Ever thought about starting a drop shipping business? Maybe you heard about it on YouTube or how one of your friends’s bought a new car selling airpod skins on Shopify. Regardless, I can say for sure that there has never been a better opportunity to start an online business with such little risk. The model is simple and the reward for taking the time to perfect it can be life-changing. With that said, I must warn you that although the model is simple, competition is rising and now more than ever your marketing skills must be fine-tuned to challenge any serious dropshippers in 2019. I’m going to assume that you already know what dropshipping is all about but in case you aren’t 100% clear on the process the e-commerce software company Volusion does a great job of breaking it down.
So what makes dropshipping any different this year compared to last year?
Facebook advertising has always been one of the best ways to advertise a dropshipping store and this year it is no different. If you’ve been following the digital marketing space closely, you should definitely know by now that the biggest difference about Facebook this year is simply the cost of advertising on the platform. The average CPM’s on Facebook have increased steeply over the past few years and it’s forcing marketing rookies out of the game every single day. No more direct linking to product pages or running ads without a clear funneling process. Those days are going to be over very soon and if you aren’t sure of what to do instead, keep reading as I’ll leave you with some useful tips and tips and tricks to ensure the survival of your business in the next few minutes.
Just because Facebook advertising costs have risen does not mean that they have become any less effective than before. In fact, with Facebook adding new features to the bidding platform so often, it is more effective than ever when used properly. The rise in cost means that you and I must get a lot more creative about how we use the platform if we want to turn a profit from our advertising dollars.
Using the video views objective for your ads is one of the golden nuggets that will allow you to gain an edge on your competition this year. Combining powerful video ads that take your customer to the next step in the consumer journey with placements on undervalued options such as stories and in-stream video make for massive reductions in customer acquisition costs. The video views objective alone isn’t likely to get you a ton of new purchases but the key here is to use video to initiate your relationship with prospects for cheap so that you can retarget those most likely to buy based on their behavior. Start off with a soft touch (or two), either introducing your brand or product and then go in for the kill using custom audiences defined with parameters that indicate high interest and engagement. This tactic can produce fascinating results in your advertising efforts so be sure to give it a try.
Regardless of the platforms, you are marketing on it is very important that you evaluate exactly what your customer journey is. Does your target market already know about your product? Do you need to explain how it works and how to use it or is your product generic and self-explanatory? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself in order to map out your customer journey. To guide them from awareness to interest, desire, and action, you’ll want to come up with ideas for what each of your advertising messages will say. Failing to do this before launching your campaigns will lead to convoluted data that leaves you with nothing more to conclude than that potential customers didn’t buy your products. You want to be able to distinguish who is interested in your products and what it takes to get these people to take action. As mentioned earlier, it isn’t likely that sending cold traffic to a product page is going to convert well and that is why mapping out your customer journey and properly analyzing the data you get back will be more important than ever in 2019.
Another massive shift that is taking place in the dropshipping space this year is the importance of branding your online store. Throwing up a shopify dropshipping store with a basic free theme and stock images just won’t cut it anymore. Having custom content including imagery, video, and product designs, will put you ahead of the pack by miles. You want your store to look like a million dollar online brand. Sites like ASOS do a great job of providing website visitors with a visually pleasing experience that leads to higher engagement and most importantly higher conversion. Your brand’s appearance is everything so it is vital that you pay attention to detail and do your absolute best to have customized and consistent content throughout every step of your marketing process. Over the past few years, consumers have wisened up to this dropshipping phenomena and have had some bad experiences with long shipping times, terrible to non-existent customer service and straight up scammers. If you want to gain the trust of consumers in 2019, be aware that they are much savvier when it comes to spotting another sloppy dropshipping store.
Though using sites like Aliexpress and Oberlo for order fulfillment will allow you to get started quickly and easily, they are not ideal for positioning your brand in the long run. Finding dropshipping wholesalers is essential to turning your dropshipping store into a real business this year. As mentioned, people are fed up with the long shipping times, so if you plan on having repeat customers, ensuring quick delivery after purchase will be the first step to making it happen. In case you don’t have any solutions to long shipping times just yet, I advise that you be as honest as possible with your customers. Letting them know how long they may have to wait and giving them other ways to interact with your brand in the meantime will help you win back some loyalty from your new customers.
With the number of competitors in the e-commerce space rising this year, sharpening your marketing skills and creating a strong brand is the only way to survive amongst the best. Nurturing your customers, creating custom content and finding the right traffic sources, will be fundamental components of your dropshipping success in 2019. With the rise in the cost of Facebook advertising, 2019 will be a year of traffic diversification for many. From advertising platforms such as Google Adwords, to Snapchat Ads, and Twitter, there are plenty of other options to choose from, so take your pick. Now is the best time to test the waters as soon, you’ll be running into the same problem on other advertising platforms as well. What are you waiting for? Welcome to a new era of dropshipping. Your competitors have already started preparing for the changes to come.