Setting up a dropshipping e-commerce store using Freelancer.com
Sunbathing and sipping on my chilled margarita on a Monday afternoon; at a beach in Thailand, I think of how life changes in a small period. It wasn’t long ago, a year ago to be preÌcised; when I was caught in a 9 to 5 rut. It is when an office colleague advised me to start a dropshipping business.
Although, I had an idea of what a drop shipping business model is, I was skeptical of what to sell, where to sell and how to do it. So, on that same person’s recommendation, I logged onto freelancer.com and began my search for talents who were experts in such businesses. A year later, I have a running e-commerce store built on Shopify, which happens to be fully automated from procurement to marketing to delivery and after-sales services which are taken care of by the exceptional talent I hired on freelancer.com
As a generous person, and believes in the act of giving back to the community I share some knowledge and insights on how to start a dropshipping e-commerce store on freelancer.com
A dropshipping business model is as simple as it can get. You sell a manufacturer’s product in your store, without buying any actual inventory. However, there are some technicalities to it. If you are not buying inventory, why would a manufacturer not sell their product directly? Why would they choose you? To clarify, such a business is built based on marketing and advertisement. You make contact with a manufacturer to sell their product, bearing all marketing and advertisement costs, and are compensated by a commission on the number of units sold. Orders are then dispatched by the manufacturer and take 15-35 days for delivery.
Although, it may seem that such a business is easy to set up without a lot of supply chain activities involved. It is time taking and requires expertized skills to set up such a business. Discussed below:
• Product research: First things first, you need to decide on what to sell; Remember, the product chosen has to be in demand, eye-catching, and a must to have a wow factor to it. Once you have decided on a product or number of products, the next step is to find good suppliers of the product and negotiate contracts with them. You will need to know the industry insights to reap a good reward in the deal you make. I browsed the list of freelancers on freelancer.com for this task.
Store name/Logo design: Once you have decided on a product and are in contract, your next step is to come up with a name for your store and design a brand image for your store. i.e. logo and color theme. As I am someone from an accounting background and a sucker for designing. I chose to post a contest on freelancer.com for name suggestions and logo design.
Web building platform: Where do you showcase the products you are offering? That is where you decide on a web building platform and get a website built. There are several options such as Wix, Elementor, WordPress, and Shopify. All these web-building platforms offer various types of functionalities and come with their pros and cons, with their own set of charges. The web developer I hired on freelancer.com by posting a project, advised me to opt for Shopify as it offers a minimal monthly subscription charge and offers a range of built-in themes along with automated payment methods.
Social Media Marketing: Now that your store is up, it is time to make it run. You can choose several social media platforms for marketing including Facebook, Instagram, Email Marketing, Twitter, and many more. Which platform to choose will depend on the type of product you are selling, the customer segments you need to target, and the amount you tend to spend on advertisement. I re-hired my product research guy from freelancer.com as he represents himself as a Shopify expert offering A to Z services and had positive client testimonials for such work.
There are several ways you can hire talent on freelancer.com. It depends on whether; you aim to hire a full-time employee, part-time employee, want to get a specific type of task done such as logo design, market research, need your financial accounts done for tax filing, and many more. Below is a brief on the available options.
• Posting a contest: It can be defined as the easiest way to get a job done on freelancer.com. However, I would advise posting contests related to design and writing. You simply post a contest, decide on the timeline and choose one or more best entries from the entries that have been submitted to your contest.
• Posting a project: Another option to hiring on freelancer.com. You will need to post a project, make sure to describe it properly with the option to pay by the hour or by milestone. The talent pool of freelancers will then bid on your project; you can initiate a conversation with any freelancer and hire them for your work.
• Browsing a freelancer, and hiring directly: There is also an option to browse a list of freelancers. You can search by using multiple filters, such as the skillset of a freelancer, type of work, and payment method.
Freelancer Profile and attributes
Freelancer.com facilitates clients by displaying multiple attributes of a freelancer on their profile. Once you open a freelancer’s profile you can view their ratings, completion rate, a brief introduction (type of work and services offered by an individual, written by them), their work history, their education, portfolio items, and reviews they have received from past hires.