In the past couple of years, dropshipping has become an increasingly popular way for entrepreneurs to build an online business. In a nutshell, a dropshipping business sells products which they do not hold in stock. Rather than selling your own product, you sell someone else’s product, at which point it ships directly from the supplier to the customer.
It’s an exciting business model that isn’t without challenges. For example, the structure is meant to avoid overhead storage and shipping costs, but you can buy shipping containers in Fort Worth for a reasonable fee. Nor do you maintain control over pricing and margins, as your numbers are based on someone else’s. However, when done correctly the returns can be great. Here are five ways to increase your dropshipping sales.
Invest in Product Photos and Descriptions
Despite your alternative business structure, you will have the same challenge many online retailers face: selling a product that the customer can’t see or touch before purchase. That means you need to put extra money into product photography and descriptions. If copywriting isn’t your strong suit, outsource and hire someone who excels in this area. If cost is a concern, you can find a new copywriter looking to build their portfolio for a reduced fee.
Many retailers you work with will already have these things in place, but don’t be afraid to override what they’re saying to make the sale. Just be sure you know what is required of you according to your contract.
Try the Products
If you want to be successful, you need to be selling products that you would be happy to receive as a customer. Before agreeing to work with a supplier, ask for samples of the product. You may be required to purchase a sample yourself. If you plan on doing your own, branded photos you will need to take this step anyway.
Not only will trying the product for yourself give you an opportunity to assess the quality, you will also experience what your customers will go through. If shipping is a nightmare and the packaging is atrocious, you’ll know first hand. You may even wish to buy from the company without notifying your contact for a more authentic experience. This way, you will be able to weed out products that will cause customer service issues down the road.
Make Purchasing Easy
Make the purchasing process as simple as possible. Don’t have a long, convoluted check out process that doesn’t accept credit cards or that requires a bunch of back and forth. Many customers will add things to their cart, start the process, then think more about it and drop the sale. If the checkout process is fast, you will have a lower bounce rate. Add features like express checkout to further streamline the process.
Streamline Your Offering
You may have dreams of being the next Amazon, but let’s face it– you won’t be. Instead of taking a “sell everything” approach, choose a niche. If you want to sell a wide range of products, choose a wide niche! For example, selling kitchen gear and clothing may not sound related. However, if you’re offering vintage-style kitchen gear and clothing you’ve created a cohesion between two seemingly different things. Your niche will ultimately be the foundation for your branding, so consider it carefully.
Have a Standby Shipper
One of the most frustrating aspects of running a dropshipping business is a lack of control over supply. If a popular item sells out, you miss out on sales by not having it available. Once you find a product you like, see if another supplier offers the same thing. That way, should your main supplier run into a stock issue you have a backup plan in place.
Keeping your customers happy is the best way to ensure the longevity of your dropshipping business.