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Dropshipping Step 4: Uniqueness

August 16, 2020

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STEP 04:  Being unique sets you apart fROm the rest

In Step 01 we covered what it takes to be successful at dropshipping.


Step 03, being unique in your business approaches, is an extension of Step 01.


Your creativity and ability to deal with challenges tie in with the characteristics of a successful dropshipping entrepreneur. 

Every single human being on this planet is unique. We all have our own quirks, unique strengths and weaknesses. 


Yet, many entrepreneurs don't use that uniqueness and transfer its potential into their businesses. 


Being different in the business world is an ADVANTAGE.


Uniqueness is an asset.


And it's something you can exploit to great benefit.


Some dropshipping "gurus" will actively encourage you to ride the wave of success and copy what other dropshippers are doing. But that is a short-term play with short-term results and most often, only small gains.

Being unique and approaching ALL aspects of your business differently will always pay dividends.


The problem with most of the dropshipping courses out there, is that students take the course content and apply it in exactly the same way as they were taught.


They take an example and foolishly use the actual example as their own product or niche.   

Many of the students end up following the same formula, hoping to break it into the dropshipping market, without putting in an effort to find their own niches and products.


So you end up with thousands of new dropshippers each year, doing the same thing, hoping to make it big. 


It's obviously not going to work.


Remember Albert Einstein's quote emphasizing that there is no point in doing the same thing. 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

- Philosopher and the Original Mad Scientist

Albert Einstein with famous wacky hairdo.

You can't expect to be successful if you follow the crowd and do exactly what every other dropshipper is doing. 


Why would someone buy from you, if your store looks exactly the same as a thousand other online stores? 

Cloning

A big problem with dropshipping is the ability for just about anyone to copy and clone your winning formulas.


A new dropshipper can clone your entire site and advertisements within a few short hours and there's not much you can do about it. 

An infographic illustrating how easy it is to clone a dropshipping business.

The culture of make-a-quick-buck actively encourages dropshippers to copy other successful dropshippers.


Therefore, it's not a good idea to jump on the bandwagon and do what everyone else is doing. 


You will never stand out from the crowd, and in business, that's pretty much suicide...

If however, you have a unique brand, with customers loyal to you, no one can copy and steal that.


WHY BEING UNIQUE IS A GAME CHANGER

A man in a hoodie on the edge of a high rise building

1. Niche leaders are the first to introduce change and be different


Leaders lead. They don't follow. 


The market leaders, in any business niche, are the innovators. The ones that stand out.


Not necessarily the ones with the best product. Or the cheapest price. 


The businesses that dominate are the ones that constantly strive to be better. In doing so, they always find new and innovative methods to set themselves apart from the opposition.


Businesses that can adapt and learn to do things differently, are successful businesses in the long term.


Businesses that keep evolving, not only survive tough times, but grow...


To evolve, they need to find different ways to tackle challenges. Thinking out of the box is thus a HUGE advantage in the business world. 


A cup of Starbucks coffee.

2. Price is irrelevant when you're unique


The chances are that there will be someone in the same niche as you, selling very similar products. It's guaranteed. 


With dropshipping, the chances are that another dropshipper will sell the SAME product(s) as you. 


So how do you stand out? What differentiates you from the competition?


That will be the deciding factor to determine whether you get more sales or only some sales.


- Market your product uniquely. Take your OWN product photographs and make your own Video Ads. Try different things with your advertising. 

- Make your website stand out. Make it memorable. Build a brand!

- Offer additional products that compliment each other (called upselling - look it up. McDonald's is the classic example.)

An example of how to upsell products, the McDonald's way.

- Offer additional Meaningful Value (more on this later) that build loyalty. If your customers get added value from you, they won't shop elsewhere. You can even sell the same product at a higher price.


A light bulb in the center of a mind map.

3. Unique solutions


Dropshipping is online retailing. And in retail, most sales fall in either of the following two categories:

  • people either buy something that they need to solve a problem, or
  • they buy something that they are passionate about.

Thus, it helps if you're selling a product that solves a problem. It should be one of your product criteria (more on that in Step 05).


Unique products = unique solutions to a problem.


Or.


If you target a niche that people are highly passionate about, then unique products = unique and passionate buyers.


In addition:

It's always advisable to do some market research in your niche. Find out who your competitors are and see what the top three are doing. 


Write what you think works best for each of your biggest competitors and think of unique ways to do it better than them.


A chess board with a crowned pawn

4. Lower competition


Market your online store(s) in a way that showcases your strengths, why you are important and what sets you apart from the rest.


If shoppers perceive your business as unique, you will automatically have lower competition.


It doesn't matter whether you have

  • unique marketing campaigns,
  • unique products,
  • or a unique brand,
  • or unique customer service,
  • or unique perceived value,
  • or whether you serve products to a unique niche within a niche.

As long as there is an aspect of your business that is unique and that stands out.


Focus on something that sets you apart and you will reap the rewards in the long run.


Four clocks on a white wall, depicting the times for London, New York, Tokyo and Moscow

5. Saves time and effort


Use your own strengths to help you differentiate your business. 


Besides being much easier to accomplish your uniqueness, you will also save time.


You won't waste time on things that sap your energy and makes you feel like it's a constant struggle.


Focus instead on things that you CAN do, and can do well.

 


Practical examples

Here are two examples of how you can incorporate other types of uniqueness into your dropshipping business. Use an out-of-the-box approach when looking for new dropshipping products.


Art Licensing

In Module 2 of Ecom Success Academy, Adrian Morrison offered lessons on Art Licensing for t-shirts / scatter cushions / bed linen / posters, etc. 


It boils down to:

  • Get a licence from an artist to use their artwork for commercial purposes.
  • Then you get to reproduce their artwork for a set amount per product, or worked out as a percentage of the profits from that product. 
  • Unique artwork equates to a unique product that no other dropshipping store will have. 
There are MANY struggling (but talented) artists the world over, looking for some exposure or a chance to show their talents to a wider audience.

This is just one example of how to find exclusive content for your store. Just think out-of-the-box. This will almost guarantee that you have unique products in your store.

Alternative sources for winning products

Kevin David offers unique ways to find winning products in his Shopify Ninja Masterclass. He aptly titled one of his lessons: "Creative-Weird Product Research Methods To Find You Diamond In The Rough Products!


This proves that there are non-conventional methods to find products. Don't just rely on AliExpress, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook.
You can also use sites such as Etsy, Wish, Watchcount (for eBay products), and Unicorn Smasher Chrome extension (for Amazon), to find dropshipping gems. I'll discuss these methods (and more!) in more detail under Step 5: Choosing the right dropshipping products.

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

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