Whether you have been running a dropshipping business for years but have not scaled it or you want to start it this year, you may ask yourself, is dropshipping still worth it in 2023?
Yes, dropshipping is still worth it in 2023 though some people claim that dropshipping is dead.
But why is dropshipping worth it? And how to achieve it?
Keep reading and you will find the answer.
What is dropshipping
Dropshipping is an e-commerce business model which has been developing and blooming in the past few years. In this model, the seller doesn’t need to stock goods. He/She forwards the order to the manufacturer or supplier to fulfill, pack and deliver to the end customer.
Drop shipping usually works as follows:
- You create an online store and list your products from your supplier.
- Your customer places an order in your store.
- You share your order information with your supplier.
- Your supplier picks, packs, and delivers the order directly to your customer.
Having known what dropshipping is, you could be wondering about its advantages and downsides. Let’s explore them next.
Pros of dropshipping
Dropshipping is popular with many businesses and small entrepreneurs. This is due to what makes it stand out among different business models.
Easy to start a business
To set up your dropshipping business, you just need to choose a niche, find a supplier, and create a website. With just a computer and the web, you can achieve that.
You purchase products from your supplier only after your customer places the order. That means there is no risk of a surplus. In addition, dropshipping allows you to test your order before you sell. That will help you avoid unnecessary after-sale problems and failure of your business for that.
Little to no upfront invest
Because of no stock, you don’t need to put invest in renting a warehouse or purchasing a large number of goods. In the beginning, you even don’t need to rent an office and hire many employees.
Focus on something else that counts
Working with a dropshipping service supplier or agent, you will be relieved from inventory management, order fulfillment, and shipment issues. Therefore, you have enough time to focus on your website design, products marketing, and customer service. That largely improves your chances of success.
Follow the trend easily
The dropshipping market is always evolving rapidly. What the trend will be tomorrow is hard to predict. However, without storing a pile of goods, you can flexibly change your direction and tactics. That is, you can easily follow the trend in your market without inventory. Whenever you want to develop a new products line or have a new idea, you test it with a little investment.
Cons of dropshipping
Every coin has two sides. Dropshipping unavoidably has its downsides.
Long delivery time
A great many dropshipping service suppliers come from China. Shipping products to the destination located in the US or UK takes a long time. Some delivery needs over 30 days. Hard to imagine, right?
Poor products quality
When you let your supplier or agent handle inventory and fulfill orders on your behalf, you can’t touch the physical merchandise, let alone ensure its quality. So your customer may sometimes get an item of bad quality. Meanwhile, the same products from different suppliers could be different in quality.
But be assured that there are solutions to such problems.
For one thing, you should try to cooperate with one or two reliable suppliers instead of too many different suppliers, and then build a good relationship with them.
For another thing, make sure that you test your products before selling them to your customers. In this way, you will find out if the product is what your buyer wants and check if the supplier serves well. Of course, you can also work with an agent with quality inspection service.
Low profit margins
With more stiff competition in the dropshipping industry, many sellers choose to lower products price to increase revenue. Even they get a low-profit margin. So you may come across a ton of products that are the same as those in your store but at a lower price. To compete with your rivals, you have to give your customer a lower price.
Besides, you buy products from your supplier once you receive an order. So in most cases, you won’t buy in bulks at a low wholesale price. That to some extent reduces your profit margins, either.
However, don’t feel discouraged. Finding a unique niche may help a lot in this situation. We will discuss it later on.
And remember to work with a reputable dropshipping agent. They help source a variety of products at a competitive price from suppliers worldwide.
Unreliable dropshipping suppliers
If you don’t research carefully when finding a supplier, you are likely to find an unreliable supplier. He/she is meant to sell their goods to you but is not responsible for product quality and after-sales service. Then you are passively involved in complaints, returns, and charge-backs from your consumers.
To avoid that, be sure to collaborate with a reputable supplier. You can investigate the performance score, reviews, quality assessment rating, and the number of clients who choose him or her.
The simple way to find a reliable supplier is to find a dropshipping service platform with strict qualification progress for suppliers.
Selling products with no logos or brands
Not all dropshipping suppliers provide branding services, Avasam, for instance. That makes it hard for some drop shippers or retailers to sell their designed products and build their brand recognition.
But there are still many suppliers offering branding services to satisfy design demands, like Sup Dropshipping, Printful, etc. Working with them allows you to sell your branded items.
Is dropshipping still worth it in 2023
Though we have analyzed the pros and cons of dropshipping, it is not enough to conclude if dropshipping is still worth it.
