The path of entrepreneurship is different for everyone, but there are some general dropshipping tips out there that you may want to follow in order to succeed.
Perhaps you want to start a dropshipping business, but you do not know everything you need to be successful. You will not be successful if you simply turn on your laptop, build an online store, and list whatever you want to sell on your site.
To become a successful dropshipping entrepreneur in every sense of the word, you must spend some time familiarizing yourself with the dropshipping business model and the entire industry. You must be flexible and learn how to start and run a successful dropshipping business.
We have your best interests at heart, so let us give you some pieces of advice. In brief, we want you to succeed, so we have prepared 18 dropshipping tips to help you make your start-up a success.
18 dropshipping tips you need to know as a dropshipping beginner
We have divided our list of 18 best dropshipping tips into 6 categories.
And in each category, we have outlined what you need to take to ensure your journey as a dropshipping entrepreneur is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
With that being said, let’s get started!
• Dropshipping tips for selecting your niche
In the dropshipping industry, you will not be short on dropshipping niche ideas. From electronics and home décor to clothing and jewelry, there are a variety of niches out there to focus on.
Find the top 10 electronics dropshipping suppliers worldwide.
Find the top 11 home decor wholesale suppliers in the USA.
Navigating this vast ocean of potential dropshipping niche ideas is almost impossible for beginners like you. Therefore, we will give some dropshipping tips on how to focus your time and efforts on a small, distinct population group in order to better serve them.
1. Make a list of all the things you are passionate about
Create a list of all the things that excite you and make you talk enthusiastically about them. Of course, there are no limits – you can add any professional or personal interests to your list.
Think of what you like to do in your spare time. For instance, do you enjoy a relaxing night of self-care and facial pampering with hydrating face masks? Then starting a dropshipping store for beauty products is worth considering.
Or do you truly love to fix your car yourself and keep it in top condition? Then dropshipping auto parts and accessories may be worth a closer look.
2. Make sure your niche is profitable
Before you jump into any dropshipping niche, you need to measure its profitability. This means that not only should you find a niche that fascinates you, but you should also ensure the niche you are about to compete in is profitable.
Simply put, you need to determine the profitability of that market segment. And you can do so by:
- Using Google Trends. With Google Trends, you can analyze the popularity of top search queries in Google Search. This can give you a glimpse of where a dropshipping niche is going, as well as whether demand in that market is rising or not.
- Looking for popular websites and blogs. That way, you can validate online activity. In other words, if you find many authority sites and blogs about your niche topic, it may be a good indicator that your niche is a popular one.
- Finding niche-related forums. If you find a forum with a number of active members, it means that people are passionate about the topic. It may also suggest that people are willing to spend their money on such goods.
• Dropshipping tips for choosing winning products
It is simply not enough to just choose a dropshipping niche. You also need to find great product ideas for your online store. Here are a few simple dropshipping tips on how to do so.
3. Take the time to deeply understand the needs of your niche/target audience
You need to identify the problems your target audience has. But what does this mean? This means that you need to find out the challenges, problems, desires, and pain points that your target audience has.
Fortunately, it is not that hard to find this information nowadays. And here is how to find this information.
- Visit niche-related forums. Again, these forums can help you find out what people are discussing. Also, they can help you analyze which problems your audience will gladly pay to solve.
- Spy on your competitors’ ads. Your aim is to find advertisements, which have high engagement rates. Try to find positive comments and product tags on social media sites. Ultimately, you will identify which products bring the biggest interest. Just do not forget to take notes for yourself.
- Carry out a market survey. If you do so, you will evaluate gaps in the market, customer expectations, pricing trends, and more. You can use the GlobalWebIndex panel for your market survey.
4. Use dropshipping product research tools
Sure, you can do product research on your own. Still, that process will probably take a very long time.
So, another simple way to find winning products for your dropshipping store is to use dropshipping product research tools. With some of these tools, you can find winning dropshipping products to sell online, and much more.
