Dropshipping has boomed over recent years, allowing anyone to become an entrepreneur easily online. But if you’re wondering how to market dropshipping websites, for yourself or a client, this post takes a look at the market and shares 10 tips for success.
What is dropshipping?
If you’re considering getting into dropshipping but aren’t quite sure what it is, let’s start there.
Dropshipping is a business model where you don’t need to hold any inventory. All you do is advertise, purchase and ship the product for your customer.
You’re not the one producing it or stocking it which means you don’t need a lot of upfront capital or a lot of storage room. Essentially, you just facilitate a sale between an end-user and a wholesaler or manufacturer.
Lots of sellers on Amazon and eBay are dropshippers, and you may have even seen the ads on YouTube selling the dream of a dropshipping lifestyle. While you may want to take those with a pinch of salt (dropshipping isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme), dropshipping is a legitimate business model that serves a variety of needs and can help bring in some additional income at the very least.
Globally, the dropshipping market is expected to grow by 29% between 2020 and 2025, bringing in 111.28 US dollars in 2018. That means there’s plenty of opportunities for those yet to enter the scene.
How to market dropshipping websites
Whether it’s your own dropshipping website or a client’s, marketing is key to bringing in custom. These days it’s easier and easier to compare prices and sellers online, so most dropshipping websites are operating in a competitive field and profit margins may be tight. Therefore you need to know how to set yourself apart.
Take a look at our 10 tips for successful dropshipping marketing.
1. Design a user-friendly website
Dropshipping websites don’t need to be overly expensive, but they do need to look professional and do the job of converting your traffic into custom. For instance, many users will buy via their smartphone, so you’ll want to have a responsive website that’s easy for customers to navigate, with a user-friendly and engaging design.
Many dropshippers choose to set up with Shopify. They have professional-looking templates that are easy to customise for the novice web developer; all you need to do is enter in your product’s information. However, there are plenty of other websites to choose from, including WooCommerce supported by WordPress.
You want your website to be high-converting, so you’ll need your web pages to sell the perks of buying with you (i.e. your USPs). Your product descriptions and landing pages will need to employ the skills of persuasive copywriting, and design-wise you need to minimise the number of obstacles to users making a sale. Getting to grips with user experience (UX) is also key for a successful dropshipping site.
2. Stock well & widely
A good strategy is to stock a mix of trending products and everyday staples that don’t go out of fashion as regularly.
According to Shopify, some of the most popular dropshipping products of 2021 include yoga mats, face masks (unsurprisingly), vitamin C serum and electric toothbrushes!
You might want to think about the kinds of products that encourage repeat custom so shoppers have a reason to come back to you.
If you’re able to handle the potential volume of orders, you could also look at selling beyond your website and including links to these other avenues, such as a shop on eBay, Amazon and other marketplaces.
3. Get connected
Once you’re up and running, one of the best ways to market your dropshipping business is to be active on social media. Choose the best platforms for you by researching which ones your target market uses and how oversaturated they are with your product.
Some platforms lend themselves better to photogenic or lifestyle products, such as Instagram and Pinterest, whereas other social media are more suited to B2B products.
Likewise, one of the best ways to improve customer retention and convert leads into sales is by making sure you’re providing great customer service and support on your website and social media channels. Customers want quick responses, so ensure you respond as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. You may want to consider adding live chat to your website.
4. Run competitions and promotions
A great way to boost income and reduce outgoings is to run multi-buy promotions. Offer discounts on multiple items to incentivise the customer or upsell other more luxury products at the point of checkout.
Similarly, you can run competitions on your social media channels in return for followers sharing or engaging with your posts.
5. Make pricing simple
An easy way to convert more customers is to offer a simple pricing plan and easy returns. If you can, offer free shipping and absorb the costs in your fees. Customers will be incentivised if they know upfront that they won’t have to face unknown costs at the point of checkout.
If you do go down the free shipping route, make sure you make this clear with a banner at the top of your website and in your meta data for landing pages so that customers see this even before they land on your site.
6. Add a blog
An engaging and affordable way to market your dropshipping website is with a blog. Create a content schedule and post regularly about topics related to your business and things your customers are interested in.
For instance, you could provide guides and tutorials to using your products, share tips and discuss other issues around your central ethos, whether that’s sustainability or making parents’ lives easier.
Make sure your posts are compelling and link back to the products you’re selling on your site, with links to click through and buy them directly from there too.
7. Embrace video marketing
If you really want to make an impact, consider marketing using video. It can be more expensive to set up than a blog, but it’s possible you’ll be able to reach an even wider audience.
YouTube is the second largest search engine, behind Google. And according to statistics, marketers who use video increase their revenue 49% quicker than those that don’t.
Consider producing short video tutorials of your products, or Q&A videos where customers can interact with you in real-time.
8. Set up an email list
Encouraging customers to join your mailing list is a top way to reduce your customer spend as retention costs much less than trying to woo new sales. Put together a content campaign to build your mailing list by having landing pages and blog posts that encourage users to sign up, adding reminders to invoices and email receipts, as well as incentives such as discounts on future purchases.
Once you’ve built your mailing list, communicate! Don’t just bombard them with salesy emails every day though; put together a carefully thought out schedule that includes some promotional messages and some insightful content.
9. Create shareable content
This one is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. You’ll be able to generate interest in your products and services if you can create content that is worth sharing with friends on social media or other blogs. Your content should be a mix of informative, sales-led and simply entertaining. Include strong images and gripping headlines or tag lines and you’ll be sure to make an impact. Most of all, link back to your website’s pages!
10. Get to grips with SEO
Optimising your content for search engines is important, so consider doing some online courses to get you up to speed. These will explain about the importance of keywords, how to lay out your content so that it’s Google and reader-friendly, and how to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing.
Shopify have a great video guide on how to rank your new dropshipping website:
Once you know what keywords you’re targeting and how to use them, you’ll be able to optimise your blog content, website pages and product descriptions.
11. Have a strategy
Above all, don’t start a dropshipping business without a strategy. This should include everything from how you’ll run the business to how you’ll market it, who you’re approaching and how you’ll deliver these marketing messages. It might help to take a look at our blog post on how to create a content marketing plan to give you some ideas.
Ready to set up and market your dropshipping website?
People are always looking for new ways to make money online, and dropshipping is a great way to do that. It’s also one of the fastest-growing sectors in e-commerce, with plenty of room for expansion. However, don’t take your chances. Invest in a solid business strategy and content marketing plan and you’ll be in a good position to reap the rewards.