If you want to increase dropshipping sales without running a paid advertising campaign, read on. There are ways to easily multiply your sales by using subscriptions. Many people who go into eCommerce fail because of a lack of one major component: predictability. It’s easy to get excited when you start making those first sales through dropshipping. But then you have to handle shipping, product costs, and other expenses until you have barely any money left over. Without that predictability, you’re less likely to appeal to customers and encourage sales.
Using Subscription Services to Increase Dropshipping Sales With Predictability
One of the best ways to bring predictability to your business is to implement subscription services. If people know what to expect with your business on a regular basis with a repeat subscription — and the same customers keep buying from you on a weekly or monthly basis — you’re much more likely to both attract and retain more customers. Consider how many subscription-based businesses have become successful, from Dollar Shave Club to Disney+. The reason a company like Dollar Shave Club was able to sell for billions of dollars was that it had predictable revenue. People don’t want to invest in businesses that only drive one-time sales.
Keep in mind that you need to do more than simply add a subscription to your business. Think about specifically how you intend to sell the subscription. The following guide will help you start using subscriptions to increase dropshipping sales.
Step 1: Get Inspired
The very first thing you need to do when adding subscriptions to your business is to get inspired. You won’t be able to implement a subscription if you don’t have some ideas to help you get started. Regardless of whether you currently have a dropshipping business, you should take some time to see what people are doing and incorporate some of those ideas into your own business model.
One of the best ways to get some ideas is to visit MySubscriptionAddiction.com, which is a blog that publishes reviews of just about every subscription box out there. While the site consists of reviews, it’s not the reviews themselves you’ll be looking at. Instead, look at what some of these boxes are offering. Get some ideas for products that look like they will help you increase dropshipping sales. Based on the niche you want to target, you can locate a box with relevant products and see if something similar is worth including in yours.
For example, you may find a cool-looking arts and crafts box that’s intended for people of all ages. This can help you develop your own arts and crafts subscription box if you want to target this particular niche.
Step 2: Choose Products for Your Box
After you’ve gotten some ideas for your own subscription box while browsing MySubscriptionAddiction.com or other sources, you can begin looking for some products to sell.
Let’s take the arts and crafts example. Once you’ve decided that you want to cover this niche after seeing an example, check out Alibaba.com. In the search bar at the top of the page, you could conduct a search for arts and crafts. From there, you may see a list of a wide range of products in this niche, such as decorative wood figures that your customers could put together. It’s easy to get lost in the many products available, especially since so many of the options can help you increase dropshipping sales. So feel free to take some time to browse and find the perfect product for your business.
Step 3: Look at the Supplier
Even if the product looks good and you’re ready to add it to your subscription, take a close look at the supplier. You can’t increase dropshipping sales without a supplier who can keep up. Your supplier should be reputable and well-liked, as you’re likely to be working with this supplier for years on end. On Alibaba, you can look at the supplier’s star rating. This metric grades suppliers on a 5-star scale based on service, on-time delivery, and product quality. A star rating of 4.5 or higher is generally great.
You should also check to see if the supplier has regular transactions. You can see the total dollar amount of transactions per a certain number of transactions over a period of time.
Finally, look at the supplier’s response rate, which is crucial. If it’s hard to get ahold of your supplier, you’re going to have a difficult time working with them to sell their products through your subscription. A good response rate is around 80% or higher. This indicates that the supplier is very quick to respond and won’t leave you in the dark at any point.
Pay Attention to the Business’s Details
Also, find out how long the supplier has been on Alibaba. You may find that while a supplier looks great, with a high star rating, fast response time, and an ideal location like the United States, the supplier has only been on the website for a year. In most cases, you’ll likely want to avoid suppliers that haven’t been on Alibaba for very long. The website has been around for a long time, and good, well-established suppliers are likely well aware of this platform. So there’s generally not a good reason for them to not be established.
However, you may find a supplier that, while not having been on the site for long, is verified. In these cases, it may be worth trusting a supplier that’s relatively new to the platform.
Look Carefully at Their Alibaba Page
Once you’ve found what looks like a good supplier, visit their company page on Alibaba and learn more about them before reaching out. Keep in mind that when contacting a supplier, don’t rely on Alibaba’s website’s live chat or other on-site communication. Try to get them to contact you via phone, Skype, email, or other third-party channels.
The most important item to look at on their company page before contacting them is Business Type. Here, it should always say Manufacturer. If it only says Trading Company, skip over this supplier. Trading companies essentially act as unnecessary middlemen between you and the manufacturer. Instead, it’s best to work directly with a manufacturer when possible.
You can also see other details such as how long they’ve been in business, the number of employees they have, certifications, and more to help you make your decision.
Step 4: Reach Out to the Supplier
After finding that perfect product and ideal supplier, don’t click that “Start Order” button just yet. You’ll wind up being overcharged. Instead, negotiate with the supplier when you contact them and try to work out the best possible deal.
Also, ask for a product catalog, which the supplier should always be willing to send. You should then receive a massive PDF or another file that could give you an endless number of ideas for products to sell in your subscription.
When contacting a supplier, always stress that you’re looking to establish a long-term relationship with them. This will encourage them to do business with you as a reliable seller.
Step 5: Choose a Fulfillment Center
With a product and supplier chosen, you’ll want to ship products to a fulfillment center. There are several fulfillment centers that you can choose from, including:
- Dollar Fulfillment
In some cases, your supplier could also fulfill orders for you. Regardless of how you go about it, the fulfillment center will package and ship your subscription boxes on your behalf.
Step 6: Select Packaging Options
Some fulfillment centers will provide packaging options in addition to fulfillment. Otherwise, you will need to seek other packaging options.
If you want to use custom boxes that feature cool and unique designs for your subscriptions, we recommend you go through Lumi. Simply visit their catalog page from the main navigation menu, and take a look. Their Corrugated Mailer Boxes, for example, are great for most subscription boxes.
If you have under 1,000 subscribers at this point, we don’t recommend getting a custom box. Using a plain box design without any writing on it is often best to start with. Wait until it’s worth the cost to upgrade to a custom design. Most customers will care more about what’s inside of the box instead of the exterior. So don’t spring for a custom box if you don’t need it.
The fulfillment center will also take care of all the logistics for packaging. All you need to do is tell them what you want, and they’ll do the rest.
Step 7: Build a Sales Funnel to Increase Dropshipping Sales
When it comes to actually selling your subscription box, you don’t want to rely on Facebook ads. Why? Because you’ll quickly find that those ads don’t perform the best on their own. People are more likely to see your box as just another monthly bill that they have to pay if you don’t sell it effectively.
Rather than relying on generic ad campaigns, the best way to sell your subscription is to develop a sales funnel. Start by leading people in with an inexpensive one-time product, which gives your customers value. From there, you can upsell them with your subscription box. This way, you’ll be paying social media advertising platforms for a sale rather than for a monthly subscription.
Through an effective sales funnel, you’ll be able to increase dropshipping sales of your main product and your subscriptions. This can boost your revenue without the need to pay for costly ad campaigns or other expenses. To learn more about how to build a winning sales funnel and develop an unstoppable eCommerce business, reserve your seat at our free eCommerce masterclass today.