Dropshipping is the process of sending your end consumers products directly from the manufacturer. For budding business owners, this is a great way to break in because there are low overhead costs and low barriers to entry. This makes it much easier to start a business on a shoestring budget. You don’t have to hold any inventory or shell out lots of money in wholesale costs. Instead, your main priority becomes building a brand and curating the best products to align with that brand. With that in mind, here are four crucial tips for launching a successful dropshipping business:
Consider Customized Dropshipping Products
Just because you’ve decided to dropship your products doesn’t mean you can’t add a custom element to it. With platforms like Printful and Printify, you can send your customers custom-made products. The aforementioned platforms allow you to print custom designs on a wide range of products, from apparel to mugs to canvas artwork. If you’re a designer or have a brand image in mind, this can be a great way to differentiate yourself from other dropshipping companies.
Find Your Niche
When you’re just starting out with a dropshipping business, it makes sense to focus on something that’s specific. You want to have a market that’s narrow, but not too narrow. If you have way too many categories, you not only risk losing the customer to a more established business, but you also make it difficult to establish yourself as a leader in a particular space.
Because it’s so easy to add dropshipping products, especially when you’re using a site like Wish to source your products and a tool like Oberlo to import them, it’s easy to get carried away with the amount of products you feature on your site. However, think about the niche you’re passionate about, and stick with it.
You can glean insight about niche websites from companies that offer dropshipping products and companies that don’t. For research purposes, take a look at what other ecommerce companies are doing, even if they aren’t in the dropshipping space. For example, the Frank Dolittle website curates products made by union companies. This gives it a unique edge—they’ve made a commitment to only feature products from companies that have made a commitment to provide a safe and healthy working environment. Perhaps you’d want to focus only on organic products, products sourced from a particular country, or products that cater to a niche industry, like camping.
Choose the Right Products
After you’ve honed in on your niche, now it’s time to start taking a look at how you can organize your product lineup. The market and research phase will take up a large amount of time, and it’s not an area that you want to skip out on. During these early stages, take a boutique approach to your online store. This means you’re choosing a highly curated product lineup, rather than filling your store with every product that fits within your niche.
For example, if you’re focusing on the camping niche, you wouldn’t want to include every portable stove that you can dropship. Instead, after you’ve done ample research, you’ll want to pick the best two or three. After all, you don’t want to create a situation where the visitor has option paralysis and can’t choose between certain products.
Furthermore, you want to be able to test your products and take some new photos. If you have too many products, buying them all would be pretty difficult, especially if they have high price points and you haven’t made any money from your business. You’ll be able to personally vet the quality of the products coming from your dropshipping suppliers, and you’ll also have the physical product in hand, which you can use for other marketing materials.
Take Beautiful Photos
Photos can make or break your online store. You need to pay particular attention to the imagery on your site. Most dropshipping products already have photos, but there are some key issues with this.
For starters, the photos that products come with aren’t usually very high-quality. Furthermore, other shop owners may choose to use the same products in their dropshipping business, using the same photos as well. This makes it difficult for you to differentiate your business from your competitors. And lastly, these products might not be staged or have any room for flexibility in the future.
Taking your own product photos offers you endless creative ways that you can display them. If you don’t have the proper equipment, you can search for local photographers that can help you out. You can also hire someone on a freelance platform to help with editing and/or staging the photos.