How To Start a Successful Dropshipping Business In Less Than 7 Days

By: Andres Zamriver

Yes, that's a million dollars. Now what if you could make just a tenth of this amount, that's $100,000 within the same time frame, would studying this case study worth it to you? I heard you say "yes!"... so let's dig in, shall we?

I know it feels a bit daunting starting a successful online business, specifically an e-commerce business. Because starting an e-commerce store isn’t a walk in the park, it’s hard work.


It requires a good understanding of things like fulfillment, logistics and marketing, to name a few, but focusing on these elements before you even get started won’t get you anywhere.


Best part: You can have our dedicated team of expert do it for you with this DONE-FOR-YOU program here.


Sometimes you just need to get started. Any action is better than no action at all.

That’s where drop shipping comes to the rescue. Drop shipping enables you sell products you don’t own, so you can focus on the marketing, customer support and daily functions of your store. Instead of investing thousands of dollars into product inventory that may or may not sell, you can invest your resources into paid ads, SEO, and content marketing.


Drop shipping is perfect if you are a “solopreneur” (i.e. a lone wolf that prefers to work on your own) with limited capital and time. If you have capital and time, then great, you already have an advantage, but you don’t need either to start a successful drop shipping business.

This guide will lay out every single thing you need to do in order to get started. It will show you what steps you need to take, how to do them and what to do next. You will learn all the basics so a week from now you can already be an ecommerce store owner. From your humble beginnings, you can only go but up.

Note: This guide won’t go into the details of how a drop shipping business model works. For more on that, check out Drop Shipping 101: What is Drop Shipping.  Click here.


Let’s get started.

Day 1: Find a Niche

I can picture you right now: all pumped up with lots of energy, ready to start your first e-commerce company. That’s great, you’ll need to keep up that energy, but now’s the time to do all the hard work and research. Yes, it’s boring but it’s also extremely important if you want to succeed.


Why? Because you don’t want to spend the next week working on a new business only to find out there’s no market for it, or there’s too competitive of a market for it. Conduct research so you can find the right mix of “passionate niche” and “competitiveness” for your new business to thrive and succeed.

How to Find a Passionate Niche

STEP 1: BRAINSTORM NICHE IDEAS

You can’t expect to start a successful drop shipping business by competing with sites like Amazon or Zappos, so your best chance for success is to focus on providing to a niche market. It’s much easier to start and attract customers to your new business by catering to a smaller subset of people like crossfitters, knitters, or novelty sock wearers because you can tailor your business to meet their specific needs.

Start brainstorming hobbies you’re either interested in, have heard of, or know family or friends practice. Come up with at least 10 ideas of small, passionate communities that you could potentially cater to. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of how you’ll service these niches, we’re just looking to generate some ideas.

Here are some examples:

  • Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
  • Veganism
  • Ketogenic Diets
  • Crossfit
  • Body Weight Fitness
  • Novelty Socks
  • Yoga
  • Performance Clothing
  • Travel Backpacks
  • Roller Derby

If you get stuck, this article can help you out.

Now that you’ve brainstormed some ideas it’s time to put them to the test.

Tip: Try to brainstorm ideas that interest you because if one of them turns out to be a viable business venture you’ll be more likely to be successful if it’s something you’re passionate about.

STEP 2: CONDUCT A GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER SEARCH

Google Keyword Planner is a tool that enables you to see how many searches any given keyword receives per month. Even though this tool is mostly used by SEOs and Google Adwords specialists, the Google Keyword Planner tool is a great way to find what your potential customers are searching for online.


At this point in time the information you’re looking to find is how many people are searching for a given keyword each month and what the suggested bid is. These numbers will tell you how popular and profitable that keyword is.

Let’s look at some examples:

For “bodyweight fitness”, I have found the following keywords:

Bodyweight Fitness Keyword Search


Based on these results I can understand:

  1. The only keyword that directly relates to products for this given keyword, “body weight equipment”, only has 110 monthly searches, showing a low demand for this niche
  2. It’s still quite profitable, given the high bids
  3. One of the best ways to monetize this niche would be to create informational products or promote affiliate products that teach body weight exercises.

All in all, this isn’t a good niche to focus on.

For “performance clothing”, I have found these keywords:

Workout Clothing Keywords

Based on these results I can understand:

  1. There isn’t a lot of interest for the specific keyword “performance clothing”, however,  there is for “sports clothing” and “activewear” (which suggests I should reconsider my target keyword)
  2. It’s not crazy competitive due to its medium to low bids
  3. There is a lot of interest in active wear for women.

This would be a lucrative niche to consider.

