Where to Start and How to Attract Customers?
The first thought of many when someone mentions dropshipping is easy earnings and money in a pocket obtained without any effort. Although this may have been the case a few years ago, today – when more and more people are involved in dropshipping – it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach potential customers in a multitude of competitions. In addition, a day-by-day competition is lowering product prices and more and more people know about cheap webshops, such as AliExpress.
Dropshipping does not require an initial investment, purchase, and storage of products but it takes a lot of work and effort around the dropshipping store to attract potential customers and make money. In this text, you will learn all about what dropshipping is, where to start, what to focus on in the beginning, and how to advertise your store.
Dropshipping is a process in which the product you sell is sent directly to the customer without going through your hands. For laymen – you charge the product more than its price, order it from the supplier at its price to the customer’s address, and keep the rest of the money for yourself.
While this sounds fabulous and wonderful, that you are making money without the need to invest and worry about storage, in practice, a portion of that money you have earned goes to advertising costs. These are the biggest costs of dropshipping, and the problem is that you cannot sell a product well above its price because the competition is already selling it at lower prices.
The normal business works as follows:
- Finding a supplier and agreeing on a price to buy a certain number of products.
- Purchase of products and their storage.
- Processing every order of your customers: packing the goods and sending them to the customer’s home address.
Dropshipping eliminates the storage step and works as follows:
- Finding a supplier and agreeing on the price of the product.
- Receiving money from the customer.
- Ordering products from a supplier to the customer’s address and retaining the money difference.
In short, dropshipping is the sale of products without any contact with those products.
Advantages of Dropshipping Over the Normal Way of Selling Products
The first advantage is that you do not have to store products and worry about the cost of storage, shipping, and business organization. Unlike a classic web store, you can run this type of business yourself. Another advantage is that you are not tied to a location and you can do this job from anywhere in the world, and all you need to run it is your cell phone or laptop and an Internet connection. If you are encountering the dropshipping term for the first time, it may sound incredible to you but it really is what we have just described.
In the end, the main advantage of dropshipping over traditional business is the less initial investment. You do not have to order large quantities of products before selling them, but you only order when you sell a product. Therefore, this may seem like an ideal business without investment, but in order to attract customers, you must spend time and will to find customers – marketing.
Dropshipping – The First Steps
It is not said in vain that the first step is the most difficult and this rule is related to every work, including dropshipping. In order to successfully embark on your dropshipping adventure, you need to think and find a quality product before you start. Yes, this is not a job where you will easily earn millions. In fact, unlike many other jobs, you will have to work hard, test various things, and as it usually happens – lose a lot of time and some money in the beginning. Through this text, we will try to explain to you what are the first steps when you decide to start dropshipping and what you need to pay considerable attention to in order to reduce your initial costs as much as possible and achieve the best possible results.
Product Selection for Dropshipping
The first thing you need to do before you start is choosing a quality product to sell. With dropshipping stores, you can focus on one product, on several themed products (for example – dresses, cups, wallets…), or on a general webshop with various products. Our advice is to focus solely on a store with a specific product type where you can use some subpages to create a landing page for a specific product.
In the multitude of different Internet stores, it is difficult to find something unique but, in a world where trends change day by day, you can find something new that is still not so worn out. In addition, it is very important to follow the trends and what people currently want to buy because it is popular. We believe a lot of you remember the fidget spinner that took over the world and created a real madhouse in just a few months…
The product you will sell should be:
- cheap – we personally advise you to start looking for and choosing products under $ 5.
- quality – before the start, we recommend ordering one piece to test the speed of delivery and quality of the product (we will write later why it is good to order one product first).
- interesting – people like trends and things that other people will be interested in.
- useful – the golden rule in sales is to find a product that will make a process easier for the user or be useful to him in some other way.
Where to Find a Product for Dropshipping?
The most popular website for dropshipping is certainly AliExpress where you can find literally everything – in the figure of speech, from a needle to a locomotive. In addition, the prices of products on this webshop are very low and you can find great products at very low prices. The advantages are very low prices, specialized dropshipping vendors, and the ability to make packaging or add printed cards to the products that are shipped. The downside of this website is the longer delivery time (although it also depends on which country you are ordering from) because all products are shipped from China.
If the delivery time is causing you problems, then you can opt for another site that offers faster delivery but be prepared for slightly higher prices. In most cases, these shops buy goods in bulk from Alibaba and then resell at a higher price.
Examples of Quality Dropshipping Product
For example, we will list three products from AliExpress and the reasons why they are good for this type of business. These are just examples that we found on the site in just a few minutes. We believe that if you make an effort you can find much better quality products with a little more research.
