If you’re familiar with the world of e-commerce, you will have come across the business model known as drop shipping. If you’re new to drop shipping, it can be hard to get your head around the idea of running an online store without having any stock. Dropshipping is essentially selling products via a third-party supplier or manufacturer, which means you don’t have to buy in bulk or deal with shipping. Once you understand how dropshipping works, you will see that it is one of the most effective models for small and new online businesses.
However, if you take the dropshipping route you will still need to know how to turn your online store into a successful business. You will need to know how to attract customers and drive sales
Here are five hacks that will help you to optimize your conversions and get traction for your dropshipping business.
1. Get great pictures/videos of products
Think about what you want to see when you’re shopping online. What makes you want to buy something?
The best thing you can do is add detailed images to your product listings so that customers know exactly what they’re getting. Having high-quality product images might be a challenge for a dropshipping store as not all suppliers and manufacturers invest in pixel-perfect photos. You should take the initiative. If a supplier’s photos aren’t up to scratch, ask for product samples that you can photograph yourself. Photograph them from different angles, in context, and make them zoomable.
If you want to win at visual commerce, use product videos to stand out from the competition. If your competitors already have a video strategy in place, there’s still room for differentiation and creativity. Video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, and viewers are anywhere from 64% to 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.
To maximize the chances of that happening, use videos on individual product pages. You want videos strategically placed in the areas of your site where they can make the most impact. The closer you place videos to conversion points, the more effective they will be.
However, a video on your landing page can boost conversion rates by 80%.
2. Find your rockstars
If you’ve heard about product-market fit, then you already know how important this is for your business, not to mention your conversion rate.
The rule is simple:
- Find out how well your products fit the demand within your market and
- Find out whether or not they sell
Try different marketing campaigns to see what your customers want to buy and showcase different products on your homepage. Test, test, test as much as you can to learn about your niche, your audience and run marketing campaigns for each product to find out which ones are most successful.
The safest way is by identifying and solving customer pain points. What kind of products can you deliver to solve those problems? This might be something that’s not always achievable as not all products solve a clear problem, but here’s where a copywriter can do magic.
If you’re more of a pragmatic type, then go ahead and conduct keyword research, ask your customers about their everyday struggles and capitalize on trends. This may seem like common sense, but it’s incredible how many companies ignore these steps. Test everything and trust your data.
3. Develop a smarter on-site search engine
If you don’t use your on-site search to its full potential, you’ll potentially be leaving a lot of money on the table.
Your shoppers don’t have the time to check every typo or navigate through pages with irrelevant products. They want accurate, intuitive search suggestions, and they want them now. Not refining your site search can cause you to lose a lot of money. Websites with highly optimized search engines see an 82% improvement in conversion rates.
Machine Learning techniques boost the ability of internal website searches to understand customers’ intent (i.e. identify the typos, recognize synonyms, show related products) as opposed to focusing only on specific keywords.
If you want to achieve state-of-the-art results with your on-site search engine, make sure you introduce voice search features and image recognition technology.
One of the most hyped technologies introduced in the last few years, Voice Search is the fastest growing search method worldwide. Last year, 20% of all mobile queries were voice searches, and by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches, according to comScore (this is also why you should build a “mobile first” website).
Voice search is unconsciously changing your customers’ behavior as well. Instead of searching for “women red dresses”, your customers will ask, “Find me a perfect red dress for my girlfriend”. That’s why you should start investing in your search engine now.
Your on-site search should act as close to a real personal assistant as possible. In fact, e-commerce sites that provide smart search engines and image recognition features have seen a spectacular boost in sales, especially from mobile users.
4. Reconsider your shipping costs strategy
Let's say your customers find three amazing dresses on your website, they go to the checkout page and then... they get hit with shipping rates. Suddenly, a product they thought had a fair price is starting to seem a little too expensive. From there, either they decide to push the “buy” button despite the increased costs, or they abandon their cart. Guess what 98% of users do?
If you notice a significant drop-off on your shipping calculator page, you might want to consider your shipping strategy.
- Free shipping - this is a sure-fire way to get a customer's attention. 9 out of 10 consumers say that free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online more, but it can also potentially cut into your profits. To avoid that, you could try offering free shipping with a minimum order amount or a minimum number of items instead.
- Flat rate - This is a great strategy since it can be easily implemented and offers a calculated way of managing your costs, but it requires a bit of preparation as you need to figure out your average cost of shipping per package. However, you should be doing this anyway as you don't want to undercharge or overcharge your customers.
- Charge what you get charged - The simplest formula is to pass the shipping cost to your customer. Once a customer gets to the checkout, they select where they want their order shipped to and the calculator does the rest. I encourage you to use a real-time calculator that shows that you aren't overcharging for shipping or increasing your item prices to cover the charges. This can win you a lot of trust with your customers.
Do the best you can to make sure that your suppliers fulfill orders as quickly as possible. Clearly state the delivery time and provide excellent customer service.
5. Clear calls to action
One would say that design, UX (User Experience), product images and the navigation flow are your key features to nail the competition and impress your clients. I would say that copy forms are the real foundation of your brand. It’s the tone of voice, product descriptions, friendly and actionable calls to action that leave a lasting impression on your customers.
Three of your biggest challenges are informing your customers about your products, evoking emotions that drive action, and building brand values that foster long-lasting relationships with your users. Just to be clear, a website’s copy isn’t about fancy words or metaphorical descriptions, it’s about knowing, understanding and clearly communicating your key value propositions.
After focusing on copy and value proposition throughout their site, Invesp increased conversion rates for BlogTalk Radio and Oreilly by over 90%. 90%! Can you imagine that?
Make sure you have a strong focus on your CTAs. They tell your visitors what actions to take, what path to travel through your website, and eventually how to accomplish their goal.
The web is a place where attention spans are painfully short. If you want to be one step ahead of your drop shipping competitors, focus on brainstorming, evaluate your conversions, survey your customers, find your leaks, test any creative solutions that you might have and remember: assumptions are blind and hypotheses guide.