Dropshipping has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar market which is expected to more than double by 2027. Whether you’re a born entrepreneur or a single mom looking to make extra cash, dropshipping has become the hottest business opportunity since affiliate marketing. However, that doesn’t mean success with dropshipping is easy. In this article, I’m going to reveal 30 unique tips which will help you to fast-track your way to success with dropshipping.
1. Offer 30-Day Returns
Did you know that over 60% of consumers check a return policy before they decide to make a purchase? While offering a 14-day return policy is mandatory in most countries such as the UK, taking the initiative to offer an extended 30-day or 45-day return policy has been proven to increase sales and reduce overall return rates. It also gives you a competitive advantage over other sellers and provides buyers with a reason to purchase from you specifically.
2. Create a Warranty
A warranty or guarantee provides shoppers with the reassurance and confidence they need to place an order. Having a warranty also shows that you believe in your products and their longevity. Therefore, creating a standard warranty which covers manufacturer faults or defects is a great way to encourage more sales. Even offering a store credit or small discount rather than a full refund is effective in inspiring confidence in your customers.
3. Write Unique Descriptions
Writing your own unique descriptions is one of the most effective ways to stand out from the competition when dropshipping. Furthermore, products with original descriptions are much more likely to gain higher organic rankings within the search engines and thus generate more free traffic. You don’t need to be an expert in content writing to create descriptions, a short introduction paragraph with some key feature bullet points or specifications is sufficient.
4. Optimise Listings
Optimising your listings for search engines is the most powerful way to drive free traffic to your website or marketplace offers. It’s important to include relevant keywords within your title and product description. For example, if you’re selling a wireless speaker, the keywords ‘wireless Bluetooth speaker’ should be sprinkled naturally throughout the content of your listing, without keyword overstuffing. You should also save and name product images using relevant and descriptive keywords.
5. Keep Prices Low
Overpricing is a common issue within the dropshipping industry. It’s important to keep your prices as low as possible while still aiming for a healthy profit margin. Put it this way, would you rather sell an item 100 times with a 10% profit or 10 times with a 30% profit? The lower you set your prices, the more overall sales and profit you will make. It’s particularly essential to set a low price when creating a new listing, until it has generated some initial sales.
6. Use Clear Images
Product images instantly capture the attention and interest of shoppers. Therefore, using a clear and professional main image is essential. While you likely have limited control over images as a dropshipper, selecting the most appealing and eye-catching picture as your main image is a must. You may also want to consider ordering product samples to take your own unique images, more of which will be discussed later in this guide.
7. Add Item Specifics
When selling on eBay or Amazon, using item specifics is a must. Essentially product identifiers such as colour or size, item specifics are used by shoppers to narrow down search results. That’s why it’s vital to input as many item specifics as possible in order to be found when buyers search on eBay or Amazon. Be sure to include the most essential specifics such as colour, size, brand, compatibility and features, as well as material and model.
8. Provide Free Shipping
According to Stitch Labs, offering free shipping can increase revenue by 10 percent or more. In fact, free shipping has many benefits including the ability to increase conversion rates, boost your average order value and encourage new customers to place orders. When dropshipping, you can factor in the shipping costs to calculate your final selling price. Alternatively, try using the same model as Amazon by offering free shipping when a certain order value is met.
9. Enable More Payment Options
From credit cards and bank transfers to PayPal and Google Pay, there are several online payment methods. While some people enjoy the simplicity of modern services such as PayPal, others prefer to pay using a credit or debit card. The more payment methods you accept, the more likely shoppers will buy from you. It’s particularly important to accept multiple payment options when dropshipping through a website, as it allows customers to choose the method they are most comfortable with.
10. List More Products
Naturally, the best way to quickly boost sales is by listing more products. Although it may seem obvious, many newbie dropshippers list only a few products then give up after an instant avalanche of sales don’t follow. Granted, a few listings can generate a lot of sales, but not every product will be an instant hit. It’s important to stay motivated and continue to create new listings. Eventually, you will find the hot sellers which bring in consistent monthly profits.
