For a long time, dropshipping has been an extremely attractive business model for first-time entrepreneurs, as it is far more dependent on Internet marketing and promotion skills than on your financial resources. However, recently one can often hear an opinion that today it is hard to make a profit with dropshipping, that dropshipping is no longer viable and so on. However, the existence of successful stores using this model clearly demonstrates that these opinions mostly originate from those who blame the conditions and environment for their own failings. If you approach the matter sensibly, dropshipping is as lucrative today as it used to be. And in this article, we will cover some tips that can help you with this matter.
1. Select the right niche
One of the most common causes of failure among dropship stores is choosing the wrong niche, to begin with. A niche can be a bad fit for a variety of reasons: a specific product can be unsuitable for the target market, shipping expenses to the target country can blow the price out of proportion and so on. This means that before you start out, you should run excessive research on your target market and potential profitability of selling there. Services like Oberlo allow you to easily import products from suppliers directly into your Shopify store and ship directly to your customers.
2. Add a phone number
Make sure your phone number is easily seen in multiple places on your website. Header, footer, Contacts and About Us pages are the most natural places for it to be but do not shy away from adding it somewhere else. While you may feel apprehensive of spending your entire day answering the phone, you should understand two things. Firstly, there probably won’t be many calls, especially to begin with. Secondly, you shouldn’t be afraid of talking to the people who want to give you money. A phone number does wonders for improving the credibility of your store – you will often have people calling you just to check if you are legit before placing an order – something they won’t be able to do if there is no number.
3. Combine expensive products with free gifts
In dropshipping, the entirety of your work consists of marketing and customer acquisition. Therefore, the amount of work required to sell a $30 item is more or less the same as that needed to sell a $3000 item like a divers watch. The conclusion is obvious: you should try to concentrate on high-ticket products from reliable suppliers. However, here you will strike another roadblock – such deals are often accompanied with Minimum Advertised Price, and you won’t be able to drop below it to beat the competition. Other promotional strategies, however, are still open for you – e.g., offering something in addition to the product. Choose something inexpensive yet attractive for clients who are likely to buy the main product.
4. Request reviews from suppliers
Social proof is a powerful force, and you should make it work for you. A new store without testimonials and product reviews will have a hard time attracting customers, so you should ask your supplier to give you a little boost. People want to hear the opinions of previous buyers before they commit to anything, so give it to them. Don’t try to get reviews from all your suppliers – instead, concentrate on a few with the bestselling products.
5. Get additional photos from your suppliers
When you sign a dropshipping deal, you get a standard set of photos from a supplier – the same one used by all the other dropshippers working with them. As a result, all the product pages in all the stores selling it look almost exactly the same, which does little to help you stand out from the crowd. If you have a chance, ask your supplier for additional high-quality photos of the product: from customer reviews, trade shows or anywhere else as long as they are not included into the standard package. It is especially important if you sell expensive products – before a client decides to spend a big sum of money he wants to see as many high-definition and zoomable pictures taken from various angles as possible.
6. Use as many payment options as possible
Don’t assume that if you use one payment option exclusively, all the other people do the same. Your clients will have a variety of preferences. And remember – you don’t sell anything unique, so if you don’t offer the payment option they are used to, they are merely going to buy it elsewhere.
Of course, there is a lot more to setting up a successful dropshipping store, but following these tips will dramatically improve your chances of dealing with initial setbacks and finding your own way in this business.