In the United Kingdom, starting a dropshipping business is a great way to earn extra income.
See, dropshipping is a type of eCommerce where businesses sell products without having to carry inventory.
And when a customer orders a product from a dropshipping business, the business will then purchase the product from a supplier and have it shipped directly to the customer.
What’s more, a dropshipping business can be run from home, making it perfect for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business with little start-up capital.
In this guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know about starting and scaling a dropshipping store in the UK.
eCommerce landscape in the UK
As the world increasingly moves online, so too does the landscape of eCommerce. The UK is no different, with a wide variety of eCommerce businesses and platforms operating within its borders.
The most popular eCommerce platform in the UK is Amazon, followed by eBay and Etsy. These three platforms account for the vast majority of online sales within the country. However, there are a number of other smaller platforms that are also worth considering.
When it comes to dropshipping specifically, the UK presents a number of unique opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, there is a large and affluent population with a strong appetite for online shopping. On the other hand, Brexit has created some uncertainty when it comes to trade and customs regulations.
Overall, the UK is an exciting and promising market for eCommerce businesses of all types.
The following are some stats you should be aware of as an online store entrepreneur in the UK:
- In 2022, the country is expected to have nearly 60 million e-commerce users
- In retail alone, online sales constituted nearly 30 percent of overall retail sales in the country in 2021, over double the amount from exactly one decade prior.
- The most recent government figures also show that over one-fourth of retail sales from textile, clothing, and footwear stores come from online channels.
- In 2022, smartphones held the majority share of both online retail traffic and orders.
- According to a 2021 survey, having access to product reviews was reported by 100 percent of UK consumers as an important driving factor for them to shop online, while free returns and free delivery options were attributes that were regarded as less essential.
Knowing what is going on within the industry in terms of numbers helps you set up a better foundation for your own venture.
What do you need to start Dropshipping in the UK?
To start dropshipping in the UK, you will need:
- A domain name and website: You will need a domain name (such as www.example.com) and a website on which to sell your products. You can create a website using a platform like OLITT, Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento.
- A dropshipping supplier: You will need to find a supplier who is willing to dropship products to your customers on your behalf. There are many dropshipping suppliers available, and you can find them by searching online or attending trade shows.
- A payment processor: You will need a way to accept payments from your customers. In the UK, you can use a platform like PayPal or Stripe to process payments.
- A shipping carrier: You will need to choose a shipping carrier to deliver products to your customer’s doorsteps. In the UK, popular shipping carriers include Royal Mail and DHL Express.
Don’t worry about any of these, I will show you how to get each of them.
The process of setting up a dropshipping business in the UK
Setting up a dropshipping business in the UK is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps you can take now to get started:
Step 1: Choose a niche
The first step is choosing a niche.
In a nutshell, a niche is a specific segment of the market that you focus on.
See, when dropshipping here in the UK, you need to find a niche that you can specialize in and cater to. This could be a certain type of product, a certain demographic, or anything else that you can think of.
When choosing a niche, it is vital to consider the profitability of the products you will be selling as well as your target market.
Yes, a niche with high demand and low competition can be more difficult to find, but it is worth doing your research to find a profitable niche that you are passionate about.
With that in mind, here are some of the most profitable dropshipping niches in the UK for 2022:
- Health and personal care.
- Wardrobe and accessories.
- Kitchen and grocery.
- Home and bedroom.
- Office products.
- Tools and home improvement.
- Camera and cellphone accessories.
Once you’ve found a few potential niches, take some time to brainstorm product ideas inside these niches.
The best way to find the best products is to look at what’s already selling well. This means spying on your competitors. I mean, there must be a reason why they are stocking certain products, right?
That’s the easiest way to find dropshipping products.
But be warned you are only ‘spying’ to find inspiration and not to copy and paste.
Step 2: Find a dropshipping supplier
Once you’ve chosen your niche, it is time to start sourcing products.
You can either source products from suppliers or manufacturers, or you can use a dropshipping service like Oberlo. Oberlo allows you to add products from various suppliers into your shop, and they will ship the products directly to your customers.
You can also use a dropshipping directory like SaleHoo, which lists vetted suppliers with proven track records. Or, you can search for suppliers on Google or Alibaba.
How to find the right dropshipping supplier in the UK?
Sourcing products is one of the most important aspects of starting a dropshipping business in the UK, so make sure to take your time and find the best supplier for your needs.
There are a few key things to look for when choosing a dropshipping supplier.
First, you want to make sure they are reputable and have a good track record.
Second, you want to make sure they offer good customer service and are responsive to questions and concerns.
Third, you want to make sure they have a wide selection of products available.
And fourth, you want to make sure they offer competitive prices.
Besides the ways we’ve already looked at, to find a reputable and reliable dropshipping supplier, you can start by asking for recommendations from friends or other business owners who use dropshipping.
Once you’ve found a few potential suppliers, reach out to them and get more information about their services.
Find out what their minimum order quantities are, what their shipping times are like, and what kind of support they offer.
Once you’ve found a supplier that meets your needs, you’re ready to move on to the next step: setting up your store.
Step 3: Create your store
What’s the next step? Creating your store!
