Considering that a number of media pundits have recently announced that the dropshipping industry is on its last legs and won’t survive the current economic situation, you might think that there’s no more money to be made in the segment. In spite of these claims, however, actual statistics tell a very different story.
According to one study conducted by financial analysts, the dropshipping market will be worth around $558 billion by 2025, which is a far cry from being dead. The industry is expanding quite quickly, but it’s also changing at a faster pace than it ever has before.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that small business owners can weather the storm and continue to grow their margins regardless of which direction the market moves in.
Improving Your Odds of Surviving in a Competitive Market
Due to the proliferation of inexpensive imported products, nearly anyone can get into dropshipping. Anyone who sells items like this online is going to find themselves up against a large number of other individuals who sell exactly the same things. Distinguishing your business from everyone else is vital if you want to avoid being swallowed by the market.
Investing in custom packaging design is one of the best ways to do this, especially if you fulfill orders from large overseas eCommerce sites like Alibaba. If your products look professionally packaged, then consumers might be willing to pay a higher price for them since they know they’re not getting counterfeits. Fake goods are a major problem for online shoppers, so many potential buyers will be on the lookout for things that look good and clearly come from a legitimate source.
You’ll also want to work on your product descriptions. If you’re regularly copying the same descriptions everyone else has, then you won’t get any search engine traction. Consumers might again think that your products are potentially fraudulent. At least modifying the description to some degree or importing metadata about the goods you sell from a legitimate third-party source can help people find the things that they’re most willing to pay for. This should also make it easier to promote your products on social media, since you’ll have a ready pool of descriptions and images to draw from.
None of these suggestions help to address the problem of spiraling costs, however, which has quickly become one of the biggest issues facing individual retailers.
Dealing with Increased Costs & Lower Profits
Many retailers are feeling the squeeze as the dropshipping market continues to expand. Some analysts are suggesting that the sector could grow by nearly 29 percent over the next five years, which may encourage some manufacturers to start charging more for their products. that could price smaller retailers out of the market.
Predicting market fluctuations might be the best way for dropshippers to save money. Locating good deals and connecting your clients with them can help ensure that you still make sales even when prices start to climb. Artificial intelligence software can automate this process by scanning popular eCommerce listings and finding the most affordable products at any given time. Eventually, AI apps might be able to predict what conditions will drive prices down so you can list items before your competitors do.
Some creative retailers are using AI-based marketing tools to automate their promotional efforts as well. Since software can constantly search the web for areas to place ads, it can dramatically reduce costs by connecting you with the best deals possible.
Another way that people have sought to drop costs is by fulfilling customer orders from remote warehouses that collect goods in their country of origin. In many cases, this can increase the amount of time it takes for products to reach their final destination. Consumers that have to deal with abnormally long product delivery times are likely to take their business elsewhere.
Industry insiders have come up with a few unique ways of dealing with this problem as well, however.
Reducing Order Fulfillment & Delivery Times
The most successful dropshippers no longer rely on freight shipping to get goods to their clients. Instead, they almost exclusively use ePacket shipping services. These were created by a trade agreement with authorities in China, and they’re reasonably fast.
Retailers who’ve carved out a higher-value market niche have found that some clients are actually willing to pay more for faster shipping. You can often find fulfillment agencies that will use airmail services, though these tend to increase the price. It might be something to consider when dealing with products that are already expensive.
Savvy retailers have also taken steps to eliminate their reliance on eCommerce organizations that cite long processing times. If they can’t ship products out fast enough, then managers may want to look elsewhere. Countless organizations are looking to make their business more friendly to online shoppers, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of better alternatives.
Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to always keep in mind that people are only going to purchase things that they need and want. Keep an eye on your client’s demands and connect them with organizations that carry products they’d normally buy. Once you’ve got this down, the other concerns should all fall into place.
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