Dropshipping is raging in the eCommerce world. It has allowed many people to fulfill their dreams of being an entrepreneur without taking much hassle.
It has made business easy for people. Dropshipping doesn’t need loads of cash or inventory to conduct the business activities. One of the greatest advantages of dropshipping is the ease of establishment and the risk factor is minimum.
Many people have turned to start their own dropshipping business because of its convenience and the good amount of profit it can extract.
If you too want to start your own business without taking any huge risks, then dropshipping can be your best bet.
Don’t worry about how to make your dropshipping business successful because we have got you covered. We have gathered 10 key elements to dropshipping to make it a success.
Find the Right Supplier
Supplier is the essential chain of your dropshipping eCommerce store. It is really important to find the right supplier for your dropshipping store. They fulfill the orders that you receive from the customers. It’s not only about the products that they sell to your customers but also about the reputation of your brand in the market.
If the supplier you are dealing with delivers high-quality goods on time, then your customers will be satisfied and will not hesitate to shop from you again. On the other hand, if a supplier delivers sub-standard goods after ages, then it is going to tarnish your reputation and credibility in the market.
In dropshipping business, it’s not the supplier who is going to be held responsible for the quality of the goods or the delivery service, no. It will be the business owner whose reputation would be at stake.
Therefore, before deciding on the suppliers, make sure you thoroughly research them, the products they deal in, the quality of the delivery service they provide, etc.
Your suppliers can play a pivotal role in making or breaking your business. Choose wisely.
Consider Profit Margins
The ultimate goal of every business is to earn profit and flourish. Dropshipping business is no different either. Before you finalize which products you will sell on your eCommerce store, it is important to understand how much profit will it reap you?
When fixing the price of a product, make sure that you don’t forget to add the overhead expenses such as office expenses, marketing and advertising expenses, etc. All the expenses should be added to the price of the product.
It might appear as a tempting idea to cut down your price to attract more customers. However, refrain from doing so. Cutting down prices might get you more customers, but your profits will remain low. It is always a good idea to keep the price which is fair for the customers, neither too low nor too high.
Instead of cutting down the price try to enhance their shopping experience. Offer them after-sales service, beautiful packaging, easy exchange, and return policy, etc. Your customer will not mind spending some extra cash to avail of these benefits.
Remember, fetching profits should in no way mean that you have to compromise with the quality of goods that you sell. By doing so, you might make profits on a few orders, but in the long run, you won’t stay long in the market.
Try to set a reasonable cost of the good that will allow you to cover up your expenses and to earn something for your business as well.
Offer Deals and Discount
Offering sales, deals, and discounts is one of the widely used tactics of eCommerce stores. People go crazy when the goods that they’ve been eyeing are available at reduced prices.
You can also give them deals and bundles to choose from. Group your goods and offer something extra with them at a comparatively lesser price. This tricks the customers into thinking that they are getting extra for the price they’re paying.
For instance, if one pair of socks cost $4, you can create an offer of buying 5 pairs of socks for $15. You can also offer them a free pair on buying 4 or more from you.
Another tactic to make your customer press that ‘add to cart button’ is to offer them a limited time offer. This creates a sense of emergency in the customers to hurry up and grab their favorite products before the offer ends.
Order Sample Product
Before you start taking orders for the goods that you have displayed in your store, order a few sample pieces to assess the quality of the product.
It is a good idea to have an experience of the product before your customer experiences it. Check the quality, packaging, and delivery service of the product. If the product is not of good quality or if the shipment took forever to arrive, then you can change your supplier.
Furthermore, having the products in hand, allows you to capture multiple pictures of them from different angles and under different lightings. Images are of utmost importance in an online store. The customers make their decision about buying a product from the pictures available in the store.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Competition is very healthy when it comes to the business world. It keeps you motivated, alert, and keeps you engaged in developing a sound strategy to outsmart your rivals.
Identify your rivals and observe their every move. Monitor their activities on social media platforms, what they publish in their blog posts, how they engage with their customers, etc.
Observing your competitors allows you to get an insight into how they conduct their business and how they have captured their target audience. Also, observe what tools and features are being used by your rivals on their website to improve the shopping experience for their customers.
Also, take into consideration the customer feedback and reviews of their customers. Understand what their weak points are and try to avoid those in your business. For instance, if the customers of the Z brand complain about late delivery or inappropriate packaging, then you know what to avoid doing to convert Brand Z customers into yours.
