Why A Dropshipping Business Is Great For Digital Nomads

Last updated on : February 18 2023

View of Venice from window

Article Summary

As the rise of remote work continues to reshape the way we think about employment, many individuals seek opportunities to become digital nomads - people who work remotely while traveling the world.

One popular way to achieve this lifestyle is by starting a dropshipping business, a form of e-commerce where the seller does not hold inventory but instead ships products directly from the manufacturer to the customer.

Dropshipping has several advantages for digital nomads, including flexibility, low startup costs, and the ability to operate from anywhere with an internet connection.

This article discusses how you might achieve financial freedom and a digital nomadic lifestyle by building or purchasing an online drop shipping business.

Click on the links below to learn more.

A. The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

B. How Can I Afford A Digital Nomadic Lifestyle

C. What Is Dropshipping And Is It Worth It

D. How To Build A Profitable Dropshipping Business

E. How To Differentiate Your Brand And Increase Sales

F. Should I Purchase An Existing Dropshipping Business

G. Conclusion

H. Frequently Asked Questions

A. The Digital Nomad Lifestyle

Your most significant inconvenience so far this morning is wiping a thin layer of microfoam off your lip from your flat white coffee. 

Besides that, your temporary office setup is pretty much spot on. Although you had been concerned about the Wi-Fi signal by the pool, the full bars mean you've got a secure connection. Good to go.

And the view isn't half bad, either! Welcome to the life of a digital nomad.

Although being a digital nomad appears idyllic, this romanticized image of what it looks like to work from anywhere, previously only seen in films, is now a reality - if you put in the right effort to build or buy an existing online business. 

Working within the boxed cubicle of an office job is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The fact that 30% of employees work from home at least once a week is a testament to the changing times.

Given a choice, many of us would love to work entirely remotely, especially since nearly half of us have at least one side hustle on top of our regular jobs. 

Besides, the increase of coworking spaces in recent years has made it easier to work remotely. 

But how can you embrace the life of a digital nomad?

B. How Can I Afford A Digital Nomadic Lifestyle?

Working entirely remotely means you can travel anywhere in the world whenever you like. The gatekeeper here is how you fund this lifestyle.

Location dependence and digital nomadism aren't mutually exclusive, but one doesn't lead to the other. If your job requires you to check into the office at least once a week, this will put a lid on your burgeoning passion to travel the world.

So, what are your options?

1. You Could Freelance 

Plenty of companies need skilled specialists to take the lead on new projects or refine existing ones. The beauty of freelancing is that you control your schedule. You can also work on several projects at the same time.

Some in-demand freelance skills include graphic design, writing, editing, and translating.

However, your ability to earn recurring revenue to sustain your lifestyle depends on the available amount of work. It's a competitive world out there, and many freelancers offer their services on job boards like Upwork or Fiverr for much lower than the competition to secure work. 

Even if you land a project, you'll always be at risk of losing it if the client drops out unexpectedly, which is stress-inducing (and freelancers certainly do not need extra stress!). 

2. You Could Build Or Buy A Digital Asset - An Online Business

Freelancing is the most common method of choice for digital nomads to fund their travels. But another way is to run your own online business.

It sounds intimidating—almost impossible, right? But if you're seriously thinking about freelancing, you put yourself in a much stronger position financially when you commit to building a digital asset.

Think about it: you'd be leveraging in-demand skills to generate recurring revenue.

You can also work on your online business anytime you want from any location of your choice. And if your situation changes, you can sell your business down the line. 

But what type of online business can you set up with no experience?

The answer is a dropshipping business.

C. What Is Dropshipping And Is It Worth it?

Person reviewing dropship business stats on a computer screen

As an entry-level e-commerce business model, dropshipping is a solid choice. 

According to Shopify, "Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn't keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product using the dropshipping model, it purchases it from a third party who ships it directly to the customer. As a result, the seller doesn't have to handle the product directly."

You don't handle the goods or need to worry about fulfilling the orders. With the products listed on your storefront, the manufacturers do all of the legwork for you. They'll help you ship the items directly to your customer. Your main task as a drop shipper is to create an attractive storefront and to promote your products. 

Dropshipping is the perfect business model for digital nomads since the overhead is extremely low - because you don't handle the inventory at all. You can also use dropshipping to generate "passive" income since you're not required to sell in person. Automated checkout and payment processes mean you can earn even while you sleep.

