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How To Find A Reliable Supplier For Your Dropshipping Store

In dropshipping, the success of the whole venture highly depends on the reliability of your business partners. But, how to find a supplier for your online store that won’t let you down? Let’s figure it out!

How to find a supplier: what defines the best suppliers

What would you want from your perfect supplier?

Some people prefer their business partners to set low prices on their products. The others believe that the most important thing is the supplier’s aspiration to keep their end of the bargain.

Actually, both of them are wrong and right at the same time. Ideally, you need to strike a balance.

Low prices are necessary to make your online store competitive and profitable. At the same time, your business partners’ credibility should put your concerns of having a bad relationship with customers to rest.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the fewer suppliers you have, the better.

Imagine a buyer ordering several various items from your online store. If all of them come from different distributors, what are the odds that your client gets all the goods at the same time?

To be honest, probably low.

Of course, this delivery disruption might irritate customers. Thus, you need to focus on a limited amount of business partners for your online store to keep your clients pleased. Moreover, sending many orders to one supplier will definitely reward you with a discount.

Considering all of these points, choosing a business partner poses a serious challenge.

Your suppliers can either ruin your online business or make it flourish.

Fortunately, it is possible to fix these issues if you are dropshipping with AliExpress.

There, you can easily find plenty of sellers. The range of items each of them has can perfectly suffice your needs – not to mention their knockdown prices!

All you need to do is to compare the suppliers’ prices and evaluate their credibility. Weighing up AliExpress offers doesn’t cause any troubles with AliDropship Google Chrome Extension. It’s fast and convenient.

However, you need a closer look at the process to make the right choice.

How to find a supplier: points you need to consider

How to find a good supplier on AliExpress? What is the first thing you need to pay attention to when searching for a suitable supplier for your online store?

Of course, it’s their prices.

Although low prices play a big role, they may distract you from the other important sides of the issue. Meanwhile, you can’t go without them to pick a reliable business partner.

So, how to find the best suppliers for your business? Here are some things you should keep your mind on.

1. Supplier’s online store rating

Today, it’s really hard for businesses to conceal their flaws. The Internet made companies strive to provide only the best service. Bad-quality performance is brought to light in the blink of an eye. And this could be fateful for a company.

If you own a small business, it’s not a big problem to identify the problem and sort it out. But, what if your company is, let’s say, Uber? Then, if your driver messed something up, the whole organization takes flak for this.

However, companies like Uber, Amazon, and AliExpress have a solution to take the heat off them and weed out the weak links in the chain.

They allow customers to rate their drivers, sellers, etc. This way, consumers can better understand whether these people are trustworthy or not.

So, the first thing you should pay attention to while choosing your suppliers is their rating on AliExpress.

Go to AliExpress and open the product page you like. There, at the top of the screen, you will see a tab with the name of the supplier’s store.

how to find suppliers for your online business

Click on it to move on to the main page of the distributor. Now, you see the whole range of the items this supplier offers.

Apart from that, you can see whether this AliExpress store is well-customized, filled with appealing pictures, etc. But what we need now is its rating. It is 97,7% as it’s shown in the image below.

What’s the conclusion?

The rating is really high. This means that the customers appreciate the quality of the products and services and in return provide the seller with high-rated positive reviews.

It’s the first sign that this supplier is worth working with.

Rating is the most important thing you need to look at. As a rule of thumb, if a seller’s rating is lower than 95% – you should look to find a better one.

2. The time the supplier has been active on AliExpress

Well, if suppliers find favor with customers, it’s surely great. But, does it mean they are reliable? Could you be sure they won’t upset you?

Only time will tell. The time they’ve been in business.

The longer suppliers have been operating on the platform, the more confidence they instill.

On AliExpress, you can easily find the data. Look at the picture below.

As you can see, this seller has spent 3 years on AliExpress and achieved a rating of 97,7%.

The combination of good quality and longevity should do the trick, shouldn’t it?

3. Did you find a supplier with a “Top Brand” sign?

One more thing that can strengthen your confidence in your suppliers is the “Top brand” sign.

You’ve already made sure the sellers’ stability is tested by time and their products’ quality is satisfactory. To help you make up your mind, AliExpress marks the most reliable and successful distributors with a special sign.

It shows that you can safely trust this supplier.

4. The number of followers

If someone says that 90% of their clients give them a lot of praise, it sounds great, right? Of course it does!

But what if they have only 10 clients? It’s not so striking now, is it?

To get the whole picture, it’s important to consider the number of followers a supplier has. A case in point is the image below.

It’s not difficult to notice that this supplier has quite enough followers to take the rating seriously.

5. The last 6 months suppliers rating

Sometimes, it might be tempting to jump at the opportunity to work with a high-rated supplier.

But, a high rating, longevity, and a huge number of followers could hide some important details. Some sellers tend to show some decline in their performance over time.

For example, they had been providing great service for 3 years. But, 4 months ago something happened. The quality of their goods and service has been going down since then.

Of course, customers have been giving lower grades to the sellers in these 4 months. However, this doesn’t reflect much on the overall rating due to the plenty of previous good grades.

That’s why you need a closer look at the rating dynamics.

To do this, just click on the “Testimonials” tab as shown in the picture below.

How to find vendors for your online store

You will find yourself on the seller’s feedback page. There, you can see the supplier’s rating in the past 6 months.

How to find vendors

It matches the overall score, so this supplier keeps up the service at a high level.

6. The last 3-6 months feedback

Since you’re on the seller’s feedback page now, you can find more valuable details there.

Along with the distributors’ ratings for the last 6 months, it’s important to know how often people buy from them.

You can explore the supplier’s feedback in detail to understand how many orders the seller has had in the last 1, 3, or 6 months. Apart from that, you can look into customer reviews to learn more about the product’s quality.

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7. The quality of visual materials

Marketing is a crucial part of dropshipping. While searching AliExpress for reliable suppliers, you should think of your future promotional campaigns.

You need to design your online store perfectly and create appealing promotional posts. For this purpose, good visual content is vital.

The good news is that you can find great product pictures made in the same style right on AliExpress stores’ pages. Look at the image below.

How to find a supplier for your online store

 

Your product page’s content should be engaging and informative. Without enough good-quality photos of the products, it’s impossible to achieve. So, you need to make sure that AliExpress sellers’ product pages contain multiple quality photos of the product taken from different angles.

It is also great if the seller provides product videos.

 

How to find a supplier on AliExpress

It’s better to see something once they hear about it thousands of times.

What is really crucial for online shopping is visibility.

You can write brilliantly detailed descriptions of your products. But, it may not conjure up a clear picture.

Customers want to be sure an item is the exact thing they need. They want to see it with their own eyes.

Many AliExpress sellers have such videos on their product pages, like the one you can see in the picture below.

Summing up how to find a reliable supplier

One of the most essential parts of being successful in dropshipping business is having a good reputation. And a big part of this depends on your business partners. The wrong choice could cause big troubles for you.

However, if you know how to find reliable suppliers for your online store, you can create a flourishing ecommerce business and operate it more smoothly. Your pleased clients are going to come back over and over again.

Well, now you know how to find a supplier for your business! Simply follow these guidelines and enjoy your business growth. If you have any questions left, please write them in the comment section below: we’ll be happy to clear it up.

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VAT Explained: What Is VAT And Do Dropshippers Have To Pay It?

Sooner or later anyone who’s thinking about launching a business faces an issue that causes severe headache – taxes! In this particular article, we are going to talk about value added tax (VAT).

What is VAT?

Value added tax, or VAT, is a type of tax that is levied on the value of goods or services added at each stage of production, distribution, or sale to the end customer (consumer). Also known as the goods and services tax in some countries, it’s a consumption tax that is paid by the final consumer who ‘consumes’ products and services, but in practice, VAT is paid at each stage of the supply chain.

Sounds too complicated? Let me explain it in simple terms.

How does VAT work?

Let’s imagine a supply chain that consists of three stages: a farmer who grows apples, a food-manufacturing plant that makes apple juice, and a retail store that sells the juice to end customers. Now let’s get to numbers.

For simplicity, let’s suppose the farmer only puts his own efforts into growing apples. He doesn’t buy anything from other businesses. In this case, he has no expenses and his added value equals the price at which he sells the apples to the plant. So, if he sells the apples for $100, the VAT is applied to this sum.

If the value added tax rate is 20%, the farmer will have to pay $20 to the government. But he doesn’t want to lose money and includes this sum into his final price which increases to $120.

The food-manufacturing plant buys the apples from the farmer and pays him $100 + $20 that goes to the government. The plant makes apple juice and wants to earn $200 as profit (added value). In this case, the plant will have to pay $40 as VAT.

But the plant has already paid $20 to the farmer, so it sells the juice for $360: the cost of apples ($100) + the farmer’s VAT ($20) + the profit ($200) + the plant’s VAT ($40). In this case, $40 goes to the government, while $20 goes to the plant as compensation for the farmer’s VAT.

Next, the retail store pays $360 for the juice and wants to make a profit of $400. But it has to pay $80 to the government as VAT and wants compensation for the plant’s VAT. So, it sells the juice to an end customer for a total of $840: the cost of juice ($300) + the plant’s VAT ($60) + the store’s profit ($400) + the store’s VAT ($80).

As for the end buyer, he or she pays $840 for all the juice bottles including $140 as VAT, but he or she cannot get this sum back.

So, as a result, the customer doesn’t pay the money to the government. Instead, the businesses in the chain do it. But the end consumer pays the tax to businesses so that they could hand the money to the government. The VAT that the customer must pay equals $140. It is the sum of the VAT the businesses have already paid to the government: $20 + $40 + $80 = $140.

A drawing explaining how value added tax works

But what about dropshipping? Do you have to pay value added tax? In most cases, you do.

When you purchase a product from a supplier, the price already contains VAT he/she pays to its government. So you don’t have to worry about it. But you must also collect VAT from your customers to compensate for your expenses and hand the tax to the government.

The AliDropship plugin lets you include taxes in the total price of your products. You can set the tax name and rate, apply it to the price alone or to the cost of shipping as well, and even bind the settings to countries, regions, or cities. Here you can learn more about tax settings in the AliDropship plugin.

