Dropshipping has taken off in recent years.
Nowadays, it’s a common practice for small entrepreneurs and business owners to get started with dropshipping. It’s a business model that enables people to start a business without taking out any loans or spending much upfront.
However, more and more people are starting to question whether or not dropshipping will be around for much longer.
Some people say that dropshipping is dead. Others say that the business model is just changing and evolving, but what does that really mean? And what does this all mean for AliExpress?
In reality, dropshipping is not dead in 2021. Currently, the interest in dropshipping is near its all-time high. Besides that, dropshipping is not a product or service; it’s just a fulfillment method. Dropshipping with AliExpress also is not dead yet, it’s still a profitable business model in 2021!
In this article, we will take a deep dive to explain our opinion about this age-old discussion; is dropshipping dead? Or is it still a viable business model in 2021?
What is dropshipping?
Before we start, let’s take a look at the meaning of dropshipping. Here is our short and simple explanation for it:
Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products on your online store without keeping them in stock. Once you get an order, you forward it to your dropshipping supplier, who will ship the product directly to your customer.
If that sounds complicated, here is an infographic that visualizes the concept:
The thing that is important here is that dropshipping is just a fulfillment method.
In other words, it is just a way of getting products from the factory to your customer.
If you want to sell products online, you could also use different fulfillment methods, like in-house fulfillment or third-party fulfillment.
However, dropshipping is the easiest and most accessible one since your dropshipping supplier will handle everything for you. (Producing the products, shipping, storing, etc.)
With that out of the way, let’s see if people are still using dropshipping in 2021!
Is dropshipping a dying practice in 2021?
Let’s see if dropshipping is dead in 2021 by checking Google Trends.
This way, we can check if people are still Googling the term “dropshipping”.
Here are the results for the United States and the past five years:
Furthermore, here are the worldwide results for the last five years:
And last but not least, the worldwide results for the last 12 months:
As you can see, the results bounce up and down a bit during the years, but an uptrend can definitely be seen here.
In other words, there is generally a higher interest in dropshipping now compared to a few years ago!
So, is dropshipping dead in 2021?
No! According to Google Trends, there are currently more people interested in dropshipping than ever, so it’s definitely not dead.
Is dropshipping saturated in 2021?
With this many people currently being interested in dropshipping, you might start to worry about something else.
Are you still able to start a successful dropshipping store in 2021? Or is dropshipping so saturated that you will have no chance to stand out amidst your competition?
Well, the question “Is dropshipping saturated?” implies that it is dropshipping itself that is saturated. But here is the thing:
Dropshipping is not a product or service; it’s just a fulfillment method!
If dropshipping were saturated, it would mean that all dropshipping products you could possibly sell would be saturated as well.
And in my opinion, saturated dropshipping products are a myth.
Yes, it is true that some products are popular among dropshipping stores, but the demand for these products is often so large that it does not matter that many people are selling them.
Often, people think a product is saturated because all dropshippers use the same image, video, and ad copy to sell it!
If we assume that there is such a thing as dropshipping saturation, this would mean that the business model of dropshipping itself is dead.
And as you could see previously, it’s not!
However, if this question still bothers you, I recommend reading our detailed article about saturation in the dropshipping industry.
You will read about the causes of market saturation, four reasons why dropshipping is still profitable, and much more!
What about AliExpress? Should you still use it in 2021?
Some people believe that AliExpress is done for.
They think all products sold on the platform are already saturated, and there is no way to build a profitable dropshipping business with the long shipping times of AliExpress.
Others believe that dropshipping using AliExpress is still profitable.
So, who is right?
Well, in my opinion, you can still make money dropshipping with AliExpress.
If you don’t believe me, take a look at these dropshipping success stories on the AliDropship blog.
However, let’s be fair, this isn’t 2015 anymore.
If you are worried about things like long shipping times and frustrating suppliers when dropshipping with AliExpress, then there are plenty of other options as well.
For instance, you can look into using:
- Other Chinese dropshipping supplier companies
- Dropshipping suppliers located in your customer’s country (a.k.a. local dropshipping suppliers)
- Dropshipping agents
While some of these are really nice options, remember that nothing is perfect, and all of them come with disadvantages!
AliExpress is ranked second in our list of the best dropshipping suppliers, so it is still a great choice to use in 2021.
It will depend on your personal situation and preference whether you continue dropshipping with AliExpress, or switch to some of the other options.
How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors when dropshipping?
As you saw before, interest in dropshipping is rising and rising.
As said, this doesn’t mean dropshipping is saturated, but with so many people now opting for this type of business model, the competition can be stiff.
In order to stay competitive in this market, you need to be at the top of your game and set yourself apart from your competitors.