Dropshipping is a hands-off business model that makes it easy to get started as an entrepreneur.

D. How To Build A Profitable Dropshipping Business

Here are the high-level requirements for building a profitable online dropshipping business. Use them as a guide to performing more detailed research as you work through the steps. 

The process starts by setting up an online store. 

1. Set Up An Online Store

Shopify is the most popular platform people use. You'll need to sign up for their $29 monthly subscription plan so you can start selling. The platform is simple to work with and comes with many free templates to use as a solid foundation for your storefront.

Accepting payments is also simple with Shopify Payments, although you can use third-party payment gateways. Just note that you incur transaction fees when using other payment gateways. 

2. Choose The Products To Sell

Next, you need to choose products to list for sale on your site. You'll need to pick a niche to refine your search and save time. There are plenty of tools to help you research trends and top-selling products, such as Thieve.co or Sell Your Trend

These services should also help you understand your potential profit margins for a given product set or niche. Unless you sell high-ticket items, your aim should be to sell in volume.

Once you've settled on a niche and chosen which items you'll market, you want to focus your efforts on promoting your storefront.

3. Promote Your Storefront

Most drop shippers use paid advertising on search engines and social media platforms. There isn't a right or wrong way to promote a business. Spend some time experimenting with different channels and focus on increasing your efforts with the ones that generate the best results.

4. Build Your Brand

You could feasibly set up a dropshipping store pretty quickly. However, the dropshipping model can be tough to follow because the entry barriers are low, and therefore, it can be hard to differentiate your business from others. 

To build a valuable digital asset with dropshipping, you need to differentiate your brand from the competition. By improving your brand, you'll generate more sales, which is key to your business's success.

The next section discusses how to build a brand and differentiate your business from your competitors. 

E. How To Differentiate Your Brand and Increase Sales

Building a brand requires passion

Branding is all-encompassing. You'll need to focus on improving as many aspects of your business as possible. These are the most important, and will also lead to increased sales.  

1. Pick A Stable Niche.

While many niches trend at different points in time, you're aiming to find a relatively evergreen one and not a fad (looking at you, fidget spinner!). 

Additionally, you want to ensure that your product is of the best quality available. 

Building a brand takes time. Therefore ensuring you have a high-quality product to sell over a long period puts you in the best position.  

However, don't worry if your niche suddenly takes a nosedive in popularity. Dropshipping has an advantage over other e-commerce models because you can pivot and pick a new product set to sell. Since you aren't responsible for the inventory, you need to change your listing for sale on your site.

2. Provide Excellent Customer Service And Brand Messaging

Many dropshipping businesses lack quality customer service and brand messaging. Take the opportunity to be available to your customers and create a brand message that is positive and helpful. 

Building a strong social media presence will contribute significantly to this objective. 

3. Focus On Your Listings   

To increase conversion rates and turn window shoppers into customers, finetune your product descriptions and copy. Great copywriting will hone in on your target audience's pain points. 

Focus on the benefits instead of the features of your product. You'll only have each reader's attention for a short while, so they'll need to know how the product will help them in as few words as possible. Bullet points will go a long way in creating a TL;DR summary of your product's benefits.

Having differentiated images is another way to catch their attention. Since you'll be up against dozens or (more likely) hundreds of similar products, choosing high-quality photos that make users stop and stare is half the battle in getting potential leads to stop scrolling and find out more about your product.

One tip is to include pictures of a model that's representative of your target audience using your product. This way, potential customers can imagine what it would be like to use the item.

4. Become An Authority In Your Niche

We previously mentioned paid advertising as a primary method of getting people to your storefront. However, paid ads have a relatively low click-through rate, usually in the single digits. The click-through rate increases if you advertise on Facebook due to Facebook's ability to target users based on their backgrounds and behaviors.

However, establishing different traffic sources can improve your sales, especially if you create organic traffic. You can start a blog and create content that your users would be interested in reading and following through to your product listings. A blog can increase your reputation as an expert in the niche and increase your brand's trust as you offer valuable information to your target audience.  

For example, if your dropshipping store sells beauty products, a blog series that reveals the best practices for applying these products will help customers get the most out of their purchase. They'll also be more likely to click the links to your storefront since you are helping them.

These are just a few ways to increase the sales of your dropshipping business

F. Should I Purchase An Existing Dropshipping Business 

It takes time to build a profitable digital asset, especially in the dropshipping space. You'll need to graduate from the school of hard knocks to truly succeed in building a dropshipping business that'll let you live the digital nomad lifestyle. 