Set of 12 rings for women ($ 0.91)
Jewelry is a very popular dropshipping product and many stores specialize in selling it. The main reasons for this are the very low prices on AliExpress and the possibility of good earnings on product margins.
There are sets that contain 12 different rings for women priced at $ 0.91. What is an advantage of this product is the large quantity and the possibility of selling for a higher price than, for example, one ring. In addition, currently, the hands are full of such rings in women and younger populations, and they are growing more and more in trend.
A perfectly normal selling price of $ 9.99 for this ring could attract a lot of customers, which means that with a marketing cost of $ 5 per customer you can have a net profit of $ 4. You set the price for which you will sell a product yourself but keep in mind that with a lower commission, sales can go very well, while with a higher commission, you will certainly sell fewer products.
Women’s Bikini Set ($ 4.99)
Although we do not recommend selling goods and products that may not fit the customer and lead to the request for a replacement, summer is coming and it is not so difficult to find a size for a bikini set. We do not recommend selling dresses, t-shirts, or shoes as customers may complain about the wrong size and want to replace the product and, since this is dropshipping, it does not go in your favor. If you decide to do so, pay attention to the section “Return Policy” at the end of the description of each product.
We consider bikini sets of $ 4.99 a good deal and you can make a good profit on the product if you sell it at a price of $ 14.99 or more. It all depends on what you think, what price your customers are willing to pay…Taking advantage of times like spring to sell summer clothes or fall to sell winter clothes is great for selling.
Wireless Mobile Charger ($ 3.79)
While selling techniques and things that may not work properly or break down quickly should be avoided, a wireless cell phone charger is currently a hit in the world.
More and more mobile phones come with the possibility of wireless battery charging, and the main potential of this product lies in the fact that the manufacturers do not give the wireless charger free of charge with the mobile phone, but charge it heavily. That is why many people are looking for an alternative to well-known brands because they want to try this technology and, by selling a charger of $ 3.79 for $ 19.99, you can be more than $ 16 in plus.
Testing Products for Dropshipping
Before you start selling a product, we recommend that you order one piece and test the product that way, similar to testing newsletters when making an email marketing campaign through platforms such as VerticalResponse, which incorporate a bunch of innumerable features that can save a lot of time maneuvering your emails. In addition to finding out the speed of product delivery and seeing its quality live, you get one more thing – you will be able to create a series of quality photos of products that you can use to advertise or display the product on a website you built for your business. With a little imagination, you can create high-quality professional product photos, which will surely boost your sales and give you quality free social media content.
Which Products to Avoid for Dropshipping?
Since you do not have a warehouse and the ability to replace products, it would be wise to avoid some products that users may complain about – in regard to quality or buying the wrong size:
- Technology – Products that may be of poor quality and do not do what they are intended to do. For example, wireless headphones with a bad battery, power banks that charge the mobile phone slowly or have a smaller capacity than prescribed in the manual, and the like…
- Goods – Choosing the right size of a garment on the Internet can be a real hassle, so to reduce the need to replace the product and the dissatisfaction of the product with the cut of the goods, you should avoid this product for dropshipping.
- Branded products – We do not mean here, literally, on well-known brands but products that are branded in general. If a user finds Fyshare shoes on your webshop, he could google that product and find that they cost 70 % cheaper on AliExpress, which is not your goal.
- Creams and similar products that are applied to the body or are to be swallowed – If you sell these products, you must be sure of their quality and safety. In addition, most users choose only well-known and proven brands for these products.
Creating a Website for Sale
The ideal tool for beginners and those who do not have too much knowledge about the Internet itself is Shopify, which allows you to easily create a website to sell products. It is a paid tool but if you do not have knowledge in the field of creating a website, then this is the simplest and fastest solution for creating a web store. You can easily receive payment via PayPal or via cards using the 2checkout service or Stripe.
The advantage of Shopify is, in addition to the creation of the website, the use of its hosting, which means that in addition to the payment of Shopify, you only need a domain. Choose it as short and simple as possible, and preferably make sure it has something to do with your shop. With various services like Godaddy, you can buy a domain very cheaply, and coupons are often active, with which you can buy your first .com domain for only a few dollars.
Try to keep the website as simple and eye-pleasing as possible. Shopify also offers various tools that you can use to speed up visitor conversions, such as discount timer tools or similar.
Creating Social Networks for Sale
The best sales channels are social networks, and besides – who is not on them today? The entire marketing for dropshipping products is based on social networks, and it is very important that you edit the profiles on your networks as well as possible. Create a beautiful description and quality photos for your profile.
In addition, regular publication of content is a must. In doing so, always keep in mind that quality beats quantity and that you should not spam users with 150 posts per day. Two to three posts a day are quite enough, with the use of ads of which we will talk about in more detail below.
