Dropshipping dates back to as far as the 1960s, although the concept was worlds away from what it is today. In the 1960s, dropshipping went more like ordering from a catalog company that would place an order from a warehouse.
In the modern era we’re in now – one dominated by technology and the digital world – dropshipping operates very differently In 2024, the dropshipping market reached an all-time high – the value reached $44.1 billion, with thousands of new businesses emerging that followed a dropshipping model.
Part of this is thanks to the numerous free website templates specifically designed for a dropshipping setup, but are they easy to use? Below, we’ll look at how easy or not so easy it is to start a dropshipping business from a free website template.
Before finding a free website template to use, it’s essential to understand the basics of a dropshipping business and how the concept works. At its core, dropshipping is an order fulfillment method – the fulfillment comes from a third-party source. The supplier isn’t the dropshipping business themselves, which mitigates some risks of filling up with stock that won’t sell.
Instead, a customer orders from a dropshipping website that they won’t know is a dropshipping website, and the company then places the order with a supplier. But as BigCommerce pointed out in one of their recent articles – the dropshipping fulfillment method is far from straightforward.
Entrepreneurs are hit with low-profit margins, tons of competition, and a lack of control over the supply chain. That creates a need for robust invoice processing and tracking, a trustworthy supplier, and great marketing that puts the website in the limelight.
Free website templates like that provided by WIX and Shopify – two providers geared towards dropshipping – claim to make it easy to start a dropshipping business. They nullify the need to hire a website developer or invest in a custom template – for a new entrepreneur: a free website template is a dream come true. But do they work? The answer is yes, and very well.
Free website templates are far more sophisticated than they once were, and the best free website templates will replicate a professional website effortlessly. Features include total customization, responsive website designs, check-out features, media.
Plus, most free website template providers also have webinars and Youtube tutorials that show users exactly how to create the perfect website.
Free website templates are great because they put the user in total control right from selecting the correct template. It’s up to the user to fill out the menus, customize the check-out, insert the media, and test the website on multiple devices to ensure it’s responsive. Really, the process involves taking a skeleton of a website and making it into one a consumer can browse and complete transactions from.
With the help of online guides and tutorials, creating a website from a free website template is relatively easy – it might take some time to perfect the layout, however. And, when it comes to a website, the layout is everything. Arguably, the perfect website setup starts with the design – 38% of website browsers will stop engaging with a website if it has a poor design.
According to HubSpot, one way of improving a website design is to use white spaces to draw traffic to a specific part of the website where the most attention is needed. For example, the white space next to a product description draws the eye to that description because it stands out. The perfect website setup should also include call-to-actions that guide users towards the end goal. Call-to-actions could be a click here or a try this.
Creating a dropshipping business from a free website template is great, but only if people find it. The market is saturates with dropshipping brands – thus, marketing becomes essential. Entrepreneurs looking to steer clear of expensive marketing strategies can utilize social media. Social media is practically a free marketing tool.
Thanks to the rise of TikTok, there are more avenues for marketing on social media than ever. Plus, additional marketing features for businesses operating on social media ensure marketing is more effective. Take Facebook, for example. The boost feature sends Facebook posts or adverts to thousands of people’s timelines for a small fee.
Entrepreneurs with the funds can explore other marketing options, such as Google Ads and even the up-and-coming Metaverse. Marketers are hailing the Metaverse to be the next best thing for marketing.
Google Ads, in particular, are a great way to advertise a business cost-effectively. It operates using a pay-per-click model. Marketers target a specific keyword and then bid for the top spot. For example, if a brand wants to be visible for the keyword trainers, marketers will bid to be one of the three spots reserves for Google ads under that keyword.
You’ll notice a Google Ad because the top three websites will have a yellow AD next to them. Everything else below that has ranked organically. Little is known about the Metaverse and how brands will utilize it for marketing, but there are rumors flying that it’ll be the next best thing. Forbes thinks it’ll tie in with influencer marketing. Drop shipping is an exciting and lucrative business model if the entire setup is flawless.
It’s no secret that there’s a saturated market making it hard to find success – but with the right product, website design, and marketing, a drop shipping business can be profitable.