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How to Start Dropshipping - Step-by-step Guide for 2024

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How to Start Dropshipping - Step-by-step Guide for 2024

Dropshipping is a business model that eliminates the need for businesses to have their own inventory and warehouse to sell products. Rather, businesses partner with third-party order fulfillment centers, and these third-party fulfillment centers will manufacture/source products on behalf of the business and stock them. Additionally, order fulfillment centers also take care of deliveries.

This order fulfillment method offers a ton of financial freedom to budding businesses and entrepreneurs. Apart from that, dropshipping also takes away the hassle of managing inventory and provides opportunities to scale the business up. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of dropshipping:

Minimal Capital and Investment

Since dropshipping does not require businesses and entrepreneurs to stock up on items, they don't have to invest on manufacturing and storing products. Additionally, businesses don't have to pay warehouse rent or hire a warehouse crew, this in turn, makes it extremely easy for individuals to start an online business.


Dropshipping offers entrepreneurs and businesses the flexibility of running the business from any location in the world. The only thing needed is a stable internet connection.

Wide Range of Products

With the dropshipping business model, it becomes extremely simple to sell a variety of products. Since businesses don't have to stock up on products, they can choose as many products as they like as long as they find a third-party supplier for the same.


Dropshipping offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to scale up as well! Since everything can be out-sourced it becomes easy to sell products and scale up.

What is The Dropshipping Business Model?

As explained earlier, the dropshipping model is a business model that allows entrepreneurs to start an online business and sell products without any hassle. In this model, the online store isn't required to manufacture, source, or even store the products, instead they outsource these tasks to third-party order fulfillment centers.

This takes away the financial as well as the operational burden of starting an online business. Since the business acts as the middleman between the manufacturers and the customer, almost anything can be sold through the dropshipping business model. This is because of the fact that there is no need for extensive inventory management from the business’s side. Here's a brief explanation of how the dropshipping business model works.

  • A customer places an order on the brand's online store.
  • The brand/business will then process the order and communicate the order details to the third-party supplier
  • The supplier manufactures/sources the products and also delivers the product to the customer

If you're planning on starting an online business, then dropshipping might just be the thing you need. You don't have to invest in buying the products or having them manufactured. Furthermore, there is no need for you to invest in a warehouse space and crew. You will have minimal overhead costs, and more freedom to choose the products you wish to sell. At the same time, you ought to make sure you process all the orders to relevant suppliers as and when they come in.

How to Start a Dropshipping Business and eCommerce Store

If you're on the verge of starting your own dropshipping business, then make sure you follow the below-mentioned steps.

Commit to Starting a Dropshipping Business

Starting an online store requires commitment and patience. This is why you have to commit to starting a dropshipping business if you decide on starting it. There is no doubt that you can earn a lot of money through this business model, but it will not happen within a day or two, it takes time.

There is very little financial investment required, which means you have to invest more of your time to actually build the business and earn profits from it. You have to learn the intricate workings of an online dropshipping business and you should also learn how to identify market trends to adapt to the ever-changing business environment and grow.

Choose a Dropshipping Business Idea

Although it is possible to sell almost any product through dropshipping, you should know what you want to sell. It will also help decide who your target audience will be. You need to conduct a thorough research and market analysis to understand trends and trending products. It will give you an idea of what products is in-demand and which product has a higher profit margin.

Research and Planning

Research and planning is extremely important if you're planning to start a business, especially a dropshipping business. Here are a few facets that you should focus on:

  • Market Research - Market research is crucial. It will give you an idea of who your target audience is and also which product to sell. With this information, you can outline your business plans and goals as well as keep trending products in mind.
  • Competitor Analysis - Also conduct a competitor analysis, this helps you understand why your competitors are successful. In addition to that, you can find things that they're doing wrong and improve those facets in your business.
  • Outline Business Plan - Yet another important aspect of starting a dropshipping business is planning. You need to write down and outline the nitty gritty details about your business like marketing strategies, contacting suppliers, having a varied product list, business goals, and more.

Setting up your Dropshipping Business

To set up your online dropshipping store follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Start by giving your dropshipping business a name and register with the relevant authorities. Make sure you follow all legal procedures and that you provide all the necessary documents. This will ensure that your business will not be subject to any legal problems later on.
  • When following legal procedures, you should also make sure that you get the required permits and grants to make domestic or international sales.
  • Now you should start finding an online dropshipping platform. There are a number of ecommerce dropshipping platforms that you can compare and choose from. You can also try out the free trial plans and decide which platform suits your business the best. Some of the best dropshipping platforms are Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
  • When you find the suitable platform. Go ahead and start creating your website. The best part is, you don't need to have any technical knowledge about building an online store. Ecommerce platforms come equipped with themes and integrations to help entrepreneurs build an online store with ease. When building the online store, make sure you choose a theme which is fast-loading, mobile responsive, and easy-to-navigate. This will help you offer better customer experience and rank better in SEO searches.

