Advanced Dropshipping in Australia is becoming more and mopre prevelant with everyday ecommerce amateurs taking on global retail giants from the privacy of their own homes. Oh my, how things have changed!
Over the last couple of years, the e-commerce world has seen two major trends. On one hand, we have the seemingly unstoppable rise of Amazon; on the other hand, we are starting to detect certain weaknesses that the online retail giant is still trying to contend with. There is little need to mention the ongoing spat between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and United States President Donald Trump because it mostly amounts to bickering and gossip. We know that Trump routinely attacks Amazon because he considers Bezos to be a personal enemy, but the reality is that this is a company that has been taking advantage of an ongoing transformation of the global retail economy.
What is undeniable about the state of e-commerce in 2019 is that Amazon is starting to feel the heat from competitors, and we are not talking about eBay, Walmart or even Alibaba.com. In 2018, an online retail sector analyst writing for Forbes magazine noticed how a group of private equity investors came together to acquire a major supply chain and logistics player for more than a billion dollars; in essence, this group of investors are hedging their bets on companies that cater to the dropshipping e-commerce model, and economies of scale were the rationale for this significant acquisition. These are investors who know that the retail sector is not declining by any means; the growth of Amazon is living proof of this, but there is definitely a paradigm shift underway, and dropshipping is part of this change.
Should Amazon be concerned with the ongoing growth of dropshipping? The safest assumption is to assume that Bezos and other key executives are aware of the following two factors:
* When looking at the global network of companies and individuals who are getting into dropshipping, it is easy to see that they offer a wider assortment of products compared to Amazon.
* Warehousing operations are far more segmented in the dropshipping e-commerce model, and this translates into faster deliveries as well as lower distribution costs.
Centralisation has been instrumental to Amazon in its quest to become the “everything store,” but there are limits to this model. While it is true that the third-party (3P) Amazon Marketplace was launched as a means of introducing a bazaar-like experience for shoppers, the reality of this 3P platform is that it initially suffered from a certain level of centralisation that dropshippers generally seek to avoid. These days, however, Amazon has shown greater flexibility towards accommodating dropshippers in the 3P marketplace, and this could very well be a sign that the company is realising that dropshipping is something they need to embrace.
The State of Dropshipping in Australia
With the above in mind, this is a good time to look into certain e-commerce trends developing in Australia and New Zealand. By now, everyone knows about the Brynley King story: a young woman from the Gold Coast region who has been featured in publications such as the Herald Sun and even the Daily Mail. Using dropshipping as her main logistics platform, King was able to expand her family’s Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil business beyond the garage to supermarkets across Asia and Europe.
More recently, Andy Mai from Sydney was featured by News Corp as young man who dropped out from university to forge a dropshipping business netting him $170,000 per year. Mai was introduced to dropshipping by means of watching e-commerce videos posted on YouTube; however, he had previous experience as an online gamer who sold character skins for Counter-Strike players. His transition from digital goods to retail products was not exactly smooth; he started setting up online shops on his own, and he took a loss of about $5,000 in a just a few months. Undaunted by this losing transition, Mai realised that his approach was too passive and unpolished; he started paying attention to Facebook and to products that were trending, once he refined his e-commerce strategy, he retained dropshipping partners that offered a more effective logistical platform, and he also hired developers to enhance his stores. Similar to Brynley King, Mai has also become a digital marketing consultant, but he has also automated his dropshipping venture for the purpose of providing continuity to revenue generation.
Over in New Zealand, a 19-year-old dropshipping entrepreneur named Josh Brown also lost money when he started out. It Brown four months of developing e-commerce websites on his own to recognise his shortcomings: he was vaguely following the oversold formula of searching for products that were going viral, and he installed third-party plugins that everyone else was using, thus resulting in duplicate listings that were being buried in the Google search engine results page (SERP). Without a good grasp of search engine optimisation, Brown was mostly spinning his wheels just like many other dropshipping hopefuls, but then he took a few steps to really make a difference; instead of focusing on a number of products he hoped would sell based on trending demand, he settled on smartphone holders for car interiors, something he felt confident in selling. With the right dropshipping supplier, e-commerce website developer and marketing strategy, Brown was able to generate more than a million in sales before the end of the year.
