It’s a fact that today’s retail industry is vastly different than 100 years ago, especially with the advent of the dropshipping business model. Even comparing it to 20 years ago will show remarkable changes. Did societies ever think their monthly shopping will happen in front of shiny screens and that ordering something from the other side of the globe is possible for almost anyone?
While consumers enjoy the luxuries that today’s technology brings them, it’s up to retailers to keep up with the times. If you’re not part of the latest trends you may lose customers to those who stay updated.
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While many consumers partake in the process of drop shipping, they may not even know what this term means. In short, drop shipping refers to the process of a retailer—such as an eCommerce company—managing a delivery process straight from the manufacturer to the client, other retailers or a shipment company. In this flow of actions the retail entity itself does not stock the merchandise and may never even handle the goods.
So, why is this so remarkable? Should you be doing this more in your business?
First off, it’s clear that you can save costs if you don’t have to own premises or storage space in order to sell goods. That means even with relatively low capital you can start a business as long as you can organize distribution channels for your products.
Apart from the monetary advantages for startups or business owners who want to expand, drop shipping also carries these benefits:
You can see this is a more effortless way to do business in many regards. And thanks to today’s fast, efficient communication it’s easier to manage such a system compared to a few decades ago.
For up and coming entrepreneurs it’s the ideal solution when they have innovative product ideas but limited capital. Younger generations—such as millennials—also tend to have in depth knowledge of internet marketing skills since they were raised at a time when this medium played such an important role in society. With these skills in hand they have all they require to successfully launch and manage businesses, such as eCommerce sites, where drop shipping is the ideal distribution solution & business model.
Is this what your business needs to optimize sales and serve a larger audience? This is how you can get it right.
There are many benefits to this type of distribution, but as with all other aspects of business, planning is vital to enjoy success. We discuss the main factors you need to have in place to experience growth with a drop shipping business model.
Perhaps you already have an idea of what you want to sell. Our suggestion is to revisit this aspect multiple times as there are many factors at play in finding a niche that will work and to cater for that niche’s preferences.
When people mention that you need to love what you do, those aren’t naïve words. In business it’s important to do what you’re naturally interested in.
Firstly, you’ll quickly get bored—and therefore have no work satisfaction—if you don’t really like what you’re doing every day. Even if you’re simply selling products to make a living it’s wise to pick product types you find attractive. It will be effortless to do research to find additional products that fit your niche or even go so far as developing your own.
Secondly, business rarely runs smoothly 24/7. When your business experiences a drop in sales or a new competitor starts attracting your clients, you need passion and commitment to deal with those challenges. If you love your product, you’ll believe everyone needs to have one. That passion will motivate you to keep going. If you don’t have any drive, you may give up very easily once the going gets tough.
While you must consider you personal passions, you also need to be realistic. Not all products you find interesting will make business sense. If some of these characteristics also apply to the niche you consider, you may have a winning business idea:
Find a product that represents a balance between all these factors and then move to the next step.
Once again, the competition aspect of drop shipping is all about balance.
You may think you need to find a product that not many other entities sell. Then you don’t have to compete with the big names such as Amazon. But have you thought about why they’re not selling it? Chances are they’ve tried and failed. Perhaps the need for the item isn’t as big as you think. Or alternatively this may not be something consumers order online. What if they prefer testing it out in a brick and mortar shop first?
Of course it’s ideal to be the only distributor of an item and if you’re selling a brand new item guaranteed to become a trend, you’re set for success. But with existing products, take other drop shippers’ actions as advice on what really works.
Once you’re sure you have the right product in mind, take your time in finding the ideal drop shipping supplier. By ideal we mean:
Chances are your supplier won’t be in the same country as you. You won’t be able to visit them, so finding out whether they’re dependable is essential to keeping clients happy and protecting your future reputation.
Your product is ready and now you have to showcase it to the masses. The modern way: a website.
You’re luckily doing business in a time where it’s easy to create your own eCommerce website. You don’t even need a developer these days as platforms such as Wix and WordPress allow for relevant plugins that will support the drop shipping business model.
Be smart and add an app to your company’s list of features. It’s a popular trend and worth investing time in. Once again, there are platforms that allow you to do this by yourself. It’s how you stay one step ahead of the rest and make your customers feel they’re part of the latest trend.
Tip: Today’s available templates for first time website owners are modern, stylish and user friendly. Even if you doubt your own skills, simply get started with a basic website and employ a developer later on—when you have to cash—to improve it.
Having a stylish virtual store front isn’t enough unfortunately. How will you draw people to it?
While marketing is a complex process, you’re lucky because the platforms that are the most effective for marketing are the ones most people use on a daily basis:
All the social media platforms can showcase your products to a worldwide audience. And if you already have a list of friends you have an audience to market to.
The next step would be to use the dynamic tools Facebook created for businesses. You can boost your ads to a relevant audience in terms of:
Since your website is a prime role player in your business you need to do everything in your power to get it to the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). That requires SEO (Search Engine Optimization). We talked about this in our drop shipping secrets to improve conversions post.
In short you need to impress search engines’—such as Google—algorithms by proving you have a quality site that should be showcased to keep online browsers happy. You can do a lot to improve your value and rating:
No, this is not an outdated marketing tool. Email should still form part of your marketing campaigns, especially because most people have email addresses. In an email you can easily share images, videos and in depth information; all important when you’re trying to prove your product’s value.
Remember to add a feature to your marketing to collect consumers’ emails so you’re able to send past customers information about new products.
That paints a dynamic picture of how to get started. But how will you fare in a few months’ time? Markets change constantly so what is popular today may not be trending next week. To make sure your marketing, product selection and overall image stay aligned with consumer preferences you need to measure your performance throughout.
There are handy tools in the form of:
With a drop shipping model your customers are often far away from you, so you need to find ways to understand them better all the time.
You do business in an exciting world. With a drop shipping business model you utilize some of the best tech features ever created such as communicating in real time with someone on the other side of our planet.
Are you going to do dropshipping right and leave a legacy in this world?
By Lisa W.
Lisa is an integral part of the Sell The Trend Family. She has a keen eye for spotting products right before they become big winners!
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