Let’s take a look at tax systems in the most popular countries for dropshipping – the UK, the US, and the EU.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice on any subject matter. We strongly recommend consulting a professional tax advisor before taking any action.

Value added tax in the United Kingdom

After the UK left the European Union, its tax regulations changed. Here’s what you need to know.

If you want to sell products in the UK from overseas, you have two options. You can either use an online marketplace or sell goods from your own website.

And since this is the case for dropshipping, you have to register your business for VAT in HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs). You can do it online or by post. After that, you’ll get a 9-digit VAT number.

If the cost of the consignment of goods doesn’t exceed £135, VAT is calculated based on the price at which you sell products to customers. If the cost exceeds £135, VAT is calculated at the point where the products cross the border.

The standard VAT rate in the UK equals 20%. But for some categories of goods, the government applies the reduced rate (5%). Some product categories are VAT-free. To see the full list of VAT rates in the UK, follow this link.

You can also read our article on dropshipping in the UK to learn about other taxes and customs regulations in the kingdom.

Sales tax in the United States

First of all, the government of the United States doesn’t collect value added tax. Instead, end customers pay sales tax.

It’s a consumption tax imposed on goods and services sold within a state’s jurisdiction. While VAT is collected at each stage of production, sales tax is collected only at the final stage (consumption). Still, from a retailer’s point of view, sales tax is basically the same as VAT.

The problem here is that the federal government doesn’t collect sales taxes. It is the responsibility of the states. As a result, sales tax rates are different in each state, and so are the rules (to some extent).

For example, California has the highest sales tax rate equaling 7.25%, while Delaware imposes no sales taxes at all. You can see all sales tax rates by state here.

Previously, a business didn’t have to pay sales taxes unless it ‘had a nexus’ in the given state. To have a nexus means to have a physical presence in a state: to own a brick-and-mortar store, a warehouse, etc. However, after the new Supreme Court ruling (South Dakota vs. Wayfair,  Inc.), this requirement is no longer in force.

In simple terms, it means the following. Previously, if your business didn’t have a large enough presence in a given state and a customer from this state purchased something from you, you didn’t have to pay the sales tax. The same goes for businesses registered outside the US.

But now, according to the new ruling, it doesn’t matter whether you have or have not a nexus in a given state – you do have to pay the sales tax anyway.

Nevertheless, to collect sales taxes, your business must be large enough: to have annual sales not less than $100,000 or make not less than 200 separate transactions in a given state per year.

It means that if your dropshipping store receives less than 200 transactions from this particular state and makes not more than $100,000 from this particular state, you don’t have to pay the sales tax to the government of this state.

But if your business exceeds this limit, you will have to register your business with the given state’s tax authority. Unfortunately, each state has its own requirements, so it’s impossible to give a general recommendation here. Just visit the corresponding state’s website to learn the details.

Value added tax in the European Union

Goods imported into the EU countries with a value of up to €10-22 (depending on the country) are exempt from import VAT. But if their value exceeds this limit, import VAT must be charged.

If your business is located outside the EU, the responsibility to pay VAT lies on the importer of record. Usually, it is the end customer. The problem here is that the customer must pay the tax when he or she receives the parcel. It often becomes a very unpleasant surprise and can lead to more refunds.

To solve this issue, one can register for VAT in the country where the products cross the EU border. It’ll make you the importer of goods liable for collecting and paying VAT. In this case, the consumer will pay the full price (including import VAT) at the checkout. Or you could just warn customers that they will be charged with VAT.

But different EU countries have different VAT rates (from 17% to 21%), while some countries exclude mail orders from this exemption. What if you sell goods to an EU country different from your country of registration?

If your business is registered in the European Union and sells products to end customers living in another EU country, you apply the VAT rate of the country where you are registered.

But it works only if the sales generated in the given import country do not exceed the threshold of this country. These thresholds vary from one EU country to another:

List of VAT threshold limits in EU countries

If you exceed the threshold, you will have to register for VAT in that country and charge its own VAT rate instead of domestic VAT. VAT rates differ depending on the country as well:

List of VAT rates in EU countries

From July 1, 2021, these rules will change. EU and non-EU businesses importing goods with a value up to €150 will be able to join the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) Scheme. It will let you declare and pay VAT in a single monthly VAT return.

You must collect the tax when accepting the payment for the goods (i.e. at the checkout). Then you pay it to the country where you registered your business for the Import IOSS.

Otherwise, the customs broker will collect VAT.

If the imported consignment of goods has a value exceeding the €150 threshold, import VAT is paid to the customs. It may also require a regular VAT registration in the country of importation.

The government will replace the old VAT thresholds with a new uniformed threshold. Small businesses registered in an EU country and selling less than €10,000 of goods to other EU countries, will be able to charge domestic VAT. Otherwise, they will charge the VAT rate of the country of import.

As you can see, the tax system of the EU is probably the most complicated because each country has its own rules and tax rates. So, consulting a tax advisor is a must here.

We hope this information has proved useful and now that you better understand how to collect and pay VAT, you are ready to launch your dropshipping business!

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How To Dropship Socks For Profit: 8 Simple Tricks To Build A Store That Sells

Would you like to dropship socks? Do you want know if it’s a promising enough business idea? Are you wondering how to sell socks online? Today, we are going to explain why this niche is very well suited for a dropshipping business model. Beyond this, you’re about to learn 8 simple tricks to build an online store selling socks and generating income. Here we are!

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Is it profitable to dropship socks from your online store?

“What? Socks? Are these products promising enough to build or expand my dropshipping business?” Make no mistake, they definitely are!

Fashion.. and that says it all! It doesn’t stand still! New trends are emerging, and socks manufacturers are following them closely. For many years, socks were not considered stylish and had only a practical role rather than a decorative one.

But everything has changed now: socks are not just a piece of clothing that used to cover the legs. They are a significant part of any fashionable look.

Let’s take a look at the statistics. According to the Statista, the revenue in the Socks segment amounts to US$14,173m in 2021. The market is expected to grow annually by 6.79% (CAGR 2021-2025).

Socks are selling like hotcakes, and the demand for them is growing at a breakneck rate. As business owners who follow the trends, can we miss out on this sock boom? The answer is obvious.

Have we convinced you already? 😉

But there’s more to come. Stay tuned!

8 reasons to dropship socks for profit – and simple tricks to make it right

If you are interested in this niche, we have good news for you! When you dropship socks, you come across a lot of advantages that will be appreciated by both novice dropshippers and those who already run their business. Let’s look at some of them:

  • Neverending demand

Wherever you are: at work, at home, at the gym, on vacation or a walk, socks will come in handy in each of these situations.

Beyond this, we also know that people wear socks day in and day out and they wear out. This means that socks are the products of daily demand.

Add socks to your online store product range and bet on them throughout the year since this is a prime example of evergreen products.

Therefore, their number usually exceeds 2-3 pairs, right? Do you understand where this is going? To the second advantage of this niche!

  • Bigger order value

Socks are necessary everywhere and for everyone. How many pairs of socks does a person have on average? Sure, a lot.

They tend to buy them quite often. So why not show more?

Expand your product range to let a customer choose from a variety of products and buy more.

After seeing a great offer and the opportunity to buy several pairs of low-cost socks online at once, people will be more likely to buy multiple items from you.

Further, everything will depend on your offer and a variety of goods. How to get customers to buy more? Let’s move on to the 3rd reason to start dropshipping socks right now.

  • Multiple customer segments

We can come up with a large number of categories of socks and segment them by:

  • The wearer’s age (newborns’ socks, children’s socks, teens’ socks, adults’ socks,…)
  • The person’s gender
  • The socks’ purpose (running socks, yoga socks, dancing socks, home socks, …)
  • The material of socks (cotton socks, wool socks, bamboo socks, nylon socks, …)
  • The socks’ design (textured socks, printed socks, plain colored socks, …)

Each of these categories has its own audience. The more categories are presented in your store, the more audiences you will be able to attract. Use it for your benefit!

Build your marketing strategy for different customer audiences, give them a choice, offer them a variety of options and models of socks and maybe your store will interest them.

  • Growing public interest

Given the fact that the trend for socks continues to grow, people are becoming more interested in them, looking for tempting offers and quality products. There is an increasing number of socks models, shapes, sizes, designs.

How can we use this for our business? Very simply!

Follow the trends, find the best models and allow your future customers to pick up socks for any mood, occasion, and clothing style.

  • Low product price and tiny weight

Of course, we could not leave aside this pleasant fact! Socks are an affordable product. To get your dropshipping profits, you put a certain markup on the goods in your store. When you do this with socks, their price still remains attractive for the final buyer!

Find a supplier who is ready to provide you with top-quality socks at relatively low price. This will ensure a high profit margin and the buyers’ satisfaction.

Another great advantage is that it is a very lightweight product. You will not have to pay extra for the delivery. Since these products meet all the delivery parameters of ePacket, the packages will reach your buyers quickly and without any problems.

  • The opportunity to diversify your offer

Socks are great products that can be combined with each other. If your store has multiple categories of socks, you can create special offers.

Try mixing cute, printed, festive socks, and offer them at an attractive price. This way you’ll increase the chances of buying several items at a time.

Try different options for combining and evaluate which ones are bought better. Given these insights, you can expand your store and offer new attractive sets.

  • The ability to add socks to different niche stores

Socks are versatile products.

Add a different category of socks to any store you’ve already been running: a children’s or sportswear store, a shoe store, a gift store, etc.

For almost any store, socks will be a relevant addition and your chances of profit will increase significantly.

  • Socks are a great gift

Themed socks can be an original gift for men, women, and children. As a gift they should be beautiful, high-quality, original, right? They make a really bright and original gift for a loved one, good friend, colleague, etc. that will suit any holiday.

Take advantage of this: offer beautiful socks sets and create interesting holiday offers.

Are you excited with the opportunities? Let’s take a look at the sample thematic selection of trending socks!

Socks to dropship: printed socks

Even a brief Google search makes it clear: socks with a bright color print are at the peak of popularity right now! Let’s see what a variety of prints you can find on AliExpress.

