Why and How to Start Dropshipping in India as an eCommerce Business (2021)

Why and How to Start Dropshipping in India as an eCommerce Business (2021)

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Want to start an online business in India, but not sure where to begin? 

If you’re someone who does not want to get into product manufacture and production, or isn’t sure about what type of products to sell, there is still an opportunity for you – dropshipping in India

And we’ll tell you why. 

What is dropshipping? 

Dropshipping refers to a retail business where a store is not required to keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, it acts as the storefront to sell a product, which then gets directly shipped to the customer when an order is placed from the supplier/ manufacturer. 

As a result, you as the seller don’t have to handle the product directly or have to store inventory in warehouses. 

What is the difference between dropshipping in India and standard retail? 

Well, when you are dropshipping in India (or anywhere), you as the selling merchant don’t have to stock or own any inventory. Instead, the purchase gets made and fulfilled by a third party – usually, a wholesaler or manufacturer; while you act as the middleman. 

Here’s how dropshipping in India works: 

how does dropshipping work in india

Why start dropshipping in India? 

Dropshipping in India is a cost-effective way to start an online store or an eCommerce business. 

It allows you to sell products online without having to worry about carrying, storing and maintaining inventory of products. It also removes the need to take care of shipping and order fulfillment. 

All in all, dropshipping makes starting an online store in India, a low-risk business model. 

India’s eCommerce sales are projected to grow at an annual rate of 51%, making it the biggest opportunity for business owners. Dropshipping in India is the perfect way to test waters, irrespective of the products you want to sell.  

India also happens to be one of the biggest suppliers for raw materials and products across various industries. So when you begin dropshipping in India, you can actually choose to work with a local supplier or manufacturer, who will also ensure a good delivery time on orders. 

To summarize, here are the benefits of dropshipping in India: 

  • Less upfront capital investment
  • Easy to get started with 
  • Low overhead as compared to other models 
  • Flexible location 
  • Wide selection of products to sell 
  • Easier to test out different markets
  • Easier to scale 

With Shopify, thousands of entrepreneurs have been able to start dropshipping in India. Get started today

Now if you’re exploring starting a business, you would have heard about wholesale in India. So let’s quickly go over why dropshipping in India is a better business model than wholesale. 

How profitable is dropshipping in India? 

Dropshipping is one of the most profitable business models across the globe. Since you are not responsible for the costs of product manufacturing and shipping, you can start profiting from every sale you make very early on. 

Although, you do need to ensure you’re selling a product that people really care about and need, and have the right supplier by your side. 

Not sure where to begin and what type of products you can start dropshipping in India with? Fret not, we have a list. 

How to start dropshipping in India? 

1. Find your niche 

The first step to building a dropshipping business is figuring out what you want to sell and who you want to sell to. 

Choose a niche that you’re genuinely interested and passionate about. But at the same time, also make sure that the niche and the product are in demand in the market. 

You can start off by first creating a list of products you’d like to sell and how your potential customers could be searching for them. For example, keywords like “yoga pants”, “kitchen basket”, etc. 

After that, look into how these keywords are trending over the last few months. The goal is to understand if the interest in these products is sustained or tends to drop every now and then. A good way to do this is type in the keyword in Google Trends and check for the last 3 months. 

2. Identify a profitable product 

While dropshipping gives you the flexibility to sell almost any product on your store, it is important to find products that are profitable. 

Take into account the cost of doing business (running your store), shipping fees, marketing and the cut you will need to give to suppliers/ manufacturers. Make sure that you have healthy margins of about 40-70%, if not higher. 

So in general, you want to look for low-cost products that you can sell at a premium price. 

3. Set up your Shopify store 

You need to give your business a name, identity and an address to begin selling drop shipped products. 

Set up a store on Shopify and get started with dropshipping in minutes. It provides you with an easy-to-use eCommerce platform that is packed with features. 

Right from features that will help you design an impressive storefront to integration with dropshipping apps, payment gateways and more, Shopify makes it all a matter of a few clicks. 

You can even get started with a free trial and then choose a plan that suits your business plan the best. Sign up here

How does dropshipping work on Shopify?

Typically, you would have to first identify products you want to sell and then seek out a supplier in your location. Then you would have to find a way to integrate and connect your Shopify store to those suppliers to fulfil the demands of the orders you receive on the storefront. 

But Shopify makes dropshipping in India easy. 

All you need to do is set up a storefront on Shopify, and then install a dropshipping app on your store. 

Explore some of the apps that you can use for dropshipping in India here

Once you install an app, you can browse through thousands of verified suppliers registered on the app based on products, location, price and other parameters. 

Import the products you want to sell on your Shopify store. And you’re done! 

All you need to ensure is that you have complete information about the products, including sizing guides, descriptions, care, etc. to display on your storefront. You will still need to help the end customer make an informed purchase to get a sale. 

But when a customer does make a purchase from you, you’ll be able to fulfill their order with the dropshipping app you choose. The supplier you choose will be notified automatically when you receive an order, and will take care of shipping and fulfilling the order placed. 

