Drop shipping is a method by which an ecommerce business fulfills consumer orders, but does not keep products in stock. An online store that wants to sell a product purchases the items from a third party and has it shipped directly to the consumer. 

It is the drop shipping suppliers who will carry the responsibility for warehousing your products, shipping them, and supervising the processes that are required. You can run your business from your home, using only a computer and the internet. This method will allow you to enjoy a flexible work schedule that accommodates your family, home, and other employment obligations, if you have them.  

Even if you are working from home or some other remote location, you will need to invest in the business for it to be successful. Drop shipping, like any other business venture, requires time, effort, energy, and even some monetary investment. If you’re looking to build a steady, not trendy drop shipping company, be sure to use a drop shipping business guide first, and then consider a few of these tips for ongoing sustainability and scalability.

Sell products you are interested in and passionate about.

It is difficult to provide due care and attention to products, services, and branding when you don’t care. Drop shipping is not a get rich quick scheme, and dropshippers who do well have an emotional connection to the products they sell that shows in the way in which they engage in business practices. Dropshippers who are passionate about what they sell are much more successful, and their passion comes across in the attention they give to branding efforts, photography, content development, and social media posting.

Dropshippers who feel strongly about their products are also more likely to engage effectively and consistently with their target audience in advertising and social media development. Showing timely and sincere responses and acknowledgments help your consumers know, like, and trust your brand. Take the time to find and engage with your ideal audience in meaningful interactions. Take an interest in your consumers, and they will return the favor ten times over.

Attend ecommerce events.

Starting into ecommerce and dropshipping is exciting, but it is important not to isolate yourself. Attending events and conferences like the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE) or ShopTalk means learning firsthand from well established online businesses and networking with those who have extensive knowledge in the markets. It’s also advisable to network with wholesalers and retailers in your industry. 

No matter what events or conferences you choose, make sure to find those that cater to businesses of all sizes and industries. You also want to concentrate on those that provide educational workshops or breakout sessions and motivate you toward creativity. While cost may be a consideration, many are well worth the expenditure, especially if they remove the guesswork from setting up, maintaining, or growing your online dropshipping business.

Use alternative dropshipping platforms or a shipping partner.

It is a good idea to explore the many traditional drop shipping wholesalers and platforms available to find the one that works best as your staple provider. However, while you may have the usual ones you choose to utilize regularly, you may want to consider using other ones as well. ShipBob, a TCombinator-backed startup, does everything Fulfillment by Amazon does, but it does so more cheaply and effectively. It allows you to run your online business through fulfillment centers that are close to your customers, allowing you access to tools to help control inventory, orders, and shipments. ShipBob does not charge for picking, packing, or warehousing because they have cheaper rates based on volume. They charge what the normal postage price would be and keep the difference. 

Use apps or tools that will save you time and money. 

Google Keyword Planner is an advertising tool, a blogging tool, and so much more. Google Keyword Planner can determine the demand for a particular product, which is critical information for you if you want to provide items that are in demand. Enter the name of a product you’re thinking of selling to see how often it has been searched in the past month. You would want to select products with only a few thousand searches.

Watch Count is an ecommerce tool that publishes how many eBay users have added a particular item on the Watch List. By seeing what items users are watching, you will have an edge in determining popular products for your dropshipping business.  You can use the tool to see what the products with higher Watch Counts have in common and analyze the characteristics that are making them popular. Maybe their listing titles more interesting or they include better, more detailed write-ups about features? This information will help you determine the viability of the products you intend to sell in a competitive market.

What are some tips you have for drop shipping startups? Feel free to share here.