When you start a dropshipping business and open a droppshipping store on ecommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, it’s too easy to get stuck on pricing your products. Pricing your products is one of the most important decisions you make, because it impacts almost every aspect of your business, from cash flow to profit margins. It also determines the success of your product or service. If you price your products correctly, it can enhance how much you sell and create the foundation for a business that will prosper. The article will introduce key factors to consider to price your products, some price strategies you need to know, and steps to choose the right pricing strategy.
Key Factors To Consider
1. Research your customer
It is necessary to understand your customers. They will help determine how much you should charge. The key to get to know your customer is to take some market researches. Market research can range from informal surveys of your existing customer to the research projects of third party consulting firms. Informal surveys can be sent out in e-mail along with promotions or directly consult in an existing customer base. And if you simply want to sample all your friends, you can use SurveyMonkey and Google Surveys which are simple and inexpensive ways to compile and aggregate statistics. In contrast, research by third party consulting firms is more extensive and expensive, and also more professional. What’s more, it can explore your market and segment your potential customers very granularly.
After research your customers, you will get information about your customers’ demographics, including where they live, their interests, and income level. If your customers come from mainly low to middle-class backgrounds, they might not be willing to pay luxury prices.
2. Know your competition
Check out how much your competitors charge their customers. You can use your competition’s pricing as an initial gauge. And you can see if your product has additional value, such as additional service and higher quality, to support a higher price. Be careful about regional differences and always consider your costs. It is also a good idea to compare net prices and market perception between your product and your competition’s based on the information from phone calls, secret shopping, published data, etc.
In addition, you can know your competition in many ways and unearth a wealth of competitive data online. You can use Google Alerts to stay abreast of the latest news on any business, product, or industry. And Google Trends reveals the popularity of all search terms. It also a good way to follow the social media accounts of your future rivals to know your competition. Then you’ll get to know their target audience, marketing strategies, and if they’ve found a niche, etc. And pay attention to the type of promotions they offer and time, and consider whether you can match or exceed such discounts.
3. Know your costs
It is necessary to know your product costs. The cost of a product includes the literal cost of the item and overhead costs. Overhead costs may include fixed costs like rent and variable costs like shipping or stocking fees. Don’t forget to include these costs in your estimate of the real cost of your product. It is a good idea to make a sheet that covers all the costs you need to spend every month. Once you know how much you spend on products, you have your break-even point.
4. Set your revenue target
You should set your revenue target and determine your desired profit. Costs and profits are two elements of pricing. Many organizations publish free or low-cost anonymized financial information that you can refer to. Allocate your overall revenue target by each product and estimate the number of each product you expect to sell. Then divide your revenue target by the number and you have the price at which you need to sell your product to achieve your revenue and profit goals.
Common Pricing Strategies
1. Cost-based pricing
Cost-based pricing is one of the most simple ways to price your product. It doesn’t take some factors into consideration, such as customer preference, brand image, and competition. And it involves calculating the total costs it takes to make your product, then adding a percentage markup to determine the final price. There is no doubt that it is simple and lets you quickly add a profit margin to any product you intend to sell.
2. Market-oriented pricing
Market-oriented pricing also referred to as a competition-based pricing strategy, compares similar products in the market. It’s important to understand the costs of making your product, as well as the quality, compared to competitors to accurately price your product. Based on these, you can decide whether to price your products higher or lower than your competitors like the following.
Price above market: Justpricing your product above the competition to brand yourself as having a higher-quality or better-performing item.
Copy market: Selling your products at the same price as your competition to maximize profit while staying competitive.
Priced below market: Using data as a benchmark and pricing a product below competitors to lure customers into your store over theirs.
3. Dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing, also referred to as demand pricing or time-based pricing, is a strategy that sellers set flexible prices for a product or service based on current market demands. In other words, it is the act of changing a price multiple times throughout the day, week, or month to match consumer purchasing habits better. It requires you to keep tabs on the demands for your time and the popularity of your product and to change prices commensurately.
4. Value-added pricing
If there is added value in your product, customers might accept a higher price. There are some potential ways to benefit the customer more.
Facilitate convenience: Some consumers would pay more rather than go out of their way to find what they need or wait a long time to get.
Brand your product: Many customers are willing to spend more money on a brand name that they know and feel like they can trust.
Set a trend: If your product is gizmo or fashion, market accordingly and consider corporate with influencers that can arise a word-of-mouth transmission to your target demographic.
Create scarcity: Some activities such as limited-time sales create scarcity to stimulate consumption.
Find a niche: If you’re one of the only sellers of a product, you have carte blanche to set high prices.
Provide unparalleled customer service: Many customers pursue a smooth and efficient online shopping experience and prefer the guarantee that they can return a product any time.
Steps To Choose The Right Pricing Strategy
In a short word, there are six steps to choose the right pricing strategy based on the above.
