Modalyst https://www.modalyst.co 10M dropshipping products, US suppliers, Aliexpress Fri, 23 Apr 2021 20:31:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.2 https://www.modalyst.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/cropped-Modalyst-icon-transparent-1000px-2-32x32.png Modalyst https://www.modalyst.co 32 32 How to prepare your eCommerce Business for Chinese New Year https://www.modalyst.co/blog/chinese-new-year/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/chinese-new-year/#respond Mon, 01 Feb 2021 22:27:38 +0000 https://www.modalyst.co/?p=5353 If you source or sell any product from China or Aliexpress, you’re probably familiar with Chinese New Year. If so, you know that Chinese New Year has a big impact on supply chains all over the world, including production and shipping times. If this Chinese New Year will be your first as an eCommerce entrepreneur, […]

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If you source or sell any product from China or Aliexpress, you’re probably familiar with Chinese New Year. If so, you know that Chinese New Year has a big impact on supply chains all over the world, including production and shipping times. If this Chinese New Year will be your first as an eCommerce entrepreneur, let us help prepare you for what to expect and how to remain competitive and profitable during this holiday. 

What is the Chinese New Year?

Chinese New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. It is the most important celebration in China — and one of the most well known across the world. It is celebrated worldwide in regions and countries with significant Overseas Chinese populations, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Mauritius, as well as in North America and Europe.

Chinese New Year (CNY) begins on Friday, February 12th, 2021. The official celebration starts February 12th and ends February 26th. While the festival is celebrated over a two week period, only the first seven days are considered a public holiday. 

Nevertheless, offices and factories in China close for about three weeks, allowing Chinese workers time to travel back home to spend the holiday with their families. This event creates an enormous migration within the country and from abroad. For context, in 2019, over 90 million workers, the majority in urban areas along China’s coast, traveled by road, train, and plane back to their rural hometowns during CNY.

Chinese New Year 2021: What is the timeline?

Chinese New Year begins on Friday, February 12, 2021. 

Suppliers in China will begin slowing down or halting production a week or so before. We recommend you ask your suppliers when their offices and factories will be closed during this holiday.

Outlined below is an approximate schedule for Chinese New Year holiday.

  • End of January: Businesses begin to slow down production
  • Early February: Some employees start their holiday early
  • February 11: All employees will have left their offices and factories
  • February 12: Chinese New Year begins
  • February 26: Chinese New Year ends
  • End of February: Some employees start to trickle back to their place of work
  • March 4: Most employees have returned to their place of work
  • March 11: Businesses resume their normal operations and production

Chinese New Year 2021: How will CNY affect my eCommerce business?

As highlighted earlier, Chinese New Year is the most important event in China every year. This means that most businesses, including the suppliers on AliExpress you may work with, observe the holiday and shut down for a period of time. While CNY officially kicks off February 12, many factories and offices shut down in the days leading up to the official start date, allowing time for workers to travel home back to their families. As workers leave, the general operations of businesses come to a halt as well. .

Since China is an economic giant in the global exporting industry, the effects of Chinese New Year ripples to all corners of the world. The ripples affect many different industries, including eCommerce dropshipping.  

For example, if you are actively sourcing and selling products from AliExpress, Chinese New Year will affect your business. Below is a list of some disruptions to expect during CNY.

How Chinese New Year may affect your supply chain 

All major businesses in China completely shut down for at least seven days. This includes factories and manufacturing facilities. No orders ship out of China during CNY. Some factories may even shut down for up to three weeks. Why so long? There is sometimes a delay in getting workers back to their offices. China’s transportation system is usually overburdened in the days following the end of the holiday as all workers choose to go back at once.

The information flow is cut during the Chinese New Year event. No one, including your best suppliers, will be available for correspondence. 

You might experience production slowdowns one or two weeks before the start of the holiday. Workers sometimes leave their job sites early to go back home and spend time with their families. 

Before CNY, you may experience an increase in product quality issues, as factories rush to finish as many orders as possible before their workers leave for the holiday.

Likewise, after CNY, you may also experience an increase in product quality issues. This happens because the factories are short staffed for a period of time. 

How to Plan for Chinese New Year

At Modalyst, most of our independent suppliers are from the US and Europe and will not be affected. Now is your chance to try more of our curated suppliers or join our Private Label Program and new Print-on-Demand Program.

If you are sourcing products from AliExpress, you should expect delays while warehouses and logistics in China and Hong Kong are reduced during the holiday from February 8, 2021 through February 26, 2021. Many warehouses also are stocking up on bestsellers now, and start to wind down a week earlier to extend their holiday.

What steps can you take to maintain your business during CNY?

Contact your suppliers to understand their plans

  • When are they winding down?
  • When are they starting up again?
  • Can they still ship during this time period?

Consider selling USA or EU brands during this time

This is a great time to branch out and sell indie brands. You can also join our very popular Private Label Program and our new Print-on-Demand Program to sell products with custom designs and your branding.

According to Chinese tradition, this is a year to focus on relationships. We hope that this is a time to build a deeper relationship with our customers and for you to build a thriving business with your customers.

Reduce ads 

Once you have a better idea of your suppliers’ plans, you can reduce ads for items which will ship slowly during this time. It is good to check on this now, as some suppliers start to slow down in the weeks leading up to CNY. For example, reduce marketing for Valentine’s Day or Mardi Gras items, as those items may not arrive in time.

Consider buying stock of bestsellers

Do you have a hot selling item? Consider buying stock of this item now so you have it on-hand. You can then guarantee that orders are delivered during this time period.

Inform customers that orders are experiencing delays

Consider posting on your website that orders will experience delays. Customers will often understand, especially since Covid has also reduced the number of flights, slowing ecommerce delivery times globally.

You can also remind customers that orders are experiencing delays in an email after they place their order. This will ensure that they are reminded of delays if they did not see it on your site.

In case you want to plan ahead for future Chinese holidays, please see the below.

Chinese New Year may be the biggest holiday but there are actually several other Chinese holidays that could have an effect on your business. 

Qing Ming Jie (Tomb Sweeping Day): Sunday, April 4th

International Labor Day: Saturday, May 1st

Dragon Boat Festival: June 14th – 16th

Mid-Autumn Festival/Moon Festival: Tuesday, September 21st

Golden Week Holiday: Friday, October 1st – Thursday, October 7th

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Top 10 Free Shipping Tips to Boost Your Dropshipping Business https://www.modalyst.co/blog/free-shipping-tips-for-dropshipping-business/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/free-shipping-tips-for-dropshipping-business/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:04:28 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/?p=5156 Dropshipping presents a tremendous opportunity for new businesses to grow their e-commerce portfolios. This order fulfillment method allows companies to make a profit without maintaining inventory and can feature a fully automated online store. But potential doesn’t mean certain. The success of this business model, just as traditional onsite retail models, isn’t always guaranteed. Businesses […]

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Dropshipping presents a tremendous opportunity for new businesses to grow their e-commerce portfolios. This order fulfillment method allows companies to make a profit without maintaining inventory and can feature a fully automated online store. But potential doesn’t mean certain.

The success of this business model, just as traditional onsite retail models, isn’t always guaranteed. Businesses looking to jump on the dropshipping bandwagon have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to create a store that can deliver great shipping experiences to their customers.

According to a 2018/19 report by NRF, retailers’ investments in technology, fulfillment, and store experience paid off well and left consumers wanting more. This article covers ten free shipping strategies that can help dropshipping retailers maximize their growth potential.  

1. Borrowing a Leaf From Competitors’ Free Shipping Strategies

The presence of stiff competition in dropshipping operations indicates that the selected niche is profitable and sustainable.

Observing what competitor brands are doing on their online stores, blog articles, or social media posts can be a good starting point. For example, businesses can pay close attention to the wording of rival campaigns to see what works for them. 

Keeping abreast of competitors’ strategies can help a business to create free shipping campaigns that drive high conversion rates by capitalizing on any gaps other sellers leave when they’re optimizing their stores for free shipping. 

2. Ordering Own Product Samples

By ordering samples of products that they sell, dropshipping firms can get a first-hand feel or taste of what customers experience. 

This strategy allows businesses to assess the packaging and delivery time used by product suppliers and make relevant changes aimed at improving customer experiences.

Since dropshipping involves implementing free shipping, businesses should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the service to the buyers. 

3. Choosing a Suitable E-Commerce Platform for Dropshipping

E-commerce platforms play a big role in ensuring the smooth running of a dropshipping business. Although there are many platforms to choose from, some can make it difficult for customers to enjoy the benefit of free shipping service.

Shopify shipping, AliExpress shipping, and Wix shipping services automate freight and tax calculations to make the checkout process a lot faster.

Automation helps to increase transparency in business and gain customers’ trust. Businesses looking to take full advantage of free shipping should set up their store on an e-commerce platform that powers them to grow with their free shipping demands. 

4. Analyzing the Average Shipping Time for Fulfilled Orders

It’s incredibly difficult for dropshipping stores to set expectations about shipping time when they’re clueless about their average product fulfillment time. 

Suppliers don’t often give reliable information on the ship time estimate for a product. But businesses can calculate the typical order processing time and the duration it takes to deliver a product.

A thorough first-hand evaluation of the dropshipping shipping times allows companies to choose appropriate dropshipping delivery methods for efficient free shipping service. 

5. Letting Customers Know the Average Shipping Time 

One of the important factors that U.S. consumers care about is convenience. Businesses can improve shopping experiences by providing tracking information to their customers. They should be clear about the estimated delivery times.

With transparency, it’s possible to disarm refund requests and complaints submitted by unsatisfied customers.  

6. Creating Appealing Free Shipping Campaigns

A time-bound campaign can be more appealing to impulse buyers than one without a time signature. It’ll help to minimize the abandonment of online shopping carts and convince a customer that free shipping may seem like a great idea. 

A dropshipping business can institute a free shipping campaign that has an expiration date to motivate buyers to make purchases. They should inform the target audience about how long the offer will last. 

They can even attach the campaign to a pop-up that appears on the screen when a customer visits their store or checks out.

7. Employing a Unique Yet Effective Free Shipping Model

Free shipping allows dropshipping companies to attract lots of customers since they stand out from other businesses when employed as either a temporary or permanent marketing strategy. 

It can be a major selling point for online stores when implemented properly.

Shipping costs should always be absorbed when setting prices to generate profit. The dropshipping model should take into account the effectiveness of the dropshipping delivery methods in place.

Customers may enjoy the service on all products or selected products only.

8. Informing All Visitors About the Availability of Free Shipping Service

The visibility of free shipping campaigns can be improved by posting the campaigns on product pages and mailing lists. Businesses should ensure the information can be accessed by both new and existing visitors to increase conversion. 

By including head banners on online stores, they can help lead customers to the pages containing free shipping information. 

The end game here is to strengthen a business’ brand while building a loyal customer base. 

9. Prioritizing Free Shipping for First Time Buyers and Loyal Customers

A retail study found that nine in 10 consumers consider free shipping as an incentive for online shopping. Free shipping is an effective marketing tactic for winning over new customers and increasing sales.  

Online retailers can use free shipping to reward loyal customers and generate referrals. They can run free shipping campaigns targeted to first-time buyers or loyal customers to help grow their business. 

10. Targeting Markets With the Best Shipping Options

Free shipping strategies can only be fruitful when aimed at markets with ideal shipping options. 

One way to reach the target audience is by posting ads on platforms such as AdWords and Facebook, which give advertisers insights on where their ads get displayed. 

Businesses can bank on their knowledge of shipping costs and times to create effective free shipping marketing campaigns. Markets with lower shipping prices and faster delivery times should be targeted by the campaigns to improve the product fulfillment satisfaction. 

Free Shipping Tips for a Successful Dropshipping Business

As many businesses ride on the free shipping wave, they should optimize their delivery methods and shipping times/costs to meet customer expectations. Having out a clear-cut strategy on how free shipping service will be used to grow the business is essential. Businesses should always prioritize customer experiences when developing free shipping strategies for their dropshipping operations. When used properly, the above-discussed tactics can help dropshipping stores to set themselves apart from the competition and see sales and profits.

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What Is Dropshipping: Your Most Important Questions Answered https://www.modalyst.co/blog/what-is-dropshipping/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/what-is-dropshipping/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2020 18:07:15 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/?p=5149 Starting a dropshipping business is one of the first steps for budding entrepreneurs because it’s an easy way to enter the online commerce sector. While the principle of dropshipping is simple — you don’t need to pay for inventory before selling it — many people are confused about many aspects of starting an online dropshipping […]

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Starting a dropshipping business is one of the first steps for budding entrepreneurs because it’s an easy way to enter the online commerce sector.

While the principle of dropshipping is simple — you don’t need to pay for inventory before selling it — many people are confused about many aspects of starting an online dropshipping store. 

If you’re interested in the dropshipping business model and are tinkering with the idea of running your eCommerce business without any significant startup capital, this dropshipping FAQ will answer all the questions you might have about this popular business model. 

1. How Does Dropshipping Really Work?

To put it simply, dropshipping is a business model that doesn’t require a store to keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, the online retailer purchases the products from a third party supplier and has it shipped to the customer, but only after the customer has made a purchase. This means that the store owner never handles the actual product. 

The dropshipping business model works based on having a low start-up cost, and it eliminates the risks and costs of holding inventory completely. This doesn’t mean that it’s an easy business to succeed in, as it still requires day-to-day management. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can be quite profitable with hard work. 

Drop shipping comes with lots of challenges as well, ranging from dealing with stocks to screening orders to avoid credit card fraud, but overall, it’s one of the easiest ways to launch an ecommerce store that can become profitable over time. 

2. What are the Benefits of Dropshipping?

One of the key benefits of drop shipping is that the store owner doesn’t have to pay for the product until the customer pays, which means that they don’t risk buying products that won’t sell. Because of the low investment required to start a dropshipping business, this is a business model suitable for novices who want to run their own online store.

Another benefit of drop shipping is that the seller doesn’t get involved with the physical process of packaging and shipping products. That is one of the most tedious parts of selling products online, but sellers essentially outsource it to someone else. Dropshipping companies are more often than not large companies that deal with thousands of orders a day, which means they have negotiated shipping rates that are much lower than a small seller can get. 

3. Is Dropshipping Legal?

Yes, dropshipping is a completely legal business, but there are, of course several elements you need to take account before starting. It’s crucial to pick a reliable supplier, as you would be liable for sales if the supplier sells a counterfeit product. Those who are dropshipping on Amazon or eBay risk having their accounts banned for selling counterfeit products, and it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to recover from that. 

Many people ask if they need to inform the buyers that they are doing dropshipping. The answer is no — there is no legal requirement to do so, as long as the customer receives the product as described. Dropshipping is perfectly legal, and by choosing to work only with reputable suppliers, sellers can avoid possibly emerging issues. 

4. Is Dropshipping a Profitable Business Model? 

Digital entrepreneurs often ask whether dropshipping is still a profitable business in 2020. It is still possible to earn a decent income from dropshipping, but sellers should keep in mind that it’s not generally possible to make lots of money in a short period. For dropshipping to be profitable, sellers need to invest time, money, and effort. As a rule of thumb, focusing on a profitable niche can make a new dropshipping store successful quicker. 

5. Is it Necessary to Have a Registered Business for Dropshipping?

This depends on the country where you live, but generally, you do need to register your business once you start making sales. Most payment providers, including PayPal, require proof of a registered company once you start making consistent sales. The rules for obtaining business licenses vary from one country to another. In the U.S., for example, the process is rather straightforward, and you can do everything online.

