Dropshipping has existed for almost a decade. In recent years, every year there are people asking "Can I still make a profit from dropshipping as it seems everybody has already started a store?" At the beginning of 2020, there were people saying dropshipping was dead. But how can they imagine dropshipping thrived much more than ever before mainly because of the COVID-19. We can't deny that there are lots of people struggling with their business, while CJdropshipping processes 7k orders per day for big clients.
Why some people made 7 figures income while others fail to make a penny? Many factors count. It's about the products you choose. It's about the marketing strategies you adopt. And first of all, it's all about your mindset, do you know how to do the business? Have you been fully prepared for the business? So in this article, we'll focus on 8 things you need to know before starting a dropshipping business.
Providing Products with Good Quality
It is important to make sure your customers get what they order. Never compromise on product quality. In many cases, customers receive different products from what they ordered online. Even if the product is not different, it may be of low quality. Such cases can lead to negative reviews. Moreover, in most cases, you will be asked for a refund or exchange.
Refunding a bulk of products will put you at a loss. Furthermore, your Facebook ad account could also be disabled. In the case of exchanging, you might want it to be free of costs. It can win back your customer but will still put you in a short-term loss.
To avoid this, when you are scaling up with a new product, it is advised to place a test order to check the product quality, as well as the shipping time. And for your hot selling products, you can send agents or go in person to your stock supplier for quality-checking. This may cost you initially, but it will save you from the long-term loss.
Don't Rely on Just One Supplier
Having a range of different suppliers is a key factor in a dropshipping business. It's not enough to have a good relationship with one supplier. What if that supplier runs out of stock? In such cases, suppliers may not tell you their issues. They want to continue working with you. This could lead to loads of refunds and bad reviews as customers won't receive their orders.
Make sure to have at least 3-5 different suppliers. If one runs out of stock, turn to the other.
Do not cooperate with just one supplier is also a principle for the CJ purchasing team. For every single product, the CJ purchasing team will contact several suppliers, and compare the prices and quality, then we can provide the best solution for CJ users. And once one supplier runs out of stock, the CJ purchasing team can find an alternative in a short time to minimize sellers' losses.
Customer Service Counts a Lot
You can not serve your customers face to face, so it can be hard to build trust. Then online customer service can be really important. Do always keep in touch with customers. Reply to their e-mails and communicate with them on online chats. Answer their questions from product specifications to payment methods. This will make them feel safe and supported to place an order.
Also, keep your customers updated regarding the shipping progressions. Tell them if the shipment has been dispatched or has reached their city. Good customer service will impress your audience and they are likely to buy more products from your store.
Marketing on Different Platforms
Facebook ad is not your only choice, though it may be the easiest way to start. Having different social media platforms to market your product will be helpful. You will be able to target a much larger audience. Work on at least two social platforms. Run a paid campaign on one platform and a free one on the other. Ads are for short-term traffic. The issue with advertisements is the cost. Facebook ads are very costly and will take up most of your profits.
Work upon building your profile on Instagram. Instagram has a large audience. Customers are likely to go through your profile page before they buy from you. Most importantly, it's free! Regularly put out content on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They are the most popular services out there. Posting valuable content will organically increase your traffic. Experiment with your posts. Use different keywords and post a variety of photos to see what is best.
Influencer marketing is a hot method for beginners with a limited budget. It's a way that requires more effort, while it's proven to be effective to use the audience of media influencers to your benefit. Send influencers your products. Once they share it on social media, their audiences will visit and purchase from your site. You can then tag these influencers in later posts to get attention.
Don't Rush on Product/Niche Research
We once put up a poll in the CJ Facebook group on what is the biggest problem in your dropshipping business. How to find winning products was a big lead in the poll. Product research is not an easy task to do, you have to invest tons of time and effort to find what's trending in the market, dig out and sell these hot-products before they become overly saturated. To help you with it, there are many sites and tools to hunt for winning products, I've made some videos on them, check them in the cards, and you can subscribe to our channel for regularly updating product recommendations.
Tax and Customs
If your product supplier is in a different country than your customers, the customers are likely to pay a tax. This may lead to a refund demand as the customer wouldn't want to pay extra money. So you'd better set this problem in advance. You need to learn the regulations well and negotiate with your suppliers on who will pay for the tax. Generally, your customers will need to pay for the tax and customs, but it is very easy to annoy them and lead to deal abandon. My suggestion is, you could add the tax and customs to your product price, and once your customers are charged with tax or customs, you just refund them. This is a much more acceptable way for the customers, at the same time you lost nothing.
Payment Methods Shouldn't be Restricting
The audience should feel comfortable and confident giving you their payment information. You can have trust badges on your site so customers feel a sense of security. Additionally, due to the COVID situation, consumers have become comfortable with a variety of online payments. Therefore, payment methods mustn't be restricting. You don't want cart abandonment because you aren't providing the payment method with your customer's need, right?
In the beginning, don't put loads of money on a fancy-looking store and online campaigns. As you are just starting, you won't be able to benefit from such strategies. Slowly gain experience. You will have to test run ads and products. Eventually, you'll have a well-working marketing strategy.
Dropshipping is not an overnight success. It's a struggle. Although you can benefit from others' experiences, you cannot experience their struggle. You have to go through your challenges. Don't be afraid to make mistakes - you will eventually make an error. The important thing is to stay calm and learn from these mistakes. Don't repeat them. Focus on the things mentioned above. Keep trying your best.