As we head into the new year and have a full year under our belt at Drop Shipping by Global Crafts we realized that the vast majority of our drop ship clients take a similar approach. Almost universally they run a web site with our full line of products and the more successful ones tend to push the products to marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon. Today I want to suggest an alternative approach that revolves around niche markets and content.
Why? The marketplace is crowded, advertising is expensive and marketplaces charge fees and drive down prices through competition all of which impacts your bottom line. The perennial question is how do you drive high quality traffic to your own store through natural search and social media ? Let me suggest that it is easier to find, target and communicate with a niche audience than a wider audience. For example if I took all the Children's products we carry and built a brand focusing on millennials with young children my social media and content can be much more focused on my target audience. The same is true of taking Yoga inspired products, a handmade fashion brand, a rustic home brand... the list goes on.
Creating content around the brand and the communities of potential customers becomes immeasurably easier if you know exactly who you are looking for. Taking our toy example content such as product reviews, cute social media images of kids playing with toys, some giveaways focused on "mom groups", even reaching out to influencers in the young mom arena with free product for reviews on their sites. All this and more becomes possible.
Our site is a good example, yes we sell the entire line but our strategy is to connect with a niche group, people who want to start a drop shipping business with unique products, preferably using Shopify. The content in this and other blogs is clearly focused (shamelessly) on this target audience and the site is designed to sell a concept, starting your own drop ship business rather than the individual products. Even our Free Website draw is designed to build our list of potential customers for ongoing marketing. This is all done through a content driven approach that is focused on a small community.
Our drop shipping platform is un-apologetically built on the Shopify ecommerce platform, we choose Shopify because its very simple, accessible and has the tools we needed to sync inventory to a large number of stores. One aspect of the Shopify platform that is vastly under used is the Blog and the "Buy Now" button which enables you to embed fully function eCommerce into any blog such as a WordPress blog.
A friend and business acquaintance told me that he would be looking for another platform for his next site because Shopify was not good at content and was all about product. Respectfully I disagree. This site is a good example of a site focused on content before product. The selection of a good theme is critical to the look and feel of a content first site. This site uses the "Out of The Sand Box - Responsive Theme", but many others have strong content and blog features and if you really do want to go the WordPress route the Shopify Buy Now button can embed a whole collection or a single product in any post along with a fully functional checkout system.
My hope for next year is that our drop ship clients will evolve and grow their customer loyalty and brand. Content is critical to achieving this evolution and understanding the power of focusing in on a specific customer rather than trying to sell to everyone.
I and the entire Global Crafts team wish you all a very successful 2017.