Here you can find our in-depth AliShark Review – one of the best product research and sourcing tools out there.
Explore more eCommerce marketing tools!
5. Start small and then expand your product offerings
One of the most important dropshipping tips for beginners is to start small. Many new dropshippers make the mistake of adding, let’s say, 500 items to their store in the beginning.
Yeah, we know that it is exciting to import a variety of items to your store. And you can do it within a short period of time.
But the problem is that when you add too many items to your store, you must also upload high-quality photos and write unique and amazing product descriptions.
This may be a time-consuming task for you as a new dropshipper. Thus, you may want to start with a smaller product offering. Then, you can gradually expand it and make more sales. Learn how to boost your sales by building a profitable ecommerce sales funnel.
• Dropshipping tips for choosing and working with suppliers
The success of your e-commerce store depends on the efficiency of your dropshipping suppliers.
Unfortunately, selecting the wrong supplier may contribute to an increase in customer complaints and return requests and even ruin your brand image.
We know that choosing a reliable dropshipping supplier can be tricky. So, we want to give a few dropshipping tips on how to choose and work with a dropshipping supplier.
6. Do your preliminary research on Google
Google knows everything. So, just type the magic words, let’s say, “Clothing Dropshipping Suppliers”, into the search box and multiple Google search results will appear. As you can see, this is the most basic approach.
7. Join a supplier directory
Supplier directories are a great place to find certified dropshipping suppliers and wholesalers from all over the world.
They usually charge small fees to give you access to their data. But think about it as an investment rather than a cost as joining a supplier directory will save you a lot of time.
If you do not want to spend money on this, you can check out our own supplier directory. It is available for free.
8. Spot and avoid unreliable suppliers
Regardless of where you are looking for a supplier, chances are you will come across some unreliable suppliers. But you must be able to spot and avoid them.
Just follow our dropshipping tips and understand what defines an unreliable dropshipping supplier.
- They charge monthly membership fees. Reliable dropshipping suppliers tend to charge some fees for delivery and packaging. But they do not charge any hidden or extra fees, like monthly membership fees.
- They sell directly to the end-consumer. A legitimate, reliable supplier does not deal directly with the end-consumer. They only do business with distributors, retailers, and resellers. And they do NOT sell to end-consumers. You would better keep this in mind if you want to avoid a fake supplier.
- They have websites that look unprofessional. A fake supplier may have a website, which gives off a spammy vibe. You need to be aware of that because it might be a sign of an unreliable supplier.
9. Work with multiple suppliers
Working with more than one supplier can be a great advantage. The reason for this is that it can increase the possibility that products will be in stock and offer geographical diversity for faster shipping times.
Also, that way, you will not rely on only one source for your products.
• Dropshipping tips for marketing and advertising
In traditional commerce, you can easily open a small vegetable store and sell fruits and veggies, for example.
And people will just come in and buy from your store as the location exists – no advertising or marketing needed.
But in the e-commerce world, if you launch an online dropshipping store without promoting it, no one will ever find it. Therefore, it is advisable to follow these dropshipping marketing tips:
10. Advertise your dropshipping store for free
You might not have enough money to invest in marketing in the early stages of your dropshipping business.
However, this does not mean that you can’t find effective ways to make your business stand out.
If you are unable to afford any marketing expenses now, you can opt for promoting your dropshipping store for free.
11. Go for paid promotions
Your paid dropshipping marketing strategy can include one or more tactics. And it would be better if you could implement more than one tactic.
12. Add customer reviews to your online store
You can increase the likelihood of converting casual browsers into eager buyers by adding customer reviews to your store.
This is a great marketing strategy to validate your products and your overall dropshipping business.
And here is one of the best dropshipping tips on how to do so – Make it easy for your customers to leave a review. You can do that by adding a link to your site that brings customers directly to a review platform.
