If you are thinking of getting into the world of e-commerce, there are two aspects of the industry you should seriously consider. One is drop shipping, and the other is Instagram marketing.
What Is Drop Shipping?
You might not be familiar with the term “drop shipping.” The reason why is likely because there’s no need for customers to be aware that drop shipping is occurring when they make a purchase.
Drop shipping is when a retailer does not actually own the items the customers are buying. Instead, a different merchant owns and stocks the items.
The retailer makes the sale and then purchases the requested products on the customer’s behalf—at a lower price, obviously, than the one the customer paid. The supplier takes care of shipping the merchandise to the customer.
Benefits of Drop Shipping
You might wonder why business owners would use a middleman instead of managing their inventory themselves. Usually, adding more moving parts complicates processes.
While it’s true that there are potential drawbacks involved with drop shipping, there are also many advantages to it. With drop shipping, you don’t have to experience the hassle of stocking your own merchandise. You don’t have to invest money in the inventory or pay taxes on it.
Other benefits of drop shipping are that you can set your own profit margins and get immediate access to a wide variety of wares. You don’t even have to be established as a business before you really get started. And you can run your company anywhere across the globe.
One advantage of drop shipping is that you can sell just about anything you want. On the other hand, “anything” presents a massive number of choices to you. So how do you figure out exactly what products to sell online?
You can use a few different methods for generating product ideas. After you do that, you’ll need to sort through which of them are useful and which you need to discard.
What You Sell Is Important
First, brainstorm and see what you can come up with on your own. If you’re interested in starting your own store, then you probably already have some notion of what you would like to sell. Write down your thoughts.
After you come up with your own list, see what feedback your friends have on it and if any they have any other suggestions for you.
Then take a look at your competitors in your industry. They probably have some good strategies that you can build off of or use as inspiration. What are they doing that is working? What are their most popular products?
Definitely check out social shopping sites, such as Polyvore, Fancy, and Wanelo. It should go without saying that you should give some serious attention to Instagram and Pinterest as you’re searching for ideas.
Filtering Your List
Once you’ve compiled the list of products you’re interested in selling, the next step you should take is narrowing it down. Here are some suggestions for doing so.
- Find your niche, an unmet need within a larger market. Then make sure that the niche you’re leaning toward is not already saturated.
- Avoid general, highly saturated markets, such as those that sell books, clothing, etc.
- Shoot for a product price range between $40-$60.
- Use Google Trends Products and Keyword Tool to see what is trending or in demand. Look for products that are in between being in extremely high demand and in no demand at all.
- Avoid seasonal items.
- Stay away from copyrighted products.
- Evaluate the marketing channels you plan to use to see which products would be best for them.
Marketing on Instagram
There are obviously many marketing channels you can consider for promoting your business. But one you should spend some serious time on is Instagram because the platform is extremely popular and highly visual.
You have a couple options for getting people to follow you on Instagram. One is that you can attempt to build your following on your own, and the other is influencer marketing.
If you choose the former option, you need to know which hashtags are most important for your industry and then use plenty of them in each post.
Make sure you’re posting at the best times of the day on the right days of the week. Consider also engaging with the people who are following your competition. The followers of your competitors will likely be interested in your products, so there’s a good chance they’ll follow you as well.
But if doing the work to get your own following sounds overwhelming, then you should try partnering with influencers on Instagram.
Influencers are people who already have an established audience. If you can successfully connect with influencers and get them to share one of your posts, you can gain a lot of followers pretty quickly.
Pursue influencers who are not only in your niche but also the ones you find when you narrow down your niche as much as possible. Many of them will include their email addresses in their bios.
Once you find the right influencers, reach out to them by email, and briefly explain in your email what you hope they will post. You can link to the type of content you would like.
You should expect to pay influencers for their services. But doing so will be worth it because of the followers you’ll gain. You’ll also be able to use the content later for other purposes.
Finally, when influencers are going to post something for you, make sure to give them a trackable URL so you can see how effective your campaign is.
The internet is changing shopping in many ways, and one of them is that you now don’t even have to stock items to run your own store.
If you’re thinking of stepping into the e-commerce world, drop shipping is something you should seriously consider. And when it comes to marketing your products, you absolutely must take advantage of Instagram.
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