Category Archive : Industry secrets

How To Manage Your Business In 2021: COVID-19 Perspectives

What to expect from 2021 in terms of the COVID-19 outbreak? Should we wait for the third wave and get ready for it? And how to manage your business in order not only to keep it afloat during the next year, but also to give it a boost?

This is the end of 2020. Unfortunately, this year will surely long be remembered as the period when COVID-19 pandemic took off. Certainly, at the moment, these are global safety and health issues that are of paramount importance. This is why we are all waiting till physicians create a safe COVID-19 vaccine.

However, besides the global epidemiological situation, lots of entrepreneurs worldwide are extremely concerned about the impact the COVID-19 outbreak can have on their ventures in 2021. In fact, 2020 is controversial for business owners. Lots of them have to limit their company performance or even close their companies down. Others, in turn, use the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic as the foundation of their long-term growth.

So what should ecommerce business owners expect in 2021? What do analysts say about COVID-19 in 2021? And how to adapt your venture to the new business environment and the shift in the users’ behavior? That’s exactly what we are going to discuss!

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COVID-19 in 2021: what do we have by the end of 2020?

Since the moment the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, 50,000,000 cases have been recorded in 210 countries. However, 37,000,000 of them account for people who already recovered from the coronavirus.

a picture showing the number of covid-19 cases in the world

Global epidemiological situation is, certainly, tough. Even after a person recovers from COVID-19, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of becoming infected again. That’s why physicians count on an effective vaccine that ensures global safety and health. At the moment, there are about 500 vaccines that are being tested or even registered.

statistics showing the number of covid-19 vaccines in development

It’s also worth mentioning that more and more COVID-19 test methods are constantly introduced by scientists. Nowadays, it’s even possible to use mobile testing units that provide easier and quicker access to testing. This is great news, isn’t it?

Scenarios for the pandemic of COVID-19 in 2021: how will the situation evolve?

Well, let scientists do their job. It remains for us only to think in advance about how to manage the business right in order to rule out the COVID-19 negative effect on online enterprises.

So what are the factors ecommerce business owners should pay their attention to if they want to get an easy start in dropshipping and make the most of their online stores in 2021?

  • COVID-19 cases don’t cease to decrease
  • Worldwide lockdowns are not a novelty anymore
  • Wearing masks and social distancing are compulsory in public places
  • Companies’ offices, educational institutions, malls, cinemas are being closed
  • Students and staff are relocated to work-from-home

So what is this all about? Right, these aspects let us assume that we are not likely to get back to pre-covid living conditions in the near future. And we are not ready now to speak when we will fully recover from the COVID-19 outbreak and get the economy back on track.

However, sometimes the same circumstances that are able to get some people cornered, can provide you with unexpected opportunities for growth. And this is exactly about ecommerce entrepreneurs and COVID-19 in 2021.

How to save your business during the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2021?

While offline business is going through a really tough time, ecommerce entrepreneurs are definitely on a roll. This is due to the fact that it’s extremely difficult now for people to get access to several product groups including necessities. Some of them don’t have an opportunity to leave their homes because of recurring lockdowns. Others are willing to avoid visiting crowded malls and so on.

That’s why the spread of COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to ecommerce by several years to come. See for yourself, if you compare January 2019 and June 2020, you will probably be surprised by the fact that retail websites generated 5 billion more global visits this June. Moreover, this year can boast several months that collected more traffic than last year holiday season traffic peaks. If we speak more specifically, here’s what Forbes report highlights.

  • Ecommerce sales jumped over $50 billion
  • Holiday season sales got a 75% rise
  • Mobile shopping increased slightly

So what measures should ecommerce entrepreneurs and newcomers take in order to make the most of their ventures during the pandemic of COVID-19 in 2021?

  • Start an ecommerce business

a picture showing growing interest in ecommerce business

First of all, if you still don’t have your own venture, this is a high time to start a profitable ecommerce business. This has always been a promising option, but nowadays it’s a lot more tempting due to the circumstances of COVID-19. Leading analysts believe that COVID-19 provided ecommerce with a boost for several years.

  • Consider the product range

a picture showing rising demand for home clothing

Regardless of what niche you deal with, we would like to recommend you consider the product range of your store for 2021 and the period of the pandemic. Don’t forget that it’s difficult now for people to get the products they need because of lockdowns. And basic necessities are among the most affected items.

What is more, lots of companies all over the world have to let their staff work from home. This also triggered the growth of demand for home office supplies and multiple other types of products that make staying at home more comfortable. Children’s products, indoor sport supplies, kitchen utensils – this is far not the full list of products that are in a strong demand nowadays and highly likely to be popular during the next year.