• Dropshipping tips for dealing with problems
Your business will surely face some challenges and problems now and then. But you should not meet and address these challenges and problems like an amateur.
Instead, you should address them like a pro. So, keep reading.
13. Fix fulfilment problems right away
Even certified suppliers make mistakes. So, as a dropshipping store owner, you must learn how to deal with dropshipping order fulfillment errors.
Here is what you need to do when your supplier sends the wrong/damaged item, the item goes to the wrong address, etc.
- Own the mistake. Even though this is not your fault, it is important that you own the problem. Let your customer know that you understand the problem. Then, tell them that you are sorry. You can use an apology statement like this one, “We are really sorry that you have had to deal with [problem]…”
- Inform your customer that you will fix the problem and make it up to them. For example, you can offer your customer a discount for a future purchase.
- Make your supplier pay to fix their error. Although you must take responsibility for the error, it does not mean that you need to cut into your dropshipping profit margin.
14. Deal with out-of-stock orders professionally
As we have already said, working with multiple suppliers reduces the risk of dealing with out-of-stock orders.
But even if you work with a few suppliers, you can experience this issue from time to time. Fortunately, you can handle the tricky situation professionally.
- Source the item from another supplier. If possible, do not tell your customer that the item is out of stock. Instead, do your best to source the item from another supplier.
- Offer your customer a similar product. Another great way to deal with this problem is to offer your customer a similar yet better item.
15. Detect fraudulent orders
Yeah, even with the dropshipping business model, you will inevitably deal with fraudulent orders.
But you can detect and prevent such orders. Luckily, here are a few signs of a fraudulent order.
- Conflicting customer information. One of the first things to look at is the customer information if you want to avoid dealing with a fraudulent order. Why? Part of the reason is that the majority of all fraudulent orders have different shipping and billing addresses.
- Large orders. Needless to say, an unusually large order might be a sign of a fraudulent or high-risk order. So, be very careful with such orders.
- Rushed or express shipping. This is not necessarily a sign of a fraudulent order. However, some fraudsters want to ensure the order ships before the fraud is detected. And as they are not paying the bill, the extra expense is not a concern.
• Dropshipping tips for quick wins
With these dropshipping tips, your online business is almost guaranteed to achieve outstanding success in a short period of time.
16. Create compelling offers and product bundles
This is one of the most important dropshipping tips for quick wins. You do not want to be the dropshipper who fails to offer product bundles, right?
Remember that if you never put your items on sale, your website visitors might lack the motivation to buy from your store. But you must encourage them to take action.
For instance, if a particular item is selling well, try to get an idea of what customers may want in conjunction with that item and bundle them together.
Bundling can greatly reduce your shipping costs, so make sure you source the bundled items from the same supplier.
17. Simplify and optimize your checkout process
Do your analytics show that many people are visiting your site but leaving without buying? Then your checkout process may be the reason. Perhaps it is too long.
Or it is too complicated. But do not worry. You can simplify and optimize it to turn more visitors into customers.
- Eliminate any unnecessary steps in the checkout process. This can make more prospects convert.
- Offer multiple shipping methods and payment gateways. You can certainly make more sales with more shipping and payment options.
- Display security badges. When a customer enters their shipping, billing, and personal information, they expect the system to be secure.
18. Provide great customer service
As a dropshipper, you save a lot of effort and time because you do not have to deal with inventory, packaging, and shipping.
Therefore, the least you can do is deliver great customer service for dropshipping. Make the customer “king” and always put them first.
Just follow these simple dropshipping tips and you are on the right track.
- Know your products.
- Always maintain a positive attitude.
- Solve any issue that might arise in a creative and timely manner.
- Always be there for all your customers and let them reach you via e-mail, phone, social media sites, live chats, etc.
Starting a dropshipping business and worried about failure? Do not worry – you are not alone.
You can give your start-up the best chance of success with these simple dropshipping tips for beginners.