If you've been in the dropshipping scene for even a short period of time, you will have noticed that some "gurus" claim that dropshipping is a relatively easy and non-time-consuming venture.
There are some who would also claim that large amounts of revenue can be generated in short periods of time with the dropshipping business model, which is true, however businesses that generate millions in dropshipping revenue DO NOT follow the advice conventionally taught online.
In this article, we've used data gathered from the Top 10 Shopify Dropshipping stores to provide a simple list of three important principles that the top dropshipping stores use in order to generate large amounts of revenue, retain new customers and stay at the top of their respective niche.
Top Stores Upload Hundreds, If Not Thousands of Winning Products
Using SaleSource to analyze the top 10 dropshipping stores, we found that their websites have an average of 1030 products listed. This may seem like a lot of products, and it is - however these stores have gradually uploaded their products over the years they've been open, not in a month or two.
With an average product upload rate of 2.8 products per day, it is easy to make the assumption that these stores upload a wide variety of "random" non-vetted products and then test what sells after the fact.
However, suprisingly, almost every single product listed on these stores is a vetted winner with matching winning marketing materials. The secret to the top stores is then both quality and quantity together. These top stores have a large amount of winning products, no matter which way you look at it - giving them a higher chance of getting sales overall.
This is vastly contrary to the One Product Store mentality touted by dropshipping influencers, who may claim that only one product is needed to generate X amount of revenue. One Product Stores, are then, the exception, not the rule. For most dropshippers, it is vital to test many products and conduct in-depth product research on each product before listing on a Shopify store.
HygoShop, for example, uploads several new products to test almost every single day, despite the fact that they are estimated to be earning $2.4 million to $4.9 million per month.
HygoShop has one of the largest product selections we've seen in a general dropshipping store, and we can certainly see why - the combination of a large amount of winning products and unique, custom marketing videos has led them to be one of the top gift shops on the entire Internet.
Even the so called "exceptions to the rule" of the list OddityMall and IndestructibleShoes both have reasons behind their lack of products. OddityMall gets most of their traffic from their blog, odditymall.com, where they feature interesting gifts and gadgets using affiliate links to monetize their site instead of dropshipping.
This means that their products are split between two sites - the more expensive, harder to sell products are monetized via affiliate links, and the other products are dropshipped through shop.odditymall.com.
In a different way, IndestructibleShoes was supposed to be a one product store, but it seems that they've found uploading more products works much better. In this scenario, IndestructibleShoes have uploaded many extra shoes to go along with their original "Ryder" best seller.
The main takeaway here is that as an entrepreneur, you should not be giving up too early - in order to increase your likelyhood of success, keep uploading and testing new products until you find a product that sells well for you. Uploading a large amount of quality products with marketing materials to go with them means that your Shopify dropshipping store will have a much higher chance of success.
Furthermore, the key to finding so many quality products to sell is proper product research, which can be the difference between a failed and successful store. Finding the right AliExpress products to list on your store is the first step to dropshipping success, followed then by rigorous testing of the product to determine if it will sell.
Top Stores Make Their Own Marketing Materials
These business will go above and beyond with the creation of marketing materials in several different avenues. Although not all necessary, this is extra effort to put in to beat the competition - and it clearly works, allowing these brands to rise to the top of their respective niches.
Custom Product Videos
HygoShop and InspireUplift, as well as many other top dropshippers, have created custom product videos of almost of every single product listed on their sites. While this can be time consuming, as it requires ordering each product to a location suitable for filming, it is one of the most effective ways to market dropshipping products.
These stores make their own custom product videos with captions that are ready-made to upload onto Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and also ready to go viral. Not using publically available product footage allows these stores to build customer trust and brand authority. It also gives customers a sense that the store who made the video is the only place to buy the product.
Finally, having unique product videos leads to a completely new marketing channel. Using these videos, it becomes much easier to create a YouTube channel to market a dropshipping store. HygoShop have successfully earned almost 50,000 subscribers to their channel where they upload almost every video they make.
Custom Product Images
Although less commonplace in the top stores list than custom product videos, custom product photos are an excellent way to boost brand authority, and again, give your products the "you can only buy THIS PRODUCT on THIS website" feel.
