Dropshipping Tips: Must-Knows For Beginners
Video transcript: Dropshipping is a great business model: It’s low risk, low cost, easy to start up, and highly automated. But if you’re brand new to entrepreneurship, there’s still quite a few dropshipping tips to pick up.
Hey, what’s up world? I’m Tommy Walker with Oberlo. Today I’m gonna give you 16 different dropshipping tips for when you’re brand new to the world of selling online. If you have any questions or wanna share your own experiences with dropshipping, drop them in the comments below. I’ll be sure to get back to you.
Dropshipping Tips Designed to Help You Succeed
Like I said before, I’m Tommy Walker, and if you like what we’re talking about here, consider subscribing because we’ll be really some new videos every week. Alright, let’s jump right in.
1. Focus on Mastering Marketing
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 falls in the woods scenario, where if nobody really sees it, does it really even exist? Don’t give me wrong, design is important, but if you’re also not focused on getting your beautiful website in front of the right people, you’re never gonna make any sales. That’s why you also need to invest in driving traffic. That can mean through paid ads, SEO, social media, video marketing, or partnering with influencers. Honestly, 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 a ton of resources in the description below to help you get on the right path.
2. Create Compelling Offers
You know what I love about online shopping? Sales. You know what I like even better? Bundled deals on complementary products. Because dropshipping can be highly competitive, really 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; buy one get one half-off deals, bundling multiple complementary items at a discounted rate, to 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 isn’t 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 of converting more of the traffic you’re driving.
3. Avoid Underpricing Your Products
Now, 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 if you buy one get one half off deals is not the same as selling your entire inventory at just above cost. This is a massive mistake I see new ecommerce entrepreneurs 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 it’s your prices that are holding you back. Instead, re-evaluate 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 first, it’s hard to raise them again, and second, you still have to pay the bills.
4. Remove Bad Suppliers Quickly
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 Aliexpress 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 ship 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. Also, if you wanna minimize your chances of partnering with a bad supplier, check out Oberlo supply which is a network of pre-screened suppliers we work with that are consistent with their quality support and service.
5. Automate as Much of Your Business as Possible
With dropshipping tools like Oberlo, many aspects of your dropshipping business will already be automated for you. But there is always room to take more off your plate. Tools like Kit can help you automate tasks like advertising, retargeting emails and more, while other tools like Buffer can help you schedule your social media postings. Tools like Zapier can help you connect your Shopify store to other tools like QuickBooks for bookkeeping, Google Sheets for order backups, and HubSpot for customer relationship management. For more information on e-commerce automation, check out the link in the description below.
6. Make Sure Your Website is Presentable
You would be shocked to see how many entrepreneurs launch their dropshipping website with missing images, placeholder text, and no discernible categorization to 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 it 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 homepage 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? Which features or apps does the store include on their website? After taking notes on the look and layout of different stores in your niche, browse through the Shopify app store to find the apps that will mimic the most common functionalities you’ve found in your research. Product reviews, rating, and email capture are among the most common features of any e-commerce store. You can also add pages to feature your refund policies, FAQS, shipping information, and more.
7. General Store versus Niche Store
While a lot of advice out there – including our own dropshipping tips – will tell you to start with a niche store, the truth is sometimes you don’t wanna sell just one type of thing. In reality, general stores, while they can be a lot more work between keeping products organized and categorized and marketing to different demographics, are great starter stores as they force you to think more broadly. On the other hand, if you wanna 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 could answer that honestly and are confident you can drive traffic, you’ll be all set.
8. 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. Pivots aren’t really good or bad but they do require you to be flexible and decisive when the moment is necessary.
9. Offer Exceptional Customer Service
There are 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. Tell jokes, write thank you cards, send surprises and go out of your way to make them 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.”
10. Use Data to Inform Your Inventory
Here’s another great dropshipping tips: Be picky about the products you add to your store. Don’t just add products because they look nice or you’d like it for yourself. Look at the data. Are these products getting positive sales and feedback? When evaluating products from your supplier, check the order volume, reviews, customer photos and seller ratings to ensure you are partnering with a trustworthy supplier.
11. Always Choose ePacket
As a dropshipper, you’re free to sort products based on 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 $5 for most products, and will make sure your customers get your products between 7-20 business days, and often much faster. If you wanna learn more about ePacket, click on the link above.
12. Be Active Daily
Dropshipping isn’t 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 the 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. It requires work every single day to make sure the business is running well.
13. Import 10-25 Items to Start
Here’s a problem for you. In your excitement, you start a dropshipping business, and you’ve imported 600 items to your store. What a great selection you have now, right? But then once you look at your store, you realize that’s 600 product descriptions you need to write, 600 titles you need to rewrite, a billion tags you need to add, and 3000 photos, at least, you need to come through to see which ones you’ll have to crop supplier logos out of. What do you do? Most people, myself included, 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 10-25 products. That way you can more easily manage the workload, especially if you’re doing this on your own and after a day at your 9-5.
14. 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 list and, heck, maybe even buy some of their products. Once a week, check in on how they’re positioning their products, what they’re saying in their emails, and 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 on how they’re running their business and can help expose holes in their strategies. It may also teach you some very valuable lessons along the way.
15. Change the Oberlo Custom Note
As a dropshipper, you should change your custom note to your supplier. Under Settings, click Suppliers. You’ll find Custom Note on the bottom of the page. Here, you can leave a message for all of your suppliers. You’ll wanna say something that’s relevant to everybody, something along the lines of, “Ship with ePacket only or dropshipping. No invoices or promotions.” Since you’re only importing ePacket products, it’s good to remind suppliers to use ePacket shipping to ensure customers receive their orders quickly. It’s also important to tell them that we’re dropshipping, so they don’t add their invoices or marketing materials to your packages. If you do this, you shouldn’t have any issue with suppliers adding their own invoices or promotions to your packages.
Alright, that’s all we’ve got for this week. If you have any questions, please be sure to leave them in the comments below. And hit that subscribe button, and ring the bell to know when new videos on dropshipping are released. Thanks so much for watching. And until next time, learn often, market better, and sell more.