Whether you’re just starting your journey with dropshipping or have been in business for a while now, you may be wondering if it’s still an attractive business model in 2024.
As the ecommerce boom has slowed and consumers have become more cost-conscious, making money online isn’t such a hot topic anymore. Some may even feel like the dropshipping industry is dead!
We’re here to tell you that it’s definitely not, and the data supports this.
So, is dropshipping worth it these days? Yes!
If you’re wondering what the market looks like this year and how to start a successful dropshipping business, you’re in the right place.
Dropshipping is considered to be one of the most convenient, easy, and low-risk online retail models out there.
Why is that? It all comes down to managing your own inventory. In traditional retail stores, inventory is kept by the retailer. In the dropshipping space, however, it’s stored and managed by a third-party supplier.
In simpler terms, dropshipping is a way of selling items without keeping stock on hand. You sell products in your online store, and when a customer places an order, your supplier receives the order and ships it out to the customer.
If you’re managing everything yourself, it can get expensive and risky quite fast. You need to pay close attention to your stock and make sure you’re ordering the right amounts. If something doesn’t sell, you’re left with too much inventory and lost investment.
With a dropshipping store, you don’t face that risk at all. You—the seller—don’t handle the inventory. A dropshipping supplier manages the storage, packing, and shipping of all your products directly to your customers.
The best part? The customer never knows if someone else was involved in the process!
Have a quick look at this infographic to understand how the dropshipping business model works:
For a more detailed guide, check out our Ultimate Dropshipping Guide. If your interest is piqued, here are some more in-depth articles that explain the specifics of opening a dropshipping store, setting up the business, and all the technicalities that come with it:
Yes, several things make dropshipping worth it. You don’t need a lot of investment or prior business knowledge to get started. It’s your way to start a profitable online business without having to spend money on other business models with large startup costs and low profit margins.
It’s still a legitimate ecommerce business model, as long as you work with reliable suppliers to ensure solid product quality. Reselling cheap ready-made items on your own ecommerce website is no longer the way to run a profitable dropshipping store.
But we still need concrete proof—is dropshipping worth it, even now?
With this year’s increased inflation and threats of a recession, you have every right to be concerned. Choosing to start a dropshipping business is a big decision for store owners, so check the data before you sell products.
So, is dropshipping still profitable? Let’s check the state of the dropshipping business today.
In just the past year, the dropshipping market grew from $192.76B to $249.16B. But what about 2024? Even despite inflation and global economic disruptions, the industry is expected to reach $724.26B in 2027.
This means 2024 is still a great time to jump on the opportunity.
Another report from Grand View Research offers similar figures, and indicates that dropshipping will be steadily growing at a rate of 23.4% through 2030.
This means that by 2030, the dropshipping market will reach $1.25T globally!
Source: Grand View Research
As you can see in the graph above, the dropshipping store market in North America is about to experience accelerated growth. According to the report, it’s primarily expected to come from the adoption of artificial intelligence for dropshipping.
Source: Grand View Research
North America in particular also boasts the fastest growth in the dropshipping market, showing that this business continues to flourish even in developed countries with high competition.
The world of ecommerce, in general, has been flourishing for years, with transaction value reaching $6.03T in 2023. Digital commerce is projected to grow even more and reach an astounding transaction value of $9.04T by 2027.
These statistics show that dropshipping (and ecommerce in general) has continued to grow even as lockdowns were lifted and life began to return to normal for many of us.
But it’s not just about market growth, there’s also continued interest from online users on the topic.
Let’s have a look at some Google Trends data:
Source: Google Trends
As you can see, the general trend for the word “dropshipping” is upward. Meaning, consumers are consistently searching for the term, most likely to learn more about it.
Source: Google Trends
This is also the case with related phrases like “Shopify dropshipping” or “Amazon dropshipping.” This makes sense when you think about the fact that 60% of Amazon sales are from third-party suppliers who use models like dropshipping. Or, that the Shopify platform has gotten super popular among retailers who use the dropshipping business model.
