If you have a retail business that sells fashion, then DropShipping shoes is a logical way to help increase your sales – but retailers in other niches will find success by selling footwear online too. There’s a huge range of products when it comes to footwear, from shoes for men and women, to children, and specialist footwear for different activities, hobbies, and occasions.
Why sell shoes online?
The old advice goes that you should buy good shoes, and a good bed, because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other. While that might not be quite so true these days, shoes are always in demand – last year, households in the UK spent around £10.95 billion on footwear. Customers want to buy their footwear in the most convenient way, especially when they are looking for a specific style or colour, and tracking down exactly what you want is much easier when shopping online. While there is a huge number of retailers already selling shoes online, given the size of the market, it is definitely worth selling shoes online.
What types of footwear should you sell?
There are all kinds of shoes that you can be successful selling online, but you might choose to specialise in certain types of footwear, depending on what else you sell. Examples that you might choose to source include:
- Court shoes and office styles
- Party shoes
- Wellington boots
- Workwear boots (e.g. steel toecaps)
- Walking boots
- Footwear for hobbies (e.g. equestrian boots, water sports shoes)
- Shoes for children
- Supportive shoes for older people, people with disabilities
Once you’ve covered these types of shoes, or chosen to go into a certain niche, then you can look at other products for the feet to expand your range and encourage customers to make add-on purchases. Socks, tights, toe rings, foot care products, secondary insoles, products for smelly shoes and feet, shoe storage solutions – the list goes on, and that’s before we even start thinking about fashion products such as bags, clothes, and items for hobbies.
Why use DropShipping for selling shoes online?
There are plenty of advantages of using DropShipping for selling shoes online – just like there is for DropShipping loads of other products. A few examples of the advantages include:
- DropShipping is low risk, and low cost, and you won’t need capital to invest up front
- It is easy to start and to scale
- It offers unlimited increased potential sales income
- Your potential inventory is nearly limitless, maintaining customer interest
- It is possible to engage with unlimited numbers of suppliers
- Working with strategically located suppliers, you can expand into new markets
When we’re talking about DropShipping shoes and footwear specifically, there are additional reasons to use DropShipping rather than buying stock for your business wholesale.
Leftover sizes and colours
Certain styles of shoes simply don’t sell well in certain sizes – and if you invest in stock, you have to try and accommodate as many sizes as possible. But when you’re left with a few pairs of a style that you need to clear, you’re likely to end up breaking even, or making a loss on those items. The same goes for certain colours of shoes too – pink or yellow wellies might be popular up to around size 7, but in sizes larger than that, demand might be pretty small. Rather than worrying about having too many of a certain size or colour that you’ll need to clear, your DropShipping supplier takes on that risk – you just sell as many sizes and colours as you can.
Given the UK’s climate, the shoes that are most in demand depends on which season you’re in. While you can invest in stock that may sell well year-round, such as wellington boots (rainy summer festival anyone?!) there’s a good chance that you’ll be left with sandals at the end of September, or winter boots in March.
By DropShipping shoes, you don’t need to worry about clearing this stock at reduced prices, or hanging onto it until the start of the next season. This also keeps your capital free to invest in your marketing activity, or in products that you know will sell well year round.
Where to sell shoes online
You can sell shoes in almost every sales channel online – from marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to your own website, and on your social media. We’ve taken a deep dive into the best sales channels for your business before on the blog, because successful selling isn’t just about Amazon and eBay, or selling on absolutely every sales channel you can find. Be certain to do your research carefully, and to make sure you’re selling on the sales channels that make sense for your business.
What to know about selling branded shoes on marketplaces
Selling branded footwear online does come with some challenges – especially if we’re talking about household brands and high end brands. If you’re DropShipping, you’re essentially selling on behalf of another retailer and keeping the profits, and many brands don’t like unapproved sellers dealing with their brand name.
Grey market goods (where items have been manufactured by, or with the permission of the brand owner, but are sold outside of the sales channels that have been approved by the brand owner) can be a real issue for businesses that are DropShipping. If you’re not authorised to sell a brand, then the brand can complain to the marketplace, leading to your account being suspended. You can read more about intellectual property rights and authenticity here – don’t get caught out.
Where to source shoes to sell online
Finding a supplier of shoes that is prepared to work with a DropShipping arrangement isn’t too tricky – but finding suppliers that are based in the UK (for fast delivery) and that don’t have technical setups that conflict with each other can be. Rather than trying to set up DropShipping with more than one supplier, and without needing a developer, sign up for a DropShipping marketplace like Avasam. This will reduce the technical issues (or do away with them entirely) and means you can work with as many suppliers as you like – and will allow you to source other products too as you scale your business.
Not only will sourcing shoes from Avasam mean you can source more, from more suppliers, but it also means your customers are likely to receive a better service, because all our suppliers are based in the UK. That means that delivery times are much shorter than if you decide to source from DropShipping suppliers in China and overseas.
Returns are going to definitely be an issue for retailers that are selling shoes, and so working with suppliers that are on a DropShipping marketplace are going to be set up for this. We know the frustration of returns and DropShipping, and you don’t want to be left out of pocket – which is why we’ve set up a completely automated returns and refunds process, with interactive functionality. You’ll always know what stage your return or refund request is at, and should there be a rare dispute, you can get support from the Avasam team.
How to get started DropShipping shoes
Whether you’re starting a business DropShipping shoes, or you’re looking at adding shoes to your inventory as an extra category for your customers, getting started is the hard bit.
- Find your suppliers – we’ve just mentioned this! Get yourself on a DropShipping marketplace.
- Source the shoes, boots, sandals, wellies, and slippers that you want to sell.
- Take advantage of offers – such as one month of Avasam and BigCommerce free to get you started!
- Start marketing your products.
- Get your hands on up to £400 of Google Ad credit to reach more customers and to keep earning!
We’ve written loads about getting started with DropShipping on our blog, so rather than us replicating those posts here, if you’re starting DropShipping then head to the blog and keep reading, or check out the video of our CEO Tejas talking about DropShipping below.
If you’re looking for a great addition to your inventory, then selling shoes should definitely be on your radar. Where it doesn’t make sense to invest in stock – such as for passing trends and seasonal shoes – DropShipping is the answer. Find great suppliers on the Avasam marketplace, and find shoes and footwear, and many, many more items that you can source in our catalogue. And considering that old phrase – buy good shoes and a good bed, because if you’re not in one, you’re in the other – then if you’re in the market to sell beds as well as shoes, then we’ve got beds in our product catalogue too! Find out what else is in our product catalogue, and start selling by signing up for your free account here, and if you’re an existing retailer, book a call with our experienced Account Managers to get bespoke support for integrating Avasam with your business.