Best Tools to start Dropshipping in 2021
Firstly, what is 'dropshipping'?
Dropshipping is a type of retail fulfilment method, whereby instead of stocking products, the store purchases them from a third-party supplier. The products are then shipped directly to the consumer, and the seller doesn’t handle the product directly. Even if you’re not aware of this term as an insider, you will be as a consumer because approximately 33% of online stores use dropshipping as a fulfilment model.
Many e-commerce entrepreneurs use dropshipping because it requires less hassle and money to get started. With dropshipping, you can build a long-term sustainable business without having to get out of your seat.
With that in mind, here are some of the tools that you should consider when beginning the life of a professional dropship seller:
#1 Where to: start
The dropshippers mecca, Shopify is the biggest e-commerce platform around. If you need somewhere to start, this is where (think of it as your shop’s storefront.). It has a clean and easy-to-use interface with simple functionality, plus it doesn’t demand technical expertise. There’s also the reliable 24/7 customer support should you hit a snag and a vast trove of potential app integrations for functional demands. There’s a reason it’s the first port of call on any Dropshippers shopping list.
But it’s not alone and there are some key competitors. WooCommerce, for example, is a free, open-source WordPress plugin with customisable extensions and a host of features. BigCommerce is a fully mobile-enabled e-commerce platform with Content Syndication and SEO tools at its disposal. Whatever you decide to go with, though, Trendlab can play a key role in supplementing the start of your business journey with insights into how your product’s popularity has fared with its ‘popularity’ timeline.
#2 Where to: shop
So you’ve got your store setup. Now you need some...product? SaleHoo gathers over 10,000 vetted wholesale and dropship businesses listing well over 1.6 mln products. The same goes for Sprocket that connects you directly to suppliers around the world, especially those in the US and EU but also allows you to quickly import products to your Shopify or WooCommerce store. The application makes dropshipping scalable as you don't need any new storage facilities.
Trendlab’s seasonal timeline can be used in conjunction with your product selection so you can have a well-measured insight into how seasonality will impact your (and your customers) purchasing decisions.
#3 Where to: get supply
The supply chain is key to any budding drop shipper. Whilst dropshipping may sound simple enough, a lot of the challenge lies in where and how to contact suppliers of the product you need. Oberlo is a dropshipping app that allows you to export products from suppliers (AliExpress, for example) and import directly to your Shopify store. The popularity of the tool has grown exponentially since its launch in 2015 and there are currently more than 6,500 Shopify stores using Oberlo with $36,000,000+ in sales so far.
Data into where the supply comes from is one of the many challenges that dropshippers encounter. Trendlab can look at which products are being purchased from where so that buyers can try to gauge what might be the quickest and most efficient supplier to source.
#4 Where to: streamline
So you've got your website. You’ve picked your product. You’ve even sourced a supplier. Now you want to make the whole process frictionless. Luckily there is a hive of options available to make seemingly arduous tasks automated, and one of the best known for this is Zapier. Zapier allows you to connect two apps, pass the data automatically, and not only save time but remove human error too. You can create workflow automations to run in Zapier from all sorts of significant moments: receiving an email, publishing a blogpost, administering a CRM input, or making an order invoice.
There are also tools like AutoDS, which is especially useful for eBay selling where users can automate price monitoring, product finding, ordering and more. It was created by who wanted to manage their eBay store without spending endless time on the operational tasks.
#5 Where to supercharge: Trendlab
The key to Trendlab is that throughout this journey, at every stage of the product cycle, you can access relevant and actionable data. So this can help you determine the most in-demand items, the time of year to sell and how to execute a strategy which will deliver the best ROI. There are many elements to ensure a dropshipper’s journey is a successful one, so it’s essential to have the tools available so you can make informed decisions at every step.
Whilst many of the tools included above would be your first port of call, Trendlab can augment the process holistically.
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