A lifehack many people don't consider is to buy a profitable dropshipping business instead of building one.

1. Why Purchase And Not Build

As far as investments go, you could do much worse than buying an online business. Many savvy buyers acquire digital assets for several reasons, such as the recurring revenue or diversifying their portfolio.

For digital nomads, buying a profitable dropshipping business helps you skip the hardship and heartbreak of getting a startup off the ground. 

2. What To Look For In A Potential Acquisition

A profitable business requires a few elements: the niche is stable, sales are steady, and the business revolves around an in-demand product. If you purchase an already-profitable online business, your focus will be on maintaining it.

There must also be plenty of room to expand. Many entrepreneurs with deep pockets use dropshipping as a testing ground for profitable products and product-market fits. They use this information to source the item from a manufacturer and sell it on other sales platforms, such as Amazon or Walmart.

3. How Much Does It Cost To Acquire A Business 

We recommend looking at Empire Flippers for potential dropshipping businesses to buy and the costs involved.

Empire Flippers uses a valuation method that's slightly different from that of other brokers, who often use annual profit as part of their calculations.

Their valuation formula is as follows:

12-month average net profit x the Multiple

Working out the multiple depends on many factors, like the business's age, what niche it is in, the number of products sold, and the number of hours worked. On their marketplace, dropshipping businesses sell for an average of $130,475.19 at a multiple of 24 over the past three years. 

You could acquire a smaller-scale business to help you get started while you enjoy your travels. As you learn more and scale your business, you'll reap the benefits of increased profits. The choice will then be yours: maintain the business or sell it and move onto greener pastures.

Want to find greener pastures sooner? Start by registering on the Empire Flippers marketplace to start planning your digital nomad journey.

G. Conclusion

Girl enjoying her freedom

A digital nomadic lifestyle is not out of reach if you consider your options and work hard on your goals. 

One possible way to fund this lifestyle is through dropshipping, either by building your dropshipping business from scratch or by acquiring an existing business for you to maintain and expand. 

H. Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions most frequently asked by our readers.

1. What exactly is dropshipping? 

Dropshipping is a type of e-commerce business where the seller does not hold inventory but takes orders from customers and then purchases the product from a third-party supplier who ships it directly. The seller never handles the product, and the supplier handles all the logistics.

2. Why is dropshipping a good business model for digital nomads? 

Dropshipping has several advantages for digital nomads:

  • It allows them to operate their business from anywhere with an internet connection, as they do not need to hold inventory or physically ship products.
  • It has low startup costs compared to traditional retail businesses, making it accessible for those starting.
  • It provides flexibility regarding the time commitment required, allowing digital nomads to balance their work with their travel and lifestyle needs.

3. Do I need any prior experience to start a dropshipping business? 

No, prior experience is optional to start a dropshipping business. Many resources are available online to help you get started, including tutorials and guides on choosing a niche, finding suppliers, setting up an online store, and marketing your products.

4. How do I find a supplier for my dropshipping business?

There are many online platforms and directories that can help you find a supplier for your dropshipping business, such as AliExpress, Oberlo, and SaleHoo. Researching and vetting potential suppliers before choosing one is essential to ensure they have a good reputation and reliable shipping times.

5. Can I make a full-time income from a dropshipping business? 

Yes, making a full-time income from a dropshipping business is possible, but it requires effort and dedication. Success in dropshipping depends on factors such as choosing the right niche, finding high-quality products, optimizing your online store, and effectively marketing your products to your target audience.

6. What are some potential challenges of running a dropshipping business as a digital nomad? 

One challenge of running a dropshipping business as a digital nomad is balancing work with travel and lifestyle needs. Additionally, time zone differences can make communication with suppliers and customers more demanding.

Finally, internet connectivity issues can pose a challenge, as a reliable internet connection is essential for managing an online store and communicating with customers and suppliers.

7. Are there any risks associated with starting a dropshipping business?

Yes, you should be aware of some risks associated with dropshipping before starting. 

Firstly, because you are not holding inventory yourself, you have less control over your products' quality and shipping times, which can impact customer satisfaction. 

Secondly, there is a risk of oversaturation in some markets, which can lead to increased competition and lower profit margins. 

Finally, if your supplier raises their prices or goes out of business, it can significantly impact your bottom line. It's important to research potential suppliers and stay on top of market trends to mitigate these risks.

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