11. Revise Old Listings
Revising underperforming or stale listings is a proven way to boost visibility and increase sales, particularly when selling on eBay or Amazon. Even a few small tweaks to your price, title or description can make a huge difference. Be sure to review your listing each month and revise those which are underperforming. If the listing still struggles to generate sales after multiple revisions, consider removing it from your inventory permanently.
12. Sell on Multiple Channels
Whether it’s eBay or Amazon, most online shoppers tend to buy from the same place. Therefore, selling on multiple channels is the only way to reach the most customers and maximise sales. Your goal should be to sell on eBay and Amazon, as well as your own website. Modern multi-channel selling solutions make it easy for anyone to quickly list products on several platforms, while managing sales and orders from one central location.
13. Run Promotions
Creating promotions is a powerful way to attract more customers and drive sales. Whether it’s a discount coupon, free shipping or buy one get one free offer, consumers love a promotion. In fact, it’s been proven that creating promotions on Amazon is one of the most effective ways to increase sales and interest, particularly for new products which lack reviews or sales history. Carefully crafted promotions can also help to increase your average order value.
14. Try Flash Sales
Originally gaining popularity in the early 2000s, flash sales are an extremely effective way to quickly boost revenue and generate buzz. Essentially time-limited sales which offer large and irresistible discounts to shoppers, flash sales have many exclusive benefits including the ability to garner quick attention, boost income and attract new customers. Flash sales are a particularly effective marketing strategy for new dropshipping stores with no brand awareness.
15. List Bundle Offers
Another creative way to distance yourself from the competition is by listing bundle offers. Essentially the process of taking two items and grouping them together, bundle offers are a powerful sales technique for dropshippers. A basic example of a bundle offer is taking a coffee maker and groping it together with a kettle. When dropshipping, creating a bundle offer is very easy, simply find two related items and list them as a set, making sure you calculate fees and profit margins correctly.
16. Use Automation Software
Whether you’re dropshipping on eBay or through a website, investing in automation software is essential if you want to build a long-lasting business. From creating listings to automating inventory management, most dropshipping software programs offer an all-in-one solution. Unless you have only a small number of listings, manually monitoring inventory can become time-consuming and unsustainable. For more information, please refer to our list of the best dropshipping software solutions.
17. Research Products
It’s no secret that finding winning products is the key to success with dropshipping. In fact, many dropshippers earn thousands of dollars from just a few carefully selected products. That’s why it’s so important to do research on product popularity, trends, sales history and consumer interest, as well as competition, costs and potential profit. Using one of the many dropshipping product research tools or curated databases of best-selling products is recommended.
18. Order Product Samples
Ordering product samples is a proven way to minimise returns and prevent negative feedback, particularly when dropshipping. It’s important to test the quality of the products, as well as the reliability of your supplier before making the decision to start selling the goods. Even just a few negative feedbacks on a platform such as eBay can significantly damage your business. Therefore, ordering product samples is worth the additional expense and time.
19. Take Unique Images
Another sure-fire way to stand out from the competition is by taking your own product images. Although only recommended for products which bring in consistent sales, creating your own images means you will exclusively own the copyrights and therefore prevent other sellers from using them. If you’re not much of a photographer, there are several low-cost product photography services out there which can be found after a quick Google search.
20. Use Multiple Suppliers
Using multiple dropshipping suppliers means you will have access to a larger selection of items to sell, as well as the ability to find the lowest prices. You also won’t become reliant on one particular supplier or company. Therefore, you should branch out and start sourcing from several different suppliers as soon as possible. It’s also handy to have additional suppliers as a backup if a product was to be discontinued or run out of stock.
21. Provide Good Service
Good customer service is the key to building a loyal repeat customer base. Treat your customers well and they will continue to return to your store. It really is that simple. Live by the motto ‘the customer is always right’ and go above and beyond to resolve any order issues as quickly as possible. You’ll be surprised as to how effective good customer service can be, even in turning the most disgruntled customer into a repeat buyer.
22. Make Product Videos
Did you know that video is the primary content type used by online marketers to sell products and services online? Furthermore, an estimated 71% of consumers prefer video over other marketing content such as product descriptions. While it does take a significant amount of additional time and effort, creating videos for your dropship products is a guaranteed way to drastically increase sales. That’s not to mention the effectiveness of well-placed video ads on platforms such as Facebook.
