Dropshipping Mega Guide: The exact process we used to create two successful Shopify Stores

Table of Contents

$230,000 USD in sales in the first year without starting with much money to begin with. This is the case study of our founder Ankit, detailing how he grew his new dropshipping business without any prior experience in e-com industry. In the next year, Ankit was able to achieve over $300,000 USD in sales, bringing the two year total to over $500,000 USD Although $500,000+ is not a lot of money but we sincerely feel that this guide can help people who are just getting started with dropshipping, irrespective of what their starting budget is. Ankit started Emailwish after his initial success in dropshipping.

1.  What is Dropshipping ?

Dropshipping is something which is getting popular these days. If you don’t know what dropshipping is, here is a short introduction.
Drop shipping in truest sense means a fulfillment shipping method where a store doesn’t handle shipping/fulfillment.
This can be achieved in two ways. Either the seller buys stock and a third party handles the fulfillment process or the seller doesn’t buys stock and the fulfillment is handled by the supplier on a one-to-one basis.

In this one-to-one basis, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product. This method minimizes risk since the seller doesn’t have to buy products in bulk and has to only buy them after he has made a sale.
It is that method of not buying stock is what is known Dropshipping on the internet and that’s what we will focus on in this article.

Dropshipping isn’t just installing Oberlo and getting traffic through 5$ ad-sets on Facebook as taught by most of the gurus on YouTube and Facebook groups. It is just the basic idea of selling without having to care about fulfillment and shipping. How you execute is up to you.

Read more about dropshipping.

2.  How can you get started with Dropshipping ?

There seems to be a lot of disinformation on internet which strictly lays down a few steps as a guide to do Dropshipping. The typical guide includes, Get a Shopify Store, do $5 ads on Facebook, install Oberlo to fulfill the orders. Keep testing and add new ad sets while closing the old ones till you get lucky and get sales.
IF the product stops working, repeat until again you are left at the mercy of those 5$ ad sets.

I honestly do not believe in that. We have been able to achieve results in a way which doesn’t require you to rely on luck but instead focuses on a systematic approach to get sales which requires basic logic and mathematical skills.

2.a  Shopify vs Woocommerce ?

The first thing you need to figure out is your budget. Then be smart about how you utilize it. Although it feels like a no-brainer, but it is something so many people do not plan for. I have seen so many people spending all their money on ads within a month and then ultimately quitting. If it is your first online business, you won’t make money within the first week unless you are lucky or unless you have been working in the internet industry for some time. Don’t expect to get lucky. Make sure to give a thought to how long you want to keep trying to achieve your goals. How much time and money can you invest? A student will always have less budget but more time than a person with a day and night job. Hence the strategies will vary person to person because their own style of doing things and the resources they can put in will also be different. Always ask yourself how much you can put in, both in terms of time and money and what are your expectations.

Some people would want quicker results, many would be willing to give it what it takes, no matter what. This is where you need to evaluate what suits the best for you. I myself, never go into a project with hopes of getting rich quick and I suggest you do the same. When there is uncertainty I always try to last longer. I have used Woocommerce and Shopify both.

There is a common misconception out there that you need to start drosphipping from Shopify and put your money in Facebook ads to gain visitors. It is simply not true. If the budget is less, I suggest that one should create a website on Woocommerce and initially market the store through organic ways. To last a full year, all you have to put in is $50, assuming you have no other job to support the business and you are short on budget, Woocommerce will be the best option.

There are pros and cons of both the systems. You can self host Woocommerce but you cannot do it with Shopify. Shopify hosts the website for you. If you are self hosting Woocommerce , you do not have to pay a monthly fees to Shopify or Woocommerce , you just have to pay for the host.
A host is a computer which hosts your website. There are many hosting companies out there, from prices ranging from 10$ a year to $1000+ a month. We at Emailwish use Siteground hosting for some of the things and I have personally used Siteground for a few of my past other projects because it is decently priced and has a great support. It is well known company and have a hosting plan dedicated for Woocommerce hosting.  If you are willing to sign up with Siteground, please signup using this link .  ( It is an affiliate link, which means we will get a portion of the sales )
But be advised, there are many other perfect hosting companies out there which are much cheaper than Siteground . Siteground works for us because of their fast customer support and the cost turns out to be less than 100$ for the whole year including the domain. Along with easy customer support which can do the task of the initial set up for you.