By the way, we have already mentioned that there are growing and declining groups of products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond them, feel free to read the article that offers you 78 product ideas to sell online during the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Increase social media presence

an image proving the rise of social network usage

Note that social media accounts are crucial for any business since they can help you generate lots of leads. And now the importance of social media presence is over the roof!

Just think that hundreds of millions of people have to remain at self-isolation restricting contact with friends and relatives. And how do they spend their free time? Right, analysts claim that during the COVID-19 pandemic people have started to use social networks more to get in touch with their closest ones.

So use this for your benefit. Simply increase your social media presence and don’t leave Internet users a chance to get past your accounts on social media!

  • Optimize your ads

Well, it’s time to increase not only your social media presence, but advertising activity as well. Nowadays, millions of people worldwide have to spend more time surfing the Internet and looking for an opportunity to purchase different products at favorable terms.

Wondering how to make the most of your Facebook ads? In this case, you should learn more about The Auto Merch. This is an online store that makes over $2,000,000/year.

Monthly performance of The Auto Merch store with 167,010.31 in total sales

Inspired by the results our employees achieved, we have created a number of articles explaining how to design Facebook ads, how to create product pages that sell, etc. – you’re welcome to check them out!

  • Find regional suppliers

an image showing covid-19 in 2021 affecting the interest in regional suppliers

In fact, in early 2020, we already mentioned that it’s a good idea to look for regional suppliers. This really mattered because lots of producers had to limit their performance, shipping companies faced delivery delays, and so on, and so forth. Besides this, at the period COVID-19 was circulating inside China only, people from other countries were afraid of virus transmission through parcels.

As of now, the general understanding is that the virus can’t be transmitted through parcels. Meantime, the virus has long gone from China and spread worldwide. Furthermore, Chinese suppliers have already recovered from the COVID-19 outbreak. Now they go on sending parcels around the world.

However, if there are other suppliers that can provide your customers with the same products from your region, it’s a chance for you to make the supply chains shorter и reduce the delivery time.

  • Make sure your website is user-friendly and looks great

a picture that shows a brand new smart theme for online stores

In the context of increased interest in online shopping, we would recommend that you pay particular attention to such aspects of your website as appearance and usability. So make sure if the theme applied to your website is user-friendly and has the perfect layout in order to ensure the highest conversion rate.

Where to find the best themes for your online store? Well, it’s a good idea to get one of the themes AliDropship develops on a consistent basis. We offer both single-product themes and the ones for a wide range of products.

All themes from AliDropship include all the necessary elements to build a fully functional online store. Moreover, they are optimized for the highest conversion rate. Please also note that AliDropship offers both free-of-charge themes and premium solutions for advanced dropshippers.

Summing it up: COVID-19 in 2021

We all hope that the COVID-19 pandemic goes down as soon as possible. Fortunately, people worldwide rally and do their best in order to put an end to the coronavirus outbreak.

As for business, you need to understand that it takes time to fully recover from the COVID-19 consequences anyway. And even if the coronavirus backs down tomorrow, it doesn’t mean that the next day the things return to the way they were.

To date, scientists and analysts predict that the world is highly likely to bounce back from COVID-19 in 2022. So it remains for us only to make plans for the future since. Luckily, ecommerce has not got hurt much, but provided ecommerce entrepreneurs with extraordinary potential for business growth.

AliDropship, in its turn, wishes you good luck and goes on developing IT solutions for you to easily start a profitable dropshipping business and make the most of it against the impact of COVID-19 in 2021!

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Pros & Cons Of Using Dropshipping Sources Other Than AliExpress

AliExpress is a wonderful marketplace for dropshipping stores. Its prices, guarantees and shipping options let entrepreneurs resell goods to almost any country in the world with decent margins. But what about other dropshipping sources? In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and pitfalls of dropshipping products from other platforms.

Let’s suppose you started a dropshipping business with AliExpress. It’s a good platform that meets all the needs of a dropshipping entrepreneur. You make money and everything looks fine.

But then you found a product, say, on Amazon which you cannot find on AliExpress. It’s really popular, and you wouldn’t mind adding it to your inventory.

So, is it a good idea to dropship products from sources other than AliExpress? And if yes, how do you do it?

I’ll try to answer these questions.

Pitfalls of using other dropshipping sources

Unfortunately, dropshipping from alternative sources carries a number of risks and disadvantages. Certainly, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea and you should forget about it. Still, there are objective facts one has to keep in mind.

1. Quality of goods

Some people have doubts about the quality of AliExpress products. But it’s a common misconception. In fact, many goods on AliExpress come from the same manufacturers who produce and keep stock for the globally known brands, and are the same items that are offered on popular online marketplaces and in brick-and-mortar stores. When you’re dealing with other platforms, however, you can’t always be sure about the quality of their offering.

2. No benefits from the AliDropship plugin

The AliDropship plugin works only with AliExpress. If you import products from other dropshipping sources, you won’t be able to use all the benefits of the plugin.

