Secret Selling Techniques: 15 Dropshipping Do’s and Don’ts

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Marketing—the kind that gets your phone ringing off the hook, your inbox overflowing with receipts, and your bank account constantly rising—is hard. 

 

Hard means there are a lot of secrets you need to know to make a lot of sales. 

 

And hard is why you’ll be so glad you found this article because today you’re going to discover:

  • How NOT to lose your customer’s favor.
  • How to make dropshipping ads that convert.
  • How to improve customer satisfaction.
  • And many other do’s and don’ts.

So, come along, and let’s make those sales!

 

15 Dropshipping Do’s and Don’ts

 

1. Research Your Audience

 

Research Your Audience

Audience research deals with defining your ideal customers’ – 

  • Pains
  • Challenges
  • Desires
  • Motivations
  • Voice and tone
  • Personalities 
  • Internet habits

There are many ways to uncover these details.

 

You can conduct online surveys. You can organize in-person consumer interviews. And, for the least costs, you can use social media. 

 

Two community themed social networks, Facebook and Reddit are perfect for this. 

 

And conducting the research is as simple as using contextual keywords to find certain kinds of  posts, threads and discussions within that community. 

 

Using what you discover about the people you want to sell to, you will then create lookalike customer avatars that accurately represent potential customers. 

 

To begin, go to communities relevant to your niche and search keywords like:

    • Buying help, fear, need, please, challenge(s), frustration, struggles, solution(s), problem(s) etc – to uncover their problems and challenges 
    • Goals, milestones, ambitions, progress, desire, aims, dreams, growth etc – to uncover their goals and what motivates them.
    • Hate, regret, dislike, bad/worst time, experience, upset, disappointment, unsatisfaction, never again etc – to uncover bad experiences and how it makes them feel. 
    • And keywords like Favorite, love, best, enjoy, recommend to discover their favorite brands and solutions. And what they like about them. 

 

Also, make a note of the phrases they use so your copy and marketing material reflect how they think and talk. 

 

When you use their words, they’ll feel understood. And when they feel you understand their challenges and wishes, they’re more likely to trust that you can help them, too.

 

Lastly, use a free tool like Google Analytics to discover your audience’s internet habits. 

 

This refers to what time of day they visit your site, where your audience is from, and what other websites they visit.

 

 2. Research Your Competitors

 

Research Your Competitors

 

Competitor research begins with identifying who your competitors are in the first place. 

 

For this, search keywords related to your services on Google to find businesses similar to yours. Or use a tool like Crunchbase to identify competitors selling the same products as you.

 

Once you have a shortlist of your top dropshipping competitors, assess their online presence by checking:

 

  • How functional their site is.
  • How easy it is to complete a purchase through their store.
  • How often they engage customers through social media and email.

 

After making your assessment of competitors and their sites, listen to what customers have to say. 

 

For this, use third party reviews sites like Trustpilot and Google Business to search for positive and negative reviews. 

 

By finding negative reviews, you will better understand what customers don’t like about. those competitors’ solutions and why to avoid it. 

 

And by finding positive reviews, you better understand what customers love and how you can hone in on that. Think of it as identifying competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

 

3. Sell Benefits, not Features.

 

Your dropshipping business will require a lot of product descriptions. Luckily, this is where your audience research comes in handy. 

 

Knowing what you know about your audience, structure your product description around how the item in question solved their problem or stops the pains they go through.

 

There are numerous factors that go into creating killer product descriptions. But essentially, you have to ensure your product description:

 

  • Paints a vivid scenario of the trouble the customer is going through.
  • Showcases how your product will solve that problem.
  • Back up your claims with social proof and customer reviews. 

(If you haven’t made your first sale, send products to friends and colleagues and have them share their honest opinion. It builds up from there.)

 

  • Includes rich media i.e videos and photos. 

 

Communicating emotions through text can only go so far. 

 

On the other hand, pictures and videos give the customer what to visualize, so it’s best if you add professional and captivating photos and videos.