Woocommerce is open source, which means you can even modify it the way you want to (provided you know how to code), hence it provides much more options. It’s plugin and theme ecosystem is much older & diverse compared to Shopify’s app & theme system and hence you get  is comparatively cheaper and better options on Woocommerce.
Shopify is a bit more convenient. If you are using Shopify, there aren’t too many variables during website building process hence for beginners, the process is more streamlined and easy. Woocommerce hosted on a potent system is very capable but it can be a bit confusing for a beginner. Woocommerce is not a rocket science by any means but a bit complicated if compared to Shopify.
If I have to start any new project with little budget or if I am experimenting with new ideas and have time on hand, I would try to trade my time instead of money. If you are in the same boat, I suggest that you start with Woocommerce .
Personally I use both, Shopify when I know for sure that I will make a profit very soon, Woocommerce when I know that the project will take long time to start generating profit.
It is important to not bleed money, knowing how long you will last and plan accordingly. $30/month on Shopify might not be a huge amount initially but if you are not making a profit, it soon starts taking its toll.
An extra $300 you save on Shopify might get you the perfectly designed logo and photos for your store.
If you are thinking to get rich in 1 or two months it won’t happen. But making a profit the first month is quite.

So to conclude, use Shopify if you have the budget for it, use Woocommerce if you do not. Shopify is the easier out of the two while Woocommerce is cheaper option (free but you will need a hosting account)

3.  Steps to follow for Dropshipping.

After deciding which platform to work upon, dropshipping can be divided into three main steps.

According to us, the dropshipping process is a simple 3 step process
a) Picking a product & sourcing it.
b) Designing a stunning looking store
c) Product Marketing

3.a How can you choose a product & source it?

I always try to build niche stores because the target audience is not broad. It is easier to target when the audience is not broad. In a broad audience, it is quite hard to understand your users because they are of many different types. When the target audience is broad you do not know what to offer them, what they like, etc.

To come up with your ideas just brainstorm with your friends or yourself and see what you can sell. After that  first thing you need to do is see if  the product has any demand. To check that you need to go to  Google trends , it not only helps you validate if your idea has demand but it also helps you to find out the ideal time to start working on your store store.

A screenshot of Google Trends
Google Trends analytics of hoodies overtime

Google trends doesn’t show the exact demand but rather it shows relative demand on a scale of 1-100 so it is good tool to quickly figure out the trends for a product and the time period in which the demand goes up. From the following graph one can see the ideal time to start selling hoodies is just before September because searches (and hence demand)  for hoodies start picking up during that period and start declining just after Christmas.

A screenshot of Google Keyword Planner

You can use keyword planner to access the exact demand on particular keywords. Google keyword Planner is also a free tool provided by Google which is available once you sign up for google ads. You can use this link to sign up for Keyword Planner.

A screenshot showing Ali express bestseller finder

A screenshot of Ali Express dropshipper centre

You need to make a list of the best selling products according to your category on popular sites, such as Amazon, Alibaba, Ebay etc.
On these sites you can see what products are the most selling and in recent requirement.

On Ali express dropshipper centre, you can find the products by category and country as well as on Amazon you can find the products by categories which gives you the most popular products based on sales which are impressively updated hourly.

Once the product is validated, you can easily source your items from the below websites.

Out of all these, the popular ones are Alibaba & AliExpress.

Alibaba is more for wholesale hence the prices are usually cheaper while AliExpress is the retail version of Alibaba. You can always talk to the suppliers and negotiate the price. I also suggest you avoid POD (Print on Demand) apps because they are usually the middlemen, instead, you must source them directly from AliExpress/Alibaba itself. You can just type “custom” in front of your query and find out the products to get the suppliers which do POD. for e.g if you need a POD T-shirt, you can just type “Custom T-shirts” and you will find many suppliers which do that.

3.b How can you create a high converting website?

Many unprofessional stores are being developed every day. It is the first relevant thing a potential customer sees about your business. Hence, a good looking or an elegant and professional store is very important. It not only builds trust but makes your product look high in value. It gives an appearance that your brand is trustworthy. You can tailor your store to create a brand of your type.
To get ideas for your store, go to Dribbble.com and get some inspiration on how modern stores look like. Dribbble is a place where designers share their work. Even while drop shipping, you must make sure that your store looks appealing and looks like a brand. In the long run, that’s what your aim should be, to turn it into a brand eventually.

