GUIDE Dropshipping in 2021 and beyond

There has been a lot of comments and talk lately on this forum (and elsewhere) stating that dropshipping is finished and it is too difficult to enter the market. You are wrong. Read that again, YOU ARE WRONG.

I want to assist anyone that may be interested in drop-shipping moving forward and provide a mini-guide. Any comments or questions are warmly welcomed, and I would be happy to assist if you do reach out.

Dropshipping remains a viable business model. Did you read that right? Did you see how I used the words “business model”?

If you’re in this game for short term adulation, then you’re in the wrong game. There are massive returns to make if you are willing to invest time and effort. If you remain dedicated, you will see results. It really is that simple.

Dropshipping in 2020

Everyone thought 2020 was a bummer of a year, right? Not for me. Not for people in the drop-shipping business who actually know what they are doing. In 2020, I had my best year ever. I generated $10 million in revenue and profited $4 million (prior to deducting staff costs).

If you thought drop-shipping is dead, think again.

While the world was worrying about COVID, I doubled down. I exploited avenues of growth that were working for my business and hit the after burners.

It’s pretty simple, anyone can do this if they are willing to put in the time and effort.

The term “dropshipping”

Often, when people hear this term, they get a little shaky. I mean, there are certainly negative connotations associated with the word. When you hear drop-shipping, you think of shady online stores, with poor product quality, poor shipping times and a plethora of other issues.

Drop-shipping is not a dirty word.

Drop-shipping is simply a business model. Once you start thinking about yourself and your operations as a business, as opposed to a get rich quick scheme, your trajectory will change.

If you are opening a Shopify store and using the default theme, I have news for you my friend. You won’t last long in this game.

Pro tip: I don’t even use Shopify for my large brands.

Niche

Your niche is important. You need to identify an area of consumerism which is either trending OR has consistent market share. This isn’t always easy, however, with research you can definitely crack the code. RESEARCH is key.

Too many times I see people launching themselves into selling products without taking any time to perform market research.

Understanding my market and the way my customers think has been one of the key factors in the success that I have seen.

Suppliers

The topic of suppliers always seems to be a recurring topic of conversation. There are reputable suppliers on AliExpress and AliBaba. You need to invest time to understand who these suppliers are. Once you find your supplier and you build a good relationship, the sky is the limit. They will begin to want to keep you happy. After all, you will be ordering a significant amount from these vendors – it remains in their interests to assist you in any way that they can.

Branding and Social Proof

There is one point that I would like to stress. BRANDING is absolutely everything. Remember, how I said you need to think of drop-shipping as a business model? When you start on this drop-shipping journey you need to keep that at the front of your mind. In my opinion, branding is the single most important key to success. Don’t think of yourself (or your website) as a drop-shipping store. Think of yourself as a brand. Ask yourself, is this a brand that I would be happy to purchase off? Would I trust this brand with my money? You’re not looking for a get rich quick scheme. You are in this for the long haul. You are here to build and develop a brand. If you have this mindset, the windfalls will be massive in the long run.

Coupled with branding is social proof. I see a lot of drop-shippers starting off and they utilise Facebook or Instagram accounts with extremely small followings. Yes, you need to start somewhere, however, you MUST invest time (and money) into building your social channels. Social proof is very powerful when it comes to enticing potential customers to hit the checkout button. I was actually listening to a podcast today, where a self-professed “dropshipping guru” recommended that you could start drop-shipping by approaching influencers on Instagram with an account with as few followers as ten. Ten followers? I choked on my water as I was listening to the audio. I thought he may have said something ridiculous like one hundred followers, but ten was off the charts stupid.

In short, I have proven strategies around branding and social proof which has seen all three of my brands explode.

Professionalism

I believe this point ties in with the previous two paragraphs, however, I want to make this point very clear. Any person that is not brain damaged can click on an ad, view the product page and immediately determine whether your brand is worth forking out the cash for. If you are not writing captivating copy, leave now. If you are not taking the time to design your store, leave now. If you are not ensuring your site is published with perfect English, leave now. If you are displaying trust badges upon trust badges on your store, leave now.

Ask yourself one simple question.

Would Apple or Nike be happy to publish what you have just published on your website? If the answer is no, you need to start again.

Advertising Strategy

All platforms work. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, influencers. Each of these advertising methods will get you results. You need to be willing to invest and understand the mechanics of each platform.

Some niches provide a greater ROAS on Instagram. Some niches provide a greater ROAS on Facebook. There are a number of factors here, so please feel free to send me a DM and I will be able to assist and provide some advice.

I could write tips and tricks for each of these methods, but I would honestly be here for days.

Conclusion

Drop-shipping remains a viable business model and will continue to be a viable business model moving into the future. You need to be willing to invest time and effort. Above all, you need to remain dedicated. You need to be willing to invest in yourself. Gains are here to be made and there is more than enough to be shared around – I couldn’t be more confident in that statement given the way 2020 played out.

Build your brand, understand your market. You can succeed.