Guide: Choosing Products to Dropship and Competitor Analysis (Chapter 4)

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Many new dropshipping entrepreneurs face the challenge of picking a niche and the products to sell. Well, this is one of the biggest decisions to make, and it entails considering the long-term results.

At this point, many are tempted to select products to sell based on their interests or thoughts. Apparently, the goal of your business is to grow profitably, and that calls for doing away with your interests and passion largely.

How to Sell Successfully Online

To set up and run a successful ecommerce business, one of these is necessary:

Produce your products – When you are the basic source of a product, as well as control distribution, you tend to stand out from the competition.  Dropshipping entrepreneurs sell what others manufacture, and it’s different from doing core production.

Gain access to unique pricing or distribution – Selling online profitably is very possible when you can find a means to get exclusive pricing from a manufacturer. This can be quite difficult but worth it.

Sell products at low prices – You stand a better chance of stealing business from the market when you offer lower prices. However, this strategy often strips sellers off good profits. You can imagine trying to compete with Amazon and many other top stores.

Add more value – Offering additional value that works in line with the product you sell. Entrepreneurs are known to solve problems, so you should do as an ecommerce entrepreneur. Providing expert guidance in your niche is also an excellent way to run ecommerce successfully.

Quality product images – It’s good to let a customer get a deep insight into what they are buying, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through sampling quality images of your product. Get some free stock photos to use.

Go for many components – Products that require many other components to work properly often push people to the internet to find answers. You may want to advise your customers on which products to go for. Compatible products give you the opportunity to offer more value through advice and expert suggestions.

Customizable products – Customizable products are ideal for value addition through content creation. Selecting products that customizable for your climate, home, room or even office could be quite confusing, as you’ll be left with some unanswered questions as a buyer. As an ecommerce entrepreneur, offering a specific guide on how to choose these products is one of the great ways of adding value.

Technical installation – Products that have proven to be quite difficult to install or set up are a good opportunity for you to add value. Offering installation or set up guide adds more value. If putting the guide together seems to be time-consuming, you could purchase it from their website for a few bucks. You wouldn’t know the value guides add to your products, until you try it.

Number of Ways to Add Value

Value addition can be achieved in many ways, and they include:

  • Giving detailed product description
  • Creating a comprehensive guide for buyers
  • Crafting set up and installation guides
  • Breaking down component compatibility through an easy system
  • Making “how it works” videos

How to Pick the Best Customers

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All customers are not the same, and you’re bound to meet different customers with their respective buying attitude. However, honing your focus on the ideal demographic is a great step towards your business success.

Businesses – Businesses and brand representatives often do bulk purchase, though they are often price-sensitive. If you establish a good business relationship with them and earn their trust, you’re sure to make more sales. You may want to blend products that appeal to businesses with those that appeal to individual customers

Hobbyists – People who love their hobbies don’t mind spending much on getting tools that aid them with their hobbies. Now, for instance, many mountain bikers don’t mind buying bikes that cost way more than their cars at home. If you can hone your focus on hobbyists, and connect with their needs, your business can thrive.

Return customers – You wouldn’t want to miss out on returning revenue. If the products you sell are disposable or are needed often, it’s easier to grow when you offer them rightly. This is because you build a wide base of loyal customers who always come to buy from you again.

Other Things to Consider When Selecting Products to Sell

Ideal price – Always consider the price in relation to the pre-sale you’ll provide. While many people prefer to place a quick order online without even talking to a sales representative, others can’t do that especially when it’s a high-ticket order. If you must sell high-priced products, then get ready to offer a phone support system, as well ensure the margin covers the pre-sale support you offer.

Marketing potential – The whole thoughts about how to market should be done and finalized before product launch. How would you promote your store? Will you do giveaways? You need to be clear with your marketing potential before you kick off.

MAP pricing – Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) is a set price at which resellers can sell or exceed while selling particular products. These are set by manufacturers and ensure that merchants make a good profit selling their products.

Niches, where most manufacturers enforce MAP, are great if you can find one. In such niches, there is no need to worry about losing potential customers to other stores selling at way lower prices.

Products that Come with Many Accessories are Hot

A dominant retail rule advocates margins on lower-priced items are more than their higher-priced counterparts. For instance, the profit percentage that comes with selling a smartphone is smaller than the percentage that comes with selling its case.  Customers are always sensitive with the prices on high ticket items and overlook those of lower tickets.

Low turnover – Go for products that are not updated often. When you do, the resources and time you invest in making your site stand out will pay you over time, and not get obsolete within a short period.

