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  • How to Be a Successful Dropshipper: Hear from 4 of Our Top Selling Retailers

    successful dropshippers

    Building a successful dropshipping store is a long journey. For genius, it can take a few weeks, but most of us often taste a chain of failures before getting somewhere. As an old saying goes, “Success never comes overnight”.

    Last week, we talked to four of our top selling retailers about how they built their 6-figure business. We’ve learned a lot of golden nuggets that we need to spread the word. You’ll find them in this post.

    First, a quick introduction:

    Harry Klein started his bracelet online store in 2015. He’s now the owner of three stores, selling top quality and adorable bracelets. His stores combined to generate over $4M in revenue last year.

    Wayne Clark quit his 9-to-5 job to pursue his business dream, and he never regretted! Starting from zero, now he makes over $340K/month from his dropshipping store. His life has transformed before his eyes.

    Catherine Lee was still a university student when she started her own store. After three years, she has grown his store Daily Best to $500K revenue, with an average of $41K per month.

    Jasmine Kornick now earns upwards of $100K each month, less than two years after starting his first store. She plans to open her second dropshipping store at the end of this year.

    Now, let’s find out how these smart guys rock their business!

    How do you choose your winning products to sell in your store?

    Wayne Clark: I do extensive research and test retail products a lot. I usually use Page Post Engagement (PPE) and Website Conversion (WC) Facebook ads to run each product for 3 – 5 days, $50 – $100 budget. The outcome will tell me what if I should continue or ditch the product and move on. Don’t be emotionally attached to any product. If it doesn’t work, try another. What you think or feel about an item doesn’t matter. How your target audience perceives it is more important. My friends often stuck with the same old products, again and again, trying to make them work. Of course, I don’t mean you should give up, but please let the data do the talking, not “assume” whether it’ll work.

    Jasmine Kornick: There were many days when I sat in front of my laptop and tested products for hours. I ran a campaign with 12 ad sets, and finally, found only 1-2 are winners. I ran the campaign a few days more to be 100% sure, then scrap the losers. From there, I scaled up them and continued to add new products to test. I did this every day, and it’s worth. 

    Harry Klein: What I do is simple. I run 10 ad sets, 1 interest for each ad set, $5 – $10 budget. I focus on countries where ePacket is available for. If you spent one dollar in your ad and you get one dollar in return, your break-even point is 1. In this case, start with a higher break-even point, then switch to a higher budget. I run the campaign for at least two days. If an ad set spent &1.50 and has 0 clicks, or spent $10 and no sales, or has reached the break-even point and has 0 sales, I kill them. I do exactly this process whenever I start a new store.

    Catherine Lee: I only use Facebook. I search for keywords by year to check what is trending. For example, ‘buy now’, ‘50% off’, ‘order here’, ‘free worldwide shipping’, ‘get yours now’.

    Where do you find your dropshipping suppliers?

    Jasmine Kornick: I bought supplier directories. Then, I filtered all suppliers in my niche and search for them on AliExpress. I also googled them and read all the related information. I spent several days to contact them via email and ask many questions. It’s like a back-and-forth process. I admit that using directories isn’t an ideal choice, especially if you are a newbie in dropshipping. But it benefits you in many ways.

    Harry Klein: Based on my niche, I call the manufacturer and ask for a list of wholesale distributors. Then, I contact them. I don’t try to find China suppliers because I know there are so many suppliers out there. My goal is to find the one who best suits my needs.

    What methods have you used to drive traffic to your store?

    Jasmine Kornick: I have used a lot of techniques, both free and paid marketing. I run ads, share products on social media, you name it.

    Wayne Clark: Run Facebook videos, that’s it! I ran a lot of campaigns and drove a huge amount of traffic to my store. 

    Catherine Lee: At the beginning, I gave an influencer a free product and a free discount. She recorded a video of herself using my product, then uploaded the video to her Instagram account. In this post, she included the discount I gave her before. The result was incredible. A lot of her followers visited my store and made purchases. Cool, right? I also run Facebook video ads, and it works well. 

    What did you do to run a successful Facebook ad campaign for your business?

