Dropshipping enables entrepreneurs to start online businesses and sell products without ever holding inventory. When a dropshipping store sells a product, it buys the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.

It may seem complicated at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With these tips and best practices, you’ll be well on your way to building a viable dropshipping brand that’s trusted by your customers.

1 Test your products

As a drop shipper, it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with your product. Have you ever ordered a product online and gotten something different from what you expected?  It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You owe it to your customers to know what your products look like, how they work, and their features. Besides, buying samples gives you the opportunity to take your own photos to use for SEO content creation and user guides.

2 Get your presentation right

It’s wrong to import products without editing the product descriptions used by the distributor.

Import your items in manageable batches of 20-30. This will allow you to review and edit individual product descriptions so you can optimize for the most conversions.

3 Create unique content

Custom content is an excellent way to get traffic to your website. Do live product reviews on YouTube and other social media, and publish a blog to compare different product types, offer helpful tips, guides, and so on.

For this strategy to work, it’s vital that your content focuses on the products you offer. If its women’s fashion, create content that suits that audience. If its children’s toys, you could create a shareable list of the bestselling items for the last 5 decades. This will drive audience engagement and bring people to your store.

4 Don’t offer the same products as everyone else

The surest way to destroy your eCommerce shipping brand is to try and sell the same “bestselling” items as all the other vendors, like electronics and branded apparel.

When multiple businesses and sellers attempt to sell the same product, the resulting competition drives down prices, often to the extent that the only companies that make a profit are those that receive a massive discount for buying in bulk. Even then, the profit margins are disappointingly slim. Choosing a less popular niche is a more sustainable approach.

5 Don’t compete on price alone

If the only difference between you and your rivals is your products’ price, you’re going to run your business aground and lose your profits the instant new market entrants bring lower prices.

The only enterprises that can truly manage to maintain a “lowest-price” strategy are large retailers such as Amazon, who can secure the very best wholesale prices on any product by buying enormous volumes upfront.

Is the price important? Absolutely

However, it’s not all that matters. Otherwise, Amazon would have a total monopoly over the retail industry. Instead of trying to beat your competitors on price, find ways to increase your products’ perceived value, and justify your higher pricing. Whether its product knowledge and expertise, packaged deals, service, free shipping, or something else, there are several ways to ask customers to pay more and still get sales

6 Find niche markets

One of the best perks of partnering with a drop-ship supplier is that you have the freedom to sell all kinds of merchandise. In conventional retail, where inventory is bought upfront and stored in-house, you can’t risk buying merchandise if you aren’t certain you can sell it at a profit within a short while. That’s why you’ll be hard-pressed to find specialized products like specialized bicycle frames in a local retail store.

With a dropshipping supplier, you can put any item on your website.  If it doesn’t sell, the only loss you’ll have made is the time spent adding it.

As a dropshipping merchant, you are in a favorable position to offer all kinds of products that large retail companies aren’t willing to sell because they’re considered too risky.  You can beat large retailers by offering products they wouldn’t consider selling.

7 Don’t limit yourself to a single supplier

Committing to a single dropshipping supplier may cause long term issues. Your partner may discontinue your most popular product or have an expected sellout. Having several suppliers helps you avoid this problem. Besides, when several manufacturers offer a single product, you can order samples from each of them to evaluate product quality. This approach also allows you to build a selection of alternative drop shippers in case your primary supplier is unable to fulfill your customers’ orders.

8 Target multiple marketplaces

Most profitable dropshipping brands have a multichannel sales approach. That is, they sell their merchandise at more than one location online

Some products will sell with higher order-volume or prices on amazon than they do eBay. Others will perform remarkably well on your site or on a Facebook store. Each market place draws a different demographic, and as a result, the customers on those platforms will behave differently.

9 Give your customers excellent service

Customers are afraid of being robbed. It is one of their greatest fears when shopping online and can be a major deterrent to the buyer journey. With all the time saved from working with dropshipping suppliers, you have no excuse not to offer reliable customer support.

When customers email or message you, a quick and personal response will ease their concern and convince them to keep buying from you. Remember to keep your customers involved – let them know what’s happening with their order each step of the way. Send them confirmation receipts, shipping dates, and so on.  The goal here is to establish trust. Top-notch customer support is a proven way to solicit positive feedback, rave reviews, and ratings. Furthermore, every interaction you have with your clients is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise and encourage repeat purchases from your store.

According to an amazon survey, over 45% of customers will leave their shopping cart if they aren’t offered free shipping. Interestingly, over 70% will buy more when free shipping is available. These are interesting figures that prove the power of free shipping and the psychological impact that shipping rates have on consumer behavior. Even if your supplier charges a fee for delivery, you don’t have to pass that on to your customers. You can simply incorporate shipping costs into your prices and advertise free shipping.

10 Optimize your inventory management processes

Inventory management is one of the most vital aspects of a dropshipping business. It helps you ensure you don’t oversell your products. Overselling can negatively affect your business, and it occurs when customers order for items that appear to be available, yet they’ve already been sold out at your suppliers.  If you don’t have an alternative supplier when this happens, you’ll be forced to cancel the orders or wait for your supplier to restock. Either way, you’ll lose the trust of your suppliers, and it’s not good for your business.  Optimizing your inventory will help you ensure the stock levels displayed in your store correspond to those of your suppliers’

11 Automate the dropshipping process

Automate your business. With dropshipping tools like Wholesale2b, many aspects of your operations will be automated. If you’re planning to compare sellers and do additional research, Wholesale2b just might be the right tool for your needs. If you already have a full-time job and are interested in earning passive income, automating your dropshipping procedures. Automation will give you room to pursue other interests.

12 Partner with wholesale2b!

There are lots of things you can do with Wholesale2b. Whether it’s selling products on eBay, Amazon, or your own Woocommerce/Magento/Shopify store, wholesale2b will let you do it. The company charges a 3% commission to handle deliveries and returns for you. However, there’s no charge if you opt to handle them on your own and register as a supplier on each platform you want to dropship from.  Wholesale2b offers a product database of over 1million items, and you can review their catalog for free – no credit card details required

This article has covered some of the best tips on how to successfully run a dropshipping business. Remember, though, that it will still take time, effort, and hard work to get the results you want. Sometimes, things will work out surprisingly fast, and for others, you may have to modify your approach. Consumer behavior is not always predictable. Successful dropshipping business owners are those bold enough to innovate, take risks on new products, develop new marketing strategies. To give your brand the best chances at success, you need to seek out and exploit new opportunities.

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