Here is a checklist that should be taken care of to make the website look professional, beautiful and highly converting.

  • 3.b.1 The Branding.

    The brand is the identity of the business. And it is important to make it stand out from the rest of the clutter. Website and packaging is the visual identity of the brand. The website has mainly 3 visual elements. The font, the colour and the theme. We recommend that you use up to 2 fonts on your whole website, including your pictures. We prefer to use just one and make our headings bolder instead of using a different font. The fonts, too, have feminine as well as masculine characteristics. So when you pick one, you should always consider the demographics of the people you want to target.
    When it comes to colour, The background should be dark if you are trying to portray luxury (not always) and white when it comes to other things. Along with a maximum of two accent colours. One of these two colours should be a bold one and the main colour of your brand and the other colour should be the complimentary one. We prefer to use just one.  It is important that you do not use more than 2 colours because if you do, it confuses people.
    There are many themes which are provided by Envato and can be taken into consideration. We try to go with themes which are simple yet not boring. Something which is not too over the top.

  • 3.b.2  Website Speed.

    There is a countless number of studies showing how website speed is a huge factor in conversion rate.  According to Cloudflare (and many others), there is a direct relationship between website speed and conversion rate. Not only that, but it is also a factor(out of many) in SEO. Google ranks faster websites higher in SERPs (Search engine results pages).
    Google has developed a tool for determining website speeds called Page Speed Insights  There are also many third-party tools which measures the speed of your web pages, one such is  GTMetrix. On both these tools, you just have to enter the website URL to determine the page/website speed. |Your goal should be making your website as fast as possible. (Try that you score is 85+ on Google speed Insights for both mobile and desktop and your website loads within 5 secs)

  • 3.b.3 Photos & Background.

    The photos used for the products must have a similar background to the whole website background. For e.g, if the website has a white background, the background used in the photos of the products must also be white or similar to it. The first image of each product shouldn’t have any text or labels on them. Try that all the pictures do not have text or labels which are not a part of the product, for e.g steps on how to use the product shouldn’t be there.  Ensuring these two things make sure that your store looks professional and high value. If you have store selling t-shirts, hoodies, coffee, mugs, any POD items, paintings, bottles etc you must try to find professional mockups for them. For e.g below is the mockup of paintings. These mockups are easily available on the internet for free. (and sometimes paid). We prefer mockups editable by Photoshop. It takes two minutes to edit them and create pictures. To find them, all you have to do is search “mockup PSD” on google, preceded by the product name, for e.g “photo frame mockup PSD”.  You can also add “flat lay” & “top view ” in your search terms to get a specific angle. We prefer these top angles because they make everything look clean and professional, the product appears clearly and if the right design and colour contrast is used, the photos demand attention.

Effect of Color contrast on attention. Picture showing the effect colour contrast has on attention[/caption]

  • 3.b.4 Hero Image.

    For the Hero Image or the top banner image on your main website, the same principles as above must be followed. A few other things should be taken into consideration. You must remember that the Hero image is the first thing visitors might see (unless of course, they come to a different page first), so it is like the face of your website. It should be used to introduce your visitors to the website.  The main text should be clear, plain background so it can be read clearly. You must try that the text is not part of the image but it has been overlaid on top of it, this ensures that the text is not pixelated and is easily readable on devices of all sizes.   The text should be precise and should clearly mention what the whole website or the product being featured is about. Along with the introduction to the website in general, you must also try to make a sale, so giving a link to your top seller can be a good idea. And hence you must place a call to action button on the banner leading them to a product you want to sell or which is already selling well.

 Hero Image on the landing page for e-commerce website
An example of a Hero image
Hero Image on the landing page for e-commerce website
  • 3.b.5 Effortless Design.

    The design of the website should be made keeping the customer’s ease of use in mind. In other words, the website should be effortless for the user to use. The design of the website should be in such a way, that the user should be doing less to see what he wants to see and do what he wants to do. If a website has only one product, it doesn’t make sense for it to show the cart page before making a purchase. Hence it should be skipped. Not only that, many times the user is impulsive and hence we shouldn’t allow them the time to rethink their decision. Other things include making them scroll less on the product page to click on the add to cart button. Your objective is to get them to buy from you, so it should be kept as simple as possible. Not hidden away in a layer of pages and clicks. If you have multiple categories, list them out in the header and the homepage. Make the website easily navigable. 