6. How Much Money Can You Make Dropshipping?

This is not a question with a straightforward answer, as it all depends on the niche you pick, the number of visitors you can drive to your website, and your profit margin. The good news is that there are no limits on profits when dropshipping, with some sellers making full-time incomes and others managing to earn six-figure incomes from dropshipping.

7. What Are Some Common Issues with Dropshipping?

Since retailers have no control over stocks and shipments, problems are bound to arise with the dropshipping process. Some of the most common issues are related to items being out of stock, delays with the processing of orders, wrong item or quantity sent to the customer, and items arriving damaged.

Most of these issues are the same regular online stores with their own stocks have, but when you’re dropshipping, handling them is often more difficult. To protect your business and solve any issues for your customers in a timely manner, it’s essential to keep good records of all orders, shipping addresses, and learn everything there is to know about your dropshipper’s return policies. It’s also a good idea to offer customers discounts for future orders when a mistake occurred with their order. 

8. Is Fraud Something to Worry About with Dropshipping?

As with any online business, credit card fraud is just part of life, and the dropshipping business is not different. The good news is that there are lots of ways to protect a business with basic security measures and, as such, reduce the risk of fraud considerably. Using a gateway service for card processing is always recommended, as this allows the verification of the billing address of the customer so it matches the one on file with the bank. Screening orders with different billing and shipping addresses is another important step to protect against fraud, especially in the case of very large orders. 

9. How to Make Sure the Products Customers Order are in Stock?

Stocks are one of the major challenges of dropshipping, as it is rather difficult to determine if a product is available without actually having access to stock information in a warehouse. Ordering a product only to find out later it is not actually available makes for a very poor customer experience, and it’s not something that bodes well for any business. 

The good news is that sellers who choose to work with reputable dropshippers often have access to real-time inventory feeds. These make it easy to sync the products on the website with the actual stocks available in the warehouses of the dropshipper. If that is not possible, the second-best strategy is to work with multiple suppliers who can provide the same products. As such, if a product is not available in the warehouse of one supplier, chances are the second one will have it. This is not a fail-proof method, but it reduces the chances of having disappointed customers. 

10. How to Find Dropshipping Suppliers?

One of the most important steps to growing a successful dropshipping business is finding reputable drop ship suppliers. While there are thousands of drop shipping suppliers out there, it’s actually not that easy to find certified ones that are not going to cause too much trouble when it comes to fulfilling orders and accepting returns. 

To find the right supplier for a business, it’s essential to understand the distribution channels for the particular dropshipping industry you’re interested in. The main types of wholesalers used for dropshipping include manufacturers, importers and exclusive distributors, and regional wholesalers. 

Those who are just starting may want to look at smaller retailers. Still, it’s also possible to make a good profit by using a bigger wholesaler such as AliExpress from the beginning. No matter which route you choose, it’s always a good idea to get in touch with manufacturers directly for a list of distributors they prefer to work with. 

11. Why Start a Dropshipping Business with Modalyst?

Modalyst is a classic dropshipping service that both beginners and seasoned sellers can use to connect with verified suppliers. The role of the platform is to route orders automatically and notify suppliers about incoming orders. This means that the process is automated as much as possible, and Modalyst also facilitates the communication between the seller and the supplier. 

12. What Kinds of Products are Available Through Modalyst?

The product choice is one of the main strengths of Modalyst, and some of the products available through the platform include shoes, apparel, bags, furniture, electronics, and many others. The platform has a focus on U.S. and European-based suppliers, but also connects business owners to millions of dropship products on AliExpress through its official partnership with Alibaba.

Modalyst is also a goldmine for retailers looking for on-trend products for their store. The platform features a catalog of tens of thousands of trendy fashion products that are guaranteed to reach customers in the U.S. within a week. Products in this section are stored in warehouses in the U.S. and Europe, and they are ready for immediate shipping.

A wide selection of luxury products is also available at wholesale pricing, so ecommerce businesses in this niche can benefit from fast shipping of up to four business to the U.S. and quick worldwide shipping as well. 

13. What Are the Main Benefits of Using Modalyst for Dropshipping?

Besides the wide range of products available via Modalyst, there are several other benefits of using this platform. Modalyst is the perfect choice for online retailers who want to target European and American clients because of the quick delivery times. 

Dropshipping platforms that work with Chinese suppliers may have shipping times of up to eight weeks, and sometimes they use non-trackable shipments. As such, it’s difficult for store owners to know if the client has actually received the products. With Modalyst, the fast shipping times and tracked shipments mean that if something goes wrong, the clients don’t have to wait for another month for their returns to be processed. 

14. What Platforms Does Modalyst Integrate With?

Modalyst integrates with all major e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce. Users automate most aspects of the business, from inventory data and orders to customer notifications about the status of their order. Modalyst connects directly to the user’s store, and with the dedicated Shopify App, Wix App and BigCommerce App, it allows users to add products to the store with just one click.

15. How Much Does It Cost to Start Dropshipping With Modalyst?

There are three different pricing plans available, and each of them has both monthly and yearly options. Users can easily start their dropshipping adventure for free by opting for the Hobby Plan, which is $0/month, and allows users to add 25 products to their store. There is a 5% transaction fee in place on the value of the orders. 

Sellers who need to add more products may opt for the Start-up Plan, which has the same 5% transaction fee but allows users to add 250 products to their store. The price of this intermediate plan is $35/month.

Finally, sellers who want to go all-in may opt for the Pro Plan, which costs $90/month and lets users add unlimited products from all marketplaces to their stores.

16. Is Modalyst Customer Support Good?

Modalyst offers users a comprehensive FAQ section, and users can easily find answers to most of their questions about the platform via the help center. All the help sections on the website are easy to understand, and it only takes a couple of clicks to find the answer to most questions. 

If the question is more specific and not addressed in the help center, users can get live chat support, which is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, or send an email. Most emails get an answer within 24 hours. 

If you’re planning a dropshipping store, you need to be as informed as possible to succeed. The answers to the most asked dropshipping questions above can help you get started with your dropshipping business. Avoiding dropshipping problems is not always easy, particularly as a beginner, but being well-informed is the first step to success. 

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13 Best Platforms to Sell Your Products Online https://www.modalyst.co/blog/best-platforms-to-sell-products/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/best-platforms-to-sell-products/#respond Wed, 13 May 2020 15:42:32 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/?p=5106 By the year 2040, experts estimate that approximately 95 percent of commerce transactions will take place online. With this information in mind, it’s clear that now is the perfect time for businesses of all kinds, both business-to-consumer (or B2C) and business-to-business (or B2B) to start selling products online. Whether they’re selling online in addition to […]

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By the year 2040, experts estimate that approximately 95 percent of commerce transactions will take place online.

With this information in mind, it’s clear that now is the perfect time for businesses of all kinds, both business-to-consumer (or B2C) and business-to-business (or B2B) to start selling products online. Whether they’re selling online in addition to or instead of in a traditional brick-and-mortar store, an internet platform is essential to businesses’ long-term survival.

Not sure where to begin? Listed below are 13 of the best platforms you can use to sell your products online. Whether yours is a B2C or B2B company, there are plenty of options from which you can choose.

B2C vs B2B Online Sales Channels

Before exploring specific marketplaces, it helps to have a clear understanding of the difference between B2C and B2B online sales channels.

When most people think of selling products online, they think of B2C marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. What they don’t always realize, though, is that these popular platforms also have a B2B version for those who are marketing products to other business owners. There are also many B2B platforms that cater exclusively to those in the B2B world.

In either case, there are some key differences between B2B and B2C sales channels. Both options connect buyers to multiple sellers and give buyers the option to compare products in one place. With B2B marketplaces, though, there are features that B2B companies are more likely to require, including the following:

  • Bulk ordering options
  • Discounts for ordering in large quantities
  • Purchase order editing options
  • Pricing by customer

With B2B marketplaces, it’s also easier to set up the ability to accept a variety of payment types (schedule payments, bank transfers, etc.).

If you run a B2B company, there are advantages that come with choosing a B2B-specific marketplace. Like B2C channels, they help to lower the entry cost, they’re easy to set up, and they give you access to new audiences that you wouldn’t have reached otherwise. They’re also better-tailored to your needs, though, and allow you to get the most out of the platform.

Top 13 B2C and B2B Sales Platforms

For both B2C and B2B companies, there’s no shortage of sales platforms. Here are 13 of the best ones to consider: 

1. Wix

Photo credit: Wix

Literally hundreds of millions of small business owners around the world use Wix as their preferred website builder. In fact, Wix has over 180M registered users worldwide, making it the largest and most popular website building platform in the world. Because of its ease of use and very user friendly drag and drop functionality, Wix is a very compelling option for most. This is especially true for the less tech-savvy entrepreneurs who want to build an attractive, high performing website without having to outsource the work to another party.

Beyond websites, Wix also allows users to create their own online store. Their online store builder is one of the only platforms that allows you to customize every aspect of your site, giving you 500 templates to choose from and professional tools built in.

Like the website-building functions, Wix ecommerce is simple and straightforward. You can drag and drop to create a store that aligns with your brand and is easy for online shoppers to navigate. It comes with hundreds of design features and tools and direct connections to dropshipping solutions such as Modalyst and Printful.

Wix is arguably the most complete option for business owners looking to sell products online. With that in mind, you may find that its ecommerce features are most optimal for small and medium businesses. For those who are just getting started, it’s a very compelling option to consider.

Wix eCommerce pricing starts at $23 per month, with options ranging all the way up to $500 per month.

2. Shopify

Photo credit: Shopify

Shopify is another one of the most popular eCommerce platforms for business owners looking to start selling online. Like Wix, it’s very simple and easy to use, with lots of drag and drop options to help you create an online store that looks great and functions well.

Shopify is one of the most frequently used B2C sales platforms, with more than 1,000,000 merchants. A basic plan provides you with everything you need to get started, including a website, blog, SSL certificates, and abandoned shopping cart recovery.

One of the only complaints people have about Shopify is that it has limited customization options. What it does provide, though, is sufficient for most new online businesses.

Shopify pricing starts at $29 per month.

3. Bonanza

Photo credit: Bonanza

Bonanza is a Seattle-based company that’s much smaller than platforms like Wix and Shopify, with only about 50,000 sellers. It’s growing at a rapid rate, though, and already has over 35 million items listed for sale.

Bonanza offers low selling fees that are based on the Final Offer Value (this is calculated based on the combined dollar value that the buyer paid added to any portion of the shipping fee that exceeds $10). If you sold an item for $30 and the shipping charge was $15, the Final Offer Value would be $35. The selling fee is 2.5 percent of the Final Offer Value, which would result in a fee of just $0.87.

For businesses that want to avoid expensive listing and selling fees, Bonanza can be a viable option. You also only have to pay fees when you make a sale.

Bonanza membership pricing starts at $40 per month.

4. Amazon

Photo credit: Amazon

Of course, it wouldn’t be a list of online sales platforms without mention of Amazon. Amazon is one of the most popular websites to sell stuff online and is definitely worth considering due to its large audience and trusted reputation.

Amazon is more expensive than other selling options, though. To become a professional seller, you must fill out an application and pay a $39.99 per month fee. There are fees for each item you sell, too.

For those who plan on selling less than 40 items per month, an individual seller account is available without a monthly fee. For most businesses, though, this won’t be sufficient.

5. eBay

Photo credit: eBay

eBay is the original online sales website and is still considered one of the best places to sell online. Having been around since 1995 and boasting over 25 million sellers, eBay is a viable option to consider. It features a straightforward selling process and lots of businesses prefer it over other platforms.

A common complaint about eBay, though, is its selling fees. There is a non-refundable fee that you have to pay to list each item, as well as an additional fee if you list an item in multiple categories. You also have to pay a “final value fee” that’s calculated using a similar method to the one Final Offer Value Bonanza uses.

Pricing to open an eBay store starts at just $7.95 per month.

6. Ruby Lane

Photo credit: Ruby Lane

For those who sell vintage goods or antiques, Ruby Lane is a good platform to check out. It receives more than one million unique visitors each month and is meant to bring antique enthusiasts together on one easy-to-use platform.

Ruby Lane requires a one-time $100 fee to set up a shop. You’ll also have to pay a $69 per month fee if you sell less than 80 items in your shop. The shop fee will change from here based on the number of items you sell. 

7. Etsy

Photo credit: Etsy

If you sell crafts or hand-made goods, Etsy is a great place to set up shop. It’s known for being easy to use and is a trusted option in the online buying and selling world. Customers may be more inclined to work with you if you use Etsy over a different platform since it’s so well-known.

Etsy’s fees are relatively low and straightforward, too. You’re required to pay a listing fee of $0.20 cents for each item you sell. That item then stays in your shop for either four months or until it sells (whichever happens first). For items that sell, there’s a five percent transaction fee and a three percent plus $0.25 processing fee.

If you’ve been wondering, “Where can I sell my stuff online for free?”, Etsy is a great option. It’s free to set up an Etsy shop and get your business off the ground.

8. Alibaba

Photo credit: Alibaba

If you’re looking to dive into the world of B2B online commerce, you can’t go wrong with Alibaba. Alibaba is one of the world’s largest online retailers, with options for B2C, C2C, and, of course, B2B companies.

It’s very easy to get started using Alibaba, and you’ll have access to a variety of other selling options, including online auction and mobile commerce.

Alibaba is a more expensive option, with annual seller fees of up to $10,000 and a security deposit of up to $25,000 for Gold members.

9. Wholesale Central

Photo credit: Wholesale Central

Wholesale Central has been around since 1996 and is a well-known online wholesale option for a lot of B2B companies. One of the best things about Wholesale Central is that it’s easy to navigate and free to use. There’s no need to pay expensive membership fees when you sign up.

A potential downside to Wholesale Central is that the site looks a bit dated, though. It also doesn’t automate much of the sales process, nor does it integrate with other platforms. If you’re looking for a way to sell online for free, though, it’s worth considering.

10. Faire

Photo credit: Faire

Faire is another popular wholesale option you might want to look into. Originally founded in San Francisco in 2017 under the name Indigo Fair, Faire has been steadily growing for the last few years.

Faire does require an application and approval process. However, it’s free to join, and the platform provides you with the option to have your shop page set up for you if you’re not interested in doing any heavy lifting on that end.

A potential downside to Faire is its fees. Faire takes a 25 percent commission from first-time store orders and a 15 percent commission from reorders.

11. EWorldTrade

Photo credit: EWorldTrade

EWorldTrade is a rapidly expanding online B2B platform that offers tons of eCommerce services. It’s also known as one of the best platforms for lead generation as well as online sales.

EWorldTrade encourages transparency and the sale of quality products. It’s a reliable trading platform and is considered a leader in the online B2B sales space.

Pricing for this channel starts at $399 per year and ranges all the way up to $7,999 per year.

12. Global Sources

Photo credit: Global Sources

Global Sources is a China-based platform and another leader in the B2B online sales world. It serves millions of visitors per month, offers both export and import services, and offers trading to many of the world’s prime countries.

Global Sources is known for having lots of different selling options. It even hosts online trade shows so sellers can show off their best products and attract more potential customers.

The platform also has a free selling option that allows you to post up to 100 items on the site.

