Many people are asking, “is dropshipping dead?” I am hearing this from my readers and I’ve seen some articles online on the same topic.
When you think about it though, how can a business that you can start with just a laptop and a wifi connection plus a ton of resources available ever die?
The short answer is that dropshipping is not dead. The truth is, you can’t start a drop shipping business without a plan. Customer expectations have changed and you need to roll with it.
The biggest change is HOW you do business. The new way is moving to a wholesale model after you identify winning products. This is the only way to build a sustainable dropshipping business that focuses on branding.
This article is going to tell you how you can still be profitable with dropshipping in 2023 and beyond.
- Is Dropshipping Still Alive? What Google Trends Tells Us
- Is Shopify Dropshipping Dead?
- Is Dropshipping Dead in 2023?
- Is There Too Much Competition?
- 8 Steps to Differentiate Your Dropshipping Business from Competitors
- Dropshipping VS Affiliate Marketing: What’s Better?
- What’s the Best Dropshipping Course?
Is Dropshipping Still Alive? What Google Trends Tells Us
If you hop on google trends and do a search for dropshipping with the parameters “worldwide” and “Past 5 years”, this is what you’ll get:
In looking at the above graph, we can see that the term “dropshipping” has been increasing in interest steadily for 5 years. Sure, there have been some dips, but it appears that the interest is not dying out any time soon.
Let’s look at some more dropshipping-related terms.
Although these are not the typical dropshipping models you would normally do with Shopify, but you can also do dropshipping on eBay and also dropshipping on Amazon.
Dropshipping on ebay:
Apart from looking like Trump’s signature, it’s got huge variances with dips and spikes but it hasn’t fizzled out either. When you dropship on eBay, you simply list items for sale on your eBay store, and when someone buys something, you purchase the item from a supplier and have it shipped directly to your customer.
Dropshipping on Amazon:
The same goes for dropshipping on Amazon. The interest is still there, it just shifts up and down a lot over time but is still on an upward trend. If you’re not familiar with this business model, dropshipping on Amazon is where you source and list products to sell online using the Amazon platform.
Just like dropshipping through an ecommerce website, dropshippers can offer items at prices that undercut their competitors’ rates. Sellers use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for dropshipping which makes it easier to ship goods as they don’t need to deal with storage facilities or manufacturing such as packaging.
Let’s take a look at dropshipping on AliExpress:
AliExpress Dropshipping is Not Dead
Looking at the above graph, interest in Aliexpress dropshipping doesn’t look dead to me. There’s been a rapid increase in interest over the past 5 years. New dropshippers love AliExpress because vendors on that platform cater to dropshippers, there’s a ton of new products coming out every day and many manufacturers/vendors to choose from.
Finally, let’s take a look at Alibaba dropshipping:
The interest over time with Alibaba dropshipping compared to Aliexpress dropshipping is much less. This is not surprising because AliExpress is cheaper. The cost of goods on AliExpress is generally lower than on Alibaba, so you can offer your customers better prices and still make a profit. AliExpress has a larger selection of products.
There are millions of products available on AliExpress, while the selection on Alibaba is much more limited. This means that you’re more likely to find dropship products that are in high demand. The buying process is easier on AliExpress. Because the platform caters specifically to dropshippers, the buying process is a lot simpler and more user-friendly. Alibaba can be quite confusing for first-time buyers.
Is Shopify Dropshipping Dead?
Dropshipping on Shopify is not dead. In fact, it is more popular than ever. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most significant is that it is simple and easy to use. Shopify makes setting up your own store easy, and there are a wide variety of apps and integrations that make dropshipping even simpler.
There is also a huge community of entrepreneurs who have succeeded with dropshipping, so you can learn from their experiences and advice. Finally, Shopify is always updating its features and making changes that make dropshipping easier and more profitable. So no, Shopify Dropshipping is definitely not dead. Shopify has made it incredibly easy for new dropshippers to enter the market with many free themes to use for your dropshipping store.
Is Dropshipping Dead in 2023?
