The number of females entering into entrepreneurial positions has risen by an impressive 45 per cent over the last decade. As this gender gap continues to narrow, we are now seeing a growing number creating online businesses in order to reach a large target audience. However, these efforts are not without their hurdles. One of the most important (and sometimes daunting) involves the logistics associated with product shipping. Much like their male counterparts, females should always be aware of the dynamic tools at their immediate disposal. One excellent method which has been gaining ground is known as drop shipping. In order to understand how to start a drop shipping business, it is first necessary to take a look at the role that e-commerce solutions play. We will then examine the powerful advantages associated with this shipping alternative.
E-Commerce Within the Digital Age: All About the Customer
E-commerce solutions have evolved in pace with the Internet itself. Some of us can recall the halcyon days when major websites such as eBay and Amazon first gained the interest of the general public. Not only was the number of available products limited, but there were only a handful of checkout and shipping options. However, clients had few choices at this time and they were forced to endure laborious and sometimes unreliable techniques. Such frustrations are simply no longer tolerated.
Customers now expect to be able to access a wealth of products within seconds. Perhaps even more importantly, outdated shipping methods will quickly cause a potential client to migrate elsewhere, often to the site of a competitor. They also need to work with a dynamic and intuitive platform so that their individual needs can be met. Some of the variables involved with this desire include:
- The possibility of different shipping rates and time frames.
- A secure checkout platform.
- Numerous payment options including e-wallets.
- The ability to speak with a customer service representative if necessary.
The first point within this list is extremely relevant, as unreliable shipping will reflect negatively upon any online firm. This is why many female entrepreneurs need to be aware of how to start a drop shipping business. What steps are involved? What benefits are offered? How can this method serve to enhance the efforts of a growing company? We will devote the next section to these logical topics.
Drop Shipping 101: Developing a Good Business Model from the Beginning
Please note that even the most efficient drop shipping platforms are only as effective as the products which they are selling. This is why it is important to keep an eye on the latest trends and to develop a passion for your business. Keep in mind that the online retail sector is governed by the immutable law of supply and demand. If there is no demand for a product, it will be unrealistic to expect that it will sell. Perform a fair amount of research to appreciate if your idea holds any clout within the virtual community.
Developing your drop shipping business identity is just as important. This begins with selecting the correct domain name. Shorter and more memorable titles will better resonate with the audience, so strive for catchy simplicity. If possible, choose address extensions such as .com or .net as opposed to .biz or more unknown alternatives. Official addresses lend an air of credibility to your online portal.
You will next need to choose the appropriate e-commerce platform. While there are a host of providers on the open market, certain metrics serve to separate worthwhile options from those which should be overlooked. Some factors to examine include:
- Does the provider offer a user-friendly architecture?
- What types of customer support are available?
- How many payment methods are accepted?
- Is drop-and-drag functionality included?
- What do previous and current users have to say about their experiences?
An effective e-commerce platform will provide you with a rock-solid foundation; critical when developing an online presence.
Once these concerns have been addressed, you will need to install a streamlined drop shipping platform. Major firms such as Oberlo are ideally suited for entrepreneurs, as their framework is simple and intuitive. However, we need to stress the main point behind any drop shipping strategy. These methods are intended to save you time as well as money when sending products to customers. You will no need maintain a physical inventory and the available prices will often provide you with a competitive edge. Drop shippers keep countless products in stock, so there are virtually no marketing limitations.
Starting a drop shipping business can be a great way to translate your unique ideas into the online community. As always, be patient and never be afraid to think outside of the box.