13. Made-in-China

Photo credit: Made-in-China

Made-in-China is a popular B2B platform that allows sellers from all over the world to connect with potential buyers. Built back in 1998, it’s been a favored option for a long time and is a good option for those who want to stay on the cusp of the latest B2B marketing strategies.

Made-in-China is accessible in over 10 languages. It provides over 26 major selling categories and over 3,600 sub-categories. It’s the first eCommerce platform to perform comprehensive reviews on paid suppliers, too.

Made-in-China is free to join as well, making it a good fit for B2B companies that are just getting started and are working with limited budgets.

Start Selling Your Products Online Today

As you can see, there are lots of different platforms you can use to sell online and get your products in front of more potential customers. Whether you run a B2B or B2C business, with so many choices out there today, it’s easy to find online selling sites that meet your needs and work with your budget.

Keep the details of these different marketplaces in mind as you move forward. They’ll help you begin to narrow down your options and decide which one is the best platform to sell online for your business.

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Why US Suppliers are the Solution for Your Store During the Coronavirus https://www.modalyst.co/blog/why-us-suppliers-are-the-solution-for-your-store-during-the-coronavirus/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/why-us-suppliers-are-the-solution-for-your-store-during-the-coronavirus/#respond Fri, 20 Mar 2020 14:50:38 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/blog/?p=4901 With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, US and international dropshippers have been left struggling to maintain their supply chains. Now, more than ever, it’s become clear that you need to diversify your supplier and product mix.  In this article, we’re going to show you how coronavirus affects eCommerce, and how you can generate […]

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With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, US and international dropshippers have been left struggling to maintain their supply chains.

Now, more than ever, it’s become clear that you need to diversify your supplier and product mix. 

In this article, we’re going to show you how coronavirus affects eCommerce, and how you can generate revenue by diversifying your suppliers.

Let’s take a look!

How Does the Coronavirus Affect eCommerce?

In the beginning, dropshippers whose suppliers were in the Hubei province, including the city of Wuhan that was struck by the epidemic, had problems with delivery. 

Factories were closed for longer than expected, even with the Lunar New Year in mind.

Even AliBaba, the biggest supplier platform, struggled with shortages.

And even if your suppliers weren’t in the Hubei province, you’d have still been impaired. Some of the most important product components are produced in Hubei, and then shipped to where your suppliers are located.

Today, we’re facing an even bigger crisis. 

The world is connected, so if one part of the world is affected by a crisis (be it a pandemic, or a natural disaster), and you have business ties to them, your business will be affected, as well.

And while China seems to be handling the issue well so far, dropshippers are still affected

Not all logistical operations are fully operational at the moment – there are still truck driver shortages and cargo issues, which affects the shipping in your dropshipping business. Cargo terminals are shutting down, affecting deliveries. 

It’s becoming increasingly clear that it’s dangerous to depend on one supplier only, or suppliers from one country.

At the same time, consumers are turning to eCommerce because it’s the safer alternative to physical shopping. 

While consumers are mainly stocking up on groceries and sanitary products at the moment, there is no doubt that the rate of eCommerce usage will grow exponentially, even as we move out of this crisis.

If you set up your supplier and product mix right, your dropshipping business will be able to survive this crisis and come out stronger. 

How to Diversify Your Product Mix in the Age of Coronavirus

Right now, your main question is probably: But what if the whole world goes on lockdown?

This is highly unlikely. 

Even with different lockdowns in place in Europe, the US is still one of the biggest economies in the world. 

In fact, Amazon is hiring 100,000 new employees to help them fulfill orders.

The geographical spread of the US also means that not all areas will be affected equally at the same time. If you add US suppliers from different areas to your product mix, you’ll stay operational.

The Benefits of Adding USA Suppliers to Your Dropshipping Supplier Mix

The first benefit of using suppliers based in the USA if you’re dropshipping within the States is that domestic suppliers mean faster shipping.

When you ship from China, the average delivery time is 14 days. But within the US, your customers could have their products within a day or two. 

The US is well-connected logistically, so running out of stock is not likely.

Additionally, if there is a stricter lockdown that impairs delivery times from overseas regions like China, having suppliers based in the US will allow you to stay operational.

Depending on your niche, you may experience higher demand levels. 

In that case, you may not be able to rely only on US suppliers, but you should definitely add them to the mix. The more suppliers you have, the better.

Finally, you can’t deny the psychological effects of this crisis

As different flare-ups occur in different countries, your US consumers will be more likely to trust businesses that operate within the US.

The Long-Term Outlook: Coronavirus and eCommerce

Ultimately, the main benefit of diversifying your supplier mix is the ability to maintain your operations.

Even in worst case scenarios where one of the countries your suppliers are located in goes into lockdown, you’ll still have back-up suppliers to keep you operational.

And with more and more people turning to eCommerce, you can turn this crisis into a safer future for your business.

How to Find Dropshipping Suppliers in the US

There are two main ways to find dropshipping suppliers in the US:

  • Directly (e.g. through referrals or directories)
  • Through supplier platforms

Finding US Wholesale Suppliers Directly

You might have heard of a wholesale supplier that you’ve always thought would be a good fit for your business. 

Now is the prime time to get in touch with them.

You can also turn to Google or competitive analysis to find the best suppliers for your business. Simply look at other US dropshippers, and pay attention to who their suppliers are.

Finally, you can use wholesale directories like Salehoo and World Wide Brands to get in touch with suppliers near you. 

Just make sure they are open to working with dropshipping businesses. 

Then, get in touch with US-based dropshipping suppliers:

  • What are their terms for dropshippers?
  • Do they have per-order fees, and how much are they?
  • What precautions are they taking during this crisis? Do they have backup plans if they have to reduce their workforce?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Where do they source product parts? 
  • Who are their shipping partners?

In addition to basic questions that you’d normally pose, it’s important to pose crisis-related questions. You want a supplier with a plan.

For example, if they only rely on one shipping service, there are chances that they won’t be able to fulfill your orders if that service decides to pause their operations.

Similarly, you want to emphasize your partners’ safety measures. 

You’ll give your customers a sense of security, and make sure they don’t choose a different dropshippers during this time.

Finding USA Suppliers for Dropshipping through Platforms

Our recommendation is finding vetted US-based suppliers through platforms.

Since platforms conduct checks and allow you to read supplier reviews, it’ll be much easier to see if your target supplier is reliable.

Modalyst

Modalyst has a huge database of US suppliers and products for USA dropshipping. 

You can pick from suppliers that ship a variety of products, as well as customize your packaging and labeling to make your product truly your own. Modalyst suppliers love working with dropshippers.

Additionally, Modalyst is completely automated. 

Modalyst has various integrations:

  • Retailer apps: Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce
  • Supplier apps
  • Partner integrations

All you’ll have to do is make sure your customers are happy – Modalyst will handle the rest!

The Hobby plan that is limited to 25 products is completely free, so you can try Modalyst before you commit to a paid plan. 

After you choose and add products, you’ll be able to set pricing and shipping rules to increase your margins. This essentially allows you to adapt to market trends quickly, an extremely necessary feature in these changing times.

Find USA Dropshipping Suppliers on Modalyst

DropCommerce

Another platform you can use to find US dropshipping suppliers is DropCommerce.

On DropCommerce, you’ll be able to find suppliers from both US and Canada. They offer fast shipping times (at shipping rate averages of $2.99), and 7 day free trials. 

DropCommerce also doesn’t charge transaction fees.

And even though you’re dropshipping, you can expect 30% discount rates from suppliers. 

It’s a great chance to increase your profit margin while making sure your supplier and product mix is diverse. 

Wonify

Finally, Wonify also puts you through to US-based suppliers. 

This platform offers over 15,000 products sourced from US suppliers. There’s also a great diversity of products, since Wonify has 550 product categories. Even if you’re operating within a specific niche, you’ll likely find a good product on Wonify.

Wonify promises your customers will get your products in 3-5 days. They also offer to set up your Shopify store for you. 

Spocket 

Finally, you can use Spocket to get in touch with US and EU suppliers. This is a great option if you have customers in Europe!

Where to Find US Suppliers for Your Dropshipping Business?

Platforms are certainly one of the most reliable options for finding and vetting suppliers in the United States.

If you’re finding your suppliers directly, you’ll have to make sure they’re comfortable with dropshipping, and have a track record of reliability.

But with platforms like Modalyst, which has a history of cooperation with reliable suppliers, you don’t have to worry.

Modalyst helps you:

  • Find reliable US-based suppliers for dropshipping
  • Automate your sourcing and fulfillment
  • Diversify your supplier and product mix
  • Run your business seamlessly

The times may be uncertain, but with domestic suppliers, you can make sure your business doesn’t suffer.

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The Ultimate List of Dropshipping Suppliers in 2021 https://www.modalyst.co/blog/dropshipping-companies/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/dropshipping-companies/#respond Tue, 18 Feb 2020 13:41:37 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/blog/?p=4632 When you decide to launch your own website, you must also decide on a business model. Most new entrepreneurs are drawn to success stories and business models in high demand. In 2021, one such business idea is setting up a dropshipping website. It doesn’t require a lot of money to get started. The hardest part […]

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When you decide to launch your own website, you must also decide on a business model. Most new entrepreneurs are drawn to success stories and business models in high demand.

In 2021, one such business idea is setting up a dropshipping website. It doesn’t require a lot of money to get started.

The hardest part is finding the top dropshipping companies to source from.

When you have your own website and run an ecommerce business, you’re always on the lookout for great drop shipping suppliers.

After all, the best way to make it as a new entrepreneur is to sell high-quality products from certified wholesale suppliers. And if you can find them, you’ll have struck gold.  Fortunately, we’re here to help.

You may be an established ecommerce entrepreneur, or you’re just looking to test the waters as an online seller.

It doesn’t matter. Our list will give you plenty of top suppliers and drop shipping services to evaluate.

It’s time to take a look at the ultimate list of the best drop shipping companies in 2021. [Drop shipping suppliers in USA and Europe included.]

Best Dropshipping Supplier Platforms in 2021

We’ll cover the individual suppliers in a bit, but first, we have to address the elephant in the room:

Wholesale supplier directories.

These directories are sometimes called the “middlemen” who connect resellers to list of suppliers and product categories. It’s no longer necessary to attend trade shows or conduct business through spreadsheets.

You log in, search the product lists and wholesalers offering the product categories you want to add to your shop, and get in touch with them.

Certain platforms even vet suppliers, so you don’t have to worry about their legitimacy or the authenticity of their dropship products.

Plus, when you use directories, you’ll get instant access to large collections of products. No matter what product ideas you have, all the categories you need are in one place.

Even if the suppliers don’t have the technological framework needed to sync their systems with yours, the platforms do.

From seeing the number of business days it takes to receive a drop ship product to automating the order process, these platforms help you do a lot in just a few clicks.

Modalyst

Modalyst website

If you want to run your online business on autopilot and connect with the quality suppliers, Modalyst is the perfect platform.

Modalyst pays attention to the quality of products. Modalyst also has the largest directory of the best drop shipping companies, including private label dropshippers and print-on-demand suppliers.

Every supplier you see in the marketplace is hand-picked, and there are plenty of niche vendors, including European and American suppliers, as well.

Modalyst & AliExpress
Modalyst also has a partnership with Aliexpress.com, connecting retailers directly to the best selling products on AliExpress and analytics through the AliExpress Dropshipping Center.

AliExpress with Modalyst

So long as you use Shopify, Wix, or BigCommerce, you can onboard new suppliers in a few seconds, and completely integrate your Modalyst account with your ecommerce store.

Forget about going to trade shows or spending days spent going back and forth through email to resolve your first order; you’ll find everything you need to know immediately.

Start with a free trial on the basic plan, and all you have to do is import your desired dropship products to your Modalyst account.

Modalyst also takes care of automation. After all, it was made with drop ship companies in mind. You can set pricing and shipping rules to increase your margins, and customize product details before adding them to your store.

Give Modalyst a whirl: it’s free to add and sell up to 25 products through your storefront!

AliExpress & Oberlo

Oberlo dropshipping platform

You can’t start a guide to selling online without AliExpress. It’s especially compelling for beginners.

With its millions of drop ship companies and billions of wholesale products in one place, all you need is time and a credit card to launch your dropship business.

Launched in 2010, AliExpress connects retailers with wholesale distributors all over the world. If you want to sell a product, you’ll find it on AliExpress. AliExpress has strong product images, detailed supplier information, and better pricing than most ecommerce catalogs.

Other than its vast selection of different suppliers and individual products to choose from, AliExpress best known for its very competitive pricing.

The majority of products listed on their supplier directory are made in China, which automatically reduces their production costs.

The easiest way for beginners to add these product types to your ecommerce website is through Oberlo.

Oberlo is an automation tool for Shopify stores. The Oberlo app helps Shopify merchants find legitimate wholesalers and the best Alibaba type products for their retail storefronts.

Additionally, getting started is completely free. But the merchant pays Shopify an ongoing fee to maintain their own store.

Doba

Doba is a great solution for finding the right suppliers, mainly because it was made with dropshippers in mind.

You usually have to ask suppliers whether they’re open to working with ecommerce retailers. With Doba, you only see the drop shipping wholesalers who are prepared for it.

Doba also has a handy feature that allows you to add products to your list, and integrate them with your eCommerce solution.

You’ll get inventory alerts if your suppliers’ item levels drop.

This way, you don’t have to do anything manually. From inventory management to fulfillment, the wholesale supplier manages the logistics and heavy lifting.  Meanwhile, you can run your drop shipping website on autopilot.

Spocket

If you plan on shipping within the EU or the US, Spocket is the dropship directory for you.

One of the main problems with sourcing from China is mainly the shipping times and the costs. If you’re connecting with legitimate wholesalers through Spocket, shipping and duties are not an issue.

Spocket is still growing, which allows them to pay more attention to the quality of suppliers and products.

If you need a product your competitors can’t source, you can probably find it on Spocket. 

Inventory Source

In 2021, we really fell for Inventory Source.

They take their job seriously. In fact, they’re offering an entire support network system for dropshippers, complete with automation.

Their core offer consists of three features: free supplier directory, US Direct sourcing, and automation.

They’ve been working since 2003, so it’s no surprise that they know exactly what both suppliers and dropshippers need.

Other platforms to check out include:

  • Salehoo
  • Worldwide brands
  • Dropship Direct
  • Wholesale Central
  • Sunrise Wholesale
  • National Dropshippers

Best Dropshipping Suppliers: Adult Novelties

Despite the taboo surrounding them, adult toys are still a great way to expand your store’s offer.

Additionally, customers are willing to purchase products at a significantly higher price point to assure they’re high-quality.

Adult novelties definitely provide great markup opportunities!

1. Adult Dropshop

If you sell adult products, Adult Dropshop is a great solution.

They combine IVD and ECN to curate a catalogue of over 100,000 products which are shipped as soon as you place an order. They’re extremely efficient, and their product catalogue is fantastic!

They’re a reseller’s dream. They say it themselves: “The heart of the ADS service is dropshipping.”

2. East Coast News

There’s nothing we love more than suppliers with a history of excellence.

East Coast News is one of them. They have over 35 years of experience in the adult market, and they have a 24-hour turnaround on most orders.

Additionally, they’re an exclusive distributor for plenty of top-selling products. If you order products from ECN, you can be sure that you won’t have a lot of competition.

East Coast News ship out of the US, with warehouses located around the country. In the majority of cases, your customers will receive their products in a few days.