 

4. Pay Close Attention to Customer Complaints

 

Pay Close Attention to Customer Complaints

 

Business strategies don’t always come from classrooms or mentors. 

 

You can learn a lot by actively listening and adjusting to the complaints your customers make. 

 

So how do you get customer reviews? 

 

If you’ve made sales in the past, reach out to past customers for feedback and even incentivize them with gift cards when they leave reviews. 

 

Also, check review sites like Google Reviews and Trustpilot. And search “[your product/service/brand] review” on Google and social media platforms to see what comes up.

 

Whenever customers report a problem i.e delays, defective or damaged products and non-arrivals, raise it up with your supplier so you can get to the root of the problem. Afterward, take prompt action to resolve the issue. 

 

If you notice it reoccurs, don’t hesitate to dump unreliable suppliers and grow your business with professional dropshipping suppliers.

 

5. Create More Offers!

 

Create More Offers

 

Always find a way to tie another product or service to your primary offering. 

 

And when you do, make relevance and cost your top priorities. Business owners who are successful at cross-selling only offer relevant products that cost 10-50% of the primary item, ensuring the customer doesn’t perceive aggressive selling in the offer.

 

Besides relevance and cost, you need to make the cross-sell offer lucrative. 

 

How? By making the offer as exclusive as possible, preferably something that’s not available via promo code and something that’s very personalized to the shopper’s primary orders.

 

Additionally, you might want to configure a countdown timer to convey urgency to shoppers. 

 

To learn how to cross-sell better and how to cross-sell outside the checkout page (emails, loyalty programs, in-store shopping, etc), check out this guide.

 

6. Don’t Compete Based on Price Alone

 

Don't Compete Based on Price Alone

 

While there are many strategies for differentiating your business in the market, I argue that the most important for dropshippers is branding and marketing. 

 

After all, your business model revolves around selling other people’s products.

 

To develop a brand identity, start by defining the mission, values, personality, voice, experiences you want customers to associate with your company.

 

If you have trouble defining the above, dig deeper and ask yourself:

 

  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • How is that inspiration important to your brand’s values?
  • Why do people want to buy your products? Are they a necessity, a convenience, or a luxury?
  • What value does your product bring to your customers’ lives? 
  • Are any important beliefs, values, or causes central to your brand’s mission?

 

Branding aside, you must be able to emotionally connect with customers through evocative marketing. 

 

The key here is to tap into the experiences of challenges or motivations potential customers share. The pitch your company as the one to provide the solution.

 

For example, if you dropship fitness clothing and most of your customers are Gen-Zs who value taking care of their bodies, it makes sense to center your ads, website copy, social media posts, and blog content around motivational fitness messaging and the importance of self care.

 

7. Create Video Content

 

Create Video Content

 

People love consuming video content. So much that Wyzowl tells us 73% of shoppers prefer to learn about services and products through videos.

 

So, what are the types of video content to create?

 

Promo videos

Put simply, promo videos promote.

 

You can use this video type to announce new products or create buzz around older ones. 

 

The most successful dropshipping promo videos tend to last 15 seconds to 1 minute. This is enough time to capture the viewer’s attention and let them know of your offering, without making it feel like a commercial.

 

Explainer videos

Explainer videos describe how your product works, the problem or problems your audience faces, how your product will solve that problem, and why your audience should pick your product. 

 

Whether it’s an ad or organic video, your explainer videos must highlight the benefits of the product in question. 

 

This is so customers find it easy to associate your business with expertise and authority. 

 

How-to videos

How-to videos help show people how to use your product in real life. 

 

From beauty product routines to gym item applications and clothing styling guides, this video format is best when you sell an item that needs demonstration. 

 

Educational videos

Educational videos do just that—educate. 

 

This video format is best for shoppers in the early stages of their buying journey. And they’re super helpful for introducing or demystifying unfamiliar products. 

 

For instance, if you sell a cosmetic product grounded in traditional Malaysian beauty practice, you can create an educational video to explain its history, how it works, how it feels on the skin, and how to use it. 