If we had been discussing the state of dropshipping in Australia a few years ago, when it first came on the radar of e-commerce hopefuls, we would have mentioned autopilot software that scraped product descriptions from Amazon and posted them on eBay with the expectation of deriving profits from arbitrage, a dubious practice that is being systematically eliminated by various online retail platforms. This e-commerce arbitrage model is essentially dead, and there is no need to revisit it. If you are looking to get ahead with dropshipping in 2019, you need to gain inspiration from Brynley King, Andy Mai, Josh Brown, and others who have formulated the right business strategies; in other words, you should be willing to learn, make certain efforts and treat your dropshipping venture like a business.
Rethinking Australia Dropshipping in 2019
Can dropshipping make you a wealthy entrepreneur very quickly? In some cases, the answer can be yes; however, only one of the three aforementioned cases have reached this level. By now, Brynley King has been doing e-commerce since she was a teenager, and she seems to have pushed all the right buttons. Mai and Brown have found success in just a few months, and they appear to be on their way to greater riches, but they can hardly be considered wealthy entrepreneurs. You need to be realistic about dropshipping, and this means accepting that this is not get-rich-quick scheme.
If you are already operating an e-commerce store that follows the more traditional method of holding stock and managing inventory from your own warehouse, you probably have a better shot at achieving dropshipping success because you would be improving and augmenting your existing operations. This does not mean that someone who is new to e-commerce will be at a disadvantage; the Mai and Brown case studies clearly show that you can get started from absolute zero. As with other business ventures, you should also accept that some risks may be involved; after all, even Brown and Mai absorbed losses before becoming cognisant of their mistakes, but the key would be for you to avoid them in the first place.
Getting back to those who are already running brick-and-mortar or online retail shops: take a look at this e-commerce website for a chopping boards retailer, which happens to run a weekend stall at the Bondi Farmers Market. In addition to boards, this online store also sells knives and bowls, and there is even a partnership with Toby and Rosie for shoppers to enter a drawing and win a hamper of nice skin care products. Perhaps the knives and cutlery are offered by means of dropshipping, but this is not something we can determine, and it does not matter to shoppers. The bottom line is that Byron Bay Chopping Boards has extended its Bondi Farmers Market physical presence to the internet, and now it has the potential to sell many other products without having to manufacture them or even hold them in stock. With a dropshipping partner such as Salehoo, this store could easily offer home and kitchen items like countertop ice makers.
It is easy to fall for the image of dropshipping being an activity that you can manage from your laptop as you are hanging out at the beach; unfortunately, this is the type of marketing that many e-commerce education providers will try to sell you. A similar image that is often sold to Millennials is that of young entrepreneurs using their smartphones to manage their dropshipping business right from the cricket grounds as they are enjoying a match. While it is true that some of the day-to-day operations of your dropshipping business can be managed from mobile devices, you should not assume that doing so will automatically translate into major earnings.
Choosing the Right Dropshipping Partners
Do you know what is really easy about dropshipping? Infrastructure and initial overhead costs. Thanks to the advent of cloud computing, you do not have to worry about hosting your own e-commerce store, and you have many choices in terms of platforms, but you should also think about competition and standing out from the crowd. This is not like Wall Street, where the herd instinct will sometimes pay off if you happen to hold a market position at a certain time; if you follow the crowd and simply open a Shopify account with Oberlo integration and hope that your choice of trending products will somehow attract all shoppers. With this mindset, you may be better off playing the TattsLotto.
When choosing the right partners for your dropshipping venue, you should start with a reliable e-commerce provider. Your ideas about what your online store should look like and how it will tie into your branding and marketing efforts should come after you choose a partner that gives you an affordable opportunity to be successful, ideally one that opens you to international markets while offering regional customer support. Salehoo, a New Zealand-based company that offers true global trading with dropshippers in mind, is an ideal choice for Australians because of local customer support and proven track record.
