If you're looking into starting an eCommerce business, you've probably done a bit of research into the dropshipping model.
Once the easy questions like "what is dropshipping?" and "how does dropshipping work?" are out of the way, you have to look at more complex issues. Things like how to start a dropshipping business and how to create a dropshipping website.
To answer that last question, here's the low-down on how to create a dropshipping website, what website builders are available to you, and some tips on creating a dropshipping website plan.
Why Make a Dropshipping Website?
The dropshipping business model relies heavily on your ability to market and sell products in large quantities without ever storing them yourself. This means the traditional brick-and-mortar business model isn't suited to dropshipping.
Here are a few reasons you need a dropshipping site:
- Impress suppliers. Once you've found the dropshipping suppliers you want to work with, you'll both want to know more about each other's business. If you don't have a website that they can check out to get a feel for your business, they may not want to work with you. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous dropshippers caused suppliers to be more wary of working with new businesses (it even led some to ask "is dropshipping dead" and "is dropshipping legal?") A well-made and professional website goes a long way to forging new vendor relationships.
- Attract customers. Dropshipping businesses benefit greatly from digital marketing efforts like eCommerce email marketing. However, these are only useful if you have an online place to send the people who see the marketing materials. Your website will serve as the landing page for these prospective customers. You should also build these pages with eCommerce SEO in mind. This will drive customers to your site from search engines without you having to pay for eCommerce PPC advertising.
- Update product offerings on the fly. Websites also serve as an online digital catalog, where customers can see the breadth of the products you sell. If you decide not to sell certain products or run into issues with production or lead time, you can pull them off the site instantly. Traditional catalogs would continue showing prospective customers products that you couldn't sell them.
- Compete with other resellers. One of the biggest benefits of having a dropshipping website is that it allows you to keep pace with your competition. If they all have websites or listings on an eCommerce marketplace and you don't, you'll be left behind. Don't let your business be harmed by a lack of digital presence.
- Provide vital information. A dropshipping website is more than just a sales tool. It's also a repository for information vital to the customer experience. Pages like a shipping policy, frequently asked questions, return program (see RMA form), and more. This content can help make sales, but also serves to ensure customer satisfaction.
How to Make a Dropshipping Website
Learning how to set up a dropshipping website can seem like a daunting task. You need to find a platform, design a storefront, create an eCommerce marketing strategy, and more. It can lead you to ask, "is dropshipping worth it?"
Here are the things you need to create a dropshipping website:
The most important thing you need to run a dropshipping website is an eCommerce platform. This can be a type of headless eCommerce software, cloud-based solution, or an online marketplace. Regardless of the type of platform you choose, this is where you will build your website.
When looking at prospective platforms, there are a few things to look for. First, you'll want a platform that is easy to use. Unless you have a coder in-house, you're better off picking a platform that can be used with little training. You'll likely already be reading eCommerce books and dropshipping books or taking dropshipping courses, so you don't want to add even more materials to read just to get a website running.
Second, the platform needs to be able to scale with your business. As you work to grow revenue and increase eCommerce sales, your website will need to grow and adapt. Stick with platforms that offer long-term growth rather than just choosing the cheapest one.
For food suppliers, the best choice is BlueCart eCommerce. It has cutting-edge tools and resources for selling B2B wholesale food (see what is wholesale), DTC food, or both. Even better, all BlueCart customers also get listed in our marketplace where their products can reach 92,000+ buyers.
It may sound silly, but you'll need to acquire a good domain name when creating your dropshipping business. You can use Google Domains to search for the name you come up with and see its availability. Try to pick a name that matches your business's name and gives customers a good idea of what you sell. It will be difficult to drive customers to your site if it seems like a scam site or doesn't make sense to them. If you pick a bad name, you'll be Googling "how to make money dropshipping" when no traffic comes to your site and sales flat line.
Creating your website is easier if you follow a predetermined website plan. This includes drafting templates for different page types you're going to have on the site.
In general, these are the main pages you'll want to plan out for all types of eCommerce businesses:
- Branded homepage
- Category page template
- Product page template
- Shopping cart
- Order confirmation page
BlueCart eCommerce is a great tool to use here, as we take care of all these pages and more. All you need to do is provide a list of products you sell and some images and we’ll take it from there.
The last thing you'll want in place when creating your website is your pricing. You need to determine the general pricing model (think wholesale vs retail price), if you'll use a subscription payment plan or set minimum order quantities (MOQ). You'll also want to plan your margins and markup the products before listing them on the site (see markup vs margin). Your ability to offer products at competitive prices and market them accordingly is key to the success and growth of your website.
Dropshipping Website Builder
There are a number of ways you can build a dropshipping website. You can choose to build your own website and host it through a third-party company. This gives you greater flexibility with how your website is structured, but also takes a lot of effort. Instead, many dropshippers choose to list their store through a DTC or online wholesale marketplace. These sites offer you access to a larger audience from the start, but can be more limiting.
The best dropshipping website builder is BlueCart eCommerce. Our all-in-one solution handles store design and structure, menus, eCommerce payment processing, and more. This lets you focus on finding the best products and selling them without worrying about your website.
Dropship Website Plan
Creating a successful dropshipping site is made much easier when you plan it out in advance. The key is to approach the website in the same order that a customer would. One thing that helps here is checking out some of the best dropshipping websites and picking out the functionalities that you like. Write down your own flow as you peruse the site and make note of the different types of pages you navigate through. Then create a plan for how you want these pages laid out on your own site.
If you use an online marketplace like BlueCart to sell online, you don't have to worry about this. We'll build your digital catalog for you and our structure is built with on-page SEO for eCommerce in mind. You'll be attracting customers to your new, easy-to-navigate storefront in no time.
If You Build It, They Will Shop
The look and feel of your dropshipping website are key to your success. Approach website creation from your customers' point of view and use the right tools to make the process streamlined. This will help customer satisfaction and increase sales.