Drop Ship Lifestyle - The COMPLETE Review
DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT REVIEW
This is an in-depth review of Drop Ship Lifestyle's first section by Anton Kraly. This training module covers the DSL's blueprint for drop shipping and includes tutorials on niche selection, market research, building your online store, finding drop ship suppliers and more.
SECTION 1: DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT 1.0
Total Videos: 77
Video length: 15 hours 31 minutes
This is what you can expect from the first section in the Drop Ship Lifestyle course. The DSL drop ship blueprint looks like this:
This is an extremely long module with a lot of content, so I've split the review into two parts. This Part is titled SECTION 1: DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT 1.0, which covers all the modules up to Module 7. DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT 1.1 will cover the remainder of the course section from module 8 to 13.
Module 1 total videos: 5. Total video time: 1 hour 2 minutes
01 - Introduction
At the start of each module, Anton has an introduction video where he walks you through what to expect in the module. He also explains why each module is so important to your online business.
Anton explains why you can't simply choose a niche at random and hope it's going to be successful.
The goal of this module is thus: to identify profitable niches.
02 - Pricing
Pricing is one of the most important aspects you have to consider during niche and product selection.
Anton states that there is a certain price point that works best for online sales and his goal for this lesson, is to show you what that is and explain the reason for it.
Anton offers you two different products as an example:
One sells for $10 (it's something everyone uses) and the other for $1 000 (a niche product). Each has a profit margin of 30%.
Which one do you choose?
Anton's answer might surprise you.
He focuses on selling one expensive product, rather than 100 small products...
Anton believes in the following equation: units sold vs profit.
The benefits are:
Anton then also gives advice on how you should price your products. He suggests:
- Always look for suppliers who enforce Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Policies.
MAP Policies are discussed in more detail later in the course. For now, it basically means that the supplier dictates the minimum price you can sell for.
So Anton tells you:
- Don't sell cheap products in bulk.
- Find more expensive products that are niche specific (they should be at least $200)
- Find suppliers that enforce a price point.
This is basically the opposite of what every other drop shipping course teaches you...
So. After the very first lesson, you can already tell that Anton has a very different approach to drop shipping.
The question is:
Is this different drop shipping angle, any good?
03 - Target Market
This lesson still deals with niche selection, but Anton focuses on Target Demographics.
Anton's goal is to show you which niche demographics are good for online sales.
Your niche selection goal should be little effort with big results.
Anton suggests targeting the Upper Middle Class.
04 - Brand Loyalty
In this lesson Anton points out that people have brand loyalty when it comes to high ticket online purchases, such as electronic equipment.
Buyers already know what they want when they're looking for a camera (for example). This is why you should stay away from these items.
Anton suggests that you sell in niches where shoppers will not have brand loyalty.
05 - Brainstorming
Anton helps you get ideas to choose niche specific products. He suggests simple ways to do product research.
Think of the following when compiling a list:
- What products have you bought?
- What have your friends and family bought?
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you notice in your day to day life?
05 - Action Tasks
This is a great little addition!
Anton has included Action Tasks at the end of the modules. He suggests that in order to get results, you need to follow his suggestions step by step and finish a task first, before moving on to the next module.
Anton then gives you some homework to do.
It starts with writing out at least 50 different niche product ideas...
MODULE 2 MARKET RESEARCH
Module 2 total videos: 5. Total video time: 45 minutes
01 - Introduction
Anton starts by reminding you to go back and finish your list of 50 product ideas.
During this module you will go through a series of checks on your list, to determine if you have a winning niche.
Anton feels that the difference between success and failure is proper product research.
02 - Google & PLAs
In this lesson, Anton introduces us to Product Listing Ads on Google.
It's refreshing to see something new covered in a drop shipping course. No other course has covered PLAs yet. Usually it's only FB Ads and perhaps email marketing.
This looks promising.
Anton goes back to his niche list (see how important that homework was? There's no getting away from that list...) and picks "chandeliers" as an example. He then proceeds to show you how to find more PLAs.
Based on the average price of the PLA results, you can see whether your niche product falls in the $200+ minimum price range or not. If it doesn't, scratch it from your list.
03 - How To Choose
Before you can choose your niche product, Anton suggests a couple of criteria to look at:
- Average Price (covered in the previous video)
- Brand Loyalty
- Drop Ship Friendly
- Number of Suppliers (must be above 20)
- Remember to have a product that you can upsell
Based on your price range, you can judge which demographic audience you're going to target.
Brand loyalty is also easy to judge. Just ask yourself: Is it a product that is often advertised on TV, radio, billboards, the internet?
To tell if the product is Drop Ship Friendly and what the Number of Suppliers are, you will have to do more research on Google.
