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Starting a Dropshipping Business: Checklist For Beginners

by Olga L. Marketing tips
5.0 rating
Feb 23, 2018 13 minute read
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drop shipping business checklist for beginners

There is nothing difficult about starting a dropshipping business. Even if you are a newcomer with no background knowledge whatsoever, you only need these 15 things to start your super successful entrepreneurial journey.

What are the must-have things for a person who wants to start a dropshipping business?

Go through this checklist to find out!

If you have at least 10 things out of this list, you can safely begin your dropshipping journey today!

Table Of Contents

General things you will need to start dropshipping

1. Strong desire

Each and every person has a very specific reason for launching their own business.

These reasons vary a lot: someone wants to get an additional source of money, someone is just sick of a regular 9 to 5 job, and some people are just curious to test and improve their technical and/or business skills.

It doesn’t really matter which of these reasons motivated you to step on this road; as long as this driver is powerful enough, the success of your business is guaranteed.

2. PC or laptop

To create, set up and run your online business, you need to own at least one gadget.

It’s up to you to choose what exactly to use; if you feel more comfortable using a personal computer, go for it. If you are a fan of laptops, you can totally rely on them as well.

It’s only about your own preferences and possibilities. Modern technologies let you create a dropshipping store with a good-looking responsive design that will work perfectly on any type of gadget – this is exactly what you need to generate a healthy amount of sales. You, as this ecommerce store owner, have the opportunity to conveniently manage it through laptop or PC.

3. Stable Internet connection

Well, this part is obvious. When you run a dropshipping store, you don’t heed to be online 24/7, but still, you will have to access your online store, mail, payment gateways and social networks from time to time.

In order to make sure that you have a fast and stable Internet connection, follow the tips below:

  •        Test the speed of your Internet connection using various free online services;
  •        Make sure your browser is up-to-date;
  •        Turn off all unwanted background processes on your computer;
  •        Remove all unused or rarely-used apps;
  •        Scan your device for viruses or security threats.

Necessary market knowledge for starting a drop ship business

4. Understanding of the dropshipping model

It’s not really possible to succeed in dropshipping if you have no idea how it works 🙂

It will only take you 3 minutes to watch this video, but, when it’s over, you will feel much more confident, and it will be easier for you to proceed with the business launch:

Plus, whenever you need an additional piece of knowledge, you can safely access our knowledge base, read the detailed guides, or join the community of like-minded entrepreneurs who share their tips on how to sell products online and learn by each others’ examples.

5. Real-life feedbacks

When you engage in some activity that is completely unfamiliar to you, it’s easy to get confused with all the new duties and responsibilities.

Relax and don’t worry! You’re starting a business that is affordable to start, convenient to run, and easy to sell if you ever get tired of it.

With due effort, you can literally change your life: numerous interviews of successful dropshippers can prove it to you and inspire you to keep going!

6. Knowledge of AliExpress

For lots of reasons, AliExpress is considered to be one of the most convenient and safe places to look for dropshipping suppliers. Sellers are willing to cooperate with entrepreneurs running a small business, plus, they offer millions of products that are perfect for dropshipping.

This is why it is essential for you to know how the platform works, how the orders are processed, and how the returns and refunds are handled.

7. Niche idea

In our experience, a correctly chosen niche is the key to the sales and profits growth.

The dropshipping products sold in your ecommerce store should be related in some way. This thematic consistency is called a store niche: for example, you can sell various home decor elements dedicated to the space topic, or you can sell geeky stuff for people who spend a lot of time in front of their computers, or anything else, really.

We strongly recommend to choose a niche that you know well. Ideally, you should be a fan of the products you’re selling – this way, you will set up and manage your business in the best way possible.

When you are choosing a niche, it is a good idea to check if there are enough relevant items on AliExpress that can be efficiently promoted on different social media or with PPC ads. Plus, you need to make sure that the competition in this niche is not too fierce. You can use our new free tool to test the niche you have chosen.

How to start an online dropshipping business: technical preparations

8. Domain name

Domain name is the basis of your dropshipping website address, so it should be related to your online store concept, plus, it needs to be good in terms of SEO.

A domain name is like a street address that tells your customers where your website is placed, and helps them go directly to it.

To buy a suitable domain and make sure no one is already using it, use the GoDaddy service – one of the most famous and reliable domain name registrars.

9. Hosting

If you don’t have a hosting, you can’t make your store content visible to Internet users. In other words, you need to buy hosting (and pay for it every year) to ‘activate’ your webstore and make sure it’s really running.

We understand that no one basically wants to deal with technical tasks like this one, which is why you can safely delegate all your hosting issues to us. We will provide you with 24/7 client support, and guarantee exceptional customer service along with a high quality technical performance.

10. Dropshipping website

With a ready niche idea, catchy domain name, and a pre-paid hosting you can start making a website that you will later turn into a fully functional ecommerce store.