1. Set your business goals
Determine if you want to grow your market share, reach a new segment, or increase your revenue.
2. Research your customers
Run surveys or ask customers to determine if they care more about quality, cost, or service.
3. Know your competition
Analyze the pricing strategy of similar products, including the value they add in service and branding.
4. Calculate costs
Calculate the fixed and variable costs of your material, labor, and overhead to determine how much you’ll need to break even.
5. Set your revenue target
Figure out how much you want to make in profit after your business expenses are paid.
6. Evaluate your strategy
As your product attracts new customers, continually assess how your strategy is serving your business goals.
Finding the right suppliers is one of the most important aspects of starting a dropshipping business. Sellers are dependent on the third party, such as wholesalers, suppliers, and distributors, that handle fulfillment for the sells’ orders. Thus it is important to realize that the quality and overall reliability of dropshipping suppliers will break a dropshipping eCommerce store. As a bad supplier can destroy all the hard work and credibility that you have achieved, a good one will multiply your shop’s value. The article will introduce what are good suppliers, how to find dropshipping suppliers, and what to consider when choosing dropshipping suppliers.
What Are Good Suppliers
Good suppliers tend to have many common attributes, as the following says.
1. Dedicated Professional SupportRepresentatives
Good suppliers have knowledgeable sales representatives who really know the industry and their product lines. And they should assign you an individual sales representative who is responsible for taking care of you and any issues you have timely.
2. Invested in Technology
Technology has many benefits and good suppliers recognize it and invest in it heavily to help and ease the business. Features such as real-time inventory, a comprehensive online catalog, customizable data feeds, and online searchable order history can help you streamline your operations.
3. Organized and Efficient
Good suppliers have competent staff and great systems that result in efficient and mostly error-free fulfillment. However, without actually using it, it's difficult to know how competent a supplier is. If you place an order, you can pay attention to the quality of service, delivery times, packaging, and other supplier-related questions, including the following aspects:
The process that they handle the order
The speed that the items ship out
The speed they follow up with tracking information and an invoice
The quality of the pack job when the item arrives
How To Find Dropshipping Suppliers
1. Contact the Manufacturer
Contact the manufacturer is an easy way to find legitimate wholesale suppliers. You can call the leading manufacturer of the products that you want to sell and ask for a list of its wholesale distributors. Then you can contact these wholesalers to see if they dropship and inquire about setting up an account.
2. Use Google Search
It is obvious that you can use google search to find good suppliers. However, you’d better search extensively for the reason that they may be bad at marketing and promotion. And you should use various key words to search, such as “distributor”, “reseller”, “bulk”, “warehouse”, and “supplier”. Furthermore, don’t judge by the website. Some websites with poor design are possible good supplier as well.
3. Attend a Trade Show
It's an efficient way to get to know and connect with the manufactures and suppliers in a market. If conditions permits, you can attend a trade show and make contacts as well as research your products and suppliers all in one place. There may be new and upcoming products that you could add to your dropshipping store.
Tip: Check out the Trade Show News Network to see when and where trade shows are happening.
4. Join Industry Networks and Groups
Industry networks and groups are another effective resources to find suppliers. The people who join industry networks and groups prefer to share, learn, and grow. You can gain valuable insight from them after you join and become part of the dropshipping community. And you will get suggestions about better suppliers or suppliers to avoid.
5. Search Directories
A supplier directory is a charged database of suppliers that's organized by market, niche or product. It is a convenient way to search for and browse a large number of suppliers in one place quickly and are great for brainstorming ideas for products to sell or niches to enter. The most popular wholesale and drop shipping supplier directories over the web include World Wide Brands, Doba, Wholesale Central, etc.
6. Place Order From the Competition
You can find a dropshipping competitor and place a small order on the store. Google the return address to find out who the original shipper was as soon as you receive the package. In some cases, it will be a supplier you can contact.
What To Consider When Choosing Suppliers
1. Be Wary of Fake Suppliers
There are two ways to distinguish fake suppliers. One is that suppliers almost never sell products at wholesale prices to the general public. Another is that experienced and reputable suppliers don’t require potential partners to pay monthly fees just for access to their products. If you encounter suppliers have the opposite behavior, you should be aware that they may be fake suppliers.
2. Look For Matches
Make sure that your values match with your partners to have a better corporation. You can look for a match in terms of business values, how and why suppliers do business, what their goals are, how they got to this point, and so on.
Knowing your supplier in person is a very good practice. If your suppliers are located nearby, you can get to know it conveniently. Or if your suppliers are located far away but the business is working well, think about taking a trip to get to know where your products are being made.
If your supplier is the same one as the one supplying for other e-commerce businesses in your niche, it’s going to be difficult to differentiate yourself and position your business’ brand.
Dropshipping is a professional relationship in which there are several agreements that need to be upheld. It is better to not entrust your business’ credibility to the first person that makes you an offer.
