Have you decided to take up dropshipping? It’s a convenient business model that enables you to sell products online without needing to produce them or store inventory. Whether you are a serious dropshipper or only wanting to sell from home for extra money, dropshipping success requires branding.
There are numerous online stores out there, so what makes yours different from the rest? Out of all the businesses that have the same suppliers and sell the same products as you, why should people buy from you, not them? The reason lies in branding—so you have a lot of upfront work to do before you open your store.
Be passionate about what you are doing
You have a greater probability of success if you are passionate about the products you sell. Marketer Gary O’Toole notes:
“The most common issue I experience with dropshippers is that many look at it as a get rich quick scheme and thus try to sell products they have no emotional connection to. As a result, the due care and attention is not applied to their branding. Dropshippers who are passionate about what they sell are much more successful. Their passion comes across in the attention to detail in their branding, photography, and thoughtful social media posts.”
Your attitude towards your business endeavor will seep into your branding. People will notice if you are not particularly excited about what you are selling. Without excitement, how motivated do you think you will be to talk about your products and publish enticing content?
Pick the products you want to sell
Once you identify the kind of products that excite you, it’s time to select the particular ones you see a market for and pick a niche audience to sell to. The goal, like with any kind of retail, is to provide people with products they cannot find anywhere else for a reasonable price. Are you passionate about fashion? Clothes (which everyone needs) are an obvious choice, but maybe you can specialize in graphic T-shirts or seasonal garments. As for your audience—which helps focus your marketing efforts—perhaps you can appeal to college students, parents, athletes, artists, or people living in a specific geographical area.
What are some of the hottest niche markets, do you ask? When selecting an audience and products, it’s also important to consider what will result in repeat sales. Drop Ship Lifestyle notes that the top niches of 2018 include racing bicycle wheels (because everyone who rides a bike needs new tires eventually), grills and smokers (you can also sell woodchips, which don’t last forever), photography lights (new bulbs are necessary), and automatic pet feeders (if you sell pet food itself, you can expect more frequent sales).
Put thought into the visuals
Now it’s time to pick your brand name and conduct the more quintessential parts of “branding.” Make sure you do thorough research before settling on a title—you do not want to infringe on anyone else’s name or copyrights, which could put you at the wrong end of a lawsuit.
Put a significant amount of thought into your visuals. What will your logo look like? Even if you hire a graphic designer, you need to give them some guidelines to work with. Color, for instance, exercises more influence than you think: well-known platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Skype all use blue because the psychology of blue suggests strength and dependability. Cool colors relax viewers while warm colors excite.
Think about your fonts and icons, too. Everything that customers see and read conveys a message, so what do you want to communicate? Trust? Friendliness? Authority? All of these elements, including your slogan and more, comprise your brand “voice.”
Emphasize customer service
Say a customer buys from you because you marketed well: you reached them before a competitor did, you offered the best price, the fastest shipping times, and your branding made you seem trustworthy. However, what if something were to go wrong on your supplier’s end, and now the customer is calling you to resolve the issue? Your reputation is on the line if someone is unsatisfied with how their business experience with you went down.
Customer service makes a world of difference. You should care about your customers themselves, not just their money, so be as available as possible through multiple methods (such as via phone, email, texting, or social media direct-messaging). The way you interact with customers is a defining part of your brand and is what will encourage people to tell their peers about you. Don’t you want to be known for amiableness and quick problem-solving?
Dropshipping takes pride in its conveniences, but as a form of ecommerce, it is heavily reliant on branding and online marketing. How will you shape your brand before you sell your first product?