A dropshipping niche website is the perfect business solution for entrepreneurs who want to start an online store without spending large sums of money.
It is prevalent for aspiring business owners to sell third-party products through their drop shipping niche website in the USA. You don’t need access to stock or shipping, and all the startup costs are meager. Here’s how you can build a dropshipping niche website.
Look for a Niche
Before you start building a dropshipping website, it’s essential to settle down on a niche. Your marketing efforts will require a careful strategy to beat the competitors.
It may be tempting to sell anything and everything on your website just because you can. However, this is the fastest way to stretch your marketing resources thin.
Remember, you have limited resources in the earliest stages of your business. It would help if you only focused on a niche you are passionate about.
Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Facebook Audience Insights to grow your business. The latter provides a treasure trove of data because Facebook has over 2.23 billion monthly active users.
Facebook Audience Insights is a powerful tool to help you discover a great dropshipping niche by unraveling market trends.
The tool lets you find information like demographics, page likes by categories and topics, location, and activity.
For example, if you want to explore a dropshipping niche like woodworking, you can type in any keyword and Facebook will show you how many monthly active people are using that niche.
This is similar to using an SEO tool like SEMrush to find keywords for your content. You can also see how many users like the niche, their engagement with the topic, and their location.
Google Keyword Planner makes your research for trends even easier and free! The tool makes the search volume for keywords public.
Simply type in a keyword and Google will show its search volume to indicate how many people are searching for it every month. This information is beneficial for building your dropshipping niche website in California.
Pro tip: Refine your search for a niche by focusing on long-tail variations of a niche. It’s easy to fixate on a broad keyword with a massive search volume. But those keywords are slightly tricky to rank for and aren’t that useful for commercial traffic.
Remember, always choose a niche that you are passionate about. Both research and your gut feeling will go a long way in moving your business forward.
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Populate Your Store with Products
The most essential part of running your dropshipping store is partnering with a reliable supplier. The wrong supplier can destroy your business and affect your brand name.
Take your time when it comes to researching dropshipping suppliers. Most vendors are located outside of the US. This means you’ll likely never be able to visit them in person.
However, you should be able to stay in communication through phone, email, live chat, social media, and other means.
Gauge how responsive the vendor is regarding speed and the ability to understand you. If the lines of communication fall apart and the vendor cannot honor their deal, it will be a reputation on the line!
The good news is that hunting for a supplier is getting easier by the day. You can go with Alibaba, Amazon, AliExpress, and many other suppliers.
You will find thousands of suppliers for the same product. Make sure to interview them thoroughly by preparing a detailed questionnaire. Your goal is to learn about their manufacturing capabilities and if they can scale their capabilities.
Scalability may not be necessary to you now, but once your business takes off, you will want to partner with a manufacturer that can match your rate of orders.
The best way to choose a manufacturer is to place a small order with them for a particular product you plan to sell.
Compare the quality of the product, packaging, and shipping time before making a decision. Put yourself in your prospective customer’s shoes before making up your mind.
Try to learn from other dropshipping niche website owners who sell similar products. They usually hang out in Reddit and Facebook Groups. Join these social media groups, and don’t hesitate to ask your questions.
Find an eCommerce Platform
Building the actual website itself is usually easy, thanks to the plethora of tools out there, including WooCommerce, Shopify, and BigCommerce.
Choosing an ecommerce platform usually comes down to preferences, ease of use, and budget. Let’s take a look at a few components you need to build your website.
The domain name can make or break your brand. Don’t have any ideas? There are business name generators to give you ideas.
Always go with a .com domain, even if you’re struggling to find a name for your website. If you want to include your niche in the domain name, make sure it’s broad instead of extremely specific, such as fitness, exercise, and beauty.
Try not to use your own name for the online store. This is especially important if you plan on selling your business down the line.
But if you are an influencer with a sizable following on social media, it helps to capitalize on your fame and build a dropshipping niche website after your own personal brand.
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Top eCommerce Platform
Let’s briefly take a look at the best ecommerce platforms in California.
It’s free to use, fully customizable, and compatible with many products and services. The WooCommerce plugin converts your WordPress website into an online store.
A major reason why WooCommerce is so popular is that it doesn’t require you to have any coding skills. Simply install the plugin, choose your desired theme, and set up your ecommerce store in one click.
The plugin’s dashboard includes the admin panel and various features to help you manage your online store. An endless combination of templates, designs, and plugins further enhances your ecommerce site.
Shopify has become one of the most popular ecommerce solutions for online retailers. At the time of writing, there are over 4 million Shopify stores, including dropshipping niche websites in California.
