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Dropshipping in the UK is basically a cheap and relatively easy way to start a business. It is an e-retail term where a customer purchases a product from a dropshipping store at the retail price you set and when the item gets sold, you pay a third-party manufacturer or a supplier the wholesale price to dispatch the order directly to the customer, and the rest is profit.
Your overheads are low because you don’t hold stock. But on the flip side, the profit margins can be tight unless you pick a unique product or customize it so that it is not easily available, and also you have little control over packaging and delivery.
Drop shippers can choose to work with a single supplier or with multiple suppliers
I came to know about dropshipping almost a decade back when I was working for a well-known eCommerce website serving UK customers. As I was tired of doing my corporate work, I started exploring drop shipping.
I knew there were drop shippers in the UK. However, starting a dropshipping business made me do thorough research from scratch and I went through a lot of trial and error.
In this article, I am sharing everything with you about how you can start selling and set up a dropshipping business in the UK in 2022 and succeed.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Why to Start Dropshipping in the UK?
As per Statista, the United Kingdom (UK) has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe and at least a third of UK retail sales will take place online 10 years from now, according to new forecasts.
As for market share, currently, only 18% of the individuals are selling in the UK which surely is an opportunity for new online entrepreneurs to join in and grow their market share.
The economy in the UK is almost stable, spending power of consumers on the increase, UK is a target country for dropshippers from both the UK itself as well for overseas drop shippers.
Those with limited business backgrounds can also easily make a foray into a low-cost dropshipping business model.
As English is an international language, buyers even from non-UK countries shop from UK-based e-commerce websites. This is yet another reason, eBay, a popular eCommerce company introduced its Global Shipping Programme (GSP) for UK sellers to ship products internationally.
There is surely an opportunity for UK sellers to sell their products internationally with minimal additional shipping costs.
Now that you why the UK presents abundant opportunities for dropshippers, let’s learn how to start a dropshipping business.
How to Start Dropshipping Business in the United Kingdom?
1. Do product research
The very first step is doing competitive product research for a range of products. Everything does not sell and you need to first identify products that are growing in popularity. For this, you can check trends locally in the UK and globally using the Google Trends tool.
You may want to look for product terms that are popular and selling well. eBay Trending products and Amazon product research – both are useful. You can use the ‘best sellers by category’ lists and dig deeper into niche products or categories to identify products with high potential.
You can also check what your competitors are selling. Check if you can make them in a bundle and have an edge over your customers or if you can curate them to beat the competition.
2. Find a niche
To become successful in dropshipping business in the UK, you need to find a Niche. It is a specific product category or you can zero down to even a few products from the niche. A Niche is about beating the competition and having a marketing edge. Your Niche should be as unique as possible with few competitors. You must add value to your business at a reasonable, preferably lower price than the price of your competitors’. This will be a smart move.
Good quality products attract positive reviews resulting in revenue. This positive review will help you sell similar products as the interests and demands change and as you have established trust with your business value, your buyers will keep on rising even with new products.
3. Set up store front
When you have your niche ready, you need to now set up a storefront. There are many platforms designed for dropshipping like Shopify, Wix, or BigCommerce. They have an excellent interface for shopping and processing payments.
You can integrate your shop front with dropshipping tools as well to integrate other eCommerce platforms as well like eBay, Amazon, Facebook marketplace to sell your products across all these platforms simultaneously.
4. Find your supplier
There are two common ways to find a supplier for your dropshipping store:
- You can find them through a supplier database, like Doba, or esources.
- You can use an integrated supplier directory in your store’s backend, like Avasam, or AutoDS.
The easiest dropshipping process is through an integrated supplier directory. You can source millions of products from the hundreds of marketplace and import them directly to your online store in bulk with the click of a button and even automate your entire dropshipping experience.
In the past couple of years, Spocket has emerged as a more flexible dropshipping supply platform. You can add it to any kind of website, including Shopify and Wix. It is enriched with thousands of premium US or EU products and is committed to fast delivery. It facilitates white label products and you can even order product samples with no fees. As this is a dropshipping platform, there is no minimum orders requirements.
A similar dropshipping platform is Avasam, particularly for suppliers within the UK. It connects sellers with vetted UK suppliers and automates your entire dropshipping business. If you have an eBay, Amazon, BigCommerce, or Shopify dropshipping business, you can bank on Avasam.
If you have a niche in mind, try Google. Once you have a niche, search for dropshipper suppliers in your domain. You can choose to even enquire with small manufacturers. They mostly agree to drop ship for you.
Before you start using them as your dropshipping supplier, you must set your clear expectation for them along with payment terms.
5. Check the service
Your success is largely dependent on your drop shipper. So test their product quality (if possible), ordering process, delivery time, packaging, and overall presentation. Your reputation among your buyers will depend on how efficient your supplier is.
6. Market your dropshipping store
When your dropshipping store is ready, you need to promote it. If you are already selling online on platforms like eBay or Amazon, this is not needed. However, if your store is using a Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, or similar platform, you need to market it to get traffic for conversion.
To market your store, you can set up social media accounts and post your products. Your posts should include only 10% marketing and 90% knowledge-sharing. You can also run Facebook ads or Google ads.
If you want targeted marketing, you can search for popular blogs around your niche products and run your sticky ads on the blog. While it may cost more, it can bring in a lot of business.
6. Customer service
Customer service is an excellent tool that you can control. The better you can serve your customers, the more you can ask them for. Your brand is built not just around your pre-dispatch service, but also post-delivery. You can do a lot here for your customers.
When customers are satisfied, you can ask them to leave reviews on Google, Trustpilot, and similar platforms.
So as to build brand loyalty, you can ask your suppliers to include your business card inside the packaging. Showcase your brand everywhere to your customers, ensuring their satisfaction is guaranteed.
Your customer service will go a long way to grow your business far in the future. Amazon is a living example of excellent customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you dropship in 2022?
Yes, you can dropship in 2022.
Is dropshipping legal in the UK?
Dropshipping is completely legal in the UK. This is why big eCommerce companies like eBay allows it.
Do I need to register my dropshipping business in the UK?
It is not mandatory until you hit £80,000 per year. Once you hit this threshold, you need to register your business as well as apply for a VAT.
Is Oberlo in the UK?
Yes, Oberlo services are available in the UK for Shopify dropshippers.
Can I dropship to USA from UK?
You can surely dropship to USA from UK.
Does SaleHoo have UK suppliers?
Yes, SaleHoo have thousands of UK suppliers.
Success in dropshipping business requires business skills that develop over time with your keen and constant market research, product research, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), competition watch & analysis, and how you chalk out strategies around them. To be a successful online retailer, be a master learner, and apply all the knowledge and skills you come by along the way.
Remember, it takes time to sell your first item and the next items. You should give your dropshipping business time to become established and grow and it will be in proportion to your efforts and time.