 

8. Find a Reliable Dropshipping Agent

 

Find a Reliable Dropshipping Agent

 

In the dropshipping game, shipping delays are deadly. 

 

The last thing you want is to nail your audience research and product descriptions, only to have a customer miss her wedding because her dress wasn’t delivered in time.

 

Okay, maybe that’s extreme. She probably didn’t miss her wedding. She’d just have to find another vendor, blacklist your store, and tell friends and family of the time she delayed her marriage because your company failed to deliver on promises.

 

This shows how indispensable a reliable supplier who keeps enough stock and ships quickly is to your dropshipping business. Conveniently, you can find them by:

 

  • Browsing supplier directories.
  • Googling extensively.
  • Ordering from other drop shippers and investigating the shipping label.
  • Hiring a sourcing agent to find the best suppliers.
  • Attending trade shows.

 

9. Niche Down

 

When you try to sell everything, you end up selling to no one. 

 

Why? Because customers are unable to define your brand. And since they don’t know what to associate your business with, you’re automatically the last point of call when they need to solve a problem.

 

So how do you find a profitable niche to focus on? 

 

Start by identifying the needs and desires of your target audience so you can curate a collection of products that are highly appealing to them. 

 

Additionally, use Facebook Insights and Google Trends to find keywords and interests related to your audience’s needs. Then when you find product ideas, compare the profit margins and competition to discern between the most and least profitable.

 

10. Explore Blogging and Email Marketing

 

Explore Blogging and Email Marketing

 

Sharing only promotional content gives the impression that you’re always pushing people to buy. And we all know consumers hate salesy brands

 

The solution? A content marketing strategy for your dropshipping business. Two effective types of content you can create right away are:

 

Blog content

Blog content builds long-term value and organic search growth that keeps expanding the more you invest in it. 

 

To start, locate a central theme related to your business i.e beauty, fashion, health, etc, and then create keyword and SEO-optimized how-to posts, product reviews, and guides to publish on the blog.

 

Email marketing: 

Another versatile form of content for dropshippers is email marketing. 

 

We can go on and on about the types of emails your business ought to send, from welcome emails to newsletters to promotional emails and more. 

 

But in my opinion, the best for dropshippers are welcome emails and abandoned cart abandonment emails. 

 

The first, welcome emails are great for building good and lasting first impressions with new subscribers and shoppers. Creating this “good first impression” is as simple as composing an email that introduces your brand, values, products, and your mission to serve the customers.

 

The second, abandoned cart emails, are useful for getting visitors to complete their purchases. According to this study, card abandonment is as high as 80% and averages around 70%, so it goes without saying that abandoned carts hold a lot of potential for sales. 

 

Email marketing is also a great place to start because of the many free and cheap tools you can use to create and launch automated email marketing campaigns easily.

 

11. Don’t Neglect Social Media

 

Don't Neglect Social Media

 

As explained in this article, social media is an indispensable tool in building a business that makes incredible profits. 

 

No matter how beautiful or optimized your online store is – think excellent branding, superb product pictures, etc – you still need a means to drive traffic to the site. And guess what, the cheapest way to do this is with social media.

 

Here a a few top social media platforms and what kind of content to create there; 

 

Facebook

Memes, humorous videos, photos, puzzles, challenges and basically anything that’s entertaining enough to share with friends performs better than anything else on Facebook. Focus on that.

 

Instagram

Instagrammers engage more with content that is inspiring and appeals to popular culture i.e lifestyle, sports, movies, music, new trends, celebrity life, influencers etc. 

 

Get influencers to test your product and document their experience. Hire pro photographers to capture your product stunningly. And engage in pop culture news neutrally, i.e by sharing, giving and requesting opinions on sports, fashion, music or movie news – whichever is most relevant to your audience’s interests.

 

TikTok

TikTok is a network purely for fun and entertainment. So users love to see content that ticks the right boxes of funny, creative and relaxing.

 

Hence, prioritize humor, share behind the scenes videos, and participate in viral challenges, tutorials, and even dance videos.

 

Twitter

While Twitter is often associated with humor, Twitter users value informative and relevant content first. 

