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"The Art of Finding Winning Products"
Launching a dropshipping website is an excellent option for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, a small budget, and some bright marketing ideas.
That said, it’s not as simple as that.
So how do you create a high-converting dropshipping site?
If this question is on your lips, you're in the right place because we’re going to answer exactly that in this article.
Firstly, we'll reveal our seven steps to building a top converting dropshipping site. Then we'll look at the best Shopify themes to use - including their advantages and disadvantages.
Does that sound good to you? Great. Let's get right to it!
You don't want to become a jack of all trades and a master of none - instead, pick a niche and stick to it. This makes it much easier to market your wares to a specific audience, and over time, it's more manageable to build a sense of authority within your industry - win-win!
Whatever you decide to sell should be something you know about and are interested in. If you randomly choose a niche just because you think it'll make you money fast, it won’t work (at least in the long-run).
It’s always easier to market something you’re passionate about and invested in.
So, before jumping in with both feet, do some much-needed research:
Think about it this way: Whether you're selling something cheap or expensive, you're going to have to spend time marketing. So why not sell something with a higher profit margin?
Instead of selling standard pairs of sunglasses at $15 a piece, why not stock $100 high-quality shades?
This is just one example - but you get the idea.
When you choose a niche where you can sell products with higher profit margins, you're more likely to make a success of your dropshipping venture.
As you go about picking your niche, you'll also want to consider shipping. You don't want to tag hefty shipping costs onto your customer's bill when they go to checkout.
This is a surefire way to decrease conversions.
This is especially true of today’s market, where many large retailers offer free shipping as a matter of course. Consider having an array of products from US suppliers, with fast and affordable shipping.
The solution: Find a niche where you can sell products that are coming from US suppliers and are affordable to ship. That way, you can offer free shipping and compete with more prominent brands.
As you go about picking your niche, think about the audience these products attract. You want people with disposable income who enjoy spending money as part of their lifestyle. So, do your research. Get a feel for your ideal customers and how they buy.
In short: You want to appeal to those with the financial means to spend large amounts on impulse.
Once you’ve identified your audience, reach out to them using a marketing plan. Running social media ad campaigns and collecting emails to build your mailing list is a great way to get started. Then you can send automated emails offering discounts and special offers that appeal to their specific interests.
When it comes to finding and optimizing your online store for high-converting keywords, Google's Keyword Planner and Google Trends are two of your new best friends.
Start by searching for standard terms that relate to your products. If people aren't searching for your products, this could mean that no one's looking for them, and your idea's a dead end.
As you can see, not only will this research highlight which keywords to optimize your content for. But, it'll also validate whether there's consumer demand for your niche.
Your website's branding has to be consistent. Look at successful dropshipping sites in your niche - what do they have in common?
Successful dropshipping businesses tell a story that draws on your audience’s values and beliefs - so use the above elements to achieve that.
While we're on the subject of branding, it's also worth selling products you can white label and ship using your own branded packaging. This is another simple thing you can do to strengthen your brand.
The “R” word keeps cropping up because it can’t be underestimated. By research, we mean checking out your competition. You’re up against giants like eBay and Amazon, and other smaller yet high-converting dropshipping operations like the one you’re trying to launch.
Look at what competitors are selling and how. If they aren’t selling products you're considering marketing, it could be because no one wants that product or because it's expensive to source and ship. Alternatively, you could have found a gap in the market.
This is where competitor and product research overlap, so do your due diligence to see what's in high demand.
This isn’t as easy as it looks.
If your dropshipping supplier doesn’t fulfill orders promptly, your business is going to sink. These days, online shoppers expect high-quality products to be delivered fast.
Again, you'll need to research your vendors before agreeing to do business with them.
They may be overseas, so you'll need reassurance there won't be any communication issues or delays. Ask questions about their production capacity, order sample products, and read reviews from merchants like yourself. This should give you a better idea of whether a potential supplier's reliable.
The quickest way to build a professional-looking dropshipping website is to use an eCommerce platform like Shopify. Further down the line, you might want to go it alone. But when you're first starting out, choosing a decent, well-priced eCommerce builder may be the difference between failure and success.
Before moving onto which Shopify themes to choose for your online store, a few other web design pointers to consider:
a) We recommend using lots of white space between products. This reduces the clutter, making it easier on the eye. Set margins between products to increase the space between copy and images.
b) Provide less choice. That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s not. The more choice shoppers have, the longer it takes for them to decide. It’s called Hick’s Law.
c) Use the rule of thirds. When setting up your site, use a grid of two vertical and two horizontal lines (evenly spaced), forming nine squares.