  • 3.b.6 Reviews.

    You can ask your friends to review the product and put it on your store. (Because everyone hates fake reviews). Just make sure that the reviews are not on the same date or posted over a short span of the time. All reviews with shiny 5 stars scream that the website and the reviews are fake, so make sure that the reviews are genuine. This will take care of the initial trust issues the users have while purchasing from unknown websites. When the orders start rolling in, that’s when you will actually turn these reviews into more sales. Once the product is delivered to the customers, you can ask them to review the product in exchange for a discount which will encourage repeat sales. If they do not like the product, you can ask them how you can improve the overall experience, apologize and still give them a discount to make it up for the bad experience.
    There aren’t many apps in the market to automate this whole process. Loox does half of this job and charges  $10 for  100 emails.
    We at Emailwish take care of the reviews and automatic emails related to it, charge only $26 for 30,000 emails which can be used for a variety of purposes, automate this whole process so you won’t have to set it up yourself and come with a lot of other features. Click here to install Emailwish to your store 

  • 3.b.7 Popups, discounts & Countdown timers.

    When you are dealing with popups, discounts and countdown timers, you should always ask yourself a question, if your brand is for the long term or short term. It’s true that Popups, discounts and countdown timers can increase sales but it also gradually takes away their trust in your brand and hence, in the long run, it hurts sales. Have you seen any prominent brands showing countdown timers on their products? Have you seen Apple discounting their products? Same goes for popups and sales. But of course, when you are starting out, we do not have the budget of big brands like Apple. But it doesn’t mean we cannot learn a few concepts from them. Try that there aren’t many popups on the website,  a single popup on your website for collecting email leads is fine. Make sure that this popup doesn’t appear as soon as a user enters your website. Also, make sure that it isn’t displayed on mobile phones. You can also implement a sales notification app, however, it shouldn’t be displayed on mobile devices.  Same goes for discounts, if all the products are on a discount all the time then it screams that the website is not trustworthy, however, providing discounts sometimes on some products on special occasions is fine. We suggest that you show countdown timer only on Cart pages because if you show it on the product pages, in the long run, people will stop trusting your brand.

  • 3.b.8 Chat App 

Chat apps are important tools to have a proper and instant communication with your customers. You need to make sure that the Chat app that you install is easy to use and doesn’t require your customers to login just to have a word with you. You can ask for personal details later. There are other things that you need to consider while using chat apps. Some chat apps cover up the ‘buy now button’ or your ‘add to cart’ button; this way you will lose sales due to customer inconvenience. Make it user friendly. 

When you chose an app, check the number of chat bots you can hire and number of chat tickets they are limited to. This is important because, when you are away, your customer’s simple problems will definitely get solved as well as the complex ones will be recorded for you to solve later. Chat bots are essential in that way but apps charge a lot when it comes to allowing you to use chat bots. For example, Tidio charges you $18 per month to use 1000 to unlimited chat bot triggers. While their free version has only a 100 trigger limit making it too less for established stores. Emailwish offers unlimited chatbot triggers each month at only $25 with many other features. Which is visibly more profitable to use.

If you want your customers to feel that they were heard, you can take a follow up after a chat ticket is closed. You can automate this process as well if its too much to do. Emailwish offers automation too. You can automate e-mail responses once a chat ticket is marked as closed. Tidio doesn’t. You’ll need to connect to some other email app using API and pay for both apps and get lesser features.

  • 3.b.9 Email Marketing App

Email marketing is the basis of customer retention in today’s e-commerce strategies. Without e-mails, it is harder to reach out to customers and show your amazing products. You can try sending physical letters if you want. That can be your store style or way of branding. But you can’t do that everywhere. 

Being one of the important tools a store owner needs, the app should be either compatible with other apps for automation function or it should be a multi-functionality app like Emailwish. Non multi-functionality e-mail marketing apps limit automated responses to data only the apps can access, which is very limiting. Multi functionality app s like Emailwish have multiple in built features and have access to other data as well which allows you to create automated responses on various conditions and events. This ensures that you can cover your client service from multiple aspects, which will in turn help greatly with customer retention. 