For “travel backpacks”, I have found these keywords:

Travel Backpacks Keywords

Based on these results I can understand:

  1. There is a lot of interest for the chosen keyword
  2. There is a lot of interest for travel-related backpacks, like “laptop backpacks”, “waterproof backpacks”, “rolling backpacks”, and so on
  3. It’s not that competitive, due to its medium to low bids

Because of this, this is a great niche to consider.

STEP 3: CONDUCT AN AMAZON SEARCH

Just like the Google Keyword Planner tool is a valuable way to understand what customers are searching for each month, Amazon can show you what they are buying. If customers aren’t purchasing your niche product from Amazon, it’s likely that there isn’t a demand and it isn’t worthwhile to pursue.


When searching for “workout clothes,” this is what came up:

Workout Clothes Search Results

Even though I searched for “workout clothes” in the “All” category on Amazon, all the results are women’s active wear apparel. This tells us that the demand for this niche is overwhelmingly specific to women’s workout clothing.


When searching for “travel backpacks,” this was the result:

Travel Backpacks Search Result

You can see that a lot of the keywords that I showed you before, like “hiking backpack” and “waterproof backpack”, show up in the results for Amazon. This confirms what the Google Keyword Planner tool already told us.

What we’ve learned from Amazon is that there is demand for both of these niches, and it has informed us how we can focus into each niche even further.

STEP 4: RESEARCH SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS (REDDIT, FACEBOOK & YOUTUBE)

Finally, you need insight into how your potential customers are engaging with your niche on social media platforms. Choose whichever platforms your potential customers are most active on, but for this example we’ve narrowed it down to Reddit, Facebook and Youtube.

REDDIT

Reddit is one of the best social networks to conduct research on because it has lots of passionate groups of people sharing common interests and hobbies. This can be a goldmine for you.

The users of Reddit subscribe to specific categories known as “subreddits” which are basically like niche markets on a smaller scale. Search the subreddits to find the one that it most relevant to your niche. In our case, we selected the “Fitness” subreddit for our workout clothes, and the “travel” subreddit for our travel backpacks.


Using these subreddits we’ll be able to get a glimpse into the workings of the niche market, what our potential customers talk about, how they talk about it and what they’re interested in.

If there aren’t any relevant subreddits for your niche, then perhaps there isn’t a viable market for it. However, if your niche is new and upcoming this could be your chance to share it with the world of Reddit by creating a subreddit for it.

FACEBOOK

Use Facebook to find out if your niche already has an established marketplace to find brands and influencers that are engaging with people who can become your future customers.


If you understand your niche you’ll know exactly which brands and influencers to look for, but if you’re unfamiliar with your niche, you’ll have to do some searching. Look for brands that fit into your niche and are actively providing value to their audience.


Find out how they engage with their audience, what products are they offering, what promises do they offer their customers, are they focused on quality or price and how do their fans respond to them? This will give you clues as to what works and what doesn’t when you’re engaging with your niche audience.


Popular brands & influencers for the workout clothing niche we can use to conduct research on niche activity and engagement:

Popular brands & influencers for the “travel backpacks” niche we can use to conduct research on niche activity and engagement:

  • Herschel Supply Co: A travel & urban backpack & luggage brand with over 500,000 followers.
  • Jack Morris: Travel influencer with over 9,000 followers.
  • NomadList: A directory of the best cities to work & live for digital nomads with over 9,000 followers.
  • Startuptravels: A community of entrepreneurs & travellers with over 7,000 followers.
  • Location Rebel: An entrepreneur & travel influencer with over 8,000 followers.

YOUTUBE

Finally, YouTube can help you find relevant videos about your niche. Look for tutorials, product reviews and relevant channels to find influencers who are engaging with your ideal audience and see what they have to say. Just like Facebook, Youtube will give you insight into your niche as far as what customers are buying, saying and promoting.


For instance, when searching for “travel backpacks”, I found Kristen Sarah who is a traveler who uploads reviews of travel-related products, including backpacks. Her channel has over 88k subscribers, and the specific video I found had 35k views, and over 800 likes. These statistics are quite good for this niche.

How to Pick a Travel Backpack

STEP 5: DECIDE ON A NICHE

At this point, in order to continue building your business, you need to decide on a niche. It’s not an easy choice, as it can make or break your business, but you need to select one niche market to continue to focus on. Make your choice using a mixture of intuition, passion and data.


Using the previous examples we found two niches that could work: workout clothes for women and travel backpacks for nomads.

The data for the former proved to be more popular than the latter, but I have a bigger passion for the latter, so I will continue with the travel backpacks.


Tip: Don’t discard the niches you don’t pick. They can be useful in the case the niche you originally choose doesn’t work out.

