Dropshipping is one of the business models that surge in popularity. It’s no wonder, the simplicity and easiness of dropshipping is indeed appealing for businessmen and businesswomen everywhere, especially those that have just started to venture in online retail business.
Of course, with dropshipping attracting lots of people, competition swells. Especially, since online business is not limited by geography, a dropshipper will have to compete with other dropshippers across the country. But, don’t worry. Even with tight competition, retail business still offer huge market for you to capture, if you can overcome the challenge, that is.
Challenge in retail business is definitely this: how to sell and reach your sales target. Sounds simple, but it’s a very bloody battle. Sometimes, you’ve been so sure you’ve done everything right, but the visitor numbers in your dashboard is moving so slow, and the purchase made is even slower.
So what to do if it happens to your web store? Don’t worry, here is some tips you can follow to get more customers to buy from your dropshipping store.
1. Re-learn your niche
Before we go toward more tactical tips, let’s check the fundamental strategy first. Are you sure you have chosen your battlefield well? Retail business is probably the most cluttered business. With very low barrier to enter, you’ll have no doubt thousands of competitors, especially online, where you won’t get the advantage of geographical barrier.
Ideally, before you choose to start your business, you have done a research about what product you want to sell, how knowledgeable and sure you are about that product, and whether the product is popular enough to guarantee continuous demand.
But, what if you already choose what you want to sell and find out that the sales is not as good as you expected? No worry, don’t change your niche too fast. There are two alternatives you can take:
- Get even deeper to your niche. For example, if you’re specialized in selling apparels, you may want to focus on either men or women apparel, depending on which one your customers demand more.
- Do the opposite and broaden your niche. You can consider this if you often received complains from customers about the lack of availability of certain product. If you’re only selling men’s t-shirt, for example, you can broaden the niche and sell a whole set of men’s clothings, including jacket, sweater, cap, shoes, and so on.
2. Re-learn your customers
Now you are sure that you’re selling the right product. Next question you should think is: who will buy these products? When you plan your business, you have a target customers but if today you find out that there’s not many of them visiting your store, then you can consider these several reasons why:
- They don’t know your web store is exist
Solution: do advertising, by remembering who your target market is. If you’re aiming for youngsters, then social media where they would likely to find you. Meanwhile, some older folks may enjoy to browse websites instead of spending hours in social media.
- They know your website, but is indifference about it
Solution: they need to see how your web store is different. Actively seek reviews from previous customers to add the credibility of your store. Special promotion can also be a stimulus for first-time visitors.
- They know your website and want to try, but there’s too many effort to make
Solution: try to visit your web store and experience what your customer feel. Does it take too much steps to check out or to pay? Is there enough payment and delivery options? Is there too many form your customers have to fill out? If you think the steps are too tedious, then it’s time to upgrade the design of your web store.
- They know your website and have tried, but think it’s nothing special
Solution: you have to step up and see what your competitors offer, and see where you can outdo them. Is your competitor offering a very low price you can’t afford? Don’t be afraid to counter it with special customer’s service. Your competitors have loyalty program? You can craft more interesting gimmicks and promotions!
3. Evaluate your service
No less important than the product is the service you offer. Nobody wants to buy from a web store that is slow in processing, full of error, or simply not friendly. Make every process easy and fun for your customers.
Do they get special discount for their first visit? Is the contact information displayed clearly for them to make inquiry? How long do you usually response to chat or email? Have you speak to them politely, even when they are being rude?
You can make a ‘study visit’ to your competitor’s web store and see what kind of service they offer before you make a mix of service of your own.
4. Do advertising
Advertising is no longer for big company only. Even web store these days need to tell people out there that they are alive and available. Digital marketing has helped businessmen and businesswomen to advertise within their budget, even for SME.
The key in effective advertising is to choose the right medium. The right medium will depend to the target market. If the product you sell is mainly aimed for youngsters, you must use medium that youngsters love, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Make the content visually appealing.
Meanwhile, for older demographics, you can use Facebook, as older folks tend to love Facebook for easier communication. Traditional way to advertise is not really a good idea, since they are usually expensive and has small coverage. With digital marketing, you can put link to your web store in the ads so you’ll get more visitors.
5. Use metrics
Remember what they say about goals? They should be measurable. So is your dropshipping website. Use metrics such as hits, CPC, and ROI to get insight about your business. Do you have many visitors already but the conversion rate is too small? Then maybe the problem is with the user interface in the website. Does almost every visitor of your web store purchase something, but there are too few of them? Then maybe it’s time to start promoting.
6. Don’t be afraid to innovate
In business world, the only thing you can be sure about is the fact that nothing is sure. Everything is changing – slow or fast. Your ability to adapt with this change will determine the sustainability of your business. Dropshipping may seem like a modern way of selling, but how long will it lasts?
To make sure you’re not walking on your spot, don’t be afraid to innovate. Innovation doesn’t have to be ingenious or big, that require you to relaunch your brand. It can be something small yet impactful, like changing the layout of your web store to look classier or more streamlined.
All of those strategies and tips are easy to implement by yourself, except those that is related to the technical aspect of your websites like changing the layout. If you need expert help on that, you can try Ali2Woo, which helps you to run dropshipping store and its cost is only $40.
Keep moving and overcome the retail challenge!