What does this all mean? The dropshipping market is still growing, and the term continues to generate a lot of interest from online consumers.
It’s obvious starting a dropshipping business in 2024 is still a great idea.
We’ll break it down for you even further. Here are the major benefits of dropshipping:
You don’t need to spend money on inventory until a customer orders your product
You won’t get stuck with unsold items because inventory management is handled by your supplier
Operational costs are low since you’re relying on a third-party supplier who handles the logistics
You can easily integrate your dropshipping service with popular ecommerce platforms (depending on the supplier you use)
You can choose from a variety of white-label products that are customizable (depending on the supplier you use)
The only thing you have to focus on is the interesting bits of your business, like marketing strategies, design ideas, and brand identity
Even though the market is thriving and consumer interest is there, dropshippers still face certain challenges. But don’t fret; with the right information and strategy, any roadblocks can easily be overcome.
Let’s go through some of the most common issues and how to solve them.
No, definitely not yet. As the data shows, online shopping is continuously growing, so more and more retailers will be needed to meet that demand.
But there’s still the matter of standing out from the competition. Consider the various dropshipping niches, choose the right one for your business, and do some solid research.
Find the best products for maintaining profit margins, determine a potential audience for those products, and learn about your competitors.
You can use tools like SpyFu to find your competitors’ most valuable keywords, BuzzSumo to track the best-performing social media content, or Se Ranking to uncover your competitors’ promotional strategies to attract online shoppers.
That’s the next logical concern. You need to choose a niche, but what if all of the “good” ones are already saturated?
Don’t worry, new segments emerge every day due to changes in demand. In the online universe, anything can create a new fad—social media trends, a TikTok video, or an influencer talking about something cool.
If you spot a movement happening online, get your digital marketing going and be one of the first to offer new, relevant products.
There are various tools that will help you stay in the loop, like Trend Watching, Trend Hunter, Cool Material, and of course, Google Trends. You can also use Google Alerts for specific words, like brands or product names, to stay informed about any news to do with your niche.
Choosing the right product supplier is crucial to having a thriving dropshipping business. You want to offer a variety of quality products that consumers will love. Make sure to get samples and try out the different products before starting to take on customer orders.
In terms of what to sell, the most important part is simply thinking about your customers: what do they need, what is valuable to them, and how can you make their lives easier?
Don’t focus on the sales as much as keeping your customers happy. That’s how you create a long-lasting relationship and a reputable brand name.
Sometimes business owners who rely on dropshipping from a third-party supplier let customer service fall through the cracks. But a dropshipping business model is no different from traditional retail models: making sure your customers are taken care of is essential to the success of your business.
You must inform your customers of any shipping delays, changes in stock, or new launches, and always respond to inquiries or complaints as quickly as possible. Solid customer support shows that you care about your clients and that your store is trustworthy.
So, how much can you actually make from dropshipping? Well, according to Bluecart, quite a lot—assuming you follow the advice above and do your part. Bluecart’s calculations state that, on average, dropshipping stores make around 20%–30% on each sale. Let’s see how that shakes out:
Assume you buy a product from a supplier for $20. You add shipping process costs and ecommerce platform fees, and sell it in your online store for $35. If your costs cap out at $5, that leaves a $10 profit for your small business.
The profit margin for other (often riskier) business ventures can be higher, but choosing a low-risk business model makes your success more likely. The safety and lack of inventory management are mainly what makes dropshipping worth it.
Now, depending on how much you’d like to earn a month, you have to calculate how many orders you need. If you want to be making as much as some of the more successful dropshippers, according to Bluecart, you’re aiming at $5K a month. How many sales is that?
$10 profit x 500 orders = $5,000
If you sell 500 items, you’ll reach your desired monthly profit. Of course, costs differ depending on your dropshipping platform, supplier, shipping costs, product type, and so on. But now you have a pretty good idea of your earning potential once you start dropshipping.