Day 2: Search For & Contact Suppliers

Now that you’ve chosen a niche to move forward with, it’s time to find a drop shipper who can supply products for you. Depending on which niche market you’ve chosen, there may or may not be any suppliers who have the kind of products you’re looking to provide to your customers. This is why it’s important not to totally disregard the other niche markets you were considering, as you may have to go with a backup in case there are no suppliers who have what you’re looking for.

STEP 1: USE SEARCH OPERATORS

Suppliers aren’t always these easiest websites to find as they aren’t necessarily focused on being well optimized, so one of the best ways to search from them are by utilizing search operators.

Locating suppliers through standard searches on Google can turn into a time-consuming exercise of patience as you sift through pages and pages of results. Suppliers are notorious for having poorly optimized websites because they’re experts at manufacturing and distributing their goods, not search engine optimization.


In order to save yourself time and unnecessary effort, use search operators to help instantly narrow down your search. Search operators are specific characters used strategically in your search engine query to help you achieve what you’re looking for more efficiently.

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Here’s a list of relevant search operators to use:

  • keyword + wholesale
  • keyword + distributors
  • keyword + bulk
  • keyword + reseller
  • keyword + warehouse
  • keyword + supplier
  • keyword + dropshipping
  • keyword + “dropship program”
  • keyword + “wholesale program”
  • keyword + inurl:dropship
  • keyword + inurl:dropshipping

For example, when I search for travel backpack dropshipper’s in Google, I’ll use these operators:

  • Travel backpacks + dropshipping
  • Travel backpacks + inurl:dropship
  • Travel backpacks + inurl:dropshipping

STEP 2: FOCUS ON A FEW KEYWORDS

In order to search for suppliers successfully, you’ll have to try different variations of keywords and search operators to find as many relevant results as possible. Choose a few variations of keywords you discovered when using the Google Keyword Planner that are most relevant to your niche market, and start with those.

STEP 3: MIX THEM UP

To help you find all the different variations, you can use the Keyword Mixer tool. Add your keywords to the first column, the operators to the second and it will mix them up to create all the possible variations you can try. This will help you to establish a systematic approach when using multiple search queries to look up suppliers.

Keyword Mixer Tool Example

Then click the “Combine” button to generate all the variations of your keywords and operations.

Keyword Mixer Tool Combinations

STEP 4: SET UP AN GOOGLE/EXCEL SHEET

Copy and paste the generated variations into a Google or Excel Sheet. Use this to track which variations you’ve searched on Google so you don’t forget or misplace the results. Take the first three columns, title them: “Keyword,” “Operation,” and “Searched” and once you have searched a keyword + operation combination, simply make a note.


After you’ve made that sheet, create another tab within the same sheet and name it “Suppliers.” Add the following columns to keep track of the results you find:

  • URL (The web address you can locate the supplier at)
  • Company Name (The supplier’s name)
  • Contact Information (Their email, phone number or contact form URL)
  • Contacted (Make a note here whether you’ve contacted the supplier or not)
  • Applied (Some suppliers require you to apply to use their services, make a note here if you’ve applied, if you haven’t, or if you aren’t required to)

This will help you to stay organized between all the suppliers you find throughout your search.

STEP 5: START SEARCHING

This is where the magic happens. Take each of the keyword + operation combinations and input it into Google’s search box. Then examine each result to find the relevant ones. Make sure to fill out your google/Excel sheet along the way so you don’t misplace any of your finds, and fill in each column as you go so it’ll be complete once you’re done.


Don’t be wary of supplier’s with un-optimized or non-aesthetically pleasing websites. Again, suppliers are notorious for having poor websites as it isn’t typically their expertise, so don’t discredit a supplier based on the appearance of their website.


Tip: Not all suppliers may identify themselves as a “Drop Shipper” for various reasons. They may not be familiar with the word, or they may choose not to use it and call themselves a “Wholesaler” instead to ward of non-serious candidates.


Searching for suppliers can take hours, so set out a chunk of time and dive in. Make sure to look beyond the first page of results and dig deep, as that’s where you’ll find lots of valuable results.

STEP 6: ANALYZE YOUR RESULTS

Once you’ve accumulated a list of several potential suppliers, dig deeper into their websites to get a better understanding of who they are and what they offer.


Take a look at their “About Us” page, their “Contact” page and their social media platforms, if they have them. See if they advertise whether they’re dropshippers, wholesalers, or if they’re discreet about these services.

Just get a better understanding of what your list of potential suppliers looks like, what each of them offers and who’s starting to look like the best fit for you.

STEP 7: OUTREACH

Select your top favourite potential suppliers and reach out to them to enquire further about the services they can offer you, if it isn’t completely clear on their website.

Your first email to them could look something like this:

 

Hello,

My name is {your name} and I’m a purchasing agent for {name of company}, an e-commerce store that sells {products in your niche}. We are interested in carrying many of the items that you have to offer.