E-mail marketing apps have templates for you to send responses as easily and quickly possible. We have a list of top e-mail automations that you can use for customer retention. After all old customers are important for a store. 

  • 3.b.10 Important Pages, Shipping, FAQ & Return Policy

  • About us page
    The about page of a website is often one of the most viewed pages. This page should offer a quick overview of who you are, your company’s motive and experience, and what sets you apart from your competitors.
  • FAQ page
    The FAQ page is where you can find answers to the most often asked questions.
    The frequently asked questions (FAQ) page would clear all the doubts of the readers. This saves time of answering the same questions again and again and increases the chances of the readers buying from you.
  • Reviews page
    On this page, you share all the good things the press has said about and you along with the links to the dedicated website. With each press article, your site gets more authentic in the eyes of the readers.
  • Contact us
    Your contact page can list all of the forms that prospective clients might contact you. It’s also crucial to have your phone number, email address, and actual mailing address in the footer of any article of the website. Including all of your social network pages, as well as your mailing address, phone, email address, and office hours. For spam protection, certain businesses tend to use a contact form rather than listing their email address.
  • Shipping policy page (if needed)
    This page includes all the information about the shipping process you follow. Shipping charges, delivery days, courier partners, returns management etc. 
    The page should also contain most asked questions from the customers like the time taken to deliver an order, the taxes and extra charges etc. 
    This policy page can be made through Shopify itself if you are selling on that platform. Just one of the perks of selling on Shopify.
  • Privacy Policy page
    A privacy policy is required for any website. A privacy policy informs website visitors of what you can do about the sensitive details they provide. In this tab, explain how all user details and data gathered (e.g., ads, cookies, emails, etc.) would be used, as well as when it would be exchanged with third parties. Your privacy policies must be followed to the letter.
  • Terms and conditions page
    A terms and conditions tab, like the previously stated privacy policy, is normally required for most websites. This is a page that lays out the “rules” that a guest to your site would choose to follow in order to access it.
    If you are selling on Shopify then you don’t need to worry about this page as Shopify itself makes this page for you.
  • 3.b.11 Facebook pixel & Google Analytics. Google Search Console

    It’s a tool created by Google which helps you measure your site’s Search traffic and performance. If SEO is your goal to gain traffic, this is something you definitely must focus on and must integrate into your website.
    Analytics used for debugging issues (low session duration and high bounce rate means your website sucks) and user behaviour.
    We have written an article on How to use  Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and Search Console on your Shopify Store

If all this is a bit overwhelming for you , we do design stores at  Wedoshopify. 

3.c Product Marketing.

To make my businesses sustainable, I always try to start with organic sales. To scale them, I use ads. I  recommend that you should be starting with organic marketing ads as well specially if you do not have experience with ads. This way, the business is built in a more sustainable way.  I have seen many people spending a lot of money in advertising without actually understanding how it works and then quitting. Anyways here are 4 prominent ways of product marketing:

1) Advertising
2) SEO & Content Marketing
3) Affiliate & Influencer Marketing
4) Email Marketing

3.c.1 Advertising

I am sure that a lot of you might have felt afraid of losing money in advertising and there is a reason for that. The reason is there are many variables involved, which causes uncertainty. Uncertainty leads to fear. 

My goal on google ads has always been to track as many things as possible and minimize the number of variables which helps us to pinpoint the exact reason for making/not making a sale.

Some differences in Google Ads and Facebook AdsSome variables in Facebook advertising are Demographics and their interests, ad creatives, Ad score and pricing. 

In Google advertising, the variables are Keywords, ad sets, pricing & how well your ads perform (ctr).
For this reason, I prefer using google shopping ads since you do not have to worry about picking keywords as google does it for you and there are no ad sets. Your product names and pictures directly displayed as ads. 

Another reason for picking Google Ads over Facebook Ads to start with is because with Google ads the user is actively looking for the product (search intent) while on Facebook he is not. He has to be made aware of your brand through attention grabbing ad creatives. 

This doesn’t mean that Google is better than Facebook. Facebook’s strength lies in detailed targeting which at the same time can be very confusing to people starting out. 

