If you want to eventually work for yourself, setting up a drop shipping website might be a good idea. That being said, running an eCommerce website is no easy task. You have to manage your store, you have to do your own SEO, and essentially, you have to do your own marketing. At my agency job, I very rarely see new websites take off right away. Drop shipping is even harder. You don’t have to buy a ton of inventory, but you have to find a way to marketing your products.
What is drop shipping? Drop shipping involves finding someone who keeps your products on hand and ships your products to your customers for you. Sounds easy, right? First and foremost, it’s not. Setting up a website, adding and managing an inventory, and all the “nuts and bolts” are super hard. I’m not writing this post to tell you how to set up your website. This is simply a post to make sure you know what you have to do.
The first thing you have to do when you get your site is get traffic. There are a lot of ways you can get traffic. You can tell people about your site. You can make business cards with links to your site. You can even go to Facebook and Google and BUY traffic. That being said, you need a ton of traffic to make a sale.
Most eCommerce websites have a 1% conversion rate. Do the math, yup. On a good day, you are going to need at least 100 visits before you have someone buy something on your site. If you are going to spend $1 per click to get 100 visits to your website, you will rack up a PPC bill pretty quick. If you spend $100 per day to get 100 visits to your website, you have already spent $100. If you sell one item that day, you probably won’t recoup your lost marketing costs.
The best way to get traffic is to go optimize your site, get some backlinks, and then your traffic will find you. However, organic traffic takes a while to build up. Some clients I’ve worked with will do SEO with us for TWO years before they see a huge uptick in their ecomerce sales. In 2017, one of my clients had their best year ever. They’ve been doing SEO since the beginning of the Internet.
What Platform Do You Recommend for Drop Shipping?
That is a convoluted question and will depend upon your business. Magento, in my opinion, is not a very good ecommerce platform. It’s good if you are a large wholesale business and have a ton of products. Some SEOs think it is the best thing since sliced bread. From where I sit, Magento can be a logistical nightmare if one thing breaks. Let’s use the “saved credit card” payment option as an example. There is no reason that you should ever use this option because it saves your customer’s credit card option in the back end of your website. It is standard to use this for testing. But what if your programmer forgets to turn it off. You might be royally fucked.
My favorite platforms for ecommerce are Shopify, WordPress, and 3D cart. If you use WordPress, you can have a nice looking website. However, I highly recommend Shopify. Shopify can run you pretty hefty though if you start using a lot of apps. I like WordPress because of its simplicity.
For Shopify, I recommend OBERLO or WHOLESALE2B if you are going to do drop shipping.
HOw DO I get Traffic
That’s not an easy answer. Here are a few articles you should read before you go out and buy traffic.