3. Eldorado

Eldorado, an award-winning distributor specializing in adult toys, lingerie and novelties, is based in Colorado, and they’ve been offering amazing products since 2003.

They offer web-only specials, a quick order system, and much more. Working with them is incredibly easy, and your customers will love all the new products!

4. Honey’s Place

Honey’s Place is another US-based distributor of adult novelties.

They offer over 19,000 products from 170 manufacturers (including eco-friendly products and edibles), and their handling fee is significantly lower than other suppliers.

They’re also one of the rare suppliers with a soft spot for dropshippers. If you drop ship through them, you’ll get access to an automated order and inventory tracking system to simplify your work.

5. XTrader

XTrader is a service based in the United Kingdom, and they aggregate thousands of popular adult products including toys and lingerie. They also offer marketing and tech support, with many reviews stating that their service is top-notch.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Beauty and Cosmetics

The beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but you need to add great products to your store or your money will be in the wallet of your competition.

Fortunately, we’ve found some pretty amazing dropshipping companies that specialize in beauty and cosmetics!

6. Beautyjoint

If it’s makeup and your customers want it, Beautyjoint’s got it.

Beautyjoint is one of the largest suppliers of cosmetics based in the US. Their offer includes everything from Rimmel cosmetics to Korean skincare products, and much more.

They update their catalogues constantly, so you’ll always be one step ahead of your competitors. Their products also open up the opportunity of selling seasonal products such as Halloween-specific eyeshadow palettes.

7. Born Pretty

One of the best things about nail products is that they don’t require your customers to think about their purchases. They’re not expensive, but still give you great markup opportunities.

And when it comes to nail polish, stickers, and gel, you don’t have to look any further than Born Pretty.

They’re based in China, but have a US warehouse, which is perfect for your American customers. Additionally, Born Pretty doesn’t charge additional fees for dropshipping.

8. BTSWholesaler

BTSWholesaler is one of the best companies for European cosmetics drop shipping.

They distribute makeup, perfumes, hair products, and much more.

Additionally, they offer complete integration with their intranet, so you don’t have to worry about manually checking their stock levels.

With headquarters in both the United States and Europe, they’re a great solution for covering both markets while ensuring that your business is profitable and free of tax and duties annoyances.

9. Fragrance

If you want to stock up on perfumes, Fragrance is one of the best dropship businesses to help you do it.

They carry fragrances from established brands such as Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, and Davidoff. Fragrance also offer gift sets and travel sprays, which can be great products to spice up your travel-focused dropship store.

Fragrance also has a full-fledged dropshipping program, and they ship out of the US.

10. Nova Engel

Finally, Nova Engel is a dropshipping company based in Spain. They specialize in perfumes, as well as other beauty products.

For drop shippers, they offer complete integration with their internal dropshipping platform.

If you need help starting up your website, they’ll connect you to their external partners to help you get going.

Nova Engel supply some of the hottest European products such as: Desigual, Prada, and Agualavanda. However, keep in mind that they only ship within Europe, with no options for shipping internationally so far.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Clothing

While clothing is the original drop shipping niche, there are still plenty of ways to keep your store fresh and interesting.

It doesn’t matter if you ship internationally or within the US, sell male or female apparel (or maybe clothing for the most precious members of our families).

You’ll find something stunning in the following companies’ catalogues:

11. Acess

If you drop ship within the UK, Acess is a great company for accessories and handbags.

They sell some of the trendiest (while very affordable) accessories to make your customers more stylish. Bags toted by influencers, warm scarves to keep your customers warm during the coldest days, stunning accessories… Not even the sky is the limit with Acess!

Acess also frequently offer sales and discounts, allowing you to maximize your profit margin while selling trendy products.

12. Axami

If you want to sell exclusive products that Europeans love, check out Axami.

They’re manufacturers of some of the most opulent lingerie in the European market.

And since they’re based in Poland, they can be a great partner for expanding your customer base.

Their lingerie collections are inspired by European and Oriental motifs, with collections vividly named: Venetian Mirror and Charme de Provence.

13. Brandsdistribution

If you’re looking to “stock up” on male and female apparel from renowned title brands such as Nike, Prada, and Michael Kors, Brandsdistribution is a great supplier.

In addition to having a formal dropshipping program and being based in Italy, Brandsdistribution also has a gated catalogue.

Your competition won’t know what you’re stocking up on, so you’re automatically improving your chances of earning more revenue and attracting a more exclusive clientele.

In order to access their catalogue as a dropshipper, you’ll have to opt for one of their monthly subscription plans. However, you won’t just be able to order amazing clothing; you’ll also have great tech support, with all the API and eCommerce platform integrations.

Stock updates are sent every 4 minutes, so you can run your business on autopilot.

14. BrandsGateway

European merchants, rejoice! BrandsGateway is a wholesale supplier based in Sweden, and their product directory is incredible.

BrandsGateway offer clothing from renowned brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Galliano, and Versace.

They’re the number one European marketplace for luxury brands, and their prices are phenomenal.

You’ll find plenty of markup opportunities just browsing the directory.

They also offer full dropshipping support. You’ll have to sign up for one of their plans, but you’ll have full access to all the products you need to take your dropshipping business to the next level.

15. Buy2Bee

If you want to sell exclusive luxury products and establish your brand on the market, Buy2Bee is a great drop shipper.

Based in Italy, they offer clothing and accessories from renowned brands such as Bottega Veneta, Chloe, Dsquared2, and many more.

You’ll bring a dash of the timeless Italian style to your store if you decide to incorporate their products into your standard offer.

Their catalogue is only viewable once you register with them. Your competition has no way of knowing what you’ll offer next, and we love Buy2Bee for it!

16. CollectiveFab

CollectiveFab is one of the best drop ship companies that offer full support for your store, automation included.

When you select your favorite pieces, you’ll be able to import them directly to your store. Inventory is automatically updated every four hours so you don’t have to worry about running out of stock.

CollectiveFab’s clothing is primarily inspired by boho trends, so if you want to attract new customers to your store, they’re a superb choice.

17. Clothes2Order

Clothes2order supplier

If you need professional or sporty clothing, you’ll find it on Clothes2Order.

This dropshipping supplier is based in the UK, and they offer some of the best sportswear, workwear, and teamwear you’ll find in Europe. If you or your clients want to customize clothing, you absolutely can.

All in all, Clothes2Order are a great choice for dropship stores that specialize in providing workwear and active wear.

And if your customers are in Europe, you’ll reach them easily with Clothes2Order.

18. CC Wholesale Clothing

CC Wholesale Clothing, working out of LA, is a great supplier if you attract an audience interested in trendy plus-size clothing.

Everyone who’s not a size 0 knows how hard it is to find clothing that fits and looks great.

If you stock your online store with CC Wholesale Clothing’s products, you’ll be solving a really pressing market need.

With their vast array of products, ranging from shoes and lingerie to accessories and regular apparel, they’re easily one of the most interesting dropshipping companies in 2020.

Additionally, CC Wholesale don’t charge a per order fee. It’s perfect for dropshipping!

19. Clothing Showroom

Are your customers looking for chic, versatile clothing? You’ll find it on Clothing Showroom.

This dropship supplier, based in LA, offers female apparel, plus size clothing, as well as special collections under the Lyss Loo label.

Their minimalist aesthetic comes at affordable prices (you can find beautiful maxi skirts at $8/piece), and it’ll help you attract more customers while also increasing your profit margin.

20. Matterhorn

If you want to get more customers by adding European-style clothes to your store, it’s time to check out Matterhorn.

They’re one of the best drop shipping companies in Europe.

Not only do they offer a variety of styles, but they also distribute Europe’s top brands such as Marko, MOE, and Lenitif. This means you’ll get access to brands your competitors haven’t even considered, giving you a competitive advantage.

Matterhorn also updates their catalogue every day; you can expect around 100 arrivals daily, giving you the chance to freshen up your store whenever you feel like it.

Even if you ship to customers in the US, you don’t have to worry. Matterhorn offers international shipping.

21. My Online Fashion Store

My Online Fashion Store is one of the leading female apparel dropshipping suppliers in the United States, and they’ve got plenty of products your customers are going to love.

They’ve primarily made their site with dropshippers in mind. It’s no surprise that their dropship program is one of the most flexible there are.

They offer integrations with all the major eCommerce platforms, including BigCommerce and WooCommerce, as well as access to their live inventory data.

If you’re only starting your business, My Online Fashion Store also offers a turnkey website solution.

My Online Fashion Store’s shipping fees start at $3.75 for one item, with the fee decreasing the more your customers order. For example, if your customers order 10 or more products, the shipping fee is $8.75.

There is also the option of customizing the packaging and ensuring that the shipment matches your brand.

22. Nordstrom

Nordstrom are beloved for their vast array of styles, and now they’re looking to expand their customer base with a dropshipping program.

In addition to choosing from Nordstrom’s product catalogue, you’ll also be able to use their Dsco integration.

Once you connect your store’s systems with Nordstrom’s solution, you’ll know exactly what’s in stock, and where the goods your customers ordered are.

If you want your store to become affiliated with style and pampering that Nordstrom represents, it’s time to sign up and choose the clothing your customers will love.

23. Trendsgal

Trendsgal is a global clothing drop shipping supplier with some of the lowest prices you can get.

In fact, they’re so sure of their pricing that they offer a best price guarantee.

You’ll find clothing for everyone in their catalogue: men, women, and even kids.

They frequently run sales, and have a $0.99 zone.

In general, their clothes are great markup opportunities as you’ll love the low wholesale prices, and your customers will love paying more for cute clothes.

Trendsgal also has a dropshipping program. You’ll receive timely alerts if the retail price of an item changes or if the merchandise goes out of stock.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Children and Toys

If your customers are stylish, they are going to want their tykes to be stylish, too. Similarly, kids’ toys are always in demand.

Who can say no to their kid’s baby blues?

Here are the drop ship companies that can help you improve your store offer and attract even more customers:

24. Bambini Infant Wear

Bambini Infant Wear isn’t just a drop ship company. They are also the manufacturers of some of the cutest clothes for kids.

They’re based out of Orange County, California, and they’ve been in business for 27 years now, making them one of the most reliable dropshipping suppliers.

Bambini also has a dropshipping program with no minimum order quantity and wholesale prices through and through.

There are no additional per-order fees; you and your customers only have to pay for the shipping.

25. Eleganter Australia

If you want to reach Australian customers with some of the most creative toys around, Eleganter Australia is a great choice!

This company has been steadily producing educational and entertaining toys for over 20 years, and they know how to offer something for everyone.

They have toys for infants, as well as toys for kids older than 8. All of this makes them a great one-stop shop if you want to stock up on cool toys.

Additionally, all the toys are tested for safety, and Eleganter mainly use natural materials to ensure that kiddos have safe fun!

26. Hibba Toys

Want to give your customers a royal toy experience? Look no further than Hibba Toys.

Not only are their beautiful, traditional toys loved by kids all over the United Kingdom, but they’ve also supplied a toy box for Prince George’s christening.

Hibba Toys offer ride-on toys, rockers and role-play toys, as well as other entertaining gifts for your favorite family members.

While they don’t have a formal drop shipping program, their toys are extremely high-quality and provide excellent markup opportunities for your English customers.

27. Hidey-Boo

If you want to expand your offer by including toys, Hidey-Boo is a great choice!

This supplier directory sells in the UK and the US, and they offer very cute plushies.

While their catalogue isn’t as vast as some other companies’ catalogues, their toys are high-quality and they offer plenty of customization and embroidery options to make your store stand out.

The folks at Hidey-Boo approach dropshipping and wholesaling from a boutique standpoint. They’re willing to help you adapt their products to your customers’ particular needs, proving themselves to be a great business partner.

28. Kidsdistribution

Kidsdistribution is a drop shipping website based in Europe, and they offer some of the cutest clothes in the ecommerce market!

You’ll be able to expand your offer by choosing kids’ outfits from some of the most popular brands such as John Galliano, Americanino, and Petit Bateau.

There’s something for everyone, and parents who want their kids to be as stylish as they are will love shopping the newest collections.

Kidsdistribution also have a special drop ship program.

You’ll have to subscribe to access their catalogue and ensure it’s synced with your online store. But the more you sell, the less you’ll have to pay for the subscription. If your monthly turnover is over €1,500, you won’t have to pay for access at all!

29. Pout in Pink

If you want to stock up on adorable baby and kids clothes, Pout in Pink is a great choice. Prices start at $4, and you’ll hardly find something more expensive than $20, which gives you a great markup opportunity.

Pout in Pink only charge $2 for dropshipping orders, which is great news. Their designs are so cute and stylish (while being affordable for you as the dropshipper) that you’ll be hard pressed to find a better kids’ clothing supplier.

All PiP orders ship out of Arizona.

30. Tigris Wholesale

Tigris Wholesale is known as the most notable kids’ toys dropship directory in the United Kingdom.

With warehouses in the UK, you can reach plenty of European customers by sourcing your products from Tigris.

They offer everything from sports toys (such as ride on cars) to musical instruments.

There’s plenty to pick from, and the wholesale pricing ensures you’ll have a great profit margin selling Tigris toys to people across Europe.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Electronics

Electronics are one of the most popular products to sell online.

The competition you might face will be stiff, but you’ll be able to reach millions of customers if you sell products from the best electronics dropshipping suppliers in 2020.

31. Albany Distributing

Albany is a great partner for store owners who want to sell some of the most popular name brands.

Albany Distributing allows you to source smartphones and consumer electronics from trusted name brands such as HP and Samsung.

They offer over 40,000 products in their catalogue, and they’re drop ship-ready. They don’t charge any handling or drop shipping fees, either.

You’ll be able to process orders through their intranet and integrate it with your store, ensuring that you don’t have to manually enter customer orders.

Finally, Albany Distributing is a first-level wholesaler. They get their products directly from manufacturers.

32. ASI Partner

If you want to offer high-quality electronics to your customers, ASI Partner is a great supplier.

They have long-standing tradition of working with some of the best companies in the market. If you choose them as your supplier you won’t have to worry about the quality of your products. Additionally, they’re based in California.

They offer products such as: retail goods (VR cameras, drones, and wearables), Intel gaming gear, notebooks, servers and processors, as well as video surveillance tech.

Becoming an ASI partner is the best way for your store to get more credibility and retain high-value customers.

33. Aulola

If you’re looking for an electronics supplier who can connect you with European customers, Aulola is your partner.

This UK-based company supplies numerous stores with consumer electronics.

From smart watches to consoles, you’ll certainly find something for your customers in their catalogue. They update their website with new arrivals often, and you can even look forward to discounts and sales.

Joining Aulola Dropshipping Program is completely free. However, they don’t seem to have a syncing solution, which makes them more suitable for eBay and Amazon dropshipping than direct eCommerce store dropshipping.

However, they make up for the technological challenges with their wide variety of products.

34. Birddog Lighting

Birddog is a great US-based supplier for seasonal goods!

People love buying holiday lights to decorate their homes at Christmas time. If you pair up with Birddog, you’ll be able to provide your customers with the lighting they need during the most special time of the year.

In addition to holiday lights and décor, Birddog also offer LED strip lights, neon lights, and LED bulbs and fixtures. They’re a great partner for attracting customers who need better (or cooler) lighting solutions.

Birddog Lighting’s products are some of the best in the market, so make sure you get in touch with them regarding your wholesale/dropshipping account.