Punctuality is important for the reason that it is related to shipping. The shipping times must be established and met.
7. Order Samples for Validation
It is important to order samples for validation to see some important things about a supplier. You can get to experience the quality of the product yourself and see how the supplier handles fulfillment which gives you an indication of what your customers will experience. Pay attention to the details, such as what shipment packaging is like, whether a separate distributor is involved, and how long shipping and delivery take.
Dropshipping is a very promising business model and the dropshipping market is exceptionally competitive. It’s even more promising when you choose the profitable niches for dropshipping so that you can get more sales. This niche that you select can make or break your dropshipping business. So how to select profitable niches for dropshipping? There are some instructions that you can refer to.
Find Popular Niches
You can start by looking at Amazon best sellers or Amazon most wished for lists or other top retail’s best-selling list to find popular niches. You can also use the Trendhunter tool which uses some AI magic to find popular products. In addition, you can keep an eye on the trending projects on Kickstarter to see what niches will get some good traction shortly.
Popular niches can be easy or hard to sell. In dropshipping, the big players are the usual trend-setters. They spend a lot of money on marketing to promote products, making some niches popular. The micro players can select the same niches and easily piggyback the popularity of such trends and sell dropshipping products. However, since popular products have too many competing sellers, it may leave you with a very slim profit margin. The trick is to find a popular niche you can make unique to your own store in some way, and find a way to have a competitive edge to compete against other retailers based on price, selection, choice or availability.
Find Accessory-heavy Niches
Merchants rarely make much on big-ticket items and maybe only earn 5 to 10% on products like laptops and TVs. Where they really make their money is on the accessories.
Accessories enjoy significant markups and customers are much less price-sensitive about them. A buyer might shop for weeks to get the best deal on a TV, but wouldn’t think twice about dropping $30 on an HDMI cable from the same place. Yet there's a good chance the business made nearly as much profit on the cable as it did on the flatscreen.
When you choose a niche with lots of accessories, you'll enjoy significantly higher profit margins and fewer price-sensitive shoppers.
Find Niches Hard to Find Locally
If you sell a product that the customer might not find around, turning to an ecommerce platform will be their only option. And you'll be able to get in front of the vast majority of your customers as they search online. Your shop can swoop in and sell the product. While you ideally want something difficult to source locally, you also need to ensure there's ample demand for the product.
You can still sell online the products that are available locally: if you add your own twist to them. For example, Have a Rest is an ecommerce website that sells suitcases, but the suitcases are designed to perfection and are equipped with features that your regular luggage would not have.
Use Personal Experience
Consider choosing a niche that you have actual experience in using. If you have used a niche, you can share your knowledge to your customers. This provides you with a competitive advantage because you can explain the technical aspects of the product and its various uses to prospective customers which will help you sell the product.
And if you have rich experience in marketing, particularly storytelling, choose niches whose stories resonate with you and you can tell very well to your prospective customers.
Check Google Trend
You can check Google Trends for the amount of traffic keywords related to your niche generate to see the market size: for example, a great number of people search for shoes on search engines such as Google, but perhaps not as many will be looking for red shoes sized 8.
You can also check Google Trend for the trend of people’s interest in your niche over time in case the demand of the niche is seasonal or just a pulse, which diminishes quickly. It is better to avoid seasonal or pulse trends as niches, as the usage of your store or listings is going to limited to a minor period.
You can select the niches that showed stability or a slight growth on Google Trends.
For example, Men’s Fashion shows stability which will likely continue as it’s an evergreen niche.
Select the Price and Profit Margin
Recognize the best price points for each product category in your niche. For example, a high-end t-shirt priced over $50 is acceptable but an everyday white T-shirt worn for lounging at home isn’t. To find the most optimal price points, it takes some in-depth research.
On Spocket, the listing prices and the suggested retail prices can give you an idea of the profit margin. However, that is the price of the product excluding the shipping costs and possibly customs. If your profit margin can still be sustained after the extra charges are added to the wholesale price, then the niche is good to go. The following image shows the extra charges.
Try to choose niches that you can sell with a 30% or more profit margin. The more popular the niches, the more likely you’ll earn less because you’ll have to keep your prices low to stay competitive. However, there are some niches that allow you to make handsome profits, you just need to research more to find them and decide for yourself if the profit margin is worth it.
Find Reliable Suppliers
When it comes to dropshipping niches, you need to see whether you can find reliable suppliers for the niches you select or not. Your suppliers provide your customers with the products and they’re an integral part of the dropshipping process. You will need to start scouting for suppliers that can be trusted and are reliable.
Reliability consists of a number of factors: does each order of the supplier stick to the same time guidelines with regards to shipping, will the supplier be quick to reply in case a query pops up, how are their returns handled--all these questions need to have favourable answers for a supplier to be good.