What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an order fulfilment model for online stores, in which the store do not keep the actual stock of the products. After receiving the order, the store places the order to a manufacturer who will ship the product to the end customer. Customer pays in retail price to the online store, the store pays in wholesale price to the manufacturer. Dropshipping in India is growing at a rapid pace and business opportunities in dropshipping or print on demand dropshipping are aplenty.
Benefits of Dropshipping
Drop Shipping is a very attractive business model for anyone to start selling products online in short span of time. It also gives a lot of personal time, moreover the business can be conducted from anywhere in the world.
Initial investment is a roadblock for many businesses. Drop shipping requires very small capital to setup website, order samples and setup company. For any traditional business model, you need to order samples, then batch of products which may go unsold as well. Drop shipping removes all that and a truly successful business can be built by focusing on other aspects of building a brand.
2.No Space Constraints:
To conduct any business in traditional way of selling products, you need space to store products, dispatch for daily orders, inventory management staff and systems, complying to labour laws etc. But drop shipping business can be conducted from the comfort of your home or amidst your travel as well.
Everyone loves a personalised offering, drop shipping with print on demand model enables that truly. Without that you may need to purchase and setup different kinds of printing machines. You can easily sell custom printed T-Shirts, Mobile Cases, Coffee Mugs, Canvas Prints, Sweat Shirts etc without inventory and printing machines. This is the most lucrative option in drop shipping.
Drop shipping business is easy to scale by adding more products to the store. Scaling with traditional business model involves changing office space, adding more stock, hiring product experts etc. This can be achieved easily in drop shipping by partnering with right suppliers.
How to start Dropshipping in India?
Any business needs to setup company, sales and delivery channels and compliances. We will look into the steps to get started with drop shipping business in India.
Any business in India requires to register for GSTIN. However you can start selling online from your own website without getting GSTIN as well. But it is not mandatory to have GST registration for businesses with turnover of upto 40 Lakh. Getting GSTIN in India very simple process which happens completely online.
Products comes before everything. You should have fair understanding about the product. Spend most of your time into selecting the product. You should be able to write about it and explore top selling and cross selling options too. Also, when the sales pickup you should know to add more varieties of the same. Get as much data as you can from keyword traffic, Amazon sales numbers, competition etc.
Supplier is going to have direct contact with your customers. So choose one who gives quality product, proper packaging and custom branding options. Also when you want to scale up, the supplier should give you more options, so choose supplier who is having more variety of products. If you are in drop shipping business, you are in low margin business. So, you need to choose supplier offering best prices as well. Remember to check – No upfront fees, no minimum payment to get started, completely white labelled – not only the products – even sms, invoices, labels, tracking URLs shows to customers should be white labelled, free or cheaper custom branding options, bulk purchase/printing options, support system, process automation, continuous product addition, product range, manufacturing capabilities and Price.
You can setup a Shopify website and list your products. But you can also choose to sell from Instagram page or on WhatsApp as well to start with. If you are opting for website – Shopify will be a best option to start with because of ease of setup, free videos and other content available online for any queries related to setting up website and themes. Your channels should be an ideal purchase place for your target audience, every touch point should be properly planned and communicate a common message and enable better conversion.
If you open a offline retail store in a popular street, you will automatically get walk in customers. But if you open an online store, that is not the case. You need to people know about your shop and its products. Get traffic to your online store and work on conversions. Continuous social media post and smart digital marketing helps in achieving this. Facebook, Instagram and Google are three major channels to advertise online. It is best to start with Facebook Ads and leverage all three channels when sales grow.
Once the store, product listing and marketing plans are ready, you need focus on certain core areas and work on continuous improvement to make it a huge success. Here are the best practices and focus areas to know..
Do not go on adding products horizontally. Niche down on the best category and explore that with as many varieties as possible with laser focussed audience group. Choosing best niche and defining proper target audience continuously will ensure huge success for your store.
2.Know your Customer:
This is not the typical bank’s KYC. You should know about your customers as deeply as possible, not only about their age, gender, education etc. But spend time in knowing about their greed, fear, passion etc. Your customers may not tell you what they exactly need, its your job to give them what exactly they need.
This adds a great value and every customer at some of point of time will need a customised product offering. Good customised delivery will win you a lifetime customer.
Standard product page template may seems to be enough. But this the page where your customers will decide whether to give his money to you or not. So give in as much information as possible, show product videos, real life product images, features and create an irresistible offer.
Do not underestimate support work. Attend to the support queries as early as possible and give them complete, detailed information. Faster and clear support information shows your commitment to your business and it will result in better conversions.
This is very important process to be followed for drop shipping in India. Follow the above link to our blog to know all the best practices to eliminate the COD returns and become profitable.
Starting a dropshipping business in India and scaling it to a profitable brand is not a cake walk. But with focussed approach, process driven practices and long term vision, it can be 100% achieved. All the best for you business and check out our other posts related to other aspects of print on demand and drop shipping.