Do you know what the best products to dropship are? Perhaps you have successfully launched your start up e-commerce store and are overloaded with orders to fill and customers to communicate with, or you are in the beginning stages of planning your business strategy. It is important to keep in mind that sourcing great products for your shop is a continuing product that all business owners must focus on throughout the life of their business.
Online shopping is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world generating over 521 billion dollars annually. Since the inception of the world wide web, those dollar signs have grown and continue to grow exponentially. You will find yourself competing with hundreds of thousands of online shops and large platforms such as E-bay, Amazon, Etsy and various others. With special holidays such as cyber-Monday, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas it is more important than ever to be able to source great products to fulfill your customer’s needs, generate traffic to your website and keep shoppers coming back for more.
Know Your Market
Sourcing great products begins with knowing which products you will be successful in selling. Because the online marketplace is so competitive, it is very important to stay ahead of the competition by constantly sourcing new products, new supplies, and better rates. Your competitors will try to do everything they can to find out where your product comes from and who does the drop shipping for you if your business is successful and growing. They will even buy products from you just to see the manufacturers mark on it. This is why it is important to be innovative and understand the market in your shipping area and stay ahead of trends. Being able to offer lower prices, better product, or something new and creative, will help your business continue to thrive.
The first mistake many new e-commerce business owners make is only looking at what their supplier can provide and choosing from there what they believe will be good sellers for them, or product that they personally like and believe in. Do your market research. There are tools such as Terapeak that can analyze the marketplace and help you get a feel for what is currently selling. Many times, putting a new spin on something that is already available and popular can really jump start your business. Also, don’t be afraid to sell what everyone else is selling especially if you can offer a lower price, or a different special advantage that your competitors don’t possess.
As a business owner, you not only need to know what to sell, but also who are the other sellers in your marketplace and what are they doing? Knowing what works for another competing e-commerce site will help you to understand what works and what doesn’t in your chosen marketplace.
Remember The Offline World Still Exists
Many times, E-commerce business owners spend so much time in front of the computer screen filling orders, doing market researching and trying to source new product for their stores, that they forget what the offline world can offer them in terms of sourcing new and exciting products. Going to trade shows will allow you to see and feel some of the things you might be drop shipping up close and personal. This way, your business can be unique in knowing they are offering great products that have been tested and approved in the real world rather than just buying based on a picture and description on the web.
Also remember to always keep your eyes open to find new manufacturers. Sometimes you will find sources close to home that can offer you great product, unique to your marketplace, that you can get a great deal on. It is also not always as great of an idea as it was before to look at countries like China and Mexico. There have been several emerging companies from Europe and The United States that have been able to offer great wholesale pricing and drop shipping.
Business owners should also understand the importance of getting as close to the source as possible. Drop shipping is a good way to jump start your business when you do not have the funding to use warehouse or personal storage for your product. This is also convenient because you don’t ever touch the order yourself. You serve as a middle man, so try to get as close to the source as possible. Ordering through a distributor is great when you are selling small quantities of items and can be sometimes easier to contract that going directly through the manufacturer, but if you find yourself selling a large quantity of a specific product, you may want to talk to the manufacturer about putting in mass orders at a bulk price.
Be Smart About What You Offer
Do not jump onto every bandwagon that comes your way unless you’re the one driving it. Many business owners want to source and drop ship the hot new products, but unless they are one of the first to establish the product, many times they may not sell as many products as they think they might.
Always keep your profit margin in mind. Many times the more popular items sell at higher prices from the manufacturer which makes it more difficult to get a good profit. Of course, because you do not ship yourself, the labor intensive costs are not incurred which is the appeal of drop shipping. However, many sellers may be able to come across a manufacturer that is willing to give you discounts or an even better wholesale cost on their goods when you order several at once. Make sure that you develop good relationships with your suppliers so that you can get insider knowledge on new product lines they may be getting ready to introduce to drop shipping e-commerce. They can also offer networking opportunities to other suppliers as well.
Wholesalers and drop shippers are also known for being terrible at SEO content on their websites so simply googling “wholesale handbags” may not give you the results you are looking for on the first few pages. Dig into your search results and talk to the people behind the scenes. Making sure they know about their product and can answer all of your questions will ensure that you are knowledge and helpful when your customers have questions about the product for you.
Just keep in mind that the most import aspect to sourcing great product to drop ship with your e-commerce store is that you never stop being on the lookout for the best deal with the best profit margin, all while staying one step ahead of your competitors and trends.