Uneasy to find locally – When you sell products that cannot be found locally easily, you stand a better chance of hitting milestones. Don’t always go for what your potential customers can run down the street to get. Go for what they will come online to buy.

Smaller is often better – When you consider shipping costs, you’ll know that shipping smaller items is often better. The smaller the product, the cheaper the shipping cost.

Measuring Demand

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If nobody wants your product, then you’re not doing business. Of course, you’ll make no income. However, it’s better to meet up existing demands than trying to generate demands. Now, how do you achieve this? Many online tools can help you identify product demands and their market. Google Keyword Tool is one of these tools.

Google Keyword Tool

How many people search for a particular product? Google Keyword Tool helps you find how many people that are searching for a product online. Just key in a phrase or a word, boom! This tool tells you the number of persons looking for it. To use this tool, you need to know these basically.

Match type – When this tool pops up search volumes, you can select phrase, broad or exact match types. It’s better to go for the exact match option unless you have tangible reasons why you shouldn’t.

Search location – Take a look at the search difference between global search and searches in your region. Hone your focus on the local search results and do away with the global results, as most of your customers will come from your region.

Long-tail variations – Lower volume search queries, and longer keywords are what will make up your traffic from search engines, and these are the long-tail keywords. A market with lots of interests and varieties will often pop up many long-tail variations. However, if search queries drop off say, after the few high-level words, it most probably has no long-tail traffic.

Google Trends

This is an efficient tool for raw search figures of keywords, and offer more detailed insight. It starts where the Google keyword Tool fails to provide detailed information such as:

Search volume over time – Everyone wants to go into a niche that keeps growing. Google Trends unveils this and gives you a graphical view detailing growths and declines of your search query over time. Now check out the sample chart below:

google_trends_search_volume_over_time

Top and rising terms – With Google Trends, you will get an understanding of the most popular searches and queries. These would help you make strategize a better SEO approach. Now, look at the chart below:

google_trends_rising_related_topics

Geographical concentration – Identifying the geographical area from which searches come is paramount, and Google Trends reveal this. With geographical concentration feature, you’ll get to know where your customers are concentrated. Take a look at the chart below:

google_trends_interest_by_subregion

Market seasonality – With Google Trends, it’s easier to see and understand market seasonality. The dramatic change in demand for a product at some point in each year is important, and you can draw ideas to understand when such products are needed most.

google_trends_season_trends

When you set out to have some products, it’s necessary to spend time and understand their search volume. When you do, you avoid costly mistakes that will most probably haunt your ecommerce business in the future.

Measuring Competition

When you conduct competitor analysis on your potential market, you can get tricky results that might make you want to back out. Considering the already established players, you’ll find it difficult to build traffic and compete.

While some dropshipping stores go for paid advertising, others count on search engines to scale their business. Now, to measure competition, you need to study the sites listed organically on the search engine’s first page. To evaluate competitors, we’ll be looking at four metrics. With these, you’ll understand how easy or hard it will be to outrank your competitors.

Quality backlinks

Organic search traffic can be achieved through backlinking. Not just backlinking, but quality backlinking. Links remain one of the ways search engines determine the level of trustworthiness of a site. In as much as backlinking works, acquiring it via blackhat tactics could haunt your site.

Search engines see each link back to your site as a vote of confidence. Of course, you must have something of value to give before a site redirects their visitors to yours. Although there are no perfect specifics Google released regarding how it measures a site’s credibility, there are some tools to use in finding a site’s credibility. However, most of these tools focus on domain authority.

Domain authority

Developed by Moz, domain authority predicts the ranking potentials of websites on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This score often ranges from 1-100. Domain authority evaluation foots on many factors including total links, root domains, among others. The score obtained can be used when evaluating the ranking strength of a site or when making comparisons.

Domain authority core is on a logarithmic scale of 100 points. So, a site can easily move up from 30-40 than 80-90. Sites with many quality external links score higher while sites with lesser inbound links have lower DA score. You don’t just need a high DA score but should aim at having a higher score than your immediate competitors.

Influencing domain authority directly is not an easy task, it’s a collection of link data, metrics among other things that influence the authority score. The proven and right way to scale up your DA score is by improving the general SEO of your site. Strive to work on your link profile and get more links from other pages. While domain authority caters to the overall website, page authority caters to specific pages on a website.

When you must have made necessary competitor analysis and find products to sell, you need an easy way to get these products. Ali2Woo comes in handy here. With Ali2Woo, you can import various products to your store with just a few clicks. It’s easy and simple – you just need to get started, time is ticking.

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