Before I apply for your wholesale account, I’d like to know do you drop ship your products? If so, I would like to know what are the details to apply for such program.

Best regards,

{Your name} | Senior Buyer

 

Once you’ve reached out to suppliers and have a pretty good idea of what services they can offer, it’s time to choose the supplier who is the best fit for you. Take your time at this stage, you don’t want to compromise on anything important. Make sure they can offer you the products you’re looking for at a reasonable price and of the quality you expect.

STEP 8: OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH YOUR SUPPLIER

Depending on the supplier, you may be able to open an account right on their website, or you may only be able to once you’ve contacted them. Once you’ve figured out the right way to proceed, go ahead and open a wholesale/drop shipping account, whichever it is for that particular supplier.


At this point you’ll likely have to give them your company name as well as your Resale License or Sales Tax ID (depending on which is appropriate for your state). If you don’t already have these two identifiers, now is the time to get them. Talk to a certified lawyer or legal advice service to get yourself started. There are plenty of online resources you can utilize which can be less expensive, more efficient and less intimidating than more traditional options.

Day 3: Create Your Brand

Today  is all about creating your brand. It’s important to establish your brand early on as it will guide all the future decisions you make for your store. Here on A Better Lemonade Stand we’ve covered the topic of building a brand lots in blog posts, but we recently rounded up all our knowledge and put it into our Ecommerce Branding Guide. We recommend checking out that resource to grasp the entire process of building a brand from scratch, but we’ll delve into it here as well.

IT’S ALL ABOUT DIFFERENTIATION AND POSITIONING

If you think of Nike and you get a feeling of adrenaline, sport, strength and movement, it’s because their brand has positioned itself to make you feel that way. A brand represents the idea of the company while positioning is the representation of your brand in your prospective customers’ minds.

If you want to know more about branding and positioning, I highly recommend you check out these two books by marketing moguel Al Reis:

Although Reis focuses his advice towards helping multi-million dollar businesses grow their brand, the ideas hold true for companies of all sizes.

To sum up the basis of how he explains branding and positioning he says:

  • Branding is what makes you different than the rest. It’s who your business is, and what you stand for. It’s also an abstract concept.
  • Positioning is how your customers perceive you. It’s the result of your marketing actions and your communications. It’s the effect you have on your customers, and what they get from you.

TELL YOUR BRAND STORY

Creating a “brand story” is one of the best ways to present your brand to prospective customers because it’s how they’ll be able to identify with your brand. A “brand” is an abstract concept, it’s not something tangible you can buy for your business and let your customers see and hold, it’s a feeling. By developing a brand story you give your customers a reason to buy something from you that they can see and hold because it’s an extension of your business and a tangible representation of your brand story.


The purpose of your brand’s story is to show prospective customers what their life would be like without you, how you can help transform their life, and what their life would be like with you in it. If brand stories didn’t exist there would be no need for different labels or designers; it wouldn’t matter to consumers whether they purchased their workout clothes from Nike or from Amazon because there would be no brand story convincing them otherwise.


Your brand story will extend to every aspect of your business, including but not limited to: product photography, product descriptions, your social media platforms, customer support, advertisements and even your “About Us” page.

Your brand story will tell your customers the purpose of your existence, what you stand for, what you like and don’t like, and if your customers are able to identify with your story, they will want to buy from you.

How to Start Defining Your Brand

Take these 5 steps to start defining your brand:

  1. Pick a Name: Don’t overthink it, but don’t overlook it either. Choosing the right name for your brand can help you be easily identifiable to your prospective customers.
  2. Create a Tagline: This should summarize your business’ unique value proposition. For more information on defining your company’s purpose, watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk.
  3. Create a Logo: This will be a visual or graphic representation of your brand and should be designed with care. You can use a service like Tailor Brands for a personalized design, use a prepared template from Creative Market, or get one made for you on Fiverr.
  4. Choose Your Color Pallet: Choosing a color pallet will help all aspects of your brand look consistent, including your website, products and product packaging. The colors you choose will play into how your website feels to your customers, the vibe they perceive and the atmosphere. This tool by Grasshopper can help you make the right decision.
  5. Complete Your “About Us” Page: The “About Us” page is one of the most frequently visited pages of any given website, so it’s important that you utilize that space properly. Here is a good time to really delve into your brand story and communicate it to your customers. Stuck on what to include? Here’s a good article by Aaron Wrixon about 9 e-commerce stores with amazing “About Us” pages.

Let’s quickly recap on the first half of this process:

  1. You’ve researched, validated and chosen your niche market.
  2. You’ve searched for suppliers and contacted them.
  3. You’ve created a brand, chosen a name and developed your brand story.

