This year, the global business-to-consumer eCommerce sales are expected to reach $1.5 trillion. If you’ve wanted to start your own successful eCommerce business, now is the perfect time to enter the market. With consumers heading to the Internet to do their shopping in record numbers, the right online store front and a solid plan will let you cash in on the expected 20.1 percent growth in the eCommerce market this year.
If you’re ready to start an eCommerce business but don’t have the money or space for the inventory that you would be required to keep, you may want to consider an ecommerce drop shipping business. The use of drop shipping to satisfy demand among eCommerce retailers has been one of the main advantages of doing business on the Internet explains Jeremy Hanks, co-founder and CEO of Dropship.com. With a drop shipping business, you still design and develop a fully functioning website, but you don’t keep the inventory for it at your physical location. You essentially become the middleman between the supplier of the product and the consumers.
The best part of starting an online drop shipping business is that you don’t have to stock the items you are selling on your site. You simply have to post the images of the products online and contact the supplier when a customer orders a product. This also makes it easy to conduct business from anywhere where there is an Internet connection. Finally, the initial startup costs are minimal, meaning you don’t have to take out a second mortgage on your house just to open the doors on your virtual storefront.
Designing Your ECommerce Site
When it comes to starting a drop shipping business, you’ll still be designing and developing an eCommerce storefront, just like you would if you were starting an online business selling your own products or service. For this, you will need to decide on the best eCommerce platform for your business. There are a number of great eCommerce platforms to choose from that are inexpensive and provide you with a ton of great looking site templates to get you started with designing your site.
Once you’ve landed on the right platform for your business, you’ll want to find a template that you can customize to give your visitors the best opportunity to view the products that you’ll be selling. When it comes to running a drop shipping business, you don’t have to let your customers know that you won’t personally be shipping the products from your business location. The best thing to do is design your site to look like you will personally ship all of the products you are offering.
Setting up Your Product Pages
The main reason for starting an eCommerce business is to sell products online. Keeping that in mind, you want to make sure you display your products in a way that will make your customers believe that they have to have the product. Your page layout becomes very important when running a drop ship site and the information contained on each page should answer your potential customer’s objections about buying product from you. Here are some things that you should consider including on your product pages.
- A high-quality image of the product
- A great description of the product
- Technical specifications
- User reviews and ratings
- What’s included in the product box
- Warranty information
The more information that you can put on your product pages, the better off you will be. Since consumers aren’t able to touch, feel or hold the products, you want to make sure you provide them with everything they need to make an informed decision and not end up returning items because the items weren’t what they expected.
When it comes to having someone else take over the shipping of the products that you are selling on your eCommerce site, it is extremely important that you stay on top of every order that comes in. You have to make sure that you have a really good relationship established with the wholesaler that you are doing business with in order to make your online drop shipping business a success. Every time a customer places an order through your site, you need to run through it and place the order with your supplier. Depending on the supplier that you have a contract with, you may have to call the order in, fax the order over, or enter the order online. With any of these methods, you want to check and double check that you give them all of the correct information to avoid any issues with the product being delivered to your customer because if something happens, it isn’t the supplier that will have to deal with an angry customer, it will be you.
Turning to suppliers to ship products directly to your customers can be a good alternative for those that don’t have the money or space to keep large inventory supplies on hand for their eCommerce business. Running a successful drop shipping business will not only increase your revenue stream, but it will also free you up to focus on marketing and promoting your business without being burdened by having to physically track your inventory.