WordPress gives business owners the power to reach customers all over the world. The CMS allows you to optimize, personalize, and scale depending on your needs. It is an entrepreneurs’ best friend. While the website is taking care of the customer-facing part, you have more time to think about the way you want to sell and fulfill sales.
It can be stressful to manage all those orders, especially if you work with various warehouses. That’s where dropshipping can do the work for you.
Dropshipping is an eCommerce business model, where instead of buying and warehousing inventory, you sell products you don’t actually have, and the supplier then ships them directly from the warehouse to your customer.
This model can be powerful because it eliminates most of the risks and costs associated with starting an eCommerce business. You’re only paying for the product after a customer has purchased it, so your only upfront costs are web development and marketing. If you find that something isn’t selling well, you can simply remove it from your store and try something else. And you can quickly test new products using paid ads.
In this article we will look at how one entrepreneur, Jared Goetz is optimizing dropshipping and giving WordPress eCommerce site owners more freedom.
Why Should You Look at Dropshipping?
Jared Goetz started off like many other entrepreneurs, trying his hand at several ideas that never really took off until he eventually locked in on one that did—dropshipping.
After a string of failed business ventures, including one where he dressed up in a mascot-like costume, Goetz stumbled onto dropshipping, found his stride, and quickly scaled to seven figures.
That eventually led to the creation of Zendrop, a platform that provides dropshipping suppliers for entrepreneurs who want to get an eCommerce business up and running. We’ll talk more about that in a moment.
Goetz says this is how he scaled so quickly once he started using dropshipping.
“What I love about this model is that literally the only thing I had to do was market the products and serve my customers. That let me focus on testing and refining our marketing, instead of buying products, maintaining inventory, and packaging orders. It was my “secret sauce so to speak,” he explains.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Even after he nailed the process down, Goetz still faced significant obstacles. One of these obstacles was losing over $450,000 to a Chinese sourcing agent.
“We were doing some pretty heavy volume, and by the time I noticed customers who had ordered certain products weren’t receiving them, I realized those products were all from one particular supplier. He ghosted me and I had to refund all of those orders. That was a tough financial hit, but also a valuable lesson.”
The Creating of Zendrop
Goetz had already been teaching others how to get into dropshipping for a while at this point, and this loss inspired him to build a platform that would help others avoid making the same mistake he just made.
“When I first got into dropshipping, it was far more difficult. You had to source and vet your own suppliers, and there wasn’t a simple way to streamline the transactions. I wanted to eliminate both of those challenges,” Goetz explains.
So he rallied his team to build what is now Zendrop.
His team has sourced a number of reliable suppliers, both overseas and in the US, who will dropship their products for other eCommerce stores, enabled by his platform. It currently integrates directly with Shopify, and will integrate with WooCommerce and other eCommerce platforms before the end of 2021.
The goal for Zendrop was twofold.
First, Goetz wanted to ensure users had access to a large pool of suppliers they could count on to deliver high-quality products in a timely manner.
Today, the platform offers over 500,000 products from US suppliers and another 500,000+ from Chinese suppliers. Products shipped from the US typically arrive within 2-5 days, while products shipped from Chinese suppliers typically arrive in 12 days.
And second, he wanted to make it easy for dropshippers so they could focus on marketing and scaling their eCommerce business.
The platform now allows users to quickly populate their eCommerce store with products in just a few clicks, and orders are routed directly to the suppliers, so it’s a hands-off operation.
It’s basically a business in a box.
But Goetz warns potential dropshippers that despite how efficient the dropshipping model is, this is still a business that requires real work.
“Anyone who thinks they can just set up a store and go sit on the beach is going to be very disappointed,” he says.
While platforms like Zendrop do take a lot of the work out of this model, entrepreneurs still need to choose the right products and market them to the right people. And you absolutely have to build a strong brand, otherwise, you’ll have to keep chasing new customers all the time. This is critical because repeat customers are exponentially more profitable than new ones.
You’ll have to either put in the work yourself, or, if you don’t have the skillset and aren’t willing and able to learn it, hire experts to handle branding and marketing for you.
Goetz said in addition to the platform itself and the library of education and training, Zendrop has also developed tools that help sellers discover new trending products.
“Ecommerce is a highly competitive space. You’re up against millions of other entrepreneurs, so you have to stand out—otherwise you’ll fade into obscurity. Our goal is to make sellers be more successful and that means creating an ecosystem of tools, platforms and training. Our Zendrop Trending Product finder is one product that helps us create an end-to-end ecosystem of dropshipping business,” he says.
There are an estimated 12-24 million eCommerce sites worldwide, with more being launched every day. The industry is currently growing at about 23% year-over-year. But less than 1 million of these sites sell more than $1,000/year, highlighting the level of competition you’re up against. As of September 2020, Amazon accounted for 37.9 percent of all online retail sales in North America.
In other words—if you expect to simply put a store up and become the next Bezos overnight, you will fail, but if you treat this like a real business, you have a ton of potential.
Goetz says that’s the key to dropshipping.
“You have to put in the effort to build a real brand, market more effectively, and provide massive value to your customers. Always look for ways to innovate. When you do that, you’ll stand out from probably 85% of the other ecommerce brands out there and your chances for success will grow exponentially,” he explains.
Dropshipping can allow WordPress site owners to spend more time paying attention to their products and customers.