It’s clear that dropshipping is still worth it, and from the looks of it, will be for the next few years. So how do you start a dropshipping business? For a detailed, beginner-friendly guide have a look here.
But these are some of the main points you should keep in mind:
The most important part of setting up a dropshipping store is doing your market research.
You picked a dropshipping niche, and now you have to see what your competitors are doing.
What types of products are they selling? Where do they source their catalog? What ecommerce platforms do they use? What are their websites’ best-performing keywords and bestselling products? What marketing strategy do they employ?
Make notes of all these things and implement the best solutions in your business.
As you’d probably expect, there are multiple suppliers out there, and different suppliers operate differently. Research the dropshipping suppliers within your niche and read about their integrations and store setup processes.
Don’t forget their product quality control, shipping fees, and customer support services. The key to success is ensuring that your chosen supplier offers everything you need.
Picking the right platform is crucial to making sure your store is successful. You want to choose a platform that will work well with your niche, has easy-to-understand software, and will help your brand stand out.
This is the fun part! You get to sell all of your favorite products in your store. Add catchy descriptions, high-quality pictures, and well-thought-out prices to make buying online as enjoyable as possible.
Marketing is how people find out about your business. You can have the best online store, but without good marketing, no new customers will reach it. Have a look at some of the hottest marketing tips of the season and the basics of social media marketing.
Interested in learning more about how to connect with potential customers? Great, let’s keep going.
At this point, you already know quite a bit about dropshipping. We explained what it is, how and why its popularity is growing, as well as how to address potential challenges.
But what do you actually need to become successful at dropshipping in 2024? This section will cover key points to think about to ensure you’re successfully marketing your business.
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of improving your page’s visibility in search engines like Google or Bing when people are searching for products and services related to your business. Your website will appear closer to the top in search results if you use certain keywords that people are typing into the search engine.
The most important part is identifying the correct keywords. A great tool to help you do that would be the Keyword Planner. It gives you information on related keywords and how big the search interest is, as well as suggestions for other words to broaden your content. It will also come in handy when you’re planning a Google Ads campaign, as these two tools both come from Google and work together well.
You also need to create content that is optimized correctly. To better understand the ins and outs of SEO and how to use it correctly to grow your business, have a look at our SEO guide for beginners. Here are some of the basics:
Include specific and informative descriptions of your products full of relevant keywords
Use alt tags for all product images
Create a sitemap and submit it to Google
Have a Meta Title and Meta Description for every single page using the targeted keywords
Add targeted keywords in your product names
Make sure to get backlinks to your site from other websites
These are the basic strategies you need to implement for your page to start ranking in search results.
Facebook Ads is an extremely useful tool that will help you market your online store to people who are actually interested in your products and might become potential customers.
As opposed to other advertising, with Facebook Ads, you’re in control of who sees your content. Target the people who have shown interest in your niche in the past or a specific demographic. All of these factors will ensure the highest performance of the ad, with the best return on investment.
With Facebook Ads, you can also determine where your ad is placed across various social media platforms. You can advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or Audience Network, ensuring that the ad shows up exactly where your potential customers spend the most time.
As you can see, successful marketing isn’t as difficult as it looks. It requires some research and hard work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
At Printful, we offer a range of dropshipping products and services, as well as online store setup services, photo, video, and design services, and even customer support for your clients. Our products are 100% white-label and customizable, and we offer a wide variety to choose from.
Plus, our integrations work with all the most popular online stores, including Shopify, Etsy, Woocommerce, Prestashop, BigCommerce, and many more. We’ll guide you step by step through the setup process, and give you all the tools and information you need to be successful.
Now, simply go ahead and get started! The best time for the dropshipping industry is still ahead of us, so don’t waste a minute.
Below are some of the top dropshipping FAQs, in case you have more questions.
Marta is a content marketing specialist currently working on getting a degree in creative writing. She's fascinated by copywriting and content creation, with a strong interest in digital marketing.