Getting started with Dropshipping in South Africa
Practically everyone wants to be their own boss one day. Maybe it’s the clock-watching manager, cliquey colleagues or horrendous traffic you face each day. Whatever it is, we all have our reasons for daydreaming about starting our own businesses. But those dreams are often squashed by a lack of capital.
Luckily, not all business models require tons of money. Enter dropshipping!
The name may sound like a nautical error, but it’s actually a clever method of selling goods online without having to worry about inventory and storage.
In a nutshell, dropshipping is a fulfilment model. You act as the middleman between a customer and wholesaler. A customer buys the product from your online store. Their purchase is shipped to them directly from the wholesaler. You’re the go-between and never actually handle the product.
What are the benefits of dropshipping?
This approach offers many benefits for first-time business owners. Especially those without capital looking for an opportunity to start their own thing. It’s also a relatively low-risk environment to learn about the world of business. It’s perfect for an aspiring entrepreneur.
1. You don’t need a lot of money to start.
You act as a curator, showcasing products you think will be a knock-out success. For example, you could have an online store selling watches that fit a specific target market. The watches can be from many different wholesalers and manufacturers, but the customer doesn’t see that.
It’s still your responsibility to create a brand or aesthetic for your online store. And you need to get customers and traffic to your store. But some major worries are taken out of your hands, like paying for, storing and dispatching stock.
2. You can stock a wide variety of products.
The beauty of dropshipping is that you can ‘stock’ a product without actually having it in stock! In the real world, you’d need a warehouse to store the amount of products you can sell through dropshipping. Your online store acts as a virtual warehouse that you sell from – you can have an unlimited variety of products on sale and ensure you’ve got something to please a much wider target market.
3. No stress if something doesn’t sell.
Using dropshipping as your fulfilment model means you don’t have to worry about stock gathering dust. You’ll never end up in a situation where you have tons of stuff to urgently get rid of at discounted prices. You’re also free to test out different products on your customers and see what does well – with no risk involved for you.
4. Work from anywhere.
You’re not be tied to a brick-and-mortar store with dropshipping. That means your office is anywhere you can connect to the internet. Prepare to give everyone showing off with #officefortheday snaps a run for their money!
5. Keeping up with growth is a breeze.
Since you don’t have to worry about logistics such delivering products to your customers, it’s really easy to scale your business. Often, the growth in space and manpower required to keep up with order fulfilment is what keeps online businesses from achieving their full potential. Luckily, this obstacle has been removed with the dropshipping model.
When it comes to starting an online store, dropshipping lowers the barrier to entry. More people can do it, so it’s likely you’ll have competition from other dropshippers. It’s important to build up a good reputation, so make sure you partner with wholesalers who have a good order fulfilment track record. Ensuring you stock unique products that people struggle to find elsewhere also helps.
Shopstar has recently launched our dropshipping functionality. Start an online store and begin your life as your own boss today! It only takes a few minutes to set up and we’re here to help you every step of the way.