35. Cost Tag

Selling consumer electronics is a great way to make your dropshipping business even more profitable. And when it comes to suppliers you can lean on, Cost Tag is the best of the best.

They’ve been in business since 2009, and their US locations allow them to get their products to your customers ASAP.

When it comes to their catalogue, Cost Tag has a great collection of products: audio and video, digital imaging, security systems, car audio, computers and tablets, appliances, musical instruments, and even games and toys.

Choose from a variety of high-quality manufacturers, and improve your store’s offer with Cost Tag!

36. CWR Marine Wholesale

If you’ve ever talked to anyone who owns a boat, you know how passionate they are about maintaining it. And if you work in the B2B space, you’re probably aware that marine tech is the most important thing to people behind the helm.

Fortunately, CWR Wholesale offer phenomenal marine tech solutions.

From satnav to plumbing and ventilation, they have everything you need to attract new customers to your store.

CWR also encourage dropshipping. Their model was created with dropshipping in mind, and once you join their program, you’ll have access to over 18,000 products in their catalogue.

They work with hundreds of manufacturers other electronics dropshipping suppliers don’t, so you’ll gain competitive advantage.

37. D&H

D&H is the trusted partner of numerous stores who serve different technological needs: consumer electronics, business and vertical solutions, higher education, and much more.

As a company with tradition of working with the best manufacturers, D&H ships their products out of the United States. Your customers’ next favorite purchase will be with them in just a few days!

They also offer premier-level customization, so becoming their partner is a great choice for improving your offer!

38. Hypercel

Branch out into the mobile accessories market and get fantastic markup opportunities by sourcing your products from Hypercel.

This dropshipping company based in California offers everything from power banks to headphones. You’ll find everything you need to keep your customers happy, and their phones running.

39. Kiko Wireless

Kiko Wholesale Group is one of the best dropshipping companies in the consumer electronics sector. They offer everything from accessories and peripherals to products from name brands such as Apple and Samsung.

However, their most popular products are smartphone accessories. You’ll find some of the best camera glass protectors and earphones in the market. This gives you a great markup opportunity.

Kiko Wireless products are amazing, and your customers are definitely going to love them as soon as you add them to your store!

40. Laptop Plaza

If you want to offer high-performance laptops to your existing and new customers alike, look no further than Laptop Plaza.

Laptop Plaza have been in business for over 20 years, and they foster relationships with leading manufacturers such as: Apple, Toshiba, Lenovo, and many others. While they are based out of Miami, they ship worldwide, and even offer dropshipping solutions.

You can choose between new and factory-refurbished laptops, depending on the needs of your customers.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Furniture and Home Decor

Furniture and home décor may not seem like intuitive dropshipping product choices, but the market for them is constantly expanding.

According to Furniture Today, companies in the furniture and home décor verticals are seeing incredible growth in online sales.

So why not use some of the following drop shipping companies to expand your offer?

41. Artisan

If your customers want to buy handmade furniture with tradition, this supplier based in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a great choice.

The folks at Artisan keep their woodworking roots in mind while designing the furniture. The final result are some of the most beautiful pieces in the world.

Artisan is a great choice for stores serving an exclusive clientele.

If you partner with Artisan, you’ll be able to provide products your competition doesn’t have. And in turn, you’ll get plenty of recurring business from people who want to furnish their home only with the best pieces.

42. Ashley Furniture

If you’re looking for reliable US-based furniture suppliers, you’ll love Ashley Furniture.

This company has experience in pleasing different clients’ needs, offering everything from rugs and lamps to kitchen sets and mattresses. Their products are affordable and they have a price match guarantee.

When you join their Trade Program (a dropshipping program), you’ll get access to high-quality furniture at wholesale prices. They have an impressive assortment of products spanning across styles from rustic to minimalist.

43. Fast Furnishings

If your customers are in the market for stylish and affordable furniture, you should partner with Fast Furnishings.

This drop-shipping company offers plenty of products in their catalogue; from room-specific furniture to accents and lighting fixtures.

You can even mix and match, playing with seasonality, and stock your online store with patio furniture when June rolls around.

You can get started drop shipping FF products for free. If you want to sync your store systems with theirs, you’ll have to subscribe to their Pro plan. However, FF offer free shipping and 10% off their online prices even with the free plan.

44. Geko Products

If you want to improve your store offer while reaching customers in Europe, the UK-based Geko Products is one of the best companies you could work with.

Geko offer plenty of home décor and home improvement products, including planters, vanity cases, and artificial plants. As the perfect mix of stylish and useful, Geko products are an excellent choice if your customers take pride in their living space.

They also have a formal dropshipping program. They have a dedicated dropship portal, and the annual membership is £30.

45. Koehler Home Décor

Koehler is one of the best home décor dropshipping suppliers. They offer a variety of products your customers can customize their homes with; from starburst mirrors to tabletop fountains.

When it comes to dropshipping, Koehler are Amazon FBA and dropshipping-friendly. And since they’re based in Oregon, you won’t have any problems reaching your American customers.

Their wholesale prices come with a significant discount, and they require no minimum order quantity. Dropshipping Koehler Home Décor products is a great way to improve your store offer while generating extra revenue!

46. Theo & Joe

If you want to dropship in Australia and your clients enjoy high-end furniture finds, Theo & Joe will be the perfect partners.

This furniture dropshipping company offers furniture, home décor, lighting and textiles inspired by opulent aesthetics. Come May, you’ll also find rattan furniture your customers will love!

If you run an online store catering to an exclusive clientele, you’ll love working with Theo & Joe. While their furniture is not cheap, their items provide excellent markup opportunities.

47. VIG Furniture

VIG Furniture is the best possible supplier for stores whose clients can’t get enough of European furniture design.

Their furniture is recognized for its sleek design, as well as VIG Furniture’s competitive pricing. You’ll be able to get great profit margins on furniture that has left many shoppers speechless!

Additionally, VIG Furniture have a great dropshipping program. With warehouses across the United States, your customers will receive their orders in no time.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Jewelry

Everyone loves shiny stuff! The following dropshipping suppliers offer some of the most stylish jewelry and watches in the market. Your customers are going to love them, so why not add them to your store?

48. Danforth Pewter

If you run an online store selling jewelry and unique gifts, Danforth is a great supplier to source your products from.

The folks at Danforth mainly work with pewter, crafting beautiful designs your customers will be able to choose for themselves or for the special people in their lives. You’ll find traditional jewelry and sets, as well as holiday ornaments and lighting accents.

Danforth Pewter are based in Vermont, so you’ll reach your American customers easily and quickly.

49. Gold N Diamonds

For the clients who love all the luxury money can buy, get in touch with Gold N Diamonds.

Gold N Diamonds was founded in 1995 and they are based in the United States. However, they ship internationally and strive to provide their clients and partners with beautiful jewelry at affordable prices.

They carry traditional jewelry, as well as wedding jewelry.

In order to participate in their dropship program, you’ll have to pay a $299 monthly subscription fee. However, it’s more than worth it if you want to attract a high-end clientele to your store.

50. Richard Cannon Jewelry

For sleek and beautiful diamonds and gold, look no further than Richard Cannon Jewelry.

This experienced wholesaler has been in business since 1999, when they opened the doors in the New York diamond district. Since then, they’ve been producing fine jewelry, as well as wholesaling other companies’ designs.

Richard Cannon Jewelry have a special dropship program.

The monthly fee is $29.99, making them one of the most affordable jewelry suppliers in the US.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Outdoor and Fitness Gear

There’s nothing people like going out in the nature.

However, in order to have a great time, you need the gear to do it. And when winter rolls around, your customers will go back to gyms.

Why not add all the products they’ll need to your store and generate even more revenue?

51. Alanic

If your customers are interested in stylish active wear, you’ll love working with Alanic.

This US-based dropshipping company offers fitness apparel for both men and women. They’ve also been active in the fitness community, so they’re well recognized on a global scale. Selling their products could help you establish yourself in the niche.

52. Arett

If your customers like poking around their gardens, expanding your offer to include garden tools, wearables and other gardening supplies is a great way to generate even more revenue from your store.

And when it comes to gardening, no supplier is better than Arett.

Based in the United States, they are reliable, offer plenty of products, and ensure that you have a smooth dropshipping experience.

53. Farris Brothers

If your customers love hunting, fishing, or sailing, you’ll find everything you need for your store at Farris Brothers’.

These wholesalers have been helping customers have the time of their lives outdoors since 1946.

They have experience, and they’re ready to help you provide only the best products to your customers.

Based in the U.S., you’ll have no problem reaching American customers when you source your products from Farris Brothers.

54. Fitness Zone

If your customers want to work out, it’s time you’ve provided them with the equipment they need!

Fortunately, Fitness Zone can help.

They have a variety of products you can drop ship; from fitness machines to saunas. They’re also a great choice if you work with B2B clients equipping their gyms and spas.

Fitness Zone operate out of Alabama, so they’re a great fit for your US-based customers.

Best Dropshipping Companies: Tools, Kitchenware, and Arts & Crafts Supplies

Finally, tools may not be glamorous, but plenty of customers are turning to online stores to find high-quality products at affordable prices.

55. Drop Ship Tools

Drop Ship Tools, based in Southern California, are one of the best suppliers for tools and similar products.

If your customers are working on home improvement projects, you’ll find plenty of products on Drop Ship Tools to complement your existing offer.

56. General International

If your customers are looking for woodworking and metalworking tools, General International is the right supplier to start working with.

This US-based manufacturer offers plenty of professional products; from saws to grinders and drill presses.

57. Fiskars

There’s no one like Fiskars to help you dropship high-quality gardening and yardcare products across the US. In additional to typical tools, Fiskars also offer kitchenware, arts & crafts supplies, and a lot more.

Since Fiskars has gone global, they are open to European dropshipping, as well as dropshipping within the US.

It’s best to check with them regarding their terms.

However, offering Fiskars products is a great way to reach new audiences and make sure that your store is right what it should be: your customers’ favorite place for new finds.

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eCommerce in 2020: Past, Present, & Future https://www.modalyst.co/blog/what-is-ecommerce/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/what-is-ecommerce/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2020 18:44:56 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/blog/?p=4868 Millions of potential customers, low overhead costs, and unlimited potential… eCommerce sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? However, before googling “how to start an eCommerce business,” it’s important to understand what eCommerce really is. In this article, we’re going to explain the most important aspects of eCommerce, show you how to start an eCommerce business, and […]

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Millions of potential customers, low overhead costs, and unlimited potential… eCommerce sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

However, before googling “how to start an eCommerce business,” it’s important to understand what eCommerce really is.

In this article, we’re going to explain the most important aspects of eCommerce, show you how to start an eCommerce business, and analyze the current trends to understand the future of this increasingly profitable industry. 

Let’s take a look!

What is eCommerce?

The term eCommerce, short for electronic commerce, signifies buying and selling products and services over the internet.  

Traditional commerce would require you to have a store. With eCommerce, you have an online store. 

You don’t have to be in the same room as your customers. The majority of your sales promotion and activities are conducted over the internet.

eCommerce comprises of different business models (for example, dropshipping), but in general, if it’s sold online, then it’s eCommerce.

You’ve probably encountered the following terms which can be used for eCommerce: 

  • Online shopping
  • Online retail
  • Online business
  • eTrade
  • eBusiness

It’s precisely because of the first term – online shopping – that eCommerce rose to popularity. 

Back in the 1990s, people weren’t willing to buy products online. However, we’re currently in a situation where both small businesses and major chains like Ikea and Walmart sell their products online.

But how did we get this far?

What is the History of Online Shopping?

While the idea of processing transactions over the internet started way back in the 1960s, and the first online shopper bought at an online Tesco store in 1981, online retail as we understand it today hasn’t gained traction until the 1990s.

The first purchase recognized as an online purchase took place in 1994, when The New York Times described how a man used the internet to buy a CD. 

In 1995, both Amazon and eBay were launched. The world wide web was chaotic at that point. According to Money.com, no one really knew where to find products they wanted to buy.

(Google it? Nope, Google didn’t appear until 1998.)

It wasn’t until 1999, when PayPal launched, that online shopping really gained traction. 

People were afraid of sharing their sensitive financial information with virtual strangers, especially when hackers could intercept their connection at any point.

When PayPal opened for business, things started looking up for eCommerce business owners.

Amazon.com booksAmazon in 1995
Source:
Business Insider

At the same time, the number of internet users rapidly grew. People finally understood how convenient it was to shop online. And with PayPal ensuring the financial transactions went off without a hitch, there was no longer anything to fear.

In 2000, the Census Bureau reported that online sales hit over $5 billion in the fourth quarter of 1999 alone.   

Even though the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, online shopping became a regular occurrence. 

More and more companies started selling online, with very few small businesses dabbling in eCommerce. Price-compare sites started popping up, allowing consumers to find the best deals. 

When Facebook launched in 2004, it became pretty clear that there was no turning back. 

The number of internet users grew to almost a billion, with more and more joining the world wide web. 

iPhones started enabling customers to use the internet on the go, and the whole world started shopping online.

By 2012, everyone was ready to swipe their cards or upload their products online, and eCommerce started becoming a viable business model, instead of simply a filler for brick and mortar stores.

Reviewing the history of eCommerce, a few things become immediately clear:

  • Consumers had to develop a habit of using the internet to get information and shop in order for eCommerce to gain traction.
  • The most pressing obstacle to online shopping in the 90s and early 2000s was security. After PayPal introduced their safer alternative to payment processing, more and more people started shopping online. 
  • The more the eCommerce tech developed, the easier it was for everyone to start shopping and selling online. Small businesses could easily get started with eCommerce after 2009, when Shopify launched its app

And while the early beginnings were rough, 2020 is the prime eCommerce time.

What is the state of the eCommerce Industry in 2020?

In 2020, it’s laughably easy to start an eCommerce business.

A potential eCommerce entrepreneur in 2020 doesn’t face the challenges entrepreneurs faced in 2005. 

Back then, you’d have to pay thousands of dollars for online storefronts.

Today, you can simply pick from some of the readily available eCommerce platforms such as Shopify. The majority of plans won’t cost you more than $50/month in the beginning.

In fact, if you decide to dropship, you don’t even have to store your products. 

In 2020, it’s completely possible to sell products without ever touching them yourself. 

There is an eCommerce service for every online shopping need.

Platforms like AliBaba connect online retailers with manufacturers and wholesalers. Even if you don’t want to sell products from China, you’ll find a vast variety of wholesale platforms that can connect you to American and European suppliers. 

In 2020, there’s something for everyone in eCommerce.

The eCommerce growth predictions of the early 2000s came true. 

In 2018, global eCommerce sales reached $2.93 trillion. It was predicted that they would grow to $3.46 trillion in 2019. That makes up for a significant portion of global retail sales, which surpassed $20 trillion in 2018.  

Plenty of that traffic came from Amazon; the platform was expected to account for over 37% of online sales in the United States in 2019.  

All in all, it seems we’re dealing with a thriving industry that shows incredible signs of growth. eCommerce is definitely not a passing fad, but a way of doing business in the 21st century.

We’re also seeing a lot of advanced trends being applied to small and mid-size eCommerce businesses, namely:

Artificial Intelligence and Automation for eCommerce

Contemporary tools allow eCommerce business owners to harness the power of artificial intelligence and automation for sales. Be that nurturing more potential customers through email marketing automation, or leveraging website chatbots that act as sales representatives, one thing is clear:

Advanced technology has never been cheaper, and online retailers are taking notice.

