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"The Art of Finding Winning Products"
The kids have just broken up for their summer holidays and before you know it they'll be back to school.
So, if you're running an eCommerce store, you should be taking advantage of this time of year because the back-to-school period can be a lucrative one.
The stats speak for themselves.
The office and school supplies industry in the U.S. alone grew to a whopping $12 billion back in 2015. With as much $1.2 billion generated through online sales! Since then, this industry has only gone from strength to strength.
Needless to say, if you haven't already, you'd be wise to jump on the bandwagon.
This means finding killer products to sell, which is where we come in. Below we've listed some of our favorite back-to-school merchandise for dropshippers to sell.
Does that sound good to you? Excellent. Let's dive straight in!
The pencil case is a classic back-to-school must-have.
We've all owned one at one point, and I don't know about you, but as a child, I used to love buying a brand new pencil case at the start of the year.
As you can see from the below screenshot, there's an apparent demand for them...right now.
The beauty of the humble pencil case is that you can source them for as little as a dollar and then sell them on for anywhere between $5 and $10.
That's a pretty impressive markup.
Have you considered giving something away as a freebie when customers spend a certain amount with your online store? This is a surefire way to boost your pencil case sales. Something cheap like a novelty pen, pencil, or an eraser should do the trick.
Consumers love getting things for free.
So, if you want to create buzz surrounding your new product line, this is a great place to start.
Be sure to plaster this promotion all over your social media profiles, so your audience knows about your fabulous offer. You could even run a social media contest to bolster traction. This is a simple yet budget-friendly way of reaching new prospects.
In light of all that, here are a few examples of pencil cases we like the look of...
This canvas pencil case is oh so fashionable. So, much so that it actually doubles up as cosmetics case. So, once the back-to-school period has been and gone, you could re-market this product and continue to sell it all year round -- win-win!
For more products sold by this supplier, check out Turquoise Chloe.
We love this cat pencil case.
Not just because it's uber-cute, but also because it's an eco-friendly product. You could easily use this USP to appeal to parents who pride themselves on being ethical consumers. Plus, this adorable design is a dead ringer for the 'Pusheen' stickers on Facebook messenger. So, we're confident kids obsessed with social media will love this pencil case!
For more products sold by this supplier, check out Grey Milo.
Gone are the days where shoppers could only purchase generic-looking sticky notes. Today, there are tons of gorgeous options for consumers to choose from.
From cute animal-themed designs to fluorescent colored tabs, there's something to suit everyone's tastes.
So, as a marketer (providing you're selling the right products), you have the freedom to appeal to a broader demographic.
From tots starting their first day at 'big school,' to college students ready to start a new semester, there's a certainly a demand for sticky notes.
We highly recommend creating and publishing a banner on the homepage of your ecommerce store. This should capture the eyes of shoppers and entice them to pursue your back-to-school products.
When marketed well, you should expect an influx in website traffic. So, put your best foot forward by giving visitors a pleasant online shopping experience. This means fixing anything that could potentially slow the speed of your site down. So, get rid of unnecessary plugins and optimize images to ensure your store loads as quickly as possible.
Here are a few examples of sticky notes we can't get enough of...
If you've taken a look on Pinterest recently, you'll see that kraft paper is huge in the stationery and craft space. So, we predict these cute sticky notes will sell like hotcakes -- especially amongst animal lovers! Seriously, who could resist the smiley faces of these adorable cartoon sheep?
For more products sold by this supplier, check out Black Lily.
They say you're most productive during the mornings, so these memo pads are the perfect hat tilt to this fact. They're cute, they're practical, and they're novel. People want something a bit different, and these sticky notes are certainly that.
For more products sold by this supplier, check out Salmon Sooty.
In 2011 pencil sales in the U.S. grew by a staggering 6.8%. Kids always need pencils, so they're a staple for any back-to-school range. The best way to stand out from the crowd for what's usually a pretty generic product is to sell novelty-style pencils.
To stir up some hype surrounding your pencils, reach out to 'mom bloggers' with considerable followings. Parents and students alike will be looking for inspiration before they spend their hard-earned cash on back-to-school supplies, which is where influencers come into their own.
In 2016, almost a third of parents were willing to spend more money on kids clothing if an online influencer endorsed it. Needless to say, the same logic is easily applied to back-to-school products.
So, head to Google and find the names and email addresses for some of the more popular parenting bloggers. There are tons of influencers in this niche, so you're bound to find one who'll give your products a shout out!
Here are a few novelty pencils and pencil holders we like the look of…
Kids love bendy soft pencils and parents equally adore them because they're not easily broken or snapped -- so they don't have to keep shelling out for new pencils! They're fun; they're colorful, they're unusual, making them perfect for getting children excited about getting back to school.
These devices are amazing for kids learning how to write. Namely, because they work wonders for helping little ones learn how to grip pencils and pens correctly. Not to mention, they also stop pencils from uncomfortably rubbing their precious little fingers.
These writing posture correction devices are a bit different and provide a solution to a genuine problem. So, parents on the hunt for all the latest and greatest back-to-school stuff (without spending the earth), will love this sort of thing!
In 2013 manufacturers sold approximately £121 thousand pounds worth of ballpoint pens, in just the U.K. alone!
That's a lot of doe.
So, make sure you're getting a slice of the pie by adding a range of pens to your product catalog.
Just like your pencils, you'll need to work hard to stand out from the crowd.
Cue, content marketing.
You don't want your marketing campaigns to just be about getting people to buy. Instead, you should be providing back-to-school consumers with something of value.
Perhaps you could offer parents tips on how to prepare for the back-to-school period, how to motivate kids for school, how to make the most out of the summer break -- you get the idea!
Here are a few novelty pens you might want to consider selling…
We love the fact this pen doubles as a bookmark. The fun bamboo leaf design could be perfect for a child who's into jungle-related merchandise. Perhaps fans of Tarzan or The Jungle Book? You could certainly use this to fuel your sales page copy.
For more products sold by this supplier, check out Fuchsia Molly.
A product like this is probably better suited for kids about to go to college. It's perfect for parents or grandparents looking for a meaningful present to give a student who's about to embark on this educational journey. Plus, this pen is packaged in a luxurious black gift box, so customers don't have to worry about wrapping paper.
Cross in America makes this specific pen. So, you can be sure you'll benefit from top-notch innovation and design that's stood the test of time -- over 50 years to be precise!
If you're ready to launch a back-to-school product line, you won't go too far wrong with the four products we've listed above. But, before you get going, have you found a website extension to help you find other high-converting products? If not, give Spocket a try. With them, you're bound to stumble across products you'd have never otherwise considered selling! Try Spocket now for free.
Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to Spocket, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.