The video above from Oberlo has their 16 tips for Dropshipping but in addition to their great advice, below is our own list of tips.
1. Create a Strong Brand Identity
A strong brand is memorable and recognizable. Having a strong brand identity can give you an edge over your competition, create trust and customer loyalty. A brand is much more than a company logo and color scheme, it provides a set of unwritten notions about how your company operates and what consumers expect of your brand. This is to say, you can have a strong brand identity for all the wrong reasons – for having poor customer service, treating staff bad or selling low-quality products. Conversely, when done right, having a strong brand identity can work wonders for your business.
A great example of a strong brand identity is Apple. Whether or not you like their products, there’s no denying Apple is doing something right. People are willing to spend a lot more for a product that gives them a premium feel, quality, and user experience. You may not be a world-recognized multi-billion dollar company, but the same techniques can be applied to your dropshipping store.
When it comes to creating a strong brand identity, consider these points:
Strong Brand Name
Make it memorable, easy to spell and read. It can contain a “keyword” of your particular niche if applicable and make sure you have the domain for your brand name e.g. www.yourbrandname.com
Your logo is the face of your company. It’ll be on your website, on your receipts, customer emails and social accounts. You don’t have to spend a heavy buck to have a premium looking logo but it should reflect what your company is about. It can be minimalistic, simple and sleek, colorful, bright and fun, practical, natural and earthy, luxurious, cursive and ornate.
Consider a Color Pallete and Stick with it
Color plays a large part in marketing and your brand. Macdonalds red and yellow, Amazon orange, Facebook blue, Cola red, Ikea blue and yellow and so on.
Colors are associated with different qualities and different target audiences. For instance:
- Blue – calm, trust, security, it’s often used by banks and charitable organizations
- Orange/Yellow – vibrancy, optimism, youth, adventure
- Red – energy, love, urgency
- Green – eco-friendly, nature and wealth
- Purple – luxury, regal and quality
Using too many colors not only makes your store look unprofessional and messy by it also gives a poor brand identity. Decide on your company color scheme and stick to it with everything you do.
2. Quality Over Quantity
Quality lasts. It increases customer loyalty and often increases your average customer spend. You don’t have to be a premium product store to give a premium experience. We’d always recommend choosing higher quality products for better customer satisfaction and fewer returns (which is always a hassle for drop-shippers) than low-quality products that might make you a buck or two more but in the long-run isn’t going to help your brand’s reputation.
Things to consider when choosing quality over quantity with dropshipping products:
Average Ship Time
If multiple wholesalers sell the same product, be willing to spend a little more for shorter shipping times. Your customers will appreciate it.
Part of the experience when buying something isn’t just the thing itself, it’s in the packaging. Is the wholesaler bothering to use quality packaging materials and appropriately sized boxes? Are they ensuring quality with handling, that the product packaging isn’t ripped, torn or squashed. Do they offer an option to tailor your packaging to include your company logo and branding. These are all aspects of the customer experience that can have a massive impact on quality.
Good Product Images
Choose products that have high-resolution images, that accurately showcases the products size, use, and color. You don’t want your pictures to be grainy, to have watermarking or to be misleading in terms of size.
The Product Itself
As a dropshipper, you may have hundreds of items you are selling on your online shop, that said a little quality control goes a long way. You can always ask for free samples or order one off sample products at a reduced price to compare different wholesalers of the same or similar product, to ensure you’re selling the best of the best in your shop. It’s also a useful way to be able to get personalized product photos that nobody else is using, which can help your brand stand out from your competitors selling similar products.
3. Provide Good Service
Be accountable and communicative with your customers. Make it easy for them to get in contact with you through multiple channels. Connect your dropshipping store to social channels like Facebook Messenger or Instagram as well have an easy to find contact page displaying your contact email and/or telephone number. Make it easy for them to ask questions and reply back within 24 hours. Being easily contactable and communicative builds trust with your customers, it reassures them when making a purchase and good customer service increases the likelihood of buying from you again.
4. Customer Guarantee & Refund Policy
Have a clear customer guarantee and refund policy page on your site. Heck, even in your product description box! Studies have proven time and time again that including these two things, or even just one of them, can increase the likelihood of your customer buying from you by up to 3.5 times! Think like the customer – you’re much more likely to make a purchase knowing you can return it in 30 days or the product has a 1-year customer guarantee – dropshipping is no different.
5. Secure Payment & Site Labels
Secure payment and secure site labels are a great way to increase trust with potential customers. Your dropshipping brand isn’t a well-known retail store and therefore you’re going to have to work to make your customers trust you and ultimately make a purchase from your site. We’ve already talked about ways in which you can do this through your branding but another easy way is to use secure payment labels. We are far more influenced by visuals than text and providing secure payment and site images in your product description is an easy way to give you that extra level of credibility that may just lead to a sale. So many dropshippers miss out on this easy-to-implement conversion technique.
6. Build a List
Another conversion tactic that you’d be crazy to miss is to build an email list with your dropshipping store. This list is absolute marketing gold for your store yet so many people don’t do it! Those that land on your site hasn’t do so by happy coincidence, it’s not cold marketing. They made the effort to click and visit your store and if they sign-up to your email list then they must like what you see. Building a list of what marketers would call “warm” customers, is a great way to generate sales, increase the average customer spend and the likelihood of them buying from you again.
Ways you can tap into your list:
- Provide them a discount code for creating an account with your store/signing up to your list
- Send them promotional offers, bundles, and discount codes
- Build a relationship and trust with your customers
- Provide incentives and rewards to repeat customers
7. Give an Incentive
Give your customers an incentive to buy from your store. Why not give them a 10-20% discount code when they sign up to your mailing list or create an account with your store or offer them 50% off their next purchase? You could use a point-based reward scheme, using Shopify apps such as CookieJar, Wheelio and ReferralCandy that unlock special discount codes when your customers do a specific call to action e.g. like your facebook page or refer a friend. Create a sense of urgency with careful wording, “hurry offer ends” or “for a limited time only”, and promote special short-time offers on your website. Use incentives to get your customers to buy and to keep coming back for more.
8. Outsource Work When Possible
When it comes to running a successful dropshipping store there are two guidelines we recommend you follow:
- Outsource work that could be done by someone else
- Focus solely on what you’re good at
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with each other and also follows the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule, which says 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. If you aren’t a naturally creative person, don’t waste hours of your time working on a logo that turns out to be not-so-great anyway, outsource it to someone else who can produce a much better result, much quicker. Remember, your time is your money – when starting out a lot of people forget this and try to save a few buck by doing everythingby themselves, leading to burn out and unnecessary effort to do simple tasks.
When it comes to promoting your store through marketing, whether paid advertising or social channels, it’s good to have some first-hand experience and practice to see what method and approach you like to take with your business. Once you’ve got into the swing of it, you can begin to outsource these tasks. Likewise, once your dropshipping store starts to grow to a considerable amount, where you’re getting hundreds of orders a day, it would be wise to outsource someone to fulfill those orders for you. This leaves you with more time to focus on optimizing and growing your business.