So you’ve done your research, you’ve managed to settle on the perfect products to dropship and have roped in the best supplier possible. You’re all set to start dropshipping goods and making that mullah! However, setting up the business is usually one thing, but running it on a day-to-day basis is a completely different ball game. There are various different aspects of running a business, even if it’s a dropshipping business, that you as the retailer have to consider: Marketing, refunds, returns, replacements, inventory, fulfillment, customer support and more. So dive into these various aspects of running a dropshipping business.
MARKETING YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
How will you sell your products if no one knows about them or your brand? Why should anyone online trust you—a stranger? That’s the magic of marketing; it can make even strangers trust you enough to hand over their hard-earned money to you, willingly.
Marketing is a subjective field and there are a billion tactics that can be used to effectively position your brand while driving your brand’s awareness and sales up. If your strategy is well planned, it can help you weed out the rest of the competition too.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
One of the most effective ways to promote, advertise, acquire customers and distribute content is through social media, so it comes as no surprise when social platforms are also used for digital marketing. Facebook, for example, has over 1.7 billion active users from different walks of life and it is this variety that makes it so attractive to digital marketers.
One thing to remember is that content is key. No matter how big a platform is or how amazing the product that you are selling is, it means nothing without great content backing it up.
CUSTOMER RATINGS AND REVIEWS OF YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
In the dropshipping business model, a few bad customer reviews can literally ruin a business. Think about it: When you shop online from websites such as Amazon and eBay, one of the deciding purchasing factors can be the product rating and what other customers have to say about it—it’s the same case with drop shipping too. A few great reviews can also give you that edge over the competition and that’s what’s going to help you successfully convert visitors to your website.
A surefire way to get great customer reviews is by following through on amazing customer experience: Short shipping times, high-quality products, excellent customer service and asking for feedback to improve in the future. You can also use customer feedback as testimonials for your website and social media, which can also help you successfully convert more customers.
EMAIL MARKETING FOR YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
This is one of the most underrated tools in a digital marketer’s kit. Email marketing can be used to keep your customers in the loop about any major changes in the company: Price changes, sales, discounts, product-related content, and industry-specific content are just some ways that email marketing can be used.
These days, software such as Klaviyo, Converio, and Jilt take the hassle out of sending out emails to your audience by automating some of the processes, creating and saving templates, and producing reports and analytics.
PPC ADVERTISING (PAY PER CLICK ADS) FOR YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
As mentioned earlier, several social media channels allow pay per click advertising, for example, Facebook Ads. This is a typical digital marketing move that trades money for traffic to the ad buyer’s website. Google Ads is another very popular platform for digital advertising and is attractive due to the Google Analytics tool that can help marketers create reports with facts and figures with ease.
GROWTH HACKING FOR YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS
Growth hacking is an inexpensive, yet highly effective way of getting creative marketing campaigns online. A few examples of growth hacking include retargeting old campaigns and appearing as a guest blogger for a popular website in your particular niche. Essentially most of this involves content marketing.
REFUNDS, RETURNS & REPLACEMENTS FOR DROPSHIPPED PRODUCTS
As an online business owner, dealing with refunds, returns and replacements are inevitable. Initially, this may seem discouraging however it’s just part and parcel of running an online store. 100% customer satisfaction is a myth no matter how hard you try.
The process for refunding dropshipped products is as follows:
- The customer will place an order for the refund with your business, either through email or over the phone.
- You are then required to ask the supplier for a return merchandise authorization number.
- Once the customer mails the product back to the supplier the supplier will refund the wholesale amount to your account, after which you can initiate the refund of the retail price for the product to the customer.
Even though this process may seem tedious, if the customer is returning a product within the time period stated in the supplier’s return policy, there should not be a problem. The only minor inconvenience that you may face is if the supplier charges a restocking fee, which you as you the retailer will have to bear the cost of. In actuality, this should not be a major loss but rather just a minor inconvenience that comes as a side effect of owning an online business.
Important: While this might be a general returns & refunds procedure that many dropshipping suppliers operate by, it does not mean that all dropshipping suppliers operate by this system. It’s important that you ask your dropshipping supplier how they handle returns & refunds so you know how to handle them and can communicate the process clearly to your customers.
DEFECTIVE DROPSHIPPING PRODUCTS
Defective items can be slightly trickier: Even if the customer is returning a defective product, someone will still have to incur the cost of returning the product. However, if the cost does land upon you, it would be unwise to transfer the cost onto the customer at the risk of losing or alienating them. It’s not your customer’s fault if you sold them a defective product, so it seems unfair to expect them to incur the cost of returning the product.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN IT’S THE SUPPLIER’S FAULT?
If the supplier messes up the order, they are usually willing to either reimburse the customer or replace the product for free. Most of the time it comes down to communicating what you expect from the supplier if they do mess up an order. In most cases, it is best to communicate over email as it also serves as a written record of conversations.