Drop shipping Success
5 Steps to Dropshipping Success
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping has become both more popular and more challenging than ever. At it’s simplest form, dropshipping is essentially creating yourself a sales position online. You find a company that is willing to let you tie directly into their fulfilment system, and allow people to order their products directly from your website. In exchange, you are given a fixed fee or percentage for each sale you produce for the company actually fulfilling the order. The main challenges with dropshipping lie in the ever-increasing competition, and the low profit margins in creating sales. You can’t beat Amazon on product offerings or fulfilment so putting up a massive online mall doesn’t cut it like it did ten years ago. And even if you specialize it can be challenging.
Although there are some more involved strategies to finding success in dropshipping like finding your own fulfilment centers to increase profit margins, white-labelling products to increase perceived value, and creating authority for yourself and your brand in a given niche, here are some simple tactics that can make any dropshipping site more effective.
Master advertising, particularly Facebook Ads
There are several advertising options available for drop-shippers but in most cases organic content and Facebook ads are going to be your most effective. The issue with both of these mediums is that event though they are a virtual requirement in the drop-shipping world today, they are also complex and constantly evolving marketing platforms that take a lot of expertise to be successful with. Take the time to really master content creation and the FB ads platform, or hire a professional to guide you through the processes. Then be prepared to spend some money on testing out your ideas. Even the most effective FB ads strategies need to be tested with some actual ads to hone them into profit machines for your business.
Also, be prepared for the fact that modern online advertising platforms are more dependent on data than creativity. The power and the profit are in the data you get in the form of behavior based analytics and contact information. If you are not prepared to be analytical with your marketing and your marketing dollars, find someone who is. Financial analysts, accountants, and really anyone in your life who is data-driven will be an asset to you if you are a DIY’er, but also consider investing in professional help. The rules on these platforms change almost daily so having someone who is immersed in them AND data-driven will turn your advertising spend into advertising profits. (yes we know this sounds self-serving, and yes it’s still true)
With the right data and the right understanding of benchmarks and profitability, you can both outsmart and outwork your competition with online marketing. You can also guarantee that you aren’t selling products at a loss. (you’d be surprised how many businesses do this without realizing it, don’t be one, know your numbers.)
Learn from people smarter than you
Learning from others will shorten the learning curve for you and exponentially increase your chances of success in dropshipping. It will also expose you to many strategies that you can implement and improve upon for your business, that way when FB kills your current strategy, you don’t lose your whole business. Join 10 Facebook groups related to dropshipping, Facebook marketing, and content creation and get active in them. Also, Youtube is your friend, and check out our learning center to steal a lot of the tools and strategies we use every day for our clients.
Also, use these groups and experts to create a peer network for yourself. Having a network of other people in your industry is as valuable as your customer list when you face challenges, need inspiration, or just need someone to vent to that understands what the heck you are talking about when your CPM goes to crap and your conversions go out the window.
Do the research and find reliable suppliers
Do yourself a favor early on and ensure that you’re working with reliable vendors that can scale to your needs and won’t create a customer service nightmare for you. This means that 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝟗𝟗% 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞…I can’t tell you how important this is. This also means that you should constantly be looking for more reliable suppliers with new and better products and systems. If your business is 100% reliant on one supplier, guess what happens if that supplier goes to crap, goes out of business, or becomes unable to supply your customers anymore…
If using Ali Express, ensure that your products have at least 4.8 star reviews. Anything less and you can bet that the quality isn’t high or consistent enough to keep your customers happy. I highly recommend working with Ali Express suppliers that have been around for a minimum of 2 years or longer. Anything less and you will have reliability issues when you scale(i.e. grow your business so big it takes over Amazon, or at least grow your business big enough that supplier needs to be able to keep up).
Understand the importance of your hook and your offer
First, make sure your offer(product) is something good that people want. You can’t successfully market a crap product that nobody wants no matter how much of a genius you are. Then figure out who your ideal buyer is by creating your customer avatar(more on that here). Knowing who you’re marketing to is essential. 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐚d copy that kills, and ad copy that kills your business.
If your messaging sounds like a college kid wrote it for a college kid, it won’t resonate with the target audience for your Rolex Watches. And once you figure out that nobody wants your “Rale-ex” watches, you’ll realize you have nobody to write ads for, so you might as well just not try.
Develop exceptional customer service
If you’re drop shipping from overseas like most people are, between 30-50% of customers will email you or message you regarding some detail of their order. Things like; order tracking, returns, exchanges, poor quality and long shipping time concerns will be coming regularly, be prepared for that.
To many people, dropshipping is synonymous with poor quality items, long shipping times, and getting ripped off. Because of this the post-order regret and stress will frequently be higher than other types of purchases, and you need to be well prepared to calm that concern and get that customer back to the excited state they were in when they hit the order button.
Use customer service as a way to differentiate your site and your brand from all the other dropshippers out there, and remember that no response is a response, so don’t ignore your customers(more on that here)
You also need to have a plan in place to deal with customer service issues out of your control. They are seeing your brand and your site, the fact that someone else is doing all of the legwork doesn’t matter to your customer when they gave YOU their money.
Dropshipping is not a get rich quick miracle business model that it once was and frequently is still marketed as so think carefully before getting into this business because it needs to be run like a business, not a hobby. But like any other business, if you are going to start, there is no better day than today, find a product or two you can sell at will, and build the rest of your business off of those products.
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