7 steps to get started with eCommerce dropshipping

We unpack the essentials to help you launch your eCommerce dropshipping business with confidence. From choosing dropshipping products and dropshipping suppliers, to building your online store.
· 26 March 2024 · 4 minute read

Why consider dropshipping?

Dropshipping can be a great option for businesses who want to enter the eCommerce landscape. Some of the reasons why dropshipping can be so appealing include:

  • Low start-up costs
  • No inventory management or storage requirements
  • Access to a wide range of online products
  • No need to complete order fulfilment
  • No time spent packaging or shipping products.

Learn more about dropshipping and how it works

To help boost business operations, some careful planning and execution is required. Below we breakdown a seven-step guide to help you get started with dropshipping.


1. Choose a business concept

Start by identifying what your eCommerce dropshipping business will look like. How will you capture value? And what is your unique selling proposition? Consider how you’ll bring your dropshipping business ideas to life. And begin to pinpoint your niche or target market.


2. Source products

Next, you’ll have to source products for your dropshipping business. Consider what the best dropshipping products are. And how they align with customer demand. Research best-selling products and emerging trends in your chosen industry. And try to find products that have reasonable profit margins and low shipping costs.


3. Select dropshipping suppliers

Choosing reputable dropshipping suppliers is an incredibly important step. This is because eCommerce dropshipping relies heavily on third-parties. For example, manufacturers or wholesalers.

Look for dropshipping suppliers who have a proven track record of:

  • Reliability
  • Quality products
  • Competitive pricing
  • Responsive customer service.

It’s important to agree on terms when choosing dropshipping suppliers. This can include:

  • Product pricing
  • Delivery standards
  • Product faults rectification
  • Minimum order requirements
  • Returns policy
  • Other elements of business operations.

You can find dropshipping suppliers via online marketplaces. For example, Alibaba, AliExpress and SaleHoo. These platforms offer access to thousands of products and include a wide range of product categories. As a starting point, look for dropshipping suppliers that match your specific business needs.

Customer reviews and feedback from other dropshipping businesses can further inform your decision.


4. Build an online presence

How will your customers find you online? Consider how to use eCommerce platforms to reach more customers

This could include:


Design an online store that reflects your brand. You should consider using:

  • High-quality imagery and video
  • Compelling copywriting
  • Appealing themes and branding elements to create a unique and streamlined checkout experience.


Don’t forget to leverage eCommerce search engine optimisation (SEO). This includes optimising:

  • Product titles
  • Product descriptions
  • Meta tags.

This can help more customers find you and help increase your visibility in search engine results. For example, Google and Bing.


5. Promote your dropshipping business

Finally, you should develop a marketing strategy to promote your eCommerce dropshipping business. This can help you attract customers and drive sales. Consider using a multi-channel marketing approach, including:

Experiment with a range of different marketing tactics. This will help you uncover what resonates best with your audience and what delivers the best results.


6. Build dropshipping supplier relationships

Once you select your dropshipping supplier’s, it’s important to invest in supplier relationships. This can help enable a smooth ongoing collaboration, plus help increase efficiency with your business operations.

You can help foster positive supplier relationships by:

  • Communicating openly
  • Providing ongoing feedback
  • Working together to address any issues promptly.


7. Prioritise customer experience

Don’t forget to prioritise customer service. The dropshipping business models relies on third-party suppliers. As a result, businesses typically have less control over customer experience.

Dropshipping suppliers are responsible for:

  • Managing inventory levels
  • Product quality assurance
  • Order fulfilment
  • Packing and shipping orders.


With so many elements outside your control, looking for ways to optimise customer experience is incredibly important. Improving customer experience can help encourage repeat purchases and boost customer loyalty

Some ways to promote a positive customer experience include:

  • Offering the payment methods your customers want
  • Responding promptly to inquiries and messages
  • Efficient online order processing
  • Order status updates and expected delivery timeframes
  • After sale communication
  • Providing a clear returns or exchange policy.

Implementing these steps can help transform your dropshipping business ideas into a reality. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes dedication, persistence and continuous learning to thrive. By following the steps in this guide, you'll be better equipped to build a profitable and sustainable eCommerce dropshipping business.

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