With the ease and convenience of drop shipping, average people everywhere are able to own multiple online stores that make a profit each day. It’s no wonder it’s become a popular option for people looking to break into the world of e-commerce.
Keeping Your Drop Shipping Business Afloat
If you started your own drop shipping business and are making profits, but are hoping to expand, there’s plenty you can do to help jumpstart sales and branch out. Sure you may stumble along the way, but we’ve got advice that will help you land on your feet.
Always look for new suppliers
If you currently work with only a single drop shipper, you’re limiting your own inventory and the products you can sell. While you shouldn’t add just anything to your store, it’s always a good idea to add new products to get your customers excited about coming back. For example, if you owned a store that sold bicycle parts, you wouldn’t want to start selling security cameras, but you might look into helmets or phone accessories that can be added to a bicycle. If your supplier doesn’t carry those products, you’re limiting yourself and passing those sales to another online bicycle parts merchant.
Most online business owners work with multiple suppliers to ensure the products being bought aren’t sold out, and to expand their offerings. If you currently work with just one or two, always be on the lookout for different suppliers and learn as much about them as you can. Having too many suppliers can become overwhelming, but you want to have enough resources to consistently serve your customers and possibly offer them more choices. Finding new drop ship warehouses can be time consuming, and you should always be on the lookout for warning signs of a poorly run warehouse, but your efforts can pay off once you see profits rise.
Having too many suppliers can become overwhelming, but you want to have enough resources to consistently serve your customers and possibly offer them more choices.
Utilize Social Media Platforms Often
Too many business owners set up their website on Shopify or AliExpress and wait for the sales to just roll in. You can imagine that, unfortunately, they’ll be waiting for quite a while. While you may not have a very large advertising budget, you can still utilize social media to get the word out about your business. Again, you cannot create social media accounts and expect users to find you, you have to put in some work. For example, Instagram offers business accounts and most users find one another by using popular hashtags. Add relevant pictures and captions that link back to your website, and shout out users who tag you with your product.
You definitely need to stay on top of things on social media, since trends change quickly and hashtags come and go. Link your social media accounts and be sure to interact with your followers, especially on Facebook where customers may post questions or concerns. If you followed our advice and started a blog, link to your blog using social media as well. Once you have a good following, you may want to host a giveaway. A popular option is always holding photo contests with users tagging you as an entry. Social media does take some research, but there are many online tools that can help you track popular hashtags and other trends that people are searching for.
A popular option is holding photo contests with users tagging you as an entry.
Merchandise and Market Correctly
When you own a physical storefront, you need to merchandise your products so your customers see the value of your product, and it’s use in their lives. With online stores this can be a little tricky, but the merchandising should still be on your radar. While you may not be putting a brand new product in the front window, you can always make it stand out when users first visit your page. There are many tools available to online merchants to merchandise their products, and these can be easily integrated into your products page. Using comparisons, reviews, video, and linking to other similar items that you sell are different ways you can merchandise. You may need to seek out an expert on merchandising, but the time spent learning the intricacies of the skill will be well worth your time.
With online stores this can be a tricky, but merchandising should still be on your radar - you may not be putting a brand new product in the front window, but you can always make it stand out when users first visit your page.
Once you’ve gotten your merchandising down, you need to market your store properly. Often, store owners will buy ad space on blogs or use an advertising platform, and while they may see traffic increase, their sales won’t rise. Targeted advertising is always going to be more effective, and is well worth the effort and cost. The most common way to drive traffic to your site without ads is by using SEO keywords. This can backfire on you if you use keywords that only slightly pertain to what you sell, or if you overload your site with them.
SEO keywords should be researched to see what people are looking for, and what’s trending. If you’re looking to add SEO keywords to your site, you could add them to your site description, alt text for pictures, transcripts of videos, and part of the product descriptions. You need to keep up with your SEO keywords, since some can become stale over time. While SEO keywords can help your page be picked up on search engines easier, you will still need to work on your marketing.
Targeted advertising is always going to be more effective, and is well worth the effort and cost.
If you’ve followed our advice you have a niche storefront, so that means your customers are a specific type of person, or are shopping for a specific person. Let’s go back to our bicycle store - your customers likely enjoy the outdoors, and maybe they enjoy riding a bike for the environmental benefits. That means you’ll want to target ads that speak to that very customer, instead of the customer who enjoys staying in and catching a movie. There are an incredible amount of resources on target marketing, and though it may take some trial and error, you’ll soon find what speaks to your customers and what doesn’t.
Keeping your drop shipping business running can come with it’s own challenges, like the ones we outlined in our previous article on pros and cons of running this type of business, but the rewards can be very profitable. With proper marketing and some unique ideas on how to bring in more customers, you’ll see your hard work pay off sooner than you thought.