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Dropshipping is a model of business where by a person can sell some else’s product which they do not own online for a higher price than what is actually been sold for.
Then when they get paid, they use the money to buy the product, ship it to the buyer and then pocket the price difference.
Dropshipping in it self is a very unique business model, although it is not anything new in the sales world.
But in this case due to online stores popularity, the model of business has been over hyped.
Many people have made millions of dollars from this method alone while also many have lost their hard-earned money using this same business model.
To be able to run and succeed in a Dropshipping business you must be able to have focus and the skill to research and predict what people will like to buy when they see it.
There are many challenges that we go through everyday in our normal lives without even thinking about the severe and adverse effect it has on the quality of life that we are living.
However, if someone who has made their research is able to find out that problem and then provide a product that can solve those issues, people will more than likely buy the product.
This ideology is critical to a drop shipper, because for real if the product was never presented to the people they will just continue to leave their lives and resigning to their fate.
But when someone who is thoughtful comes along with a solution, it is going to be a relieve for the people.
It is this principle that anyone who decided to go into Dropshipping should adopt in other to succeed.
I must say I learnt about this the hard way when for the first time I decided after hearing about Dropshipping that I was going to try it.
With the hopes of hitting a million in sales in no time just like many people have bragged.
But unfortunately, I didn’t do any research and I just dived in and created my Shopify store.
I then went ahead to buy domain name, filled my store with many items (fancy items that I personally liked and even those I didn’t like) without considerations for what people will like to buy.
Because at the end of the day it is not much about me liking the products, but also about the customer liking it and being willing to exchange their money for it.
Hey, but lucky me, I made one sale, hurray!
But that will just be about what I will ever make on that store for the next six months.
It got to time whereby in mine desperation to make sales, I decided to start filling up my store with many junk items from AliExpress, DHgate and many others.
All these was done with the believing that someone will eventually like something and buy it.
This went on and on for a long time about six months and still no success.
I got tired of renewing my Shopify subscriptions after the sixth month, so I decided to shut down the store.
That right there is the story of my first experience as a Shopify drop shipper.
But I have since grown, learnt more and gathered more experience. That is why I am writing this post to help other.
Below are some of the things you should keep in mind if you want to succeed in Dropshipping.
Research is very important when it comes to starting a profitable Dropshipping online business, this is to help you know what to do and also what not to do.
This will save you a ton of time, money and other resources that you can easily waste if you don’t know what you are doing.
It is during research that you will be able to find out what sells well not just online but as a Dropshipping product.
Because even though having an online store and having a Dropshipping store may look like the same thing, they still have many differences.
The difference lies in the fact that a normal online store doesn’t really have to worry very much about a product meeting the following criterial;
- Sells fast
- Have high ROAS (return on ads spent)
- Easy to ship
- Large inventory
- Short restock time
- Less thought before buy by customers.
By the above statement I don’t mean explicitly that any other online store will not worry about all the above criterial.
But I mean for a Dropshipping store if your product don’t many of those qualities checked, you will lose a lot of money before you know it.
So, if you have done your research, looked up other Dropshipping store and decided on what product to sell, the next step will be to choose a platform.
Choose a platform to sell on
Choosing a platform to sell from is very crucial to the success that will enjoy in this business.
This is very important because just as you will find out later, you will be driving a high number of traffic to your store, so you need an infrastructure that will be able to handle the load.
Quick story: after I failed in my first Dropshipping store of six months and looking at how much I have spent.
I choose Woo Commerce because I will not be paying any monthly subscription like my previous Shopify store and besides I don’t know if I will be making any sales yet.
But to my biggest disappointment I quickly learnt it was a bad idea.
Because not just that I am now on WooCommerce, but I also bought a cheap hosting plan.
So, when I eventually started to implement some of the strategies I have learnt, I saw that my store started crashing every now.
This was because of the amount of traffic that I was getting and I began to lose customers confidence and a lot of money.
So quick advice, if you are just starting out in Dropshipping, the best option is to make use of Shopify.
Yes, it may cost some money but a least you will have a two weeks grace to use it for free before you will be charged.
Shopify is a platform that was built with drop shippers in mind, so many features are designed to make integrations with other apps and platforms very easy.
There are lot of plugins that you will not be able to get on any other platform but on Shopify alone.
More so, if you do things right, you will already be making some money before the end of the two weeks.
However, if you think that you don’t want to spend any money on platform until you are sure that you can pull this business off, maybe you should go for the WooCommerce store.
WooCommerce, requires more skills to setup but you can always learn on the go.
Also, I will advise that you go for a bigger hosting plan quickly once you start getting traffic.
Because if you don’t you will be stressed out knowing that your store is constantly crashing and going offline and you are losing sales.
Design your store
The design of a Dropshipping has a lot to do with the success of the store than you may think.
Using of a simple theme is advisable so that the design don’t look to complicated for the customers to navigate.