Yes, you can create a product page that will look identical to those made by the plugin. But when you start getting orders from customers, you’ll have to process them manually.

It’s not that difficult though. You simply need to export the list of your orders, delete all orders except for those addressed to your non-AliExpress supplier from the CSV file, and send it to the supplier.

Admin panel of a AliDropship store. By clicking on the button, you can export all orders into a CSV file.

The same is true for all the other management operations that AliDropship plugin can easily automate: changing product prices, updating stock availability together with the supplier’s product info, updating shipping status, etc. If a product is imported from a marketplace other than AliExpress, sadly, you’ll have to do all these tasks manually.

3. Compatibility issues

Although it is possible to dropship goods from other suppliers, you can face all kinds of compatibility issues. Since the plugin is not designed to work with data from other sources, anything can break. In some cases, you will have to use unfamiliar plugins or tools.

4. Many dropshipping sources are resellers

When looking for dropshipping companies, you will find that some of them sell goods that look very similar or identical to the ones you see on AliExpress. But the price is higher.

It’s because these “suppliers” actually resell the same products from the most famous Chinese platform.

5. It’s hard to find reliable dropshipping sources

The four pitfalls I have described above are just minor nuisances compared to this one. When you work with other suppliers, there’s nothing stopping them from deceiving you.

Let me explain. It can be time-consuming to find enough niche-specific reliable suppliers on AliExpress, too. However, if they fail you, you can at least return the money. That’s how AliExpress works: a seller doesn’t get the money until the customer confirms that the package was received and everything is fine.

But when you work with other suppliers (at least some of them), there’s no such guarantee. Whenever you ask the supplier to send an item to your customer and pay the money, the supplier can simply disappear. After all, in dropshipping you don’t even see the products you sell.

There are other ways to deceive you. Our team was looking for other dropshipping sources and found a supplier company which claimed their warehouse was located in the US. The team wanted to use this advantage to provide more favorable shipping options to the buyers, and agreed to cooperate. But later we found out that this company shipped the goods from China, which meant no time or money savings for the shoppers.

Of course, the supplier refused to return our money.

Benefits of using other dropshipping sources

Despite all these pitfalls, dropshipping businesses can definitely benefit from working with other suppliers. At least if they manage to find a reliable one.

1. Better prices

If your potential supplier isn’t lying about manufacturing original products, his or her wholesale prices can be very attractive. Besides, when working with a reliable company, one can haggle over the prices.

When advertising goods on Facebook or other social media, you have to cover the cost of conversion. That’s why it’s important to find affordable products.

2. Other dropshipping sources can have rare items

Finding promising products on AliExpress is not that difficult. But finding something unique may be challenging considering the competition on the dropshipping markets. Suppliers from other countries can offer rare products that’ll give your online store an advantage over other businesses.

3. Better shipping

Long shipping time is one of the most commonly discussed features of AliExpress. Some sellers have warehouses in the US and Europe, which shortens delivery. Besides, many of them use ePacket – a relatively affordable and fast delivery method. So, this issue isn’t that much of a problem.

Still, being able to deliver dropshipping products even faster is an advantage. And suppliers located near or inside the countries you sell goods to can provide that. Additionally, alternative sources can send several products in a single package.

How to find dropshipping suppliers?

Look for dropshipping sources on supplier directories

There are lots of supplier directories that provide access to wholesalers. By registering on one of such sites, you can contact them and ask for cooperation. Here are some of the most popular platforms: SaleHoo, Wholesale Central, Doba, Wholesale2b.

Note that most directories charge fees for allowing you to browse their databases. On the other hand, they also check the companies on the list. So, the risks here are minimal.

This method is useful when you’re not sure what niche to choose or have no idea how to get started. But after you find your supplier, there’s actually no need to keep paying the directory.

Call the manufacturer

If you have found a product you want to resell, it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer and ask for their wholesaler’s contact information. Then you call the wholesaler and ask if you can dropship the product.

Search directly in Google

This is the most straightforward way to find a potential supplier. But at the same time, it’s the riskiest method.

As a rule, wholesalers and distributors aren’t that good at marketing, promotion and search engine optimization. You will hardly find one on the first or second pages of the search results. It’ll take a lot of work and time.

Here’s a tip! If you find a good-looking website, chances are this is just a reseller. If the site looks awful, it’s probably safe to work with the company. As I said, these guys are terrible at marketing.

Contact AliExpress sellers directly

If you don’t like the idea of working with companies outside of AliExpress, you can also contact some of your most trusted AliExpress suppliers. Of course, this way you can’t get new products other than what the seller already has. But you can haggle over better prices, or shipping or packing terms, etc.