Anton shows you how to do this.
04 - Extract Suppliers
Anton mentions that when you choose your suppliers, remember to only include those who don't have warehouses and don;t have retail stores.
Anton shows how to add a Supplier sheet to your original niche spreadsheet.
You have to make a Supplier List Sheet for every niche product.
This will entail a bit of researching work.
05 - Action Tasks
Anton goes through the Action Tasks you have to complete before moving on to Module 3.
Anton also covers Frequently Asked Questions dealing with Keyword Research, Competitor Analysis, and Niche Demand.
MODULE 3 CREATE YOUR WEBSITE
Module 3 total videos: 13. Total video time: 3 hours 57 minutes
01 - Introduction
Anton does a quick introduction and tells you what to expect in this module. He also offers you three options of how to build your Shopify Store:
02 - Intro to Shopify & Theme
Laura (Anton's sister) introduces you to Shopify and shows you how to install a free theme, or upload the DSL Store Theme.
03 - Domain Names
Laura shows you how to buy and connect a domain name via Shopify.
04 - Collections
Laura discusses what collections are and why you need them. She then shows you how to create Collections on your Store.
Examples of collections are:
- items of a certain type (lamps, rugs, cushions)
- best selling items
- items on sale
- items in a certain size or color
- seasonal products
Collections can either be Manually set up or Automated. Automated is more complicated to set up, but it makes things much easier later on when you have many products.
05 - Uploading Products
Laura shows you how to add products to your online store.
- Adding the product name
- Product description
- Product images
- Adding image alt text
- Organization according to Product Type, Vendor, and Collections (and Tags).
06 - Adding Pages & Blog Posts
This lesson teaches you how to create Pages such as:
- About Us
- Price guarantee
- Shipping & Returns
- Contact Us
Laura also suggests creating Blog Posts and shows you how to create one.
07 - Creating Menus
Navigation on your site via menus are very important as they make it easy to access certain pages, such as:
- different webpages
- blogs and posts
- an external website
Laura then explains the different menu / navigation options needed according to your Shopify Store Theme:
08 - Shopify Settings
Laura shows you where to find the settings for your Shopify store. There are 9 different Settings and she walks you through each of them.
09 - Theme Customizations
Laura explains what you can expect from different Shopify Themes and how you should choose your theme based on your specific needs.
Laura then discusses important factors that you should consider when choosing a theme.
She goes on to explain the importance of logo design, home page images, customization (Theme vs HTML/CSS).
Laura also shows how to remove the storefront password that keeps people from visiting your site.
Finally, Laura takes you through the custom DSL Theme, showing off its features and how to install and optimize it.
10 - Discount Codes
Laura shows you how to create Discount Codes inside your Shopify Dash.
There are three discount options you can choose from and Laura shows you how they work:
- Discount according to Percentage Discount
- A Fixed Amount
- Free Shipping
11 - Shopify Apps
This lesson introduces you to the Shopify App Store where you can find free and premium plugins that extends the functionality of your store.
Laura explains the pros and cons of apps and shows you what you can use the apps for in this business model.
Interesting to note: unlike other drop ship courses - you do NOT use the apps for product sourcing...
Yip, no suppliers from China selling any old cheap crap...
12 - Google is King
Before you start with the info in this lesson, you need the following already set up:
- A store-specific Gmail email address
- The following 3 apps from Shopify: Google Shopping Feed, Shoppingfeeder and Simple Google Shopping Feed.
Laura also shows you how to get and set up Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Google Ads. Via Shopify, you also learn to use the Google Shopping Feed app, which connects with Google Merchant Center.This is a great video as it shares info and tools that other drop shipping courses don’t.
13 - Domain Emails
Laura shows you how to set up your domain email.It is important to have an firstname.lastname@example.org email address, rather than a email@example.com.It looks more professional and adds some legitimacy (trust) to your business.
There are two ways of doing this, according to Laura. You either do it through G-Suite ($5- $ 10 pm) or through Zoho, which used to be free.
In 2019, Zoho will cost you $ 12 pm (it is no longer free as is touted in the training).Laura only shows how to set up your business email via Zoho. Luckily, G-Suite is not difficult.
MODULE 4 GET DROP SHIPPERS
Module 4 total videos: 3. Total video time: 34 minutes
01 - Introduction
Anton is back and in this module, he is going to teach you how to get suppliers.
Anton states that the type of suppliers you are looking for will want to vet you. This means that you have to apply to them and be approved first before you can be a “retailer”.
If you get approved, you already gain your supplier’s trust.
