How to Start an Ecommerce Dropship Business: 7 Actionable Tips

by | Mar 7, 2022

Let’s face it. The glory days of ecommerce dropship businesses are over.

The low/no cost barrier to entry has attracted many dubious wannabe ecommerce millionaires into the space, resulting in low quality products, poor customer service and a mass of competitors all selling similar products.

Add to that long shipping times, a far more educated buyer & the biggest competitor being the most trusted ecommerce brand in the world and starting an ecommerce dropshipping business is an uphill battle!

However, it is still possible to start a profitable ecommerce dropshipping business if you follow the 7 tips below.

Here’s How to Start an Ecommerce Dropship Business in 2022 and Beyond.

1. Build a Brand.

So many of the lower quality sites have set themselves up as ‘cheapdealsrus’.com, and are willing to sell any old crap if there’s a buyer for it.

Don’t be this brand!

Sure, feel free to test the market to see what sells well.

But once you have a winner, build a great brand around that product.

  • How can you stand out?
  • How do you add maximum value?
  • Why would your customers shop again with you and recommend you to others?

The goal in business is not just to attract new customers but to retain the ones you have.

You do that by building a brand ideal that resonates with your target market.

Think;

Nike – anyone can be an athlete

Dove – all women are beautiful

Redbull – extreme sports

how to start an ecommerce dropship business - redbull - brand example

These brands are so much bigger than just their products.

How can your brand resonate with the world views of your ideal audience.

2. Find Great Suppliers

The success of your ecommerce dropshipping business depends on you finding great suppliers.

You need suppliers who are reliable, offer quality products at decent prices, guarantee fast shipping, take responsibility for their products & are responsive communicators.

This is easier said than done and you’ll likely have to kiss a few dropshipping supplier frogs before you find your prince!

Remember, China isn’t the only country engaged in dropshipping anymore. Due to the explosion of dropshipping ecommerce businesses, you can now find dropshipping suppliers worldwide.

Explore sites like;

aliexpress.com

Oberlo.com

Spocket.co

salehoo.com

Then find dropshipping suppliers who offer all of the above by testing purchases yourself.

Order potential products to check shipping times, product quality & packaging, supplier communication, etc.

Finding a great supplier will give you the foundation to grow a reliable & trustworthy dropshipping ecommerce business.

3. Create an Ecommerce Store That Oozes Quality

There’s no excuse for cheap looking, low quality online stores anymore.

Sites like Shopify have made it so easy to build a beautiful looking ecommerce website at the click of a button.

Sites like unsplash.com have made it equally easy to upload high quality images.

The most critical element of your dropshipping store is your product page leading to checkout.

Shopify has done this for you, with all themes inclusive of simple, minimal and clean product pages & checkout funnels.

Don’t make life hard on yourself. For only $29 a month, you can easily create a website for your ecommerce dropshipping business with all the sales bells and whistles you need and ensure your site represents your quality brand.

4. Build an Email List

Start building your email list for your dropshipping business from Day 1.

Your email list will become your greatest asset as your ecommerce business grows.

Offer a pop up discount code to all visitors in exchange for their email address and send at least one email a week with interesting and valuable content or stories relevant to your brand.

ecommerce discount popup example

Then as and when is relevant, send out sales offers, holiday promos and special discounts.

Making your subscribers feel like they’re part of your exclusive brand family, will;

  • Increase sales conversions for new product launches
  • Increase reviews for current products, which in turn will increase conversions on your online store
  • Improve brand recognition
  • Help grow your social media presence
  • And many other brand benefits.

5. Build a Platform

Alongside building an email list, begin building an online platform for your dropshipping business brand.

Choose whether you want to build a blog & drive traffic via SEO, or grow your brand on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or Pinterest.

My advice would be to pick one to start with as you can’t be everywhere all at once unless you have a team to assist you.

Then consistently post every single day.

As your audience grows you can begin to diversify and add other platforms increasing the presence of your online store.

6. Engage in Influencer Marketing

One of the fastest ways to grow your ecommerce dropshipping business is to get in front of ready made audiences in your niche.

Find influencers with relevant audiences and ask them to test out and review your products.

It will cost you to send a product to an influencer, but the resulting sales from just one influencer campaign could significantly outweigh your investment.

To encourage the influencer to work with you, give them an affiliate code so they make money from every sale made by their audience via their unique link.

Some may still want to charge an upfront fee. Many will not.

Make a list of ideal influencers who have already built an audience of potential customers & get DM’ing!

7. Offer Excellent Customer Service

Putting your customers front and centre of your dropshipping business will ensure you stand out in a sea of ecommerce dropshipping businesses.

Many ecommerce entrepreneurs are in it for a quick buck, so create some brand loyalty, longevity and cheaper marketing costs by offering premium customer service.

  • Make it easy for customers to contact you.
  • Be extremely responsive.
  • Setup chatbots for when you’re not online.
  • Make returns quick & painless.

Amazon has been able to reach its dizzying heights, by always putting the customer first.

While you may not be the next Amazon, you could create an extremely lucrative six or seven figure ecommerce dropshipping business by focusing on your customer above all else.

How to Start an Ecommerce Dropship Business Summary

Building an ecommerce dropshipping business is no mean feat in today’s competitive online business world.

But online shopping continues to increase dramatically.

Online e-commerce sales are set to almost double in the next 3 – 5 years from around 750 billion in 2021 to over 1.3 trillion by 2025.

This means, there’s no reason why you can’t create a successful dropshipping business and your own online store like so many others by focusing on the tips above.

To learn how to start an ecommerce business step by step see my detailed guide here – “How to Start an Ecommerce Business & Sell Stuff You Love”.

In the meantime, don’t delay! Start your own dropshipping business today.

Good luck!

Please share with anyone you think this might benefit. Thank you 🙂