Also, when you design your store, it is preferable to have a black text on white background.
I make a point to say this because I have seen many people trying so hard to beautify their store that they will end up having some unpleasant colour combinations, avoid that, keep it simple!
Make use of images as much as you can to pass on your message, but don’t do too much by using images that are not related to your product.
If you need images that are not copyrighted, you can visit Unsplash or another free image site.
And if you see an image that you like but it has different background colour that will not match your store colour scheme, go to Canva and have the background removed or hire a freelancer on fiverr to do it for you.
Make sure you store navigation buttons are simple and easy to identify for your customers.
Because if people cannot navigate easily then they will not be able to find things on your store and that will frustrate them into leaving your store.
It will greatly help your store if you have a return policy page that clearly states the process of how a customer can return their order if they are not satisfy with it and also how they can be refunded.
This is not to say that you will always refund every customer that asks to be refunded. No.
They need to meet a certain criterial that you will be outlining on the return policy page for their orders to be accepted and possibly get a refund.
Picking the right product is very important, just like I have already outlined in the section above.
When you do your research very well, you will be able to come up with a great product that people will most likely want to buy when they see it.
Having a product that people will like to buy doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be something that no one has seen before. No.
It is mostly a product that you have seen that other people have been able to sell successfully.
When you pick a product to sell based off of what someone else has been able to sell, make sure that it is not exactly the same product.
But rather a similar product or a different product that also has similar qualities or function as the one someone else is selling successfully.
This will lower your struggles in terms of advertising, because if you pick the exact product that another store is already selling successfully, then you will have to compete with the store directly for keywords when it comes to buying Ads.
And you definitely don’t want to be in this position as a beginner because it is going to be very expensive to manage.
But if you have the budget, then maybe you can give the other store a run for their money.
Stock your store
The number of products that you choose to put up on your store will quickly tell if you understand the concept of Dropshipping or not.
Many Dropshipping stores keep their products varieties to a minimum, in fact many successful drop shippers have argued that a single product store is by far the best.
I agree with this model; however, I have also come to find out that you can easily add one or two more products as upsells and you will still be ok.
More so, the idea of having just one product store is a very good one, in the sense that it minimizes any sort of distraction that multiple products can cause for the buyer.
Because, if all a person has to see and read about on your store is just one product, then they will most likely focus and read the details and eventually make a purchase.
But if while they are reading about one product and them they see another one that is equally interesting, they may end up diverting their attention to that one.
Also, from that one again they can move to another one and in the end, they will become confused and not know which one to choose.
When this kind of situations happens, it is most likely that the customer will end up not making any purchase.
Rather they will postpone the buy, so that he/she can research more and come to a decision on which one to buy.
Many times, in such situation, the customer almost never buys the product again and if they even do, it might be from a different seller.
However, if all they can see and read about is just one product, then their window of distraction will be nonexistent and they can reach a decision quickly.
More so, if you choose to add any additional products like I like to do, then it will be advisable to add it as an upsell.
This will only become visible after they have already made the commitment to buy the initial product on the front page of your store. This method is very effective and increases sales quickly.
Also, always make sure that you have a lot of inventory to cover customer orders. This can be in the form of stocking the product or having a supplier that can meet up with large fulfilment in a short notice.
If you are not able to get the required quantity from your supplier, feel free to reach out to another manufacturer.
You can actually do this before it becomes necessary by asking a different manufacturer or supplier to send you a sample.
If the sample is good, you can also place your orders from them and now you will have two supply just in case of any supplier failure.
Promote your store
Marketing promotion is like the food of any business, because without it, the business will struggle to grow quickly.
Back to my story again: one of the costly mistakes I made earlier on was that I was trying to save advertising cost, and thinking that I can get away with just posing my Dropshipping store products manually on social media.
But, unless you have a large follower base, this strategy will result to total failure, just like it was for me back then.
The best thing you can do, which a lot of other drop shippers also do religiously is to heavily promote your store so that you can make sales.
Don’t worry once you start making sales, the profit will offset the advertising cost in no time.
Paid Ads on social media or Promotions (shout out) are both very effective.
Choose which ever one you find convenient and that is bringing good results for your product.
If you decide to use paid Ads; then you have to learn and understand either of Facebook ads, Google ads, Twitter ads, Pinterest ads or other platforms.
But, if you decide to go through the influencer promotions type, all you have to do is look for a social media page with a large following preferably 100k and above.
Then you pay them to post your product either on their profile or stories.
If you are starting off, you may go for a lower account with about 50k followers on Twitter, Instagram or Tik Tok because they will generally charge cheaper compares to bigger accounts
With these above strategies you will start making sales and grow your Dropshipping business in no time.
Finally, like I mentioned above, always make sure that your supplier can meet up with large supply just in case any of your Ads campaign goes viral and you suddenly have an overwhelming number of orders.