So far we’ve made great progress. Now it’s time to set up a store and pull everything together.

Day 4: Create Your Store

The biggest tip I can give you for this part of the process is to not focus on making your store look absolutely perfect, because it never will. There is always something else to do, another improvement to make, additions and omissions, but you’ll never launch your store if you aim for perfection. Do your best, use the resources available to you, Google your questions, and just get started.

STEP 1: OPEN YOUR STORE WITH SHOPIFY

Shopify is the most highly recommended ecommerce platform to use because it’s intuitive, easy to use, inexpensive for the services it provides and easily scalable. For most new ecommerce stores, Shopify is your best option to open your store with, so we’ll use it as our example. So go ahead and register your store on Shopify, it’s easy and there’s a 14 day free trial period.

STEP 2: CHOOSE & INSTALL A THEME

Your store’s “theme” is basically the look and layout of your store. Shopify offers many different themes to choose from that are both functional and beautiful, so all you have to do is pick the one that best represents your store.


Some themes are free, and some themes require a one-time payment (around $150-180 USD), so select the option that best suits your budget. No matter which you select, all the themes are high quality, it will just determine the kind of options you have at your disposal.


If you want your product images to be the focus of your website, choose a theme that showcases images well. If you want text to be at the forefront, select a theme that supports a more text based format. It’s all up to you and how you want your website to look.

STEP 3: SET UP YOUR STORE

Once you’ve installed your theme to your Shopify store, you can edit it to your liking. You’ll be able to make adjustments to the images, colours, fonts, text size, menus, borders, etc, and you should, to make it unique to your store.


This is where the time you spent developing your brand will come in. The choices you’ve made in terms of the color pallet, photography style and font will influence how you make edits to your theme.

At the minimum, you should:

  • Pick a typography for the headers and text
  • Set up the colors
  • Put the logo in place
  • Set up the menu (top bar and footer)
  • Set up the layout of the home, product, and collection pages

Remember that it won’t be perfect and there’s always ways to improve, but if you wait to launch until it’s perfect, you’ll never launch. So do your best for now, you’ll be able to make changes in future as you grow, so don’t stress over the small stuff.

Day 5: Define What Products to Sell & Create Relevant Pages

Now that your store is ready aesthetically, you’ll need something to sell! Today is the day to:

  • Define the specific products you are going to sell
  • Create relevant pages for your store

Why did we wait until now, days before launch, to figure out which products to actually sell on your store? Here’s why:

  • Many suppliers can take some time to answer you, which makes it harder for you to set your accounts up immediately.
  • As you were setting up the visual aspects of your store you will have had more time to think properly about what products you wanted to sell based on what your suppliers have available, and what fits into your brand story.

Now that you’ve set up an account with your supplier and have an idea of what fits into your brand story, it’s time to put it up onto your website.

STEP 1: DEFINE WHAT PRODUCTS YOU WANT TO SELL

The best piece of advice to learn at this point is: Don’t try to sell every product you can get our hand on.

Even though you aren’t personally in charge of handling all the inventory yourself, which means you won’t have to deal with inventory management headaches, lost and damaged products, etc, the more products you offer, the harder it is to differentiate yourself from other brands.


Remember that niche market we discussed at the beginning of this article? You want every product you sell to be directly relevant to your niche market. Don’t focus on selling accessories to your main products, just sell your main products. Carry fewer products that are the most relevant, and as you get more traffic you can consider selling a wider variety.


This will make your brand story more convincing. It’s much harder to believe, as a customer, that ten products you sell are life changing, and it’s much more believable that one product is. Overwhelming your customers with too many choices can lead them to make no choice at all, leaving you with no sale. So stick to selling a few great products than too many.


These are some criteria to consider when deciding which products to sell on your store:

  • Pick a product that solves a customer’s pain point: Solving customer’s problems is a lucrative business.
  • Pick a high-quality product: Quality over quantity usually wins long term.
  • Pick a product with a good margin: Remember you’ll probably be paying to promote your products at first, so take that into account when determining your profit margins. Aim for at least 30% gross profit on drop shipped products, if you can.
  • Pick products that are reasonable to sell online: Remember that your customer’s senses are limited when they’re shopping online, so some items are not reasonable. Especially expensive, large or heavy products usually require specialty customer service, or shipping services, so only offer those products if you can reliably offer those services.

There’s no magic formula for choosing the perfect products to sell online, it’s mix of strategy and intuition. Take these factors into consideration to make more informed choices.

