- Kamil Sattar started selling products online through a method called drop shipping in 2017.
- Drop shipping refers to a type of fulfillment method where the seller does not hold any inventory and instead acts as an intermediary between the customer and the supplier.
- As online shopping grows in popularity, the drop shipping landscape has changed rapidly. Sellers now have to operate stores with a higher level of quality.
- Sattar has already made $ 1.7 million in sales on Shopify this year, according to documentation emailed to Business Insider. He outlined his top four tips for getting started in drop shipping in 2020.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
As a teenager, Kamil Sattar knew he wanted to work in business. But he dropped out of his college’s commerce program in his sophomore year when he said he realized, “I wasn’t really learning to do business. I was learning to work for someone else’s business and make money for them. ”
It wasn’t what Sattar had envisioned. He decided his best way was to quit, find a job to increase his cash flow, and use that money to fund what he really wanted to do: start his own business. While working in retail and personal shopping, Sattar went on to meet a new e-commerce business called drop shipping.
For the uninitiated, drop shipping describes one method of execution. This means that the online seller does not hold any inventory in a warehouse and essentially acts as an intermediary between the customer and the supplier of the product.
In many cases, sellers, or drop shippers, who use this method, find products from suppliers that customers have never heard of.
Drop shippers use wholesale marketplaces like AliExpress, which is owned by Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce site. AliExpress sells all categories of products, from clothing to luggage and yoga mats, at incredibly low prices. The drop shippers then identify the products they believe will be of interest to consumers. Once they find a product, they advertise it on platforms like Facebook and Instagram with high quality photos and videos, and if a customer bites, they take care of passing the product from the supplier to the customer.
The internet is full of direct senders who claim to make tons of money in their spare time using this e-commerce method. Sattar was intrigued and decided to start his own store in 2017. Fast forward to today, and Sattar has already transferred $ 1.7 million in products via drop shipping this year. These sales were made on the Shopify ecommerce platform, according to documentation emailed to Business Insider. Sattar shared his tips for getting started with drop shipping in 2020.
Focus on selling a product and make it look professional
When Sattar started drop shipping in 2017, consumers were ready to buy products from websites that looked less than professional, he said. But consumers have become more savvy in recent years as more shoppers have turned to online shopping. Now a scam website is forcing buyers to close the tab.
“Drop shipping standards have increased dramatically when it comes to how your website looks,” Sattar said.
That’s why Sattar believes the best path in 2020 is to sell a product and build a website that legitimizes the product in the eyes of the consumer. Sattar went so far as to recommend that a seller create a name for the product and have the Shopify store URL and branding reflect that name, so that the entire site appears to be marked as if the seller owned the product, even if he didn’t – a supplier like AliExpress owns it. (Sattar said you should seek vendor approval before doing this.)
To build a product website, Sattar recommends using Shopify, an ecommerce platform that makes building a professional looking online store very user-friendly. Similar to designing a website with a platform like Squarespace, Shopify offers templates for setting up an online store that sellers can’t deviate from much, but Sattar said that for 70% direct senders, Shopify is the best solution.
Use third-party vendors to simplify processes
To truly grow and scale an ecommerce business, Sattar says it’s essential to invest in apps and vendors that simplify parts of the drop shipping process. Shopify is just one example of a platform that makes it easy to set up an online store, and a Shopify subscription starts at $ 30 per month. Shopify also has a company called Oberlo that automatically links a seller’s AliExpress products to your Shopify page.
Then there are plugins like Loox, an app that automatically imports product reviews from AliExpress to your Shopify store so that sellers can easily view customer reviews of the product. Tidio Live Chat, another app, allows sellers to have automated customer service chat boxes available on their product pages.
Sattar also uses apps that automatically send texts or emails to potential customers about their abandoned carts, apps that automatically attach tracking numbers to every order, and apps that help them easily edit videos and product photos to overlay text and music for a professional look. For most of these services, Sattar pays a monthly subscription fee, although some offer free options. But the cost of these vendors is well worth it to Sattar as they allow him to move more product and reach more customers.
Don’t trust paid courses
On Sattar’s website, he sells drop shipping related swag, like this “dripping in dropshipping money” shirt. But he also criticizes drop shippers who cannot substantiate their claims. One shirt has a categorical message: “F – your paid course. What he’s referring to is a massive trend in the drop shipping world: people are charging money for video lessons on how to get into space. Sattar says to beware.
“A lot of people who make drop shipping videos don’t really drop shipping. They just sell courses to make money, ”he says.
Sattar said these YouTube drop-shipping personalities often make more money with their paid courses than they do with drop-shipping, so they’re not good at what they claim to teach.
“It’s a lot easier to sell a course than it is to drop shipping,” Sattar said.
That’s why Sattar puts all of its content online for free. Then, if people are genuinely interested in learning from him, he offers a paid 30-day drop shipping mentorship, which involves one-on-one coaching on how to start a drop ship business. Sattar said he felt mentoring was more valuable than a paid course because it was not passive. He works closely with three mentees per month to help them start their business.
The time has come – Sattar says fourth quarter will be huge this year
A quick Google search for “drop shipping” will raise questions from hopeful e-commerce gurus wondering: is drop shipping dead? Online shoppers have become more savvy in recent years and expect faster shipping and a better customer experience, which means drop shippers have had to step up their operations. While some have said this change killed the business, Sattar says the death of drop shipping is “bulls -“.
“Everyone is going to be shopping online for Black Friday,” Sattar said. In addition, he believes people are more vulnerable to impulse purchases for a source of joy as the country enters a winter where the coronavirus is still with us.
“When people buy things online, they receive endorphins that help them feel better,” Sattar said.
For this reason, Sattar predicted that consumers would be willing to buy deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, even though unemployment is high and the US economy is “more miserable” than Mexico’s and from Russia.
“E-commerce sellers are going to take advantage of people who are at home and in the mood to buy,” he said.