You can dropship on eBay, Amazon, WooCommerce, and Shopify– there are loads of platforms out there. The best way to find the one that suits you is to experiment with a few and see what works best for you and your products.
Dropshipping on eBay in the UK
eBay is a great platform for starting a dropshipping business in the UK, as it has millions of users and offers a wide variety of products.
To start dropshipping on eBay in the UK, you first need to create a seller account and list your products.
You can then start marketing your products to potential customers and making sales.
Once you make a sale, you will need to purchase the product from your supplier and have it shipped to the customer.
Dropshipping on WooCommerce in the UK
WooCommerce is a popular eCommerce platform that enables you to set up an online store quickly and easily. If you are based in the UK and are looking to start dropshipping on WooCommerce, here’s what you need to know.
To get started dropshipping on WooCommerce in the UK, you will need to first find a reliable hosting provider and then install the WooCommerce plugin.
Once you have done this, you will need to add products to your store and set up shipping rates. You will also need to obtain a dropshipping supplier in order to source products for your store.
Dropshipping on Shopify in the UK
Shopify is a platform that enables entrepreneurs to start their own online stores. It is simple to use, has plenty of features, and is trusted by businesses of all sizes.
Plus, it integrates with dropshipping apps so you can source products and start selling quickly and easily.
Talking of apps, there are many dropshipping apps available, but not all of them are available in the UK. Here is a list of some of the best dropshipping apps for Shopify that are available in the UK:
- Dropship Direct
- Inventory Source
- AliExpress Dropshipping
To get started with dropshipping on Shopify, you will need to create an account and then install a dropshipping app.
Once the app is installed, you can start sourcing products and adding them to your store.
Then, when someone places an order on your store, the app will automatically place the order with the supplier and ship it to the customer.
When you are creating your store, think about your branding and design.
You want to create a professional-looking store that reflects the products you’re selling. Take some time to browse other stores in your niche and get inspiration for your own store.
Step 4: Market your store
Now that your dropshipping store is up and running, it’s time for marketing. This can be done through a variety of channels, such as social media, online advertising, and email marketing.
The first step is to research and understand potential customers. You can do this by using a tool like Google Keyword planner or KeywordTool.io.
Once you have a list of potential questions and keywords, you can then start creating content that will appeal to them. This could be in the form of blog posts, infographics, or even video content.
Once you have created some great content, it is time to start promoting it.
This can be done through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. You can also use paid advertising methods such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
Email marketing is another great way to reach potential customers. You can use an email marketing service such as MailChimp to create a list of subscribers. Once you have a list, you can start sending out regular newsletters with information about your products and services.
Also don’t neglect SEO!
Make sure your store is optimized for search engines so that potential customers can easily find you. This can be done through on-page optimization, such as using keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions.
Off-page SEO is also important, which you can do by building backlinks to your store from high-quality websites
The challenges of dropshipping for businesses in the UK
There are a few challenges that businesses face when dropshipping in the UK.
Firstly, there is the issue of shipping costs. Shipping to the UK from other countries can be expensive, and this will eat into profits.
Secondly, there is the issue of customs and duties. When goods are shipped from outside the EU, businesses have to pay customs and duties on them. This can add a significant cost to goods, and make them less competitively priced.
Finally, there is the challenge of finding good suppliers who are willing to ship to the UK.
You realize that many suppliers are based in China or other countries, and may not be willing to ship to the UK due to the additional cost and hassle involved.
Starting a dropshipping business in the UK is a great way to get your business up and running with very little overhead.
Dropshipping is a great business model for those who are looking to get into eCommerce without a lot of upfront investment.
You can start your own dropshipping business with just a few hundred pounds, and there are plenty of resources available online to help you get started.
If you’re thinking about starting a dropshipping business in the UK, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, find a niche market that you can serve well. There are many dropshippers who focus on selling products to the UK market, so you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Second, choose the right supplier for your products.
There are many dropshipping suppliers out there, but not all of them are created equal. Find a supplier that is reliable and has a good reputation.
Finally, put together a marketing plan to get the word out about your business. There are many ways to market your dropshipping business, so you’ll need to choose the ones that work best for you.
Dropshipping in the UK FAQs
Is dropshipping profitable in the UK?
Yes, dropshipping can be profitable in the UK. There are a few things to keep in mind, such as finding a niche market and sourcing products from reliable suppliers. If you can do these things, then you can build a successful dropshipping business in the UK.
What Platforms Can I Use to Dropship in the UK?
There are a few different platforms you can use to dropship in the UK. Shopify is a popular option, as it is easy to use and has a lot of features. WooCommerce is another option, which is a bit more complex but also has a lot of features. You can also use Magento, which is a more advanced platform.
How much can you make as a dropshipper?
There is no set amount that you can make as a dropshipper. Your earnings will depend on factors such as the products you sell, your pricing, and the volume of sales you generate.
How do I find the best products for dropshipping?
There are a few things to consider when looking for the best products for dropshipping. First, you’ll want to find products that are in high demand and have a low competition. You can do this by researching trends and using keyword tools. Second, you’ll want to find suppliers who offer high-quality products at a good price. You can research suppliers online and read reviews to get an idea of their reputation.