The drop shipping method: Selling online without owning the product

By Paul Matthews

Since its early stages, e-commerce has been a great platform for entrepreneurs who want to sell in a faster way. Lately, thanks to the current technology and machine language/learning, e-commerce has reached a whole new level, since Shopify has launched. Let’s try and break down “The drop shipping method” in more detail:

– What is drop shipping

Drop shipping is “selling without physically owning the product.” IKEA was one of the first drop shippers in the recent history, creating an empire from it. Lately, drop shipping has developed into a more “internet-based” environment: picking a niche product with high selling potential, the drop shipper will set up a Shopify store that revolves around that single product, creating ad-hoc social media campaigns to advertise it.

– The supplier

Once the product has been chosen, it’s time to contact the supplier. A common trend is picking him/her up from Aliexpress or (if you’re a Chinese speaking businessman) directly from Taobao or Yupoo. Since most of the products listed on these websites are replicas, a good practice would be to choose them after a precise research and after checking reviews (use Google Translate if you are using Taobao or Yupoo).

– Listing

You have the product, you have the supplier. What’s missing? The actual process: the whole purpose of having a Shopify drop-shipping store is being able to automate the ordering between you, your client and the supplier. Think about your store as an interface that your potential client can use to buy from that supplier. To automate this process, you should install an app called Oberlo in your store.

[amazon_link asins=’1517057949′ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingin-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8ab962fb-43ca-11e8-a928-2bd30ae89328′]- Marketing

You can pick the best, highest selling product, with the fanciest design in the history of mankind, but with no traffic on your store, all that hard work will be pointless. To start off, drop shipping stores are 100% brand awareness-based, so avoid wasting 2000 hours on SEO if you are not selling at least 200 products per month. To start off, contact Instagram influencers with REAL and ORGANIC traffic so you can get people to see your product (prepare a nice graphic design, with good pictures) and they might convert that click to a sale. PPC works too but in the earliest stages, it is good practice to follow the old way. Influencers are still the best!

– In case something bad happens

Now that you have your plan set up and once you see that your store is taking you places, it’s good practice to get quality professional indemnity insurance, since at some point you might be working with 20/30 different suppliers (even not from China) once your store acquires high traffic and authority. This to prevent any possible negative scenario that could block your website and therefore, your incomes.


Paul Matthews is a freelance business writer in Manchester, using various sources, in particular Reddit and Forbes. His aim is to better inform business owners and professionals on the potential of the internet. You can often find him mountain biking or at the local library.

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