Finding additional dropshipping sources can substantially enrich your offer. On the other hand, there are many items on AliExpress that sell extremely well. If you’re having trouble finding such goods, simply subscribe to AliDropship’s Premium Products and get new top-selling products each week.

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Ecommerce Returns: How Do They Work In Dropshipping?

Properly managing ecommerce returns and refunds is certainly not an easy task. And many ecommerce entrepreneurs, both new and experienced, have to face this issue. 

In this day and age, the ecommerce industry is flourishing and is becoming a regular part of everyday life, as more and more people are engaged in online shopping. Now, completing an online purchase is significantly more convenient than ever before. This is because many businesses are making an effort to make the purchasing experience more comfortable and advantageous for potential customers.

Different ecommerce companies are implementing various refund and return strategies to win over the customer’s trust. Naturally, this boosts the buying activity, which can only bring positive results for the ecommerce business.

Although this does have its drawbacks, let’s make one thing clear – refunds are not something an ecommerce entrepreneur needs to constantly stress about. Refunds and returns are a part of any retail business, regular or ecommerce. This applies to the dropshipping model as well.

So, in this article, we will discuss how to properly handle the issue of ecommerce returns.

The current state of ecommerce returns worldwide

All retail businesses encounter returns and refunds for a variety of reasons. As a matter of fact, about 30% of all ordered online products are returned.

Certain categories of products can have higher return rates and refunds than others. If you’re thinking of starting a dropshipping business, it’s useful to be aware of this. So, here are the categories with the highest refunds and returns rates:

  • Clothing and shoes (mostly, because the buyers choose the wrong size, and not because this niche is ‘faulty’ in general)
  • Electronics
  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Entertainment

There has to be some kind of cause for this, right? Based on recent ecommerce return rate statistics, here are the most common reasons why customers return their orders:

  • Received damaged goods
  • Decided the product didn’t match the description
  • Got poor quality items
  • Ordered more than 1 item
  • Had an issue with delivery
  • Changed their mind and wanted the product no longer

To avoid any inconveniences, dropshippers need to provide more information on the product, along with high-quality photos and images. Also, the store layout along with the product pages needs to be kept as simple as possible, so that consumers don’t make any mistakes while putting in an order request. So, make sure your customers have a seamless shopping experience.

This will result in customers being more informed about the product and making smarter purchasing decisions, which will lead to fewer returns and refunds.

Furthermore, keep in mind that consumers from different countries have different purchasing habits as well as return and refund habits. So, when you decide to target a particular country, closely analyse that country return rate and the reasoning behind it.

However, returns are bound to happen, regardless of how perfect you construct your online store and product offering is.

How to handle online shopping returns

Dealing with returns and refunds is certainly not a fun task, but it’s definitely not something you should constantly stress about. Returns are a recurring aspect in the retail industry, regardless of whether it’s an online or a brick-and-mortar store.

The refund and return process isn’t always a challenging thing to manage! Many entrepreneurs find creative and trouble-free ways to sort it out. If you’re wondering how other people are dealing with this business aspect, you are welcome to look at the experience of Kitty from New Zealand and see how she successfully handles returns and refunds in her store.

So, how can you prepare to this part of your business management?

Ecommerce returns in dropshipping

Considering you’re running a dropshipping business, your refunds or returns are going to look a little bit different from the traditional process.

In the traditional ecommerce business model, if customers aren’t satisfied with the received products, they simply return them to the seller.

However, in the dropshipping model, the returns management process is handled slightly differently. Generally, a dropshipping supplier is on the other side of the world. So, if for whatever reason the customer isn’t happy with the purchase, what do you do? Do you tell the customer to send the products back to China? Or to you?

Well, since you’re dealing with products that don’t belong to you, it might seem a little confusing on what course of actions you should take in case of a demand for a return. The key point to remember is that, since you’re a dropshipper, you don’t necessarily need to have your customers return their products.

Instead, offer to provide them refunds without returns. This solution works great for you, and your customer. Simply ask your customer if they’d want a full refund and tell them they can keep the received item.

However, before saying that, here is what your first need to consider.

Establish a clear returns policy

As we stated earlier, having a clear return and refund policy is a must for an online store. In fact, according to online research, 80% of online shoppers are scared away from a brand with an indistinctive return policy.

So, when a customer complaint arises, you can refer to your return policy to process the order. However, carefully choose the words you state. To ensure you provide a hassle-free return, be sure to ask your customers to tell you what went wrong and to send you a picture of the product.

Look into why the customer wants a refund or return

If you receive a customer complaint, you need to delicately ask why they want a possible return. Furthermore, remember to keep your tone apologetic and have a positive attitude. You want the customer to cooperate with you, and provide an explanation and, better yet, photo proof.

