After you got the perfect dropshipping business idea and found the niche you would like to focus on, the next — and sometimes one of the most challenging — step is product, and supplier sourcing.
Finding dropshipping products to sell and reliable suppliers to connect with is easier said than done. We are here to help you simplify the sourcing, by giving you some easy tips and tricks to follow when dropshipping.
Basics of Dropshipping
However, before we delve deeper into our main topic, it is best to quickly go through the basics of dropshipping. Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model, where a merchant is working with a third party thereby avoiding keeping stock on hand. It is a great small business idea for beginner entrepreneurs as there is no upfront cost and no inventory risk.
After you open your own online store, the next thing to do is upload your supplier's product data and start selling. Once you get an order, the supplier will send the products to your customers. The customers pay for you, and you as a retailer pay for the supplier. The big question is where to find suppliers and winning products to sell? We have got the answer!
Research Your Target Market And Decide What Is Best to Sell
This probably won’t be your favourite part of starting your business but you have to keep in mind that doing some research on products, general customer behaviour, and current trends is key to success.
First, think about your target market and your chosen niche. You want to find dropshipping products that your future customers are looking for, that are in demand and promise a high sales volume.
It is also important to analyse your competitors, what they are selling in your niche and what their business strategies are. Focus on differentiating your online store from your competitors, and avoid selling products that are all over the market.
There are many tools and platforms helping you find out what products are currently trending on the market, and what is worth selling in the coming months. So now let us mention some of these options:
Simple and reliable, Google Trends is one of the best product research tools. It is free to use and provides information about search interests through graphs. You can set the location, time period, category, and place of search to narrow down the results.
It is a great source of information. There are more and more successful influencers to follow. Check their content and comment section to see what those products are that people love these days.
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps, and it is also a great platform to find products to dropship. Just simply search for ‘TikTok made me buy it’ term and you will see millions of users creating videos about products that they have purchased under the influence of other creators.
Best-selling Product Lists
Another great way to find dropshipping products is the use of dropshipping product research tools and ecommerce platforms. You can find many trustworthy dropshipping apps on the Shopify app store, like Syncee. Besides helping dropshipping suppliers and retailers connect, these B2B platforms showcase bestselling and trending products on their marketplaces.
Another well-known social media platform is Facebook. There can be found several groups related to the topic of dropshipping, ecommerce, and having an online business. Look for one that has many members, recent posts, and activities, and one that is reliable.
Once you did all the research needed and found dropshipping products you want to sell in your ecommerce store, the next step is to connect with suppliers that will provide the chosen goods for your customers.
Where to Find the Best Dropshipping Suppliers to Work With?
After you come to a decision on what is worth for you to sell online, you need to find a trustworthy supplier to add products to your own ecommerce store. There are several ways to meet with potential business partners. Here are some tips to get you started:
Search on Google
The first and easiest way that comes to your mind might be searching on Google or any other search engine, and you are not wrong. It could be a great starting point to seek dropshipping suppliers by just searching for your chosen product category, like “kids clothing suppliers”. However, it can easily happen that you get lost and frustrated because of the huge amount of information and possibilities.
Attend Trade Shows
A more straightforward way to find business partners is to attend trade shows. They are great to meet new people in person, learn about companies and ask all your questions directly.
Even though it is one of the best opportunities to connect with potential partners, in a lot of countries it is still not an option for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Do some research if there is one happing in your surroundings in the near future.
Use Social Media
You can search for reliable dropshipping suppliers the same way you source for product ideas. Join communities, and groups on Facebook, follow influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, and check their comment section as well.
Many small businesses tend to reach new partners through social media platforms. Be very careful as unfortunately there are many frauds, fake dropshipping wholesalers, and unreliable dropshipping companies.
Shopify Community, Quora, and Reddit, just to name a few of the several forums where you can read helpful questions and comments on ecommerce, dropshipping, product, and supplier sourcing. Feel free to engage on these platforms if you have not found the answer you have been looking for.
Dropshipping Platforms & Supplier Directories
We have already mentioned some product sourcing tools and B2B marketplaces that are great to find trending dropshipping products to sell. On these platforms, there are hundreds of suppliers from all over the world offering their goods with fast shipping.
It is also possible to search by giving the shipping location, shipping types, and different product categories so you can see the most suitable items for you and your business. In the long run, this method is the most effective and reliable one.
What to Consider When Choosing a Dropshipping Supplier Partner?
Finding a good and trustworthy dropshipping supplier is the foundation of your business. There are a lot of factors to consider when searching for supplier partners. In the following section, we are going to highlight the most important ones.
Besides finding dropshipping products at an affordable price, quality is also a key factor. The cheapest items are not always the best ideas to sell. Search for suppliers that provide high-quality product imagery, and informative product descriptions.
If it is possible, make test orders to see and try out the products by yourself. You want to make sure your future customers will be fully satisfied with their orders.
Important aspects to keep in mind are shipping costs and delivery time. There are many factors that can affect the shopping experience, and the delivery process is certainly a crucial one. You have to be careful not to make common mistakes concerning product shipment.
Your customers would not be happy with your service if they would have to wait weeks to get their products. It is best to look for local suppliers to avoid long shipping times. On-time delivery is especially significant during shopping holidays.
Most of the above-mentioned dropshipping platforms offer built-in chat features to help retailers connect with their supplier partners. Before adding their products to your store you need to reach out to them, and discuss the inquiries you might have. It is also a necessary step to decide whether you can work together or not.
If you are planning to work with multiple dropshipping suppliers, it's also a way to consider asking for the products to arrive at your own warehouse first. It might sound a bit complicated, but it has benefits for your business in the long run.
If a customer orders more products from your store that are provided by different suppliers they would receive more parcels on different days which is not ideal. Keeping your customers happy is key to a successful dropshipping business.
Starting your own dropshipping business might seem easier than it really is. There are many factors to consider when finding products to dropship and the best dropshipping suppliers to work with. That is why you need to start with comprehensive market research. After you go through all the checkpoints and you decide what products you would like to focus on, you must find reliable suppliers to upload their product data to your dropshipping store and start selling online.
There are many ways to find the best partners, including dropshipping platforms where you can directly connect with suppliers and see their goods. Besides these apps, you can use Google Search, engage with social media, read forums, and attend trade shows to meet new partners.
When choosing your future dropshipping supplier you need to focus on product quality, shipping conditions, communication, and reliability. Hopefully, the tips we mentioned in the article will help you kickstart your business and to build a profitable dropshipping store!