Attracting attention to your online store is a challenging task. Brick-and-mortar retail outlets can put up banners around host events in their spaces, but the internet is saturated with entrepreneurs clamoring for attention from shared audiences. As a dropshipper, your business is particularly dependent on marketing, which means that you need to be strategic and proactive about connecting with customers.
Is there a formula that you can follow to drive traffic to your website effectively and efficiently? Not exactly—people are people, and you cannot force them to do anything. There are, however, some best practices that you can use to make consumers notice you and build trust.
Work within a niche
Every ecommerce store needs a niche. The internet is full of people with different preferences, interests, economic backgrounds, purchasing behaviors, and needs, which means you’ll stretch yourself far too thin if you try to appeal to them all. Look at it from a consumer’s point of view: if you are trying to buy furniture online, would you rather purchase from a store that specializes in dining tables and luxury chairs, or a business that sells furniture, jewelry, cosmetics, and other things? Probably the latter, because they will offer a broader range of products within their niche and possess valuable expertise.
Distinguish your brand
You already know how imperative it is to set your brand apart from other online stores. Shopify Kit Team member Joshua Shessel says:
“If you find yourself offering the same products as many others, you may need to reconsider the ways you can distinguish yourself from them. To stand out, try and highlight your service. Offer different bundles, or even offer an extra personal level of support. If the market is too saturated, you’ll need to find a different, or very specific market to reach or you’ll find yourself with a high bounce rate and low sales.”
There are abundant online retailers out there, so what makes you different than the rest? You are already purchasing products from your suppliers and re-selling them for a higher cost—as are other dropshippers, who may even offer the same products from the same manufacturers—so why should people buy from you, and not them?
Add some value
One thing you can do to convince people why they should purchase products from you instead of your competitors is adding value to the buying experience itself. Shopify’s Ultimate Guide to Dropshipping notes that when it comes to dropshipping, it’s tempting to think that you are only selling a product. Successful merchants, however, understand that they offer more than said products—they provide solutions to problems, insights, and information. Though you are an ecommerce retailer, you are also participating in the information business. Adding value through other services is part of how you define corporate entrepreneurship.
Be on the right platforms
Social media is integral to marketing in the digital age. There are so many scams online that people are becoming extremely proactive about double checking for legitimacy. Even if your website is user-friendly and beautiful to look at, people are unlikely to transact with you if you are not on channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Social media is a convenient opportunity to prove to people that you are, indeed, an honest person running a business, not a faceless corporation or a scammer. Interact with your social media followers—comment and like their posts, respond to their comments on your own material, re-share user-generated content, and more. When you acknowledge people and make them feel taken care of, they feel more comfortable doing business with you. Consumers seek validation, so potential followers will notice how you recognize the followers you already have.
Tap into other audiences
While there are available tools that can help you get followers on Instagram fast, along with automating other aspects of your social media strategy, it’s wise to consider partnering with influencers. Internet personalities already have established fan bases who trust them, so asking such individuals or brands to say something good about your store is an efficient way to tap into a pre-existing audience. There is still a place for building your online audience the long way; organic growth is not limited to reaching out to specific users and hoping that they follow you. Social media is a vast space, so there is an audience out there for you somewhere—but you can find them much more quickly through automation and influencer marketing than you can manually.
Dropshipping allows entrepreneurs a unique amount of flexibility, but its marketing-intensive nature means that you and other retailers need to direct your energy towards distinguishing your brands. How will you attract attention to your online store?