In that case, you can rely on Facebook Pixel to do the heavy lifting for you. Facebook Pixel is tracking code which is installed on your website which tracks people visiting it. Facebook then matches these visitors with its huge database of billions of users. Facebook advertising works the best when it’s pixel gets data. The more the data, the better it gets because more visitors mean that facebook can create a more accurate profile of the visitors.  It doesn’t matter if the traffic comes from Facebook, google or any other source. Facebook pixel will get data as long as the store has it installed. 

Another advantage of facebook ads is that it gives you access to more customers. Usually google gives better cost per acquisition on Google initially but you run out of customers soon since there are only so many customers you can reach because only so many people are searching for your product. But with Facebook you can advertise to theoretically anyone.

 

Google Shopping Ads

First of all, it is important to understand how ad companies like Google and Facebook make money. At any given time ad space or impressions (the number of times the ad can show) is finite and to maximize revenue, ad companies need to make the most out of it. Either the ad companies charge on impressions(the number of times the ad shows) or clicks.
To provide value to the buyers, most ad companies prefer to charge on the basis of number times an ad has been clicked upon.
Now let’s understand how much the ad companies like google earn for say 100 units ad impressions.

This is the definition given by google for CTR.
CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown: clicks ÷ impressions = CTR. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 5%.

Which means, to maximize google’s profit (not yours), any advertiser with higher bid rate x ctr gets on the top preference. Because when advertisers are paying for clicks, bid rate x ctr is the money made by ad companies per unit impression.  Of course this is a simplified version of how it works and most of the RTB networks are more complex than this but the core factors are the same as explained above.

This means, if your bid rate is low or your ctr is low, you won’t get impressions. To increase the impressions, you must put a high cpc  initially so Google picks up your ad and shows it. If your ctr is low and if it’s shown to many people (100-1000 impressions), your ad will be killed. Which means most probably your ad sucks or your targeting sucks. It might happen that it was killed sooner and could have traction , you can recreate the same ad with the same bid to see if its true.  

After that if you are getting clicks but  not sales, it means people don’t find value in your offering.  This can either be  because of low trust and social proof(reviews), low perceived brand value because of poor design of your website  or simply because of high price.

Through the google analytics we can figure out if there are other issues. For example, if the bounce rate is high and average session duration is very small, it can mean that there is something technically wrong with the website and it’s off-putting users . Too many popups can also be a reason which is making the users close the website as soon as they arrive. 

I always try to have at-least 100 -200 clicks before I start changing things.
I try to start the bids at around 0.3$ for any product.
It takes time for google to allot you space, if within the first 2 days I get 100 clicks then that means I am overpaying, no matter even if I am getting a profit, I will try to pause the campaign and start a new one with a lower bid just to test the waters. If it doesn’t work out I will resume the first campaign again.

There is no harm in starting the campaign from very low budget, because if you are not getting clicks, then you won’t pay but will spend your time. This again comes down to you, do you have the time ? On each step, it’s you who will have to make a decision. Instead of a step by step process, it’s better to understand the concepts and understand a rough strategy so you can tweak the ad yourself if you are not getting the expected results.

Once you start getting sales even if at a loss, It becomes much easier to be profitable. You can do that by finding the search terms which aren’t profitable and disabling them. You can also bring the cpc down by disabling the keywords which have a low ctr.

It’s cheaper and easier to get a sale on Google initially but easier to scale on Facebook.

From the below video you can understand better about how to set up Merchant center for Google shopping ads on your shopify store.

 

 

 

The more data you feed to Facebook pixel the better it becomes which will be utilized the most at the time of doing look alike audience ads.

Once a shopper has left your store, you might think there’s no way to get them to return. Either their mind’s made up and they’re never coming back. But it’s not true.
Re Targeting with Facebook is one of the fastest and most cost ­effective ways to reclaim lost clicks and conversions. It allows eCommerce website owners to directly reach shoppers who have visited their store, viewed specific pages, or abandoned their carts.
According to research, re-targeting ads sport a response rate up to 400% higher than non-­targeted advertising.
If you really have no advertising budget or don’t want to take risks, I will advise you to start using Facebook re-targeting once you get some sales from organic methods. You will see that it will increase your conversion rate. In your ad copy put smiling faces of people who have already bought. You can ask these people to post a review for a discount. There are apps for that if you are using Shopify or you can do it manually to save a few bucks. On Woocommerce there are many plugins.