 

If your brand has something more serious to say or news to share, share it on Twitter.

 

12. Be Clear about Your Shipping and Returns Policies

 

Be Clear about Your Shipping and Returns Policies

 

As an online seller, you absolutely never want to break your customer’s heart. 

 

To avoid that, you must be clear from the onset about what they can expect from you. So clearly state:

 

  • The shipping time for each product
  • What products do not qualify for returns in your store (e.g., underwear)
  • How many days customers get to initiate a return
  • What condition the product has to be in to be returned (i.e., unused)
  • And your grounds for refusing a refund or return. 

Place all this information on your product pages, your website footer, your checkout pages, your terms and conditions page, and get it printed on the customer’s order slip.

 

13. Do Not Let Your Customer Know You Dropship – Brand Your Products!

 

Brand Your Products

 

I strongly recommend against letting a customer see your dropshipping supplier’s logo or anything that indicates you’re a dropshipper. 

 

The problem here is that many people are ready to file a dispute or refund when they discover the profits you make by sourcing from one company and selling to them. 

 

Use quality branded packaging and include your brand logo and colors. By doing so, customers perceive your business the right way, and you get to build a brand that is solely yours.

 

14. Embrace Dropshipping Automation

 

There are so many things to do to run your dropshipping business effectively. And to make a lot of sales, you need to be able to focus on critical tasks. 

 

Thankfully, by automating dropshipping tasks to machines and software programs, you can free up time to focus on building your company. 

 

So what parts of dropshipping can you automate? 

 

Well, since you don’t handle inventory, you’ll only need 

 

  • Order management system to track and update the status of store orders in real time.
  • A warehouse management system for inventory location oversight and stock levels monitoring.
  • A price automation system to update prices based on market conditions and your guidelines
  • And a product tracking system to keep up with the location of customer orders after they leave your supplier’s fulfillment center. 

 

15. Aim for Repeat Business and Loyal Customers

 

When a customer buys your product once, your goal should be having them come back for more.   

 

Here are some strategies for achieving that;

 

Customer Loyalty Rewards: 

By motivating customers to earn rewards, loyalty programs increase purchase frequency. 

 

Let’s say you give a shopper $20 in loyalty points each time they spend over $100. 

 

There’s nothing to do with the $20 besides coming back to your store and browsing around for what they can buy with it. 

 

Hence, a repeat customer has been achieved.

 

Gift Cards and Store Credit

Gift cards and store credit are just like loyalty programs. They incentivize shoppers to buy from you again. 

 

Ideally, always send a thank you message and gift card immediately after a customer’s first purchase.This is so you can convert them as fast as possible. 

 

Personalized Emails: 

When you kick off your email marketing campaign. don’t send an email with just Hi. 

 

By adding the recipient’s name, you address them directly, making your email more compelling to click. 

 

If personalized messages don’t sound like much, think again. 

 

This study shows that personalized emails generate 6x more transactions and revenue than non-personalized emails. 

 

Another personalized email to send is follow-up emails. A week after a customer’s first purchase, send them an email that says “thank you for your purchase.”

 

Spot-on Customer Support: 

As a dropshipper, it’s easy to neglect customer service. After all, you didn’t design or manufacture the product, so why bother standing behind the product? 

 

Well, it’s that kind of attitude that keeps dissatisfied customers flocking away. 

 

If a customer is justifiably wronged, go all out to make it up to them. When you make it a commitment to provide the best experience, that is when you will retain customers.

 

Make Returns Easy

33% of repeat customers would abandon a retailer if they have a difficult return experience. And I’m sure you don’t want that. 

 

To optimize returns, first clarify with your supplier about their returns policy. Ask who covers the cost, what their return timeframes are , and reasons for rejection. 

 

Then communicate that to your customers through a returns and refunds page, the product checkout page, and generally in the product descriptions.

 

Over to you!

 

Starting a dropshipping business doesn’t have to be difficult when you use the right strategies. 

 

If you’re worried about failing, take the first step with any of the many practical steps we’ve discussed in this post.

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