Choosing an e-commerce partner first will make it easier to select your next business partner: an e-commerce website developer who can integrate your suppliers and design a store exactly the way you want it to look and function. Skipping over this step and simply choosing Shopify or WooCommerce themes so that you can change a few store template themes will result in your shop looking like thousands of others. If you already have a blog or strong social media presence, it is highly recommended that you work with an e-commerce developer who can integrate your existing content and followers into your store. There is also the matter of SEO to consider, and you will always be better off working with a developer in this regard.
Choosing the Right Products in 2019
The three main criteria factors to consider when selecting products are:
* Potential profit margin commensurate to your business goals.
* Potential demand based on your marketing strategy.
* Ease of shipping and handling.
You should not choose products that do not include these three factors, and there is a chance that you will find many Salehoo suppliers offering items matching all three. Your final choice must be supported by actionable research, which should include the following:
There are three steps to this process: internal, external and rational. The internal step involves thinking about the products that you, your friends and relatives would enjoy buying online. The external step involves thinking about products that you have seen may have seen advertised on various online platforms such as your Facebook or Twitter feeds. The rational step, which is crucial, may involve visiting the Salehoo Market Research Lab to determine how much competition has already formed around your product choices; you will want to pay close attention to the three main criteria factors as well as to the number of sellers who are already offering the items on eBay and Amazon.
Markets and Categories
This is a more focused decision making step because it takes into consideration the current state of e-commerce. This is when you need to remember that the largest product categories are already dominated by major players; in other words, you do not want to go head-to-head against eBags.com and offer luggage as well as travel accessories unless you have an unlimited marketing budget to work with. It would be better for you to look into a niche within the travel accessories category. For example, travellers who value safety and privacy would be interested in RFID wallets, travel safes, money belts, VPN solutions, portable Wi-FI spots, and ultra-secure smartphones.
Your Own Ability to Market Products
For this product decision-making process, we are going to stick with the privacy-minded traveller example. Ideally, you would be one of these individuals who can communicate the advantages of travelling with products that enhance safety. Starting with your logo, think about a graphic design that would convey the idea of safe travels; perhaps an airplane crossing the globe on a background that resembles a padlock. You will need to do SEO research to figure out the search queries that will drive visitors to your store, and you will also need to think about creating content that explains the importance of protecting your privacy while travelling. If you are familiar about products such as the Blackphone 2 or the Boeing Black smartphones, can you describe your experience with these devices? Can you produce a video that highlights their privacy features? Can you get content producers to create these marketing materials?
Marketing and Business Automation
You do not have to worry about this advanced dropshipping technique if you intend to dedicate more than 50 per cent of your time to your e-commerce venture. Since many beginners to the world of dropshipping already have full-time jobs, they would definitely benefit from business and marketing automation, and this is something that you can discuss with your e-commerce shop developer. Some of the tasks you can automate include social media posting, some customer service queries, email marketing campaigns, and customer relationship management.
Building a Brand Through Dropshipping
As previously mentioned, exiting e-commerce store owners stand to benefit more from dropshipping than beginners because they are more likely to have already established a brand. You may be selling amazing products at enticing prices, but they are not really yours, and your customers do not see your logos on the boxes they receive. Branding is inherently elusive in the dropshipping world, but it does not have to be if you play your cards right.
Branding is the most advanced technique you can pursue to make your dropshipping business grow, and it often requires considerable work. This is something that explains the sheer success of Amazon; the familiar lower-case brand name underscored by a smile that looks like an arrow is something that stays with shoppers and entices them to return. One way to build your brand as a dropshipper is to look for private label suppliers on Salehoo, these are companies that either engage in manufacturing or are connected to product factories. Not all of the products you sell need to be private label; you can start off with t-shirts to gauge interest and later introduce personal electronics such as mobile power banks for recharging smartphones.
In the end, Advanced Dropshipping in Australia is just another way to get into the massive world of e-commerce, and it can be what you make out of it. As long as you put in the right effort, it can become a lucrative business venture, but you have to be willing to make it work towards your own goals. Not having to worry about inventory or shipping will clearly give you an advantage over traditional e-commerce models, but this will not magically turn you into an online retail model.