So as you can see, the search results from above do tend to go up and down quite a bit over the years but everything still looks to be on an uptrend with the dropshipping model.
What we can conclude from here is that there is still a high interest in the dropshipping industry when we compare it to just a few years back.
So the short answer is no – Dropshipping is definitely not dead in 2023 and beyond! Google Trends doesn’t lie, and the evidence is there!
There are no words that can describe how much dropshipping has grown over the past couple few years. According to Grandviewresearch, the global dropshipping market overall size had a value of 102.2 billion back in 2018. By 2025, it will expected to achieve a 28.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
This means that everyone is trying their luck on dropshipping business because it’s becoming very profitable as long as you know what are your goals, milestones, and KPIs for each store.
I would say that currently, more than 60% of all Shopify stores created within last year were using some sort of storefront with multiple integrations like Oberlo or ad services like Google Adwords ads etc., which shows us where the industry is going right now – towards automation & simplicity.
Is There Too Much Competition?
While there is more competition now than there was when dropshipping started way back in 2006, the reality is that you can always enter the market at any time and do quite well. This is because you are always going to be able to find new suppliers and brands to work with.
You have to look at consumers as well. There is always going to be some new gadget or product coming out that people are going to want. If you have an attitude that dropshipping is saturated and everyone is doing it, so why bother, you could miss out big time. Once you understand the business, you’ll be able to identify trends and see what new products are starting to catch interest.
If you have a general-type store and are not focused on one niche, then the product opportunities are endless. A successful dropshipping business stays alive because they are always looking for new trends and suppliers to get the best deal on the next viral product.
Competition exists because there is demand. If there is no competition then there is no demand. With that argument, competition is a good thing for business. Just differentiate yourself from others and your online store will flourish.
8 Steps to Differentiate Your Dropshipping Business from Competitors
In order for you to build a profitable dropshipping business, you’ll need to separate yourself from the competition. You can’t be like the other dropshipping stores. Offer up something different and unique. Here are some tips to help.
1. Move to a Wholesale Model After Finding Winning Products
The old way of doing dropshipping is to continually dropship products from China. This isn’t sustainable because many people don’t want to wait 2-3 weeks to receive their order.
The new way is to identify winning products, and move to a wholesale model. This allows you to make more profits and have quick shipping times. It also helps build your brand and trust.
2. Don’t Use Canned, Free Themes
Have you noticed that a lot of drop shipping stores look the same? One of the main reasons for this is that the same free themes on Shopify are being used with little to no customizations.
It’s very tempting to use a free theme but you can purchase a premium theme for fairly cheap. These premium themes can be customized to look a lot different than most stores out there. This is one way how to differentiate yourself from other dropshipping businesses.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Incorporate SEO
While most dropshipping businesses focus on paid ads and influencers, a lot do not focus on SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is where you optimize your pages to rank well in google.
For this to work you should focus on evergreen-type products that are selling well and will do so for years to come. If you have your product on the first page of Google you’re getting three organic traffic and there is no need for ads.
An SEO strategy is something most Dropshippers do not bother with. If you incorporate this strategy you’ll no doubt have a much more profitable business.
4. Have Outstanding Customer Service
A real business will have different options for customers to contact them. Having a phone number, and email address and even a chat option will separate you from others. While most other businesses will simply just have e-mail as a contact, offering more options will build trust and show consumers that you are our real business.
5. Don’t Focus on One Marketing Strategy
Don’t be that dropshipping store that only focuses on Facebook ads. You need to find new ways to market your products. To complement Facebook ads you could also use google shopping ads. Google shopping has become increasingly popular with new dropshippers so it’s essential that you understand how this works.
If you’re not using influencers, then you’ll need to incorporate this into your digital marketing strategy. Don’t just subtle four Instagram influencers. Look to others in your niche on other social platforms like Twitter and Youtube. Contact them and see how you can form some kind of business relationship.
6. Focus on imagery and design
Aside from having a premium theme, there are other ways to make yours stand out from the rest. Your logo should be something simplistic but also pleasing to the eye. Have you ever visited an online store with a horrible logo? I don’t know about you that for me it’s a complete turn-off. A successful ecommerce business always has a great-looking logo. If you have an attractive logo, people are going to see your store as legit with just that one small detail.