Now let’s see the latest data in this field.
- In 2021, retail e-commerce sales were about $4.9 trillion worldwide. It is predicted to reach about $7.4 trillion by 2025.
- In the eCommerce industry, the number of users is estimated to amount to 273.7million users by 2025.
- In 2020, the estimated value of the dropshipping market was $128.6 billion worldwide. Between 2021 and 2026, the value of the market size was forecast to grow to $476.1 billion.
- According to E-DSS.org, around 27% of e-commerce retailers have transitioned to a dropshipping business model for order fulfillment.
From the data above, it is not difficult to find out that the eCommerce and dropshipping business will continuously develop, and more and more businesses will dive into the development. Why don’t you become one part of them?
Additionally, disadvantages usually come out of unreasonable solutions to some problems. If you keep adapting your business to market changes and properly solve problems, you will make profits in the dropshipping market.
Then, what on earth can you do to make dropshipping profitable and worth it?
How to make dropshipping worth it
There are always tactics to make profits in a market. No exception for dropshipping.
Here we give you some tips.
Choose a unique niche market
As we mentioned earlier, the competition is fierce in the dropshipping market, especially in terms of a very general market.
To grow revenue, many retailers sell with low profit margins. If you want to avoid the price race, finding a unique niche is crucial.
Moreover, making your products stand out among a lot of similar products is not easy. But selling in a unique niche changes that.
Last but not least, focusing on a unique niche probably makes you become an expert in this segment and facilitates your success.
So how to choose the right niche?
- You should know what your strengths and interests are
- Choose some niches accordingly
- Make use of your competitors’ data and relative tools to research the niches
- Narrow these niches to a profitable niche that is neither over-saturated nor too small to scale
Find a suitable dropshipping platform
There already have been some popular dropshipping platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. Among them, Shopify is the most used platform by dropshippers and retailers.
Shopify allows you to create your online store with a few clicks. And it provides dropshipping plugins to make your store management, marketing, and business scaling much easier. So it is our first recommendation for you.
Also, you can opt for Amazon or eBay dropshipping. But selling in these markets will shorten your profit margin because you need to pay some fees. Except for that, you have to obey their rules which often change. Amazon or eBay dropshipping are suitable for amateur sellers who are not so good at marketing. Selling on these giant platforms allows you to get advantages in marketing from the beginning.
If you are technology expertise and are not satisfied with the rules set by other platforms, you may try WooCommerce on WordPress. There are so many plugins on WordPress that could help you to build up your online store, and if you are good at coding, you may DIY your store to make it more exclusive. To find more plugins on WordPress, here is a list of Best Dropshiping plugins on WordPress for your reference.
Certainly, the products category should also be taken into consideration when choosing a platform. Some products may sell well on Amazon, but some do not. Conduct enough research before you decide.
Design a user-friendly website
A user-friendly interface is helpful to drive traffic to your store. It basically includes the homepage, the story about your brand, your products catalogs, shipping options, and contact information. Most importantly, it should be easy for your buyers to navigate. You can employ a website designer to build or optimize the website if you have enough capital.
Work with a reliable supplier
In your dropshipping business, your supplier is responsible for managing inventory, fulfilling your orders, and finding an efficient and dependable courier. Therefore, a trustworthy supplier plays an important role.
If you work with an unreliable supplier, you may face a lot of after-sale disputes with your customers and risk a bad reputation.
However, it takes time and effort to find a trustworthy supplier. You may refer to our article about dropshipping suppliers in the UK for convenience. Most of them come from different parts of the world and ship internationally.
Apply marketing skills
No matter how good your products are, they need to be seen and known by your target audience. This is achieved through marketing in most cases.
Usually, marketing includes social media marketing, paid ads, SEO, influencer marketing, and email marketing. Try them as possible as you can, and expand your presence through one or two main marketing skills. For example, our Sup Dropshipping team utilizes different marketing tactics to sell our service, but we devote ourselves to two main skills, not all.
Provide excellent customer support
As the saying goes, the customer is God. The way to show your respect to your customer is to provide satisfying service. With quality customer service, you can easily build your brand awareness mouth-to-word and scale your business. Imagine that, when you help solve the problems of your customers and meet their demands, they probably share their experience with their friends or family. You will get new customers then.
In a word, dropshipping is still worth it in 2023. When you solve problems well and adopt proper tactics, your dropshipping business would be profitable in the whole developing e-commerce world.