In part 1 of our series on our guide to starting a drop shipping business, we evaluated the different e-commerce platforms available including Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
Start from the beginning here : Choosing the Best E Commerce Platform for You
After choosing a platform, the search to find unique products that represent your individual brand begins. This also comes with its own set of challenges: What legal qualifications must you meet before you start? Where can you source the right brands for your store? How do you convince these brands to dropship for you? We help you answer these questions so you can start your dropshipping business right away!
In order to begin dropshipping, you need to be set up with all the necessary legal documents so brands are comfortable working with your store. This means becoming legally incorporated, having an EIN number, a Tax ID number and a former purchase order. While smaller suppliers may not request this information, once you progress to more widely distributed brands this will help secure your legitimacy and help build successful relationships.
You can find suppliers that work for your brand through a variety of different ways. You can search for them on Google, but this would involve extensive search efforts to find brands that suit your needs and are willing to dropship rather than sell wholesale. You can also find which brands are dropshipping through your competitors, but this may be not be the best option as you are trying to build your own unique shop. You can attend trade-shows, but these are tedious and time consuming and finding suppliers willing to dropship rather than sell wholesale makes the process even more difficult. This is where certain online tools like Modalyst may come in handy.
These tools integrate with E-Commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce allowing you to connect with and manage buyers on a singular platform. By integrating with shopping cart platforms, you are able to source products in one click from suppliers ready to dropship. This platform integration also allows for automatic inventory syncing so you don’t have to worry about your customers buying items from suppliers that are out of stock. You can pick and choose from a range of edgy and unique suppliers that work best for your retail brand, and be assured that they are not scams because they are all vetted beforehand by the tool.
If you are finding brands through the other three routes, you should firstly make sure you have all your legal documents in order. Then, understand that without any prior knowledge, most brands will need to understand how becoming a dropshipping supplier for you will benefit their business. You should also make sure you are convinced of your own personal brand, so as to appear professional and convince them as to why the items they sell would enhance the inventory of your store.
If you decide to go with using tools like Modalyst, the process becomes much easier. Since brands are already aware of what dropshipping is and are willing to do it, all you have to do is make sure your online store looks good and professional and reflects the values of your brand. Then you can simply request to stock a certain brand’s products with a single click, and if necessary, you can communicate with each other through messaging platforms made available on the tools.
Now that you have a better idea of how to choose the right e-commerce platform for you, and how to source products from independent brands you are one step closer to starting a dropshipping business. Stay tuned next week, where we will help you create your very own business plan, helping you create a sustainable long term plan to keep your costs down and profits up!