How to be a successful dropshipper : Hear from 4 of our Top Selling Retailers

This week we’ve decided to take a back seat and let our members lead the discussion. Starting an ecommerce store is no easy task, so we want to hear from the experts on how they faced the challenges that so many of our retailers are facing today.

We reached out to some of our most successful retailers to ask them a set of questions to help explore all the different strategies they’ve employed and more importantly, which ones are working.

First, a quick introduction.

Wild Dill is a kids online store that specializes in eco-friendly, fair trade products. They are known for carrying top quality, adorable clothes and accessories.

Maison Du Roi is an ecommerce site selling beautiful womenswear, accessories and handbags from emerging labels.

Style & Pose is a site with curated emerging designers. They have a particularly great selection of bridesmaid dresses as well.

StyleInvyte is a trendy online boutique offering cutting edge brands from all over the world. With a background in brick and mortar stores, the owners are bringing the boutique experience online.

 

What is the biggest challenge your business is facing right now?

Will Dill: Figuring out where to spend marketing dollars. I’m testing Facebook ads right now and there is a huge learning curve. I’ve found the ‘experts’ all disagree on what the best approach is on Facebook ads so really I just need to keep testing and hope I find the sweet spot that brings me the right kind of customers.

Maison Du Roi: Our current biggest challenge is to drive earned traffic from social channels.

Style & Pose: Accounting. I have found that it is quite difficult to accurately account for all of the different charges and costs in the sales process. For instance, I am trying to track Cost of Goods sold, but in a dropshipping environment, how many of the individual costs and fees should go to COGs? There is the cost of the product, but then there is also the dropshipping service fee and a shipping fee. Then there is also the transaction cost of processing the payment. If you have a store like mine, that means different processing costs on Paypal and Amazon payments vs a Shopify direct transaction. Unfortunately, Modalyst doesn’t track all of these costs for each transaction and attribute those fees into the invoicing. Ideally, there would be a monthly report I could pull from Modalyst that did this for me.

Our biggest challenge is where to spend our marketing dollars” – Wild Dill

StyleIvyte: I think the biggest challenge is around building our brand as an eCommerce retailer. We launched in our current form less than a year ago, so not everyone recognizes us. With brand recognition comes credibility and trust, and people need to feel comfortable that they are buying from a trusted brand. Then there is the whole loyalty aspect of things once a customer connects with a brand that resonates for them. 

 

What has been your most effective strategy for getting people to your site? 

Wild Dill: My best traffic sources are Google Search, Pinterest and my mailing list.

Maison Du Roi: Paid online advertising and a smooth conversion path experience.
Style & Pose: Pinterest. I get the majority of my website traffic from Pinterest. Buyable pins and promoted pins help as a form of paid placements, then all of those repins generate organic referral traffic.
StyleIvyte: I think Social Media has been integral in getting traffic to our site. We’ve spent quite a bit of effort on maintaining a regular publishing schedule on our social channels, primarily Facebook and Instagram. We also leverage SEO to drive traffic.

What are some ways you convert that traffic into sales?

Wild Dill: Customers are happy when they find my site because I offer products that can’t be found on Amazon or other generic websites. I really focus on making fun themed collections and feature truly unique, top quality products that meet my criteria of being fairly made and eco-friendly. Beyond product assortment, I think having a nicely designed site builds trust and sales. That includes an honest focus on customer service, free shipping and a strong brand story.

Maison Du Roi: If some traffic didn’t convert on first visit, re-targeting is my next step to get them to come back. I work with my agency bangpixels.com to run display & Facebook re-targeting to boost sales.

If traffic didn’t convert on their first visit, re-targeting through Facebook is my next step

– Maison Du Roi

Style & Pose: That is always the struggle with an ecommerce site, optimizing conversion rates. I try to focus on the products that have the best product photography for one, and put those at the forefront. Secondly I do what I can to get product reviews.

StyleInvyte: The key to that is alignment between the visitors’ needs / interests / tastes, and the page they are presented with when they land on our site. Of course, making sure that product pages are clean and straightforward, and do a good job with overall product presentation, is important too.

 

What is your favorite Modalyst feature?

Wild Dill: Add to Shopify! I love that I can easily add products when I’m launching a new themed collection without having to download images and product descriptions. The auto inventory sync is also a life saver so I can always be sure the products will be available when an order comes in.

Maison Du Roi: I love the feature that allows my suppliers to sell expedited shipping as a separate product. Now I can provide this option online and I know many of my customers are willing to pay extra for that option. It has been a major booster for my sales.
Style & Pose: I love that orders sync to the appropriate designer/supplier in Modalyst. That way all I need to do is pay. It is nice that once the supplier fulfills the items, that also syncs to Shopify and the customer is notified.
I feel like this should totally be automated. As in, I put my credit card on file and that way as new orders comes in it will simply purchase the product for me. Perhaps like amazon there could be a few hours after the transaction that would be for cancellation if necessary, but generally speaking that would be ideal.

 

StyleInvyte: The fact that Modalyst integrates with Shopify and essentially maintains inventory automatically in real time. Having to maintain an inventory of thousands of products manually or by bulk spreadsheet uploads would take a ton of time and/or a team of people to manage. 

 

What are some strategies you have employed? Share your stories by commenting below!

 

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How to be a successful dropshipper : Hear from 4 of our Top Selling Retailers
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How to be a successful dropshipper : Hear from 4 of our Top Selling Retailers
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This week we've decided to take a back seat and let our members lead the discussion. Starting an ecommerce store is no easy task, so we want to hear from the experts on how they faced the challenges that so many of our retailers are facing today.
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Modalyst, Inc
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4 thoughts on “How to be a successful dropshipper : Hear from 4 of our Top Selling Retailers

  1. Very informative article! As a supplier, it’s always interesting to hear from the other side. Appreciate the insight from the dropshippers about how they choose products!

  2. Oh my, I was just googling re-targeting the other day! Is it the same thing as what Shopify Kit does?

    @Maison, How much do you pay for re-targeting?

  3. It’s great to hear from other online retailers who are making a success of their businesses. I like the format, interview questions and information shared here. Great info! I’m a big fan of modalyst and appreciate the informative information shared on the blog. Thank you!

    Heather @ Style*Mind*Chic Boutique

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