Dropshipping is a rapidly growing eCommerce business model through which sellers have their suppliers ship items directly to their customers, thereby eliminating the need for physical inventory and shipping materials. When it works, it can be an extremely lucrative business endeavor that’s also fairly easy to maintain. However, as with any form of eCommerce, there are a few basic principles that must be followed to thrive. If you’re looking to increase your dropshipping success rate, here are a few tips to bear in mind.
7 Strategies for Increasing Your Dropshipping Success Rate
1. Choose a Niche You Know
The golden rule of dropshipping is to always go niche. The goal here is to have as broad an outreach to as narrow a group of consumers as possible. Research industry trends, but most importantly, consider your own passions and interests. The more familiar you are with a niche, the better you’ll understand your target market and the products that will appeal to them.
2. Work With Reliable Suppliers
Because it’s up to your suppliers to fulfill orders in a timely manner, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with trustworthy, reputable platforms. Start by performing an assessment: check reviews from other dropshippers who have worked with the suppliers and browse through their range of products to make an informed decision. AliExpress is one of the most dependable options to consider, as it offers millions of products across dozens of categories, including beauty, accessories, home and garden, and clothing.
3. Develop Clear Agreements
To establish trust and ensure customer satisfaction, determine how returns will be handled. Will they be sent back to your company or the supplier? How are shipping costs determined, and who pays for them? What are your suppliers’ delivery terms: are there options available for expedited shipping? Familiarize yourself with these options and agreements to streamline logistics and to make sure customers’ expectations are met.
4. Optimize Your Ecommerce Store
While dropshipping does have the potential to be quite profitable, one of its downsides is the competition. To increase your success rate and stand out in your niche, you’ll need a captivating website. Choose an engaging theme, use superior quality images, and create the friendliest shopping experience possible. Modern shoppers don’t want to be bogged down with time-consuming checkout steps, like setting up an account. Instead, make the process as simple and straightforward as possible with a one-page checkout, which requests them to complete only the information that’s absolutely required for order fulfilment.
5. Including Product Descriptions
Well-written, detailed product descriptions can also set your dropshipping store apart from the rest. While you could simply copy over descriptions from your supplier, consider rewording yours to add a bit of creative flair. You’ll still want to be concise – after all, today’s shoppers are suffering from information overload – but using powerful descriptors and compelling copy can have a powerful impact on your site’s traffic.
6. Become a Marketing Guru
One essential element of a successful dropshipping business is a well-developed marketing strategy. Some traffic may come to you organically, but the majority of your shoppers will be led to your site through advertising. Google AdWords, along with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ads, will become your best tools for driving traffic. The niche you’re targeting will largely dictate which platforms you use for advertising – where does your target market tend to spend the most time? Be willing to invest in ads, but use A/B testing to figure out which approaches are most effective in driving conversion.
Keep in mind, however, that while the top of the funnel draws customers in, every aspect of the funnel counts. One often overlooked opportunity for increasing conversion is the time after the sale has been made. Your shopper has just made their purchase and is still in the buying mood, so it’s the perfect time to incentivize the purchase of a related item with a one-time offer. This is called upselling, and it’s a powerful strategy that doesn’t just increase your sales, but also improves customer satisfaction. Moreover, it leverages existing customers, which is important considering the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, versus just 5-20% for a new prospect.
7. Know Your Competition
Lastly, while checking in on your current competition is always a wise practice, it’s also critical to be on the lookout for emerging competitors in your niche. Follow them online, and observe how their customers are reacting to new products and marketing strategies. While you’ll never want to copy their precise approach, being mindful of others’ successes and failures can be helpful in shaping your branding, pricing, and product strategies.