Home Products Dropshipping:
All You Need to Know
Is it selling home products to other people without considering stockpiling or shipping while earning a profit cut? Whether that sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is — drop shipping is less of a getting-rich-quick scheme and more of a get-rich-after-a-long-time-and-with-lots-of-hard-work system.
That’s not to say that dropshipping is a bad idea — it just takes more time and preparation than most people think. This doubles if you sell homeware such as artwork, pillows, lamps, chairs, bedding, curtains, or general home decoration. Home goods were the second-fastest-growing sector in ecommerce, based on a 2015 report.
So, we wanted to give a head start to anyone interested in a guide that would cover the basics. Here’s what you need to know about dropshipping homemade products.
How to Find Your Niche?
Home goods’ very essence is intimate: when compared to other necessity-based industries, home goods are all about taste and personality. The easiest way to succeed is to get home in on an ecommerce niche and appeal to people of the same taste and nature in particular.
Your first step is to find out which markets you can fill out for an opening. Posh, vintage, handcrafted, post-modern — the types are as varied as those people who like them. Although you should always gravitate towards products and customer groups that you are personally passionate about, competition research should determine your final decision at the end of the day.
Search for emerging items, both in sales and web searches. You are searching for things that scan for the top three keywords of over 100,000 searches monthly.
Google Trends and Google Adwords are a great way to gauge how famous those keywords are and help inspire you with what people are searching for but cannot find. It would help if you also searched your rivals to see what and how much they are offering.
What Product Types To Sell
Dropshipping has distinct issues than conventional ecommerce, so you need to take a closer look at your product range.
For example, for dropshipping, cheaper items — under $50 — tend to be better because returns aren’t as catastrophic. Returns are a considerable cost to dropshippers, so too much profit on expensive goods could force you out of business. However, low-cost products often sell better in general, and every sale counts in a competitive market like dropshipping, even if you’re making a couple of bucks.
You might as well go in the other direction, however, and dropship big and expensive things too bulky for your room. This is usually mattresses and furnishings for home products, from table chairs to king-size beds.
Because big furniture would be too expensive to store and ship, dropshipping becomes the most viable option for all but the most successful home goods retailers. Mostly you can have your cake and eat it too: you can sell your shoppers the mattresses and furniture, without having to worry about the logistics of the issue.
Only bear in mind that most consumers often prefer to buy furniture in person (as from a survey for 2016). If you decide to sell furniture online, make sure that you first have a market for it.
Where Suppliers to Find
The relation between supplier and seller is vital to dropshipping. You are business partners — you share your successes and failures — so make sure that you choose the right people before you commit.
Luckily, as you can see from those lists, there are plenty of suppliers to choose from:
- US drop shipper suppliers Free List (Watchman Advisors)
- Alibaba (Alibaba) Manufacturers
- BigCommerce (Supplier Directory)
- Best ecommerce drop-shippers (Ecommerce Platforms)
Ensure that you reach a large pool of suppliers to ensure that you get the best deals available. Regardless of how many you choose to work with, to get a good idea of what is normal, you can contact at least 20.
No matter which supplier you choose, don’t forget to sign a contract with the Dropshipping Agreement. If the supplier does something unethical, this arrangement will make sure you are not held liable.
Which Platforms to Use
Where you host, your ecommerce shop has more to do with your niche and branding than whether or not you’re dropshipping. All other factors being equal, you can successfully run a dropshipping company anywhere, as long as it suits your niche. E.g., folksy or handcrafted home goods would do well on Etsy; different products would face less competition on Amazon, etc.
That said, it seems for two reasons that Shopify is one of the most common options for dropshippers. First, Shopify is designed to accommodate ecommerce entrepreneurs for the first time, with an easy DIY interface to help you learn the ropes. Second, Shopify provides the best-received dropshipping features, including favorite Oberlo. These apps make it just a little easier to work with suppliers and organize a dropshipping company.
For home goods specifically, Wayfair is an industry leader, but may not be right for everyone. More defined niches may fall outside Wayfair’s mainstream approach, and other sellers cite excessive restrictions to avoid selling there.
Furthermore, Houzz seems to be gaining momentum in the online home decor industry, so find them an alternative. Being a private corporation, they don’t disclose their numbers, although some reports say they outweigh Wayfair.
How to Manage Web Design and Branding
Your site’s look and feel will be decided in large part by your website. For instance, as we touched on in our comparison, WooCommerce vs. Shopify, WooCommerce has more customization options through WordPress plugins. In contrast, Shopify has a relatively limited range of templates with all its conveniences. Before deciding on a platform, consider how much-personalized web design would benefit your niche.
But no matter which platform you’re on, branding is always going to be a problem. The dropshipping business is antagonistic to branding inherently — after all, it’s not your product logo. Everywhere dropshippers need to go the extra mile to build a recognizable brand identity, focusing more heavily on consumer interactions such as return policies, service assurances, and social media participation.
How to handle social media
The social media serves two primary dropshipping functions. First, for enhanced customer relationships, hearing new ideas, better service, and damage control provides a direct connection to your shoppers — just like in every industry.
The second task is to check your business ideas and to verify them. Check to see what people say on social media about your goods, and mention their grievances and praises. You should also test what people think about inherent rights that you are considering selling — social media is a great resource to use in the above-described niche and product analysis.
Strategic Traditional Ecommerce Uses
You don’t have to be a full-time dropshipper to manipulate dropshipping. Modern ecommerce stores should make use of dropshipping to complement their primary business with four secondary benefits:
Testing New Products
If you’re unsure whether your current customers are interested in a specific product, you could try dropshipping it for a temporary period. This reduces the risk of experimenting as no one wants to worry about buying too much stock on a product.
You are testing New Locations
Similarly, if you consider expanding your shipping range, you can use dropshipping to experiment with new geographic locations. You can check whether opening a new warehouse or fulfillment center would be worth it or not, again with reduced risk.
You are offering Goods Hard to Ship
As described above, if your store may profit from large or bulky goods, dropshipping lets you sell specific products without wasting money on storage or extra shipping costs (including taxes at some locations).
Safeguard from Overselling
Dropshipping gives you extra protection from overselling during times of high sales, like the holidays. If you don’t have the stock to fulfill demands for purchases, you should drop the excess. You’re not going to make as much money, but you’re going to keep happy with your clients.
Purpose: Homely goods
Home goods are more sensitive to branding and customer engagement because they are so personal than other categories. That connection with your shoppers is essential to hit your niche audience. Unfortunately, as we have already mentioned, these areas are a weak point in dropshipping. If you are going to drop ship home products successfully, you’re going to go the extra mile to make your online store feel like home.