For example, there are socks with popular paintings, musicians, artists… That’s an interesting dive into the world of art and fashion trends. Think about it!

a picture showing the benefits of dropshipping women's socksColored socks will help anyone look stylish and interesting. The trend for fashionable men’s socks has successfully won the hearts of the majority of the male population.

a picture proving the benefits of dropshipping men's printed socksThanks to a variety of fashionable patterns, you will be able to pick up your favorite models.

a picture showing why it's profitable to dropship socksEveryone wants to feel like a real superhero! This theme is at the peak of popularity. Why not offer non-copyrighted socks with popular heroes to your buyers?

a screenshot showing how to mix socks in your store to sell for profit

Classic socks to dropship

Despite the variety of prints, some people still prefer the classics. Of course, there are such options on AliExpress.

a picture showing which socks it's profitable to dropshipMany buyers choose plain bright colored socks and they also look very stylish!

an image showing how to mix socks in your online store to sell for profitWhat about darker colors but classic geometric patterns? They’ll drive you crazy!

a picture showing an example of socks to dropshipAnd no one has cancelled short socks that are not visible to others 😉

a picture showing why it's profitable to dropship socks set for men

Perfect socks for dropshipping: funny and cute ones

Have fun with these adorable socks!

a picture showing which socks to dropship for profitFunny faces, birds, flowers, and animals – choose and offer whatever you fancy!

a picture showing trending socks to sell in your online store for profitOooh, shoutout to animal lovers!

a picture showing an example of socks to sell online for lots of salesNon-branded socks with popular cartoon characters are also in great demand! Don’t forget about it when you fill your store with goods.

a picture showing how to sell socks online for profit

Sport socks to dropship

All athletes and fans of active lifestyle pay special attention to their equipment. In addition to quality tracksuits, sneakers, it is important to have sports socks. They will protect the legs from damage and make the training process more effective.

a picture showing where to find socks at wholesale prices to dropship for profit

Sports socks are presented in different variations, including the ones made for various sports, such as yoga.

 

a picture showing that yoga socks suit socks dropshipping for profit

Sport socks have a special elastic band. It protects the wearers from slipping during workouts.

a picture showing the most promising socks to dropship for profit

Want to dropship socks? Think of the kids’ ones!

Children love bright socks! And these products are an integral part of their daily outfits. There are casual socks or brighter ones with patterns, made of cotton or wool, long or short. This variety will help kids keep their feet warm and look gorgeous at any holiday event.

an image showing a prime example of products for socks dropshipping

 

Parents are a category of people who buy a lot of things for their children. Socks wear out, children grow quickly and the demand for children’s socks increases.

a picture showing where to find baby's socks at wholesale prices to dropship for profitSmall children never walk in shoes “barefoot”. Even on the hottest day, socks are worn under sandals.

 

an image showing a prime example of baby's socks that really sell and bring profitIs it a good idea to dropship socks? Yes, sure!

We consider socks to be a prime example of great and trending niche products to sell in your store.

As we have figured out, this niche has a lot of advantages in terms of the audience demand, customer segments, and product options. Looking through the options offered on AliExpress, you can make sure socks are ordered in large volumes, and the variety of models is extremely wide.

You can customize your marketing strategies to different target audiences who will be interested in your offers. Use our advice for the benefit of your business, and don’t put your exciting venture on hold!

Whether you are a novice entrepreneur who is just planning to start a dropshipping business or an established store owner, you can easily dropship socks and enjoy the numerous niche benefits and great profit!

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How To Create Selling Videos On Instagram For Your Dropshipping Store

When you want to get the most out of Instagram, you need to go beyond just publishing photos. According to a recent study, videos drive the highest engagement on Instagram as they have 21.2% more interactions than images. Plus, video ads generate 7.5 times more clicks than image ads. 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. So, it’s no surprise that video content is on the rise. However, just posting any video on Instagram won’t automatically get you sales. So, if you’re wondering how to enhance video ads for your dropshipping store, go through these useful tips on how to create Instagram video ads that perform well in the feed!

The secrets behind a well-performing video on Instagram: the tech side

As videos on Instagram are becoming a more and more popular type of ads, it’s important to quickly learn the ins and outs of Instagram videos and video optimization to improve your content and remain competitive.

Instagram video formats

Planning to use a video on Instagram, you might be wondering: what video format is best for the platform?

To begin with, the video format is a file format for storing digital video data on a computer. The best Instagram video format is MP4, however, you can use FLV, and WMV due to their relatively small sizes.

Uploading a video on Instagram: general tech requirements

The MP4 video file format should have these technical specifications:

  • H.264 Codec
  • AAC Audio
  • 3500 kbps bitrate for video
  • Frame rate of 30 fps (frames per second)
  • Maximum video width is 1080 px (pixels) wide

If you use a video editor to create your ads, you don’t need to worry about these specifications: they are already set up correctly.

Remember that different forms of videos on Instagram have different requirements! Let’s go through them one by one.

Instagram Feed videos specifications

For Instagram Feed videos, the standard formatting requirements are the following:

  • Preferred format: MP4 (with H.264 Codec & AAC audio, 3,500 kbps video bitrate)
  • Frame rate: 30 FPS or below
  • Maximum dimensions: 1080px wide
  • Playback length: maximum of 60 seconds
  • File size limit: 15MB

An example of an Instagram Feed video

Keep your ads within these parameters, and your videos will be suitable for other social media such as Facebook & Twitter. This way, you won’t need to waste time reformatting them to use on different platforms.

Instagram Story videos specifications

Since Instagram Story videos are typically viewed vertically, they follow the requirements that would fit a typical smartphone screen:

  • Format: MP4
  • File size: try to stay under 15MB
  • Duration: 15 seconds per individual Story
  • Dimensions: 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16

An example of an Instagram Stories video

IGTV video specifications

If you want to upload a video on Instagram to IGTV, you’ll need to format your videos within these specifications:

  • Duration: between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long (however, you can upload up to 60 minutes of video from the web)
  • Format: MP4
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Frame rate: 30 FPS minimum
  • Resolution: 720 pixels minimum
  • File size limit: 650MB for videos up to 10 minutes, 3.6GB for videos up to 60 minutes

An example of an IGTV video on Instagram

IGTV videos require more editing work than other types of videos for Instagram. For example, you also need to create an IGTV cover photo, and it cannot be edited after it has been uploaded. Also, you will have to create a channel in order to upload IGTV videos.

Between these 3 types of Instagram videos, we recommend using Feed Videos as they seamlessly blend into the customer’s newsfeed. They look more natural since sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between an ad and a general post.

Instagram video length

Even though Instagram had started as a photo-sharing app, eventually it expanded into a much more advanced platform that allows to use video content in different forms we’ve mentioned above: Instagram Stories, Instagram Feed Videos, and long-form video content on IGTV. Let’s have a detailed look at video length requirements for each type!

  • Instagram Post

Max video length – up to 60 seconds.

When you upload a video on Instagram feed, it can be up to 60 seconds long, and it should be full of information that appeals to your current audience and potential customers. Keep in mind that the average person will only watch video for about 3-10 seconds, so your feed video ads should have a great balance between being informational and engaging, all while attracting broader audiences.

  • Instagram Stories

Max video length – up to 15 seconds.

Even though Instagram Stories require the shortest possible length for video, you still have a chance to win the audience’s attention. You should ALWAYS get your message out as quickly as possible – because the average viewer will watch about 40-67% of it before they tap on to the next Story. To nail Instagram Story length and hook customers to your store before they decide to swipe to the next story, you can create something like a teaser or behind-the-scenes video footage.

  • IGTV

Max video length – up to 60 minutes.

If you want to tell a long story about your brand or make a video review of your products, IGTV will be the perfect way to do it. Again, don’t forget that most people are only watching the first 15-30 seconds of IGTV video, so make sure the first frames of your video are as creative as possible to catch the attention without overwhelming potential customers, and get them to commit to the full-time viewing.

Instagram videos aspect ratio

Instagram video aspect ratio explained

When we’re talking about aspect ratio, we mean the width of the video in relation to its height. Instagram supports in-feed videos with aspect ratios spanning from 16:9 to 4:5. For example, 4:5 aspect ratio means the video is 4 units high and 5 units wide. And, 16:9 aspect ratio means your video is 16 units high and 9 units wide. A video’s aspect ratio has nothing to do with its physical size.

As for the Instagram Stories videos, the aspect ratio should be minimum of 1.91:1 and a maximum aspect ratio of 9:16. We recommend using an aspect ratio of 9:16 for stories as most people prefer their stories to take up the whole screen.

Speaking about IGTV, you can upload vertical IGTV videos with an aspect ratio of 9:16, or a horizontal video with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Instagram video quality loss

Sometimes, working with a video on Instagram video isn’t easy because the Instagram algorithms absolutely love crushing down video files. But there’s no need to get frustrated about this! If you are looking to achieve the highest quality of video on the platform, you will need to optimize the Instagram video perfectly before posting.

When posting Instagram Video Ads for your online store, consider the following tips:

  • Record your videos with the best quality camera available. The larger and higher-quality your initial video is, the better your post-compression video will look.
  • Edit your videos with the proper settings. Transfer the full video to whatever desktop or laptop PC you’re using to manage video.
  • Connect to Wi-Fi.
  • Use the right video formatting requirements like the ones we mentioned above.

Every video you upload will be run through Instagram compression, and there’s no way to avoid it completely. The tips above will help you to minimize the loss in quality.

Making a great video on Instagram: the creative process

Now, when you know how exactly your video on Instagram should be made from the technical point of view, let’s talk about the creative aspect!

Top 5 simple Instagram video ideas

  1. Product overviews

As a dropshipping business owner, you know everything about the benefits of your product. Thus, it doesn’t require much effort, knowledge, or time to show your potential customers how to use your product and provide them with solid reasons to give it a try. You can create product overview videos using the materials from the supplier, and also you can order some products for you, check them out, and make a cool video all by yourself!

  1. Stop motion videos

Modern users are tired of overly polished promotional content, so it’s no wonder that simple stop motion videos are trending on Instagram. Stop motion video is a kind of animation that is captured one frame at time, with physical objects that are moved between frames. And when you play the frames you’ve made rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement.

  1. Fast motion videos

Fast motion option helps to show off the progress faster without boring your followers to death. Moreover, 85% of video content is watched without sound, so this type of content can work well on Instagram.

