As an easy to start and profitable business model dropshipping with AliExpress attracts a lot of entrepreneurs that have already made their mistakes and found their success ways. They are welcoming newcomers to study their experience. We selected 6 most important tips from practitioners for our readers.
First things first, a newborn entrepreneur can get overwhelmed with all those articles, case-studies, YouTube manuals, courses and blogs about dropshipping (including this one). So remember, you are not working on your own store watching a dropshipping videoblogger. We do not advise you a strict information diet and you must explore the industry and do a lot of research, but keep your focus.
If you still read only on dropshipping theme, maybe, now it is time to launch your store.
№2 Choose an Involving Niche and Keep Up
Some people choose a niche following an interest they have. Some choose a niche because they want to profit from some actual products. The optimal niche matches two criteria:
1) It is a passion niche
Hobby niches beat other ones. Compare Eco products and tables. People have much more interest in Eco lifestyle so that means more sales opportunities and repeat customers. And even a person loving tables can’t buy them too often.
2) It is your passion
Decide to sell products of your interest. Whatever is your hobby — anime figures, cool headphones or embroidery — it is your capital. Your emotions, knowledge and expertise come across in the attention to details in your texts, photography, advertising and social media posts.
Customers will respond to your efforts. By the way, choosing a niche of your hobby support your expertise. You take an interest in this industry, its news, trends and names. So as a businessman you feel the market, select actual products for your store and create relevant content that touches target audience. People like to buy from someone who cares. Otherwise, they’d order from Amazon.
№3 Know Your Customers
Marketing starts with information about your potential customers. They can either rise or break your businesses. Do they respond your efforts and make purchases? For better results, collect knowledge about your prospects: their location, occupation, earnings, lifestyle, interests and values.
What are the probable steps to know the people you sell to more? Analyze online communities and forums related to your niche. Comment for deeper understanding. Check your social media business pages, direct messages, comments, store live chat — keep in touch, analyze their questions, help to make a decision.
And — ask them! — create short quizzes at your social media, emails and on your site. Offer a discount for reviews and take them seriously. Never ignore reviews! Motivate your customers to write and and respond with a report of adjustments, if your store made mistakes. Or to thank for a positive review. Honest reviews and your replies help you maintain the transparency among the store visitors and build their confidence.
№4 Be Picky About the Wholesaler
One of the first issues to coordinate — choosing your supplier. Dropshipping includes constantly exchanging data between wholesaler (or manufacturer) and retailer. A good piece of advice is to support these relationships and remember it requires efficient communication, collaboration and organization.
Choose your product niche and do your research for a good supplier. What the company location is, your country or abroad. What history it has — check dropshipping forums or pages at AliExpress for reviews and complaints. Is it actual wholesalers or retailer positioning as a wholesaler? What is the profit margin of its products and how the prices compare to your competitors. Check even provided image quality — poor photos can be an indicator that the products are not good enough — though it’s not necessarily so.
List your questions to potential suppliers:
- How is inventory updated and synced to the retailer’s site?
- When orders are placed, how does the wholesaler receive that information?
- Who gets paid for what percentage of the sale and when?
- What are shipping policies?
- How are returns dealt with?
Plan in advance for back orders, lost shipment and returns. Discuss policies and obligations with your supplier from the start. Dropshipping with AliExpress from China make sure your wholesaler use ePacket shipping, not China Post. It is better to pay little extra for shipping insurance and tracking number than get package lost and disappoint your consumer.
Don’t partner with the very first supplier that responds to you. Look for more and decide which supplier meets your expectations. And do not restrict your selection with only one of them — let two or more back up each other. If a wholesaler can’t make the delivery, you’ll write another one.
№5 Make a Sample Purchase
Don’t hesitate to ask for samples. They may be offered under special conditions (discounts and packs) for retailers. Test the delivery period and, receiving the package, find out if the products quality meets your expectations. So, did you choose a reliable supplier?
Having a sample let an online seller to know the product and create high-level custom content: description, photo, video review. Use this opportunity to improve your marketing and advertising materials and increase your sales.
And even having such samples do not forget to make a test order from your site. It will give you experience what it’s like to buy from your store and make adjustments if necessary.
№6 Consider a Pricing Strategy
It’s not a secret that your prospects compare your site and your prices to your competitors, just like you do. And dropshippers plan what margin they expect and what price to charge, trying to set it on the market level. Another way is to use a featured product pricing. Establish nimimal price for most attractive products to catch your customers (of course, a very special offer) and show them good accessories ready to put in their cart.
An Additional Tip: Choose a Reliable Automated Solution
Automatization is one of the ways to make your life easier and to free up your time. First of all, you need a reliable platform to handle the data exchange between you and your contractors. But besides that you can automate your billings, emails, social media postings and much more — there are a wide variety of tools. It’s important to select something that best matches your business needs. Maybe you would like to start with Ali2woo plugin.