If you have your own ecommerce store, you’re sitting on a gold mine of opportunity. Unlike the strict requirements of Amazon and eBay, you have the freedom to do what you want. You can optimize your store how you like, feature a blog, and market to whomever however you want.
With this type of power comes a lot of options, and it can get confusing when you try to figure out the fastest path to a successful dropshipping store. Everyone jumps into drop shipping thinking it will be a quick route to a six-figure income, but within a month or two they realize they have to generate their own traffic and create the store themselves, from scratch.
If you’re climbing the dropshipping ladder of success, here are 50 tips that will help you get ahead of the competition.
1. Provide Ample Payment Options
Payment is the most important thing to think about with a dropshipping store because you want to get paid, right? There are a right and a wrong way to do things. You want to provide enough payment options, so you don’t drive away customers, but you also want to keep things simple and streamlined.
One great idea is to allow sellers to save their payment information by creating an account. This will make them feel like coming back again is worth it. You also want to offer options like Paypal, debit/credit, cryptocurrency, and wire transfer.
2. Spread the Word on Social
Since you’re not piggybacking off traffic like you would on Amazon or eBay, you need to create the traffic yourself. This is hard to do, especially in the beginning without paying for it. Advertising on social media is the simplest and most straightforward way to build traffic when you are just starting.
There are so many ways to advertise, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Some of the most successful online stores got their start with a great viral Facebook ad. Be sure to use all analytics tools available to track the success of your ads.
3. Have an SEO Blog
If you are not too interested in the paid advertising route, you could always go for the “low and slow” method of ranking relevant content using SEO. Useful articles packed neatly with SEO keywords allow you to entertain, enlighten, and fill your wallet with each article you create.
A blog is an excellent way for you to connect to your customers and show them that there is a real person behind this store. People buy into people, not into stuff. Use SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner to choose keywords and gauge competitiveness.
4. Make the Store SEO Friendly
Since we’re on the topic of SEO, we need to talk about the store and website itself. The most crucial factor for generating traffic to a website is how well the website ranks and performs. To rank high in the search engines, you need to have plenty of relevant keywords included in your website in a way that makes sense.
If you sell scuba diving suits and you go off on a rant talking about lawnmowers on the main page of your website, that will obviously not help you rank for people looking for scuba suits. You want to keep the content on your website congruent with what you are selling.
Use Google Keyword Planner and Long Tail Pro for keyword research. If you are planning to open a new store, I recommend doing this research first so you can choose your niche before creating the store.
5. Optimize for Mobile
Business Insider says that 45% of all online shopping will get done via mobile in 2020. This is no surprise to anyone because more and more people are stepping away from the computer and doing everything on mobile-friendly apps. If your store is not designed around the mobile experience, I can almost guarantee you are losing sales.
You need to optimize for mobile first and make sure your site looks and works incredibly on all devices. Avoid long blocks of text and make sure you get to the point quickly when someone lands on a page.
6. Consider Free Shipping
Everywhere you look, someone is offering free shipping, and you need to do the same thing. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target, Lowes, everyone has free shipping with little restrictions. If someone finds something in your store that they love they may become turned off by the fact that they have to pay $6.00 for shipping, even if you price your products accordingly.
7. Spy on Your Competition
I can’t think of a better example than the Mcdonalds and Burger King comparison. I don’t know if Burger King ever comes up with their ideas because everything they sell is based off an item at another fast food restaurant, usually Mcdonalds.
Is this a smart or dumb thing to do? I think it’s brilliant to pay attention to what your competitors are doing and piggyback off their success. You should do the same with your dropshipping store.
8. High-Quality Photos
We’re all about appearance and images, and this reigns true for your ecommerce store as well. You need to provide a ton of amazing images on your store to make a great impression. When we can’t step foot into your store and touch the product with our hands, we need to get the full experience from looking at it online.
The only way to do this is through clear, high-resolution images that pop.
9. Push for Social Shares
If you’re looking for an incredibly quick way to skyrocket your success, get a lot of word of mouth marketing for your store. Social proof is everything, and when you are an unknown store that doesn’t have a huge following, people need to realize that you are reputable and legit.
