Step 1: Find a supplier
Before starting a dropshipping business, your first priority should be your supplier. Suppliers are the backbone of all dropshipping business. Reason being that the quality and reliability of your supplier can determine the success of your business. Trust me without a reliable suppliers there won’t be a product for you to dropship. So you might have to take them seriously.
For the sake of this post, and probably for the fact that you want to dropship in Nigeria or elsewhere your best option of choosing a supplier should still be AliExpress.
Their products are relatively cheap giving you a profit scalability on your business. The good thing is 80% of drop shipper are using AliExpress so this might be your best choice in Nigeria.
If you want to dropship a rare product that happens not to be on AliExpress. Although hardly will you see one. The best thing here is to use the Google search engine to locate your supplier by using your selected keywords.
Step 2: Select a product to dropship
The second step after choosing your supplier is to choose the product you want to dropship. Many people are often tempted to start selling anything they can think of, but drop shipping doesn’t work that way. For you to be successful, you need to choose one or two related products or a niche you will be selling from. But make it limited. It’s better to be a big fish in small water.
Another thing you should have in mind while choosing your product is that you can’t just start selling any product you see. It has to be on the market trend. That is, demand for it must be relatively high or at least very stable and the competition for it should be minimal. Unless you want to injure yourself!
Thus, you can simply use Google trends to know if the market for the product is rising or decreasing. You can know products with the highly competitive market by searching other popular stores. Also, best-selling products in popular stores may give you an edge while starting your business. See the image to see an example of Google trend.
Step 3: Choose a selling platform
Now here is the most important part, because this is going to determine how your store looks. Whether it’s a professional site or not and you know professionalism breeds reputation.
This is the platform that’s going to host your store. ( To be put simpler, the house your online store will be occupying ) Here am going to write on just two platforms which are WordPress hosted platform and Shopify.
WordPress – Here you need to get a domain name. That is, the name of your website, and get a hosting plan for it. Your host company will be responsible for hosting your store and keeping your store data files.
After your domain name and your hosting plan are ready you can then install e-commerce software ( WooCommece ) on your website through WordPress. This can be done through one-click installation and after that, you can start tweaking the website to your taste. Here you will literally create your website yourself but no coding is involved and it’s nothing you can’t do.
If you want to create a WordPress store you can check out NameCheap for your Domain names and check Bluehost for your hosting plan. They’re both a wonderful platform.
For WordPress site, AliDropship is a WordPress plugin that can perfectly help your dropshipping business, it works just like Oberlo
Shopify – Shopify is a website that allows you to register with them if you want to sell your product online. They offer ranges of service from hosting, Domain name, Design, CMC, Payment Gateways, e-commerce plugins and everything else you need to
Shopify is one best platform for dropshipping if you are a newbie or even a professional. It allows you to focus on your business by branding and marketing your products while they manage your store for you. You can create your store and ready to start selling immediately within 5minute so far your marketing strategy is in place.
The good thing is they offer a 14days trial. You can set-up your store in a day and start marketing immediately for the first week. With this, it’s possible to make profits within the 14days and pay your hosting plan even after the trial expires.
I will recommend Shopify just to avoid the stress or even the cost of hiring a freelancer to create a WordPress site for you. With Shopify, the basic plan is just $29 per month. But this is nothing when the money starts rolling in.
Step 4: Market your business
Without marketing, nobody is going to visit your store. You can’t just sit down and expect them to come and buy from your store. You have to take it to them. The best place to market your product is Facebook. You can do this by creating a Facebook fan page after your domain name and create a Facebook business account to run your Facebook advert.
When running your Facebook ad, choose one of your cheapest products to drive traffic to store. Once they make their first purchase they will naturally come back.
Another means is by collecting their emails upon sign-ups and send marketing emails on new products or discount offers on existing products. I talked more of this in this guide you can check it out.
Step 5: Start making money
To make the work easier there is a Shopify plugin “Oberlo”, it’s a plugin or App specifically design for dropshipping.
What it does is that it helps you to import product descriptions, photos, etc from your supplier website to your store. This can be with just a click and when a product is sold in your store, it automatically sends the customer details to your supplier. The supplier then ships the product to your customer address.
Dropshipping can prove to be a good residual stream of income when done the right way and following the proper channel.