Photo by Kindel Media

While some might paint it as a foolproof way to make money, the reality is that starting a dropshipping business isn’t easy, and achieving success with it is harder still.

Having the right technologies on your side is half the battle, so let’s go over the elements you need to master to improve your chances of dropshipping dominance.

Ecommerce platforms

There are a number of major ecommerce platforms which you can use to create a store, handle transactions and promote your wares to prospective customers.

Each has something different to offer, and some of the best known names in this segment are Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and BigCommerce. You can also add integrations to these platforms to expand upon the standard functions they provide, giving you a degree of flexibility.

SEO tools

Optimizing your dropshipping site so that it is discoverable on search engines is a priority, and there are lots of tools that are built to help you do just that.

For example, you can conduct keyword research to find out which search terms are building momentum right now, and identify untapped niches for products that could click with a particular demographic.

In addition, you could turn to AI-powered content generation tools to quickly generate copy to add to your product pages and your dropshipping site’s blog to further boost its SEO credentials.

EDI technology

The use of electronic data interchange (EDI) systems is central to dropshipping, as it gives suppliers a way to share data with partners in a standard fashion.

You’ll need to learn how dropshippers use the EDI 856 form to pass on shipping information, including things like tracking numbers and product descriptions, for example.

It’s fairly straightforward once you’re up to speed, but there is a bit of a learning curve to overcome as you work out what EDI technology is and why it’s important in a dropshipping context.

Social media

You can’t just rely on having an ecommerce site which appears in search results to get customers onboard. A solid social media presence will serve you well when it comes to generating traffic and driving people to your site who might not be accustomed to using Google as their first port of call for product discovery.

Growing an audience on social media is achieved in a number of ways, including by being consistent with your posting patterns and adopting a tone that’s in keeping with the identity of your brand, and attuned to your target audience’s values.

You can also turn to paid promotions on social media to get your products and offers out in front of the right people. Spending money on ads does come with risks, because if you’re generating lots of clicks but not seeing sufficient conversions, it’ll cost you. However, once you’ve got a handle on how to maximize the impact of this technology, you’ll be less likely to suffer this scenario.

Email marketing & CRM

Once you’ve captured customers and brought them onboard with your dropshipping business, it’s necessary to nurture the new relationships and keep them happy so that they can come back in future to buy more products from you.

A combination of email marketing and a good customer relationship management (CRM) platform will stand you in good stead.

These technologies go hand in hand, and the level of automation they offer means that even tiny dropshipping teams or solo operators stand a chance of keeping on top of customer support and post-sales follow-ups. So as you can see it’s software, not hardware, that’s central to dropshipping success.

This article was written by José Luis Martín Cara