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8 Dropshipping Tips for New Entrepreneurs You Need to Know

HomeEducational8 Dropshipping Tips for New Entrepreneurs You Need to Know

What is Dropshiping?

Dropshipping is a business model where an individual or a business can run an e-commerce store without holding any inventory, renting warehouse space or even handling shipping.  How it works is that you, as a dropshipping e-commerce platform, partner with a dropship supplier who will fulfil the order on your behalf once there is a sale on your e-commerce store. The onus of the dropship inventory, warehousing, packaging and shipping is on the supplier.

Dropshipping Tips for New Entrepreneurs You Need to Know

Get a Sample from the Supplier

Ordering product samples is one of the smartest moves a new dropship entrepreneur can make. Here’s why, you get to see the products and ensure they meet all the quality standards promised by the dropship supplier. If you have a large dropship inventory, and you do not want to get samples for all your products. Start out with your featured products. It will give you an idea about the quality of the products the dropship supplier stocks.

Pro tip – Make a purchase from your e-commerce store to ensure there is a seamless integration between your system and that of your dropshipping wholesaler. You will get a first-hand experience of the entire buying process of your customers, how the dropship wholesaler packages the product, the quality of the product and the delivery time.

Knowledge of this information will help you to ease out any glitches to ensure customer satisfaction and improve branding if you have to.

Choose the Right Vendor

The principal partner of any dropshipping business is its vendor. As a dropship e-commerce store, you rely on your vendors to ship undamaged products and to deliver orders on time. The reputation of your business depends on the reliability of your vendors. Choosing the right vendors determines the difference between success and failure for your e-commerce store.

Pro tip– If after all your research you do find a dropship supplier that doesn’t meet your standards, replace them. There are many suppliers out there, you will find one that best reflects your brand.

Maintaining effective communication and transparency is the key to a successful relationship between dropship e-commerce stores and dropship wholesalers.

A few details you need to work out with your vendors include product data management, how the inventory will be updated and synced to your e-commerce store, how does your dropship supplier receive information once orders are placed on your e-commerce platform, shipping information, the carriers used and how are returns handled?

Create an Amazing Offer

Everybody loves deals and offers, they are a great incentive for customers to buy from your store.  Having amazing offers is an excellent sales technique to keep new leads and previous buyers engaged and to ensure they continue to buy from your store. There is no shortage of deals online, and if you fail to offer customers a good deal, they will go someplace else.

Pro tip – Use bundles to increase sales. Bundling is when you combine similar or related products at a discounted price. For example, bundling a laptop with anti-virus software or a compatible wireless printer at a price lower than what a customer would pay if they bought each item individually. While bundling IT products ensure that they are compatible with each other or the move can backfire.

When you satisfy the need of your customers with a single purchase, it adds high value to their buying experience and makes you stand out from other dropshipping stores.

Put Effort into your Website

As a dropshipping e-commerce platform your website is where the action happens. A good website design suggests that you are a trustworthy, professional and reputable business.

Create a website that provides customers with a satisfying shopping experience, is easy to navigate and search for products, the product images are of high-quality, and you have a detailed product description. The checkout process should be swift and hassle-free to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Ensure that your e-commerce store is SEO optimised or choose an e-commerce platform that enables SEO. There is no point of having a great looking website if it does not appear in search results. The website further needs to be optimised for viewing across all mobile devices.

Pro-tip – Choose an e-commerce platform that lets you customise the landing pages for your repeat customers. This little personalisation will increase the lifetime value of a customer.

If you are interested in dropshipping IT or office supplies, VARStreet offers some great features including a network of 35 + distributors.

Hold Extra Suppliers on Standby

Your e-commerce business is primarily dependant on your dropship supplier. Your supplier evaluates inventory, replenishes stock and keeps the stock for you. Any changes in your dropshipping supplier’s ecosystem or stakeholders could possibly affect your e-commerce business as well.

What happens if your supplier runs out of stock for one of your top-selling items or worse, goes out of business entirely and cannot fulfil your orders?

Pro tip – Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Ensure that your contract with your supplier does not prohibit you from ordering from other dropship suppliers. Buying from multiple suppliers lets you play with pricing your products and increasing your profit margins.

Provide real-time Customer Service

How do you stand out from several other dropshipping businesses that sell the same product? One great way to differentiate yourself is by offering excellent customer service.

A drop ship business needs to be accessible to their customers 24/7. Customers need to be reassured of having multiple avenues to address any issues they may face after buying from you. Your customer care number and email address should be clearly listed on your website. Having a live chat option is great too.

Have a FAQ page on your website that addresses the most common queries so that customers have the option of finding their own answers and solutions and avoiding making a call. Making your customer feel valued will not only push your sales but will also grow your lifetime customer base. Answer their queries by giving useful dropshipping tips.

Pro tip– Engage in conversation with your customers on social media, reply to all comments on your posts, thank customers for leaving positive reviews, do not ignore negative reviews, take them as invaluable feedback for your business and make improvements accordingly.

Ask Suppliers for Unique Product Photos

The product images are what a potential buyer sees first. The quality of your product images can easily make or break a sale. Shoddy photos will put a potential buyer off as it questions the reliability and professionalism of the e-commerce store.

While buying online, customers cannot physically handle a product they’re interested in. High-quality images from multiple angles fill this gap and give customers the information required to make a decision. If your product comes in multiple colors, have an image for each.

Unless you’re experienced or equipped to take great high-quality and consistent looking images for all the products you sell, ask your suppliers for unique product photos.

Pro tip – Ask your suppliers for marketing collateral. All the best dropship suppliers will have lots of marketing material that they will be happy to provide. Use videos, images and other marketing material to advertise your dropship e-commerce store on social media.

Monitor your competitors

Scope out the competition. Have a look at the websites of competitors in your dropshipping niche. Check out the layouts, product description, offers, their home page etc. Make notes on how your competitors are marketing their products and their e-commerce store. See which platforms they use and how they engage with their followers or consumers.

This information will help you in marketing and branding your e-commerce store. It will give you ideas for future products, product positioning, pricing etc. You will get a clearer understanding of what your audience wants and how to target them.

Pro tip – Follow your competitors’ social media pages. You will start receiving their product ads, you will know what products they are advertising and the type of content that consumers in your niche like.

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