Resolve the customer complaint

Depending on the reason for the complaint, you should always consider a full refund. As you are a dropshipper, you definitely don’t want to spend extra money on the return of a product back to the supplier from a major online marketplace (most likely, AliExpress).

So, let’s look at the most frequently encountered reasons for a return or refund and what you should do in that situation.

  • The customer does not like the product

In this situation, you are unlikely to receive a refund from your dropshipping supplier. Simply not liking the ordered product is not a reason valid enough to get a refund. In this case, you have to decide for yourself whether to issue the refund or to deny the customer complaint.

Though, we would recommend to give your customer a full refund and move on. This may not happen often, but in case of good customer service, they might return for future purchases.

  • The product does not match the description/ is broken/ has never arrived

If your customer states anything of the above, simply ask politely for a photo of a faulty item and send the visual proof to your supplier together with a refund request. In case the customer claims the product has never arrived, check its tracking code to see if there are any package movements. Does it seem like your buyer complaint truly has a solid ground? Provide them with a full refund and don’t forget to apologize!

AliExpress has a strong buyer protection program with a full money-back guarantee. If for whatever reason your customer isn’t satisfied with the product, we recommend you get in touch with your supplier and try to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

If you weren’t able to talk with your seller, then you can open a dispute on AliExpress. Oftentimes, suppliers tend to refund inexpensive items quickly, without asking you to return the said items. They try to avoid disputes as it affects the store credit.

In the end, you can claim a full or partial refund for a product. For more details on how to handle the dispute, kindly go to this Knowledge Base article.

Final thoughts on how to handle ecommerce returns in dropshipping

Dealing with returns and refunds is certainly no easy task. However, when encountering this, you shouldn’t panic, as returns are a natural thing in the retail business. So, it is best to be prepared when you are faced with it.

Though, for a dropshipping entrepreneur, the task really isn’t as challenging. Bottom line is, one needs to have a clear returns policy so that if any inconveniences occur, the issue can be quickly resolved. Furthermore, make sure to always keep a level head and try to sort out any occurring issues politely.

Want to start dropshipping? One of the easiest ways is to get an exact copy of one of our successful stores! There are multiple stores to choose from, and all are time-tested and showing phenomenal results. By choosing this ready solution, you can skip establishing your online store and get straight to managing and promoting your dropshipping business! 

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Supporting Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic: Finding Balance In 2020

How have you been holding up this year? Today, let’s talk about supporting our mental health during COVID-19 pandemic. We believe it’s an essential topic to discuss with our dropshipping community!

2020 has been a curveball for all of us, an unpredictable roller coaster that started at a peak in January and unfortunately has just been plummeting downhill since March. The effects of COVID-19 continue to affect our everyday lives. Many people are still working from home, large social gatherings are limited, and thousands of students keep learning remotely. And although life has resumed to some normalcy in parts of the world, economies have tanked, case numbers are rising again in some countries, millions worldwide are out of a job (especially in the United States), and the spirit, morale, and mental health of people in general is in danger.

How can we overcome something that isn’t even near its tail end? Here are several strategies you can follow to adapt and adjust to the new environment, and find balance.

6 ways to take care of your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

Start journaling

Journaling as a way to support your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

What? A journal? Didn’t those things die in the late 90s? Maybe, but listen — writing down your daily thoughts and feelings can help, at least according to PositivePsychology.com. Journaling is a great way to see your goals, realize your thoughts and ideas, and help anticipate and plan events — which in turn can lower your stress and anxiety. For a year as wild as 2020, journaling will also help you look back on this crazy year someday in the future and see where you were then and where you are now.

Take online classes

Online learning as a way to support your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

A popular pastime among young professionals and curious homemakers alike, take to the Internet to learn something new. In the year of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, many have turned to online learning to better their professional skill set, fitness game, or home-cooking skills. Popular destinations such as Skillshare, YouTube, and Coursera have become go-tos for learning at home — from coding to how to bake the perfect porkchop to how to sew — everything is online. Note many institutions provide free trials that eventually require a membership. But paid or free, there’s no better way to make downtime productive time than with learning something new online.

Clean up your closet

Cleaning up your closet as a way to find balance in 2020

Yes, that dreaded chore your mom always told you to do growing up is something we suggest you start doing. And there’s a good reason (besides cleaning up your space): Psychology Today states that decluttering has been shown to boost levels of confidence and energy while lowering anxiety. When you tackle clutter, you are also freeing up your space for other storage or decor possibilities, which can open up the mental space for creativity. It’s like a physical-mirrors-mental kind of thing, and a great way to find mental balance in 2020.

Count your successes

Counting your successes as a way to find balance in 2020

In a global pandemic with unnerving news everyday, it can be hard to stay positive about the future. So go back to basics and make the little things count. For example, did you manage to knock out most of your assignments at work for the day? Did you have a meaningful Zoom one-and-one with your boss? Or did you actually complete that 10-minute workout today? Folded your laundry finally? It’s all about putting the small accomplishments into perspective and marking the smallest of victories. This over time can help you feel a sense of progress and accomplishment, which can in turn help you feel better in control of things despite what’s going on in the world.

