To achieve success in dropshipping, you need three things: in-demand, profitable products to sell – the ability to market them – and the skills to succeed.
You already have the mindset to win. But as Shopify dropshipping trends evolve at a rapid pace, it becomes crucial to put the best product research methods into practice to invest only in profitable niches.
This guide will cover one of the most crucial steps in building a profitable dropshipping business: selecting profitable products.
But before that, we will delve into the basics of dropshipping business.
What is Dropshipping?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Dropshipping?
- 2 Why Should I Start Dropshipping on Shopify?
- 3 How Profitable is Dropshipping?
- 4 Best Research Methods to Find Winning Products from Shopify Dropshipping
- 5 Focused Brainstorming
- 6 Search for Niche Categories and Markets
- 7 Select Products Priced Around $100 – $300
- 8 Use Oberlo
- 9 Order Product Samples from Suppliers
- 10 Find Trending Products
- 11 Research Winning Products on Social Shopping Sites
- 12 The Bottom Line
Dropshipping is an innovative business model that lets you create, market, and sell a vivid collection of products without having the burden of storage, inventory, or staff costs. When a store owner receives an order from customers, they will simply contact the supplier. The supplier will then ship the ordered products directly to the customer. It is a fantastic business model for new entrepreneurs as it is easy to set up, and does not require huge up-front investment.
Shopify is a powerful tool that helps automate every step of dropshipping business, making it the easiest, quickest, and affordable way to launch a profitable e-commerce business. Oberlo is a popular dropshipping app that helps you easily find and integrate high-demand products from different suppliers into your store so you can begin selling right away.
Why Should I Start Dropshipping on Shopify?
Planning to launch a dropshipping business? Shopify is the easiest and effective platform to create and run your store. Dropshipping on Shopify, you do not have to face the hassles of excess inventory as you will only order the number of products that the customers demand. It is unlike traditional e-commerce business and does not involve manufacturing goods or buying products in bulk from wholesalers. Whenever a customer places an order, you just need to contact the respective supplier and they will ship the products to the customer.
With Shopify, you can also control your dropshipping inventory in a hassle-free manner.
Why Business Owners Fail to Select a Winning Product on Shopify
A common mistake that many drop shippers make, particularly the newcomers, is to go after the best-selling products. If a product is already selling well, it makes sense to have it in your dropshipping store.
However, the dropshipping industry is likely to become highly competitive in 2019 and beyond owing to its lucrative business opportunities. So if you test only the top-selling products, then your audience base is exhaustive. This is because you are testing a product that is already been displayed to a particular audience. In such a case, customers are less likely to buy because they already have experience with the product.
You can start with the best sellers on Shopify to achieve a high sales volume in the initial stages, but at the same time keep a track of niche, profitable products as well.
How Profitable is Dropshipping?
Despite all myths prevalent in the market saying “Dropshipping business is dead,” the industry is booming in recent years. Take a look at the below Google Trends graph that highlights how interest in dropshipping has increased over time and will continue to grow in 2019.
According to a study, approximately 23% of online sales in 2017 were fulfilled via dropshipping, amounting to $85.1 billion. In fact, dropshipping is the preferred order fulfillment method of almost 22-33% of Internet retailers. Additionally, with the e-commerce industry growing at a rate of about 17% each year, it is expected that the use of dropshipping as a fulfillment model will also increase alongside.
The numbers are promising and clearly, indicate that dropshipping business is poised to grow in 2019.
Best Research Methods to Find Winning Products from Shopify Dropshipping
The entry barrier to the dropshipping industry is comparatively low. This indicates it is a crowded space and the competition is cut-throat. It has become crucial for the sellers to find a competitive edge to stand above and generate higher revenues. They need to be more creative, while their product research methods for Shopify dropshipping should be in-depth to help find profitable niches.
One of the key subjects of discussion in dropshipping is finding the right products to sell. However, many sellers make the mistake of considering the “most sold” items as the “best” items to sell. But there is a fine line of distinction between the “top selling items” and the “best things to sell.” Keeping this in mind, we have outlined the best product research methods to help you run a profitable dropshipping model in 2019.
Before you put different products to test for increased profitability, it is crucial to determine the niches to consider. Focus on brainstorming at least 50 good niches. A great way to do this is to take product ideas from Amazon – Amazon As Seen on TV, Amazon New Releases, and Amazon Movers and Shakers. Get product ideas and search for similar items on Shopify.
For new ideas, you can consider things that you have recently purchased online or seek recommendations from family and friends. Here are some questions that will help you brainstorm a list of winning products:
- Think about your family and friends, and what they like most in their houses
- What are the hobbies of your family members and friends?
- What are the five products that you purchased online last time?
