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Dropshipping Step 9: Value(s)

August 16, 2020

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STEP 09: Values and Value

You might not believe it, but dropshipping has gained a bad reputation thanks to unscrupulous dropshippers.


Some are outright scam artists who build a pop-up online store, sell products for a few weeks and then close shop and never fulfill a single order. 


Making a quick buck should never tempt you to be an unethical business person with no Values. Karma is a bitch, and that wheel turns, no matter how slow.


It's not something you should even have to think about.


Your dropshipping business should include the following Core Values:

Every business should have the following elements make up its core values: be ethical, innovative, create trust, customer focused, goal orientated, strive for excellence, promote teamwork and be socially responsible


ADDING CORE VALUES TO YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS

1. Ethical

Conduct your business professionally. Honor your commitments to both your customers and suppliers. If you made a promise to a customer or struck a deal with a supplier, then stick by it.


If you're in it for the long haul, then you need to create a trustworthy name that people can depend on. 


Also make sure you are a legal entity fit to engage in business in your territory. This includes paying taxes when they are due. 


2. Customer focused 

Add value to the customer's shopping experience instead of seeing them as cash cows.


Build your online store, choose your products and do your marketing from the point of view of the customer.


If you are customer focused, you will always add value to the shopping experience. 


3. Strive for innovation 


Think of new ways to better serve customers. This can include innovative methods/tools/apps to improve the browsing/buying experience on your site.  


Or find innovative products that solve problems or fulfill needs and desires.


Every niche has problem areas. Focus on these problems and find new products to solve these problems.


For example, nighttime fishing is difficult for most anglers because of a lack of light. Some fish don't like the light, so you sit in the dark, hoping to feel what's happening with your lines. Some fish are alarmed by sudden lights, so a solution is selling a headlamp with a green or red light option that is less likely to scare fish away. 


So, identify the problems and find solutions.


4. Create trust

Gain your customers' trust by only selling high-quality products.


Offer money-back guarantees in case a product is defective or of poor quality. This should be non-negotiable


Refund the customer's money as soon as humanly possible and claim the refund back from your supplier. Never let the customer wait for a refund from the supplier. That could take weeks (or months...).

 

Show secure payment icons so that your customers know that their payment details are secure. Only use the most trusted of payment gateways for peace of mind (for both the customer and yourself).

A banner showing several safe payment gateway logos


Building a relationship with your customers is another way to earn their trust. 


If possible, invest the time in a blog and discuss matters that appeal to people interested in your niche. Be honest and forthcoming and provide solutions where possible. 


You'll see that over time, the more you write and share, the more people will share and respond to your posts and inevitably trust you as an expert in your field. 


Getting customers to write product reviews is another excellent method to gain trust.


5. Strive for excellence

If you exceed customer expectations, then you will quickly gain a reputation for excellence. 


Continuously think of ways where your business can excel and surpass other dropshippers in the same niche.


Focus on your strengths and always strive to go above and beyond for your customers. 


6. Goal orientated

Have realistic goals in mind for your business. Seek ways to reach these goals through adding value wherever you can. 

If your goal is to reach $5,000 in profit per month, then focus on adding value to get more sales, before spending more on advertising.  Resist the temptation to find cheaper products to boost your profits. 


7. Promote teamwork

Once things are going well and you're making at least a $100 per day (profit), then it means your business has grown sufficiently to warrant getting some support staff. 


When taking on employees, instill in them the company ethos that you have developed. They should continue with the same dedication and commitment to excellence as you have, to ensure the continued growth of your business values.  


Make employees feel part of the team and reward hard work. This also emphasizes the company's values to your employees. 


8. Socially responsible


Standard practice for each business should create a set of values that includes caring as a core value element.


You should include a social responsibility element in your business plan right from the start. Don't decide to only start donating when things are going well. 


You must not forget the social responsibility we have to each other and to our environment. 


THIS IS NOT A MARKETING PLOY! People consider it shameless advertising when businesses proclaim their good deeds. 


Rather keep your social responsibility low key.


After making a sale (rather than before making the sale), use a pop-up or email (not both!), saying thank you and why.


For example:  If you're in the pet niche, pledge 5% of every sale towards the ASPCA. Whenever you’ve made a sale, inform the customer that a percentage of that sale goes towards a good cause. 


ADDING VALUE TO YOUR DROPSHIPPING BUSINESS

In order for your dropshipping business to grow and differ from competitors, you need to add Value to everything you do.


Ways to add value, include:

1. Better Quality

Look at what the biggest competitors in your niche offer and try to better it. 


Offer better quality products, or a better shopping experience, better after-sales, better customer service, etc. 


Do not offer lower prices though! Offering cheaper products only cuts your profit margins. It doesn't add value to the customer.


2. Increase Convenience

It's not always possible to increase your delivery speed. Especially if your products are shipped from China.


If possible though, see if you can find locally produced products and suppliers (or even manufacturers), who would ship products for you. 


This is a great value addition, as it cuts delivery times and you can market your products as locally made.


If this isn't possible, then make sure that your products are products that are not easily found elsewhere. 


3. Become an Expert!

Find out everything there is to know about your niche and use that knowledge to offer your opinions and advice in the form of a blog. 


You can also incorporate this expertize into your marketing. If a blog is too much of a daunting task, focus on how your product solves a particular problem. Solving problems marks you as an expert.


Remember to always solve a problem, rather than selling the product features.


Let's take our portable blender as an example.

Portable blender features:

  • Made of durable materials.
  • Safe and non-toxic plastic.
  • 4 stainless steel blades, sharp and durable.
  • Convenient USB rechargeable design. Charge in your car! 
  • Easy to operate, just add your fruit or other foods into the blender cup, and push the blend button.
  • Small size, easy to store and carry. Suitable for the gym, travel, camping, picnic, etc.

Now if you solely focus on the features, you aren't promoting the solution to a problem.

Make a funny video of a lady opening her already blended drink in the gym, only to realize it's gone off. The solution: she can pack her fresh fruit, blend it after her workout right there in the gym and enjoy her healthy FRESH drink.


Or make a video of everyone else, bringing their electrical blenders to the gym and struggling to find a plug to use. Or standing in a long queue to use the only available plug in the gym... Our lady takes out her portable blender and blends her healthy drink to the amazement of everyone else.


Be creative and provide solutions to problems!


This will differentiate you from the competition and make you an expert.


4. Customer Service

Customer service is a necessity for dropshipping. Inevitably, there will be complaints and requests for refunds.


Make the interaction between customer and your business simple and straightforward. 


No one wants to wait for a solution to a problem, especially an irate customer. So, make sure that your interactions with customers happen quickly and professionally.


Adding both Value and Core Values to your dropshipping business, are thus important steps in growing your business.


It also helps to make your business more trustworthy and adds to your overall brand identity.


In addition, adding value helps differentiate you as an expert.


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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

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