Dropshipping has gained massive traction in popularity over the past decade. It has allowed many businesses of varying sizes to bring their product-based companies to life. This is due to removing the need for warehousing & storage infrastructure. Following the rise of dropshipping, online marketplaces have become a common trend for businesses of all sizes. One common pairing in this modern era of ecommerce is dropshipping via Shopify. Here we will highlight the top 5 tips to benefit and improve your Shopify dropshipping business.
- Use multiple suppliers
- Automate your dropshipping store
- Customer service is key
- Make use of Shopify dropshipping apps
- Focus on marketing
What is dropshipping?
To comprehend how these tips could impact your Shopify store, we need to first fully understand dropshipping. Dropshipping can be described as a fulfilment method used by online stores. It removes the need for online businesses to store their inventory and instead has third-party suppliers directly deliver products to the consumer. It is an exceptional solution for entrepreneurs and business owners who do not have the funds required for warehousing and storage. Dropshipping can also add the benefit of better delivery options which may not be possible directly from the online store due to financial/infrastructure implications.
1. Use multiple suppliers
Tip number one is a way to diversify your supplying choices to try and eliminate as much risk as possible. Suppose a business only opts for the same single supplier each time. In that case, various issues could occur with deliveries and stock levels that can cause consumers to have their product deliveries delayed or cancelled. For example, if your supplier has received their deliveries late, this will have the same mirrored effect on the consumers’ delivery time, which can easily lead to the loss of repeat business.
Use a dropshipping plugin such as Oberlo. This plugin has a built-in feature to find similar products based on what you are currently selling. This, at the very least, allows you to sell alternative options of your products if need be, and can help stop potentially delayed customer deliveries. Oberlo helps to remove the tedious task and process of finding new suppliers making it the ideal tool to help you save time.
2. Automate your dropshipping store
Automation is a crucial aspect of many businesses processes, no matter your industry or size. It can help remove the chance of human error; plus, it leaves time for employees/owners to focus on more critical aspects of the business. This is no different for Shopify owners looking to automate their dropshipping.
There are two main reasons as to why we should look to automate our Shopify store:
- Cost efficiency
For any business owner, time is their most important asset. The dropshipping aspect of a Shopify store can take up arduous amounts of time to set up. However, it saves time and effort dealing with suppliers and logistical factors daily across the long term. This makes automation a must-have for any active Shopify business.
Many businesses opt for the dropshipping business model in the first place due to the costs it can save from storage and delivery. Therefore, it is only fitting to make the dropshipping process as cost-effective as possible. Automation is a crucial factor that will help optimise the dropshipping method and save businesses money. Automating this process with software removes the need for businesses to employ staff to manage the ordering aspect of the business. Growth and scaling can be achieved with the money saved from dropshipping as it can be reinvested back into other business areas.
3. Put customer service at the heart of everything you do
Due to the ease of dropshipping, it has led to the saturation of many markets. Today, price and product are no longer enough to beat your competitors consistently. This has led to many dropshipping businesses thinking outside the box and improving other aspects of their operations – Customer service being one. Being a dropshipping business implies that your business model revolves around selling products. This can lead to the need for product support, returns, guarantees/warranties, and customer helplines.
Exceptional customer service is one of the essential aspects when improving customer retention. The extra mile businesses are willing to go for their customers will set them apart from the crowd, this can also be the catalyst needed to improve word-of-mouth marketing for smaller companies.
4. Shopify dropshipping apps
This has been vaguely mentioned earlier, but the use of specific plugins and apps available on Shopify can help streamline the dropshipping process for any business. There are a variety of apps to choose from in terms of their functionality. This can vary from finding reliable suppliers, automating multiple aspects of the dropshipping process, or even helping product promotions with methods such as bundling.
Here are 3 of our top suggested apps for dropshippers to use on Shopify:
- Oberlo: Oberlo makes it simple for businesses to find and source their products, making it easier to find cheaper and more reliable suppliers. Automation is at the heart of Oberlo throughout the selling and buying process, It ensures a business doesn’t have to pay upfront when testing new products. This is done by automatically purchasing the product when a customer orders rather than pre-emptively owning the stock.
- Spocket: Spocket is one of the best alternatives to Oberlo. The choice and diversity of suppliers make it a standout. It’s heavily reliant on EU and US suppliers, making it one of the best dropshipping apps for stores looking to stay local (providing they are based in the EU or US). This can be beneficial from a customer service perspective, as shipping/delivery times will be quicker.
- AliExpress Dropshipping: This app is perfect for small-medium-sized dropshippers who sell generic, mass-made products. AliExpress allows Shopify users to purchase stock in bulk from some of the biggest suppliers. It is ideal for products that sell fast or in large quantities. This can give Shopify store owners the chance to benefit from economies of scale, even from a small size.
5. Focus on your marketing strategies
Well-orchestrated marketing & branding can be a differential for businesses placed in saturated markets. As alluded to earlier, the beauty of dropshipping is that many processes can be automated. This helps give business owners the dedicated time towards ventures such as marketing.
Market saturation means store owners must ensure they are doing everything in their power to try to boost customer conversions. Having an aesthetically pleasing store/website that is cohesive with brand guidelines is always a good starting point as it begins to show your business’s professionalism and expose customers to branding touchpoints. Using the correct copy is also a vital marketing tool that business owners overlook when it comes to conversions. Having compelling and informative info about your store/product can differentiate between a customer converting or not. Creating a feeling of urgency and scarcity is one of our significant recommendations to look for in your copy. A pricing strategy is an ideal way to do this. Marrying the two together can help boost sales in the short term.
Top tips for your Shopify dropshipping store
To conclude, while starting a dropshipping business is relatively easy in the modern era of ecommerce, it has led to the competition becoming fiercer and fiercer. Thinking outside the box and leveraging niche business areas is a must to stand out from the crowd.
Customer service and marketing are commonly neglected methods that can be used no matter the size, experience, or industry. Other suggestions, however, make full use of Shopify as a platform. While this may be new territory for many, enough research and time means anyone can factor in Shopify apps/plugins, automated dropshipping, and using multiple suppliers. For a final recommendation to round-up, we would say to focus heavily on the automation side of your store as it can free time and resources to focus on other areas of your business.
For those who sell on Shopify and various other online marketplaces, it could be wise to invest in business management software that will aid the automation process.