Dropshipping is the hot topic of the day. It’s the first option you should check if you are planning to start a new online business.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a business model in which the owner of the online store does not stock inventory. The dropshipper manages the inventory, packages it in your branding and ship it to the consumer based on orders placed on your website.
Pretty simple, eh? Dropshipping is pretty simple in theory. It is one of the most advocated methods for making money with zero investment.
How to start a dropshipping business?
Inorder to start a dropshipping business you need the following.
- an online site
- a tieup with a dropshipper who will deliver to your targeted regions
- a supplier/provider
In the ideal scenario, the supplier would be providing dropshipping services. So you need to place the order with the supplier and pay them only after you receive an order from a real customer. Thus avoiding the need to pay from your pocket. There are many suppliers in China and India, who offer dropshipping partnerships to the US and UK. The margin is also considerably good, which makes it a cool way to make money without much effort. The only activity the retailer need to focus on is marketing and driving traffic to ones site.
There are already hundreds of articles in the internet detailing how to start a dropshipping business or the ones detailing its pros and cons. However all these articles are concentrating on developed markets, with reliable dropshipping providers. In order to start a dropshipping business in India, the primary concern is to find a reliable dropshipping provider. If your manufacturer is not your dropshipper, then you will need to order and stock up a minimum quantity. This would take away one major advantage in dropshipping business i.e., not maintaining inventory.
How to start a dropshipping business in India?
Dropshipping market is still in nascent stage in India. It is very difficult to find a manufacturer who will dropship in India. Many Indian suppliers and manufacturers offer dropshipping services in the US, UK and Australia, but not within India. Some others who offer dropshipping would either require a registration fee of a few thousands or monthly fee. Some manufactures who offer dropshipping as a service have prices, so high, there is no scope for further margin for a retailer.
The easiest option by far is to bulk order with a supplier and agree on the payment terms, find a dropship provider (packaging and delivery), and go ahead with the online shop and webpage.
- setup a webpage/shopify/ecommerce site
- bulk order with manufacturers to get better pricing
- find a delivery provider, who can also pick up from your stockist and package the product in your branding
- Drive traffic to your online shop and focus on selling
- keep in touch with cusotmers, after sales, to ensure that they are happy. A few pointer for feedback are
- Has the correct product been delivered?
- Was the customer happy with the delivery and packaging?
- Any other points that the customer would like to convey?
Some new startups are providing dropshipping services in India, though they are not manufacturers, the rates seem competitive. If you can afford a warehouse/stockist, then it does provide a great business opportunity.