THE DOS AND DON’TS OF DROPSHIPPING – Dropship Tips For Success
Dropshipping. It’s an odd term right? Are you dropping something, shipping something, or both? Jokes aside, dropshipping is serious business, and is a viable business model that has earned entrepreneurs hundreds of millions over the years.
When you get down to it, dropshipping involves the purchase of a product from a store that does not keep that product in stock. Most often, the consumer will NOT know that this is the case.
After a purchase is made, the retailer (dropshipper) buys products from a 3rd party merchant as needed to fulfil the order. Simple right? You offer a product, kind of as a middle man, to customers. When those customers buy from you, you simply order the product from the actual supplier and then ship that product to the end customer. The difference in pricing, minus any overhead like administrative work, processing fees, shipping and taxes is your profit.
While dropshipping isn’t rocket science, there are many dos and don’ts when it comes to dropshipping that will help your business succeed. Read on to learn more….
The most important thing about starting a drop shipping company is knowing that your customers remember how you treated them, not necessarily the products they buy. Offering something memorable such as free shipping, automatic refunds, or spontaneous customer appreciation deals will leave a positive and long lasting imprint in a customer’s mind.
Shopping online is as much about the “experience” and interaction the customer has with you and your brand as it is about the products or services you sell.
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
There are two parts to providing amazing customer service. Since there is no physical interaction between you and the customer, you have to compensate by providing incredible customer service through technology.
Here are some things that you can implement to make you stand out from other competing brands:
Live online chats:
Younger generations simply do not like using the phone. Your business must adapt with the changing times. In order to keep those customers, be sure to hire younger employees that can assist those customers immediately online.
Personal phone assistance:
On the other hand, there are still those who prefer picking up a phone and speaking to a human voice. Implementing both online help as well as old-fashion phone calls will secure your business with a large customer base, no matter what age.
The second part of great customer service skills is the interpersonal technique used to humanise your company and make a genuine connection with your customers. Reminding your customers that they are, in fact, working with real human beings, will separate you from other brands who strictly rely on robotic automation.
Valuing reliability will push you miles ahead from competing companies. Here are some things you can do to appreciate your customers:
Personalised thank you cards
Emails confirming their satisfaction
Special offers to specific and consistent customers
Making sure that your customers are satisfied is more important than trying to gain new ones. A satisfied customer is one who trusts you; if you gain a customer’s trust, they will never shop anywhere else. Voice your appreciation and personalise their experience.
SPECIALISE IN A NICHE
The most successful stores are those who narrow their company down to specialise in a certain niche. Specialising in a specific category of products allows you to target the right customers, not just the most. Placing yourself in a specific niche allows your business to eventually expand as your company gains more success. A great example would be Amazon. Amazon originally started as a smaller online book store. Now, they are one of the largest dropshipping brands in the world.
BECOME AN EXPERT IN ONLINE MARKETING
If you think that you can avoid promoting your business online, you are wrong. Having a website just isn’t good enough anymore. Your website is one of many marketing channels that need exploring, and one that should be consistently and effectively promoted on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Marketing your business and website online is the only way to expose your company and get noticed. In other words, your website is irrelevant if people are unaware that it even exists.
Creating a Facebook page allows you to create and run sponsored ads. Think of a sponsored ad as a modernised, more advanced TV commercial. When you run a Facebook ad, you have the ability to target specific potential customers through choosing certain locations, audiences, ages, and interests. Facebook content and active pages will drive an audience to click your website and therefore expand your business with new customers and purchases.
As previously stated, excellent customer service is a must. For a lot of brands, especially for a drop shipping business, Twitter can be used to promote specials, deals, and sales. It should also be used to accommodate customer questions, problems, and concerns. Hiring someone to manager your Twitter account and personally respond to a customer’s tweet will benefit your company and humanise your brand. It is also a quick and effective way to resolve issues and keep as many customers as possible. Twitter is the social media platform that you want to use to simply acknowledge your customers existence.
DROP SHIPPING DON’Ts
OVERLOOK LONG-TERM GOALS
Successful, six-figure businesses are not built in a couple months. In fact, it takes years. While short-term, satisfying goals are necessary, you must also be sure to plan out the long-term goals that your business needs to reach, in order to continue climbing up that ladder of success.
One aspect of a company that people tend to overlook is the most important part of what keeps your business running; and that is, your employees!
If your employees are happy, then your customers will be too. One way to thank your staff for being so great is to grant them simple but helpful benefits. For example, implementing an online time clock and systems for carrying out tasks. By leveraging technology you’ll not only improve productivity but also employee satisfaction.
GET CAUGHT UP IN SMALL DETAILS
Drop shipping is a fast-paced industry, so you can’t afford to waste time on small details that do not necessarily give value to your business. For example, spending too much time deciding on a provider puts you at risk for losing potential customers. That attention could be better used by focusing on the customer, not necessarily the product.
Furthermore, pricing decisions should be quick and revolve around your customer’s needs. It is more important that you focus on a product’s price that benefits you as well as the customer than it is to focus on the pricing of competing brands.
UNDER PRICE YOUR PRODUCTS
Companies who under price their products tend to forget that marketing, the cost of goods, and paying employees gets expensive. Don’t compete with a company’s lower price by lowering yours. Keep your prices fair, and don’t match anyone else’s tactic of immediate success. This business takes time to build, so don’t spite yourself in the midst of trying to steal a customer from another company.
OVERLOOK YOUR WEBSITE
Websites needs to be simple, eye catching, and user-friendly, especially for customers who don’t physically see a business’s employee. Your website is a reflection of your business, and first impressions are vital when it comes to drop shipping. Be sure to keep your website updated, easily accessible, and uncluttered.
Drop shipping is a unique business model that anyone can get started with. By leveraging the products of other fulfilment centres you can focus on your brand, marketing and customer experience. By following the do’s and don’ts of this article you’ll be well on your way to establishing a successful dropshipping business in no time flat.