The next step after increasing your conversion rate should be getting more sales from fresh visitors which will be best done by Facebook Look Alike Audience. Like getting a page view is an initial step but adding to cart is a bigger step and then adding the payment info which is followed by initiating checkout and then the customer becomes a lead.

3.c.2 SEO

SEO stand for “Search Engine Optimization”. In other words, it means the process of increasing the website traffic for relevant searches to your site. 

SEO is important for marketing. People search a million times every year to find information about some products or services. These searches are the basic source of visibility for brands and their websites. Hence, it could be generate thousands of additional potential clients to your website each month. This way, those traffic can be converted into lead and furthermore to a good customer.

This method of converting prospects into customer is good but not too reliable as it takes time and you will not have full control over it.

Click here to read about how to do SEO for Shopify.

3.c.3 Affiliate & Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing techniques, taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign. The main difference is that the results of the campaign are collaborations between brands and influencers. It is mainly carried out on Instagram and Tiktok. Of course it is hard to get proper celebrities selling your product, but you don’t have to target them. It is easier to target people who have 100k- 1m followers. Most of the influencers (not celebrities) are very keen to do business with other brands and just sending them a message is enough to get them onboard.

The first thing you must do is go to Internshala

It is a place where Indian college students (who speak perfect English by the way)  are looking for internships. Many of them will do it just for a certificate, but I pay them 100$/month  where they work 4 hours a day for 5 days. Paying them keeps them motivated. You might think that 100$ is less for a month of work, but when a graduate’s salary is 400$/month, an intern in college making 100$ a month is a good deal.

Post your project and hire someone to create a list of Instagram infleuncers in an excel sheet. You will have to train them though.

Show them how to create a list and tell them to write influencers names, total subscribers , their url and whatever else you want to add in a csv file. If they can add something unique about them, then you can use that in the email.

1 month should get you 10k influencers in a list. 

Now pick up your gmail and start emailing 500 people a day (to keep things cheap). If you splurge a little, you can use a cold emailing software to email them.

Do a combination of dm(private message) and an email to make sure that they receive your message.

First, try to get them do it without any compensation or sending the product. Instead, just for a commission and make them your affiliates.

To make them your affiliates , you can install any affiliate app like Enlistly or Affilately. The commission thing will get you the least amount of influencers interested in your product but it’s worth a shot if you are starting with a low budget.  Consider yourself lucky if you get 50 out of 10k influencers interested. But even if you get 10 influencers, you can easily get 50 sales. Your goal here right now  isn’t to get rich off this but getting some money and data for the ads.

It is up to you to decide how much % you want to give. As long as you are making a profit on the deal, you should take it. I recommend being generous with what you are offering and not trying to keep all the profit for yourself. 

Since you won’t get getting many responses, the next step is to ask the people who were not interested, to post your content for the product and a commission . This specially works if you are selling your product for $50+

IThe next step is to directly pay them if you have the money to do so. 

If an influencer is interested, make sure that you move the conversation to the email, to make sure that you have the details in written, in case the influencer takes your product/money and chooses to ignore your requests.

When it is time to post, make sure that you  ask them to show it first. This way if there is no CTA on their photos, you can ask them to put it there. Try to get your link in their bio for as much as time possible. And ask them where to post photos where the product is clearly visible and highlighted.

Here is an example.

An influencer promoting a new brand on instagram
Instagram influencer promoting a start-up brand
 

To grow my Instagram and connect with influencers who would promote my store for commission i used a bot. the bot not only saves a lot of time but does all the work in huge scale which won’t be possible manually. for e.g messaging 3000 influencers in a month with my affiliate offer. It is important to know that you should be messaging influencers only. Not normal people. Even if 500 influencers agree and each gets you 4 sales, that is 2000 orders, but it might take time to get there.

There are many bots in the market. Earlier I used Socialcaptain, the the one i use now is www.instacaptain.com its cheap and easy to use.
You just have to signup and use their module of Auto-dm to message the influencers.
Spend your money which make things easier for you and is worth your money. You can dm the influencers personally as well but to do it regularly in huge amount you will need a bot.

3.c.4 Email Marketing 

E-mail marketing is the best way for you to grow and keep your existing client base engaged with your products and e-commerce store. It helps you reach out to you’re prospective clients on your website and a build a network that generates more revenue for you. Email marketing works best for you when you have your target audience in mind already. 

