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Starting a UAE dropshipping business is one of the best self-employment gigs available. It is better than owning a brick and mortar store, because dropshippers can easily sell products to numerous customers, set the prices and be able to promote their own customized brand. Moreover, under the dropshipping umbrella, no budding entrepreneur needs to purchase inventory unless an order has been placed. Those who are willing to put in the hard work can help themselves create a successful brand.
Those who are still in doubt need to know that global eCommerce sales reached USD$ 3.5 trillion almost three years ago. If worldwide statistics on eCommerce are a reliable indicator, starting an online business is a lucrative option which anyone can utilize today.
Let us now learn about starting a dropshipping business, and all the necessary factors involved in starting a dropshipping business in UAE.
Defining a dropshipping business
Dropshipping is a business model which prospective entrepreneurs can use to start their own online stores without any physical inventory. Once the business owner makes a sale, the supplier will ship the products from their warehouse right to the customer’s door. Hence, they do not need to worry about storage, packaging or shipping the products and maintaining the inventory too.
The modus operandi of Dropshipping
In dropshipping, there are three key players – the manufacturer, the retailer, and customers.
The manufacturers make the products, carry the inventory, ship products to customers on behalf of retailers, as well as handle returns/exchanges. They sell products to the dropshipper (retailer) at wholesale rates by assuming risk of unsold inventory. In the dropshipping business model, the dropshipper sells the manufacturer’s products on their own website under their own brand. Selecting and marketing those products is also their responsibility. Additionally dropshippers will also be responsible for their shipping expenses. They can earn profits by setting their own prices. Finally, customers purchase the products directly from the dropshippers. In case they have any queries or any issues with the products, they can contact the dropshipper with ease.
Key steps for getting a UAE Dropshipping business up and running
Now is a good time to learn about starting a Dropshipping business by understanding the following steps:
Choose a niche
The niche selected should be focused, and it must be genuine too. A product range lacking focus cannot be marketed at any cost. Those who are not passionate about the niche they select will become more discouraged and unmotivated to even go forward. Needless to say, dropshipping isn’t a child’s play as it needs a lot of scaling.
Some factors to consider when choosing a business niche:
- High profitability
- Low shipping rates
- High local demand
- High volume product searches
- Uniqueness of product
Once dropshippers have decided what they want to sell, they should conduct a thorough competition research. This helps them learn what their competitors are selling and how they are selling those products. Here are some ways to do it:
- Look up the product you want to sell on Google. The top ten search results of Google are your biggest competition in a certain location. Both SEMRush and Ahrefs are helpful in this matter.
- Searching for niche competitors using Alexa can help provide the needed search results. These websites can provide a good summary of the websites companies are searching for, (social media profiles included), advertisements they are running, information regarding their target audience and so on.
- Searching for both the product and niche on social media is also helpful. Browsing Facebook ads can lead to social media pages of competitors. This will give you an insight about their followers and brand engagement, and help you strategize ways to up their game.
- Analyze the content your competitors are sharing to see which content works best for a particular audience. This is where BuzzSumo comes in handy. It helps dropshippers obtain the needed insights for content and help generate new ideas too.
- Also, sign up for newsletters and promotions from competitors using different email addresses to gauge their email marketing strategies.
Select the best suppliers
Once the desired products are chosen, it is time to choose the supplier who will ship products to customers. Here are some factors to consider:
- Quality: Suppliers should source materials with the right quality, in the right quantity, at the right time, and for the right price. Paying more for top-notch products is better than garnering low-quality or mediocre goods, which your customers won’t be interested in.
- Maintaining a profitable margin: Dropshippers must make a reasonable profit on the products they’re selling. They should also factor in the costs of transactions and shipping. Usually, dropshippers are looking at profits of 15 to 20 percent.
- Reliability: Suppliers should dispatch orders in a timely manner, keeping the shipping times and costs as reasonable as possible. Suppliers must also effectively manage inventory, as it can be frustrating to have an unfulfilled order. One of the best ways to determine this is ordering some products from multiple suppliers and checking how promptly they fulfilled the order.
