Dropshipping is a great business model, it’s low risk, low cost, easy to start up, and most of it can be automated. But if you’re brand new to entrepreneurship, there’s still quite a bit to learn. So in this article, I’m going to give you 16 different tips for when you’re brand new to dropshipping.
Focus On Marketing Your Products
With so many aspects of dropshipping being automated, you’ll have more time to focus on marketing. Sure. Tweaking your website, designing logos and creating graphics is a lot of fun. But if you’re not actively working on getting the right products in front of the right people at the right time, all that time spent making the perfect website will go to waste.
A beautiful website with no visitors is like a tree falling in the woods scenario where if nobody really sees it, does it really even exist? Don’t get me wrong, the design is important. But if you’re also not focused on getting your beautiful website in front of the right people, you’re never going to make any sales.
That’s why you also need to invest in driving traffic. That could mean through paid ads, SEO, social media, video marketing, or partnering with social media influencers. There are a ton of different marketing strategies and tactics you can try, but I always advise new marketers to focus on a small handful of techniques that come the most naturally to you.
Fortunately for you, we’ve got some very useful articles on our blog to help you get on the right path to start making money with dropshipping.
Create compelling offers
Dropshipping can be highly competitive but if you utilize bundled deals on complimentary products you can stand out from the competition. Think about how you can make buying from you and building a relationship with you even more enticing.
This could mean anything from selectively offering to buy one, get one half off deals, bundling multiple complementary items at a discounted rate, or offering significant discounts to your visitor’s first purchase if they register for an account.
Look at your offer from your visitor’s perspective and ask what’s in it for me. If the offer is objectively good or amazing, you should really try to rethink it by making offers that are difficult to ignore, you stand a much better chance at converting more of the traffic by doing these things.
Avoid underpricing your products
I know this might sound counter to the previous tip, but avoid racing to the bottom on price just to remain competitive, offering a lower overall cost, on bundle products or through buy one get one half off deals is not the same as selling your inventory at just above cost.
This is a massive mistake I see new dropshippers make all the time where they’re not making any sales and suddenly everything in their store is severely discounted, offering everything at rock bottom.
Prices can have a massive negative impact on your brand and can make the brand feel cheap. If you’re not making sales, don’t jump to assuming at your prices that are holding you back. Instead, reevaluate how you’re driving traffic and the offers you’re making.
It’s better to find new ways to drive traffic than it is to slash prices because it’s hard to raise them again. And second, you still have to pay the bills.
Remove Bad Dropshipping Suppliers
While most AliExpress suppliers are easy to work with, reliable, and offer good products, sometimes a bad Apple or two can slip through with thousands of suppliers.
You can easily replace a bad supplier. Many suppliers will sell similar products, allowing you to sometimes even sell the exact same product. But from another manufacturer.
If you notice, suppliers don’t use the shipping delivery method you’ve chosen or consistently shipping faulty products, then you can easily remove their products from your store. Again, though, this isn’t very common.
Suppliers know that by offering quality service, you’ll continue bringing them more sales.
Automate Your Business
Automating your business as much as possible is super important. Many aspects of your dropshipping business will already be automated for you, but there is always room to take more off your plate.
A tool like Cleverreach can help you automate your email marketing efforts. We also recommend a tool like Crowdfire which can help you manage your social media accounts and schedule your social media postings to all major platforms.
Make Sure Your Dropshipping Website Is Presentable.
You would be shocked to see how many entrepreneurs launch their dropshipping websites with missing images, placeholder text, and no discernible categorization of their products.
Unfortunately, when you’re sending traffic to a website that can’t be navigated or just looks bad, it reeks of unprofessionalism and immediately diminishes the trust and credibility of your brand. Before launching your store, take a look at other websites in your niche.
What does their home page look like? What is the format of the copy on their product pages? Do their images include logos on them? What types of pages does their website have?
After taking notes on the look and layout of different successful stores in your niche you can mimic what they are doing to boost your own success.
General Store vs. Niche Store.
Well, a lot of advice out there, including our own. We’ll tell you to start with a niche store. The truth is, sometimes you don’t want to sell just one type of thing. In reality, general stores, while they can be a lot more work between keeping products organized and categorize and marketing to different demographics are great starter stores as they force you to think more broadly.
On the other hand, if you want to put more work into researching and validating a niche, a niche store can allow you to narrow in on finding and marketing to the right audience.
The running niche would be a great example of a niche within the fitness vertical. While there’s still a ton of competition for running gear and accessories, it’s not nearly as broad as if you were to sell a wide variety of fitness gear. This really all boils down to one question. What do you have the tolerance for? If you can answer that honestly and are confident you can drive traffic, you’ll be all set, be prepared to pivot and fast.
There are all sorts of unexpected challenges and adversity that will come up because, at the end of the day, you’re running a business.
A supplier may stop carrying a product. A new trend may emerge. Suddenly, your customers may hate a product you’ve added to the store or one of your ads may be scaling really well. And you’ll need to take out a loan to continue supporting that growth aren’t really good or bad, but they do require you to be flexible, indecisive when the moment is necessary.
Offer exceptional customer service.
There are multiple ways to stand out when you’re selling similar products to other companies. While you may think that offering refunds and responding to inquiries is the role of customer service, that’s really just where the job begins.
You need to go out of your way to make your customers feel special. Like the poet Maya Angelou said, people, will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Use Data To Select The Best Products For Your Dropshipping Store
Be picky about the products you add to your store. Don’t just add products because they look nice or you’d like them for yourself. Look at the data. Are these products getting positive sales and feedback when evaluating products?
When choosing suppliers, you need to check the order volume reviews, customer photos, and seller ratings to ensure you are partnering with a trustworthy supplier.
Always Choose Epacket Shipping For Your Products
As a dropshipper, you should always source products that have ePacket shipping. Since ePacket shipping is the fastest affordable shipping method, you’ll be able to ensure quick delivery to your customers without breaking the bank. On average, ePacket shipping costs under five dollars for most products and will make sure your customers get your products between seven to 20 business days and often much faster.
Be Active On A Daily Basis
Dropshipping is an automated business and there is no overnight success. While you likely won’t need to put in eight hours a day, you do need to spend at least one hour a day to grow your online business. Each day you’ll need to process orders, respond to customer inquiries, promptly drive traffic and generally just make sure everything’s running smoothly.
This is not a build it and they will come scenario and it requires work every single day to make sure the business is running well.
Start With Fewer Dropshipping Items
Here’s a problem for you. In your excitement, you start a dropshipping business and you’ve imported six hundred items to your store. What a great selection!
But then once you look at your store, you realize that you have rewrite six hundred product descriptions, you need to edit six hundred titles, you need to rewrite a billion tags, and you need to add three thousand photos. At least you need to comb through to see which ones you’ll have to crop supplier logos out of.
So what do you do? Most people just give up. Never mind. This wasn’t for me. This is too much work. I quit.
It’s much easier to start with a collection of ten to twenty-five products. That way you can more easily manage the workload, especially if you’re doing this on your own.
Monitor Your Competition
Here’s a suggestion for you. Start a spreadsheet and include links to all of your primary competitors, websites, social media accounts, and wherever else they’re selling online. Sign up for their email lists and heck, maybe even buy some of their products.
Look at how they’re positioning their products, what they’re saying in their emails, what kinds of sales they’re running and how they’re retargeting their ads. This kind of low-level competition monitoring will provide you with some insight into how they’re running their business and can help expose holes in their strategies.
It will also teach you some very valuable lessons along the way.