Do you have a strong urge to sell products online that can solve real-life problems and you have little to no money to start with? Then dropshipping can be a sure-shot step for you.
Dropshipping is one of the most efficient and remarkable business models to begin your journey as an online entrepreneur. Moreover, the most hassle-free way to sell products online where you don’t have to deal with physical products and inventories.
If you want to start with zero upfront investment then it is completely possible unless you want to sell products under a private label. However, you can upscale to selling private label products after your free dropshipping methods start generating some green bucks.
But what exactly is dropshipping and how to start it for free? Let’s dive deep into the topic.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a type of business model where you, as a dropshipper, can sell products directly from suppliers to the customers without keeping a physical inventory on hand. Here, a dropshipper acts as a middleman.
Dropshipping generally works in the following way:
- Dropshipper create their online store
- List the products in the online store
- Market the products through ads
- Customers place the orders
- Dropshippers receive and place the orders with the supplier
- Supplier ships the goods to the customer
Now don’t get overwhelmed with purchasing inventory and running ads. As a beginner, you can escape this path down the rabbit hole.
Before we start dropshipping for free, let’s delve into the pros and cons of dropshipping first.
Pros and Cons of Dropshipping
After learning what dropshipping is, let’s explore its pros and cons together.
- Easily start with no investment
- Easy to understand
- Less risky
- Location Free
- Easy to scale
- Highly competitive
- Difficult to build brand
- Can’t control the supply chain
- Low-profit margins
How to start dropshipping for free?
If explained in a nutshell then all it takes is
- Picking the right niche
- Finding a reliable supplier
- Building an online store
- Listing the products
- Marketing the product or store for free
After a product is bought by the customer, you will use that money to place an order with your supplier, and send the shipment details to the supplier so that the product gets delivered to the customer.
But let’s learn the process of doing dropshipping for free more systematically.
All you need to follow are the 5 steps listed below:
Step1 - Pick a Niche
Regardless of you want to do dropshipping or any sort of online business, the very first step to take is “finding the niche”.
Although, it’s the most important part of the whole process because the right niche can bring you to the right place to start. And this whole process is free.
So how could you find the right niche for your store? Here are some tips for you.
You can easily choose products you want to sell as per your interests while dabbling in the ocean of a variety of products.
It is advisable to select a niche you are passionate about because it will be easy for you to market those products online and you will enjoy the process of dropshipping, especially in the beginning when the longing to give up is at its peak.
You can try market research after you know the interesting niches.
The e-commerce market size by product is segmented into groceries, apparel & accessories, footwear, personal & beauty care, furniture & home decor, electronic goods & others.
The market data as per each category should be known to clarify the feasibility, profitability, and scalability within that niche.
Step2 - Competition Analysis
After deciding your niche, you can conduct a competitive analysis to learn from your competitors how they sell the products. For example, how to design the website, how they set the price, how to display the images and how they market their items.
Doing a competition analysis is also good for you to learn how your competitors perform.
Analyzing the competitor’s website will give you a clear idea of how to strategize your website accordingly. Here are some great methods that can help you to generate a good analysis report.
Use Similar Web
Similar Web is a website ranking tool where you can do deep competitor research. Sometimes google doesn’t show some high traffic generating websites in the top 10 searches.
Using tools like Similar web, can get you a detailed report on top-performing marketing channels, track keywords, analyze audience behavior, get free website rankings, etc.
The SEO strategy
Why should you consider SEO(stands for “Search Engine Optimization”)? When you are starting as a complete beginner with no money in your pocket, strategies like SEO can make your business thrive in the long run. Make sure to setup proper SEO attributes for your products cards. You can easily change them in bulk using a relevant app.
To apply the SEO strategy, you can use tools like Moz and eliminate websites with very high domain authority. Compare your website’s page title, URL structure, H1 tags, Content, etc. with the ones you can compete with to find out what you need to improve.
Step3 - Find Supplier
You would have decided on the niche so far. Now, you have to find a reliable supplier who can let you sell his products for free.
