Ready to learn how to start a dropshipping business from the UK using WordPress and WooCommerce? Surely you have heard of Dropshipping, especially if you own an eCommerce or you are considering having an online shop. But what exactly is it, why should you choose to sell products through Dropshipping in the UK or outside of the UK, what are its advantages, how do you set it up?
In this post, I explain everything in detail, and I even offer you some solutions that I have developed to implement Dropshipping UK in your eCommerce correctly. Let’s get started!
What is dropshipping and how to start with Aliexpress Dropshipping from the UK?
How to Start Dropshipping with WooCommerce?
is one of the many anglicisms we use in our daily lives, and its literal meaning would be a bit like “drop the parcel”. This goes very well with the rather simple concept of you putting a wholesaler’s products on sale and he is the one who sends the packages (because he is the one who stores them).
In other words, Dropshipping is the sale of products by catalogue without investment and at retail, in which the retailer is in charge of making the sale, without being the one who owns the product (i.e. he sells without stock). To do this, the retailer reaches an agreement with the wholesale supplier of the products on sale (which is called Dropshipper (because he is the one who “drops the package”), so that he is the one who is responsible for the shipment of orders to the end customer.
This is why we say that the retailer does not need to store the products for sale, and here we have the first advantage of dropshipping: the saving of the storage infrastructure. In addition, the retailer buys the products from the manufacturer at a lower price than he subsequently sells them, which brings another advantage: profit.
In other words, if you as a retailer decide to create a Dropshipping shop for your online business, you will be an intermediary for the Dropshipper (wholesale supplier) and your main task is to make the sale.
Dropshipping in the UK from Aliexpress has become an interesting alternative for those who want to create an online shop and do not have sufficient financial backing, as it is a business with little investment Dropshipping is a sales service without risk.
Difference between Dropshipping and Affiliate Programmes
This is a question that can often arise since both sales are made as an intermediary. But they are not the same thing at all.
Dropshipping is the sale of products by catalogue without investment and without having them in stock. You do it from your own online shop or from a platform. And you set the price of the product, based on the margins you want to achieve. You can also start from scratch, just like any other business.
Affiliation programmes consist of promoting a product or service of a third party, through a link that you place on your website or blog and from which they access the other website or business. Every time a sale is made, you get the commission agreed with that person or company. If you already have a well-known website and/or one that has many visitors, the better, as you are more likely to get more sales.
How to start a Dropshipping business from the UK with WooCommerce
Summarising what was said in the previous point, I can say that the advantages of Dropshipping shops are:
- There is no risk of financial loss, since, as we said, the investment is minimal. You will always have a profit margin (how big or small is another matter, of course).
- It is not necessary to hire staff to store the products or manage them. All these tasks are taken care of by the supplier. This will save you a lot of headaches, and above all, it will save you in staff costs. That is why we say that Drop shipping is a good technique for those who cannot afford to make a large investment.
- Since you don’t have to worry about stock management and ordering, you can use all your time to develop effective sales tactics and focus more on the business itself.
- Like any online business, it is easily scalable, but especially in the case of Dropshipping, it is even more so, as it is very easy to expand your catalogue. Also, since you don’t take risks, you can test different products and see which ones work and which ones don’t work.
Disadvantages of doing Dropshipping Aliexpress from the UK
Obviously, there is nothing perfect in this world, so we also have to put on the table the disadvantages that you have to take into account when setting up a Dropshipping shop.
- The lower profit margin on sales. As we have said before, of course, you make a profit. Some may be in the form of commission, so the margin will be lower than if you buy and then sell directly. But be careful, because if it is a very competitive market and you decide the price, you will see that in order to get a sale you will have to lower the price, and therefore reduce your margin.
- You don’t have total control of the products and their shipments. If they are delayed or there are incidents, in the face of a dissatisfied or angry customer, you are responsible for them. To this, we can add that if you work with more than one wholesaler, your customer can (unknowingly) order products from different suppliers, which means that his order can arrive in parts. This is quite annoying, especially if you don’t have a delivery time margin, because this means spending more than a day waiting for the courier to arrive. Not to mention the fact that you will have to pay two delivery charges.
- Even if you save on warehouse and logistics costs, just as you are selling that wholesaler’s products, there may be 548785 other people who are too. You are going to have to work very hard – that is, invest – in your web design, usability, and above all, the SEO of your online shop. Because you want to stand out from your competitors, don’t you? Actually, you will always have to work on your SEO and usability, no matter what your business is. But obviously, if it is a product (or service) more differential and unique or your own, it will be easier.
- If the drop shipper provides you with the online sales platform, you will almost certainly not be able to edit files to help the positioning (SEO) of your company, as you do NOT have access to these files or to their server. In other words, it won’t let you do anything to help you sell more. Therefore, before you say yes, ask them to explain to you how they work with SEO.
And of course, bear in mind that as in any other business, you will have to register as self-employed or create a company and all of this entails unavoidable start-up and other monthly expenses.
Who is using the WooCommerce Dropshipping business model?
Basically, Dropshipping is chosen by two types of users and for two different things.
- Less risky entrepreneurs. Those who contract a service whereby the supplier provides them with the tools for sales: online shop, advertising banners, etc.
- Daring entrepreneurs. They risk a little more by contracting the necessary services themselves and depending solely on the supplier as far as products are concerned. In this case, the investment is greater, but so is the control. They are usually people who already have e-commerce and want to increase their product offer without risking buying stock.
How to Start Dropshipping from the UK?