This means that you will:
- Not list their products below MAP
- You will treat your customers fairly
- Not misrepresent their brand
- Add value to their business
You gain their trust by:
- Having a quality website in place
- Must have a clear plan to get additional sales
- Focus on exceptional customer service
02 - Supplier Tiers
There is a difference in suppliers and Anton breaks it down into 3 tiers:
- Gold tier
- Silver tier
- Bronze tier
Bronze Suppliers:Accepts everyone who appliesDo not enforce MAP policiesPoor customer serviceCharge for access to products
- Review all potential retailers
- Enforce MAP policies
- Good/great customer service
- Work with a small number of select retailers
- Enforce MAP policies
- Excellent customer service
- Refer business to retailers
- Anton goes through the pros and cons of each supplier type and states that he will teach you how to get approved by gold suppliers (eventually).
03 - Supplier Research
In this training video, Anton takes you back to the supplier spreadsheet that you populated through your Google PLA research.
He shows you how to
categorize your potential suppliers according to Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
04 - Phone and Email Scripts
This sub-section is a pdf document that contains info on how to approach possible suppliers. Anton did include a disclaimer of sorts, so remember that this is by no means fool-proof or a sure-thing / done deal.
It is important to know that even as an established online retailer with facts and figures to back you, there is no guarantee that a drop shipping supplier will approve you for an account.
Anton however, offers you a checklist that you can tick in order to better your chances.
MODULE 5 OPTIMIZE FOR CONVERSIONS
Module 5 total videos: 7. Total video time: 1 hour 18 minutes
01 - Introduction
Getting this far means you have at least one supplier. If not, get one first before continuing with the course.
This module deals with optimizing your conversion rates.
A conversion rate is: how many people visit your site vs how many actually buy.So if you have 100 visits and 2 people buy, then your conversion rate is 2%.
Anton states that you goal should be a conversion rate of at least 2.5% - then you’ll do well.
In this module Anton will teach you how you optimize your conversions using:
- Stress urgency
- Great content pages
- Display reviews
- Social Media
- Follow up with abandoned carts
02 - Urgency
Anton states that when people are online they are constantly distracted, so you need to create urgency.Urgency = More Sales.
One of the best Urgency creation methods you can use is: EXPIRING coupon codes.
Anton shows you different types of expiring coupon codes and how effective they can be.
03 - Content Templates
In this lesson Anton goes through the different content pages and offers links to templates that you can download and use for:
- About Page
- Price Guarantee
- Shipping Policy
- Track your order
Anton then goes into detail on what should be on every one of you Product Pages:
You also don’t want too much content, so make use of Tabbed Product Pages that open separate tabs for:
- Product description
- Price Match
04 - Reviews
Anton refers to the reviews that are posted on your own website. Reviews are extremely important as “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations”. (According to a Marketing Land survey)
Anton shows you which app to install and how to get reviews on your product pages to boost your credibility.
Anton also answers an important question:
How do you get reviews if you have no sales yet?
- Copy reviews from your suppliers’ site
- Ask your supplier for reviews
- Ask family and friends
- Write your own… (is this ethical?)
- Ask people to write a review after their product has been delivered
05 - Social Media and Proof
Social media increasingly plays an important role in the growth and success of your business.
Studies show that between 70 to 80% of people feel that social media posts impact their purchases.
It does take time though and there are so many platforms to choose from. Do you try and utilize as many as possible, or only focus on a select few?
Anton cautions you to only focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Anton gives you some strategies and shows examples of how to use social media pages to create posts.
He then makes an interesting statement:
We are not using social media to gain new leads…but to build social proof.
Anton then suggests a must-read book to show you the importance of (and how to create):
06 - Abandoned Carts
Anton shares his preferred app you can use for Abandoned Carts via the Shopify App Store.
This ensures that you can re-target customers who do not complete (pay/buy) their order.
Anton also shows another app that is very useful. It is used as Exit Intent Overlay – this pops up when a visitor to your site decides to leave without deciding to add anything to the cart.
07 - Bonus Offers
People tend to surf around for the best offers and compare. Some of your products will be more or less the same price, you have the same shipping offers and warranties, return policies etc.So it is important to try and differentiate.Bonus offers is an added incentive to get people to buy.Some of the bonus offers you can use:
- E-book (not great)
- Gift card
- Free product (best conversion rate)
Free products should be something complimentary to the bought product. For example, free globes with a chandelier purchase, or a free leash with a paddle board.
MODULE 6 GET TRAFFIC
Module 6 total videos: 6. Total video time: 1 hour
01 - Introduction
Anton states that this is where the business end of the course really starts.
In the intro video, he covers Good Traffic vs Bad Traffic.