Aesthentials, featured above, have decided to give the majority of their products a custom photo makeover - but have also opted to include AliExpress product photos when appropriate. This has given them the best of both worlds when it comes to product selection and brand authenticity.
However, ordering the product from AliExpress and taking custom photos may not always be required, in this instance, MensLuxuryBoutique have opted to find or edit sneaker side profiles with white backgrounds, giving a uniform photo studio look to all of their products.
This technique boosts customer trust and only requires the main product image to be edited to have a white background, allowing for AliExpress images to make up the rest of the photos.
Detailed Product Descriptions & Product Gifs
As well as writing high converting product descriptions many top dropshipping stores include product gifs on their product pages. The benefits of using product gifs are as follows:
- Can easily be made out of existing video footage
- Easier to create than full product video
- Motion attracts human eye and leads to higher engagement
- Quickly and easily explains product features
Customer Review Images
To increase social proof and conversion rate, many of the top stores have public customer reviews, where customers can submit text and image reviews.
Top stores even use customer reviews and testimonials in their Facebook Ads as social proof campaigns.
Customer reviews can be gathered using an app like Loox Product reviews and help to build the trust of customers who haven't purchased yet.
Top Stores Make Money Without Relying On Facebook and Google Ads
Brands are aware of the fact that Facebook and Google Ads are becoming increasingly expensive with a larger and larger amount of competitors getting into Shopify & AliExpress dropshipping every day.
In order to increase both profits and revenue, top dropshipping stores have employed many innovative techniques to get targeted traffic on their website that is likely to convert. You can use these exact same techniques on your own dropshipping to boost organic traffic and increase customer lifetime value & retention.
Referral Programs & Email Marketing
It goes without saying that the top Shopify dropshipping stores have a very large amount of customers, over 500,000 in some cases. Using an email list, these brands are able to segment their audience into buyers, non-buyers, customers who abandonded cart etc.
With this information, top Shopify dropshippers can send targeted sales emails to advertise their large product portfolios. As you might know, customers who've purchased from an online store before are 60% more likely to purchase again than a non-converter.
This means that by focusing on existing customers, these top brands generate "ad-cost free revenue", boosting profits and customer lifetime value.
Leveraging YouTube & Instagram Influencers
A relatively inexpensive way to get shoutouts and videos made by Instagram & YouTube influencers is to ask them to visit your website, choose some items that they like (up to a certain price limit) and then buy & send them these items from AliExpress (spending only the product cost price). Depending on your stores price markups, the cost should be relatively low compared to the return - a YouTube video or Instagram post linking to your site.
Aesthentials, formerly known as SoAestheticShop, have leveraged this technique with YouTube influencers to not only drive converting traffic to their store, but also to build their own Instagram presence. This method is so effective for them that an estimated 55% of their traffic is now from YouTube.
We highly recommend using this technique with multiple influencers on different platforms if it suits your niche as it can result in a disproportionately large return on investment for your dropshipping store.
Pinterest & Organic Traffic
Pinterest can be one of the best places on the Internet to get organic traffic for your dropshipping store, especially if your niche is Pinterest suitable.
WarmlyDecor, a seven figure dropshipping store has grown their brand primarily using Pinterest. Warmly have leveraged paid Pinterest ads that have later ended up going viral, resulting in huge volumes of organic traffic, shares and pins.
WarmlyDecors pins are viewed over 10,000,000 times per month, with 77% of Warmly's traffic coming directly from Pinterest.
Pinterest is great to post pictures and advertisements of your products, specifically in the niches of home decor, fashion, architecture, travel, fitness, food. With the average Pinterest user earning over $100,000 per year, it is also one of the best places to market high ticket dropshipping products.
There are many conflicting ideas about what makes a good dropshipping store in the community, but our conclusions outlined in this article and based on evidence and hard data, are certainly a part of the equation.
The oldschool formula of having many great products and equally great marketing for each product still holds true versus sales gimmicks and fads like "Free, Just Pay Shipping".
With creative marketing, a tonne of winning products and stellar branding, these top stores have managed to put themselves above and beyond their Shopify competitors and we hope that the tips in this article will allow you to do the same.
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