Social Retail

Social media started growing with Facebook, and it never stopped. It forms a whole technological bubble for certain customers. Platforms like Instagram are now allowing online retailers to process payments and transactions through their social network.

In-app shopping experiences are all the rage today, fueled by the influencer marketing model which works perfectly for eCommerce.

Instagram influencers for ecommerceSource: Mobile Marketing Magazine

Subscriptions

2010s also brought us a rise of SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. 

Instead of licensing tech tools, companies are now offering them to customers for a monthly subscription fee. The reduced costs make it much easier to start a business with all the necessary tools. 

Smarter Advertising

Since more and more consumers block traditional banner ads, online retailers are turning to inbound advertising. 

Consumers no longer randomly see ads; instead, every ad they see is hyper-personalized and caters to their interests, increasing conversion rates for retailers.

Advertising in 2020 is all about matching the potential customer’s intent, and giving them what they need. 

And all of this is just the tip of the very profitable eCommerce iceberg.

What Are the Different eCommerce Business Models?

While eCommerce is an umbrella term for businesses operating online, there are a few specific business models:

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is generally considered to be one of the best ways to get started with eCommerce.

One of the main advantages of dropshipping is cutting overhead costs

Traditional eCommerce requires you to store your products in a warehouse. But with dropshipping, you’re just selling them. The actual supplier takes care of handling and shipping. 

All you do is market products, process orders and take your cut.

Dropshipping vs Traditional Retail

Source: Hacker Noon

If you’re running a dropshipping eCommerce business, your main costs will be marketing and sales. You don’t have to pay the supplier/manufacturer for a single product until someone buys it through your site, and the money is deposited in your account.

So if you want to test the waters of eCommerce, dropshipping is a great starting point.

Private Labeling eCommerce Business Model

Where dropshipping focuses on reselling products that already exist, private labeling is the perfect eCommerce business model for entrepreneurs that have a great idea, but limited resources.

If you’re private labeling, you’ll be outsourcing product creation to manufacturers. 

Typically, those are overseas manufacturers in China. This is a bit more complicated but again, you’re still cutting costs as you won’t have to manufacture your products yourself.

In some cases, you can even have the manufacturer ship the products directly to your customers.

Whitelabel Business Model ChartSource: Ebanx

The other version of private labeling can be buying products from manufacturers, and adding your twist to them. 

For example, a tooth brush comes as a generic product. Then you ask the manufacturer to customize it (for example, change the color, add other features), and add your branding to the product. 

One of the main advantages of private labeling is certainly the ability to customize the product to your liking and branding.

All in all, private labeling is a sector with a huge potential. Its growth is predicted to quadruple in the next five years

White Labeling

While you can modify product specifications if you’re private labeling, you’ll make do with a generic product if you’re white labeling.

In that respect, white labeling is pretty similar to dropshipping. You can customize your packaging, but you can’t customize anything about the product.

To put it simply: it’s take it or leave it.

When it comes to white labeling, your niche matters

You’ll face a lot of competition, so it’s important to conduct extensive research prior to selecting the products you’ll offer in your online store. 

eCommerce entrepreneurs that focus on white labeling typically differentiate their products either through pricing (being cheaper than competitors), or by adding value with useful content and branding.

Print-on-Demand

This eCommerce business model is a great fit for artists and creatives.

Print-on-demand is exactly what it says on the tin: the printing company takes their cut from customers when they order your products. 

Normally, you don’t have to pay anything in advance to print books, canvases, T-shirts, mugs, and other products. There are no overhead costs per se; you don’t need a warehouse. 

You just need a great website and a steady stream of customers. 

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing is a great example of a print-on-demand service for books, while Printful gives you the opportunity to sell anything from mugs to hoodies.  

However, if you’re interested in this business model, you’ll have to put your best marketing foot forward. Branding and customer service are crucial to your success with this eCommerce model.

Subscription-Based eCommerce Business Models

Finally, while eCommerce is online retail, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to offer subscription-based services.

You can create a subscription business like the Dollar Shave Club, who send regular shipments of shaving products to their subscribers. 

Wanderer hygiene productsSource: Dollar Shave Club

You can also create a membership website with courses and learning materials.

Not even the sky is the limit; you can sell just about anything online!

The main advantage of subscription-based eCommerce businesses is the fact that you’re getting recurring revenue. However, in order to retain customers, you’ll have to focus on product quality and customer service

Traditional eCommerce

Finally, there is also the option of doing everything yourself while operating an online storefront. This is the so-called traditional eCommerce business model, also known as warehousing and wholesaling. 

It’s your run-of-the-mill Walmart eCommerce. 

The only difference between traditional retail and online retail is the fact that you’re selling products online, and not (just) in a brick and mortar store. 

Everything else stays the same; from inventory management, to handling and shipping. 

Additionally, if you’re in the B2B sector, you can also offer discounts for customers who order in large quantities. This is the wholesaling part of the model. 

Ikea.com product page

Ikea’s webshop is a great example of traditional eCommerce with wholesaling and warehousing

If you already run a profitable business but you haven’t created an online storefront yet, then it pays to consider this eCommerce model. 

What are the pros of e-Commerce?

You Can Sell Wherever You Want to Sell

With traditional commerce, you’re either limited to your geographical area, or you have to worry about logistics and additional costs to deliver your products to customers not in your immediate vicinity. 

eCommerce overcomes this barrier. 

Regardless of your business model, there are services you can use to handle and ship products across the world. Talk about increasing your revenue!

Low Costs

eCommerce significantly reduces overhead costs. 

Even if we just start from the fact that you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars for rent, it becomes pretty clear that eCommerce generates a better return on investment.

Yes, you’ll need to pay for a website and subscriptions to eCommerce platforms, but you still won’t have to shell out thousands of dollars – a standard requirement when managing traditional stores. 

24/7 Sales

One of the best things eCommerce store owners get to experience is waking up to find out that you’ve earned a lot of money overnight. 

Unlike regular stores, your online store stays open 24/7. And with automation tech, you can run advertising, order processing, and shipping on autopilot.

Personalization

Personalization works great for marketing, but it also works great for customer experience. Your automation tools will know exactly what (potential) customers want to buy, allowing you to up-sell and cross-sell easier than ever before.

Scalability

It’s really, really easy to scale an eCommerce business. You don’t even have to hire more employees. All you have to do is improve your marketing game, and customers will come pouring in.

Entrepreneurs who start out with a few dozen customers often end up with thousands as soon as they invest into strategic marketing, advertising, and re-targeting. 

What are the cons of e-Commerce?

Where there are advantages, there are disadvantages. 

Fortunately, eCommerce doesn’t have plenty:

Consumer Behavior

Often, people want to try products before they buy them. Unfortunately, for the majority of B2C eCommerce businesses, this just isn’t a possibility. 

You can mitigate this by offering size charts for clothing, and implementing similar strategies.

Reliance on Technology

When you run an online store, you rely on the technology powering it; from website hosting, to automation tools connecting your storefront with your suppliers’ inventory. 

Normally, this isn’t a problem at all. However, if your website crashes, your customers won’t be able to access it, so it pays to invest in reliable hosting.

eCommerce Is Highly Competitive

eCommerce has a low barrier to entry because of the reduced start-up costs. 

Unfortunately, if anyone can start a business, then it’s bound to be more competitive.

The key is in differentiating your product and your brand. A good marketing strategy and high-quality products will go a long way towards increasing your market share.

Can anyone do eCommerce?

Not exactly.

Some products and services are simply not a good fit for eCommerce. 

For example, you can’t really imagine a plumber selling their services online, whereas for a marketer, that’s completely normal.=

However, eCommerce works really well for products and services that don’t require you to be in the immediate physical vicinity of your customers.

Similarly, eCommerce might not be a good fit if your target customers are older than 70. While the times are changing, older generations may still be wary of technology – especially if your products come with a hefty price tag. 

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, so make sure you conduct your own research.

Finally, it’s important to understand that eCommerce is not a get-rich-quick scheme

It takes time and strategy to successfully run an online store. If you’re not very tech savvy, you should invest in courses and education.

However, eCommerce’s main advantage is flexibility. 

So even if it looks like you couldn’t use it on paper, make sure you do your own research, and make the best decision for your unique business.

The 10 Most Popular eCommerce Platforms to Start Your Online Business

Shopify

At this point, Shopify is the go-to solution for eCommerce sites. In fact, it’s widely considered to be the best eCommerce platform, with a Capterra rating of 4.5/5

It comes with an eCommerce website builder, as well as hundreds (if not thousands) of additional integrations to attract new customers, and improve their experience. 

Shopify also offers shipping discounts if you ship with their partners, and other perks such as point-of-sale apps and Shopify Payments gateway. 

Shopify plans start from $29/month.

WooCommerce

If you want to run your eCommerce website on WordPress, WooCommerce is a great solution.

Woocommerce ecommerce platform

Not only does it integrate with WordPress, but WooCommerce is also an open-source platform. If you want additional features, you can have a developer customize your website. This is usually not the case with other platforms.

Just like Shopify, WooCommerce also has plenty of integrations to pick from.

WooCommerce is actually a free eCommerce platform. However, you’ll need to pay for WordPress domain and hosting. 

SquareSpace

SquareSpace was originally designed as a visual, drag & drop website builder, but they do offer eCommerce features. 

Squarespace ecommerce platform

It’s a good choice for everyone who needs an aesthetically appealing website to sell their products.

SquareSpace plans for eCommerce start from $18/month.

BigCommerce

Similarly to Shopify, BigCommerce is considered to be one of the best eCommerce platforms today. It’s rich with features and eager to please eCommerce business owners. 

Bigcommerce ecommerce platform

One notable difference between BigCommerce and competitors like Shopify is that their platform was made for wholesalers and B2B businesses, as well.

BigCommerce pricing plans start from $30/month. 

Magento

Magento is a great, open-source eCommerce platform. 

It’s a great choice if you want to supercharge your business from the very first day.

Magento ecommerce platform

In addition to providing standard eCommerce features, Magento Commerce also offers business intelligence, merchandising, and other tools. 

It’s a great choice if you’re already running a profitable business and want to expand.

BigCartel

If you’re an artist or a creator looking to sell your products online, BigCartel is a sound choice. 

Bigcartel ecommerce platform

BigCartel plans start at less than $10 per month, and they depend on your product quantity. This is what makes it a great fit for creators with just a few products.

Wix.com

Originally known as a website builder, Wix has recently branched into eCommerce. 

Wix ecommerce platform

Wix is more than just an eCommerce website builder. 

They recently partnered with Modalyst, a supplier platform, so it’s even easier to find products you love and display them in your online store.

Pricing starts from $17/month, with 25GB of storage and $75 ad vouchers. You can also create a free eCommerce website before paying for any plans. 

3D Cart

3D Cart is one of the smaller eCommerce software players, but they still offer the functionality you need to get your online business up and running.

3dcart ecommerce platform

They’ve also been named as the best eCommerce platform for SEO by PCMag. If you plan on making SEO a vital part of your marketing strategy, 3D Cart is a solid choice.

3D Cart pricing starts from $19/month, with no transaction fees. 

PrestaShop

If you like open-source platforms that allow you to customize everything about your eCommerce sites, you’ll love PrestaShop.

Prestashop ecommerce platform

While the platform itself is free, add-ons and integrations can be between $50 and $150. 

Weebly

Another website builder has joined eCommerce ranks: Weebly.

Weebly ecommerce platform

Weebly has joined the race relatively late, but they’re still used by thousands of eCommerce business owners. It’s not surprising, since their plans start from $12/month – perfect for testing the waters of eCommerce!  

Can smaller eCommerce Websites compete with Amazon and eBay?

No, but you shouldn’t want to compete anyway.

Amazon and eBay’s main strength is in their search engines

They’re the go-to resource for millions of shoppers every day. It’d be pointless to compete with that. However, a good online store that’s renowned for its products and beloved by its customers can go much further. 

No, dreams of making it as big as Amazon are nearly impossible. But it is possible to run a profitable and successful business by using both your website, and big sites like Amazon. 

You can list your products on both, while keeping your branding on point.

This way, you always have an online storefront to sell through, even if Amazon and eBay change their rules and algorithms (and it happens more often than you think). 

At the same time, you’ll be getting traffic and sales from them.

It’s a win-win! 

Just make sure you check the rules, especially if you’re dropshipping. Amazon and eBay require you to control products for quality before shipping them to customers. This is especially true for eBay, which states that you shouldn’t list products you don’t have in your possession. 

Mobile ecommerce

What Is the future of eCommerce?

The future of eCommerce is exciting!

If you want to stay ahead of the game, the most important eCommerce news to keep an eye on are:

  • Private labeling. Big players like Walmart cut their costs by private labeling products. Private labeling is a great way to scale your business without billions of dollars in funding. 
  • Automation and personalization. Consumers prefer personalization. Fortunately, today it’s not hard to set up your marketing engine so that it only shows customers products they are interested in.
  • Mobile retail matters. Your website has to be as functional and engaging on mobile as it is on desktop. By 2021, 59% of sales will take place on mobile devices, so make sure you’ve future-proofed your online business.
  • New markets. eCommerce is growing all over the world, not just in the US. And as more people from different regions get used to the idea of online shopping, you’ll be getting access to new markets. 
  • Omnichannel experiences. Don’t forget about the power of social retail. Your customers want to engage with your brand on social media, in pop-up stores, and through email. 

Back in the day, we used to say that content was king.

But when it comes to the future of eCommerce, experience is king. 

Additional Resources to Learn about eCommerce

eCommerce classes and courses: 

Platform blogs and tutorials: 

eCommerce news:  

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Reap the Benefits of AI and Chatbots for Your Dropshipping Business https://www.modalyst.co/blog/benefits-of-ai-chatbot-for-dropshipping-business/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/benefits-of-ai-chatbot-for-dropshipping-business/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2020 21:15:35 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/blog/?p=4816 We’ve come a long way since those early days where data scientists needed to predict a customer’s needs all on their own and be lucky enough to have come to the right conclusion. Today, more and more companies implement AI and chatbots to optimize customer service and gather data that will enable them to not […]

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We’ve come a long way since those early days where data scientists needed to predict a customer’s needs all on their own and be lucky enough to have come to the right conclusion.

Today, more and more companies implement AI and chatbots to optimize customer service and gather data that will enable them to not just make predictions but data-driven decisions that will help them down the line. 

Hence the need for email marketing and marketing automation platforms -like Moosend, which is one of the best Constant Contact alternatives out there- that can help out with tasks as large as data analysis.

And, as all businesses need email marketing, all businesses need the super-pro type of segmentation and personalization that AI can offer them. 

Furthermore, chatbots have come to be an exceptional tool, both as a means to achieve interaction on a landing page, thus generating leads, and to create a better customer service department. 

Chatbots, in this sense, will manage to automatically sort out the “easy” questions and leave the agents to tackle the more important issues.

Do you think that your dropshipping business should be an exception? This is a rhetorical question, of course. The answer should always be no. So, let’s begin!

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Let’s start with the basics. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a pretty old concept. 

AI refers to the ability of a machine to “mimic” human intelligence, thus enabling it to learn rules, remember information, apply basic principles to that information, come to conclusions and correct itself whenever necessary.

It doesn’t take an expert to understand that these traits can turn AI technology to the best salesperson you’ve ever had. 

