerce company. Post often and engage with your customers to boost traffic and visibility to your website. Link to useful information and up-to-date news stories to enrich your customers experience.
  • Optimize your site for search engines using SEO. This will help your customers find your site easily, and drive sales.
  • Optimize your site for mobile use. With so many consumers purchasing products on their mobile phones it’s important for your ecommerce site to be mobile-friendly.
  • Start a blog to run alongside your online business. You could write about your niche, products you sell, or give advice on how to run a successful dropshipping business straight from your home. The possibilities are endless and content like this is great for posting to social media.
  • As a dropshipper, you have to work hard to create successful relationships with your customers. Send out frequent email marketing campaigns and use cart abandonment emails to encourage people to spend more with you. See here for more great email templates.

How to earn money from home: conclusion

Starting any new company presents it’s own individual challenges, no matter how commercially minded or digitally savvy you are. Every new dropshipping company needs a strong and coherent business plan and strategy of how exactly you are going to grow. This will help your online store stay on the right track and will give you room for your business to expand. Make sure to market your brand effectively and keep customers at the heart of everything you do to promote strong relationships that will stick. Invest the time and be patient – and success will be the reward.  

Are you willing to give dropshipping a go? What kind of products will you sell? Let me know in the comments below.