Updated: May 18
Dropshipping has exploded in popularity in recent years and is set to reach even higher heights over the coming decade. Naturally, this is a very attractive proposition and might well be something that you are either considering, have just started or are already situated within. Here at ShopHub, we want to facilitate your success and therefore, this handy guide will take you through ten of our very best hacks in order to get your Shopify dropshipping store off to a flying start. Within this little nugget of wisdom will lie some more conventional advice and maybe a couple of things you won’t have considered, regardless, all ten are guaranteed to level up your dropshipping game.
1. Find Your Niche
This is by far the biggest hack when it comes to dropshipping and possibly not for the reasons you might be expecting. This is the most common tip given for those struggling with dropshipping on Shopify, and often the reason behind such a tip follow the familiar line of “you need to find an idea that no one else is doing”. However, in our experience that is not true. Finding your niche is not about finding some far flung corner of Shopify that no one else has taken advantage of yet, finding your niche is far easier than that.
Your niche should be something that impassions you, that you are genuinely interested and invested in. This is what will drive your business and keep you going in the long run. You do not have to be dropshipping products that differ massively to your competitors, all you need to find your niche is your own perspective on something you are enthusiastic about and a way to monetize it.
Find your niche.
2. Do Not Under-price Yourself
This links very nicely with the above hack and has everything to do with your mindset as a dropshipper. Shopify is full of many other people fulfilling a very similar service to you and so it can be hard to feel like what you offer is anything different from the norm. You might even be tempted to lower your prices in order to do stand out from the crowd- some of you may have already done this. However, this is fools gold and is not a sustainable strategy for your business, here is why…
Lowering your prices only serves to achieve one thing and one thing only- it degrades the value you yourself place on your service. You should value your niche since any good niche is an extension of your perspective on something your have passion for. That deserves value. Your customers themselves will respect the value that you place on your own services and will buy from you for that reason.
Do not under-price yourself.
3. Sort a Solid Supply Chain
Who knew this blog would become news related, but supply chain issues have impacted some of the largest companies in the world in recent years and millions are invested every year by said companies in shoring them up. Our advice for you budding Shopify dropshippers out there is to follow suit and find ways of securing your own supply chains.
I am sure many of you will ship products from abroad, many of you will then ship those products to customers who live abroad and so, whether you like it or not, you are apart of a supply chain. Securing your supply chain will allow you the golden liberty of thinking long term- you can plan orders, stock products, guarantee deliveries. Long term thought is what will send your Shopify store to the next level and allow you to innovate where your competitors don’t.
Sort a solid supply chain.
4. Establish a Solid Brand
This is another piece of conventional wisdom which we have decided to include because it answers a question posed earlier. If you cast your minds back a few moments, you will remember that we warned you about under-pricing yourself in order to stand out. Well, that’s all well and good, you might think, but how do I differentiate myself from everyone else? Your brand is the answer.
Your brand is larger than simply the logo and tagline on your Shopify website or products, your brand is the ethos, inspiration, product range, type and specification. A strong brand will attract customers and keep them coming back, because a strong brand is memorable. If your brand is based around sustainability, look to use sustainable packaging for your products or maybe choose delivery methods with a small environmental impact. If your brand is based around establishing a community, look to provide hashtags to be used online or look to collect testimonials from customers.
Establish a solid brand.
5. Make use of Social Media
You might have noticed that nowhere have we mentioned anything about marketing, really any blog post that failed to mention it would not be complete. However, we thought that we would take a different approach to this fact- instead of telling you that you need some form of marketing, we will tell you the best way to market your Shopify business.
If you can make use of social media to market your Dropshipping business then you immediately open yourself up to millions of potential customers, using posts that can be created in minutes and cost nothing. Utilising social media is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to market yourself to others and takes surprisingly little effort. Advertising is also possibly on almost every form of social media now with tools to direct your posts to specific demographics, often at prices cheaper than traditional advertising agencies.
Make use of social media.
6. Be Careful With Expansion
Expansion is always tempting with a dropshipping business, especially when you start to increase sales and receive orders. However, we would advise a healthy dose of scepticism, and here is why.
One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other. - Chinese Proverb
Expansion can take multiple forms, additional products, taking on more customers, maybe even expanding the staff. Either way one should be watchful of this as dropshipping cannot guarantee a steady income and you do not want to end up in the situation where you cannot afford to pay for your new expansion or do not know month to month whether you can.
Now, we are not saying to not expand because expansion is an essential part of any business, just when you do, make sure you do it well.
Be careful with expansion.
7. Have a Personal Touch
It is very easy to feel like your Shopify website will become swamped by larger sites who will swoop in and steal your hard earned customers. Every advantage you could possibly conceive of lies with the larger companies… All bar one.
When dealing with larger companies, it feels like an impersonal interaction- the company does not care for you, and you do not care for the company. This is where you are different, by adding a personal touch to every interaction you have with customers or potential customers you differentiate yourself further and make that interaction memorable. People like to feel important and so by adding a little thank you note, or a written email explaining what their purchase has done, you can frame their support as something that is mutually beneficial for both parties. Do note that this also goes a long way to building your brand.
Have a personal touch.
8. Keep in the Loop
A second advantage that you have over larger dropshipping businesses is that you can handle orders, disputes and returns quickly. Naturally the larger your business the more clients you have to deal with and the longer it takes to deal with each one
As a smaller business you have the advantage of being able to reply quickly to customers and sort issues effectively, much like this bee. This lessons the reputational damage that complaints do and in the long run will only serve to hold your dropshipping business in high regard.
Keep in the loop.
9. Develop a Proper Complaints Procedure
This links well with our above tip and is just as important. At some point in your dropshipping life you will face an unsatisfied customer and, your fault or not, you will have to handle the situation with a degree of professionalism.
This manifests itself in a complaint’s procedure, not necessarily so that your customers can see what they are entitled to, but more so that you can treat each situation fairly and consistently. This will save you a headache as you try and figure out how to appease your customers and is essential as you dropship to countries further afield.
Develop a proper complaints procedure.
10. Have Patience
Do not be fooled, just because we have decided to leave this till last does not mean it is of any less value than the previous nine. In fact, one could argue this is the premier dropshipping hack. Starting a business on Shopify, let alone dropshipping, is difficult and will take time. Therefore, it's advisable to prescribe a hefty amount of patience with any Shopify based venture. A patient dropshipper is a successful one.
Patience and foresight are the two most important qualities in business. - Henry Ford
Now we have not been entirely honest with you. The title is rather misleading because we specifically mentioned ten hacks, however, we actually have a bonus eleventh hack.
11. Use ShopHub
We know this is shameless self-advertising but just hear us out.
Online loyalty and reward cards are a brilliant way of making sure customers want to return to your Shopify store. In fact, there is no better way to convince shoppers to return to your site than a loyalty program with 83% of loyalty program members saying that a rewards program makes them continue to buy from a business, don’t believe us check here for the facts. That is exactly what ShopHub is and can take your dropshipping to new levels.
Sadly that really is all we have today but do make sure to check out our other blog posts ram packed with useful content for all Shopify store owners. Also, make sure to click that big yellow button above that will send you straight into ShopHub's wonderland.
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