How Does Dropshipping Work for E-Commerce Sites?

July 26, 2021

How Does Dropshipping Work for E-Commerce Sites?

Retail e-commerce continues to grow. In 2020 the global e-commerce market was valued at $4.28 trillion US, and projections estimate e-commerce at a total of $5.4 trillion US by 2022.

For entrepreneurs hoping to join the trend or expand their e-commerce sites, such growth represents opportunity.

One part of this growth has to do with dropshipping: it’s never been easier to enter the e-commerce world. 

What is Drop Shipping?

Drop shipping integrates with your site, so that you create the designs for your products, market your products, and sell to your customers. But you never go through the time-consuming steps of printing, packaging and shipping your goods. A dropshipping company does those parts for you.

How Does Dropshipping Work?

The best dropshipping for e-commerce sites integrate fully with your SaaS (software-as-a-service) ecommerce solutions or your PoS (point of sale) system. In doing so, you do not have a separate step of re-entering customer orders for your dropshipper--a process that can be time-consuming and lead to inaccuracies. 

To work with a dropshipper for t-shirt design, you:

  1. Create your design.
  2. Send your design to your dropshipper, such as uploading into their system.
  3. Make a mockup of your design.
  4. Sell your design!

Then, your customers place an order, which goes directly to your drop shipping service, and your dropshipper:

  1. Receives the order.
  2. Prints the order per your site specifications (shirt materials, size, color, everything will fit your specifications through your site).
  3. Packs your order, including using your branding.
  4. Ships your order to your client.

Never in the process described above do you have to print or handle inventory.

What is a Mockup?

Your mockup will let you ensure that your product “looks right” to you. You also use the images from your mockup to sell on your various sales channels (website, social media, etc).

Dropshipping is print-on-demand, so you never need to keep an inventory. 

If you choose to, you can order your mockup, so that you can see your final product, but you do not have to.

What is Print-on-Demand?

Print-on-demand means that your shirts are printed at the time an order is placed, so no inventory needs to be stocked. Your drop shipper may choose to print “extra” to keep up with a high demand sale period, but not normally. 

Orders can be fulfilled the very same day they are ordered, depending on the time of day. Even large orders can be filled quickly. There’s never excess inventory costs to you.

Does Dropshipping Save You Money?

There are several ways dropshipping can save you money:

  • You do not need to buy commercial printing equipment, which is quite expensive.
  • You never need to buy and stock up on inventory, like blank shirts.
  • There’s no negotiating of shipping charges with USPS, UPS or FedEx. Your dropshipper will have relationships with carriers and ensure the lowest-cost, best shipping method gets used.
  • You do not need to stock shipping supplies, boxes or labels, which also can have high costs.

Online business twenty years ago included mostly fulfilling inventory and then standing in line at the post office to ship goods. No more. 

Your drop shipping company does all of this at no upfront cost to you.

How Do You Drop Ship Custom Shirts

The global t-shirt industry is growing, making millions of dollars for someone out there, why not you?

You don’t need much to get going with a custom t-shirt business--just a design, a plan and a dropshipping partner. Getting going can take as little as a single day!

With great designs and the sales channels to sell them on, you can soon have orders coming in and a dropshipping company fulfilling them.

What Should You Look for in Choosing a Dropshipping Company?

Not all dropshippers are created equal. Here are some key points to look for:

    • Printing method: will they print on commercial-grade equipment, so you don’t end up with poor-quality materials?
    • Great design team: can they translate your design into quality prints?
    • Quick fulfillment time: how long will it take your t-shirt dropshipping partner to print and fulfill orders?
    • Costs: how much will blank shirts cost? You do pay more for quality, but you’ll need to find the “sweet spot” on materials your customer base will love at a price where you can make a profit.
    • API access: can they integrate with your sales system?
    • Branding: will shirts and packaging match your branding?

T-Shirt Labs are Your Dropshipping Experts

At T-shirt Labs we know shirts. 

We are based in the Tampa Bay Area and provide local expertise, direct from our warehouse. But we also know e-commerce. We can help you make your t-shirt business a reality with our fulfillment services.