If you have decided to start your own e-commerce store, Shopify offers a simple and quick way to do so. But where do you start? How do you get your products ready for market? How do you know what products will do well and which won’t?
In our Shopify reviews we've covered how to market your store, but what if you don't have a product to sell?
Drop-shipping is an alternative to creating your own product line and can be a really lucrative one. But again, it can be difficult to find the right product. Do you even know how to find products to sell on Shopify?
With hundreds of thousands of potential suppliers and products to choose from, it can seem confusing to say the very least.
In this post, we will look at how you can approach finding out what to sell on Shopify and how it matches your client’s needs.
You just need to, first of all, decide what approach to take with your business. Is there something that you are really passionate about? Or have you identified a gap in the market for a product?
When it comes to the type of product to sell, you need to tread a fine line. You need to consider factors like shipping, storage, warranties and profit margins. In this section, we will go through the tips that will help you to find best products to sell on Shopify.
This is simple logistics at play. The larger and more unwieldy a product is, the more difficult and costly it will be to ship. This is the case for both getting the product to the customer and ESPECIALLY for returns.
Shipping costs can quickly chew up your margins if you're not careful.
For drop-shipping type operations you want to try to keep the price of the item within a certain range. Less expensive items mean lower inventory costs. You're also more likely to attract impulse buyers.
When looking at items you need to think about how much you can mark them up. At a bare minimum you should shoot for 50%, but 100% and higher allows for higher marketing and advertising budgets.
These numbers might sound high, but when you start factoring in all of your costs you'll be surprised at how quickly your margin gets whittled down.
Perishable products are something to stay away from. The last thing you need is for your inventory to expire because sales are slow. But other items like complex electronics can be tough as well.
If you're ordering electronics from China and a warranty issue comes up, how will it be handled? Are you responsible? The customer is going to see your business as the company that sold them the product. So choose wisely.
Warren Buffet has always said "Invest in what you know". It's good advice in product selection as well. If you're passionate about a product you'll have a good understanding of the mindset of other buyers.
You can also offer lots of useful advice to potential buyers to help close the deal.
Drop shipping is one of the easiest ways to manage an e-commerce store because it involves the least amount of interaction with you. It is also a great way to go if you are operating on a bootstring budget because you don’t need to buy or store stock.
What happens is that you enter into an agreement with a company willing to drop ship the items for you. You set up your site for the product, adding your profit markup and advertise your site. The client buys the product, and you receive the payment.
You then send an order to the supplier, paying them their asking price for the item. They send the product directly to your client on your behalf, and you pocket the difference between the price you paid and what your client paid you.
But it's not all sunshine and rainbows...
However, you can reduce the potential risks by choosing your supplier very carefully in the first place. When learning how to dropship on Shopify, it is important to stick to suppliers with excellent ratings and physically checking out their service by ordering from them periodically can give you more control in this area.
Now that you understand something about drop shipping, how do you go about using this information? The first question to ask yourself is “What can I sell on Shopify?” As we mentioned above, consider looking at things that you already know something about.
Now it is time to start looking for suppliers for the items that you want to drop ship. Your first port of call should be to look on AliExpress and Amazon. You will usually find the same things offered on both sites, but the prices might be very different.
You are more likely to get a better deal on AliExpress with most items, but Amazon is worth checking to see what kind of products you can sell. Also, AliExpress centers more on mass-produced items. If you want something that is a bit more niche-centered, Amazon could be a great place to find it.
Choose what is better for you in both instances, but do remember the cardinal rule – check the supplier’s ratings before you narrow down your buying options. How many of the item you are considering have they sold?
What has the feedback been for the store in general and the item in particular? It is important to check both because this company could very well be the only direct interaction that your client receives. You want a supplier with consistently good ratings and a product that matches.
The next step is to see whether or not the supplier is willing to help out with drop shipping or not. In most instances, the only way to check that would be to speak directly to the supplier.
Some people think of Facebook as only a social network, but it's also a MASSIVE marketplace. Those annoying ads you see in your feed are perfect tools to use in researching products that sell well.
If you want a more detailed look into this process, you can read our post on finding profitable Shopify products on Facebook.
You can also leverage Facebook groups where people focus on this type of selling. One of the better known groups is Kingpinning. It's a closed group, but new members are accepted all the time.
Now that you have an idea of what drop shipping is, and what kind of products you should consider selling, it is time to take the next step. Get online and see what suppliers you might be able to find for your business.
Do your research thoroughly, and you are more likely to find a winning product and supplier to partner up with. From then on out, it is up to you to work hard at promoting your business.
Drop shipping can be a very lucrative business model and a much simpler way of running an e-commerce store if you choose your partners carefully before launching your brand.
Jason is a work from home dad who has a passion for DIY projects, yard work, and SEC Football. His background is IT, but he's always fancied himself as a part-time ship welder, landscaper, and short order cook. During the week he can be found on his laptop 10 hours-a-day, but on the weekends he escapes to the local DIY Cave to play with REAL toys.