23. Use a Brand Name
If you’re selling unbranded products, particularly those sourced from China dropshipping suppliers, attaching your own brand name to them is a simple but effective way to distance yourself from competitors. It’s no secret that consumers are more likely to purchase a product if it has a brand name. Therefore, if you incorporate a brand name within your listing, it will inspire confidence in shoppers. As part of your branding process, you should also consider offering a brand guarantee or warranty.
24. Claim Cashback
Claiming cashback on your orders with suppliers is a fantastic way to generate additional revenue. From Quidco to TopCashback and Sawgbucks, there are several reliable and trusted cashback websites which are free to use. However, it’s important to make sure that business purchases qualify and do not violate any terms or conditions of the cashback website. The additional revenue generated from cashback sites can be invested in other more important areas such as paid advertising.
25. Create Loss Leaders
Essentially a pricing strategy in which a product is sold at a price below the cost price, loss leaders are exclusively designed to attract new customers, increase average order values and encourage the purchase of additional goods. The loss leader concept has been used for many decades by major retailers and businesses all over the globe, including supermarkets and chain stores. The goal is to lure new customers, usually from competitors using irresistible offers and time-limited deals.
26. Monitor Competitors
Frequently monitoring your competition is essential if you want to achieve long term success with dropshipping. It’s not uncommon for other dropshippers to undercut your selling prices, particularly on marketplaces such as eBay. Therefore, you need to stay one step ahead of the competition by keeping a close eye on their activities including their selling prices, new listings and sales history, as well as feedback score and marketing strategies.
27. Try Paid Advertising
From video ads to pay-per-click, as well as promoted listings on eBay, there are several effective ways to advertise an ecommerce or dropshipping business. One of the best places to learn proven advertising techniques for dropshipping is YouTube. It’s packed full of videos on everything from Facebook Ads to Google Ads and Amazon PPC. Whether you have a large or small budget, trying paid advertising is recommended, particularly for your own store.
28. Learn Email Marketing
With more than 3 billion daily users, email is one of the most popular forms of online communication. In fact, US businesses spent over $350 million on email marketing campaigns in 2019, while an estimated 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses through email. When it comes to ecommerce, email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build a repeat customer base and encourage more orders. Low-cost email marketing tools such as MailChimp and MailerLite make it affordable for anyone to create an email marketing campaign.
29. Sell on Facebook
Facebook attracts more than 2 billion monthly users, making it one of the most popular websites in the world. Not just for personal use, Facebook has quickly become a leading marketing tool for businesses, including dropshippers. With the launch of Facebook Shops and the Facebook Marketplace, there has never been a better time to start dropshipping on Facebook. In fact, Facebook Shops are predicted to rival marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, possibly even overtaking them in future.
30. Start an Affiliate Program
Starting an affiliate program is one of the most affordable ways to increase traffic to your ecommerce store and grow sales. Essentially a process in which you reward users for referring other users to your store, affiliate marketing has grown increasingly popular in the ecommerce and dropshipping industry. In fact, the rise of software solutions such as GoAffPro and Refersion has made it easier than ever for the average Joe to start an affiliate program for an ecommerce store or dropshipping site.
Bonus Tip: Offer Rewards
Offering rewards is a great way to improve customer retention rates and encourage more orders. Whether you sell on Shopify or WooCommerce, setting up a loyalty program is simple with the use of a software or plugin such as WooRewards. While you don’t have to provide significant rewards, a loyalty program makes the shopping experience more enjoyable and unique for consumers, thus inspiring them to keep coming back for more.
Dropshipping can be an extremely lucrative and profitable business model with minimal operating costs. However, it’s sudden rise in popularity has made it increasingly difficult for newbies to break into the industry and compete with the more veteran sellers. Hopefully, this list of dropshipping tips has provided you with some viable ideas on how to stand out from the competition, increase visibility and ultimately generate more sales. For more useful dropshipping tips and tricks, please refer to our other comprehensive ecommerce guides and tutorials.