10. Utilize Email Marketing
Having an email marketing list is one of the most powerful tools in ecommerce. With a list, you can send out targeted messages to specific groups of buyers that address their needs and wants. By appealing to their unique interests, you are speaking their language directly.
To do this, you first need to start collecting people’s information, and most stores do this with a pop-up window or by offering an incentive in exchange for their email. You could offer 10% off in your store if they sign up for your newsletter — something along those lines.
11. Don’t Forget Refund and Money-Back
Everyone always looks for your refund and money-back policy. Make sure you offer a generous one, and it is clearly stated all over each product description.
12. Don’t Skimp on Web Design
Expectations are high these days, and people judge how reputable someone is based on how their website looks. The visual presentation is essential, so make sure you don’t skimp when designing your website.
13. Have a Thorough “About Us”
Customers love to know that there is someone behind the mask with drop shipping stores. It’s easy to set up a website and start selling things, but it’s more challenging to make a connection with people. Make sure your “about us” page gives customers an inside look into who you are and what you’re about.
14. Consider Partnering Up
Show people who you work with and if there are some well-known companies, make sure they know that. This is another form of social proof. If potential customers see that reputable companies support you, they’ll be more likely to spend money in your drop shipping store.
15. Have a Great Support Team
In my opinion, this is a huge deal breaker. If I reach out to ask a question, I expect a quick and thorough response. Make sure you have a live chat on your store and that you are answering inquiries within the first few minutes they come in. If it takes you 24 hours to get back to someone, that customer is gone. You could always outsource this if you have a little revenue.
16. Push for Product Reviews
Another form of social proof is reviews. People are more inclined to buy something if they see that someone else bought it and had a good experience. Encourage customers to provide feedback after making a purchase. Make sure you’re selling follow-up emails and incentivize by offering a percentage off their next purchase if they leave a review.
17. Track Everything
The greatest advantage that online stores have over traditional brick-and-mortar is the ability to track every eyeball. Use the great tools you have available to you. Make sure you have the FB Pixel set up properly if you are using paid ads and use Google Analytics to track all your traffic.
18. Get Public
You want to network with the right individuals in your industry. Do whatever you can to get more exposure for your drop shipping store. You could reach out to reporters, industry bloggers, social media influencers, and even other stores. Consider guest blogging as well. See if they would be willing to comment or spread the word about your store.
19. Use Drag and Drop Store Tools
Most ecommerce store owners don’t have a whole lot of coding knowledge, so that’s why drag and drop stores like Shopify are so useful. Use the built-in store features to your advantage. Make sure the design of your store aligns with what you are looking to accomplish. If you are entirely lost, consider hiring someone to design your store for you.
20. Stay True to Your Niche
Niching up is like a double-edged sword. In the beginning, it’s a great way of establishing trust with consumers because they see that you specialize in a certain product. Down the road, it limits you to that specific area, but you could always create a new store centered around a different product.
Regardless of what you choose, stay true to it. If you sell scuba diving gear, make sure your site is clear about that.
21. Keep Product Titles Simple
It might seem nice to come up with cute titles for your products, but keep things simple and straight to the point. Focus on the benefits of the product instead.
22. Keyword Research
Keep an eye on popular search terms that relate to what you’re selling. Your ecommerce store should be focused on ranking for relevant search terms.
23. Don’t Copy Descriptions
Never copy a description exactly. It’s a quick way to get penalized, but you also want to stand out in the crowd.
24. Utilize People’s Pain Points
When you are explaining the benefits of your product, make sure you be clear about how it solves their problem. Find the product on a website like Amazon and find the most common complaint, use that in your description.
25. Pay Attention to Load Times
How many times have you been to a website that took longer than five seconds to load, so you bounced? Enough said.
26. Don’t Forget Logistics
Whatever your shipping process is, don’t get too caught up in the fancy store design and marketing stuff. If you can’t get the products to the customers promptly, you won’t have a store to design.
27. Upsell Upsell Upsell
Never let someone go without purchasing something else to go along with it. Take a look at your average order size and think of a way to increase it. Consider bundling certain products together to stand out.
28. Use Social Proof
We’ve talked about this before, but we’ll repeat it. Use testimonials, live purchase history, reviews, whatever you need to do to prove that your products are well worth the money their spending.