  1. User-generated content (UGC)

Video content creation can take much time and effort unless you encourage your fans to create user-generated content for you. Did you know videos created by users generate 10x more views than branded content?

If you want to get more UGC videos, establish a connection with your followers and give them a solid reason to produce videos for you, whether you give authors a shoutout on Instagram or exclusive discount.

  1. Influencers’ shoutouts

Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept. Since customers seek out peers’ recommendations before making purchase decisions, many brands collaborate with influencers to promote their products on social media. When it comes to video content creation, influencers can also help you.

Creating Instagram videos for your online store is a must for social media marketing growth and generating more sales. With these simple Instagram video ads ideas, you can build brand awareness of your dropshipping store, increase engagement, and boost sales without spending much budget.

How to make simple Instagram videos engaging

  • Learn from the best brands online

No matter how creative you are, it’s important to see what other brands post online to boost inspiration and analyze the type of video that works well for your target audience.

  • Make amazing videos with professional video tools

Today, there’s no need to hire expensive video content creators to make engaging videos. Once you have a video idea, turn to DIY video creation tools and create marketing videos with ease.

  • Know your audience well

Publishing your videos on Instagram means nothing until you have an engaged following who loves watching them. Thus, it’s important to use social media analytics to see what works better for your Instagram followers.

Which Instagram video editing tool is right for you?

Luckily, the majority of video editing tools are free or come with a free trial that will allow you to test before making the purchase. Having said that, get out there and experiment a little before settling on one.

  • Best free Instagram video editing tool

iMovie is our pick for free Instagram video editing tools because of its easy-to-use interface and stabilization feature.

iMovie editing tool

  • Best paid Instagram video editing tool

Magisto is feature-rich and lets you create amazing videos through its flexible customization and AI features.

Magisto editing tool

  • Best Instagram video editing tool for beginners

InShot is our favorite Instagram video editing tool for beginners because it’s so simple and easy to use. You get quite a few features for free, and if you want more, you can upgrade your free account to a paid version for $2.99/month.

InShot editing tool

Analyzing how your video on Instagram is performing

Now, when we have the tech and creative parts all figured out, it’s time to focus on data tracking! After all, it’s the analysis of the views, likes, and overall viewers’ behavior that lets you see if your video on Instagram reached its target!

Who viewed my video on Instagram?

When you run advertising campaigns for your online store, you want to know whom you’ve reached and who actually viewed your videos. It’s not that difficult to see who viewed your Instagram Stories – however, in case with in-feed videos the same level of information isn’t available. But is there anything you can do? Yes, actually there are two ways you can check the viewers of your videos on Instagram.

You can see how your Instagram Stories ads perform in the Insights section of your business profile on the app. You can also view more metrics within Ads Manager and Power Editor including reach, impressions and video metrics just like you would for other ads.

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As for your in-feed videos, you’ll need to tap the label underneath the post. Unfortunately, you can only see the total number of views, but not the individual user names. You can, however, view the users who have liked it and, thus, have viewed it.

As you can see, you still can get something from Instagram Video Views. Use these details to analyze and improve your future advertising campaigns. For example, you can check viewers’ profiles (if they are available), and based on these insights, adjust and improve your targeting settings to reach the maximum of customers interested in your products.

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Instagram video views hacks

When you’re using Instagram to promote your dropshipping brand, it’s important to understand how Instagram works in order to reach as many customers as possible. This also applies to Instagram video views – the more people view your video ads, the more of them ca potentially turn into your customers who will actually buy your products. We recommend using Instagram Insights. This feature allows Instagram Business Account users to see the analytics related to their profile and posts. With these insights, you’ll be able to identify what your audience likes and engages with the most to improve your Instagram strategy, hence, increase your video ads views number.

Another great way to learn about your audience and connect with it is to post Instagram Stories. Stories offer engagement opportunities such as polls, stickers, location, and hashtags. Sometimes Instagram Stories work better than feeds because of those additional engagement features. As a result, you get more views of your Instagram stories.

These factors will help you to think over your video ads strategy for better targeting and results.

Instagram video views vs likes

What is more important for video ads: the number of views or the number of likes? Actually, both are crucial!

The indisputable advantage of likes in comparison of views is that likes actually show who cares about your post. Surely, it’s essential to understand people who liked your video ads in order to create better ads in the future.

Gary Nix, The Brandarchist’s president, wondered about too much weight on the views. “The excitement over a large amount of panic over a small number of views can distract brands (or individuals for that matter) from understanding or even paying attention to the subsequent behavior of the viewer”, he suggests.

On the other hand, view counts can provide helpful analysis for businesses who use Instagram platform to promote and sell products. View counts are considered as social proof, some kind of confirmation that your ad was worth posting. Big number of views means enhanced clicks and better commitment. From this point of view, the number of views equals confidence: even if the user is unwilling to like a video ad, he/she can still enjoy watching it. And that’s important.

When we speak about brands, in this case “Likes” don’t tell you who’s seen the ad. That’s important because you need to know the reach of your marketing efforts. There will always be silent users who simply don’t “like”. Thus, “Views” will represent how popular a video ad is, inclusive of the likers and silent users who just watch it but don’t double-tap or leave a comment. Much more accurate, and more useful.

Now, when this super detailed guide is over are you ready to create more video ads for your store’s Instagram account? Remember, we’re always here to help you out with Facebook & Instagram video ads creation if necessary!

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How To Choose A Domain Name For A Dropshipping Website: Q&A Series #6

Are you wondering how to choose a domain name for your dropshipping website? Here are the expert answers to the most common questions that typically come from online business newcomers.

Every business starts with an idea.

A dropshipping store starts with a niche.

Your website starts with a domain. Whether you want to use your site for traditional ecommerce business or dropshipping, a domain name is the first issue you must solve.

Our today’s article is all about a highly important topic. Here, we will explain how to choose a domain name, evaluate and purchase the perfect one for your dropshipping website.

Let’s start with the basics, as usual!

What is a domain name, exactly?

What is a domain name

Before talking about how to choose a domain name, let me explain what it is. Put it simply, a domain is the main part of your website’s URL address.

For example, take a look at our website’s address:

https://alidropship.com/

Here, ‘alidropship.com’ is the domain. It consists of 2 elements:

  • The ‘alidropship’ part is a so-called Second Level Domain

This is a word or a combination of words that you choose to represent your dropshipping website.

Theoretically, you can select any combination of letters and digits to be your second level domain. Still, this combination should make sense – something like higur465wy24.com doesn’t inspire much trust, right?

Usually, the word or phrase in the second level domain is identical to the store name. It makes a lot of sense since it helps you with branding.

But, alternatively, to get better Google rankings, you can take the main store keyword and play with it a little. The idea here is to create a short, memorable, catchy and easy to pronounce phrase – and we will elaborate on this further.

  • The ‘.com’ part is a so-called Top Level Domain (also called ‘domain extensions’)

There exist a limited number of top level domains, so here you don’t need to invent anything. Simply follow the basic rules and choose among one of the options available.

Wait, what? There really are rules that regulate how to choose top level domains?

rules that regulate how to choose top level domains

Traditionally, top level domains demonstrate the type of organization that uses them. Let’s go through the most common ones:

  • The .com domain is generally used by companies and organizations that run some kind of business or hold this website for a certain financial purpose. It has the reputation of the most popular, prestigious and trust-inspiring domain. Naturally, it makes it highly popular among businesses and enterprises worldwide.

We recommend going for the .com domain. In our experience, short and keyword-rich names with .com top level domains show better results. Moreover, they prove to be more efficient for dropshipping websites.

  • The .co domain is a relatively new alternative to the .com one (the majority of appealing names on the .com domain is already taken, which is why entrepreneurs go for a different option).
  • The .biz domain (‘biz’ is short for ‘business’) is basically used in the same cases, but for some reason, it is much less common and not as widespread as the .com one.
  • The .net domain is normally associated with hi-tech businesses, information technologies, startups, and other tech-related entities of this kind.
  • The .org domain (‘org’ is short for ‘organization’) is usually chosen by charities and other non-profit establishments that don’t put finances in the core of their activity.
  • The .info domain traditionally belongs to websites and blogs that have an enlightening or informational purpose and exist to raise awareness about something.
  • The .edu domain is regularly taken by educational institutions of various types.
  • The .gov domain belongs to governmental entities across the United States.

Plus, there exists a number of country-specific top level domains, for example:

  • .uk goes for the United Kingdom
  • .us for the United States
  • .il for Israel
  • .au for Australia
  • .de for Germany
  • .fi for Finland
  • .jp for Japan
  • .kr for South Korea
  • .nl for the Netherlands
  • .ru for Russia
  • .se for Sweden, etc.

Only specific companies, associations and authorities have the permission to use such country-related domains. So, most likely, you won’t even need them for your business. Actually, it won’t even be necessary – with dropshipping, you don’t have to limit your ecommerce store activity with a certain geographic region.

Are there any similar rules for the selection of a second level website domain?

Oh, this is the most exciting part.

When you’re choosing a top level domain, you don’t have much room for imagination and inventiveness. All you need to do is simply pick one of 20-30 available options.

But when it comes to the second level domain name, it’s a whole different story.

When you’re creating your store domain, there are 3 vital things to consider.

SEO

When thinking about how to create a domain name, take into account your domain’s potential in terms of search engine optimization. If you want to achieve favorable Google rankings, it’s wise to include an SEO-friendly word or phrase in your domain.

This is why many dropshipping business owners build their webstore domain around their main keyword. For this purpose, they can also use any of the supporting keywords. This way, they solve 2 issues at once. They improve their rank in search results, and make it easier for Internet users to stumble upon this particular webstore.

Of course, it’s necessary to treat this optimization thoughtfully. A website that has an address like buyofficechairsonlineusa.com looks quite suspicious. It even creates the impression of something potentially harmful, like it poses a threat to the visitor.

Long domain names that solely consist of long-tail keywords look spammy and don’t inspire much trust. Plus, it doesn’t help you create a memorable shopping destination that stands out from the competition.

This aspect brings us to the next crucial consideration point which is…

Branding

Do you know why you, an owner of a tiny dropshipping store, can successfully compete with trading giants like Amazon and AliExpress itself?

