You’ve got your niche chosen, you might even already have your website domain selected and website built. The next question is what your going to full your website with?
Choosing products for your drop shipping business might seem like an easy task but there are definitely factors that you should take into consideration.
#1 Niche Compatibility
With a new drop shipping site it’s generally advisable to find a specific niche and focus on it, rather than being too general. This allows you to target people who have an active interest in the niche and thus the products you want to sell.
As such you need to make sure that any products you choose for the site are compatible with the niche. For example, if you have a niche about dogs, it’s unlikely that many, if any of your visitors want to see products about birds, regardless of how cute it is.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t select products that might not be directly associated with your niche, so long as they support the general theme.
Whatever products you select for your site, it’s important to gauge the quality before listing them.
With drop shipping there’s really only one way to do this: buy each product yourself.
This will allow you to get a sense of the time shipping takes, and well as being able to decide if the product is high enough quality to be listed on your site.
This practice also helps to reduce potential refunds and returns which is always beneficial.
If you don’t like or need the products that you buy, then you can also give them away over the year as presents, hand them over to charity or even use them as individual or bulk prizes for competitions on your site (a great way to increase the size of your email list!).
As an entrepreneur you want to make money, so price is often the one product factor that a lot of people get hung up on.
The main thing you need to think about is whether of not you can add a mark-up to the price listed on the wholesalers site.
To check this, do a search for the product and see what your competitors are pricing the product at. Google’s image search is very useful for this as product names/descriptions can vary.
If the average sale price of the product is barely over the wholesaler’s price, you may want to rethink choosing that product as it will give very little leeway should you need to compete on price.
Some drop shippers will only choose cheaper products, while some will go high end all the time. There’s pros and cons to both, but having a variety of price points on your site can help cater to a larger number of your audience.
Alongside various price points, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a variety of products. Even if your site is focused on Wolf head t-shirts, having long sleeved tops, tank tops, sleeveless t-shirts and more can help provide more options for visiting customers.
Variety of stock is ridiculously easy with drop shipping, because you don’t hold onto any physical stock.
This also makes it really easy to get carried away. Having variety is beneficial for sure, but too much choice can actually lead to fewer sales. It’s certainly a delicate balance that requires testing.
There’s no point listing products on your site if the supplier only holds a limited and small number of the products.
If you do decide to list limited stock products, and your marketing skills create a sudden boost in sales you could find yourself scrambling to find another supplier to fulfil orders!
As such, pay close attention to the suppliers stock levels when choosing your products, and also keep monitoring the availability of each product as you’re not the only drop shipper out there using that supplier!
Big might be beautiful but it can give even seasoned drop shippers headaches!
Listing large products can cause a few issues. Firstly they often cost more to ship, which means you either need to pass the cost onto the customer (in shipping fees or in a price increase) or take a reduced profit yourself.
Large items are also awkward to ship. Across state lines is one thing, but large products from an overseas country run a higher risk of being damaged in transit.
Smaller items can be protected from transit damage more easily (bubble wrap is amazing!), plus the shipping fees are much less, due to a highly reduced size and weight.
#7 Product Lifespan
The lifespan of a product isn’t to do with how long it lasts once the customer gets it. Rather it’s to do with how long you can sell the product for before sales start to dry up.
General purpose products tend to have a longer lifespan than niche products, but can be harder to sell as they are more widely available and likely available locally to your customers.
Lifespan is dictated by your audience and locality – there’s only so many people within a given locality that are interested in dolphin related blankets for instance.
Product lifespan can be increased by changing your target audience. For example if you normally pitch to US residents, you could try advertising to Canadians instead.
Language changes can also be used to increase a products lifespan, basically anything that widens the number of people that would be interested in the product.
Finally, is there a demand for the product? Choosing a product with little to no demand wastes the space on your site (plus your initial time and money) which could have been used for a product that people actually want to buy.
One of the best ways to check that a product is in demand is to check how many the supplier has sold which. Most decent wholesaler websites provide this sort of metric for you.
As well as that you can try a few name variations in Google Trends which gives graphs that show how often the keyword is searched for.
Trends also helps by providing data for when a product type is searched for over time, meaning you can list similar products at times when people are more actively searching for them.
While it’s possible to be a successful drop shipper by selecting products by just using your gut feeling, taking the above factors into account can help reduce the number of unsuccessful products on your site, and save you time and money.