There are two things you need to know about making sales from dropshipping:
- You won’t sell if all you do is build an e-commerce website; if that alone was all that was needed to start making sales, everyone would set up dropshipping websites. A dropshipping business is hard work just like any other business. The point is that you have to build awareness of your business in order to draw people to your site, so you have to promote it.
- But making sales from a new dropshipping startup is not only dependent on marketing. You can have a great marketing strategy in place, but there are other elements that are needed to maximize sales.
So then, how do you land your first sales?
Let’s jump in.
Use elements to build trust
With all the scams and so much fraud, people are not quick to make purchases online, if the store is relatively unknown. In fact, it is rare for a person to make a purchase the first time they visit any website.
It’s easier to get people to part with their hard-earned money in a physical shop, compared to an online one, and this is even more so with an unknown brand.
There have to be elements on your website that help to build trust; to tell people that it’s safe to buy from you.
Your website design should be professional, and you must include shipping costs upfront, or you’ll experience a high cart abandonment rate. Add lots of detail for each product, and include views to zoom or show different angles of the product. Very importantly, the buying process must be easy and fast.
It is more affordable to use an eCommerce platform instead of hiring a web developer.
Example of a bad website design (the image is too small, the product name should be bigger, the text is hard to read and the buy button should stand out more).
Example of a well-designed website design.
As far as possible, make sure that you include these on your website, as they help to build trust which is key with online buying:
- Trust seals
- Social proof
Short term wins
What you need to make your first sales with a dropshipping startup, are some quick wins to motivate you and get some money into the kitty for longer-term marketing strategies.
Once you’ve got some quick wins tucked under your belt, you should start focussing on long term planning, like social media marketing and content marketing, which we’ll touch on briefly below.
So let’s talk short term wins…
Statistics show that most people do not make purchases the first time they land on a website, so it is essential to get them to return.
Now, you can do that with email marketing, but that’s a longer-term plan, so how do you get people to return for a quick win?
The way to get quickest results is to set up a Facebook ad campaign that sends people to a product page.
Once you’ve run your campaign, you can get those same people who viewed your product page, to return by setting up a retargeting Facebook ad with these options:
- Viewed or added to cart but did not purchase
- Added to cart but did not purchase
- Upsell products to people who viewed your products
- Cross-sell products to people who viewed products
- Custom combination
Long term planning
Now that you’ve had some quick wins, you‘ll need to start implementing longer-term marketing strategies for better sustainability, and which will eventually not require ad spend as your only source of marketing.
Included in long term planning should be:
- Social media marketing on the right channels. For example, you need to know your target audience and where they hang out. If your target persona was a young adult, for example, it would be better to focus your attention on Instagram rather than Facebook, but if your audience is in their 40’s, Facebook is the better option.
- Content marketing is all about adding regular content to your website, so that search engines rank your site. The better your content (as in blog posts), and the more you upload, the more your ranking improves. The goal is to add value to consumers looking for products like yours, so that search engines add your website to their search results and send the right traffic to your business.
- Email marketing works with social media marketing and content marketing. The goal is to get as many of the right people as possible on your mailing list so that you can nurture them as leads, and get them to eventually buy from you.
Ideally, your dropshipping startup would implement strategies that involve both paying for Facebook and search engine advertising, in combination with long term marketing strategies. That way, the ads will bring in quick money while you wait for the longer-term marketing strategy results to kick in.
That’s a wrap
To land your first sales from a dropshipping startup, make sure the basics are in place – things like website design and trust elements are crucial in e-commerce.
The best way to make sales fast is through a Facebook ad campaign, and to get people to return to your website, run a retargeting campaign.
Once you make your first sales, be sure to plan for a longer-term marketing strategy that combines ad spend, SEO and email marketing.