Let’s see how!

1. It can help with personalization

It’s not a secret anymore and it doesn’t seem like a fad that will fade within the next couple of years. Personalization is here to stay, and it’s no surprise. After all, since the beginning of time, people trusted the ones that could sell them something they actually needed.

AI can help with that, like nothing else. 

As a matter of fact, it can take the data generated by the customer’s personal choices, analyze it and make the most of it by recommending something similar or something just as interesting, as is the case with Amazon’s recommendations or Apple’s famous Siri.

Of course, it can -and will- help your dropshipping business. Consider the following: You want to make personalized recommendations for people to get hooked, whether this is on a landing page of yours, or on your website.

AI can help with that, on a one-on-one basis no less, identifying and predicting behaviors and preferences creating more segments and taking into account more parameters than a data analyst could, also eliminating the human error factor.

2. It can keep your leads’ list clean and tidy

Put a machine to the test, and be sure that it will analyze the data in a way that a human wouldn’t be able to – mainly because of the volume. 

Now, all data contain patterns that could be invisible to the human eye, however, they could be more than obvious to a machine, enabling it to analyze, come to conclusions and “feed” businesses and sales teams with the leads they need to be focusing on.

These leads can be one-offs, repeaters, anything at all. AI will sort them into proper lists and check which ones need to be used by the sales team, which ones will find value in upselling or cross-selling and which ones need some more time to “mature” and convert.

Essentially, through AI, you can make educated decisions that would otherwise be partly data-driven and partly guesstimates, as far as your funnel is concerned. 

With AI, your dropshipping business can lead prospects, customers and anyone and everyone in-between, further down the sales funnel.

3. It can improve your email marketing endeavors

Don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming. AI is ideal for email marketing, as I mentioned in the beginning. 

Let me explain the hows and whys since your dropshipping business needs email marketing as much as online stores and brick-and-mortar stores do.

First of all, AI can segment your list faster and more effectively than any human could do, seeing as data is its main source of energy.

Secondly, list segmentation can lead to personalization when it comes to emails, from content and design to products, recommendations, upsell and cross-sell opportunities -remember the funnel I mentioned before? 

AI will take various demographics like education, age, and budget into account, as well as factors like previous orders, browsing behavior and so on and so forth.

These factors will help determine the CTAs that are more appropriate and, seeing as the CTAs will be more than one, can help you with A/B testing.

But CTAs are not the only thing that can be tested, right? 

AI can utilize all the information it can gather and make content suggestions, body copy and subject line suggestions, identify trends and so on and so forth. 

And you already know what that means when it comes to A/B testing and an email campaign in general.

Combine all these factors and what you’ll get will be a highly segmented, highly personalized email campaign.

Now let’s move on to the second part of our article… Chatbots.

Chatbots: A definition

A chatbot is exactly what its name indicates: a little bot that pops up in a chatbox and holds a conversation with the user that happened to browse at that moment. 

As evident, a chatbot is an AI appliance that aims to act as a customer service agent.

And how can this bot help your conversion?

Chatbots eliminates waiting time

It’s true. A chatbot replies to any and all people that will message it. You can just go ahead and personalize everything, from the name and picture of the bot, down to its messages and how it can distribute information.

Mind you, waiting time isn’t just a “Please hold” message. It’s also an “I’ll get back to you as soon as possible” that went amiss or even a very detailed search in blogs, posts, websites and FAQs.

A chatbot can help resolve all that and acquire valuable data at the same time, seeing as it will need to ask a question or two, in order to serve the customer. 

So, the customer will be happy and you will be happy with your data as well.

Not to mention that a chatbot can be so engaging as to become, along with AI, one of your best salespeople with personalized recommendations and offers a prospect won’t refuse that easily.

Talk about a win-win!

Chatbots can boost sales

Much like its Momma, AI, a chatbot can boost sales by walking a customer through the whole signing up and picking out an item process. 

It can make the experience more fun and interactive altogether, while driving sales and revenue.

Let me put it this way: Signing up for something is a tedious process. But I’d gladly sign up if I wanted to check out some shoes with my best friend. 

And I wouldn’t abandon my cart if I was chatting and doing something fun at the same time, seeing as mood can play a major part in the whole process of a purchase. And I won’t need to clarify what I’m looking for, too many times.

Not to mention that, if a great interactive quiz popped up into my screen and I answered questions with the help of a chatbot that would help me decide on the actions I should take to make the most of what your dropshipping business has to offer me, I would most likely be hooked.

Really, I would buy more and more if a good salesperson had something of value to recommend, and chatbots and a quiz are great at upsells, cross-sells and recommendations.

Chatbots automates the whole process

The great thing about chatbots is not just the fact that they’re great at selling just the right thing at the right time.

Leaving your customer service and sales alone and granting them the time and energy to tackle some real issues that could potentially be harmful is one of the realest benefits of the use of chatbots, especially in businesses like dropshipping.

Most people need to know working hours, how they can contact the business, if there is a discount on a product, delivery dates and so on and so forth. These are questions a chatbot can be great at answering.

On the other hand, not too many prospects need a refund, are angry because they received a damaged product or have never received their item. And they’re the ones in need of immediate assistance. 

If they’re happy, they’ll keep coming back for more, saving you the money and effort of finding new customers.

So, let the chatbot deal with trivial things like giving out information on the company, light sales to top-funnel customers and product suggestions. 

And allow your sales and customer service teams to deal with the “heavy stuff” that can drive a prospect further down the funnel and keep them happy enough to come back for a little more of you.

The use of chatbots, especially combined with AI, email marketing, and teams that are there to keep customers happy-as-a-lark and pleased with the overall service of your dropshipping business, shows a company that is transparent and can help you boost your ARR and MRR churn efforts.

And that’s it for today!

There are many uses for chatbots and AI apart from conversion, of course. AI can be successfully used in medicine, for example, or engineering, or some other uses I’ll let you think of…

And tell me down in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to ask any questions and share the knowledge!

Author Bio:

Téa is a Content Writer working for email marketing software Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with.

Tea at Moosend

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Is Dropshipping Still Worth It in 2020? https://www.modalyst.co/blog/is-dropshipping-worth-it/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/is-dropshipping-worth-it/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 16:39:37 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/blog/?p=4782 Dropshipping is easily one of the most trendy business opportunities on the web over the last decade. Many entrepreneurs have been in this industry since the 1950s, when mail order companies were born. These businesses consisted of mailing catalogs to every corner of the country and receiving orders and payments by mail.Then these orders, in […]

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Dropshipping is easily one of the most trendy business opportunities on the web over the last decade.

Many entrepreneurs have been in this industry since the 1950s, when mail order companies were born. These businesses consisted of mailing catalogs to every corner of the country and receiving orders and payments by mail.Then these orders, in many cases, would be outsourced to a warehousing and distribution company, who would pick, pack and ship the goods. This part of the value chain was known as the drop shipper. Many door to door salesmen also used drop shipping manufacturers and distributors to fulfill customer orders.

Fast forwarding a few decades later, Amazon became one of first to drop ship on the web, using Seattle based book distributors to send orders directly to online shoppers. Amazon used drop shipping so successfully that it grew into the world’s largest retailer. Today Amazon has its own warehousing facilities, but still utilizes drop shipping for some of its products.

So, with 2020 arriving, it’s time to ask, is dropshipping worth it this year and this decade? 

Before we answer the question, let’s define what dropshipping is and how it works. 

Dropshipping defined

What is drop shipping? In this type of ecommerce business model, three separate parties are involved: the buyer (of the product), the drop shipper (the seller of the product), and the supplier (the manufacturer or third-party in possession of the product). The dropshipper markets and sells directly to the buyer, and then sends the order details to the dropshipping supplier. The supplier accepts the order and then drop ships the product directly to the buyer.

In essence, the seller of the product doesn’t need to warehouse or fulfill the product direct the product to sell it to the buyer. The drop shipper merely connects the buyer and manufacturer, oftentimes without the buyer knowing that the seller and manufacturer are not the same party. 

This is the big difference between drop shipping and other means of retailing since the seller does not stock any products but depends wholly on the third party to fulfill its retailing needs.

How dropshipping works

The typical first step in starting a dropshipping business would be to set up an online store. Fortunately, creating a store has never been easier, as many vendors, including Shopify and Wix, offer support on starting one. 

Once the store is set up, you can either seek suppliers in a specific area or use applications to connect the store with suppliers. The store is now well equipped to take orders from clients. After receiving orders and confirming that all details are correct, the next step is to deliver the order to the supplier. The supplier then ships the product to the client directly. 

Another different approach is buying products on an online store, for example, Amazon, and dropshipping them on another site, like eBay. Dropshipping on eBay, of course, has a lot of restrictions depending on the online platform used. It is, therefore, essential to be familiar with how to dropship on eBay before pursuing this fulfillment strategy. 

What brings in the money?

As previously established, the drop shipper doesn’t have direct contact with the products. By merely sending the order to the supplier and shipping information to the buyer, how would you make money? Let us see what costs are incurred first, then what brings in the profit. 

Since this is an online store, the only apparent cost is maintaining a website. Some of the website costs are creating an online store, getting a domain name, and sourcing products connected to your sites such via Modalyst, Oberlo and Dropified. 

Just like any other business, another cost is marketing. The most common means of marketing online are social media ads, display ads, and search engine marketing (SEM). In the long run, other marketing methods like search engine optimization and content marketing would be added to the mix. 

The business will also have to incur customer support costs whenever issues with the product or delivery occur. You will also have to pay the supplier the price indicated for their product.

Dropshipping websites earn money on the difference between the amount the client pays and the supplier’s price. The product must be priced a bit higher than the suppliers’ bid to make a profit. As a general rule, the margin must be high enough to cover the other recurring costs while not being too expensive.

Is dropshipping legal?

Good news: dropshipping online is perfectly legal! 

There are no existing laws barring anyone from running a drop shipping company. Depending on the country, however, some regulations govern how such activities are run. For people who drop ship between online platforms, there are also a few additional regulations for each website. 

It’s crucial to know these restrictions beforehand and to use them to your benefit (within legal means, of course!)

Has dropshipping died in the last decade, or is it still going strong?

This is a question every drop shipping website has to answer very often on surveys and social media and is a hot topic on question-answer websites such as reddit. As most of the tech sector does, new methods emerge ever so frequently and always lead to the death of the old.

Is dropshipping on its way to the grave then?

Absolutely not! Learning how to start a dropship business is still going as strong as ever. In fact, the industry has been on a steady increase despite taking a slight dip in 2018, according to Google Trends data. The business is doing well both in the US and all over the world. The graph, focused on the last five years alone, shows that many people still view dropshipping favorably and even has a bright future ahead.

Now that it’s clear that dropshipping is still an in-thing in 2020 and probably the decade, here are a few reasons why the prime time to jump on the train is now:

1. Close to zero initial capital required

Aside from the costs incurred in setting up a website and a little on marketing, there are no upfront costs needed, such as getting office space and equipment.

2. Online marketing is getting easier to do

Even if you have zero experience doing online marketing, there is a lot of content online created to help you. If you’re the adventurous type, online courses and coaches are in oversupply on the internet. For a more hands-off approach, plenty of marketing managers and full-service companies are there to help at a price you can afford.

3. Manufacturers and shippers are embracing dropshipping

Although most of these companies seemed skeptical at first, more and more are getting on board. Why? Dropshipping opens up a market that they wouldn’t have accessed on their own. If it helps to sell, why not add it to the options available?

4. Online payments are more effective

As internet technologies are getting better, so are online payment technologies. These payment options are becoming more accessible, more reliable, and more secure, gaining the trust of the clients and online drop shippers alike. These methods are also available in most countries across the globe, reducing the limitations and opening up the market.

5. Ecommerce is wildly growing

More and more people are getting connected to the internet and are getting addicted to their devices. As the internet time every day is getting more, so is ecommerce. Many people prefer ordering items online and getting them delivered to the doorstep. If you can provide such a service, then you are on the winning side.

Advantages of running a dropshipping business

Without a doubt, dropshipping is a very valid business model for 2020. But what are the benefits of running such an enterprise? Here are some of them:

Minimal capital is required to run

This is probably the most significant drop shipping benefit. It is now almost effortless to launch an online store and run a dropshipping business without investing a lot of capital into it. This is because, unlike traditional companies, there is no need to acquire inventory, and there are virtually no overhead costs to take care of. The dropshipping model allows you to get started immediately, shipping products whenever they are needed. It is also less risky since you have no inventory to worry about from threats like theft and spoilage. 

Easy to get off the ground

Dropshipping takes the stress out of running an e-commerce store. Since the dropshipper has no contact with the products, there is no need to fret about packaging, tracking, and the delivery of the products to the client. There is even no thought of stocking and restocking and managing a warehouse. Seems easy enough already!

Low overhead costs

Many dropshipping businesses are run from homes and coffee shops with little more than a functioning laptop and a working internet connection. Overhead costs typical to a traditional store such as purchasing stock and maintaining a warehouse are unheard of. Apart from a few recurrent expenses, the cost of running a dropshipping business is relatively low. Even if the company upscales, the rise in expenditure still leaves more profit on the plate compared to traditional storefronts. 

High level of flexibility

A dropshipping business can be run anywhere in the world with access to a computer/ mobile device and an internet connection. As long as customer orders are taken smoothly and products delivered with smooth communication, the business is good to go from anywhere comfortable.

Many niches available to choose from

You can sell anything you want on the internet, period! Since there is no pre-ordering of stock, you can choose to offer a wide range of products on your site to choose from as long as the supplier has them in stock. Some drop shippers prefer to specialize in a specific niche without much competition, but that is entirely up to you. New products are also launched almost daily, so the list of opportunities to choose from is never short. 

Testing new products is easier

Unlike traditional stores that stock up on their items before selling them, drop shipping test products is significantly more comfortable. A whole line of products or even single ones can be tested in the market without stocking on them, reducing the potential danger of buying an item rejected by the market. Since there is no commitment to purchase stock, if the product does not work in the market, no enormous losses are incurred. If the market also accepts the products, they are ordered on request- the minimal risk involved. 

Easier to upscale

More orders usually mean more work for traditional retailers as they have to put in more work to get the additional requests done. This is not the case for dropshipping companies. Apart from the need to get additional customer support staff and a few other sales requirements, drop shippers generally have an easier time upscaling their businesses. The further orders are handled by the manufacturer or supplier of the product, allowing the business to grow with minimal effort and investment. 

Is Dropshipping profitable?

An honest answer is both a yes and a no.

Why yes? The dropshipping business model is highly rewarding for those who have the dedication to make it work for them. And it will definitely not be so for those looking at it as a quick cash-making mechanism because it simply isn’t. 

The right approach to drop shipping would be to check up on the ideal profit margins you want to make and whether you’re willing to put in the work (a lot of work, mind you) to make it a reality. 

A few challenges to note before embarking on a dropship lifestyle.

We’re sorry if we’ve made setting up a dropshipping site look so glamorous! Drop-shipping, too, has a downside. Here’s what to expect:

Profit margins are low

Since dropshipping doesn’t require a lot to start, the barrier to entry for competition is very low. Competing stores go for the lowest prices in the market just to stay afloat. This means that the stores are willing to sacrifice profits in the race for customers, and hence to make a decent profit, they need to sell a lot of items. 