29. Let Customers Know Where the Product Comes From
If your dropshipping products we’re featured somewhere, let your customers know that. If they’ve seen it on TV, make that clear in your description. Drop shipping store owners need to build trust fast.
30. Retargeting and Follow up
Your tracking everything so you can retarget abandoned carts and follow up with return customers. Make sure you don’t let anyone become a “one and done.”
31. Utilize Exit Pop-ups
Another great way to limit bouncing from your website is exit pop-ups. When someone attempts to hit the back arrow or X on your website, they’ll get prompted with a one time offer. Privy’s exit intent is a great tool.
32. Use the Best Suppliers
The only way to stand out is by selling great products amongst all the trash that is out there. Be picky with who you choose to get your products from.
33. Include an FAQ Page
Having an FAQ page on your dropshipping store is the best way to limit the amount of time you or someone else has to spend answering questions in the live chat. Make sure the FAQ page is clear, so people know you have one.
34. Use Urgency and Scarcity
We frown upon creating false scarcity but having a countdown timer is a great way to boost sales. You need to make sure you let the offer expire at the end of the countdown. The customer should not refresh and see that it started over again, that will burn all the credibility you worked so hard to build.
35. Automate Your Marketing
If the whole marketing your dropshipping store seems like too much; you could outsource the whole thing if you have the budget for it. There are plenty of people and businesses out there who focus on getting sales for ecommerce stores.
36. Diversify Marketing Platforms
Don’t be afraid to cross over and market your store on as many platforms as possible. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Snapchat.
37. Personalize Your Brand
Some of the most popular online stores are so successful because they created this incredible brand that people recognize. Think of the “Squatty Potty.” It all started with their viral Youtube ad and but it was memorable, and they created a brand for something as silly as a stool for your toilet.
38. Use Original Content
If you are creating content for a blog or content marketing strategy, make sure it’s your own. Having your own Youtube channel with original content centered around your products is a great way to boost your sales and skip over the competition.
39. Don’t Forget User Generated Content
If you have plenty of satisfied customers, why not offer them something to do a video review of your product. If you have a unique product that people are unfamiliar with, this is a powerful strategy.
40. Have Translation Features
Cross over communication barriers by offering your ecommerce site in multiple languages, just remember that you also need to offer support in those languages as well if you take this route.
41. A/B Test Your Checkout
You should always have two variations of everything going at one time so you can test them side by side. You never know what is working unless you are testing it alongside something slightly different.
42. Get Involved in Forums
Having an online forum built into your website is a stretch, but it works well if you have a niche product. If you are selling something, people are really passionate about and enjoy discussing, a forum could be a worthwhile investment.
43. Utilize Video
Throughout your website, you should have video reviews and videos of you with the products you sell. When people see products in action on your dropshipping store, they will be more likely to pull out their wallet.
44. Push Hard With Instagram
Instagram is all about visuals, and ecommerce stores are all about visuals. Put the two together to maximize your revenue. If you sell a sexy product or something aesthetically pleasing, consider reaching out to Instagram influencers to promote it.
45. Utilize Abandoned Cart Tools
A/B testing your checkout is a great way to limit the number of abandoned carts you have. Always shift things, move things around, and add social proof to the checkout experience.
46. Sell on Multiple Platforms
Don’t limit yourself to Shopify or BigCommerce. Consider selling on Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy too.
47. Remind Wishers
If you have a wishlist tool on your store, you need to have a strategy for following up with the wishers. If they wanted something once, chances are they’ll still want it if you follow up regularly.
48. Decrease Your Steps
Always test your store to see how many steps it takes for someone to get from wanting to purchase to payment authorization. If there is anything you could remove, do it.
49. Focus on Free Marketing
Use guest posting, SEO, and other free marketing tools first. These are long-term solutions that will help you down the road. If you pair them alongside paid marketing options, in the beginning, you’ll be setting yourself up for maximum success down the road.
50. Give Away Something Amazing
Consider doing a free giveaway or promotion on social media. Some of the greatest viral posts center around free things. This is also a great way to get people to subscribe to your email list for marketing further on down the sales pipeline.
Hopefully, you found this list useful, and you can use some of these tips to either kickstart your success or scale your growth!