It’s all because you can create a recognizable and buyer-oriented shopping destination with a totally unique atmosphere and friendly environment.

Your range of activity is rather small in comparison to huge shopping platforms, and this gives you an enormous advantage. When you concentrate on a tiny amount of products to sell, you are able to provide top-class customer service. This is the perfect strategy to win the hearts of your buyers.

This challenging yet rewarding job of creating your own in-store universe starts with… your website address and, more specifically, your domain name. Basically, when people visit your store, the first thing they notice is the website address and the domain name. At this moment of the first encounter, your website name provokes some specific expectations. Obviously, it’s your responsibility to meet them.

This is why, ideally, a good domain name should clearly indicate what this store is about – this way, you gain recognition and support the creation of your own, unique brand that is strikingly different from the competitors’ offers.

Credibility

As we have already mentioned, your dropshipping website URL is the thing that makes the first impression. The domain name, naturally, plays its role, too. So, here are several tips on how to choose a domain name… or rather how NOT to make a domain that’ll scare away potential buyers.

Will an Internet user actually visit your store after noticing it in the search results, or not?

It heavily depends on the quality and contents of your domain name. Imagine that it consists of an odd word combination, or a random mix of letters and numbers making no sense. Even if it’s brilliant in terms of SEO, the majority of Internet surfers won’t even click on it.

The same goes for a dropshipping website that obviously speculates on a well-known brand or trademark. Typically, scammers do it by using either the wrong spelling (abibas.com). Alternatively, they can pick a top-level domain that is slightly different from the official one (adidas.net). No one likes scammers, so misleading people with illegal use of someone else’s brand shouldn’t be your strategy. Good website names never look like that!

Plus, people will avoid your dropshipping website if its domain name looks silly or scary because of inappropriate word combinations (even if it was unintentional). Think of domains like therapistbay.com or bestkidnaps.com, for example.

You should also avoid accidental negative meanings in foreign languages. Surely, it is impossible to consider all the languages that exist across the globe. Still, check the meaning of the chosen name in the language of your target audience. Additionally, consider its meaning in the most common languages in the world (Chinese, English, Hindustani, Spanish and Arabic, at least).

So… how to choose a domain name, actually? What should I do technically? And how can I buy the domain?

Oh, it’s a really simple and totally entertaining procedure.

First, you need to go to a domain generator website. There are plenty of domain name generators, and tons of them provide their service for free, so you won’t pay anything extra.

We strongly recommend the Namemesh generator: it is awesome because it lets you evaluate the appeal of any domain name by several parameters at once.

It works the following way: you enter 2-3 words into the search bar, and press the ‘Generate’ button.

domain name generator Namemesh

The system shows all the possible combinations of these words, and divides the domain name suggestions into several categories:

  • Common

These are the most ‘traditionally-looking’ names with typically used top level domains (also called extensions) like .com, .net., org, etc.

  • New

These are the names containing the most recent extensions that become available for websites (.tech, .chop, .center, etc.). Since these extensions are really ‘young’, there’s a good chance to grab a vacant name before anybody else.

  • Short

This section contains the shortest domain names available. In general opinion, the shorter the domain, the better it is for your recognition. Still, don’t forget that it should make some sense! Also, note that most popular domains are short, which is why most of them are usually occupied.

  • Extra

These are the domain names with ‘unusual’ extensions like .name, .me, .ly, etc. In a way, they are similar to the ‘New’ category, but these ones are not uncommon for worldwide practice.

  • Similar

These domains don’t contain the exact keyword you’ve provided. Instead, they are based on synonyms, antonyms, related words, etc. Here, you get unconventional names that describe your business concept in a ‘smarter’ way. In terms of branding, they might be the perfect option for you.

  • SEO

This section includes the names that are perfect in terms of potential Google rankings. The system slightly modifies the main keyword through the use of prefixes or suffixes. This is why you get a list of SEO-friendly yet sensible domain names.

  • Fun

The website domains listed in this category are the result of smart word modification: blending and meshing words, misspelling, phonetic variations and other tricks are used. As a result, you get some unique yet meaningful words that can make perfect brand names.

  • Mix

Here, other words, prefixes and suffixes get mixed into the keyword you’ve provided.

So, you get a full page of results with possible domains:

Domain name suggestions on NameMesh

As you can see, you can make some amendments to the generated results and play with them further!

For example, you can check out every single one of the Search Suggestions to get more relevant domain options. It’s quite handy if you’ve already tried everything and can’t think of other good names.

Also, you can hide the already registered domains – it definitely saves your time. Besides, you can explore the WhoIs database. There, you will learn who has purchased the most appealing domain. In some cases, it might be useful to contact the current owner and try buying out this particular domain.

You can also set the preferred domain length and tick the top level domains you’d like.

And finally, we’re coming to the most important part. Here, you can also choose the registrar service that will sell you the best domain name!

Choosing a domain registrar on NameMesh

In order to actually purchase the domain you’ve picked, you need to visit domain registrars – websites that sell domains.

There, you make your user account, provide the necessary documents (IDs, etc.) and pay for the purchase. This is how you become a legal owner of a domain of your choice.

The Namemesh site doesn’t sell the domain names. Instead, it lets you check the most credible and trustworthy registrars that are really popular across the globe:

It doesn’t matter what registrar service you use. All of them have the same range of domains available. Actually, it’s impossible for a registrar to have ‘exclusive’ domains that you can’t buy anywhere else. Plus, all of the registrars listed on Namemesh have the legal right to sell website domains.

Still, it’s a good idea to check the appealing name within each registrar anyway. The reason is simple: even the same names can have totally different prices across various services.

So, to be a smart shopper, you need to:

  • Go on Namemesh
  • Select one registrar
  • Enter the keyword
  • Hit the ‘Generate’ button
  • Read through the generated list of domain names
  • Click on the name you like more

The system will automatically redirect you to the registrar site. Here, you will see the domain name price, and the instructions on how to buy it. If you’re happy with the name and its price, follow the registrar recommendations and complete the purchase!

There are so many name options, it’s confusing! Is there any checklist on how to choose a domain name for my dropshipping business?

checklist on how to choose a domain name

Of course! After all, choosing domain names is very important! Go through this list and tick the statements you agree with:

  • I like this domain name

Your personal opinion matters! You should be happy with the sound and the meaning of the name, no matter what marketing gurus say.

  • It is short

Roughly speaking, a length up to 10-12 characters is okay. You want people to remember your name easily, right?

  • It is easy to type

Again, it’s all about your brand recognition. Let’s suppose you’ve chosen a well-known word but opted for an untypical letters order in it. Chances are, people will simply misspell it while typing in the address, or writing hashtags in social networks.

  • It gives me some room for growth

In the world of dropshipping, it is super easy to expand your product offer when necessary. You can even switch to a slightly different business niche if you want to. Will the domain still be relevant for your store if you ever decide to add new product categories?

  • It is available on social media

To promote your store online, you need relevant accounts on social media. Imagine that somebody has created a Facebook account with the name that you have just picked. It would be quite a sad situation because it would make your buyers really confused. Plus, they will constantly mix you up with this random account.

Luckily, Namemesh has this adorable function of scanning social networks as well! Look at the picture below:

scanning social networks availability on NameMesh

When you click on a suggested domain, the system checks the so-called ‘Social Availability’. It means that it analyses the existing Twitter and Facebook account names. You, in turn, can perform the same check on Instagram manually.

This way, you can choose identical names for all your social media channels. Surely, it helps you create a strong brand and boost your recognition.

  • It has a good history

Did you know that you need to check every domain name before purchase? Even if you’re not buying it from an actual previous owner, look into its history anyway. It is possible that this domain has some history anyway.

Maybe, the owner has simply abandoned it several years ago after the domain expiry. To make sure nothing suspicious was happening there, try using the Wayback Machine service. It shows whether someone has used the domain, and for what purpose.

If you’re buying a ’second hand’ domain, check the Expired Domains portal. Here, you will see domains with reliable history that are no longer in use for some reason. These domains can rank better on Google if the previous owner had no suspicious actions on them. So, you can even buy several domains and simply wait till one of them start ranking higher than others.

Have you ticked at least 4 items in this checklist? Go for this name!

That’s it for our today’s Q&A session. Now, you know how to choose a domain name that will fit your dropshipping website perfectly – feel free to use the knowledge for your personal benefit!

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10 Affiliate Marketing Tips That Jump-Start Your Business

For many people, registering as an affiliate is the first action ever taken in the ecommerce world. Having no previous experience in this industry, they don’t quite know how to make the right business decisions. Therefore, they mostly have to go with the gut feeling. In this article, we’re explaining the basic affiliate marketing tips and tricks that will help any newcomer affiliate build a profitable and enjoyable venture!

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a web-based business strategy that implies a marketer promoting someone else’s business through his/her channel to his/her own audience. In this case, the so-called affiliate marketer who doesn’t own the business advertises its products or services and earns a commission from each sale. So, such people get paid while the business gets to reach the marketer’s audience of potential buyers.

By placing affiliate links on their sites or channels, many blog owners and social media influencers use this practice to earn money online. If you too want to enter this industry and learn how to succeed in affiliate marketing, here are 10 tips to help you out.

Tip #1: Learn the affiliate program terms

This is the foundation of any affiliate marketing.

Let’s face it: the ‘Terms and Conditions’ part gets ignored all the time.

If you’ve become a part of an affiliate community, take your time to read the program regulations carefully. It won’t simply let you understand how and when you can get your affiliate commissions; it will also guide you through the allowed and the forbidden methods of promoting the program.

Normally, the program moderators prohibit the participants from using any unethical promotional methods. As a rule, these are the strategies that:

  • Exploit others’ intellectual property
  • Conflict with the local laws
  • Confuse Internet users
  • In general, don’t look like a fair play

But of course, every merchant has a specific set of rules with regard to acceptable and unacceptable behavior. This is why it is vitally important to know these requirements from A to Z.

Tip #2: Research the affiliate product

None of the affiliate marketing tips will work out if you don’t know what you’re promoting.

Basically, after registering as an affiliate, you get responsible for spreading the word about the merchant’s product or service. That’s the core idea of affiliate marketing, right? 🙂

But, what can you tell a wide audience about this specific company or offer if you know nothing about its features and peculiarities? How can you gain a loyal audience of trusting followers and build relationships with them if this particular business sphere remains unknown to you? Why would anyone buy something through your sponsored links if you don’t seem credible and knowledgeable enough?