Through Email Marketing, one can attain many objectives. It can used to send emails to inactive customers to engage them again, and bring about a renewed interest. Rewarding them with discounts and coupons will also help keep them attracted to your store. This increases brand reputation and also may have impact on passive sales through referrals. After all, happy customers will bring more customers.

The reason email marketing works so great and gives you a good return on your investment is the fact that you communicate directly with your customers, and they interact with your content at their convenience and whenever they want. The personalized content you send to your customers, helps them feel valued and special. This also helps increase your brand loyalty and the relationship with your customers.

Email automation is the process in which you can send scheduled emails and series to your customers with content curated just for them. 

Here are a few examples of email automation.  

  1. Welcome Series: 

    This is a set of emails that essentially welcome your brand new customers to your community! This helps you establish a bond with your customers. 

  2. Abandoned cart emails: 

    Abandoned carts are when a potential customer changes their mind after adding items to their cart and then they abandon their carts. By sending in reminders regarding their abandoned carts you attempt to reignite the interest they had when they first added the items to the cart. 

  3. Thankyou emails: 

    Thankyou emails are emails that you send to a customer for being a part of your community and picking up your products. These emails show your customers that they are valued and the fact that they picked up your products matters to you immensely. 

  4. Discount /coupon emails: 

    When you send customers discount and coupon emails to your stores, it increases the activity on your website and therefore generates more revenue for you. You can also include anniversary discounts and festive discounts in order to use the celebrations as a marketing strategy. 

  5. Review emails for your products:

    These emails are the perfect way to show your customers that you care about their opinion. By asking them for reviews, of your products, which also helps you understand how your product is doing amongst your audience. You also have real-time feedback on your products which can also help you improve your products which in turn helps you generate more revenue and increase brand loyalty. As part of your feedback back emails, you can also send chat transcripts. This also helps keeps the customers stay engaged. 

  6. Product launch:

    Informing your clients of product launches helps them stay connected to your store and keeps them updated about your company too. 

  7. Holiday newsletters and discounts:

    This helps the customer celebrate their holidays better. This is also the best time to promote your business as customers are more open to discounts and picking up new products. 

Email marketing with Emailwish is the most cost-effective solution for you. It helps keep your expenditure in check and also ensures that everything you might need in terms of your email marketing strategies, Emailwish provides it for you. 

Thus, email marketing is useful to increase conversion and e-commerce sales at a very minimal budget and also helps in managing the list or data of customers, hence allowing you to make a plan for future growth.

4. F.A.Q

Q Is dropshipping easy ?
A No, not at all. Selling is never easy and you shouldn’t expect it to be easy. However it is not rocket science either. It is easy in the sense that you do not require a lot of money to get in, hence it is easier to get in.

Q How did customers react to  long shipping times?
A Most of them do not like it, but you can make them happy giving them discounts/ apologizing and giving them tracking number. If you
show them you care, its not a problem. Usually Epacket gets delivered within 2 weeks and DHL within 3 days. The first problem you need to tackle is figuring out how to sell. Rest can be figured out later. 

Q Won’t the customers just buy from Amazon instead?

A This is a very often asked question and makes a lot of sense too. Let’s start with saying that we have creative, dynamic websites that appeal to the eyes of the customer and for example, the product I’m selling is an upcoming movie’s phone cover which is very stylish and classy looking, so the viewer won’t bother looking anywhere else for it and order it then and there. This is called ‘impulse shopping’ and this is how most dropshipping businesses work. 

Q What if there is no traffic on my website?

This is face by every other beginner in the drop-shipping business, well you don’t need to worry all you need is to see and run your ads a little bit better, Facebook ads have proven the best for the dropshipping community in the past years and if your product and ads are convincing and in demand then definitely your site will have viewers, if you don’t know anything about ads then you could seek some help from freelancers and you’ll be set to go. 

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Ankit Srivastava
Ankit Srivastava
Ankit is a Computer Science engineer by education. He graduated from JUIT, India with a bachelors in Computer Science. Ankit runs a variety of online businesses in the field of mobile apps, SAAS Ecommerce stores and a small design and development studio. He is founder of Android app MusiqX which has generated over 4 million downloads worldwide along the founder of Emailwish.com and Instacaptain.com You can reach out to him on his Instagram or Facebook
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