Brothers in Arms.. E-Commerce & Drop Shipping
Ever wondered why E-commerce experienced a substantial amount of boost in spite of other major businesses failing during the COVID-19 pandemic!
In spite of low demand and supply how did E-commerce survive more so thrive?
The answer to this enigmatic question lies here…
The secret is the new emerging trend in the E-commerce space known as DROP SHIPPING
Yes, Drop Shipping… is a trade tactic in which businesses don’t keep stock of the products they sell. Essentially this allows anyone to setup an E-commerce business without having a place to keep and hold stock. Drop Shipping has also been proven to be greatly beneficial for already established E-commerce businesses, since inventory cost reduces drastically, or one may even act as a drop shipment service provider for other E-commerce businesses if they have the capacity to hold certain stocks on the behalf of other E-commerce website portals or businesses.
During the lockdown period the percentage of people who shop online increased significantly, that too not only leisurely but for essential commodities as well and this habit has carried on after the pandemic as well, now that people have been ingrained with this tendency to shop online.
The E-commerce sector especially novelty brands selling unusual, artisanal, traditional, creative and unique products have specifically surfaced all across the web during the lockdown period and Drop Shipping has been at the helm of it. With the assistance of Drop Shipping all one needs is a laptop and an internet connection to set up their own E-commerce business, and much to everyone’s relief these were one of the only few things readily available to everyone during that long lasting lockdown.
Now that I’ve pretty much rambled about Drop Shipping in the last three paragraphs, I understand now you must be thinking… Yeah buddy we get it, but what’s in it for us who are reading this. Well for starters now you know about Drop Shipping… last time it is… if you didn’t already. Secondly, now I’m going to explain how to incorporate and utilize Drop Shipping… well I guess you can’t keep the hero out of the picture for long… in order to set up your own E-commerce business and yes… excel at it too.
First, let’s start out by explaining a bit more why E-commerce has evolved and has been so successful over the course of time. You just name it and everything is available over the internet, and that too with much convenience. So why is E-commerce any different! Well… The age of digitization made the layman accustomed to a word called ‘Niche’, which essentially means a specialized segment of products and services catering to a specific target market i.e., anime t-shirts for young anime watching kids and adults, and E-commerce is essentially built atop this notion of ‘Niche targeting’.
With a much more efficient approach comprising of concentrated research and development, better targeting and an excellent use of the Four P’s of marketing i.e., product, place, price and promotion, E-commerce evolved into a whole different industry of its own, and history is the witness that anything that delivers ease in performance of any task has never failed, and by bringing the brick and mortar system in the palm of our hands E-commerce achieved exactly that with the concept of shopping. This gave away the opportunity to evolve and innovate even further by targeting specific niche segments of the market. The lockdown gave the people an opportunity to explore and thereby, with the help of Drop Shipping achieve it.
So… how one may actually do that?
- Choose Your Niche – First and foremost it is extremely important to choose your niche and choose it wisely, be it artisanal jewellery, pet products, animated mugs or t-shirts, etc. It’s imperative that you choose a niche which indeed has a market. Along with choosing a niche it is also absolutely crucial to decide beforehand on which social media platform you intend to promote your brand and product. Since the very backbone of an E-commerce business is an efficient social media advertising campaign.
- Deciding Your Suppliers – Before you finalise your Drop Shipment service provider it is extremely important to decide who your supplier is going to be, laying down the blueprint for your supply chain beforehand will do wonders for you in the long run. Choosing the perfect source supplier for your product is going to be an integral part in defining key characteristics and features of your brand and product alike, like the after sale strategy, USP, etc.
- Under-Pricing Your Product is Not a Good Idea – Time and time again the world of business, more often than not, has evidently been quite particular that a product which seems too cheap doesn’t stand out pretty well for the brand. Since consumers often associate cheap pricing with poor quality. As it is in a Drop Shipping model your profits are, in general, a little lower than a traditional E-commerce model and cutting down your prices even further might not bode well for your business and neither in the mind set of your customers. Figuring out an average pricing strategy for your product will be of utmost importance when it comes to breaking even and expecting a profitable ROI. One may even employ the technique of Digital Upselling, where a particular business owner attempts to persuade a customer to either purchase an expensive product or make them buy more from you. I know you might think, doesn’t this seems a bit too pushy, but that is only when it is done offline. Doing it online involves a much subtler approach like providing free shipping over a certain amount of products purchased or showing complementary products when a user adds something to their cart.
- Keeping Up with The Trends – Upgradation and innovation is the language of the business world and if you fail to understand this you won’t be able to survive in this ecosystem. Keeping up with the tastes and preferences of your target niche will help you to proactively tweak your offerings, bring in new merchandise and renovate and innovate your selling strategy, ad campaigns, homepage design, etc. in order to induce that sense of familiarity and recognition in the minds of your consumers. E-commerce essentially is known as the game of trends and if you are not adept at playing it well… well learn it then or hire someone who can, because capitalizing on these trends is going to be the bridge between your short term and long term success.
All in all, if you decide to set up an E-commerce business employing Drop Shipping choose a niche with which first of all you yourself are quite familiar with and then thoroughly research the potential of that niche, carefully assess and lay down a concrete supply chain model which is perfectly curated to your product and target market, come up with an excellent pricing strategy complementing your product and business model and always keep up with the latest trends and innovations in the market keeping in mind to integrate them in your business offerings so that you may always stay ahead of the curve.