How I built a dropshipping store and earned $6.667 in 8 weeks
I believe that everyone has potential to become a successful entrepreneur, and I decided to illustrate it for you.
I documented the entire process of creating, launching and doing business according to the principle of dropshipping, so you can repeat every decision I make.
For 2 months I have created and launched your own dropshipping store on Shopify. And during these 8 weeks I gained $6.666.73.
Let me explain, I’m not a genius. I’m just an ambitious entrepreneur like you, with a huge desire for success.
I was engaged in this business in addition to my job from 9 to 5 (which is generally not associated with electronic trade), so I had to work in his shop after work or on weekends – like many of you.
Even with all the obstacles in my way, I did it, and if I could do it, so can you.
So, check out my experience as I chose your products, what marketing tactics I liked as I made my first sale, and learn about the challenges I’ve faced as an entrepreneur.
In search of a niche
When I start a new business, I always like to think about what I’m going to sell.
Despite the fact that there are wonderful online tools that can help you find a profitable business idea, I usually start with a brainstorm on a sheet of paper.
Why I used the paper? I’m a big fan of simplicity, so I just wrote down everything that came to mind for 10 minutes.
In my head was a good idea, as you have, and all I had to do is put them on paper.
I used the following criteria when I chose the goods:
- No food (I didn’t know anything about the quality of food supplied from abroad)
- No electronics (breaks easily, which can lead to a large number of returns)
- No heavy goods (high shipping cost)
- Cheap goods (if you need a refund, I won’t lose much)
Now, that was my only criteria when looking for goods. There’s no exact science, but I was successful using these criteria in the past, but successful entrepreneurs use what works.
I came up with nine niches (shown circled in green) with some refinements (circled in yellow).
I already had some rough ideas about what I should sell, but I checked the bestseller lists on sites:
In the past I have had success with products that you can find at least two of these marketplaces.
After checking these trading platforms I settled on three ideas.
1. Pineapple bracelets
Amazon and Etsy were the same products in the bestsellers, which was a good sign that this product is in demand.
2. Steel strap
Watch with steel band also proved popular. It seemed that these products can be a good option.
3. Caps with pineapple
And again, Amazon and Etsy pointed out similar products in the bestseller list. It was very interesting that on both platforms were caps with pineapple.
I had three ideas, so it’s time to check them out.
Check is one of the most important steps when you start your own online business.
This process will allow you to understand whether there is demand for your idea (product) or not.
If you skip the verification process, your business can be a waste of time and money.
Check niche #1
Since I had three ideas, I had to find one that had the most nanav for success. The easiest way to do this is to use Google Trends.
All my ideas were great. There were no crazy tendencies, but there was definitely signs of a growing interest in all directions.
With this schedule I had the confidence to keep moving forward.
Despite the fact that “steel watchband” had more search volume in Google, my intuition told me that I should watch more pineapple products because:
- The number of requests for both pineapple product grew,
- These products fall into a niche
- There is a wide range of goods for sale.
I mentioned that to spend too much time searching for items for sale not ideal for me.
Then it hit me. I thought to myself: “Why not build a huge shop selling goods with pineapple?”
I wanted to stick to my intuition and to move forward with this idea. So it was decided: I was going to run a shop for selling goods with pineapple.
Search items for sale
Now that I’ve decided on a niche for your store, it’s time to start exploring some of the goods.
I started checking Amazon to assess whether the products which are available with pineapple.
I decided to take advantage of the offer from the drop down list (as shown below) after you enter your search query.
It was a very important step. These suggestions are based on the activity of buyers, who enjoy the site, and their algorithms will learn which products may be of interest to me.
Ultimately, these algorithms are designed to entice me to buy more products. And if they will work for me, they will also work for my audience.
So I just searched for the term “pineapple” without pressing the enter key, and remember the results.
I selected these results for products that looked the most interesting, and, in combination with the results of my research, I have compiled a list of 10 ideas:
- Device for cutting core from pineapple
- Pineapple decor for the home
- Backpack with pineapple
- Inflatable mattress in the shape of a pineapple
- Pineapple stand for phone
- Necklace with pineapple
- Earrings with pineapple
- Dress with pineapple
- Pineapple bikini
- Pineapple caps
I was very pleased with these results, but I still found time to dig a little deeper and explore some more products.
In the end, the more you investigate a niche, the more chances you have to find products that will be useful for your business.
I spent about an hour on a review of these products, and I have made some more convincing ideas to fill your store.
I had only 17 ideas. Keep in mind that each product has dozens of different variants and color options.
The importance of the test orders
When you are a business, you won’t see your products – your suppliers will deliver your products right to the doorstep of your client.
With this in mind, it is always a good idea to place a test order for the products you plan to sell. This will allow you to go through the whole purchase process is exactly the same as your customers when placing an order.
You’ll be able to check the quality of products, delivery times and standards, and to make your product photos – it really will help you to raise your store to a new level.
After I placed a few test orders to check the quality of their suppliers , I had confidence that my shop could be successful.
I found some high-quality niche products, which already enjoyed quite a high demand, and I had good ideas for marketing campaigns.
But I wanted to hear some honest opinions about my pineapple niche.
The best way to do this? Social media!
Check in social networks
People love to Express their feelings on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And thanks to social networks, they do it publicly.
