How to Start Dropshipping as a Beginner (Easiest Method)

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At first glance, dropshipping might seem simple for a beginner. You pick a product from AliExpress that seems appealing, list it on your Shopify store, and promote it on Facebook. It sounds like a straightforward way to make money, doesn’t it? Having been in the dropshipping business since 2016, I have some insights to share.

The basic concept of dropshipping is indeed straightforward, which often leads newcomers to believe it’s easy. However, the reality is quite different. Successful dropshipping requires skills in several areas including marketing, copywriting, branding, supplier negotiation, and product research, among others.

While exact failure rates are not known and often inaccurate, it is often suggested that about 90% of beginners fail within their first month. This statistic shouldn’t deter you, though. Even the most experienced dropshipping experience failures when opening new stores. It’s part of the learning curve in this industry.

The Easiest Way to Dropship as a Beginner

Finding a winning product is a crucial step for dropshippers. To do this effectively, it’s necessary to experiment with multiple advertising campaigns, offers, content types, images, and marketing angles to discover the most profitable approach.

If you’re looking for an in-depth guide, check out our full dropshipping tutorial tailored for beginners. It offers a detailed, step-by-step process to get you started.

Identifying the ideal products for dropshipping can be challenging, particularly for newcomers. With limited knowledge and a small initial budget, you might find yourself randomly picking products and running Facebook ads, then waiting to see if you land a sale. But why struggle unnecessarily?

A simpler way to kickstart your dropshipping business is what I call the “Copy and Tweak Method”. You do this by analyzing successful stores, take note of their strategies, and then copy and improve their methods to create your unique store. If they are actively advertising, they are likely generating sales, providing you with a proven blueprint and reducing much of the initial risk.

As a beginner, it may be worth reading my article on Is Dropshipping Hard to Learn?

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What to Copy and What to Tweak!

By modeling your dropshipping store after proven and established stores, you set a strong foundation for success. This is arguably the easiest way for beginners to learn the ropes of dropshipping.

Below, I outline some straightforward modifications that can help you grasp the basics of dropshipping more effectively:

Product Variations:
If there’s a market for a product, introducing a variation is a simple yet effective tweak. Consider variations in design, features, quality, or even an improved model.

Offer:
Many online stores fail to experiment with different offers. Simply presenting a more attractive offer can significantly boost your sales. This might include promotions like 50% off, buy two get one free, discount coupons, bundles, extended warranties, free shipping, or free accessories.

Branding:
While not the simplest strategy, effective branding can substantially increase profitability. If competing stores are making sales with minimal branding, this signals a promising opportunity. For more detailed guidance, refer to my article on branding a dropshipping store.

Change the Angle:
Consider various sales angles to connect with your audience. A product can often be marketed in multiple ways, each designed to stir different emotions and drive purchases. Reflect on how you can approach your audience differently from existing competitors.

Target Audience:
Identify untapped audiences and tailor your marketing to appeal to these groups. Utilizing platforms like Facebook or TikTok to reach new demographic segments can be one of the most effective strategies for beginners.

Content:
Google penalizes unoriginal content, and many dropshipping stores merely copy and paste product descriptions. Creating unique lifestyle videos and images of your product can set you apart. If writing isn’t your forte, consider reading my article on crafting compelling product pages.

Traffic Source:
While Facebook remains a primary choice for many, diversifying your advertising platforms can expose your products to fresh audiences. Consider exploring:

  • Instagram Advertising
  • Instagram Influencers
  • TikTok
  • Google Ads
  • Google Shopping
  • Pinterest
  • SEO

These platforms offer distinct advantages and can help you reach a broader audience effectively.

Change and Improvements for Dropship Success

Exploring modifications to an already profitable store is an excellent way to spark creativity! It’s essentially a brainstorming session where you can devise simple yet effective enhancements to a model that’s already successful.

Start by writing down your own list of potential changes and improvements. To give you a concrete example, let’s imagine you’re evaluating a niche dropshipping store specializing in dog beds. Here’s how your list of potential enhancements might look:

  • Specialize Further: Focus exclusively on beds for large dogs.
  • Brand Development: Establish a brand renowned for high-quality dog beds.
  • Value Addition: Offer extra bed covers and a discount code with each purchase.
  • Product Specialization: Sell only memory foam dog beds designed for dogs with arthritis and joint issues.
  • Targeted Marketing: Focus on a specific dog breed to make the store feel bespoke for that breed’s owners.
  • Problem-Solving Products: Provide indestructible dog beds for dogs with behavioral issues and include a free eBook on dog training.
  • Health-Focused Products: Develop dog beds using materials that help dogs with allergies.
  • Geographic Targeting: Market to audiences in colder climates with dog beds designed for maximum warmth.
  • Ad Strategy Shift: Transition from using Facebook ads to Google ads to reach a different audience.

How to Make Your Store Better than the Competitors

Once you have compiled your list of potential changes, the next step is to decide which modifications are both feasible and likely to enhance your store’s performance. Remember, the model you are emulating is already profitable, so overly drastic changes might not be beneficial.

They have already charted a path to success, making it often more effective to implement subtle adjustments rather than comprehensive overhauls.

To determine which changes might be most effective, it’s crucial to understand customer perceptions and needs. Visit online forums like Quora and Reddit to gauge public opinion, and review customer feedback on platforms like Amazon.

Pay close attention to comments about the products’ problems, benefits, quality, and pricing. This research can help you identify unmet needs and market gaps that your store could potentially fill.

My related articles I think you’ll love:

Optimizing your Dropshipping Store for Trust

Once you’ve determined the changes you want to implement, it’s time to set up your Shopify store, launch some ads, and start the testing process. Testing involves running your advertisements and analyzing their performance, which is often where beginners find themselves confused. However, managing this is simpler than it might seem at first.

For dropshipping with Facebook ads, ongoing optimization is crucial. After you’ve collected initial ad results, it involves a cycle of trial and error to identify the most effective approach. Each campaign’s results will guide your next steps, which could vary significantly based on numerous factors—this topic alone could fill an entire article.

Here’s a simplified approach to handling your ad results:

  • Running at a loss? If your ads are unprofitable after several days, consider making significant changes that could dramatically alter your outcomes.
  • Breaking even? In this case, opt for either one major change or a series of smaller tweaks, then test again.
  • Seeing a profit? Avoid major overhauls. Instead, focus on fine-tuning and enhancing minor elements of your website.

Remember, the goal is not to clone the successful store in every detail. It’s important to capture the essence of what makes them successful without copying their exact theme or layout. If you’re struggling to differentiate your store, use their success as inspiration but develop your unique twist.

Avoid directly replicating their content or store design. Finding inspiration in their strategies is one thing, but duplicating them down to the last detail does not constitute a sustainable business strategy. Implementing the right changes as described above can effectively lead to a profitable dropshipping business without falling into the trap of plagiarism.

Conclusion

Finding a winning product that nobody else has discovered can feel like striking gold. However, unlike finding a precious nugget that’s yours alone, a winning product quickly attracts competitors who will copy your approach and eat into your profits.

This is why it might be more strategic to follow the lead of innovators rather than trying to be one yourself. Don’t waste effort reinventing the wheel—instead, learn to use it more effectively!

The best way to gain an edge over the competition is by enhancing the fundamental elements of a dropshipping store. Understand and improve upon what already exists offers a more substantial advantage than simply identifying popular products, which can easily be replicated by others.

I hope this article has provided you with useful insights. If you have any topics or questions about dropshipping you’d like me to explore, feel free to send me an email. Should your topic be trending, I’ll consider writing a dedicated article on it. Wishing you the best in your dropshipping business!

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