- What is the latest popular craze of people around you?
Jot down whatever comes in your mind and screen them through these five parameters:
- Loyalty: Do not choose a product that a national brand dominates.
- Competition: Scroll through other popular dropshipping stores and check which products have become over-saturated. Beware from selling those items.
- Weight: Select products that are high-priced and has low shopping weight at the same time.
- Pricing: Higher the price of the items, the greater your profit margin!
- Returns: Keep away from selecting products having varied style and sizing choices. They will have a high return rate, increasing hassles for your dropshipping model.
Search for Niche Categories and Markets
The largest categories and markets in the dropshipping industry are dominated by the leading players. If you are a newbie or want to do something unique, start by capturing a niche market and grow from there.
Suppose you are planning to sell travel gears through your dropshipping store. If you are targeting anyone who looks for travel gears and your marketing message goes like “The best travel gears for all,” then it is most unlikely for customers to pick your anonymous brand over top-notch brands in the market.
However, if you focus on a niche category “the best travel gears for adventure enthusiasts” and strive to focus on catering to the needs of adventure seekers, you stand a good chance to build a “brand” among all. As your dropshipping scales up, you can expand further to offer “best waterproof travel gears”, “best sports gears”, etc.
Refer to the image below to get an idea of 40 hot niches you can use for Shopify dropshipping as suggested by Dan Dasilva and Justin Cener.
Select Products Priced Around $100 – $300
Sellers often argue on this because the higher the price of the item you sell, the greater will be your profit margin. So why choose products in this specific price category?
Initially, it is a wise decision to select products priced around $100-300 because customers feel confident investing this much amount without meeting or knowing the seller well. However, when the price tag is higher, it may prevent them from buying or they would prefer purchasing from a reputable e-commerce store than from someone anonymous.
High ticket items tend to deter instinctive buying approach of the shoppers and they will want to have more information or speak to the seller before purchasing. It is not impossible to sell expensive products via dropshipping, but prefer choosing low-priced items when you start new. Once you build good credibility and start selling more, you can add costly items to your store.
Check out the below example.
Some drop shipper tried to sell this high-quality, high-priced video filming crane priced at the U.S. $13,815. The result – they had a tough time selling all they had in stock (over 10 numbers), and could manage to sell only 3.
Oberlo is the most popular app that makes it simple, quick, and effective to find products to sell on Shopify. It helps you find products from suppliers all over the world and add them directly into your Shopify dropshipping store so that you can begin selling right away. In fact, it is the best product research method for Shopify dropshipping.
So, how to use Oberlo app to find products for your dropshipping store?
Let’s see step by step.
i) Install Oberlo App
To use Oberlo app, visit Shopify and click the option Get Started to sign up. Once you create a Shopify store, visit the Shopify App Store. Type Oberlo in the search bar or scroll down to find the app. When the page appears, click Get.
Another way is to visit your Shopify homepage, and on the left panel, you will see the option Apps. Click on it and perhaps the first on it will be Oberlo.
Oberlo will ask for permission to manage your products, orders, and other data. Click the option Install App to give Oberlo access to all functions.
ii) Connect Oberlo to Your Shopify Store
To connect Oberlo to your Shopify store, visit the Oberlo website. Click the option Add Oberlo to Shopify to sign up for your Oberlo account. Next, in the Oberlo dashboard, click Connect a store. Log in your Shopify store’s information.
iii) Search Products Using Oberlo
Products are the most crucial aspect of your Shopify dropshipping business. The type of product you choose to sell can affect how you operate your store, how to market your store, and who you market it to. Here’s how you can search for products on Oberlo.
- Open your Oberlo dashboard and visit the Search Products page
- Type the product into the search field or click any of the product categories displayed on the page. Filter down to the products that you are interested in.
- For every product that you wish to add, click the option Add to Import List under the product image.
Once you add all the products you want, import them to your Shopify store.
To help you select products, Oberlo provides the following information:
Star Ratings and Review Counts:
When you will search for products on Oberlo app, you will see a star rating (as shown in the image above) for every listing. The rating ranges from 0 – 5 stars. Oberlo also provides review count, which is the number of reviews the product has received.
This data will help you to evaluate how reliable or genuine the star rating is. For instance, if you see a product having 5 stars against 100 reviews, you can consider it to be high quality. This does not mean that products having fewer reviews are less reliable – they could be new to Oberlo.
Product star rating and review counts help determine how well it resonates with your target market – something you might consider to add to your dropshipping store.
Determining the competitiveness of a product is crucial to select the right ones for your store. To be transparent with every seller, Oberlo adds imports data to the product listings. Whenever you search a particular product on Oberlo app, you can see the number of entrepreneurs who are selling it on the platform. For example, if an item shows 100 imports, it would mean that 100 unique Oberlo stores have imported that item.