STEP 2: DEFINE PRICING

When defining the pricing of your products you need to take into consideration four important aspects:

  • The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): The price the manufacturer suggests you sell the product at. The purpose of this suggestion is so customers can find the same product at the same price in two different stores.
  • The Minimum Advertised Price (MAP): The lowest price you can legally sell the product. The purpose of this rule is so retailers don’t start a price race to the bottom.
  • Your Margin: Price You Sell the Product – Price You Paid for the Product = Your Margin. The larger your margin, the more money you make per sale, which means your have more money to spend on advertising, overhead costs, wages, etc.
  • Your Competitor’s Price: If your competitors sell the same or similar product at a lower price, your customers will be more likely to purchase from them. A well constructed brand can help combat this problem, but it doesn’t always work.

Most companies when they’re just starting out choose the MSRP method, purely because it’s easier and it makes sense. It usually allows for you to sell the product at a reasonable price while making a decent profit.

However, while you’re selling the product at the MSRP, another company may be selling the same or similar product at the MAP. They’ll become your competition, and that’s when your brand story and the promise you make to your customers comes into play. If you can’t offer the lowest price on a product you’ll need to figure out another way to convince your customers to buy from you.

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STEP 3: CREATE PRODUCT PAGES

Your product pages are your chance to impress your prospective customers. If you want to make sales and stand out, you need to create amazing product pages.

Here’s how to create amazing product pages:

  • Create Enticing Product Copy
  • Take Beautiful Product Photos
  • Create Video Reviews
  • Tell Your Customers Why Your Product Will Change Their Life
  • Add Easy Access to the Return Policy and Shipping Information.

The more unique the product page, the better. It may be a lot of work upfront but it will pay off. Always remember that less is more and that simple, clean and minimal product photos and descriptions are best.

STEP 4: CHANGE PRODUCT COPY

A lot of drop shipping suppliers will provide you with pre-made product descriptions. Great, right? No, not so great. Here’s our suggestion: never use the pre-made description.

Why? Because everyone else is using it. How do you expect to make your products stand out when everyone else is describing them in the same way?


That’s where copywriting comes to the rescue. Copywriting is the art of making people want something through words. By creating carefully constructed copy for your product descriptions you are essentially helping your prospective customers understand why they need your products.


In case you aren’t convinced, here are a few articles that outline the power of copywriting and why it’s important for your product descriptions:

STEP 5: CREATE THESE 7 PAGES

After you’ve created your product pages, don’t forget these 7 pages, too! They’re usually not the priority so it can be easy to forget about them, but they’re also some of the most important and visited pages for your customers.

  • “About Us” Page: We’ve mentioned this before, but this is one of the most visited pages on any given website and is your chance to fully express your brand story so use this opportunity to dig deep into your brand.
  • “FAQ” Page: Your customers will have questions, so to prevent them from contacting you with the same questions over and over, answer it once on the FAQ page and you’ll have fewer customer inquires to respond to.
  • “Contact Us” Page: Providing quality customer service should be important to your business, so let your customers know how to contact you. Whether it be by email, phone or chat support, let them know how to reach you and respond within 24 hours.
  • “Privacy Policy” & “TOS” Page: It’s legally required to have a privacy policy and a terms of service page on your website, plus it’s useful information to have for both you and your customer’s reference. If you don’t have access to a lawyer to draw these up for you, you can use an online generator to create one.
  • “Refunds & Returns” Page: It’s important for your customer to know how to refund and return the items they purchase from you, so let them know how, when, within what time frame and where to send the products back to.
  • “Shipping” Page: Let your customers know exactly what to expect from you so there’s no confusion, and no disgruntled customers, along the way. Even if you don’t have the most sophisticated shipping service, let your customers know how long they can expect to wait and how much they can expect to pay.

Kitting out your website with these pages will make it seem more legitimate, trustworthy and reliable to your potential customers, plus it’ll help answer any questions and queries they may have before making a purchase.

Day 6: Set Up the Rest & Launch!

Finally this day has come, you’re ready to launch your store to the public! You’ve put in so much time and effort up until this point that many other “wantrepreneurs” never do– you should be proud of yourself, you’ve taken action.


Is your store perfect? Probably not. Are you going to become a millionaire overnight? Unlikely. But will this side business help to generate some additional income? You betcha!

From here, you can take your store wherever you want: you can keep it as a small side gig, or you can scale it and continue to grow year after year.


Today, you will learn how to add the last touches to your store (and brand) and then experience the moment you have been waiting for: the big launch!

Let’s get started.

STEP 1: SET UP SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

There are many social media accounts you can set up for your store: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and much more.

Most e-commerce stores should focus on the most important ones, in order of importance:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

However, since today you have a lot of work to do, we’re going to focus on creating your Facebook page, and nothing more. Why? Because it’s the best way to attract paid traffic for an ecommerce store. This guide by Buffer will show you how to open a Facebook page in a few simple steps.

