Yes, thanks to modern technology you no longer need a warehouse to be a successful retailer. Dropshippers are making millions of dollars each year by selling other people’s products and simply being a middleman between suppliers and a customer base. So, how can you get in on the action?
At first glance, it may seem like a ‘get-rich-quick’, effortless business idea. However, if you take a too laid-back approach, you’ll waste your own time, probably frustrate customers and get bad reviews. It pays off to be an expert on everything from shipping container fumigation to SEO, even if you won’t use it every day in running your business.
Helpful Tips for Dropshipping
Here are valuable tips to help you start AND scale your business.
Pick the Right Niche
Start off by picking the right type of dropshipping business.
Those who make it have a very specific group of people they cater to, with very specialised products. You won’t get very far trying to be a ‘general store’ for all types of clients—that’s what supermarkets are for.
Having a unique, out-of-the-ordinary theme also means there’s less competition to contend with. This will especially help while building your business.
When trying to find an appropriate range of products to focus on, consider items that people have an emotional connection to. For example, research suppliers of pet products or children’s toys. Because of their love for their animals and their children, consumers are very likely to spend money on them. So, you’ll have it easier trying to convince them to commit to a purchase.
You can also research trending products and start selling them but do ensure it’s a range of items that will stay relevant in the long term. Otherwise, your success will be short lived.
Create a Stunning Website
You’re talking to your clients via your website, so make sure you impress. This is your storefront and details matter:
- Make it visually appealing so visitors are impressed when they land on your pages.
- Provide detailed information so visitors know what to expect in terms of products and delivery times.
- Ensure a positive user experience, so visitors don’t click away out of frustration. Images must load quickly, pages must have a logical layout, keep navigation simple and don’t have too many popups.
- Pick a theme and look that your target audience will find relevant and that suits your products. For example, when selling jewellery, a stylish design that communicates luxurious living will help sell your products.
Be Smart About Marketing
This website you’re building must get enough visitors if you’re going to make your fortune. This requires smart advertising. When it comes to digital marketing, these are your best strategies for increasing traffic and getting people to pick what you have to offer:
- Research your target audience, so you know how to market to their likes and preferences.
- Learn about SEO (search engine optimisation) because you need to get your pages ranked high on search engine results pages. Ensure you’re using the right keywords and that your site is mobile responsive, because many people do online shopping on their smartphones these days. Experts believe Google may rank you higher if you offer a mobile-friendly page.
- Reach out to influencers to promote your products, because today’s buyers often use them as reference to decide which products to consider.
With these tactics, even people who have never heard of your brand may land on your site and eventually become loyal customers.
Build Relationships—with Suppliers and Customers
You may think of dropshipping as simply keeping an eye on orders. However, to grow your business it will serve you well to get more involved with the people in your network:
- Get to know your suppliers better so they’ll go the extra mile for you in delivering items on time to your customers.
- Replying to queries—even complaints—in person will help clients trust you more, so they become return customers.
Streamline Service and Supply Chain
Being on good terms with your suppliers is one way of improving the service delivery to your clients. In addition, consider the following:
- Be transparent about products, pricing and delivery times.
- It may be out of your control how long shipping container transport will take or how quickly products get cleared by customs, but being honest about long delivery times will help manage clients’ expectations.
- If your niche audience prefers shorter delivery times, look for more local suppliers.
Last Words: Avoid Common Mistakes
As with any business, you may take a few months to learn how to run your dropshipping business. However, you can reach goals faster by avoiding mistakes other people often make.
For one thing, don’t underestimate the value of data. You can measure many aspects of a dropshipping business, from client engagement on your site to delivery timelines. Continuously measure and find ways to improve.
Also, be careful who you use as suppliers. Work with those who provide quality goods and deliver on time. Their actions will affect your brand reputation, so choose wisely.
Now, go impress those clients!