In the world of business, there are a lot of ideas that you can try. Among my favorites is dropshipping. You’ve probably already heard about it and let me tell you this is a smart business model. The beauty of it is that you sell products that you don’t have!
The reality is that without even holding an inventory, you can start dropshipping in the UK.
How then does it work if you won’t have any inventory? It really is beautifully simple.
Essentially, you have an agreement with a supplier, who is ready to allow you to sell their products in the UK. Once you set up shop and a client/customer makes a purchase, the supplier sends them the products directly, instead of sending it through you. This means that you are paid commission for linking the buyer to the seller. But the funny thing is that you won’t even see the products in real life and your customers won’t have a clue that you are merely the middleman.
When you try out dropshipping in the UK, you don’t have to worry about packaging, storage, or how you will ship the products to clients. That’s the supplier’s headache.
All you need to care about is marketing.
Dropshipping Business Model: How Does It Work?
If you want to become a UK Dropshipper, it is important to understand the roles of everyone in a normal dropshipping business in the UK.
The first one is the manufacturer or the dropshipping supplier.
What the manufacturer does is to create the products, hold the inventory, shop the products to customers and replace returns/broken products.
Products are sold to the retailers (you) at lower prices to ensure that customers aren’t paying a higher price when buying through you.
As a dropshipper in the UK, it is advisable that you negotiate with the supplier to ensure that you get the best prices you can. This way, you can reap higher profits from every transaction. And I’m ALL ABOUT profit.
I’ve ran a few dropshipping companies in the past as a retailer. Most of these filled the clothing niche. I would pick a very narrow target market (i.e. poker enthusiasts), design clothing with poker meme’s on it. Then join Facebook groups for fans of Poker.
I would post pictures of the products and they would practically sell themselves. Guess what! I was able to do so under my brand name, without even thinking about storage, packaging, and so on.
As much as there are a lot of perks from this business model, it is important that since the buyer thinks he or she bought the product from you if anything happens to it, he or she will contact you. It won’t be the dropshipping supplier in the UK that will handle the customer care service and field complaints; it will be you.
How To Go About Dropshipping
Phase 1: How to pick a niche
One mistake I have seen a lot of people make is to jump onto the first product they see online. They don’t bother to research it, and how profitable the business can be.
If you want to succeed and not just make a hobby of it, you should consider thinking about the best dropshipping business ideas in narrow niches.
How do you pick the right niche for you? Should you merely go for the niche that you have passion for or should it be a combination of this and something else?
The first step is to go on Facebook/Pinterest/Reddit and search for popular topics. Try and find really specific areas. For example, don’t just search for ‘Poker’. Search for ‘Tournament Poker Strategy Group’. This way you can target your products to a very small but engaged group of people. And given that you don’t need to worry about ordering in volume you can make a lot of money in each niche.
Phase 2: Have you done Competitor Analysis?
Immediately after you have chosen the products that you want to peddle; you start pushing. It is your job to find out who your competitors are. You need to find out what products they sell, and how they sell it. As someone that wants to excel in dropshipping in the UK, you need to do your homework.
Social media is your friend when you are a UK drop-shipper. Key in the product that you have decided to sell in social media. Look at who pops up. These are your competitors. Find out as much as you can about their business model.
Google is something you should not just use, but exploit!
Key in the product you intend to sell into Google. The first and second pages will give you a clear sign of who your top competition is. You can run research on them. If you tout products in a place that isn’t close to your niche, you can consider using SEM rush and similar tools to give you insights.
Phase 3: Source A Supplier
This is one job where Google and a lot of research will help. What product do you want to dropship? Use Google to find out good suppliers that cater to the location that you want to feed. There are a number of platforms that have a lot of suppliers you can research on.
Here are a few that I have used in the past:
Before I think of agreeing with a supplier, I do thorough background check on the dropshipping supplier in the UK. I want to know what the supplier’s reputation is.
Do they have positive reviews? Remember that it is your brand name out there, not theirs. If the supplier doesn’t ship the product on time to the consumer or ships in bad condition, it is your reputation on the line.
Phase 4: Creating Your Dropshipping Store
It is now time to create an online store. Like every online store, it should have a domain name. Read my blog that outlines exactly how to name your business.
If you are confused on what name to go with, make use of a free business name generator.
I love having a niche in my domain. What this means is if I have the intention of getting involved in female clothing, I use a broad keyword like fashion in my domain, instead of a specific keyword. Try not to make use of your personal name when opening the shop because if you sell the shop in the future, you are selling the rights to your name.
Phase 5: Advertise
Now that your shop is set up, you have to advertise to make sales.
Often, you won’t make instant money by simply launching a Facebook ad. You need to develop a retargeting campaign as this is where the big cash is made!
This type of ad is superb when you have an online store that has a lot of traffic. Let’s say; you are using Pinterest to advertise your products and online store for free. Or perhaps you have written an awesome blog that is driving traffic. You set up an ad that re-targets those customers. Check out this awesome blog from HubSpot that outlines clearly how this works.
As I always say, the biggest blocker to starting your dropshipping business is you. After reading this, you have to take action if you want to build a successful enterprise. So go out there and kill it!
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.
Best of luck!