I wanted to use this to their advantage, so I started to explore what publish people associated with my ideas about the product.
Checking social media #1: Twitter
If I just had to look for the term “pineapple” in Twitter, it is unlikely I would get any useful information.
Instead, I decided to look for some specific ideas that I mentioned earlier.
After I read all the relevant tweets, I had some interesting ideas about what people think about this niche and, more importantly, how do my potential clients.
I decided that for these terms is necessary to obtain a more detailed overview of interaction on Twitter, so I decided to use the Keyhole.co.
Just four days 184 posted 199 tweets that used the term “pineapple necklace”.
Even if we assume that 70% of these tweets were from other brands of e-Commerce, that still leaves us with around 60 tweets that include the term “pineapple necklace”.
I used the same assumptions for other items in my list, which meant that over the past four days about products will be more than 800 tweets.
These results looked very promising, so I decided to continue exploring these products on other channels.
Check social networking #2: Instagram
When it comes to e-Commerce, not so much social networking that would be as influential as Instagram.
Understanding hashtags in Instagram is the key not only to when you are trying to increase readership, but also to the analysis of engagement.
To see which hashtags were the most popular, I used websta.me and was looking for my main key word is “Pineapple.” I was still open to new ideas and keywords, so I haven’t looked specifically at other keywords I found.
It turned out that Instagram was more than 7 million posts that include hashtags related to the pineapple.
55 of the most popular hashtags 6 were associated with the goods.
It’s time to look at these hashtags in more detail.
My goal was to find people who have purchased items with pineapple. I wanted to see how my target audience and what products they liked best.
I quickly looked at each hashtag to find something in common between users. The more they share, the easier it is to narrow your target audience.
For example, one thing I learned after watching #pineapplepants , was the fact that the majority of young women in pineapple pants loved going to the gym.
In fact, they mostly wore pineapple leggings.
This was an extremely valuable conclusion, as he later fueled my audience for marketing campaigns.
Collecting all these valuable data is free – it’s just a study. The more you know about your target audience beforehand, the less time and money you will spend on the organization of marketing campaigns.
Speaking about Facebook: When I finished to test my idea with the pineapples on Twitter and Instagram, it’s time to check the most popular social network.
Check social networking #3: Facebook
Facebook – cool source for data collection.
Given that the business model “free shipping” do not show any signs of slowing down, I first turned to Facebook to ads and publications of my potential competitors, which also used this tactic.
I wanted to see how they set up their ads and how high involvement buyers, therefore I entered “Pineapple “just pay for shipping” in the search box, and Facebook found great results.
25 756 likes, 4 241 2 605 comments and reposts.
This, along with the rest of my research gave me more understanding of the most popular products and my target audience.
I was also looking for posts that included words like “pineapple”book now”.
The data that I received was very useful for finding products that were of great demand. I also got a few new keywords that I could use to attract customers.
I was very pleased with the results of my audit on social networks.
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook showed me that I was on the right track with my idea. Of course, there were many competitors that sell similar products, but I couldn’t find a single store that fully covered the niche of pineapple.
I had a good feeling about this, and I went on.
Let me be clear: creating a new dropshipping business from scratch will require a lot of work.
Whether it’s product research, test the niche or working with dissatisfied clients – each task is a very important part of a bigger puzzle – business.
If we forget one of these parts of the puzzle, we risk the entire business.
At this point I felt quite familiar ideas niche and it’s time to finally start building your store.
I wanted to follow your progress and, more importantly, to ensure that I did not forget about any important tasks, so I used Asana , a project management tool.
I highly recommend using Asana or similar tool to install all the tasks you need to accomplish – it really helps to visualize your progress even when you are working on small tasks.
I opened a new Asana Board and added a few columns to render every part of my business. In each column I added a task that I knew had to be done.
I made sure to set the timing for each task – I wanted to maximize my time and make sure I’m constantly working to improve his store.
As I mentioned earlier, I worked in this store in addition to my job from 9 to 5, so I didn’t want to waste your precious free time on tasks that were not necessary.
I also installed the Asana app on my phone – so I received a notification when approaching a deadline. It was a great idea that really helped me remain in your schedule.
Once everything was set up on Asana, it’s time to dive into the Assembly shop!
Name and logo
For many entrepreneurs, naming their business takes a lot of time as creating a logo, but not for me.
I usually don’t like to spend too much time on this step, and instead strive for simple, clear, brand name and logo.
At first I wanted to have the name of the company. Pineapples are popular in Polynesian cultures, so I thought it would be nice to come up with the name of the company with Polynesian touch.
I already knew that my target audience will be mainly young women, so I searched in Google the names of Polynesian girls.
One of the first names I encountered was “Alani”. According to Nameslist.org this description of the name:
“Alani loves art, beauty, and home life. Alani trustworthy, honest and behave responsibly. Alani tend to sacrifice their needs for others”
I’m not very good at design, so I was thinking about how to pay the graphic designer for assistance in creating a logo for your business.
However, I wanted to keep as low as possible costs for this business, so I decided instead to test the free alternatives.
I got on Vecteezy.com a resource for free vector art, and decided to look for an icon of a pineapple.
I found a lovely collection of fruit, which also included a minimalist icon of a pineapple: