17 Dropshipping Tips To Make Your Business Stand Out

dropshipping tips how to dropship ecommerce

With the rise of online shopping in the early 2000s, a world of opportunity opened up for people looking to start their own ecommerce businesses. Now, 20 years later, it’s easier than ever to create a website and begin selling products—and dropshipping simplifies things even more. 

Unfortunately, the ease of creating dropshipping businesses means that the market is saturated with copycat businesses and similar products. And because consumers have thousands of options to choose from, dropshippers have to compete tirelessly for their attention.

This makes dropshipping for beginners (or even seasoned entrepreneurs) feel like the wild wild west. But don’t worry; with hard work, patience, and persistence, you can build a thriving store. In this post, we’ll explore 17 dropshipping tips you can follow to set you apart from competitors.

Is Dropshipping Still Relevant in 2024?

Dropshipping is still relevant in 2024, but you shouldn’t view it as a get-rich-quick scheme. As with most things in life, achieving success in dropshipping requires time and effort. You’ll even need to invest some money to get your website up and running and pay for ads. 

Many people view dropshipping as a low-effort, low-cost way to generate income. That may have been the case once. But over the years, the low barrier to entry has made the industry very competitive. Only a small fraction of dropshippers actually become profitable and keep their business running. 

The good news? For those willing to invest time, effort, and money into dropshipping, the business model works great. One survey found that 87% of retailers report increased revenue through dropshipping. And the dropshipping market is growing; between 2021 and 2026, it’s forecast to grow to 476.1 billion U.S. dollars.

So yes, dropshipping is a viable ecommerce strategy in 2024. But to take your online store to the next level, you have to stand out from the pack with strategic product selection, focused marketing, and great website design. 

17 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out

If you’re asking yourself, “how can I get better at dropshipping?” you aren’t alone. Building a successful dropshipping store is all about breaking the mold, and you can make your ecommerce storefront stand out in many ways. 

Here, we present some of the best, tried-and-tested dropshipping tips to build your site. The tips are divided into three categories:

  • Products
  • Business setup
  • Customer experience

First, Let’s Talk About Your Products

As a dropshipper, it’s critical to sell the right merchandise, source from reliable suppliers, and clearly communicate the unique benefits of your products. Let’s review some ideas to make product selection and sourcing more successful. 

1. Choose a Niche Audience and Product

When building a dropshipping website, one of the most important steps is to know your audience. Even if your products have universal appeal, you should choose a niche and focus tightly on your ideal customers. 

If your goal is to get as many customers as possible, narrowing your niche can feel counterintuitive. But trying to cater to everybody usually results in a site that caters to nobody. So define your audience, consider their needs and concerns, and build your dropshipping site to speak directly to them. 

Struggling to find (or refine) your niche? The following suggestions can help:

  • Sell products people are passionate about. Your best customers will be those who are passionate about your products. Whether it’s dog lovers, fitness enthusiasts, or avid home chefs, choose an audience and select products with them in mind.
  • Research demand. Use tools like Google Trends to find out what products people are interested in. You can also search online marketplaces like Amazon and AliExpress to see what’s trending. Remember, while your niche should be fairly narrow, you don’t want to focus on something few people care about.

2. Don’t Underprice Your Products

While competitive pricing is important, avoid underpricing your products. 

Underpricing can have two negative outcomes. In addition to impacting your profit margins, low prices often signal to consumers that your products are low quality. Price your products appropriately, considering factors like product quality, brand positioning, and market demand.

Keep in mind that while you should avoid too-low prices, you can use discounts strategically to create a sense of urgency and increase conversions.

3. Offer Product Bundles

Bundle complementary products together to provide added value and encourage customers to make larger purchases. 

For example, let's say you run a dropshipping store specializing in home fitness equipment. You could create a bundled package featuring things like a yoga mat, resistance band set, jump rope, water bottle, and exercise guide. 

Bundling these products together offers several benefits for both you and your customers. In addition to increasing AOV, it provides added value and convenience for customers, as they get all the necessary tools for a comprehensive home workout in one package. 

4. Choose Reliable Suppliers

Since suppliers provide products and handle shipping, they play a crucial role in the customer experience. To attract and retain customers, partner with reputable suppliers who consistently deliver high-quality products and meet your shipping requirements. 

Conduct due diligence, read reviews, and communicate clearly with suppliers to establish strong and reliable relationships.

5. Take Advantage of Seasonal Merchandise

Leveraging seasonal trends and holidays allows you to tap into the increased consumer spending associated with these periods. Promote seasonal products through targeted marketing campaigns to maximize your sales potential.

Seasonal products and promotions can look different for every business. For example, let's say your dropshipping store focuses on home decor items. You might curate a collection of products tailored to specific seasons or occasions, such as spring floral arrangements, summer outdoor decor, fall-themed accents, and holiday ornaments.

This approach would not only enhance the relevance of your products but also increase the likelihood of capturing the attention of customers actively seeking seasonal or holiday-themed decor.

6. Use Unique and Compelling Product Descriptions

If you’re building a large dropshipping store, it’s tempting to rely on the original product descriptions from suppliers. However, this can create problems for your store and your customers. 

Search engines penalize duplicate content, so using large amounts of copied content could result in your store being downgraded on search engine results pages. Additionally, generic descriptions clue customers in that they can find the same product elsewhere, potentially for a lower cost.

Taking the time to create unique, compelling product descriptions is a valuable way to boost your site’s SEO and make your products more appealing to consumers. When you speak directly to your target audience, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll make a purchase. 

Next, Let’s Make Sure Your Business Is Set Up Well

Having great products is the first step on the path to dropshipping success. The second step is to sell those products through effective website design and marketing. This section will explain how. 

7. Have a Great Website

Your website serves as the face of your business, so make sure it’s visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimized for conversions. Invest in professional web design, optimize loading times, and ensure seamless navigation for a positive user experience.

8. Use Helpful Marketing Tools

Invest in marketing tools that can help you effectively promote your products and reach your target audience. Tools like email marketing platforms, social media management software, and SEO analytics can enhance your marketing efforts and drive traffic to your online store. It’s worth investing some time in learning how to use these tools to propel your success.

9. Offer Package Protection

With dropshipping, suppliers are responsible for packaging and shipping products. But you retain responsibility for the delivery experience, and if things go wrong, customers will expect you to replace their product or issue a refund.

To save money and provide greater peace of mind for customers, consider adding package protection to your shipping offerings. 

With a free Shopify app like Norton Shopping Guarantee with Package Protection by EasyPost, you can give customers the option to purchase shipping insurance during checkout. If their package gets lost, stolen, or damaged, the cost won’t come out of their pocket—or yours.

The app comes with another important benefit: sitewide trust badges. Whether your business is already well-established or just getting started, adding trust badges to key pages reinforces your credibility, convincing customers that they can trust you enough to make a purchase. 

10. Try Out Different Marketplaces

While your own website is your most important asset, you can expand your reach by selling on multiple ecommerce platforms. Experiment with popular platforms like Amazon, eBay, or TikTok to tap into their existing customer base. Each platform has its own rules and requirements, so familiarize yourself with their policies and optimize your listings accordingly.

11. Maintain Cohesive Branding Across All Channels

Establish a consistent brand image across your website, social media profiles, and marketing materials. Consistency builds trust and helps customers recognize and remember your brand. 

You’ll need to think about four things: brand identity, visual design, tone and voice, and customer experience.

  • Brand identity. What does your business represent? Who do you want to appeal to? Answering these questions will help you develop a brand identity, including your values, mission, and vision. 
  • Visual elements. Ensure consistency in visual elements like your logo, color palette, typography, and imagery across all channels. 
  • Tone and voice. Maintain a consistent tone and voice on your website, social media posts, and ads. Messaging should always reflect your brand's personality.
  • Customer experience. Provide an integrated customer experience across all touchpoints. From the moment a customer interacts with your business, whether it's through your website, social media, or customer service, their experience should be cohesive and reflect your brand values.

12. Charge Correctly for Shipping

Although suppliers handle order fulfillment, you still have to pay for shipping, and most dropshippers pass these costs down to customers. Consider the following strategies, keeping in mind how your suppliers handle shipping costs.

  • Offer free shipping. If you offer free shipping, you have two options. First, you could have shipping costs come out of your profits. Second, you could increase the base price of products to account for the “free” shipping.  
  • Charge a flat rate fee. With this method, you find the average shipping cost for all your orders. Then, make that the flat fee you charge customers for shipping every time they place an order. To keep this flat fee low, you might increase product prices slightly. 
  • Charge the exact cost of shipping. It’s sometimes best to pass shipping costs directly to customers; if a supplier charges $12.72 for shipping, that’s exactly what customers pay.  

Shipping costs can have a major impact on conversion rates, so experiment with different shipping rates and options to find the right balance between affordability and profit margin. 

13. Implement Security Best Practices

Protect your customers' personal information and secure your website by implementing SSL certificates, using secure payment gateways, and regularly updating your software and plugins. Prioritize data security to build trust with your customers.

Don’t Forget To Take a Deeper Look at Customer Needs

Finally, let’s cover some tips to help you focus more on the customer experience before, during, and after purchase. 

Remember, your current and future customers aren’t just data or demographics; they’re human beings with unique emotions and experiences. When you understand and meet customer needs, you’ll do a better job attracting and retaining them. 

14. Tap Into Social Proof

New store visitors might be skeptical about whether your site is trustworthy—but they’ll be reassured by reviews or testimonials written by fellow consumers. 

You can take advantage of social proof in several ways. You might allow customers to write reviews on individual product pages, feature testimonials on your home page, or encourage customers to post product reviews on social media. To take things to the next level, you could even partner with influencers. 

When customers have good things to say about your brand, shoppers can be sure that their money is safe, the product they order will arrive, and that it will match their expectations based on the listing they viewed.

15. Provide a Well-Thought-Out Return Policy

Clearly communicate your return policy to customers, making sure it’s fair, easy to understand, and prominently displayed on your website. A hassle-free return process can boost customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases.

16. Handle Chargebacks in a Timely Manner

Chargebacks can be frustrating, but your response can help mitigate issues for everybody involved. 

Although some people purposefully commit chargeback fraud, others have simply had a bad buying experience and don’t understand how the chargeback system works. When you see a chargeback for an issue a customer hasn’t approached you about, reach out to them. Ask about their complaint and find a resolution that’s satisfactory to both parties, like issuing a refund or replacement. Norton Shopping Guarantee with Package Protection reduces chargebacks by up to 50% as result of the guarantees and package protection offering.

When customers file chargebacks for illegitimate reasons, file a dispute with the bank and provide the necessary evidence. 

17. Always Provide Excellent Customer Service

Your customer service says a lot about your business. If you show customers you care about them, they’ll be far more likely to shop again. The following strategies will help improve your customer service process.

  • Create an FAQ page. Many customer inquiries can be avoided if you create an FAQ page that explains your shipping and returns processes and answers other frequently asked questions. 
  • Offer multiple methods of communication. You can offer customer support through various channels, including live chat, email, phone call. 
  • Respond quickly. When customers get in touch, respond within a few hours.

What about preventing issues in the first place? Since you’re dropshipping, you won’t have total control over product quality, packaging, or shipping. But you can work with suppliers to determine the root cause of any issues with shipping or product quality. Proactively solving these problems will save time for your customer support team. 

Most Importantly, Stay Consistent

The best dropshippers approach things with enthusiasm and optimism, but they also understand that building a business is a process that takes time. Staying committed will keep your momentum going, and you’ll eventually reap the reward: a loyal customer base and skyrocketing sales. 

Don’t Worry, You’ve Got This! And Norton Shopping Guarantee Is Here To Help

When you’re running an ecommerce business, dropshipping is a great way to minimize upfront costs and eliminate inventory management hassles. By following the dropshipping tips in this article, you’ll put your business on the path to success. 

Norton Shopping Guarantee is here to help! With package protection, shopping guarantee benefits, and trust badges, the app helps Shopify store owners build trust with shoppers and save thousands of dollars a year on refunds and replacements.

Learn more about the benefits Norton Shopping Guarantee offers - especially when it comes to dropshipping.

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