The platform is ideal for beginners and advanced users alike. Shopify is more user-friendly than WooCommerce.
More importantly, Shopify provides phone, live chat, and email user support. Should you ever run into a problem, you can always call an expert and sort the problem out.
Shopify has several paid plans to help your business grow at every stage. Their cheapest plan is the Shopify Starter Plan for merchants just starting.
However, we recommend going for the basic Shopify Plan because it gives you all the tools you need to run your ecommerce site.
At the time of writing, BigCommerce has over 47,000 live stores on its platform. While this number pales compared to Shopify, BigCommerce is the go-to solution for enterprise businesses.
Entrepreneurs love the user interface and the ease of setting up their online store. More importantly, BigCommerce helps you scale your online store with advanced features.
Their plans start at $30 per month for Standard, $80 per month for Plus, and $300 per month for Pro. You can also go with Enterprise plans if your business has reached a high sales volume.
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Web Page Essentials
There are several web pages you should build, both for SEO purposes and to make navigation easier for clients.
The following main pages are essential for all types of dropshipping niche websites regardless of what products or services they sell.
- Home page
- Product page template
- Category page template
- Shopping cart
- Order confirmation page
- Blog pages
- Landing page for specific products or services
- Refunds policy page
Choose a Business Structure
It is essential to separate your liability from your business. California is America’s sue-happy state where people sue first and ask questions second.
Although this section does not constitute legal advice, we will give you a synopsis of your options for the most commonly used business structures.
If you sell products under your own name and collect money in your personal bank, then you are a sole proprietor.
This business structure provides no personal liability protection. If you ever get sued, your personal assets could be affected.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An LLC protects your personal assets and establishes your business as a separate legal entity. This doesn’t mean that the liability protection is bulletproof.
If you don’t separate your business finances from your personal finances, your liability protection could be nullified.
With that said, LLC offers more protection than a sole proprietorship.
Most enterprises choose C-corporations to set up their business. When done properly, a C-corporation provides the most liability protection.
Setting up a C-corporation is more expensive, and you have to pay more taxes because the income doesn’t pass to the shareholders.
We don’t recommend choosing a C-corporation if you are just getting started with your drop shipping niche website in the United States of America.
Market Your Drop Shipping Niche Site in the USA
Now that you have the basic structure of the drop shipping niche website ready, it’s time to market your new store.
You will likely need a combination of SEO and PPC to stand out. The first few months (or even years) of operation will be an uphill battle to gain ground in the market.
Most niches are already saturated. This is why your biggest hurdle will be marketing and advertising efforts.
Let’s take a look at a few marketing aspects you can focus on.
Influencer marketing is an affordable way to reach your target audience because you can use trustworthy micro-celebrities to advertise your product.
If you go down this route, you will have to negotiate a fee with the influencer. Influencer marketing is big business and is reliable for billions of dollars of transactions.
For long-term organic growth via search engines, you will need content marketing. You will need to be familiar with the basics of SEO to carry out the necessary keyword research.
Remember to create a blog page specifically for content marketing. Now create content that educates and entertains your target audience.
In the same vein, you can also build a YouTube channel or start a podcast to increase your brand’s overall reach.
Starting out, paid ads is the way to go for new businesses. This is especially true if your drop shipping website was just set up.
The average cost for paid ads on Google and Facebook is relatively affordable. Pay-per-click marketing on search engines and social media platforms is a food solution even if you have a limited budget.
Make sure to target long tail keywords that are more likely to attract shoppers. Google ads are a bit more expensive than Facebook, but it is worth checking out.
Not all paid traffic coming to your website will convert. Some of them will be curious readers or even competitors wanting to check out your online store.
Remember to set up a Live Chat tool on your website to engage users immediately as they visit your website. This way, you will have a higher likelihood of converting readers into customers.
Start Your Dropshipping Niche Website
Now that you know the basics of launching a dropshipping niche website, it’s time to start!
Whether you’re just getting started or have been around the block, a drop shipping niche website in the USA is an affordable way of starting your online career.
Thanks to the rise of third-party plugins and thousands of suppliers, running your online business is no longer difficult.
Do you run a dropshipping store? If so, what are your tips for new entrepreneurs? Share your information with us and we might update this space with more information!
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I am Hannah, an online entrepreneur based in New York, United States. As the founder of several successful niche websites, I got the expertise in areas such as making money online, blogging, YouTube, affiliate marketing, and more. Through this website and blog posts, I am trying to provide insightful and actionable tips to help aspiring entrepreneurs, find ways to make money online. Read more.