STEP 2: INSTALL & SETUP APPS

Apps are extremely useful because they can help you run your store more efficiently and create a better experience for your customers, however, too many apps can bog down your store, make it run slower, and overwhelm you with options.


Take the time to have a look at what apps are available, decide which ones would provide immense value to you, and install only those ones. Start with a couple, learn how to use those ones really well, and once those apps are a part of your routine, then think about installing new apps.

Here are some useful apps for a store that drop ships their products:

  • Oberlo: An incredible app for those that want to drop ship from China.
  • Cross-sells: Useful to add manual cross-sells to your store.
  • Klaviyo: A great ecommerce email marketing service.
  • Privy: Integrates exit-intent pop-ups.
  • Trust: Helps to reduce the FUDs (fears, uncertainties, and doubts) of your store.
  • Yotpo: Recommended to add reviews in your store, which help to increase the trust in your store.

These are just our recommendations. Take a look at what’s available and pick the best apps for your needs.

STEP 3: INSTALL GOOGLE ANALYTICS & FACEBOOK PIXEL

“What gets measured, gets improved.”

That old saying holds true for your ecommerce store as well. It’s crucial for you to measure the visits, signups and purchases in your store, among other important metrics.

Actually learning your way around the data can be an intimidating experience, so today we’ll focus on installing your tracking codes, then later on you can learn what to do with the analytics.


Fortunately, Shopify makes installing the tracking codes effortless. First, start with Google AnalyticsThis guide by Shopify will explain you everything you need to do to install your Google Analytics’ code into your store. If you want to get a complete guide on Google Analytics for Shopify Stores, this guide will help you.


Next, install your Facebook Pixel. Again, this is simple. This guide by Shopify will explain you what you need to do.

Set these up before you launch your store so you don’t miss out on any opportunity to collect customer data. You’ll need all the analytics you can get, so even if you don’t exactly know what to do with it yet, install them anyways and you’ll thank yourself later.

STEP 4: MAKE A TEST PURCHASE

The last step before launching is to make a test purchase. This will help you to see if there are any problems with your store’s functionality or user experience, and it will help you to see if your analytics are working how they are supposed to.


Make sure the “Add to Cart” button is working, the checkout funnel is leading customers in the right direction, and the email confirmation looks how you want it to. Fix anything that’s not up to scratch now as it’ll be too late to make major changes once you launch.

Once that’s sorted out, time to move on to the next step.

STEP 5: LAUNCH!

Finally, after all the work you’ve done, you are ready to launch!

Are you nervous? It’s ok if you are, but don’t let that stop you. Launch anyways.

All you have to do is remove the password protection from your store. To do so, go to Online Store > Themes > Preferences, scroll to the bottom and untick the “Password Protect Your Storefront” box.

Removing Shopify Storefront Password

It’s that simple. Once you do that, anyone will be able to access your store.


One last thing before you start celebrating:

If you have any kind of audience, like an email list or a social media following, let them know you’ve just launched. Send out an email, make a tweet, reach out to all your contacts, publish a Facebook status, etc, just get the word out to as many people as you can. This will help you to start generating traffic right away.

If you don’t have an audience, that’s okay! Just let your friends and family know, and you’ll work on promoting your store in later days.

Now you can pop that bottle of champagne.

Day 7: Promote Your Store

Today is the last day of this short but crazy adventure. Take some time to reflect on all the progress you’ve made and home far you’ve come. You are now a business owner, with a real business, selling to real people with real products.

Today is the beginning of your next adventure: you’re going to work on attracting visitors to your store so they can later become customers. This isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s worth doing, and it’s worth taking the time to do it right.

We’re going to cover three main tactics that can help you acquire all the customers you need for your new store.

TACTIC 1: SEO

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is the process of getting traffic from a search engine like Google to your store.

There are many components to SEO, but we’ll cover three of the main objectives:

  1. Define keywords you want to rank for through keyword research.
  2. Optimization of your pages for your chosen keywords.
  3. Build backlinks to your store.

By using these basic SEO tactics your website will be more likely to rank higher on search engines, people will be more likely to click on it, and your website will receive traffic you didn’t have to pay for. SEO is like free advertising for your website, just by being in the right place at the right time.


These tasks aren’t necessarily easy to achieve, but they aren’t particularly difficult either. The easy part is actually conducting keyword research and optimizing your site’s pages, the hard part is competing against other websites trying to rank for the same keywords when your website is new and has little built up authority. Backlinks are important because if they come from quality sources they can help you to build your website’s authority.


SEO for ecommerce stores is incredibly powerful: according to data by Custora, 26% of e-commerce online orders originate from organic search engine traffic. Imagine seeing a 26% increase in your sales just because you improved your store’s SEO. Pretty awesome, right?

