Dropshipping is a business model that is simple in practice, but in order to thrive, it takes preparation, time, and effort. You can’t just be another shop on the internet. You have to be the best possible shop you can be.
Your first step to making your business stand out was choosing a niche that is going to be your passion for the next while. You now know what kind of products you are going to sell, but you still need to decide what specific products you are going to sell. In other words, you need to select the best dropshipping products.
Choosing the right products can be the difference between raking in sales and struggling to get by. If you don’t have the products that your customers are looking for, you can’t expect sales.
To ensure you’re giving your customers what they want, it’s important that you evaluate your product catalog and constantly audit what you’re offering. Low quality, irrelevant, and unnecessary products should be avoided to keep your site streamlined, relevant, and high-converting.
Keep reading to learn how to refine your catalog for your niche and keep it fresh year-round.
When you go to a gas station and see sushi, what goes through your mind? For most people, you would expect that the sushi isn’t the highest quality (or even safe). However, if you go to a sushi restaurant you’re much more likely to order something to eat.
The difference? We associate Japanese and other restaurants that serve sushi as specialists. They don’t try to offer a little bit of everything, but instead do one thing – sushi – extremely well. A gas station’s primary purpose is to provide fuel, with food and other amenities as an afterthought, which explains why that sushi is probably not the right snack choice.
If you are creating a dropshipping store for your specific niche, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. If you start adding a wide variety of different products that don’t fit your general theme, you’re becoming more of a general store and less of a specialty shop – a battle that is harder to win against Amazon and Walmart.
When first starting out, it is best to immerse yourself in the industry of your choice to develop some level of expertise, which can help you to better evaluate the needs of your customers and spot the best dropshipping products.
his also helps to guide your blogging efforts into what kind of articles to create for backlinking and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, which can draw in potential customers with valuable insight that paints you as an expert.
Once you’ve decided to stay in your lane when choosing products, you’ll want to evaluate your listings for anything that just doesn’t make sense. Importing a catalog from a wholesaler is great for saving time and filling a store, but there are always bound to be some products that you simply don’t need to sell.
When auditing your catalog (such as after importing products with Shop1), it’s important to ask yourself:
Your products should all serve a purpose. You don’t want to add products just for the sake of having a wider selection – more products means taking attention away from the big sellers. Plus, if you offer a wide variety of the same or similar products (such as one with poor customer feedback), you can confuse customers and lose credibility.
Knowing where to look for hot products to sell isn’t easy on your own. Thankfully, retail giants like Amazon, Walmart, and others can give you a good idea of what is selling now through their “best sellers” and highly rated products that can be found on their websites. By searching for your niche or industry, you can see what products should be a part of your catalog and even get an idea of pricing strategies that work.
Amazon, for example, curates a “best sellers” list that ranks all of the products for a certain category or subcategory. These lists are updated hourly, taking into account the most recent sales information for the top 10,000 products, which makes them helpful for identifying rending items at a glance and spot the best dropshipping products. If products stay as best sellers for an extended period of time, that is also an indicator that you should target that product.
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Google is one of the most visited sites in the world, hosting the most searches of any search engine with ease. As a result of this, they can obtain an incredible amount of data about people’s search habits. And fortunately for you, you can use this information to the benefit of your online store.
Google Trends is an invaluable resource when it comes to quickly identifying trending topics around the world. You can simply add a keyword (such as your niche, a specific product, or a certain phrasing of keywords) to view the search data on it, how that data has changed, and even compare search terms side-by-side to get an idea of what provides more visibility.
You can also view the “trending” section on the page, which tells you the most popular searches in your specified timeframe. This can give you topics to consider for creating or adding products around major news worldwide, hopping on holiday, fad, and seasonal hype to increase sales.
This includes historical data, which can help you to plan for increases in certain search terms at specific times of the year, ensuring you’re ready and targeting the right market when the popularity kicks off.
