Dropshipping is a business model that is establishing itself as one of the most innovative and fastest strategies for starting an online business. This e-commerce business model eliminates the need to maintain physical inventory, revolutionizing the way professionals and businesses approach e-commerce.

Even small entrepreneurs have the opportunity to compete in the main international markets, significantly reducing operating costs and ensuring more flexibility in offering products and managing all business operations.

Companies that decide to start a business with dropshipping must sustain lower costs to start the business and manage inventory: the possibility of selling online without physically owning the products allows you not to pay for the goods in advance and thus avoids any problems arising from the management of warehouse inventories.

This business model not only simplifies the management of business operations, but allows you to offer a wider variety of products and services, making it easier for companies to adapt to changing consumer preferences and the latest market trends. The advantages of dropshipping for business development are confirmed by a recent study by Statista, according to which the sector will reach the monstrous figure of 500 billion dollars in the next three years. A growth rate justified by the widespread use of this online sales method: according to Forrester Research it represents approximately 23% of all online transactions.

In this article we discover how dropshipping works and the main aspects to consider for those who want to open an e-commerce business and start selling online with dropshipping. We will also analyze how the choice of suppliers, products and the correct management of shipments allow companies to stand out in a highly competitive market.

Forecasts show that the industry will increase with an annual growth rate of 23.20%.

Businesses make around a quarter of their purchases online using this sales system.

How dropshipping works

Unlike traditional sales methods, in which the company needs to keep the products in a warehouse and manage shipments independently, with dropshipping companies can purchase the goods only after selling them. Every time a customer places an order, the seller purchases the product from an external supplier, who will manage the shipment of the goods. The seller therefore acts as an intermediary and can concentrate his efforts on the development of marketing activities, necessary for starting and promoting his business online, delegating the management of physical inventory and logistics to third parties.

But what does dropshipping consist of?

This process begins with the selection of a supplier, a direct manufacturer or a wholesaler, with whom it is essential to establish a solid and reliable partnership, since he will be responsible for the quality of the product and the management of the warehouse. After finding one or more partners, the seller promotes and sells their products online without purchasing them in advance, on their website and on the main marketplaces.

When a customer places an order on the seller's website, the seller transfers the order to the supplier, paying the wholesale price. The supplier, in turn, will take care of packaging and shipping the product directly to the end customer. In this business model, the company's profit derives from the difference between the retail price paid by the customer and the wholesale price paid by the seller.

The most important aspects of this sales method therefore include the efficient management of relationships with suppliers and their distribution chain. It is essential to have a system that can synchronize orders and monitor the status of shipments, to ensure fast delivery times and quality customer service. Let us examine together the most important aspects to consider when starting this type of business.

How should you start doing dropshipping

Companies that decide to do dropshipping, instead of investing in large product inventories, can focus on creating a strong brand, developing effective marketing strategies and building a solid network of qualified and reliable partners. Let us analyze in detail where to begin.

Finding reliable suppliers. The first step to take with dropshipping is to identify one or more partners who can provide quality products while ensuring efficient deliveries. It is important to carry out detailed market research to identify suppliers who offer the best terms of collaboration, product quality and shipping reliability. It is also necessary to carefully evaluate factors such as market demand, the potential profit deriving from the sale of the selected products and existing competition. When selecting a supplier, it is important to conduct an in-depth analysis, evaluating its history and user reviews, the range of products offered, return policies and customer service. Furthermore, product selection must not be a static process: companies must update themselves on new market trends by quickly adapting their offer to seize new opportunities or respond to changes in consumer preferences.

Promoting online activity. Once the partnership with the supplier has been established and the products have been selected, the next step is to create a good online presence. This can be done using the principal e-commerce platforms (like for example Shopify, PrestaShop, WooCommerce and Magento), choosing the most suitable sales channels for your business and through the use of digital marketing tools. A digital marketing strategy is essential to attract and retain customers: from the use of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to improve the visibility of the site, to the creation of advertising campaigns on Google and on the main social media, up to content marketing, such as publishing articles on the company blog. Furthermore, it is essential to create a distinctive image of the business, which will stand out from the competition, get noticed by potential buyers and become competitive in the market. These activities allow you to intercept your target audience, effectively communicating the advantages of the products offered and increasing the trust of potential customers for your brand.

Managing and synchronizing orders. To start drop shipping it is essential to have a system that allows you to automatically synchronize the orders received with the supplier's database. This process must include confirming orders, tracking shipments and managing any returns or delivery issues. Using order management software and integrating the seller's e-commerce system with that of the supplier can greatly simplify this process. There are also solutions available on the market that connect the main e-commerce platforms on a single platform, from which to monitor the shipments of the couriers chosen by the supplier. In this case too, the choice of a serious and qualified partner can make the difference: the seller will in fact have to make sure that the products offered for sale are available, synchronizing the items present on the e-commerce platform with the stocks available in the supplier's warehouse.

To promote a dropshipping business, it is essential to improve brand visibility, attract new customers and retain existing ones. Mail Boxes Etc. offers a wide variety of solutions that allow you to build and enhance your online business. From the creation of a responsive website that enhances your brand identity, to the management of your online presence on search engines, up to the creation of geolocalized advertising campaigns.

With MBE Web Services businesses can enhance their online presence by creating catalogs or websites integrated with the main e-commerce portals, easily updatable to offer quality content to support their online business. MBE professionals will also provide periodic reports that allow you to analyze traffic trends and better understand the needs of your customers.

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Drop shipping reduces operational costs as you do not need to maintain physical inventory and offers greater flexibility in product offerings, allowing for quick adaptation to market trends.
Selecting a reliable supplier requires careful research within your market niche. It is important to evaluate the quality of the product offered, the reliability in managing shipments, the history and reviews of the supplier, together with its return policies and the customer service made available to the seller.
It is essential to use order management software and integrate your e-commerce system with that of the supplier, to automatically synchronize the stocks available in the warehouse with the items for sale online. The process must include confirming orders, tracking shipments, and managing returns or delivery issues.
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