Dec 13, 2022

How to start a domestic dropshipping business in 5 steps

Written by
James Burghes

Launching a domestic dropshipping business with tens of the most loved Shopify brands couldn’t be easier. All complex marketplace operations, such as seller onboarding, product catalog, inventory sync, and seller payouts, are completely automated. On top of that, Vendo comes with a configurable, built-in storefront, an intuitive admin and seller dashboard, and built-in reporting tools. No need to hire any developers in-house.

However, that’s not to say that there isn’t work that needs to be done on your part. While Vendo takes care of all the technical aspects of a scalable marketplace business, there are 5 essential ingredients that only you can come up with.


1. Identify your niche or angle

What industry are you targeting? Are you targeting only certain demographics? What product categories do you want to sell? Is the focus going to be on eco-friendly products? Vegan products? Will you combine two completely different product categories that compliment each other and fulfill a particular need eg. fashion and consumer electronics? Do you have a mission statement? Any values you wish to adhere to or goals you’d like to achieve?

These are the kind of questions you should be asking yourself before proceeding any further. Only when the business idea and particular niche have been identified does it make sense to move on to the other, more actionable steps.

2. Onboard domestic brands

Without vendors (or brand partners), there is no marketplace. There are hundreds of thousands of Shopify or WooCommerce brands around the world, and it’s your job to identify and reach out to those you’d like to partner up with. 

Creating a list of the vendors you’d like to onboard to your marketplace is an ongoing task that must be diligently managed to ensure the success of your business. Before you begin reaching out to any of them, it would be wise to prepare a list of candidates with (at least) the following criteria:

  • Which product category(ies) do they sell?
  • Where is their business located?
  • Which countries/regions do they ship to?
  • Which ecommerce platform are the using?

Additional criteria may be required as per your business model, and some others might be convenient such as website URL, or contact information, but those four are key to help prioritize your outreach efforts.

3. Customize your storefront look & feel

No retailer of 1st or 3rd-party goods, online or offline, national or international, has ever become a successful, long-lasting brand without easily recognizable and memorable branding.

While Vendo is not a branding or design agency, we do supply you with the tools necessary to easily add your branding and implement your storefront designs without the need to hire developers.

4. Leverage the Creator Economy

Last, but certainly not least, is marketing. Your dreams of a lucrative dropshipping marketplace business will only become a reality if you have a solid marketing strategy in place.

Nowadays, there are so many ways that a business can advertise itself, whether it be old-school online advertising, or collaborations with influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. 

With the death of cookies, traditional online advertising may become a thing of the past, although how exactly it will impact the eCommerce industry is uncertain. That’s why we’d suggest, above all else, influencer marketing or building your own audience over time. Try building a following with:

  • a newsletter
  • a Youtube channel
  • a podcast
  • a blog
  • an Instagram account
  • a TikTok account

Not a social media person? No worries. Consider partnering with influencers that talk to your target market or working with an influencer marketing agency to help you identify who you should partner with.

If you’re an influencer, then you’ve already got a massive headstart on your competitors.

5. Harness an ‘Unfair’ Dropshipping Advantage

Since you don’t need to worry about the technical side of things with Vendo, you’re able to exploit the advantage of being able to focus your efforts entirely on crafting the customer experience, running engaging marketing campaigns, and negotiating partnerships with interesting, high-quality brands.

Take care of these five areas, and you’ll be well on your way to running a profitable dropshipping marketplace business.


Start a multi-vendor marketplace
Written by
James Burghes
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