Sourcing Products

Among the most important aspects of running a dropshipping business is being able to source products without hassle. For this you have to find the right dropshipping supplier. The entire success of your dropshipping business will depend on how prompt your supplier is. If there is any inconsistency with the supplier, it is your brand that will be blamed. So make sure you find a supplier who is reliable, prompt, as well as has a good reputation. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a supplier:

  • You should look for suppliers who offer good quality products consistently
  • You should make sure the supplier charges reasonable rates.
  • Make sure the supplier has a reputation of delivering products on time.

You can use platforms and websites like Oberlo and AliExpress to find suppliers. Now select the products you want to sell, make sure the products have a good profit margin and are trending in the market, these products are likely to be sold at a higher volume. Finally, negotiate the price with the supplier and you're pretty much ready to start selling products through your online store.

Building an Online Brand Identity

Building a strong online presence is extremely crucial for an online business. It sets the precedent for how many people will notice your online business. Here are a few pointers to help you with the same:

  • Design a logo that is visually appealing as well as memorable.
  • Make sure the website theme is aesthetic, fast loading and it should be accessible across all devices.
  • Optimize your online store with keywords for search engine optimization.
  • Ensure you offer excellent customer service. Make sure you have flexible return policies and more.

Decide on a Business Structure

Decide on the business structure you want to implement on your dropshipping business. There are three primary structures you should consider, firstly, you can go ahead and retain the sole proprietorship of the business but you will not get any personal liability protection. On the other hand, you can form an LLC corporation which will offer limited personal liability protection, and finally for prospective big brands, you can choose to become a C corporation.

Get your Finances in Order

This means that you should open a separate bank account for your business. Remember to never merge your personal and business finances. It could be viewed as a red flag by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Marketing and Promotion

To get more people to notice your online store, you need to market and advertise your products as well as your store. This way you can strengthen your brand image, garner more audience, and boost sales.

Here are a few ways to promote your store and products:

  • Social Media Marketing - Making use of social media to promote your online store is a great way of boosting your brand image and sales. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and more play a vital role in helping brands market themselves.
  • Create Content - Crafting relevant content is a great way to garner more attention. Ensure your content is visually appealing, it has something of value to offer, and should be relevant to your brand and customers.
  • Paid Advertising - Paid Advertising like Google Ads and Instagram Ads are a great way to get noticed.

Managing your Dropshipping Business

After starting an online store, managing it is extremely vital. Only if you manage it in the correct manner, you can make sure your business will succeed. Here are a few things you can do to manage orders effectively:

  • Order Fulfillment - Make sure you communicate the order details clearly to the supplier and make sure you track and manage the order until it's delivered to the customer.
  • Customer Relationship Management - Customers are the driving force of any business. So if you want to succeed and boost sales then your business should offer impeccable customer service. Send customer personalized emails and follow up with them after a purchase to make sure everything is in order. These simple things go a long way in customer retention.
  • Analytics and Optimization - Analyze all the key metrics that and find out how you can improve your business. Furthermore, you need to collect customer feedback and survey forms to know what your customers want.

Scaling your Business

Scaling your business is extremely important, it means that your business is adapting to the changing landscape of ecommerce. Here are a few pointers to scale your business:

  • Expand Product Range - As your get more customers and more orders. You can look forward to adding more products to your online store’s catalog. For instance, you brand used to sell kitchenware, it can expand by also selling home decor and accessories.
  • Explore New Markets - If your business is successful in your current market, then you can look forward to expanding your business into new market territories. For example, if your business is doing very well in your local market, then you can expand and reach new customers throughout the country or even the world.
  • Automated Process - If you want to scale your business, then you need to focus on the same. This means, you have to streamline and automate tasks so you can concentrate on more important things. Tasks like sending order details, sending emails, customer service and more can be automated to render the entire operational process smooth.

Dropshipping, at the end of the day, an extremely profitable business model. It gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to start a business without having to invest too much money. It also offers financial freedom as entrepreneurs aren't required to manage inventory or stock up on products. All they have to do is partner with a third-party supplier. The supplier will source and deliver the product to customers.

When starting a dropshipping business, it is important to identity trending products to sell and businesses should also ensure this online store is fast loading, SEO optimized, accessible across all devices, easy-to-navigate and more. So don't wait for too long, start your online dropshipping journey right now.

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By Abhishek Sebin profile image Abhishek Sebin
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