It’s important to remember that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Implement good habits now that might not seem like they do anything in the short term, but you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.


For more information on SEO and how to do it properly, check out these guides:

TACTIC 2: FACEBOOK ADS

In case you didn’t know, Facebook is the largest social network in the world, with 1.71 billion monthly active users. That makes it a great place to advertise your company.

What makes Facebook’s advertising system so different than the rest is that it works based on “contextual data,” not on “query-based data”.


“Query-based” advertising is when people type a search term (i.e. a query) into Google and are shown a relevant advertisement, followed by the search results. The largest and most well known query-based advertising company is Google Adwords. The downside to Google Adwords has become its high price point, which has risen in recent years.


“Contextual data” advertising, on the other hand, means you can choose who you want your advertisements to target based on context. Facebook is one of the most popular contextual data advertising services because you can get very specific with your targets. Looking for 25 year old males living in Wichita Falls who like soccer and drinking wheat beer? You can narrow it down and advertise specifically to them.

The key to effective Facebook advertising is finding the right audience to target.


Do you want to get cheap CPC (cost-per-clicks) while also increasing your CTR (click-through-rate)? Nail your targeting and you will have won half the battle. This guidewill help you do that.


The other key elements to successful Facebook Ads is creating a relevant ad. In order to do so, you need to apply basic advertising techniques, such as:

  • Using relevant, persuasive and actionable text
  • Using a relevant and striking image
  • Using a clear Call to Action (CTA)

The goal is to make them click on your ad, nothing more. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

To learn more about Facebook Ads, The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising by AdEspresso is one of the best guides out there.

TACTIC 3: CONTENT MARKETING

Content marketing, according to the Content Marketing Institute, is “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”


Let’s be clear: “just writing stuff” isn’t content marketing. Blogging isn’t content marketing either.

Content marketing strategically adds value to each step of a customer’s interaction with your brand which guides them through a sales funnel.


Let’s say you sell sports t-shirts. The first piece of content you should create for your readers isn’t a “Top 10 Reasons Why This Sports T-shirt Brand Is Awesome” clickbait-style post. On the contrary, you should first create an article that explains why your readers should incorporate sports into their lifestyle, including science-based facts and useful tips.


Once you’ve convinced your readers to incorporate sports into their lifestyle, you should create an article discussing “The Top 10 Sports Accessories Any Beginner Needs.” Even though you should mention one of your products in this article, the idea isn’t to make a sell, rather it is to make them conscious about what you do and how you can help them.


Then, you can create a buyer’s guide on sports clothing. This guide could aim to help people who want to get into sports find the right active wear they need and how to choose them. You can reference your products more directly in this article.


Finally, create an article reviewing each of your products, explaining the benefits of them, and how they can help your customers maintain their active lifestyles. This is the last piece of the puzzle. At this point your readers will be more willing to buy from you because up until this point you haven’t been bombarding them with advertisements, you’ve been adding valuable information to their lives.


This is just a summary of how content marketing works, just like SEO it’s a marathon, not a sprint, as you have to take time actively adding value to your prospective customer’s lives before you can start selling them products.

The first step to making content marketing work for your store is to create a buyer’s journey, and buyer personas. Both will give you the structure you need to then develop the content. Also check out Neil Patel’s Guide to content marketing if you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your content marketing strategy.


Remember, effective marketing takes time. It’s OK if you don’t become an overnight success. Both SEO and content marketing will prove their value in 3 to 6 months minimum. You need to be patient with both tactics.

Facebook Ads can be much faster and effective, but you can also waste a lot of money refining and tweaking your targets. You also need to be patient because learning to manage a cost-effective Facebook Ad campaign is a skill you will develop with time. Unless you are already an expert in Facebook Ads, start small and grow as your budget and skills allow you to.


If you combine the short-term but expensive effectiveness of Facebook Ads with the long-term yet cheaper efficiency of SEO and content marketing, you will be able to build an incredibly powerful customer acquisition machine.

Conclusion

Congratulations! If you’ve gotten this far you should now be an ecommerce store owner. Feels good, doesn’t it? Don’t get too comfortable though, the work is never done. You’ve setup your online store, now you’ve got to run it.


Continue to update your website, learn how to make it more beautiful, continually work on your SEO and create more high quality content. You’ll have to maintain a relationship with your supplier, keep tabs on the product you’re offering and look into adding more. Don’t forget to keep up with your customer service and always be refining your ads.


Once you start there’s only one way to go, and that’s forward. Good luck!

Have you launched your store yet? If you have, are you getting the results you've always dreamed of? If not, why not enroll into our Complete DFY Program with the button below:

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