    Harry Klein: When I started my first store, I did exactly the same thing many beginners often do. I spent $250 on ad but didn’t get a single sale. I left the space. A month later, I came back and tried again. This time, I spent $300 and still got nothing. Give up? No. I didn’t do it. Instead, I took a week to learn my target audience and record a video of myself using my product to prove how it works. I also offered 30% off for the first 100 customers who bought it. I wanted to make this deal so great that my prospects had to tag their mother, father, cousins, friends. Results? I got 150 customers on the first day of running the ad. My motto is once I have these in place, I’ll be unstoppable, and the sales will be going up.

    Catherine Lee: At first, I always figure out which stage in the funnel that my audience is in. Coldest, cold, neutral, warm or warmest. I learned this from a guy on Facebook. Let me explain to you:

    • Coldest: Who have no idea who you are, what you are doing, what you are selling. In short, they are those who don’t care about you. Your goal should be raising their awareness. You can work with influencers to produce high-quality content.
    • Cold: They know you, kind of. They saw something from you and engaged in a piece of your content, but don’t know you. That’s why they don’t take action. Your goal should be getting them to take action. You can try and wow them with viral content.
    • Neutral: They have much interest in you. They watched your video, read your content, commented on your post, etc. But, they don’t take action. Your goal should be creating buyer intent.
    • Warm: They may want to buy from you. They go to your product page and add some items to cart. But for some reason, they leave your store without purchasing. Your goal should be closing the sale. Use social proof like reviews, video testimonials, guarantees. Sometimes, cross-selling or product bundling is also good.
    • Warmest: They already bought something in your store. They are your customers. Your goal should be increasing lifetime value. Target customer audience and give away something that they want to buy more and more from you.

    How do you automate and scale your dropshipping business?

    Harry Klein: When I looked for an automated dropshipping app, I created a checklist. First, I can add AliExpress products to my store. Second, I don’t have to fulfill orders by hand. Third, I have full control of my store, from monitoring to order tracking. And last, I can replace products with new suppliers whenever I want. I installed some apps, then decided to use Oberlo. It’s good but I still had to place orders one by one. Until recently, my friend gave me another app called Dropship Connector. I tried it and I saved tons of time. It checked all my boxes. Easy to use and the best part, it’s free. 100%.

    What is the biggest challenge your store is facing right now?

    Wayne Clark: I could say it’s keeping up with new trends. There’s always something new. I am still unclear how to scale up ads to make more profit while keeping costs in control. I have to be in the learning mode!

    Jasmine Kornick: Maintain the revenue for my current store while opening the second. The market is so competitive than ever so every move should be strategic.

    Harry Klein: My biggest challenge is customer service. Because I have three stores selling different products, sometimes I face a huge workload. Answering calls, sending a bunch of emails, you name it. It’s not that easy.

    Catherine Lee: Make more money. It’s my challenge and motivation.

    Do you have any advice for those who are new to dropshipping?

    Catherine Lee: Everyone can do dropshipping, but it isn’t for everyone. If you want to succeed, you have to work harder than others. Be careful when you watch some guys on YouTube or Facebook selling their course. Learn from them with caution. You have to know what you’re doing.

    Wayne Clark: It’s a journey. I remember when I got started, I only wished I would have a stable income which doubled than my full-time job’s salary. But in the six months of doing business, I was dead broke. I had to borrow money for living and trying again. Then, I hit 1 – 2 small wins, and three months later, I got my first big win. Be persistent. Be bold.

    Jasmine Kornick: Work hard but don’t expect big results. Celebrate your failures because it’s how you can grow. Besides, your customers are your source of money. You have to respect them and cater to them. Show up every time they “call” your name.

    Harry Klein: Follow trends on eCommerce and dropshipping every day. Learn how to run Facebook ads. Read more books. And remember to sleep. Better sleep, better mind.

    Your turn:

    What golden nuggets have you learned from these four successful dropshippers? Do you feel encouraged to start your store today? Or, what else do you need to kick off?

    Tell us in the comments below, and we’ll help you as much as we can. Promise.