Examine the merchant and the promoted product carefully, and try to learn as many details about them as possible. It might turn out beneficial for you to concentrate on some well-defined, narrow part of this business.

Of course, you can’t become an expert in everything at once. Still, it’s possible to gain extensive knowledge about a specific element of the merchant’s activity. It will give you a competitive advantage over other market players. Moreover, you will be able to provide your potential clients with truly valuable content.

Tip #3: Make up a clear action affiliate marketing plan

To succeed in affiliate marketing, you need to a clear action plan.

Create a roadmap of your affiliate actions. At this point, you already know the peculiarities of the business or company you’re promoting, and you know what steps you can and can’t take for this purpose.

This way, you can think carefully about your strength, resources, and opportunities, and find out which ones of them are the best choice for each particular case. If you’re taking part in multiple affiliate programs, you obviously should modify your marketing strategy in order to tailor it to both the promoted product and the target audience.

Tip #4: Research your audience

The needs, wishes, and interests of your clients form the core of affiliate marketing tips. The reason for this is simple: your promotional activity should be precisely tailored and aimed at your potential clients specifically.

The better you know your audience, the greater is the chance of converting your occasional entry reader into a loyal buyer. There are some things that you definitely need to know about your target segments, so whether you’re running an online store or taking part in an affiliate program, do your best to find out as many details about your potential clients as possible.

Tip #5: Respond to your audience needs

Your target audience consists of real, actual people who have their own concerns, issues, and daily troubles. If the product you’re promoting can actually help these people get rid of their worries, your affiliate marketing success is guaranteed.

This is why it’s so important to research your clients’ areas of interest that are related to your affiliate program. With the help of statistical tools like Google Trends and forums like Quora or Reddit, you can find out what exactly bothers your potential customers with regard to this particular sphere. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to understand what topics you should focus on, and what types of content will inspire the audience’s interest towards the product you’re promoting.

Tip #6: Build an active community around your valuable content

In ecommerce, it's very important to build up a community around your brand.

One of the most common mistakes made by affiliates is driving traffic to an ‘empty’ community. In this case, affiliates invest time and money into various types of ads in order to attract attention to their activity, and think that the reached audience will start buying immediately after visiting the promoted page.

They, however, don’t take into account the fact that no one would buy a product from a community that doesn’t seem active – or that doesn’t inspire much trust. If your blog, or YouTube account, or other page dedicated to the affiliate promotion doesn’t look like a credible source of knowledge and information, you can’t expect the visitors to gladly risk their money for a dubious purchase.

This is why it is so important to spend some time filling your page with engaging, educational and helpful content that is highly valuable to your target audience. By gaining the reputation of a trusted expert in this particular field, you build an ample base of interested readers who are loyal to you and are well motivated to buy the products you’re recommending.

Tip #7: Experiment with various content types

Depending on the product or the company you’re promoting through your efforts, you can try filling your dedicated affiliate page with multiple types of promotional posts. It will give you the chance to monitor the level of your followers’ engagement, view the intensity of commenting, and gather data on other statistical indicators in order to identify the most suitable kinds of content for this particular program and audience.

For example, if you’re running a blog or an account in a social network that allows writing quite long texts, you can try mixing the following types of content:

  • Tutorials explaining how to use the product you’re promoting correctly, and how to benefit from it;
  • Comparisons that explain (in a neutral tone) how this exact product is different from the similar ones;
  • Real-life reviews and testimonials of the people who have actually tried this product;
  • Expert opinions about this product that are left by recognized industry professionals or influencers;
  • Industry news that is relevant to your target audience.

Tip #8: Use videos in your affiliate marketing campaign

Videos become a more and more powerful promotional tool. Lately, we have even included them in our list of the top 5 digital marketing instruments to use. There is no doubt that this type of content will stay demanded and popular for years to come. So, naturally, it’s a good idea to include video promotion in your affiliate marketing strategy.

Similarly to the already described text entries, you can dedicate your affiliate videos to:

  • Real-life customer reviews
  • Comparisons with other products
  • User-friendly tutorials

What’s especially convenient, you can even take the already written texts, and simply turn them into videos. This way, you will create new, engaging pieces of content quickly and easily.

Tip #9: Respect search engine optimization

Mobile optimization is crucial for successful affiliate marketing.

There is a popular opinion voiced in other affiliate marketing tips. It says: while filling your page or website with appropriate content, you should, first of all, consider actual users’ queries, and not clumsy SEO phrases.

In our experience, SEO can do magic for your business! This is why we recommend that you always keep it in mind and use all the numerous benefits of SEO to drive the growth of your affiliate business. Start with finding the appropriate keywords for your venture!

Also, make sure to optimize your channels for mobile devices.

Thanks to the growth of mobile technologies, the amount of smartphone users increases every day. For many of them, a smartphone is the only device that lets them go online. This is why building a mobile-friendly destination becomes a task of paramount importance.

So, whatever you’re doing to promote your affiliate program, make sure the content you’re posting can be easily accessed through mobiles. Whether you’re running an affiliate Instagram account or managing a separate dedicated website, the same rules apply! Pay attention to the correct operation of affiliate links as well.

Tip #10: Pay due attention to affiliate links

While efficient affiliate marketing strategies play a crucial role in this industry, you shouldn’t forget about such a simple thing as affiliate links.

First of all, make sure to actually place them inside your blog posts, descriptions to your videos, social media content, ad banners, and so on. Unless there’s a clickable affiliate link in your content, you can’t expect a lot of sales. Even if you have such a link in your social media account bio, for example, don’t expect the audience to go check it.

Remember, an affiliate can earn a commission only if a buyer makes a purchase after following the affiliate link. So, make sure the link is clickable and easy to spot.

Tell your audience that your posts contain affiliate links. It works both as a warning and as a reminder. Often followers do buy the product but forget to follow the affiliate link, so you don’t get paid.

For example, you can place a reference saying, ‘This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase services through my links, I will earn a small commission (at no cost to you.) Thank you for your support!’ Or you could use an official affiliate link disclosure: ‘Disclosure: This blog receives commissions for using [COMPANY NAME]’ products. Nevertheless, we use these goods because of their high quality, and the decision to purchase them or not is yours.’

In this paragraph, you explain that you’re not trying to deceive people, that they lose nothing, and it’s how they can support your channel.

And finally, check all the links before publishing materials to make sure they work properly.

We hope that you’ve greatly enjoyed this basic set of affiliate marketing tips, and we can’t wait to see you using them for the benefit of your newly launched affiliate venture!

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Dropshipping Holistic Products: Product Ideas & Tips

If you believe that spiritual wellness is as important as physical health, then how about launching a dropshipping store that sells esoteric stuff, mystic goods, and holistic products? Let’s find out the potential of this niche!

What is a holistic lifestyle?

Some people think that ‘holistic’ means ‘natural’. But it’s not entirely true.

The term originates from the Greek word ‘holos’ which means ‘whole’. A person leading a holistic lifestyle regards his or her life and health, mind and body as ‘a whole’ rather than as something consisting of separate parts.

So, true wellness, for example, means taking care of both the body and spiritual health. Like ancient people used both their knowledge of medicinal herbs and spiritual practices, modern people following this principle look for ways to lead a well-balanced life with due attention to different sides of every issue.

Such people prefer natural food and remedies or beauty products that won’t hurt their skin or hair. Their lifestyle includes meditation and yoga, spiritual practices and alternative medicine, and more.

So, natural is holistic, but holistic is much more than natural. Essential oils are a good example of what you can sell in a holistic shop.

Google Trends results for 'essential oils'

Moreover, if you want to dropship holistic products, there’s also a wide range of other goods your customers may be interested in. You can sell yoga-related equipment, spiritual products, mystic products, esoteric items, and many more. As a result, you will get a metaphysical store, so to speak, that sells all kinds of related products.

Here’s how the interest level for dream catchers has been changing according to Google Trends:

Google Trends results for 'dream catcher'

But we’ll get back to what holistic products you can sell a bit later. Right now, I’d like to say a few words about how you can promote such a shop.

Promoting holistic products

As you probably know, it’s very important to properly evaluate the marketing potential of a product or niche before making a decision. And when it comes to holistic goods, there are at least two reasons why it’s an interesting niche for dropshipping.

First of all, in a holistic store, you can offer both products that customers will find useful and goods with strong emotional value. For example, yoga equipment is useful, so it won’t take much effort to successfully advertise it. Charms and similar accessories, on the other hand, can be promoted via emotional marketing. It requires a more creative approach, but such goods can trigger impulse purchases.

Second, this niche has huge potential in terms of content creation and content marketing.

There’s so much you can tell your audience about different aspects of a holistic lifestyle. As a result, one can create different types of content and even create a community in social media.

Design your holistic online store properly

Another important thing to take care of is the design of your online shop. When it comes to lifestyle products, buyers want more than just a list of items they can purchase. Any kind of online store requires thoughtful design, but a holistic shop needs even more attention.

If you want a professional design for your dropshipping website, consider ordering a Custom Store. The AliDropship team will build a store with a professional design based on your instructions and add up to 500 pre-edited products to its inventory so that you could start promoting them as soon as possible.

Now, let’s get back to what holistic products you can sell.

What to sell in a holistic shop?

Essential oils

Essential oils are a must-have holistic product for your online store

Naturally, essential oils enjoy high demand from people who like aromatherapy. Such oils can be used with carrier oils for massage, can be added to your bath, or can be burnt in an oil burner. Which leads us to another product category for your holistic store.

Essential oil diffusers

Essential oil diffusers will make good holistic products for an online shop

There are plenty of oil diffusers on AliExpress many of which feature oriental design. So, these items are not only useful but also very stylish.

Skin care products

Skin care goods on AliExpress

While it’s a good idea to dropship skin care products, be careful with oils, creams, and other remedies. Since you can’t be absolutely sure such goods are 100% safe, selling such products is dangerous. Besides, depending on what country you dropship to, these products may not be able to clear the customs.

On the other hand, there are plenty of other products for skin care including massagers, masks, and so on.

