Is dropshipping worth it in 2023?
If you're seeking a low-cost business concept, dropshipping is still worthy of the investment. In only a few years, the number of individuals searching the keyword “dropshipping” has doubled.
The key to success is choosing the best products, keeping profit margins high, and choosing reliable suppliers. You may establish a successful, lucrative online dropshipping business if you cover those aspects.
You may be considering if it's worth investing in your own given the claims made by social media influencers to businesses that they can generate thousands of dollars in additional revenue with a single dropshipping store.
A dropshipping business may be started with three easy steps: build an ecommerce website, locate a supplier, and choose your products. Then, you can watch as the money starts to come in.
No, never. It might take a significant time and effort investment to launch your first dropshipping store. This article discusses six things you should know before starting your own online store, as well as if dropshipping is worth it.
Why is dropshipping so popular?
The epidemic is primarily to blame for dropshipping's meteoric rise to fame. According to research, 52% of people shopped online more often than they did before the epidemic, with one-third of them making purchases they would have made at traditional stores.
The advantages of dropshipping
For new business owners, dropshipping is a popular way to start making money online. In light of what the dropshipping business model provides:
- Low barrier to entry. Stock investments don't need new business owners to spend a lot of cash. The dropshipping supplier takes care of order fulfillment and shipping once you sell a product.
- Flexibility. You may use your store to sell as many (or as few) dropshipping products as you want. Because it is a scalable ecommerce business concept, you may work whenever and wherever you please.
- Simple testing. Your primary focus is evaluating which products sell the best since other responsibilities—like order fulfillment and shipping—are taken off your plate. Because of this, several business owners see dropshipping as a quick introduction to ecommerce marketing.
Absolutely… Dropshipping still a massive part of a merchants journey and there's always an opportunity to do it better (more quality products, faster shipping, better search/ux, etc)— Brian Peters (@brian_g_peters) January 12, 2022
6 things to know before starting a dropshipping business
According to Shane Liuw, an SEO specialist at First Page, “dropshipping has earned a reputation as an “easy money” and “get rich fast” scam due to the advantages of minimal start-up capital and overheads.” Naturally, some individuals have reservations about dropshipping.
Let's take a closer look at some of that scepticism before you devote time to creating your own dropshipping store.
Is dropshipping profitable?
There is sometimes a limit on the amount of profit you can earn on each item since dropshippers frequently pay a premium to get goods from suppliers and there are so many businesses selling similar products. The convenience of avoiding fulfillment, shipping, and returns has a price.
That is not to argue that dropshipping cannot be a profitable business. If you choose the appropriate products to sell at the appropriate price, it is possible.
It truly depends on the products you are selling and how much time you are putting into marketing, says IdleShopper CEO Noah Wickham, whose dropshipping companies typically make a 40% gross profit and a 20% net profit. In contrast, almost every dropshipping store may be profitable given the correct conditions.
“At the end of the day, dropshipping is a highly costly business model.” You need to be able to spend money on graphic design, promotion, and a variety of other expenses to operate a successful dropshipping business. However, getting money back might be quite profitable.
How competitive is it?
For business owners wishing to sell products online, dropshipping is an alluring business model since anybody can start one with no money out of pocket. It is thus competitive—even more so if you are selling in a well-known dropshipping niche.
The most competitive dropshipping categories are clothing, home and garden, jewelry, and watches, with 500,000 clothing dropshippers vying for the dollars of your target market.
Between 10% and 20% of dropshipping operations, according to experts, are successful. By differentiating yourself from the dropshipping competition using techniques like:
- Choosing a less crowded niche. Any new dropshipping niche is assessed using the following criteria by Dave Hermansen, CEO of Store Coach: “the number of daily searches (more than 100), level of competition (who is on page one), whether or not the products can be found in a wide variety in local stores (not good if you can), and retail price (at least $500, on average).”
- Prioritizing customer service. Dropshippers often make the mistake of concentrating entirely on marketing while ignoring their current customers, even though existing customers are more inclined to buy the products you're selling.
- Building a brand. According to Cole Turner, a dropshipping entrepreneur who amassed millions of dollars via his business, “The only way to succeed in dropshipping today is to have a true identity as a brand and a real legitimate business, even if it's not legal at first.” You still need to be credible if you're still shipping through AliExpress. People must have faith in you.
According to Brian Peters, Partnerships Lead at Shopify, “Dropshipping [is] still a significant aspect of a merchant's journey, and there's always a chance to do it better—with more high-quality products, quicker shipping, better search, and UX, etc.
