How To Dropship From Your Dorm Room

One of the newest methods in retailing is the art of
dropshipping. Shopify defines dropshipping as a method of retail
fulfillment where the company doesn’t keep the items in stock but instead uses
a third-party supplier (such as a wholesaler or a producer) to fulfill its
orders. Dropshipping offers retailers a completely new method of dealing with the
background operation of a business such as supply chain logistics and inventory
management. For people who are interested in running a business, but have low
capital and limited time (like college students), dropshipping provides a handy
method for opening and running a successful retail business.

The Benefits of Dropshipping to a Student Entrepreneur

Dropshipping offers several advantages to a young
entrepreneur that a standard retail business doesn’t. Among the most obvious of
the advantages it provides are:

  • Low Startup Cost: Building a business on a shoestring budget is par for the
    course for a student entrepreneur. Forbes
    mentions that the startup cost for a
    dropshipping business is negligible.
  • No inventory
    : One of the most substantial
    challenges retail business face in their day to day operation is to ensure that
    they can fulfill their clients’ orders. Order fulfillment requires having an
    inventory in stock and proper supply chain management so that customers don’t
    get turned away. Because dropshipping happens from the source provider, there
    is no need for the dropshipping company to keep an inventory on hand, which
    simplifies the business in terms of space and time.
  • Premises Not
    : Because the system operates based
    on an online store, there is no need to rent a location. Dropshipping is based
    almost entirely on advertising, whether on social media or through other means
    like google ads.

A Multi-Million Dollar Business

According to AmeriCommerce,
the total e-commerce market in the US comes up to
roughly $220 million. Dropshipping is a significant part of that revenue, but
it doesn’t make up a majority. Dropshipping’s appeal comes from the promises
that it makes that entrepreneurs can earn 
money after setting up a store and just letting the sales roll in.

Just like any business, such as Wellington’s Fine Leather Furniture, building
it and letting buyers come probably won’t be an overall successful business
strategy. On the contrary, it is a better idea to follow the advice of actual
e-commerce advisors. Understanding basic marketing techniques and how to apply
them, as well as offering high-quality products and superior customer support,
is an excellent way for a small entrepreneur to get business.

A Few Important Ideas to Remember

For all types of business, but most especially online retail
stores, the aim should not be to make just one sale. Instead, the objective
should be to build a brand and customer recognition from the purchase. Inc. mentions that an outstanding and
stellar purchasing experience is likely to retain
customers after they’ve already bought a product from the business. Return
business and customer loyalty is essential. Even if a student intends to use
dropshipping to build a business, there’s no reason why he or she should treat
the customers as expendable.

Additionally, testing multiple methods of getting customer
attention is a crucial step in streamlining an online store. Big Commerce informs us that AB testing or
split testing (as it’s called within the
industry) enables e-commerce websites to present 50% of visitors to the site
with a different landing page from the other 50%. Through the number of
conversions, an e-commerce store can streamline its marketing to convert more
customers through the preferred landing page.

The Steps to Developing a Dropshipping Store

Dropshipping businesses can be done in a student’s spare
time. It doesn’t need complicated negotiations or logistics to figure out what
goes where and how it gets to the customer. To set up a dropshipping store in
its most basic form, a student can follow this checklist:

Step 1: Find a Niche

A niche could be anything that suits your interests or the
kind of customers you want to focus on. it’s a good idea to choose a niche that
you are a little bit knowledgeable in (or are interested in learning more

Step 2: Research the Competition

Competition is stiff in the world of dropshipping. A student
entrepreneur who wants to be successful should look at what other competitor
dropshipping stores offer and decide how they can stand out against the
background noise.

Step 3: Get a Supplier

The largest dropshipping intermediary in the world is
Shopify, but a lot of other dropshippers prefer AliExpress or even Amazon as
their fulfillment company.

Step 4: Develop an eCommerce Website

The heart of a dropshipping company is its branding and
website design. This step is likely to take the longest since it’s the
customer-facing portion of the business. It’s worth investing time and some
money into putting this together if that’s an option.

Step 5: Build the Ideal Customer

The idea of the ideal customer is a standard marketing
technique. Entrepreneur notes that
creating a perfect customer allows a company to focus
its marketing tactics
and sales methodology towards a particular

Step 6: Analyze Sales and Optimize Marketing

Ecommerce requires heavy marketing. It’s not a fully
automated system that improves itself. However, tools exist to help an
entrepreneur discover new and exciting ways to increase revenue. From content
marketing to metric evaluation, depending on how technical a business owner
wants to be, the analysis should help the company’s sales and visibility.

Dropshipping is Mostly About Marketing

Entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals
stand to benefit the most from doing dropshipping. Even if a student isn’t the
type of person who would go door-to-door to sell a product, dropshipping can
work, because it’s not that kind of retail. The underlying driving factor for
dropshipping is getting products in front of consumers and having them buy the
product. It’s about converting the ideal customer into YOUR customer. It
doesn’t take a huge chain store or a corner shop to do that. Most students can
easily create websites that can sell from the comfort of their dorm rooms.