Tracking is very important so that you know where your visitors are coming from and where you should spend your marketing budget. You must have Google Analytics.
In this module you are going to learn how you get traffic from:
Blog Banner Ads
02 - Adwords PLAs
Anton warns you that Product Listing Ads are based on bidding.
However, you are not going for generic broad terms, but rather very specific highly targeted searches. This will make targeting easier.
Anton suggests a Google Certified Partner to help running your ads (the entry-level price is $1k.)
There is however, additional training provided for members on Google Ads for those who want to DIY.
03 - SEO
This is a VERY important lesson. Some of the other courses have long-winded videos that don’t really tell you much about SEO for your Shopify store.
Anton however, gives great advice that is clear and concise and easy to follow. One of the best videos in the course so far.
04 - Banner Ads
In order to utilize Banner Ads on Blogs you first need to identify your target market/audience.
- What FB Pages do they like?
- What magazines do they read?
- What forums do they post on?
- What blogs do they follow?
Anton shows you how to answer these questions by using Facebook and Google.
Once you have identified prospective blogs, Anton gives you advice as to how to approach them.
05 - Retargeting
Anton explains what re-targeting is. In essence, you re-target visitors who did not convert into a sale.
There are a number of ways to do this, which includes:
- Google re-marketing
- Facebook Dynamic Product Re-targeting
This is done via your Google Merchant Ads account.
06 - Action Tasks
Anton takes you through the action tasks you need to complete before you can progress to the next module.
1. Ensure that your Google Analytics is active.
2. Work through the Google Ads Training provided in the members section carefully.
3. Make a checklist of your on-page SEO techniques:
- Page Titles
- Meta Description
- URLProduct Description
4. Make sure to complete your 1-week trial request and check your data for winning banner ads before continuing.
5. Your retargeting campaign(s) need to be in place.
MODULE 7 AUTOMATION
Module 7 total videos: 3. Total video time: 34 minutes
01 - Introduction
If you reach this module, you are already reaping the benefits! (According to Anton). He says that by this stage, you only have to put in 20 minutes per day to keep your online store running. This is possible through automation.
Day to day tasks that can be automated with Apps OR outsourced to Virtual Assistants will include:
- Site visitor inquiries (voice/calls, LiveChat, email)
- Customer inquiries (voice, LiveChat, email)
- Order processing
Anton suggests compiling your own User Guide. Only once you’ve done this, then you can get a VA.
02 - Phone Support
Making a phone number available to customers, has several benefits:
- Calls lead to sales and
- Calls build a rapport with customers and builds trust
In order for your VA to be effective they need to be able to:
- Process orders
- Find more product info
- Check stock levels
- Look up order status
Anton goes through each of these situations in detail. Anton also covers who to hire.
03 - Virtual Assistants
This is a follow-up to the last video lesson. Anton goes through the previously listed situations in more detail.
Anton shows you how to set up admin privileges in your Shopify dashboard.
He also suggests UpWork.com and takes you through the process of finding a VA.
DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT: Total Videos = 77. Video length = 15 hours 31 minutes
DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT
- My Key Takeaways
MODULES 1 - 7
Highlights: At the end of every lesson, Anton urges you to post questions below the video feed or in the forum. It's great to see a course where they encourage you to get in touch if something is unclear.
Anton also covered Google Ads and PLAs, that other courses do not. Yes, it is additional training on top of the DSL course, but it is well worth knowing as much as you can about your marketing options.
I also liked the Action Tasks at the end of the most important modules. These Action Tasks forces you to have certain things in place before you can move on to the next module.
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF DSL DROP SHIP BLUEPRINT
This is an exciting start to the course, as Anton introduces a brand new angle to the drop shipping business model.
As opposed to other drop shipping courses, Anton prefers:
- selling high-end products
- local suppliers / manufacturers
- NOT using Chinese suppliers / AliExpress at all!
It's a refreshingly new take on the usual standard drop shipping model. Time will tell if it is a successful and worthwhile option.
One negative though: Anton's product research leaves a lot to be desired. His way of doing it is to look around your house and ask family and friends... That alone brought my rating down from an 80% to a 75%...
In addition, there are some sound issues Most of the modules are fine where it comes to good, clear sound. However, whenever Laura presents a module (from Module 2), the sound quality is not consistent.
Then she's too close to the mic, and then too far away from it. If you're wearing headphones, the constant "scratching" on the microphone becomes very irritating very quickly. Rather listen on speakers when she is presenting.
It's probably not a deal breaker for anyone, but if you pay a premium for a course, you really expect there to be zero sound issues - the presenters should know how to present, right?
Lead Generation is my #1 Online Business Choice
(IMO Less Hassle Than Selling Physical Products)