Your colors are also very important. You want to make sure that you use complementary colors in your store. You can find color wheels online that will help you choose what colors to use. This is a very important step because your site will also be judged by the color scheme.
You should also focus on your images. If you are using stock images from your vendor on Aliexpress for example, don’t just upload them as they are. If you are experienced with image editing, I would suggest changing the image a bit by flipping them horizontally or just making slight changes. If the customer sees your images differently than the rest, it’s going to pique their interest much more.
Lastly, make sure you have a nice font. For the love of God, please don’t use comic sans serif!
7. Offer Faster Shipping
One of the challenges with a drop shipping business is the time it takes to ship an item to your customer from overseas. Typically this can take 2 to 3 weeks with a free shipping option.
Many ecommerce businesses are now taking advantage of local dropshipping suppliers. This allows you to find products from reliable suppliers in the same country where your customers are. By finding these local suppliers you can cut down your delivery time to just 2 to 3 days.
Another strategy that you can use is if you have a product that is selling extremely well, you could order from your overseas supplier in bulk. You could then send these to a fulfillment center in the country where your customers are. They will take care of the shipping for you once an order is placed. This will also cut down the shipping time to just a couple of days.
If you live in the same country as your customers, you could also have them shipped directly to you and then send them out to yourself. This deviates from the drop shipping model but if you’re selling a ton of product I don’t doubt you’d have a problem setting these yourself.
8. Focus on Mobile
Retail sales for ecommerce sites have been increasing steadily on mobile devices. In the United States alone, by 2025, it’s expected to increase by 7 percentage points, up from 2018. This means that by 2025 more than 10% of all retail sales will be made from mobile phones alone.
Make sure that you use a mobile-friendly theme for your website. Most sites these days are mobile-friendly, but you can perform a mobile friendly test just to make sure.
Aside from just getting a theme that works on mobile, make sure you test it yourself. Does it look good? Is the site easy to navigate? Is there a visible search bar so customers can search for products?
Dropshipping VS Affiliate Marketing: What’s Better?
Most people that want to start some kind of online business normally hear about either dropshipping or affiliate marketing.
But which one is better? Which one makes more money? To answer these questions, let’s start with what’s better. Dropshipping is very straightforward because it requires a website with products. There are various ways to promote your store but all your sales will be made from your website.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t even need a website. You could promote a product on Youtube, Facebook, through email promotions, influencers, and more. Simply stated, the one that is better is the one that is right for you. Both of these businesses make money, how much you make depends on your effort.
Which one makes more money online? I’m not gonna throw a bunch of hypothetical numbers at you to try to prove which one makes more money. There are so many factors that determine this such as your skill, effort, willingness to get out of your comfort zone and also some luck plays into it as well.
I have a dropshipping store that makes more money than three of my affiliate sites but I have affiliate sites that make more money than my dropshipping store. Of course, this doesn’t prove which one is more profitable but both of these business models make money. You can’t possibly prove which one makes more. If you hear others making wild predictions, then that’s all they are.
If I haven’t been able to convince you whether dropshipping is dead or not, then at least you have affiliate marketing to fall on.
What’s the Best Dropshipping Course?
If you want to give dropshipping a go, you’re going to need a good course. If you understand that dropshipping is not dead but you need to do things differently then you are really going to need some guidance. That’s how why started with dropshipping. I bought myself courses and was taught how to do it from the ground up.
The good news is I can spare you from buying a bad course by just checking out my list of the best dropshipping courses for 2023. Here you’ll be able to choose from a variety of programs but I suggest going with my overall winner.
So there you have it. Dropshipping is not dead and the data proves that. You will need to do things differently when starting a dropshipping business today.
You’re going to need an attractive and well-built website that’s mobile friendly, explore different types of advertising including search engine optimization, find local shippers for your best selling products, and also have top-notch customer service.
With all these elements in place, I have no doubt you can be successful with your dropshipping journey.
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