The four outer points of the middle square are where the eye naturally drifts. Put your CTAs here and any other elements that encourage conversions.
For example, take a look at Shopify’s Homepage below:
“Build an online business” is the first thing that people will see. The CTA is clear, powerful, and easy to execute.
Use Google Analytics to understand your audience - where they're located, what they interact with, where they go on your website, what they buy, etc. By tracking and studying your customers, you'll be able to use automated marketing tools to better engage with customers.
If you're about to launch an eCommerce store, you’re going to need a Shopify theme that converts visitors into customers. Typically, these templates direct shoppers towards making a purchase or, at the very least, leaving their details to grow your email list.
But, before choosing your theme, there are a few commonalities all website templates should boast:
So let’s look at our favorite five Shopify themes and their advantages and disadvantages. Some of our choices are paid-for, and others are free Shopify themes. It’s also worth noting that all templates listed on the Shopify theme store have the following features:
It calls itself the “Highest converting FREE Shopify theme,” that offers “clean code, fast page loading speed and features that matter.” Debutify says that “on average, our customers are saving over $2,000 a year and over 50+ hours of web hours.”
Available in 20 languages, its features include:
A currency converter: This automatically detects your buyer’s country and converts your prices into their currency.
Product sliders: You can showcase several items on a product slider on mobile and desktop devices alike. This includes arrows and dot visibility, you can change the speed and set autoplay sliders.
Customizable features: You can customize your slideshows, headers, and footers. You can also choose to display payment icons, logos, and email and phone links.
Product features and testimonials: You can align products left/center, use dynamic checkout buttons for each product, use 'add to cart' buttons, and have dropdown/button variants. You can also add real customer reviews underneath your product pages.
Wokiee gets lots of attention on multiple review sites and with good reason. It’s a premium Shopify theme that describes itself as a “worldwide style point for eCommerce trends.” Like Debutify, Wokiee supports multiple languages, but some of its other features include:
This highly attractive Shopify theme is easy-to-use and responsive. It comes with a range of settings you can customize to suit your online store’s look, brand, and feel. For example, you can either upload your logo, or if you don't have a logo yet, use Plain to create your own.
You can also write your copy with a choice of 50 popular Google fonts, create dropdown menus, and upload images to your homepage.
You can even craft rotating banners where you can opt to display 2, 3, or 4 items in a row.
Plain also fully integrates with social media apps to help you manage your social marketing needs and is optimized for search engines. This gives your dropshipping business a better chance of ranking higher on Google and other search engines.
Here’s our second free Shopify theme choice.
Minimal is officially supported by Shopify and is precisely what it says on the tin. Their free version comes with three templates:
All of which boast several features:
Slideshow: You can use a slideshow to showcase multiple products on your homepage.
Filtering: Your customers can filter through the products they're interested in by type, price, and collection.
Video: You can add a video to your homepage. This works wonders for explaining to customers your brand's story and vision, which is something higher converting sites should do as standard.
Product recommendations: You can display the products you want to recommend, such as new items, discounted products, and so on.
Last but not least, Handy's a more high-end, expensive theme, but again, it's a recommended Shopify theme. It’s the right choice for anyone intending on selling pricier items and showcasing them as such.
At $160 Handy is the most expensive option on this list. However, this visually attractive theme comes in three styles:
All of which feature the following:
Mobile focused: Handy is explicitly designed with mobile shoppers in mind. This theme is ideal if your target audiences are affluent impulse-shoppers who like to spend on-the-go.
Custom promotion tiles: You can use these to promote your discounts and sales as well as any products you want to feature.
Continuous product scroll: Mobile users can scroll at their leisure indefinitely through your store.
There you have it, our best practices for running a high converting dropshipping website.
To re-cap, we recommend:
Like anything worth having, establishing a successful online store won’t be easy. Still, eventually, it'll bear fruit if you take a systematic and structured approach to your dropshipping business.
Once you've put all of the above advice into action, you can start finding the right theme for your Shopify store. Don’t be put off if you have to pay for some of these templates. If you go into this with your eyes open, knowing what you want to achieve from your Shopify theme, you'll make a wise purchasing decision.
Let us know how you get on in the comments box below! Also, if you're on the hunt for reliable dropshipping suppliers, sign up with Spocket. While you’re at it, join our Facebook Community for top tips and guidance on how to become the best possible dropshipping store owner. We look forward to seeing you there!
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.