Here are some ways you can do that and prepare yourself for the future of dropshipping.
1. Don’t copy everything directly from other dropshipping stores
Yes, this might seem obvious, but you don’t know half how many dropshipping stores are out there that look exactly the same…
People that create these copied stores are too lazy to create a unique dropshipping store.
To beat your competition, you will have to write your own product descriptions and ad copies. And if you can take your own product images and videos, then you will have even more chance of succeeding!
2. Make your store unique
There are so many ways of making your store unique and therefore differentiating yourself from your competitors.
Besides writing your own product descriptions and ad copies like I just talked about, you can:
- Choose a unique theme
- Create your own video ads
- Pick your own color scheme
- Pick your own fonts
If you are interested in beating your competition by creating a truly unique dropshipping store, then check out this article for 11 amazing tips!
3. Optimize your pricing strategy
When running a dropshipping store, picking a price based on your feelings often won’t be the best choice.
You will have to form a pricing strategy by considering expenses like product costs, marketing costs, taxes, hosting fees, app costs, and psychology.
But once you have taken those things into account, you can take a look at your competitors and see if you can undercut them!
For example, selling your product for $19.99 instead of their $21.
While this can be a great strategy for some, keep in mind that undercutting in price is not always the answer.
If you can’t undercut your competitors in price due to high expenses, then it is still possible to beat them with the other tips on this list!
For more information about choosing the correct price, check out our complete guide here.
4. Offer faster delivery times
Imagine you are looking to buy a new calculator online.
You find an online store offering it for $19.99 with free 14-day delivery. Another store you find sells the exact same calculator for $19.99 with free delivery, but you will have it delivered to your house in just three days.
In this situation, everyone would choose the store with a faster delivery time, right?
Even if the calculator at the second store were $24.99, a lot of people would still order it here, depending on their need for a new calculator.
Offering faster delivery times is a surefire way of beating your competition!
But how do you offer fast delivery times when dropshipping?
Well, a popular way of doing this is using local dropshipping suppliers. These are suppliers with warehouses located in the same country as your customers.
Lastly, if you are looking for more information regarding fast delivery times when dropshipping, check out this article of ours!
5. Try out new things
Finally, you can differentiate yourself from competitors by trying out new things!
Or, you can target a country that few other people are targeting.
Since you are dropshipping, you can let your supplier send your product to almost anywhere!
If you see that your competitor is only selling in a certain country, then a great way to beat them is to sell in other countries as well.
This way, you have a chance of getting more customers than them because you’re targeting way more people!
If you’re wondering now which countries to target and which to avoid, then take a look at our 15 best & worst countries to target as a dropshipper.
Is dropshipping worth it in 2021? Or are there better opportunities?
Considering the increased interest in dropshipping, you may be wondering if it is still worth it to start a dropshipping store now or if there are better opportunities around.
Don’t get me wrong; there are many ways of making money online.
You can do freelance work, start a blog, do affiliate marketing, flipping items, and more!
In my opinion, all options are worth a try. Whichever one will be the best for you will depend on your interest, budget, experience, and skills.
However, with the right dedication and mindset, any online venture can become successful, dropshipping included!
So, dropshipping is definitely worth it in 2021, but don’t expect to quickly be earning tons of money while working on your laptop on the beach.
This is definitely possible once you automate and scale your store, but for most people, it takes a really long time of hard work and dedication!
Dropshipping success stories for 2021
Let’s end the article with some dropshipping success stories for motivation!
I hope these stories will inspire you and show you it is still possible to start a successful dropshipping store in 2021!
- How I built a dropshipping store that made $6,667 in under 8 weeks on Oberlo
- How I made $178,492 in three months by dropshipping US and European products on Spocket
- How Sam went from 0 To $72K+ in sales in 6 months after starting a business with no experience on AliDropship
Note: We are almost certain that these dropshipping success stories are real, but keep in mind there are also many fake gurus out there who post photoshopped screenshots and fake sales. (Source)
Lastly, if you would rather take a look at some of the most successful dropshipping stores instead of reading these stories, then take a look at our article featuring the 23 most successful Shopify dropshipping stores!
In the last few years, dropshipping has gone through a number of changes.
At the very start, you could almost literally take a random product from AliExpress, create a simple product page for it, and start selling it profitably using a plain Facebook image ad.
Because of the increased interest in dropshipping in recent years, there is now an additional challenge for dropshippers, competition.
But if there is one thing that we can conclude from the increased interest, it is that dropshipping is not dead!
To succeed, you just have to beat your competition and have the right mindset.
So, what are your thoughts on dropshipping in 2021? Do you agree that dropshipping is not dead?
Tell us about your opinion in the comments below, and have a great rest of your day!