Once your general catalog is established, you can turn your sights to cashing in on some hot-ticket items that are trending online. These trending products come from a variety of places, but are often spurred by some event that triggers a roaring demand. For example, the popularity of Sesame Street and Elmo, plus the scarcity of Tickle Me Elmo toys in 1996 led to mass chaos at Christmas time, resulting in 50x markup in online sales.
In these cases, the “where” and “why” doesn’t really matter – society and the internet work in mysterious ways. But what we care about is hopping onto a cultural trend that can increase traffic to the site and earn sales for both these products and other products in our store. Getting a “foot in the door” for your online store means a chance to convert a customer, so be on the lookout for sales trends as a result of:
These trending products come from a variety of places, including:
In recent memory, no news development has disrupted the market in the same way that COVID-19 has. In a manner of a few days to weeks, health was on the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Everything from groceries and paper products to surgical masks and hand sanitizer were bought in bulk and hoarded because of immense demand. Scarves, face masks, and other clothing niches saw a huge increase in demand as people rushed to cover their faces. Thermometers, oximeters, and other medical supplies were sold out, and online stores with inventory thrived with sales.
This provided a unique opportunity for stores already selling these products, or those with the ability to access suppliers and set up a website like Shop1 were able to ride the wave.
Local and international politics can have a major effect on dropshipping stores. When you use suppliers from another country, you are going to be more susceptible to interruptions in your supply chain. Tariffs, for example, can raise the cost of importing products from other countries to your customers.
If a tariff is imposed, such as the 15% tariff on Chinese goods from 2019, your wholesale pricing can change, throwing off profit margins and affecting your pricing. It can also lead to a lack of products being imported, which can dictate your catalog options.
Consider staying up to date with politics (even if you’re not a fan) so that you can plan your product catalog according to international trade policy. Or, work with Shop1’s American suppliers to eliminate the stress of international supply.
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Social media influencers and Hollywood celebrities play a major role in deciding what sells successfully. From Instagram influencers to YouTubers and even A-list celebrities or athletes, product endorsements can shape the culture of a niche.
Makeup kits, clothing, electronics, and more can be found with an influencer’s name on it. With the hype that these influencers drum up for the releases, the demand for similar products can increase dramatically.
If you cannot get the access to the hot item itself, you can take advantage of the buzz behind the product type by selling off-brand products. Wireless earphones that don’t have an Apple logo or headphones that aren’t by Dre can still allow you to ride the hype of a release by accessing lesser-spending customers that don’t want to pay for the brand name. Additionally, when the branded products sell out, you can still provide customers with a similar option that may even better address their needs.
With Shop1, you can gain access to a wide array of products which you can add to your catalog to best match current trends, keeping your store trendy and high-converting. Just keep an eye on all the major influencers in your industry to get a heads up of what kind of product is up next.
To connect with the consumer, you need to think like a consumer. Community interaction can be exceptionally effective in telling you what will and won’t sell.
Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media can provide direct access to the thoughts and opinions of the customers of your niche. Product reviews and feedback as well as wishlists can help you decide which products aren’t worth offering and which you should seek out to add to your store.
You can also integrate with the community, answer questions, provide resources, and become a trusted source of knowledge. Then, as an authority in the community, you can begin to recommend products from your store that address your audience’s needs without coming off as a business just trying to make a sale (which the internet HATES).
There are a lot of aspects to running a dropshipping business, and your products are the fuel behind the machine. The right and best dropshipping products can elevate your business so that it shines amongst the competition, creating a loyal customer base and ensuring that your target audience is satisfied.
While Shop1 makes it easy to get started with a dropshipping site thanks to simple importing of supplier catalogs, you’ll still want to evaluate your product offerings regularly to keep things fresh, relevant, and moving off the virtual shelves.
Now that you know how to find winning products and build a successful product catalog, start researching to gain the niche knowledge you need to make your business thrive.
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