There’s also an undeniable level of stress that’s part of being a business owner. Perhaps your store is your sole source of income and any dip in profits could throw your future into uncertainty. Or, maybe your online store is a side hustle you’d love to expand but haven’t quite figured out how to grow your business.
It can be difficult to work out how to grow your business when you’re also trying to manage good customer service, savvy marketing, and sound finances. However, expanding your product range could help.
Adding different products can draw in more customers. And the more eyes on your store, the better it is for profits.
I know what you’re thinking: Expanding your product range sounds like a lot of time and effort – and usually it is. But not with dropshipping.
If you’ve been curious about different approaches to boost your online store, dropshipping is a genuinely low risk option that could help.
In fact, there are a number of reasons this is a fantastic tactic for online business owners wanting to crack how to grow their brand.
What is Dropshipping?
If you’re already selling your own items in an online store, you’ll remember how long it took to develop your products and figure out how to produce it before you could start selling it. And then you had to work out packaging and shipping!
Dropshipping frees you from all of these problems.
Dropshipping is a business model that involves three parties: you, the supplier, and the customer. First, you find a supplier’s product and place it in your online store. Then, once you make a sale, the supplier will ship it directly to the customer – all without you ever touching the product. Here’s a quick explainer:
How to Grow Your Business Using Dropshipping
It might sound weird to hear someone else’s product could help build your brand. But it’s true. Up to 33 percent of internet retailers use dropshipping as their main method of order fulfillment, including huge companies like Wayfair, Amazon, and Sears.
Combining dropshipping with your own items can help you expand your store, work out what products to invest in, and even give you a competitive edge.
1. Test Out Potential Products with Little Investment
Did you start your online store with a bunch of product ideas and quickly realize you’re just one person with only 24 hours in the day?
Sometimes, no matter how good an idea for a product is, you just can’t spare the time, energy, and money to design and produce an item that might not even sell well. Especially if it’d be taking away from something that’s already a proven money maker.
This is where dropshipping can help.
Rather than investing in your own product, you figure out how to grow your business by dropshipping a similar item and gauging its potential.
After adding the item to your website, you can work on advertising it across different platforms as you would for anything else in your inventory. Then, use tracking and analytics to decide if it’s a winner or not.
If the product is wildly popular, that’s great! You’re making money with the markup on the item you’re dropshipping and you know that it’s worth developing a similar product of your own. You could even bulk order from your current supplier, or find one that can add your branding. Then again, if you’re happy with the product you’re dropshipping, continue selling what you know already works.
On the other hand, if the product flops, you’ll know the idea wasn’t viable. Then, you can simply delete the item from your store and your total loss from the whole experiment will be whatever you didn’t recover from your spending on ads. Much easier than creating your own or dealing with piles of leftover stock.
2. Sell Products That Complement Your Own
Do you have the perfect idea for a product that matches one you already sell, but don’t have the time or expertise to create it? Dropshipping these complementary products could help increase brand awareness and drive future sales of your own items.
For example, say you have a store selling handmade necklaces and earrings. You’d love to be able to sell rings, but you can only make so much jewelry. Necklaces and earrings are taking up all your time. Besides, you’re not really an expert at making rings anyway.
By supplementing your jewelry business with dropshipping, you can find a complementary product and sell that on your store alongside your handmade items.
Plus, if the ring helps to draw new potential customers to your store, your brand is being exposed to an audience that otherwise wouldn’t have found it.
And the handy thing about dropshipping being so versatile is that you can trial different complementary items as often as you like. Perhaps the ring wasn’t the best match for your store but selling jewelry boxes was perfect.
Suddenly figuring out how to grow your business doesn’t seem so difficult and expensive any more, right?
3. Dip Your Toe in New Markets
This is especially key if you’re in a really niche market or find you have more and more competition nipping at your heels.
However, as lucrative as entering a new market could be, it’s something many businesses shy away from due to the associated costs. This isn’t an issue with dropshipping because you never have to worry about shipping – your supplier takes care of it. And actually, your supplier could even be based closer to new markets you’re targeting, like Malaysia or the Philippines.
Dropshipping is a great way to learn how to grow your business in new markets without having to spend a lot of money in the process. Being able to offer products via a dropshipping supplier gives you the freedom to experiment and see if you get any positive results.
You can test out multiple markets and see which best respond to your product. And, because dropshipping is so simple to get started with, you can invest more time into researching which approaches work best for each market and figuring out Facebook targeting for users in different locations.
If you find that a new market is responding to the dropshipped item, start thinking about the sales channels you could use to sell your own products in that market. Or, start dropshipping without worries if you’re satisfied with the product and supplier you’re currently working with.
4. Respond to Competitors Quickly
And naturally, it’s important to be aware of your competitors so if they make a move you can quickly respond.
If you want to know how to grow your business, keeping an eye on your closest competition is one of the best ways to learn.
Say a competitor suddenly began selling a new product and customers started going bananas for it – it would be in your best interest to try and grab a slice of the action, right? Of course! However, this requires quick movement to start selling the product before the hype dies down.
Think about the fidget spinner craze. They were everywhere for a hot second but soon crowded clearance bins as companies struggled to offload stock they were slow to buy and even slower to sell.
If you were combining dropshipping with your store, none of this would be an issue.
You could quickly find a supplier, add the item to your store for a bargain price, and begin advertising it all within 10 minutes. And if the popularity begins to wane, you can simply stop selling with no need to worry about being stuck with excess stock or lost investment.
This is Great But How Do I Start Dropshipping?
The most important steps are finding high potential products and reliable suppliers who can keep up with demand. But, when you’re already busy running a store this can be a pain to pour time into. This is why thousands of dropshippers are using Oberlo.
Oberlo is an app that makes dropshipping with AliExpress so simple that you can get started in minutes. All you need to do is browse the millions of products on AliExpress and find an item and supplier that you like. Then, using Oberlo, import the product directly into your current online store on Shopify, ready to be sold alongside your non-dropshipped items. Here’s a free dropshipping tutorial to help get you started.
You can customize the product descriptions and pictures to fit your brand. And when a customer buys the item, Oberlo will help you fulfill the order with your supplier.
With the expertise and skills you already have from marketing and selling your own products online, adding dropshipped items to your store will be easy.
Plus the versatility of dropshipping means that you can start and stop whenever you like, with no great financial risk. Heck, even Oberlo has a free plan!
To create a stable online business, sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box.
If you’ve been wondering how to grow your business but only know about time-consuming or expensive ways, dropshipping offers an alternative.
Whether you’re curious to move into new markets, thinking about different products, need to find ways to respond to competitors, or just want to expand your catalog, dropshipping can help.
The most convenient thing of all? You’re already at Oberlo.com, which means you’re just a couple clicks away from being able to test new products and explore new markets.
Start combining your online business with dropshipping today.
Is there anything else you’d like to know about how to grow your business by mixing dropshipping with your online store? Let me know in the comments below.