If you are going to go on your online business with limited time to manage orders and a small budget to stock products, dropshipping can be the solution for you. Dropshipping is an e-commerce method that allows you to easily start an online business, especially for those who have limited time. Now, if you are going to start your dropshipping business, you might be interested in how to start one for free. This article will introduce to you what dropshipping is and how to start a dropshipping business without money.
Post content includes:
- Step 1. Find Your Niche and Products
- Step 2: Find Your Suppliers
- Step 3: Set up Your Online Store
- Step 4. Choose a Dropshipping Tool
- Step 5: Start Marketing Your Products
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method that retailers use to manage the stock of their online stores. With dropshipping, you don’t need to deal with the product's inventory, suppliers will ship your orders directly to the customer. In other words, you play a role as a middle man in the deal.
While running a dropshipping business, you should perform the following: accept the order from the customer and fulfill the order through your suppliers. In the process, a dropshipping tool can help you to finish your dropshipping business easily and quickly, such as DSers, the top-rated dropshipping app on Shopify.
With dropshipping, you can quickly test different business ideas with limited investment and source, which lets you learn a lot about how to choose and market in-demand products.
There are several pros of dropshipping.
- Less capital is required
- Easy to get started
- Low overhead
- Flexible location
- Wide selection of products to sell
- Easier to test
- Easier to scale
Dropshipping is a good way to do your online business since it requires a very small investment of your time and money to get started, for more details about dropshipping, please check our other article: What is Dropshipping.
Following are 5 simple steps to start dropshipping for free. In addition to the free steps, you will learn several paid services that you may consider to grow and boost your dropshipping business. You can plan on the budget and time you want to spend on your dropshipping business.
Step 1: Find Your Niche and Products
To start your online dropshipping business, the first thing you should do is to find out your niche and products. It is worth spending time on niche marketing research for your target market.
To find the right niche and products, you can check the best-sellers on AliExpress to get inspiration. On AliExpress, you are capable of browsing some best sellers. They may include all categories and each of them will give you some inspiration. For more details, you also can check in our 100+ AliExpress Best Sellers 2021 in Categories That You Can Buy & Sell for a Profit article.
When you choose a niche the following factors may help:
- Driven by interests and passions - Choose a niche where you have unique interests and passions. In other words, let the interests help you start and promote your dropshipping business.
- Personal needs - You can find a niche through your own experience. When you are finding solutions to these problems, you can know others who have the same problem. They might be the target audiences, and the products match their need may be you niche.
- Research the competition - Ideally choose a niche with low to medium competitiveness. If your competitors are too strong, you might face difficulties to make profits.
- Ensure the niche is profitable - Choose a niche with a profit margin of at least 40% after shipping costs, seller fees and taxes. If the products are not profitable enough, you may not get so much money.
Step 2: Find Your Suppliers
Now you know what to sell, you should discover the suppliers that you could use for your products. AliExpress offers the biggest directories of qualified suppliers. Most of them are based in China and their prices are incredibly low. You can just choose the most suitable ones for your online store.
There are many reasons why it is a popular marketplace to do dropshipping:
- It is one of the most reputed and popular dropshipping platforms with abundant sellers.
- Dropshippers can use DSers (the official AliExpress dropshipping partner) to automate and ease most of their work.
- There are a couple of tools and plugins available to help you to do dropshipping (like social integration, timely insights, and more).
- You only need a minimum investment to start dropshipping business with AliExpress.
For more details about how to find suppliers on AliExpress, you could check in our How to Find a Reliable AliExpress Supplier with DSers article.
Step 3: Set up Your Online Store
Now it comes to the key part, setting up your online store. The process includes the design of your store, the homepage and the images of your store, adding products to your store, setting up payment methods, adding checkout, and shipping settings as well as buying a domain and opening your store for orders.
When it comes to cost, you indeed can get a free online store if you have the technology to build one for yourself. Otherwise, you have to pay for your website and hosting.
What’s more, you could set up your online store on your social media account, such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. This will not cost you any money, however, you should also know the risks, if the account does not have enough followers, it could be a problem for you to promote your products.
If you want to make a lot of money, you’d better invest in other platforms to start your online store. It will cost you some money and time, however, you don’t need to spend too much money on your store decoration, store design, etc.
There are many platforms you can choose from, including Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace and WooCommerce. Shopify is the most popular one and suitable for beginners. It offers a 14-day free trial.
If you want to have an online store that is free or at a low price, Shopify is a favorable choice. A unique domain name for your store can make it more attractive so you can buy one from Shopify or WordPress etc.
What’s more, though you can try it free in 14 days, its paid plans can provide you a lot of features.
BigCommerce costs as much like Shopify, however, with a Shopify plan you could save 10% on your plan when you sign up for one year, and save 20% when you sign up for two years.
That means, with a 20% discount, you’ll save almost $200 per year on the Shopify plan.
WooCommerce is established on WordPress. WooCommerce is a plug-in that can be easily integrated with your existing WordPress website. With just a few clicks, your website can become a fully functional WordPress e-commerce website.
From the above comparison, the pros of Shopify are obvious especially for those who don’t have much money for their budget.
Since the costs of Shopify are lower than that of BigCommerce and WooCommerce, Shopify is much cheaper to start your online store.
Step 4: Choose a Dropshipping Tool
A great dropshipping tool could help dropshippers to do their dropshipping business easily, allowing them to find different suppliers around the world.
DSers has a lot of useful features to help you achieve most of your dropshipping goals with no money. It will sync order information automatically, allow you to manage your multiple stores with one account, provide 24/7 support services, process orders to AliExpress, make payment in bulk, find multiple AliExpress supplier options in one click, and more.
DSers is compatible with different e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Wix. Most importantly, it’s fully free with a couple of features.
Step 5: Start Marketing Your Products
Your business is now ready, it’s time to market your products.
There are three top marketing tactics to get more sales rolling in.
1. SEO - SEO stands for 'search engine optimization, you should optimize it so that your online store site could get a higher rank of Google search results and ultimately, more traffic.
2. Social Media - Pick the right social media channel for your business, in other words, not all the products or stores should be promoted on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You should choose the most suitable social media for your products.
3. Email Marketing - As its name suggests, Email Marketing means that you could send an email to introduce your latest launch of new products or your discount activities. It’s a powerful and cost-effective way to attract and engage your customers. For more details you can check the What Is Email Marketing article.
If you want to start your dropshipping business with no money, paid advertisement seems not to be a good option for you. The power of advertisement is unbelievable, but cooperation with professional social media content creators can cost a lot of money.You could discover people who are popular on their Facebook or Instagram account in their social network, they have their own network, and they might not cost as much money as professional ambassadors.
Also, you can use your own network of family and friends. Some of them maybe interested in some of the products you sell, you could give them some samples and ask them to post on social media and share with their friends about your brand and what you offer. The important thing is that you don't need to invest so much money to promote your products through them.
Starting dropshipping is easy and simple, and also you are able to choose some tools to help your dropshipping business to make it much easier and simpler.
After learning the 5 steps to start your dropshipping business for free, time to test your brilliant business idea with no money. And after starting your online business, do not forget to market your products to get sales. You can do some research and choose the best method to promote both your store and products before you start dropshipping. Advertisements indeed bring traffic.