Give in to self-care

Giving in to self-care as a way to find balance in 2020

In a time where emotions and moods can change day by day, we can only be beside ourselves at the end of the day. With the ever-changing demands of remote work, house chores, errands, and financial stresses, you can feel worn-out and defeated sometimes. That’s why we advocate self-care, which can be great for mental health. From a weekly face mask to soothe your skin to a daily meditation in the morning to find your zen, take time to care for yourself. Do something that makes you happy. Take an extra 30 minutes for lunch. Treat yourself to that Starbucks if you’re out running errands. Make the little things count to feel better about yourself and your day.

Connect regularly with family and friends

Connecting with family and friends as a way to support your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic

You may already be doing this, but do it regularly. Facetime your parents. Check in on your friend you still keep in touch with from your last job. Schedule dinner with some friends at a place where outdoor dining is available. Or plan to watch a Netflix show together through Facetime with your bestie. All of us have been limited in our social lives in some way due to the pandemic this year, but you can still find mental wellness in 2020 with regular interaction with loved ones.

With some patience and determination, you (and all of us) can make this rocky year a bit better. You can be more productive with your downtime to better your skills or mindset or use it to connect with friends or take time for yourself. It’s hard to be living through a pandemic, but you can always find ways to achieve a better sense of “normal.” We hope these tips can help uplift your spirits and help you find a better mental balance during this time.

Supporting your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic: final takeaways

This year hasn’t been easy on anyone. There’s a lot of stress financially and emotionally for a lot of people. Sometimes, it just seems like you can’t be in control of everything.

Still, there are numerous proven techniques to find mental balance in 2020! Whether it’s bettering yourself through online classes or documenting your thoughts everyday or taking an extra 10 minutes for yourself to relax everyday, there are ways for everyone to stay sane during this rocky pandemic. Let us know what’s working best for you personally in the comments section below!

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10 Tips On How To Avoid Facebook Jail

Facebook is very strict with its users and businesses. If you break the rules, you can get into the so-called Facebook jail. Let’s talk about what it is and how you can avoid it.

What is Facebook jail?

The term “Facebook jail” is another way to say “suspension”. When you break Facebook’s rules, it suspends your account. It won’t allow you to do certain things such as publish posts, send friend requests, etc. The punishment can last from a few hours to 30 days.

People talk a lot about how strict Facebook’s algorithm is. Another problem is the fact that accounts get suspended automatically, by an AI which doesn’t always see who’s right and who’s wrong. It simply follows the program.

Users even created a few Facebook jail memes like this one:

A Facebook jail meme that parodies The Shawshank Redemption

After you do your term, Facebook will unlock all the functions. But there’s usually a 7-day probation period. During this time, you should be very careful. If it has already happened to you and you don’t want to get into “prison” again, you need to know what could make Facebook angry.

Here’s the list of what can get you into FB jail.

How not to get into Facebook jail

1. Don’t log in with previously banned devices

You have probably noticed that sometimes sites with serious protection send you emails saying, “You have logged in with an unknown device. Is it really you?”

Some sites, online games and social media track the devices you use. When Facebook bans an account, it also bans the device that was connected to it. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to use this device again for new accounts.

2. Never close the Facebook app on your smartphone

Another way to get into Facebook jail is to repeatedly close and launch the Facebook app on your smartphone. Actually, most people never do it. That’s why they never face problems like this. But if you’re one of those who hates it when an app is running although you’re not using it… then you’ll have to overcome this habit.

Facebook often bans such accounts because it thinks that you’re using an anti-detect browser. These are browsers often used by fraudsters to hide the “fingerprints” regular browsers leave behind. Simply stay logged in to avoid such suspicions.

3. Don’t suddenly change phone number, email and payment methods

Your account (profile and business page) is connected to a phone number, email and credit or debit cards. Sites use these details as another proof that you are actually you.

But let’s imagine you’re a bad guy! You somehow managed to hack someone else’s account. What’s the first thing you’re going to do? That’s right! You will change the phone number, email and bank cards.

When Facebook registers such actions, it can suspend the account.

In case you do want to change these settings, don’t use Facebook advertising tools for at least a week after that to let FB know that everything’s cool.

4. Use Facebook’s security features

Facebook actually takes great care of security matters. Sometimes even too much! But users can turn off some of these features (like 2 factor authentication). One the one hand, it’ll make access to your profile easier. On the other hand, it’ll motivate Facebook’s algorithm to become more suspicious.

So, if you can, keep these functions on.