Here, “free” means you don’t have to first purchase the product from a supplier. However, you will pay the price of the product to the supplier after a customer places an order from your store.
For beginners, AliExpress is a great platform. It provides a variety of sellers based in China at extremely low prices.
While surfing through various suppliers, you should look at the reviews, ratings, and periods of the sellers on the platform.
To take some weight off your shoulders, you can use good dropshipping tools like DSers to find good reliable suppliers throughout the globe.
DSers provides advanced e-commerce solutions that can help you in managing dropshipping business easily. It provides a plethora of strong features like
- Manage multiple stores with one account
- Proceeds order to AliExpress
- Bulk order fulfillment
- Find multiple AliExpress suppliers
- Sync order information automatically
- Provide 24/7 support services
DSers provides fast order placement and supports multiple store management like Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce.
You can also try the service of dropshipping agents. Sourcing Nova is a purchasing agent located in Yantian, Shenzhen, they have a professional warehouse of 5000 square meters. They can reduce DHL shipping costs by consolidating packages, helping to improve the user experience.
SourcingNova has a professional fulfillment system that is compatible with Shopify, Overstock and Wayfair. Most importantly, they maintain close ties with the foundries of many world-class brands, which will help increase your product competitiveness.
Step4 - Create a store
The most interesting and enjoyable part of the whole dropshipping business is setting up your online store.
It involves designing your store, adding high-quality images, listing products, writing enticing descriptions, adding payment gateways, shipping details, etc.
But first, you need a domain to host your online store. It can cost as low as $3-4/month, but with the right technology, you can create your own store for free.
As per the advice of expert dropshippers, it is profitable to invest in some good online platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. They are easy to set up and provide a lucrative interface that can hook the visitors for a longer duration.
Plus, it is recommended to use Shopify as a beginner because it offers a 14-day free trial.
Step5 - Free Marketing Strategies
For a newbie who has just got the ball rolling in the online business world, it would be difficult to invest in paid ads to market their listed products.
While it’s the most efficient method to scale your dropshipping business in no time.
However, you can use free marketing strategies that will help you sell products online. It may take some time but it’s worth the effort.
Implementing good SEO techniques can increase your domain authority. Higher Domain Authority means higher ranking on google which means more traffic and sales.
All you need is good SEO knowledge and patience.No money is required.
Select the social media platform best suited for your products to promote them online.
Make a business account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and start pushing some informative content daily for free.
Try to target and network with the influencers who have a following between 10k - 50k with an engagement rate of 4-5% at least.
Give them a discount or a coupon code in exchange for marketing your product on their social media account, along with some percentage of the sale to the influencer, and keep the rest to yourself.
Breaking News in Dropshipping Industry
Here is a piece of breaking news in the dropshipping industry, Oberlo, the leading dropshipping app owned by Shopify, has officially partnered with DSers.
As the best Oberlo alternative, DSers is a leading e-commerce service provider company whose services portfolio includes DSers dropshipping app, supply chain services, and e-commerce solutions like SaaS customization.
DSers has also partnered up with AliExpress and offers merchants a faster interface and strong customer support 24/7.
DSers together with Oberlo has created a data migration tool that enables Shopify e-commerce merchants to enjoy an improved dropshipping experience.
With the migration tool, Oberlo users can smoothly and safely migrate all their Oberlo data to DSers. After the migration, Oberlo users can utilize the additional features provided by DSers. like the ability to manage multiple stores, and integrate their store with PayPal to synchronize order tracking numbers.
Getting started online with dropshipping is a no-investment and low-risk game. Keeping all the points discussed above in mind, it would be easy to establish an online store to start dropshipping products online.
Also, using various dropshipping tools like Oberlo and DSers can make your dropshipping game much easier and more efficient. These tools automate the whole process for you.
As a beginner with no money, you should invest your time and effort in free marketing strategies and reinvest the money you make from sales into paid ads.