Use a Proper E-Commerce Platform for Your Dropshipping Store
Selecting the eCommerce platform is one of the most important decisions for dropshipping your business. A good platform will make the functioning of your business smoother.
There are many eCommerce platforms that you can choose from. Try to select the ones which provide the best features to run and automate your business.
Research for the platforms that provide you the following features:
- Integrates With Distributors’ product feed
Integrating with distributors' product feed will minimize the work of clicking and uploading the pictures and then writing a suitable description for each product.
- Integrates With CRMs and Bookkeeping Software
An eCommerce platform that easily integrates with CRMs and accounting software saves time and gives the desired results on time.
- Responsive on Different Devices
Your customers are not going to use their computers every time they shop online. An eCommerce platform that is mobile friendly is the essential need of every eCommerce store.
- Automating Freight Calculations
Automation of taxes and shipment charges make the checkout process quicker and smoother.
- Price Plan
Different eCommerce platforms offer different price plans as your business grows and you want to expand your platform. Take into consideration the prices that you’ll have to pay if you wish to scale your business.
- Secure and Safe
Customers trust the brands with their confidential information such as their addresses, contact numbers, etc. Therefore, the protection of that data is the utmost priority of every eCommerce store. If the information is stolen and misused then the business would have to face legal implications. Therefore, select a platform that is safe for you and your customers.
Be Clear About Delivery Times
After placing the order online, customers cannot wait to receive their goods. It should be your utmost priority to deliver the goods at your earliest. But there are times when things are simply not in your control and it can affect the delivery. For instance, bad weather, public holiday, an extreme situation in the country, etc.Under such circumstances, it is highly advisable to notify your customers about the delay and apologize. Don’t lie to them about the delivery times.Being honest with your customers will increase their trust in you and they will come back to you for getting retail therapy.
Make Checkout Process Quicker and Easier
Once the customer has loaded his cart, do not annoy him or he’ll abandon the cart and leave the store immediately.
Make the checkout process easier and hassle-free for the customer. Do not ask for unnecessary information that you don’t require, for example, their gender, age, or any other information which is not related to their order or shipment.
Keep your forms short and relevant. Instead of giving one long form to fill try to divide it into smaller chunks so that the customer isn’t irritated. Furthermore, keep a progress bar on the checkout page as it relaxes the customer and makes him familiar with how much of the process is left.
Another important thing is to offer them multiple channels of payment. Let your customer choose the channel which he is comfortable in using and has an account on it.
Create a Comprehensive FAQ page
Let’s face it, a small scale business wouldn’t have time to answer every tiny query of their customers. Therefore to save your and your customers time make a comprehensive FAQ page.
Having an FAQ page will make it easy for your customers to find the answer to their query on your website without having to call your customer service.
Try to gather the questions that are usually arisen by people about your brand, product, delivery, exchange policy, etc.
Try to answer the queries in an easy language that can be easily understood by the general audience. Keep your answers short and relevant. If the answer needs explanation use bullet points or headings to divide your content. It makes it easier for your customer to comprehend.
If there is a product that requires demonstration then posting a video for the same would be of great help to the customers.
Boost Your SEO
Without customers, your eCommerce store isn’t going to flourish. To drive organic traffic to your website, you must work on the SEO to take your brand to the next level.
Without an SEO, your store will remain invisible to your potential audience, no matter how good a variety of products, or sales service you might have.
Having a good SEO is especially important for new websites. You have to increase your brand awareness and let the people know that you have emerged in the market to serve them with the best products.
There are many ways to increase your SEO. One of the most common ways to do it is to research for the appropriate keywords that your targeted audience might use to find the products you have in store. Stay active on social media, and above all install a good SEO plugin. Make sure that you install the plugin correctly. Hire an expert to do so if you don’t know how to do it.
Dropshipping has made it easier for people to turn their dream of entrepreneurship into reality. It involves less cost, less risk, and almost no hassle of keeping the inventory. It allows you to keep the products of your choice and then market them to your customers.
To make your dropshipping successful, it is pivotal that you adopt the key elements in your business. Otherwise, your business too will be lost amongst the 1,000s of other businesses operating under the same niche as yours.
Follow the above tips and watch your business grow into a profitable one. Remember, you won’t achieve success overnight, but constant efforts will make it!
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.