Success in dropshipping is particularly dependent on marketing compared to other forms of online retail. Though you do not need to manufacture your products or hold inventory, the challenging part is letting people know about your business and convincing them why your merchandise is worth their attention. Doing so is especially tricky for dropshippers because there might be many stores online selling the same products from the same suppliers. Why should people buy from you and not your competitors, even if your prices are the same? The answer lies in branding and customer experience.
Customers are purchasing products from you, true. But think of it this way: if you are at a local craft fair and find two stalls selling the same bracelets for the same cost, would you rather do business with the merchant who makes you feel like a burden or the one who is unabashed about showing how much she appreciates you? Even if you are dropshipping similar products as other sellers, there are still additional, valuable things you can add to the transaction. Here are a few tips for enhancing your brand and making it stand out to new and current customers alike if you are offering trending products to sell from home:
Operate in a niche corner of the market
When you need to learn something, do you turn to a generalist or a specialist? Even if your question is not particularly specific, you will most likely turn to a specialist first. This pattern applies in commerce: if you are looking for a particular kind of furniture, you will head to a furniture store instead of a general department store because the former will have more knowledge and a broader range of options. To make your brand stand out amongst other dropshipping stores, establish yourself as an expert in your industry and offer an assortment of products within your niche.
Offer top-notch customer service
People might not be more inclined to talk about positive customer experiences than negative, but they do remember them. You’ll retain more customers if you are quick to answer their questions and solve any issues that arise. Make yourself readily available by email, phone, or social media direct messaging. Let your customers know that they are not just a means to a profit for you.
Give customers reasons to be loyal
If you want customers to appreciate you, you need to give them a reason to believe why you are legitimately more worth their time and money than your competitors. Michael Olguin says for Entrepreneur:
“Love for a brand typically grows from a small group of extremely passionate consumers who truly believe in its mission, the quality of its product(s) and the way the brand communicates. For example, Method wanted to reinvent the hand soap category by creating a cleaner, greener and more vertically integrated offering, which it did to create an amazing passion brand. Thus it is inherent upon any company desiring to be perceived as a passion brand to create a ‘reason to believe’—a passion point that consumers can rally around.”
Olguin warns that if customers don’t have a reason to believe, then you become a commodity. So, make yourself into a company and offer products consumers can get behind—and let it permeate every aspect of your business.
Stand for something more than profit
Be about more than making money. The best companies are socially aware and active companies. How can you do some good in the world? How can you make your community and communities afar better places? Not only is standing for something more good for business (customers appreciate knowing that when they do business with you, their money does more than simply give them a product and you a profit), it’s the right thing to do.
Make the purchasing process easy
Isn’t it frustrating when you find an online store with lots of items you are excited about, but the website is outdated, and the checkout process is long? Do not make your potential customers jump through hoops just to pay you. Streamline the checkout process so that it doesn’t include multiple pages for entering lots of information people are not comfortable giving away.
Pay attention to your competitors
Pay attention to what your competitors are doing. If you want to stand out, then you need to know what they are offering and how to improve upon it. While you should never outright copy your competitors’ creative property (such as unique products or social media content), it’s okay to mimic strategies that you see working for them and avoid techniques that are driving people away. You and your competitors can learn from each other.
Dropshipping takes a great deal of branding. How do you plan to distinguish yourself from the rest of the ecommerce crowd?