Imagine a form of e-Commerce which could earn you a living remotely, means you do not have to keep any physical stock, easy to get started with, and has endless possibilities.
Welcome to the world of drop-shipping. As a concept, drop-shipping has existed for decades as a popular supply chain management method. It means that a retailer will sell goods to a customer, but their goods are shipped directly to them from the manufacturer or wholesaler.
Applied to the world of e-Commerce, drop-shipping opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to make an income online with minimal hassle.
Here are six reasons why drop-shipping is so appealing that it is disrupting e-commerce:
One of the most practical reasons that drop-shipping is disrupting e-commerce is because it negates the need for retailers to keep any stock.
Traditional businesses buy, sell and ship their own stock. This makes life difficult, mainly because you have to:
① Buy the stock
② Store the stock
③ Insure the stock until it sells
④ Ship products to customers
⑤ Deal with returns, inventory tracking and re-stocking
Depending on the size of the business, this may be a huge process (think of Amazon’s logistics), or take up a spare room at home. Drop-shipping takes all of these worries away, totally transforming the logistical chain of events.
Drop-shipping also means that you don’t have to worry about minimum order quantities. Traditionally when purchasing stock for a business, you would have to make big decisions about how many and which products to buy. Drop-shipping allows you to test the waters — offering products for sale but not taking on the risk of actually holding them in stock.
(Some wholesalers will still require minimum purchase orders – but you can set up a credit system with them to circumvent this problem).
Traditional businesses often have to deal with the headache of fulfilling customers’ orders. This includes picking, packing, and dispatching orders on a daily basis.
However, drop-shipping means that an online business can sell products and take customer orders without having to get involved in the fulfillment side of the process.
Retailers simply take a customer’s order and forward it to the drop-shipper, who fulfills it on their behalf. The customer receives their order, branded with the retailer’s information, and knows nothing of the middle process.
Not only does this make life easier when it comes to posting goods, but it also means the returns process can also be handled externally. This gives the business owner more time to spend on marketing and selling products, as postage and returns are largely automated.
Drop-shipping is further attractive in that it’s a relatively cheap way to start a business. Because you don’t need to hold any stock, a large capital sum isn’t needed to purchase stock and float the business.
Ongoing business costs will also be lower, as it’s not necessary to pay for space to keep the stock. All expenses relating to warehousing and distribution facilities are also removed.
Cash flow will be less problematic, as the business won’t need to have large sums tied up in unsold stock.
Word of warning: Even if you don’t need to buy any stock, it can still be expensive to start a business, depending on which web technology and marketing tactics you go for. An influence marketing campaign can quickly become expensive, as can a custom-built site. From this perspective, no-commerce can be a great support to you as the solution is absolutely free. Low cost of ownership (mainly for hosting or extra customization) gives a starting business more opportunities to invest in marketing or any other operational expenditures.
For an e-commerce drop-shipping business, a website is undoubtedly the main asset. Thankfully, you don’t need thousands of pounds or technical skills to get it up and running.
The e-commerce sector is growing and many out-of-box solutions appear on the market. No-Commerce is one of those. The installation process takes few minutes, and you get a platform full of various features, able to support a business of any size. Creating the perfect product page is the case of clicking a few buttons and writing a good copy.
By taking away the issue of stock, running a drop-shipping business only really requires a laptop and internet connection. This opens up the world of working from home — enabling people to disrupt the industry and change their circumstances from the comfort of their own homes.
If a drop-shipping business can be run from home, there is also the potential to run it remotely from further afield.
Tribes of ‘digital nomads’ have sprung up all over the world in recent years – individuals who earn their living remotely, running online businesses including drop-shipping retailing.
Just remember to keep the right balance between work and play, and a drop-shipping business could be your key to funding endless worldwide travel.
Yes, the thought of running a drop-shipping business is exciting. From working at home to traveling around the world, this could be your ticket to entrepreneurial success whatever your goal.
Don’t just think about selling standard products such as toys, make-up and garden furniture. Drop-shipping can also be used as a business model to sell more creative items. You could even write a book, and have it published & fulfilled by a specialist publisher.
It’s easy to see why drop-shipping is disrupting e commerce. Many of the biggest barriers to starting a business – including financial and practical reasons – are removed when entrepreneurs use a drop-shipping business model.
The benefits of drop-shipping are as compelling and varied as the different products you could sell through it. What kind of drop-shipping business would you run?