Here, it is important to know that if a product is already listed with AliExpress supplier, the imports data will reflect the orders from AliExpress users as well.
The objective of any dropshipping business is to make sales. That is why Oberlo’s order count data can prove handy in product research. The statistic highlights the exact number of orders that each product has received. This will help you evaluate how competitive the product is, and how successful it will be with your target audience.
When you will click on a product, you will find two different sets of order count data – the order count from the past 30 days and the count from the past 6 months.
This periodic data will help you better understand the performance of the product so that you can make effective decisions during the product research process.
To select a great product, it is vital to gauge whether other sellers have achieved success with the item in the past. Oberlo’s pageview statistics show how many times a product has been viewed on Shopify stores. This indicates how successful other Oberlo entrepreneurs have been with the product, and what chances you stand.
Oberlo Verified Suppliers:
Finding exceptional and reliable suppliers is the key to a successful dropshipping business on Shopify. Oberlo minimizes the hassle of finding credible suppliers with the aid of Oberlo Verified Suppliers tag.
If you find a product listing with the badge as shown in the image above, you can be assured that the supplier is verified by Oberlo, and has been offering excellent-quality service. The badge indicates that the supplier has processed 1000+ orders successfully through Oberlo, and ships 95%+ of their orders on time.
All these data points are crucial to make informed decisions pertaining to finding a winning product. The statistics are free to use for Oberlo users and can help you learn a lot about a product.
Order Product Samples from Suppliers
One of the biggest mistakes that Shopify dropshipping entrepreneurs make is blindly selling the products without testing them first. As a result, customers complain and the business can be in the stake.
An important product research method is testing the items yourself by ordering samples from the suppliers. You should order at least one sample for each product you plan to sell before listing it on your dropshipping store.
Yes; the advantage of dropshipping is you do not need to carry inventory. So, why would you order samples, right?
It is because positive reviews, order volume, and extensive research cannot protect your business from getting affected when you sell a poor-quality product or deliver late. By ordering product samples, your business stands a higher chance of success. You would know how long it takes for the product to arrive, how does it look like, or what are solutions to meet potential customer complaints.
This is also a good way to minimize your refund rate. So, the money you make from dropshipping will not get returned to the customer again.
Find Trending Products
Items which are recently trending are fantastic options to start with your dropshipping business. Going with the most trending products is an easy way to choose items for Shopify dropshipping because these have not hit the commercial masses yet, the competition is still low, and you can take the benefit of low marketing fees.
If you are keen on finding products that are trending, or the items that are likely to be popular in the future, refer the following resources:
Check out these resources and identify suitable trending products for your store. It is also vital to determine how you will market these products to your potential target audience.
Wondering which top-trending products to add to your dropshipping store in 2019? Volusion has put together the hottest trends across a variety of industries. Refer to the infographic below:
Research Winning Products on Social Shopping Sites
Another great product research method for Shopify dropshipping is scouting through popular social shopping sites. These are e-commerce-enabled platforms where various shopping experiences are shared with a broad social network of people. Sharing can be in the form of likes, comments, recommendations, or sharing product information with others. The main idea of the sellers is to use influence and recommendations of others to increase sales.
Popular social shopping sites are Wanelo, Pinterest, and Etsy. You can search these sites to discover the items that people are craving for, and consider adding those to your drop ship store.
- Join Online Communities
There are numerous online forums and communities you can join to start your Shopify dropshipping product research. Facebook is a popular online platform that has tones of open and close communities where you can gather valuable information about what people want, which products are trending, what are the best sellers, the problem areas, etc. If problems are discussed in the forums, you can search for a product(s) that you can sell to address the issue.
If you want to sell niche products, you can get ideas from various niche groups available online.
In addition to the above ideas, you can also use various Shopify apps that help add new products to your store and market them in an effective manner. Specialty drop shipper apps like Spocket and Modalyst can connect you with hundreds of Europe, Canada, and U.S.-made products that you can consider to drop ship. You can also use aggregate drop shipping networks such as Inventory Source to add an entire vendor line or name-brand products to your store.
The Bottom Line
Finding a profitable product or niche is vital to build a successful dropshipping store. As the focus shifts to “brandable” dropshipping stores in 2019, you would need niches that offer lucrative monetization opportunities. Researching products for Shopify dropshipping will become simpler if you practice the above-mentioned methods to discover what will sell and help boost your business. When you try these tricks, you can find the best products to drop ship.
Which product research method are you using for your dropshipping business? We would like to hear from you.
If you are looking for more inspiration of Shopify ecommerce and dropshipping check out the video below