Incense sticks

Incense sticks on AliExpress for dropshipping

With oriental culture penetrating the western world, certain items get incredibly popular. Incense sticks are a good example of such products. They’re used for mediation and relaxation or for creating the right atmosphere.

Incense holders/burners

Holistic products: incense stick holders and burners

And of course, consider dropshipping incense holders as well as they come in many interesting shapes.

Dream catchers

Dream catchers you can buy on AliExpress

Don’t neglect décor items, talismans, and accessories of all kinds. Particularly, dream catchers come in many designs and shapes.

Crystal and stones

Crystals and natural stones are a must for a mystic online store

It’s a rich category of holistic products that includes accessories with crystals (such as rings, charms, or bracelets) as well as healing and magical stones. Some of them serve pure decoration purposes. Besides, many people simply enjoy touching crystals.

Native accessories

Indian fashion jewelry on AliExpress

Also, consider adding native accessories and fashion jewelry to your inventory. In the picture, you can see several examples of Indian accessories, but you can also find many accessories related to other oriental cultures as well as Buddhism and Shintoism.

Tarot cards

Tarot card decks for dropshipping

Tarot cards are a must for an online shop like this. Such decks have been used for card games since the 15th century. About three centuries ago, people started using them for fortune telling.

Yoga equipment

Yoga equipment on AliExpress

And of course, make sure to add several products related to yoga including yoga clothes, mats, and other equipment.

These are just several examples of holistic products you can dropship. Do you like this niche? Then it’s time to launch your own dropshipping business, and our team can help you with that by building a Custom Dropshipping Store!

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How Apple IOS 14 Update Will Affect Your Facebook Ads (And How To Survive It)

Is new always better than old? If we’re talking about this certain Apple iOS 14.5 update, it’s not true. Welcome the most challenging (hope, ever) update in Apple’s policies that will probably give you a pretty hard time running and optimizing your ads and measuring the results. Let’s find out what consequences we’ll face and how to cope with them. So, it’s iOS 14 VS Facebook ads! Fight!

Apple iOS 14 update: what’s that?

First of all, what’s the concept behind the iOS 14 update?

In simple words, Apple decided to improve the users’ digital privacy. So, each app available in the App Store will have to show the iOS 14 users a pop-up asking if users allow tracking their data.

iOS 14 Facebook ads impact

Fun fact: according to Statista.com, 79.9% of Facebook users only access it through the Facebook app on their mobile phones.

Among that 79.9%, there will definitely be a huge portion of those who will opt-out of data tracking. And for a reason: this pop-up is kinda creepy. Seriously. Would I like apps and companies to see what I’m doing and access info about me? No way!

If users opt out, it means that Facebook won’t be able to access those users’ data, and you won’t be able to properly deliver your ads to them.

So, what changes in the advertising routine should you expect from the iOS 14 update?

What will Apple iOS 14 update mean for Facebook ads?

Less efficient ads

As Facebook is not able to track the opted-out users’ behavior properly, the effectiveness of Facebook Pixel tracking drops, and all your advertising activities related to Pixel can go to waste. This will happen, for example, to conversion events, lookalike audience generation or retargeting (the size of retargeting audiences will shrink over time).

Less effective ads

Unfortunately, loss in ad personalization is expected as targeting options are getting weaker – which can result in 60% fewer website sales. As you’re just unable to adjust your ad creatives properly for the audience, it means your ads won’t be as effective as you’d like. Add more wasted ad spend to the pile.

Limited optimization

With iOS 14.5, you can use only 8 pixel events per domain for optimization. So, it’s time to prioritize events you’d like to track on your site.

However, this cap limits only the number of events you can optimize towards. So, you can still track more events for reporting and audience creation.

Delayed measurement

The new default attribution window will make measurement a bit more complicated – it will contribute to under-reporting on organic as well as paid channels. And expect a 3-day delay in ad reporting data display.

What’s the attribution window? It is a finite period of time during which conversions can be credited to your ads and used to inform campaign optimization. Read more about attribution windows here.

Anyway, despite all the “now you can’t”s, we’re sure you can work things out and still run effective ads on Facebook!

How to deal with iOS 14 Facebook ads ‘innovations’?

Here are some actions you need to take now to be able to advertise properly:

  • Verify your domain with Facebook

  • Decide on the 8 conversions you’ll be tracking

Click here for the instructions by Facebook OR keep reading for the detailed instruction with screenshots 🙂

And here are some extra actions you can try:

  • Exclude iOS devices when you run Conversions campaigns

When you create a campaign with the Conversions objective, the Facebook algorithm does its best to learn and optimize the ad process to be able to get more actions from users that you desire (e.g. purchases). So, to give the algorithm some room for optimization, try running ads for Android devices only. We’re people, too! (guess what phone model I own :D)

Of course, it’s just a temporary solution.

Specifying mobile devices to deal with iOS 14 Facebook ads impact

  • Start using UTM-marks if you haven’t yet

In times when you can’t fully rely on Facebook Pixel, evergreen UTM-marks will tell you if a sale or conversion occurred as a result of this or that ad. A UTM-mark is a small addition to the link that helps you track all user activities in Google Analytics.

Read here to learn more about UTM-marks.

  • Get hands on users’ data yourself

If not you, who else? Ask for users’ personal info (e.g. first name, last name, or email address) right in the conversion process. How? Inspire people to create an account or set up a subscription pop-up on your site (we can assist with it). Probably, you’ll need to offer something in exchange – like a discount promo code. Later, you will simply upload these users’ data on Facebook and be able to generate custom audiences and lookalike audiences for advertising purposes. Bingo!

iOS 14 Facebook ads countermeasures: step-by step explanation in detail

Listen, we truly want this article to be useful, not only some chit-chat about theory. So here are the practical steps you need to take to verify your domain on FB and set up Facebook Pixel events according to this new Apple policy for iOS. Probably you’ve already seen a warning in your ad account that you need to do that. So, let’s verify your domain name!

Verifying your domain name with Facebook

Go to your Facebook Business settings > Brand Safety > Domains. Add your store’s domain name there and verify it by one of the three methods.

We’d recommend “Meta-tag Verification” as the easiest. Just copy the short piece of code (together with the “<>” brackets!):

Using meta-tag verification to deal with iOS 14 Facebook ads impact

Then, go to your WordPress admin area > Customization tab > Head field. Paste the code and click “Save”. If you already have a Google Analytics tag there, just insert the domain verification code below and click on “Save”:

Then, you should add the needed events to your Pixel.

Adding the necessary events to your FB Pixel

Go to Facebook Events Manager, choose your store’s Pixel there and click “Aggregated Event Measurement”:

Adding events to FB Pixel

Click on “Configure Web Events”:

Configuring web events

Then, click on “Edit Events”:

[slider_1]

Click on the “Add Events” button:

Adding events

Very important! Choose the correct Pixel (the one you use in your Facebook Business add-on/on your site):

Choosing FB Pixel

Add 4 events and place them in this order: View Content > Add to Cart > Initiate Checkout > Purchase (from lowest to highest). The lowest events are of the lowest priority and the highest – of the higher priority.

[slider_2]

Now, you’re ready for the iOS 14 update! It is very likely that there will be some ways around discovered soon anyway – which will let Facebook advertisers sleep with a peaceful mind.

Hope this article was helpful and we didn’t discourage you much and you still want to advertise on Facebook 😉 Moreover, as it’s still one of the best platforms for advertising, it’s our duty as dropshipping business educators to discover and explain how to conform and work with what we have. Now you know what to expect from the Apple iOS 14 update – forewarned is forearmed! Happy dropshipping, and may luck and big profits be with you.

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How About Selling Cosplay Supplies In Your Dropshipping Store?

As we know it from our own experience and successful entrepreneurs’ feedback, the best dropshipping niches are the ones related to hobbies. So, today, we’re talking about selling cosplay stuff and your ways to capitalize on this interesting hobby!

Want to sell the hottest and most demanded items only? Receive WEEKLY updates on the most popular items on the market – and get every week’s bestsellers imported to your store AUTOMATICALLY!

Why does selling cosplay supplies make sense?

Basically, cosplay means recreating the appearance and the behavior of fictional characters or real-life famous persons.

Sounds fun, but it’s much more than playing around! Experienced and professional cosplayers spend a lot of money on their costumes. If you’ve ever seen anime cosplayers, for example, you know how good these outfits are made. Therefore, you can sell cosplay products to this audience and make good money.

And, when it comes to making the right outfit for the character you’re cosplaying, generally, you have 3 options:

  • Buy a ready costume on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, or anywhere else
  • Go for a tailor service and order a costume that fits you and repeats the original one in detail
  • Craft the necessary outfit by your effort

And here’s an interesting detail – compare the 2 screenshots below:

Screenshot of Google Trends results for the ‘buy cosplay’ search query

Screenshot of Google Trends results for the ‘DIY cosplay’ search query

People are less and less interested in ready-made cosplay costumes. Instead, they show a steady interest pattern to crafting their outfits themselves!

Here’s a great option for those who wonder how to make money as a cosplayer

It’s a great thing if you can turn your hobby into a money-making business, much like Kitty from New Zealand did with her dropshipping store.

Cosplay, as well as any other highly specific hobby, requires lots of special knowledge. For example, if you know what it takes to craft your own cosplay outfit, you can perfectly understand what types of products are a good match for your store.

If you like some particular universe or fandom, you can confidently write engaging descriptions for your products and run the store-linked social media on an almost expert level.

Moreover, if you’re a cosplayer yourself and a good tailor too, you can create brilliant content for social media or a blog containing various guides and tutorials on how to craft costumes at home. Such an approach will let you both draw traffic to your platforms and offer them corresponding products.

And, if you know the most important events for the cosplay community, you know when to start promoting your store more actively to let cosplayers buy the necessary stuff in advance.

As you can see, selling cosplay goods is much easier if you’re a cosplayer yourself. But even if you don’t have background knowledge in cosplay, don’t worry!

Now, let’s talk about how to make money with cosplay.

How to make your dropshipping cosplay business work

To run a professional cosplay accessories store with the dropshipping business model, you need to have a clear understanding of the following:

  • Who are your customers?

There are various reasons for people to look for cosplay items and accessories.