Also, consider using the face recognition system on your account. With Facebook’s selfie-check function, it’ll be much easier to get your account back if it was banned. It’ll actually work even if face recognition is turned off, but worse than if it’s on.

5. Avoid getting into Facebook jail by helping it improve

You don’t want to get into Facebook jail? Then become an informator! FB tends to like those users who regularly report inappropriate content or behavior and rate Facebook translations.

But don’t get carried away! There is no need for constant reporting.

6. Keep up your regular activity to avoid getting into jail

As you probably know, Facebook gathers information on users’ activity – what and when they do and how often. Mind that you should keep your personal page alive even if all you want is the business account.

But there’s more! You can get into Facebook jail because you changed your behavior patterns.

For example, if you never liked posts in the feed and then suddenly started doing it all the day long, Facebook may consider this “unusual activity” and suspend the account.

It works the opposite way too! If you used to be active and then suddenly stopped logging in, Facebook can ban you as well.

7. Do not hide your information

If you’re not a criminal, you have nothing to hide, right? Probably, many of you will not agree with this statement… but it doesn’t matter because this is definitely what Facebook believes in.

If you clear your browsing history, or use a VPN service, or restrict your geolocation, Facebook’s bots become suspicious. It won’t necessarily get you into Facebook jail. After all, you actually need to clear the browser history at least once a year, right? Still, it can be one of the risk factors.

8. Don’t post prohibited content

Like many other social networks, Facebook doesn’t allow users to publish certain content types. The list includes nudity or sexually suggestive content, threats or hate speech, violence, and of course spam. Here’s the full list of forbidden content on Facebook.

9. Don’t send friend requests to people you don’t know

Social media let people connect, right. It’s true, but, at the same time, not all users like it when strangers want to be friends with them. There are many fraudsters and scammers out there who simply want to use you somehow.

If you start sending friend requests to each and every Facebook user, most of them will mark your invitations as unwelcome. As a result, the algorithm will put you in  jail shortly. So, before sending requests, talk to people and make sure your friendship is wanted.

10. Don’t let saboteurs get put you to Facebook jail

Sometimes businesses who compete with you can start reporting everything you do in order to put your account to Facebook jail or even get it closed. Even if you do nothing wrong, the amount of reports can be enough for the algorithm to do it.

If it ever happens, simply block such saboteurs so that they can’t even see your posts.

Whether you are going to build a dropshipping store from scratch or purchase a copy of a successful Premium Store from AliDropship, make sure you follow these tips to avoid getting into Facebook jail.

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How To Start Dropshipping in Malaysia

Are you living in Malaysia? Do you want to start a dropshipping business? Well, you came to the right place! Let’s see how and why you should start dropshipping in Malaysia.

There is no question that the dropshipping business model is a highly accessible and beneficial type of business. People of all ages, all over the world, with different backgrounds and experiences, are already establishing dropshipping businesses. And by looking at the benefits of dropshipping, you can understand why it is so popular.

For some time now, the ecommerce market in Malaysia has been on the rise. And we felt like it was important to research this market more closely.

That’s why in this article, we will cover the basics of a dropshipping business and what you need to know about dropshipping in Malaysia.

Dropshipping in Malaysia: The Malaysian ecommerce market

We have mentioned that the ecommerce market in Malaysia is developing rapidly. However, let’s go in a little more detail to get an understanding of the industry and the consumer’s activity.

The ecommerce market in Malaysia is worth $4.4 billion and by 2024 the revenue of this market is expected to increase to $8.6 billion. This means that establishing a dropshipping venture in Malaysia is a promising business opportunity for new and experienced ecommerce entrepreneurs.

What about the consumers? The Malaysian market is a tech-savvy market. According to a recent report on Malaysian online shopping behaviour, 82 percent of respondents shop using their smartphones. With that in mind, you have to create a mobile-friendly online store to reach more potential customers.

Finding and reaching your potential customer audience in Malaysia is as easy as ever. Malaysians are incredibly fond of social media, with almost 26 million active social media users. And with a population of 32 million, you can see that the social media penetration level is very high. To top it off, Malaysians spend almost 8 hours (7h 57m) daily browsing the Internet.

Taking all of this into consideration, you have a certain recipe for success dropshipping in Malaysia.

Dropshipping in Malaysia: Where to start?

Starting a dropshipping business in Malaysia is no different than starting it anywhere else. Let’s go step by step.

Business registration

In Malaysia, any business activity, including ecommerce, needs to be registered with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM) or the Companies Commission of Malaysia. When you register your venture, you get certain benefits which assist businesses. This includes various tax incentives, a credible image, and perpetual succession.

When you register, you need to choose a business type. Depending on your business needs, you should choose one that fits your business best:

  • Sole proprietor

You will run your business by yourself, your business liability is also your personal liability.