How long does it take to succeed?
Even though dropshipping is a low-risk business concept, a significant amount of work must be done before you make your first transaction. That contains:
- Building a brand
- Evaluating suppliers
- Sourcing new products
- Marketing your products
- Starting an ecommerce store
For your dropshipping business to make up to $2,000 per month in revenue, plan on working at least 10 to 15 hours each week. However, just like any other small business, investing more time raises your chances of turning a profit. According to our research, it will take a minimum of 12 months of full-time labour on your dropshipping business to replace an average full-time salary of $50,000.
In a rush? By purchasing an established, profitable dropshipping business via Shopify Exchange, you may save time.
How do you get the right suppliers?
The world's top marketing initiatives are available to you. However, your dropshipping business is doomed if customers don't like the products they get (or fail to receive them completely).
There are hundreds of suppliers available for dropshipping store owners to connect with on websites like Alibaba and DSers. Make sure to thoroughly investigate any dropshipping suppliers you decide to work with, paying great attention to:
- Shipping estimates. Online buyers want free, quick shipping. Request shipping rates and timelines from several suppliers to see if you can meet this requirement.
- Reviews and ratings. To increase quality control, look at evaluations from other businesses that use the same dropshipping service. The product's quality—is it up to par? Is it delivered with any flaws? Do they have a quick enough order fulfillment process to keep their delivery commitments to customers? Do they accept reimbursements on your behalf?
- Customer support. The most vital dropshipping advice is to assume responsibility for your supplier's errors. This does not exclude you from holding suppliers liable for mistakes made on their end. Look for suppliers that provide valuable feedback and prompt customer service.
How big of a priority is customer support?
Even while you may cut down on the amount of time you spend on customer service by working with reliable suppliers, it will still take up a significant portion of your overall store time.
Details are instantly sent to your supplier as soon as a customer places an order via your online marketplace. They are in charge of selecting, packaging, and shipping the item to your customer. But something may inevitably go wrong throughout that process.
Reduce the effect of bad customer encounters by admitting your mistake. That contains:
- Communicating delays proactively, such as delivery times.
- Making support easily accessible, including links to FAQs in your order confirmation emails and an on-site chatbot.
- Asking for another chance if a customer’s order shows up wrong, such as offering a coupon code on their next order.
Do these things before the customer complains publicly on social media about your store. As a result, up to 94% of online shoppers are discouraged from purchasing one of your dropshipped products.
Will you need to protect your business legally?
Running a dropshipping business is quite legal, but there are a few things to think about before opening your doors.
Consider the following legal considerations when determining if dropshipping is worth it:
- Business structure. Each kind of business entity—a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or a C corporation—has advantages of its own; however, an LLC may provide more protection for dropshippers. You don't run the risk of being held personally accountable for any debt the business incurs, such as excessive marketing expenses.
- Taxes. If the state in which you do business collects sales tax and an order is made by a resident of that state, dropshippers are required to pay that tax. If you get a salary from the business, you can also be required to pay income tax.
- Contracts. Create a dropshipping partner agreement with the help of a lawyer to protect your interests in case anything goes wrong.
- Policies. When considering a purchase from your dropshipping store, prospective customers will need to check your privacy, shipping, and returns policies. (Not having the latter may put 54% of purchasers off.)
- Insurance. As your dropshipping business expands, the risk rises. Think about purchasing business insurance to protect yourself.
According to Fintan Meagher, marketing manager at ReConvert, “even if you can start with only your laptop, it's probable that you'll wind yourself in hot water sooner rather than later if you're selling counterfeit items, using deceptive advertising, or violating consumer protection regulations.”
Is dropshipping worth it FAQ
Dropshipping has been employed by several business owners to create million-dollar enterprises. To replace your salary, you'll need to put in a full year of arduous effort; this is an investment that will likely pay off in a few years.
Low profit margins, bad inventory management, and trouble with suppliers are the drawbacks of dropshipping. By purchasing top-notch products from dependable suppliers, you can reduce that risk and keep customers happy.
Dropshipping is effective for making a profit, yet margins vary based on the products you're selling. When determining your profit margins, get pricing from your suppliers and compare it to markups from other merchants.
Given that the marketplace keeps 15% of all sales, selling online via your ecommerce store is marginally more profitable than dropshipping on Amazon. Consider broadening your sales channels if making a profit is your primary objective.