Most stores operate on the bare minimum- low-quality service, less customer service, and sometimes even lower quality products. This doesn’t mean that prices won’t be compared – in fact, they usually are.

A good rule of thumb when setting up a site is choosing a niche with lower competition (in volume) and higher ticket sizes to carve out a decent unit profit.

Inventory complexities

If you were running your own store, it would be easy to know when an item was out of stock or no longer in production. Real-time management of stock is a pain in the neck for retailers, especially when dealing with multiple warehouses and on items that quickly go out of stock.

In the recent past, however, developments in the industry have alleviated the problem by syncing drop shippers and suppliers. These apps allow the dropshipper to check the amount of stock the supplier has in real-time. Some like Oberlo even make automated decisions on your behalf. This includes taking the product off the site or marking it as out of stock on your store. 

Shipping can be problematic

Transportation is one of the biggest nightmares for the dropshipping industry. As much as you may want to provide the best services for your clients, the shipping process is in the hands of the supplier. If you work with multiple suppliers, shipping products from different suppliers to the same client becomes a bit complex and comes with added costs. 

Suppliers can make mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes, and suppliers have their fair share of errors. From low-quality items and bad packaging to missing or damaged items, suppliers can make blunders that may ruin your store’s reputation. Most of the time, you may have to personally take the blame and apologize for supplier errors, which, in most cases, you had no part in!

Customization and branding options are limited

As already stressed enough, drop shippers have no contact with actual products. This implies that there are few options to custom-make items and deliver them to the client as these are often done by the supplier. 

Making changes to products also requires a significant number of items to be economically valuable, which your orders may not reach. Sometimes, the supplier may accommodate these changes, but these decisions are entirely at the supplier’s hands. 

Final thoughts

All the facts have been laid plain on the table. All the benefits, the downsides, and the processes have (hopefully!) been greatly simplified. All this dropshipping business may seem overwhelming at first. Still, once you get the hang of it, you’re well on your way to making a few extra bucks to supplement or even become your primary income source. 

Another good thing is that business experience is not a must. However, individuals with business knowledge obviously have a better chance of making it. Numerous resources are available on the internet for a competitive price or even for free. Not everything will be covered in these lessons though, and the rest will come later with a bit of experience. 

With this in mind, dropshipping is undoubtedly not for everyone. It is not a business strategy to make millions overnight. For many entrepreneurs, the reality that a successful dropshipping business takes lots of time and effort can be frustrating. Some employers also have a strict policy on side-jobs. If your company is one of these, you might want to stay on the right side of the law unless you’re absolutely sure you want to dive in at the risk of your job. 

The best dropshipping websites invest prioritize their business. If time isn’t a currency you’re swimming in, think twice before starting a store. If you are multitasking drop shipment with your job, the business may negatively impact your career. If this is a risk you are not willing to take, steer clear of the industry. 

That said, drop-shipping is still alive and well, and anyone with the limited resources needed, some time in their hands, and a dedication for business can do well. If you’re looking to start your own store, it’s never been an easier time to take the leap!

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How to Start Dropshipping on eBay: All You Need to Know https://www.modalyst.co/blog/dropshipping-on-ebay/ https://www.modalyst.co/blog/dropshipping-on-ebay/#respond Thu, 23 Jan 2020 20:46:51 +0000 https://mdlst2020prod.wpengine.com/blog/?p=4773 Virtually everyone in the modern world has at some point made a purchase online. Ecommerce started off as a convenient solution for shoppers’ problems. Today, it is the dominating force in the field of trade – dictating how a large portion of businesses operate. Out of the 7.5 odd billion people on earth, it was […]

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Virtually everyone in the modern world has at some point made a purchase online. Ecommerce started off as a convenient solution for shoppers’ problems. Today, it is the dominating force in the field of trade – dictating how a large portion of businesses operate. Out of the 7.5 odd billion people on earth, it was reported that about 1.8 billion of them were global shoppers. According to Statista, eCommerce even accounted for 14.1% of all retail sales as well. This figure is slated to reach 19% by the year 2021.

It isn’t surprising that entrepreneurs everywhere want to carve themselves a slice of this lucrative pie. Manufacturers and suppliers are getting savvier, while resourceful marketers are finding ways to simplify the process.

What Dropshipping Actually is

The boom of eCommerce birthed a business model called ‘dropshipping’. The term has been misconstrued and even overused across various channels – but what exactly does it mean?

Dropshipping is a method of retail fulfillment in which the seller or store does not hold physical inventory of their own. They instead depend on third-party manufacturers and suppliers to source their products. The shop or seller purchases items from a supplier’s warehouse and has it shipped directly to the customer. The seller does not have any physical contact with the inventory on sale. Some suppliers nowadays even handle shipping, making the process even simpler.

Traditional retailers and shops have their own physical inventory. Maintaining stock in warehouses has its advantages, but the costs of storage and maintenance rack up pretty quickly. There’s also the added issue of having to pay for manpower to handle goods. Dropshippers take this inconvenient part of the sales process out of the picture.

ebay warehouse for dropship products

When a customer visits their favorite online store and buys a product they like, they pay the seller upfront. The seller then uses this money (or fronts their own money) and buys the desired product from a trusted supplier. The seller then uses third-party shipping companies to transport the product to the customer. They never see or touch the product they’re selling. Some suppliers and shippers offer custom packaging, logo printing, and express shipping, ensuring great customer experience.

Dropshipping can be started off by budding founders without significant starting capital. Sellers don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for upfront inventory, warehouse rents, and manpower salaries. They don’t have to purchase anything from the supplier unless a sale has already been made on their website – which means close no losses. Testing new products is easy as well. Winning products can be identified quickly and the store can be scaled up easily. The model also allows the seller to be flexible with their location. This means the seller can conduct business from anywhere in the world.

Since the seller is not worried about creating, manufacturing, or sourcing the products, they can focus their attention exclusively on sales, marketing, and growth. Dropshipping marketplaces like Oberlo make the sales and checkout process highly automated, which further reduces the burden on the seller.

Dropshipping does have its pitfalls, however. Even if sellers obtain samples from suppliers beforehand, there’s no guarantee of quality. The product the customer receives might be defective or completely different. Since most popular and affordable suppliers are based in China, long shipping times can be a hassle. There’s also the issue of rampant fraud, online scams, and missing deliveries. Since packaging and transportation are handled by other entities, the seller has a very limited scope in terms of branding and customization.

It’s imperative to develop relationships with trustable suppliers. It’s also recommended to source products locally from suppliers in the area. This adds a dash of personal touch to the transaction process, while also ensuring trust is maintained.

What Is eBay Dropshipping?

eBay is a household name at this point. The popular website is an online auction platform that connects sellers and prospective buyers. On par with eCommerce giants like Amazon, eBay’s customer has been expanding steadily over the years. The platform had about 182 million users in 2019.

Online sellers are attracted by the simple platform offered by eBay. The existing user base means there is no shortage of customers. The chances of converting a prospect and making a sale are significantly higher than using personal websites.

The business model of eBay is quite simple. Sellers list their products on the platform after registration. The product can be anything – cars, electronics, fashion accessories, autographed rarities, etc. Sellers attach a starting bid to the item – a reasonable expected price. The bidding process then starts, with potential buyers bidding the amount they think the product is worth. The process lasts for a specific period of time predetermined by the seller. At the end of the bidding process, the highest bidder gets to take home the product.

The ‘buy it now’ option introduced by eBay lets buyers buy the product directly (for a predetermined fixed price) without entering the bidding process.

Several sellers on eBay currently do not actually handle or store the items they list. They have means of procuring them for customers, but they don’t actually have the products with them. The branding factors like the image, description, and title are usually the same as what their supplier uses.

Once a buyer buys a product from a seller’s listing, the eBay dropshipper then fulfill the order through their supplier. The product is then transported to the buyer via an independent shipping company. The seller essentially plays the part of a middleman in the process. This method of item/ product fulfillment is what’s called dropshipping on eBay. It’s transferring the business model of zero inventory holding onto eBay’s successful platform. With improving seller-supplier relationships, it has never been easier to get started with dropshipping with eBay.

How to Get Started With eBay Dropshipping

The good news is, anyone with a valid eBay account can start eBay dropshipping right now. But is dropshipping on eBay worth it?

Dropshipping is a great way to make money, both short-term and long term. Considering the size of eBay’s customer base, it’s the easiest platform for dropshipping beginners to start out. Let’s take a look at a step-by-step breakdown on how to dropship on Ebay.

  • Find the best suppliers: The first and foremost task of any eBay dropshipper is to find a reliable supplier. The right customer service, on-time deliveries, and good quality products are the key ingredients to a successful eBay business, and a good supplier ensures this. While picking a supplier, consider factors like shipping options, expedited shipping, shipping costs, shipping destinations (global or local), product quality, safety standards, branding customization, and available marketing material.
  • Pick the perfect product: Picking a good product to sell can be quite tricky. Sellers who concentrate on niche products tend to find more success. This is because customers recognize them over time and their reputation builds with every successful sale. Finding a niche and sticking to it can prove beneficial in other ways as well. If a seller operates in a specific niche for a while, they find better and more reliable suppliers working in that domain. This opens up potentials for long-term partnerships with manufacturers. Some sellers prefer hopping on the trend train and selling products that are in demand at the moment. This can be an easy way to score some quick cash but is not feasible in the long run. Sellers have to conduct proper market and product research before zeroing in on a niche.
  • eBay seller account: The seller has found a great supplier who fulfills on time and a list of solid products to sell. What next? The next step is to log on to the eBay website and set up a seller account. While this may sound simple, there are a few things to keep in mind before going in. Decide on a payment method first. US sellers are required to have either PayPal or a merchant credit card account. If the seller doesn’t have a tax ID, it’s prudent to get one as soon as possible. Choose a username wisely – keep it professional or catchy (creatively, a mashup of both is better.) Read the information provided on the eBay seller information center and understand the guidelines thoroughly. Set up a profile page with details about the shop, the seller background, the niche, and the shipping / return policies. The more informative and detailed the seller page is, the more likely it inspires trust in customers.
  • Create product listings and takeoff: Put up products for sale or auction by creating product listings through the seller page. Increase traffic and optimize listings by using simple methods like keyword research, email marketing, and compelling content. Sellers can use existing product images and descriptions they get from suppliers, but it’s recommended to create new content. Adding flair to content increases brand value and leads to repeat business. Constantly maintain and update the store and ensure the best customer experience.

ebay store dropshipping

Is eBay Dropshipping Legal?

While dropshipping is a completely legal business model, eBay has recently started clamping down on sellers in order to curb fraudulence. So, how to do dropshipping on eBay? Let’s take a look at eBay’s policies regarding dropshipping.

Dropshipping on eBay is permitted but heavily restricted. eBay has a clause that says “fulfill orders directly from a wholesale supplier.” This means sellers are technically allowed to dropship on eBay’s platform provided they adhere to the regulations. Sellers are allowed to promote and sell products on eBay as long as they pre-purchase bulk quantities of products available on the seller’s listing from a wholesale supplier.

Traditional dropshipping on eBay was done by promoting and reselling items purchased from third-party retail websites like Amazon and Aliexpress. The seller would purchase in-demand products at cheap prices from these marketplaces and resell them on eBay for a higher price and pocketing the margins. This model of operation is now banned on eBay and sellers doing this are liable to be banned from the platform. eBay’s legal policy clearly states “purchasing the item from another retailer or marketplace that ships directly to customers is not allowed on eBay.” So buying trinkets from Aliexpress for dirt cheap rates and listing them on eBay is not allowed anymore.

Sellers found to be violating this rule are open to a ton of negative effects. eBay has the right to lower and bury such listing on their search algorithms and even remove them. Long-term sellers who have a preexisting relationship with eBay are liable to lose their ratings on the platform, which destroys their credibility.

eBay Customers kept receiving packages with other websites’ gift cards and order details. This led to a lot of them getting provoked, as they were paying an extra premium to have their orders fulfilled by another company. In other cases, the delivery time was outrageous, ranging upwards of 60 days. Some customers never even received their orders. This prompted eBay to crack down on dropshippers in general. Even genuine sellers were affected due to the actions of a small percentage of fraudulent entities.

The only legit way of dropshipping on eBay presently is to purchase bulk amounts of products from a wholesaler beforehand. The products can be stored and fulfilled on behalf of the seller by the wholesaler, but not every wholesaler is happy to do this. Since the products are pre-ordered by customers, they can be sitting in warehouses for an indefinite time period (until the sellers manage to create sales.) The products can be shipped to fulfillment companies too. These companies will take care of storage, fulfillment, and shipping on behalf of the seller.

This business model still conforms to the definitions of a dropshipping business, but the difference is that the seller has to purchase bulk inventory upfront with no guarantee of sales.

If a seller can trace a reliable, trusted supplier who can fulfill and ship orders to customers within 30 days, getting started on eBay is quite easy. It’s crucial to remember to obey eBay’s drop shipping policy.

Challenges Faced by eBay Dropshippers

Dropshippers on eBay face several challenges. It’s quite an uphill battle to maintain this type of business on eBay.

As mentioned previously, sellers are required to purchase bulk inventory from wholesales before they make a single sale. If the product does not gain popularity, falls out of fashion, or is defective, the seller is stuck with a huge order of products. There is nothing to do in this case than eat the loss and move on.

Tracing manufacturers and wholesalers who are prepared to sell individual items to online sellers is quite hard.

Sellers are also required to shell out a listing fee to eBay. eBay also takes a cut of the final sale (up to 10%). The free option comes with a catch where the seller loses a large part of the margin. The best items to dropship on eBay are usually priced above $10 to $20. While the margins on low-cost items are thin, moving large quantities can help offset the purchase cost. The upfront purchase and the eBay listing fees might make dropshipping on eBay financially unviable for most beginners.

Most of eBay’s loyal customers flock to the platform in hopes of finding the best available deal. The manufacturer charges a fixed price on products regardless of the situation, but the seller has to be flexible when it comes to price. Undercutting the competition can be useful to drive sales initially, but it might prove to be costly in the long run. Pricing control is a huge challenge for eBay dropshippers in this aspect. Unwilling to budge on price might cost the seller their customers.

Ensuring the availability of the listed products and proper fulfillment might be the hardest challenge eBay dropshippers face. Keeping a constant track of the supplier’s inventory and removing out-of-stock products from listings is crucial. Asking suppliers for daily reports on inventory counts can be the solution to this. Reliable suppliers who fulfill orders promptly and give sellers constant tracking information is a rarity. The most important part of the sales process – the fulfillment – is out of the hands of the supplier. Unfulfilled orders, out-of-stock products, defective items can very quickly garner horrible customer reviews and damage the reputation of the seller permanently. eBay dropshipping suppliers who have rigid shipping timescales are hard to find.

In order to scale an eBay business, it’s important to keep customers happy and satisfied. The best way to achieve this is to offer items priced competitively, and ensure the ordered products reach the customers in one piece, one time.

The Pros of eBay Drop Shipping

The best part about dropshipping eBay is the simplicity of it. Where else can a store be set up and ready to sell in a matter of minutes? Not to mention the exposure and visibility to millions of customers.

Sellers can concentrate on building manufacturer relations and sourcing new products instead of marketing. Since listings are displayed to tons of customers, sellers have to put minimum effort into SEO and paid traffic. This frees up a lot of time.

If a seller can source and fulfill products in a timely manner eBay drop shipping is definitely worth looking into.

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