Some of them are getting ready for large-scale events like comic cons or for their money-making activities like blogging, modelling, etc. Other customers are preparing for themed parties and family get-togethers, and some clients are only looking for cosplay stuff shortly before Halloween.

Clearly, the people in these customer segments have really different expectations and requirements when it comes to your product range, items price, delivery time, etc. This is why it’s so important for you to understand who you’re targeting – and tailor your offers accordingly.

  • What exactly will you sell?

AliExpress has quite a wide range of cosplay-related items – let’s see what are the major categories you can cover!

Selling cosplay accessories from AliExpress: specific characters’ accessories

Not all the elements of a character’s outfit can be recreated by your own effort. You still need to buy some of the accessories, jewelry pieces, etc. from a manufacturer.

Be really careful if you’re selling cosplay products of this kind: they may fall into the category of copyrighted items. It is likely that they might disappear from an AliExpress seller in some time, or cause you some legal issues. You might try selling them at the beginning of your dropshipping journey to get more media coverage, but it’s definitely a bad idea to base your long-term product strategy on them.

Tony Stark sunglasses

Tony Stark’s sunglasses on AliExpress

Price – US $3.49, rating – 4.7*, number of orders – 17430

Guy Fawkes mask

Guy Fawkes’ mask on AliExpress

Price – US $1.29-3.59, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 1642

The Witcher’s pendant

Pendant with The Witcher emblem

Price – US $2.14, rating – 4.6*, number of orders – 2102

Shinobi headbands

Naruto headbands on AliExpress

Price – US $2.85-3.40, rating – 4.6*, number of orders – 659

The Vampire Diaries necklace

The Vampire Diaries necklace on AliExpress

Price – US $1.98, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 1665

Selling cosplay items from AliExpress: generic supplies

Don’t want to deal with copyrighted items? Smart move. 😉

In this case, you can always find more or less ‘generic’ products that will be a great addition to your store, and won’t violate any rules.

Most typically, these items are ‘expendables’: they need to be replaced from time to time, which is why the buyers will come for them again and again.

Wig

Are you selling cosplay products? Consider adding wigs to your inventory.

Price – US $11.80-13.66, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 3107

Latex ears

Latex ears for cosplay on AliExpress

Price – US $1.53-1.60, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 2706

Cat ears

Cat ears for cosplay

Price – US $3.67, rating – 4.5*, number of orders – 17584

False eyelashes

False eyelashes on AliExpress

Price – US $1.22, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 434

Selling cosplay supplies from AliExpress: craft materials

Here, you can collect all the possible things that can help people create their one-of-a-kind cosplay outfits.

This product category is quite appealing because it gives you great opportunities for the future store growth. Theoretically, later, you can add other types of crafting materials to your store, and reach a wider customer audience – why not?

If you’re working with these items, make sure they are more or less unique, or affordable, or have another noticeable competitive advantage. Otherwise, why would people order them online instead of buying from a nearby shop?

Foil paper

Foil paper as a cosplay product

Price – US $1.46, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 1571

Vinyl sheets

Vinyl sheets for making cosplay costumes

Price – US $1.15-1.26, rating – 4.9*, number of orders – 180

Water soluble canvas

Water soluble canvas on AliExpress

Price – US $1, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 921

Skin color fleece

Skin color fleece on AliExpress

Price – US $6.02-8.48, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 612

Colored EVA foam

Colored EVA foam on AliExpress for cosplay

Price – US $6.98-8.88, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 411

Selling cosplay items from AliExpress: craft tools and equipment

Similarly to the previous category, these items also give you enough room for the future business growth. Still, if you’re working with them, you need to make sure that they meet core dropshipping requirements.

For example, technically complex items might see not enough demand because buyers prefer to check them in real life. Heavy products might cause an overly high shipping fee, and sharp tools, theoretically, can be banned from import if they are viewed as hazardous items.

Keeping it in mind, take a look at a sample AliExpress product selection in this category!

Sewing clips

Are you selling cosplay goods? Try sewing clips!

Price – US $0.86-0.89, rating – 4.9*, number of orders – 4778

Portable sewing machine

A portable sewing machine for cosplay lovers

Price – US $8.44, rating – 4.7*, number of orders – 9656

Leather craft tools

Leather craft tools on AliExpress

Price – US $1.81, rating – 4.9*, number of orders – 1513

Cute measuring tape

Measuring tapes is a good product for a store selling cosplay items

Price – US $0.98-1.15, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 3895

Travel sewing kit

Travel sewing kit for cosplay lovers

Price – US $3.89, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 4431

Pottery & sculpting tools set

Pottery & sculpting tools set on AliExpress

Price – US $12.62-15.59, rating – 4.9*, number of orders – 1134

Thimble

A photo of a thimble

Price – US $1.62, rating – 4.9*, number of orders – 8534

Glue gun

A glue gun for an online store selling cosplay goods

Price – US $3.18-13.52, rating – 4.8*, number of orders – 3650

How do you like the idea of selling cosplay accessories and supplies in your dropshipping store? If you want more niche ideas for your upcoming business, check out this list of the most profitable niches to try in 2021!

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Exploring Small Business Growth Over Time: Ankit Is Back With New Milestones!

How does a small business growth over time look like? What can happen to a young dropshipping store in a mid-term prospective? Today, we’re discussing these questions with Ankit who has been in the dropshipping business for over a year and a half! He has already shared his first dropshipping steps with us some time ago, and now, we can’t wait to see how he’s doing!

Disclaimer: all the success stories published in AliDropship blog are the results of interviews conducted in the written form. Even though the editors may make some minor changes to the grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation, the respondents’ writing styles, views, opinions, stores screenshots and personal photos are left unchanged.

Hi, thank you for getting in touch with us once again! Kindly introduce yourself to the readers who aren’t familiar with you yet 🙂

Hi, I’m Ankit, a 22-year-old entrepreneur from Odisha, India. I have done over $170,000 in revenue in the year 2020 with my ecommerce dropshipping stores and spent over $50,000 on Instagram and Facebook advertisements.

Last time we spoke, you mentioned your store made $52K+ in half a year. What has happened to your business since then?

A lot has changed since my last interview. First of all, the niche I was selling the products in wasn’t something I was interested in, even though it was something which was definitely making me money. So, I thought instead of closing that store and opening a new one which aligned with my interest. But, then I realised why don’t I sell this as an asset to someone who can take this store to new heights? That would mean more capital for me to be able to start a new brand.

So, I searched for various platforms which would allow me to list my store for sale. I finally went ahead with Exchange Marketplace (by Shopify) which allowed me to list my business for sale right there.

The procedure to list your store for sale is pretty simple. You just need to install the Exchange Marketplace plugin and answer questions about your listing (website) and assign a price to your business. After that, your listing goes for review. All the revenue and profit data is verified by the marketplace before the seller is allowed to list their website for sale there. This makes it a safe place to buy for both sellers and buyers.

So, after that was done, I got multiple contacts for my listing and finally sold my brand for a cool $20,000. Here’s a screenshot for the offer I received:

An incoming offer to buy an already functioning dropshipping store

As you sold your first store, what happened to your business next?

I just started making new ones from scratch. Currently, I’m running 2 stores.

My business has been performing great and I was able to achieve a personal milestone of generating $50,000 in a month and I was so glad when I achieved it in the month of December. Here’s a screenshot from that store:

Small business growth over time: a dropshipping store performance stats

What, do you think, are the main reasons behind your business growth over time?

You won’t believe me but, when I started out and did $30,000 in a month, I was doing everything on my own. I did everything from marketing, advertisement, sales copy, video ads and even customer service all on my own. But, slowly I transitioned and came to realize that my time is much more valuable and that I’m not doing justice to it. Therefore, I filtered out the things I didn’t like and just outsourced it to be able to focus on the parts I did like. This has been a huge plus to me and my business. I have been able to focus more on marketing and ads which helped me hit a personal milestone of generating $50,000 in 30 days.

Is the AliExpress ban in India influencing your business in any way?

Absolutely not. I’m dealing with the AliExpress ban just fine. Things are still normal because you can still use other ways to access the website. My customers are from outside India, so it’s not affecting them in any way, either.

To achieve such an impressive business growth over time, how do you develop a product strategy that would support your intense marketing efforts?

When I’m just starting out with a product, I head over to AliExpress and choose the listing that has at least 4.7/5 stars review. The reason is, I have found from personal experience that sellers with reviews lower than that can be deceptive, or the product quality isn’t up to the mark. Sure, this doesn’t hold true for every seller there is, but it applies to many.

For setting prices, I try to find the perceived value to the customer and research how much is the customer already paying for the exact or similar product. I aim for a price around 10%-20% higher than the selling price to be able to account for all the marketing expenses.

There was this one time where I was selling a product successfully for $34.99 and everything was good but I wasn’t happy with the profit margins I was getting. So, I wanted to try a higher price point for it, but then again, I didn’t want to lose customers owing to the higher price. So, I did some A/B price testing and increased the price to $39.99. To my surprise, for every 1,000 visitors the higher price point converted 30% better than $34.99. This made me realize that I don’t need to be blindly basing my pricing by multiples such as 2X or 3X. Rather, I need to be able to perceive the value it provides to the customers.

What are the most important things that you have learned during your business journey?

I feel the most important lesson I learnt during this year is to be persistent and to have blind faith in myself and my abilities. There’s a lot of newbies asking how to start their first business online. Well, there’s tons of free resources which I personally followed for a year before even thinking of indulging myself seriously in this business.

Also, ecommerce isn’t the only way to make money, neither is it the easiest. But, what I am sure about is if you are persistent in your efforts, then you can surely achieve anything you want.

In general, how has your life changed alongside your business growth over time? What are your next goals?

Things have been the same more or less. I haven’t had the freedom to go on trips and “lay back”, so to speak. Still, I’m looking forward to things returning back to normal for me to be able to go on those trips. Professionally, I want to achieve $1 million in revenue this year. It’s not impossible but it’s not an easy feat. So, wish me luck?

Thank you, Ankit, for your detailed and insightful answers! Most surely, it’s incredibly inspirational to see what a well-thought-out approach can do for a steady business growth over time. We do wish you the best of luck and hope to see your dropshipping business setting and breaking new ambitious records!

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