Here, you have 2 options: you can either do all the job yourself (in this case, go to paragraph 11 to learn the next step), or you can order a custom store that will be built by skilled dropshipping experts to 100% suit your business needs (in this case, go to paragraph 13 to learn the next step).

It’s up to you to decide!

11. WordPress

WordPress is a system that helps you arrange all the elements of your website. Nowadays, 30% of all the websites globally are powered by it: it is super easy to use, and it suits everyone, even the people who have no previous experience of creating and running a website.

WordPress is perfect for running a dropshipping online store because of the several important reasons:

  •        It’s free;
  •        It has a user friendly interface;
  •        It’s easy to customize and install any additional software;
  •        It opens up many opportunities in terms of SEO;
  •        It gives you total control over your ecommerce store, in contrast to many other platforms for dropshipping.

So, you need to download and install WordPress to get a well-working basis for your dropshipping store.

12. AliDropship plugin

With the use of the plugin, you make your dropshipping journey an enjoyable and relaxed experience.

Here, you can take a look at an average set of daily operations typical for a dropshipping store owner.

It might seem a bit long, but hey, here’s good news: you don’t have to do it all manually. There is a much more convenient solution developed by high-profile programmers with an actual experience in dropshipping.

The semi-automated solution, AliDropship plugin, can be used for adding products, changing their prices and descriptions, importing product reviews, transferring orders to AliExpress, viewing the online store statistics, and in general, managing all the routine dropshipping processes.

If you can save tons of your business (and personal) time and delegate a lot of work to the plugin, why not go for it?

Please note: if you have any difficulties with the plugin’s technical issues, feel free to read our detailed dropshipping for beginners guide or visit our help center.

Action plan to launch dropship business

13. Find products

Your store can’t function with no products in it.

If you have AliDropship solutions installed on your website, you can casually browse AliExpress, explore it, and add any items from the platform to your own store. Every product is literally imported in seconds, and you can upload as many items as you fancy because there are no limitations (still, we recommend you to read this guide on choosing the best AliExpress offers).

14. Pricing strategy

To get your rightfully earned profits, you need to think about your pricing strategy.

The price of an item in your store should be higher than the original AliExpress price of the same product.

The difference between these two prices is your profit!

Still, while increasing the prices in your online store, you need to remember that your buyers should be satisfied with their purchases. Ideally, you need to set a price that is low enough to lure your customers, but at the same time is high enough to bring you some revenue.

AliDropship plugin has a special feature that allows you to set up your own pricing markup rules and start selling online more profitably. After the addition of pricing formulas, all the new products in your store will automatically get the prices according to your rules. In addition, the plugin has special options that allow you easily round your prices or set a specific cent value for your retail price.

15. Marketing strategy

Without marketing, your dropshipping store is nothing but an unknown website that can’t even be found. So we highly recommend you to look through the latest online selling trends when developing your own marketing strategy.

You need to understand what marketing tools and channels you will use and how exactly you will attract potential buyers. Remember that your decisions heavily depend on the profile of your target audience.

When drawing up a marketing plan, don’t forget about SEO – the basis of any ecommerce marketing strategy. Without perfectly optimized product pages, it will be difficult to get to the first page of Google search and attract as many visitors as possible.

What has to be done?

  • Use different tools such as Google Keyword Planner to look for the most suitable keywords related to your dropshipping niche;
  • Add the Title, Description and Keywords metatags to your product pages;
  • Use the ALT attribute to describe the content of your product images.

SEO requires a lot of time and hard work but it will be definitely worth it in the long term.

Plus, you should consider your own financial opportunities: for example, if you are not ready to invest into paid promotions on Instagram, you can efficiently use a bunch of free promotion methods instead. The same is true for Facebook: you can either spend more money on precisely targeted Facebook ads to engage with the audience efficiently, or you can try more affordable promotions in social media if you like.

That’s it!

If you can cross at least 10 things out of this checklist, nothing stops you from starting your own dropshipping business at any convenient time – how about today, for example?

By Olga L.
Olga is a content creator at AliDropship, and she aims to explain the most complicated drop shipping concepts in the simplest terms possible.
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9 Comments
Emil Y. February 23, 2018 12:50:18

Hi, could you please tell me why someone will order from my website and pay a higher price instead of ordering directly from Aliexpress (nowadays almost everyone knows about it).

Def February 23, 2018 15:10:35

Err…

Point 16 – Customers?

Ravinder Singh February 23, 2018 16:27:23

Good idea Ali drop shiping

Erdem Arslan February 27, 2018 16:02:38

What about legal side?

Angel March 3, 2018 19:47:39

Hey that web it´s really good thanks for sharing

Lucinda March 3, 2018 19:49:27

Thanks John, your link was very helpful

Julio March 7, 2018 7:46:22

ok, bad and profit control, is there any erp for integration to know what the real profit?

Laxmish June 9, 2018 17:21:20

I read many of your blogs about dropshipping. Its all very good. Now I have doubt about cancelling a order from the customer and return. How are these things handled

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