I give you 8 tips to create a Dropshipping online shop. Don’t let the cat out of the bag, and as always when you start a business, take a close look at everything. So let’s get down to work: Dropshipping, how to get started?
Choose your product and niche wisely
In other words, study the competition. Do some research on the Internet and find out how many shops are already selling that product that you have found so interesting. Because if everyone is already selling it, competition will be brutal and profit will be rather scarce.
PRO TIP: It is better to choose a product that is less in demand and thus start exploiting that niche.
Beware of the Dropshipping supplier
Before starting to work with the supplier, make sure that they are reliable, that they provide you with all the information you need about the products, that there is open communication for possible future incidents… and as far as logistics are concerned, we will tell you what you should mainly take into account:
- Location of the drop shipper. If it is in your own country, the better, so you avoid customs problems. If you work with a Chinese provider study his activity on Aliexpress, check his reviews, shipping times and the quality of the products he sells.
- How the packaging is made. Do not include your own logos or brand.
- The management of shipments. If they include an invoice and whether or not they are responsible for returns.
PRO TIP: Don’t believe everything the drop shipper tells you, find out for yourself. Investigate and get as much information you can about the provider.
Negotiate with the dropshipper
It is not only a matter of trying to improve the prices of the products and thus increase the margins you can get from them, but also to negotiate if possible the delivery time of the products to the customers. With all the information you are given, make sure that it is worth the investment.
PRO TIP: Keep clear accounts. This is essential.
Pay attention to the clauses you sign
Above all, be careful with the responsibility for returns that we mentioned earlier. With most suppliers, you are responsible for them, so it is an expense that you have to see if it is worth it or not.
PRO TIP: It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it – always ask if there are any actions or expenses that you will have to pay for! Try to ask anything related to the returns from your country or different countries if you sell worldwide.
Study the facilities carefully
Some drop shippers offer payment facilities for the products you have bought from them to sell, or even finance the platform (the non-editable online shop) or offer you advantages of some kind to start your dropshipping shop. Obviously, their interest is that you sell and that you are profitable for them, so keep in mind that the facilities will only last as long as you sell. Which is not always so easy.
PRO TIP: Study the profitability of the product you want to sell first.
SEO of your WooCommerce Dropshipping Store
It is usually very difficult to position a Dropshipping shop well because all the other shops will have the same product descriptions, which leads to duplicate content. If you know anything about SEO, even a little, you’re probably sick of hearing that duplicate content is bad for Google. But it’s not only that, it’s that if you stand out from the rest, it will be easier to stand out and therefore, sell.
PRO TIP: Even if it is time-consuming, spend time and resources on modifying product descriptions and titles so that they are different from those of your competitors. At least start with the ones you are most interested in.
Don’t get into this if you are not going to be able to invest in online marketing. If you don’t invest, you don’t win. This is true and no matter how much will you have, just by creating an online shop you are not going to increase conversions. You have to work at it.
PRO TIP: Create your own community, get involved in social networks, work on your email marketing, invest in advertising… just like any other online business.
Make sure your customer is satisfied
Since the whole post-sale process will almost certainly not depend on you, but on the supplier or drop shipper, make sure you contact the customer once they have received their shipment and ask them if everything went well. In this way, you will also be building customer loyalty.
PRO TIP: It is best to send an email or even a message, where the customer can easily evaluate the whole process, as well as leave comments. Also, you can use a third-party platform to make your customers leave their feedback.
Best Dropshipping suppliers the UK
There are many dropshipping suppliers, and many of them are specialised in a specific market: hospitality, agriculture, toys, clothing… But the vast majority of them are located outside of the UK. If we talk about a dropshipping supplier in the UK, we would say that right now the most prominent is CJ Dropshipping.
Although CJ Dropshipping is a dropshipping wholesaler based in China, it is also available in 24 European languages and with warehouses in several countries including the UK. This can be very convenient in view of the entry into force of the law by which European online shops should have no borders and can sell in any country. However, make sure you are well informed about your tax obligations when selling abroad.
Otherwise, the range of products and suppliers that you can find on the Internet is very wide; you just need to contact some of the many product suppliers that support this business formula and sell the product you are interested in. Remember to take into account the guidelines and advice we have given you in the previous section when contacting any dropshipping supplier.
Choosing the right platform to start Dropshipping
If you opt for your own online shop, WooCommerce is of course one of the platforms on which you can set up your Dropshipping store in minutes.
As a Dropshipping expert, at Mihai Dobre, I can help you integrate your shop with the product catalogue of your chosen supplier and even I can design your customised shop. I have experience in integrating with a lot of different suppliers, so you have nothing to worry about:
- I will import one or more products to your shop from Aliexpress.
- I will Integrate your WooCommerce store with more than one supplier from China using Oberlo.
- You can mark the prices of the imported products by price brackets
- Superfast imports, you will not even notice it
- I will build your WooCommerce Dropshipping Store in 10-15 business days.
After all that I have told you, I think the conclusion is clear. How to start Dropshipping can be ideal as a complement to an existing business, or as a “test bench”: test the sale of a product without risking capital by not investing in it. And if it works, you buy stock and sell it directly.
But I do not think it is a good idea to base an entire business on this sales model. Margins can be very small, and the wholesaler cannot (and does not want to) take on thousands of retailers who take a few dozen sales a month from them. Which makes sense. So you can find yourself dropping that part of the catalogue.
However, as always, everything is relative and it will depend a lot on your sales force, how you work your shop, how you face the competition… If you have ever had a Dropshipping shop and you want to tell me about it, you can contact me here and we can talk more about your project.