What are the best products to dropship in India 

The demand for products continually varies based on seasonal trends and other factors. So make sure you validate the product’s interest by using tools like Google Trends and analysing the market in general. 

But here are some of the trending products to sell online in 2021 as per our research: 

  • Peel-off masks 
  • Nail polishes 
  • Exercise bands 
  • Water bottles 
  • Blankets 
  • Yoga and pilates mats
  • Bicycles 
  • Jigsaw puzzles 
  • Kitchen furniture and essentials 
  • Dining room furniture 
  • Rugs and carpets 
  • Cutting boards
  • Face masks 
  • Laptop skins 
  • Essentials oils and candles 
  • Tea and coffee
  • Greens and plants
  • Pet supply
  • Medical supplies 
  • Electronics 
  • Fashion and clothing 
  • Health and wellness supplements
  • Books and music
  • Educational courses

If you’re not able to niche down to an industry, you can also sell different types of products in your store. When you choose dropshipping, you get the flexibility to sell a wide range of items, including and excluding products based on demand easily. 

Although, we do recommend following these tips on how to choose products to sell:

  • Identify products people are looking for to solve a problem
  • Find products that people (and you) are actually passionate about
  • Find products that have a branding potential
  • Keep a tab on market trends
  • Find products that are impulsively bought Identify and serve niche segments

Why is dropshipping in India better than wholesale? 

Wholesale is a model that has been running in India for years. But wholesale in India can end up costing more upfront investment in goods or products, added cost of shipping them and employee costs to manage the processes. 

Now in the wholesale model, the cost of goods is high because a consumer needs to make a purchase in large quantities to get a good price. So you will have to stock up more inventory, without any guarantee that they’ll be sold. 

When you do sell and you need to ship the order, you also have to incur high shipping costs as you may not have government deals such as ePacket. 

On the other hand, starting dropshipping in India let’s you focus only on tasks like marketing your brand and offering good customer service to those who buy from you. The rest gets taken care of by the supplier/ manufacturer. 

Start dropshipping in India with Shopify 

Ready to get started with your online business? 

It’s time to explore Shopify for dropshipping in India to open a business without the hassle of managing, packaging or shipping. 

Step 1: Create an account on Shopify 

The very first step you need to take is signing up on Shopify. Don’t worry, you start with a free trial and are not charged until you’re ready to take your business live. 

Step 2: Fill in more information about your business 

After signing up, you will be asked a few questions about your business. Start using the dropdown and provide your information to Shopify accurately. 

start a dropshipping store in india - shopify set up

Once you have completed the sign up process, you will receive an email from Shopify with your admin login information and URL. It will be in the format of your-store-name.myshopify.com/admin. Make sure you save this information safely. 

Step 3: Add a dropshipping app 

Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be taken to your Shopify dashboard. If you have a new account, you will not see a dropshipping app just yet. 

To install one, follow these steps: 

  • Find a dropshipping app to install from the Shopify App Store
  • Click on Add App 
  • In your Shopify admin, to authorize the use of the app, click Install App 

Step 4: Add products from the dropshipping app 

After installing the app, you will be able to add products to your storefront by following these steps:  

  • From your dashboard, click “Products” on the left-hand side
  • Select “More actions” then click “Find more products to sell”
  • Click the dropshipping app you installed 

You will then be taken to your dropshipping app’s interface, where you can search for products and suppliers. 

Go through the results carefully and select the products you want to add to your Shopify storefront. 

Step 5: Enter the retail price 

On the product page, you’ll see the supply and shipping cost, along with a pricing field in which you need to enter your retail price of the item. 

Click “Add product” when you’re done, and the dropshipping app will add the item to your Shopify store.

Step 6: Edit product details 

Based on your target audience, make sure you tailor the product description to help them make an informed purchase decision. 

Add a product title/ name, description, sizing guide, material information and more. Ask the supplier for more information if it is not already available. 

Step 7: Set up and design your Shopify store 

Once you have the essentials ready, move to the next step – designing a good storefront. 

Go to Online Store -> Themes from the left hand side of your Shopify admin dashboard. 

From here, you will be able to select free Shopify themes or even pick a more premium theme for the look and feel of your store. 

Make sure you customize the theme by adding your logo, brand colors and more! 

Step 8: Set up payment gateways 

Before taking your store live, you will need to ensure you offer payment gateways that Indian customers are comfortable transacting on. 

payment methods in india on shopify

From online payment gateways to third party gateways like PayU, Razorpay, Cashfree and others, cash on delivery and popular wallets, Shopify supports them all. Learn more about payment gateways here

You do not have to worry about setting up shipping in this case as the supplier you choose using the dropshipping app, will take care of the fulfillment. 

Step 9: Choose a plan and go online! 

With everything set up, the next step for you is to choose a plan. This will remove the password from your Shopify store and make your storefront public. 

pick a plan - dropshipping in india on shopify

Now your customers can come to the store and make a purchase easily! 

Easy, right? 

Don’t think another day and miss another opportunity to start your online business. 

Sign up on Shopify to get started with dropshipping in India today

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