- Policy for Returns: It is best to have suppliers offering a return policy. A lot usually don’t offer that and hence it needs to be checked before a final decision is made. This also helps dropshippers formulate their own return policy.
Drop shippers often use online marketplaces because they have a good product inventory with reliable suppliers. In case dropshippers have a specific product in mind (which only a select few have), they can opt-in for a direct source supplier.
Create An eCommerce website
Platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce Drop shipping UAE support dropshipping business models which help dropshippers launch a worthwhile online store. IT is easy as a breeze to set up your own store on these user-friendly platforms. Additionally, numerous apps are present on both platforms to augment sales. Even in the presence of a sizable budget which can allow dropshippers to hire a worthwhile web design agency for creating a customized website, it is wiser to use plug-and-play readymade options (which are also best for starters). Once the revenue starts coming in, they can explore additional website customization.
Making a customer acquisition plan
A great product and a great website can be complemented by equally enthusiastic customers looking to buy worthwhile products. This means a customer acquisition plan is a must. There are numerous ways to attract potential customers, and one of the most effective options is through social media campaigns. Later, to provide excellent communication with customers, consider getting a landline phone which will also provide more security compared to other systems.
This helps Dropshippers generate sales and revenue right from the beginning. This can contribute to fast and effective scaling. In case of advertising on Facebook, offers can be placed directly in front of the audience, giving employees the ability to compete with large brands and retailers quickly. With so many projects at hand, companies can use the Microsoft Teams calendar to organize all meetings and roundups more effectively
Drop shipping is not a short term solution because it is actually long term. Both search engine optimization and email marketing are needed. Also, collecting emails from the beginning for automated email marketing offering discounts and special offers are a very good way of retaining and acquiring customers. This helps generate revenue without spending on additional advertising and marketing efforts.
Store Analysis and optimization
Drop shippers need to keep track of all data and available metrics if they wish to grow their business. Tools such as Google Analytics traffic and Facebook conversion pixel data, helps drop shippers track each individual conversion to determine where the customer came from and what route they took on the website leading to a sale. This helps them scale what works and what needs improvement.
Advertising and marketing solutions are no longer the old fashioned set-and-forget types. Drop shippers must constantly test new opportunities and fine-tune existing campaigns. This helps them find out when to optimize or when to shift spending on a campaign.
Getting started with BigCommerce Drop Shipping in Dubai
In Dubai, Drop shipping has a lot of potential. Thanks to technology, it has become a convenient business model requiring minimal capital to purchase and maintain inventory. As mentioned earlier, it is an order fulfillment method where drop shippers purchase products from third-party suppliers to sell and ship them to customers directly.
Here are three things that matter for dropshipping businesses:
- Proper sourcing.
- A responsive and flawless eCommerce site.
- A top-notch digital marketing strategy to drive traffic to the site.
No warehouse is needed for storing inventory and no salesperson is needed to manage and sell the stock in the drop shipping business.
Here is how BigCommerce in drop shipping works:
- Those who sign up for a trial receive 15-day access to all the available basic level features.
- The whole store can be set up easily.
- Drop shippers can start selling the moment they launch the store.
- Customer groups and abandoned cart savers help prevent bounced shopping.
- Those who need access to advanced features must upgrade to the paid version.
Those who wish to apply for the paid plans of BigCommerce, here are some features of each plan they should know:
- The Standard Plan has one month free and costs around USD$ 30 per month. It helps drop shippers create a beautiful website quickly.
- The Plus Plan also offers a month free and charges almost USD$ 80 per month. It aids drop shippers raise sales with robust conversion and marketing tools
- The Pro Plan also offers the same free one month offer and costs almost USD$ 300 per month. It helps drop shippers improve conversions with advanced product search and also does the same using Google customer reviews.
Drop Shipping in Dubai is no longer a problem. Along with Shopify, BigCommerce is also available with competent plans that can help prospective Emirati entrepreneurs looking to make a name and earn in drop shipping make an early impact. It is convenient but it does require a lot of work to fine tune and adjust campaigns.
Drop shipping is one of the finest ways of making money online. It is growing in popularity in the Middle East and that is the reason numerous web design and full service digital agencies in the region are working on it too.