How to Attract Customers to Dropshipping Webshops?
This is the most important part of the whole text and we believe that, in addition to the beginners themselves, it will also help those who have been involved in dropshipping for some time to improve their sales.
In this part of the article, we will write some tips and ways you can attract potential customers and, in addition to dropshipping itself, we believe that these tips will help you for any other product sales.
It is a good idea to include relevant texts on the page in addition to the product description. Not only will they help users, but they will significantly increase the credibility of your website on the Internet and search engines and bring you new customers for free. Yes, just as you read, it will often happen that a person will google a certain term and end up on some text of your website and thus buy a product from it. Write quality and useful texts, not sales-oriented. Furthermore, try to learn the basics of optimizing text on search engines and study the keywords that are searched on Google.
Always be a long-term thinking person and try to do everything you do well and in the long run. Although direct selling products with ads is the fastest way and can bring you money in a day, the long-term tactic with texts can give you the opportunity to not have to pay for ads for a few years because you have a great number of visitors to the site every day – completely free. Always think about the future and, even if something progresses slowly, if you do it well it will bring you benefits, one day or another.
Paid Ads on Social Networks
The great thing about social media is that they ‘know‘ a lot of details about their users, so you can narrowly target the audience you show your ads to. Currently, in our opinion, the most profitable are story ads on Instagram but getting a positive ROI requires a little testing.
A great way to make multiple profits from the investment is to pay advertisements to some influencers, especially on Instagram. This way, for a lot less money, you can reach significantly more people compared to ads paid directly to Facebook and, in addition, influencers leave a special impression on people. If a fan sees his ‘idol’ with a certain item, he is much more likely to buy it than when seeing an ad on Facebook with a picture of that product.
Pay attention to fake followers with certain influencers and study the likes and comments on their profiles before paying. Also, send a paid post offer to more people and compare prices with their likes and activities in the photos. The best channel to pay for a post is Instagram as it provides a great reach compared to Facebook.
Depending on the product, you can pay someone to record a dedicated video for your product on YouTube. In addition to the current direct sale, you will also receive a photo of that person with the product, which you can further use for paid marketing to his/her fans.
Little Secrets for a Better Dropshipping Business
As in any business, so with dropshipping, there are some tricks with which you can achieve much better results and ‘free marketing’:
- Prize games. Your customers do not know the purchase price of your products and that is why, with the help of prize games, you can reach a significant number of customers. The most popular are prize games on Instagram, where users are asked to like a photo and tag 2-3 friends in a comment. This way, you can reach a large number of users and share just a couple of products (or even just one product) that are available to you for a few dollars. In order to achieve a much better reach, you can organize prize games with some influencers with a paid post and thus receive a very large number of orders + fans per profile.
- Micro-influencers. People who have about 10-20 thousand followers on Instagram, in most cases will advertise your product for free if you send it to them. Also, with smaller influencers, fan engagement can be much higher and they can be much more connected to the audience. Again, for just a few dollars as much as your product costs, you can reach a large number of potential customers.
- Discounts. Always sell products at discounts but not literally. Discounts are just bait and if you decide to sell a product for $ 9.99, post that it is discounted from $ 20, and only for a short time. In this way, buyers must react quickly and are more likely to buy the product if they are interested because it will cost $ 20 tomorrow (although it will not…).
- Pausing ads on social media at the wrong times. Setting up paid ads on Facebook or Instagram to run only at certain times can be very helpful. If you run your ad all day, the benefits of running from, say, 8 am to 4 pm are much less than running in the evening. People at work will just scroll Facebook and Instagram feeds (and your ad) and are unlikely to buy your product then. On the other hand, in the evening, people have more time and are not at work or school, so there is a much higher chance that they will stop and order the product.
Refund/Replacement in Dropshipping?
Since you do not have a warehouse and products in hand but send the ordered product to the customer from a supplier from China, the problem is created when the customer is dissatisfied with the product, when it comes damaged, or wants to change the size of a wardrobe. Precisely for that reason, we said to focus on low-value products, so that you can send the customer a new product and not lose a lot of money in such cases.
Good service and speed of problem-solving with the customer will show seriousness and probably make him visit your store a few more times, while you will lose just a few dollars by apologizing for the problem and sending another product.
Does Dropshipping Pay Off?
We hope that you have managed to pull out from the text some useful tips and information about the beginning of dealing with dropshipping and that you have seen for yourself that it is still profitable. Of course, today the competition is much fiercer and prices are dropping day by day, and it is much harder than compared to a few years ago, but dropshipping is cost-effective and will certainly always be cost-effective. All that matters is that you can attract customers and sell the product abov