The costs of this registration also varies. If you want to register your business under your full name it will cost you RM30/year (about $7.23). If you want to give your business a proper business name, it will cost you RM60/year (about $14.46).

  • Partnership

You will run the business with one or several of your partners, where all the partners are bound by the liability of the business.

Registering under the Partnership will cost RM60/year (about $14.46).

  • Limited Liability Partnership a.k.a LLP

The business is a separate entity and you hold limited liability.

This registration costs RM200/year.

  • Sendirian Berhad company a.k.a Sdn. Bhd.

This type of business is the most complicated one. You will have a completely separate entity from your business with limited liability.

It is very costly to set up, from RM4,000 – RM5,000/year.

Carefully evaluate each type of business registration and make sure to choose one that will be most beneficial to you. Keep in mind that the business registration is only required for your bank account needs and to manage customer orders. It is not required for your online store setup.

Speaking of which…

Setting up a dropshipping store

Dropshipping has multiple key perks that make it accessible. Among them, we want to highlight how easy and cost-effective it is to start such a business. Basically, anyone who is willing to dedicate their time and put some effort into it can create a successful business.

However, what should you focus on when launching a dropshipping business?

Find a lucrative niche

Finding a profitable niche is the key to a successful dropshipping business. So, you must carefully research various markets and audiences to find a promising one.

However, most importantly, in this type of business, it is crucial to be an expert in what you offer. So, make sure to choose a niche that matches your interests and allows you to sell the products you want to sell online.

Search for trusted suppliers with high-quality products

Another key aspect to a successful dropshipping store is finding and cooperating with reliable suppliers with high-quality products.

The Internet is full of different databases with such suppliers. You can turn to them or look for the needed products on various online marketplaces, like AliExpress.

There you can easily evaluate the products yourself and choose the best ones. For that, filter out the results the following way:

  • Sort the products by the number of orders
  • Tick the 4*&Up box
  • Check the box with Free Shipping

These search filters will show you the best-offered goods and allow you to save on additional costs.

Check out this section of our blog to find more tips and information about the most promising products to sell in a dropshipping store.

Create a distinctive online store

When you have chosen your niche along with the supplier who will be responsible for packaging and shipping the products, you need a place to sell these products. So, you need to create an online store.

Nowadays, there are multiple ways to get a fully functional dropshipping store without having to possess any specific knowledge or be a technical expert. Here are some store options you can get from AliDropship:

By the way, you have a chance to purchase a Premium store that makes over $2,000,000/year! You can get an exact copy of that store at an affordable price right now and start making a profit instantly!

Promote your online store

Now, when your dropshipping store is set up, you need to find a way to reach your target audience.

To find and reach your target audience, many ecommerce entrepreneurs advise establishing a social media presence. Creating a social media account, you have the chance to promote your products and services conveniently on a wide-reaching platform. Additionally, it can also work as a feedback channel for your clients, providing them with more user-friendly customer service.

Nevertheless, there are multiple extra ways to promote your products and services. The most popular methods are Facebook ad campaigns and Google AdWords advertising. Though, don’t forget about other useful online digital marketing methods such as email marketing, SEO, Instagram promotions, content marketing, etc.

Be creative and see what works best for your dropshipping business!

Implement safe payment gateways

In order to receive the incoming payments from your buyers, you will need to integrate a secure payment gateway. Luckily, the world’s most popular and secure payment gateways are available in Malaysia, such as:

With these payment methods, you can safely manage and receive your hard-earned profits.

Tax regulations

Like any other country, Malaysia has a complex tax system.

And if you’re a resident of Malaysia, this is especially important to know this. Since you will make a certain amount of income, you are going to have to pay personal income tax. Your tax rate will vary, depending on your level of income.

If you decide to cover up your income, you risk dealing with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia. And this can lead to hefty fines, imprisonment, and being barred from leaving your country. So, it is in your best interest to be upfront about your taxes.

However, if you’re living elsewhere and plan to sell products to the people in this country, Malaysian taxes shouldn’t concern you.

Nevertheless, goods imported into Malaysia are taxed more heavily and must comply with more stringent regulations (e.g. the duty-free limit is set at $160). If the goods exceed the limit, the entrepreneur will have to pay certain taxes (sales, value-added tax, etc.).

Please keep in mind that if you want to know more about the taxes in Malaysia, consult your local law adviser for expert advice.

Dropshipping in Malaysia: The local market

The Malaysian ecommerce market is pretty diverse. And to build a successful dropshipping store, you would want to sell products that are emotional, inspiring, and unusual. Basically, focus on items that can get the customers’ attention and trigger visitors to complete impulse purchases.

Nevertheless here is a list of product categories that are in high demand in Malaysia:

Bear in mind that with the dropshipping business model, you don’t have to limit yourself to only one specific regional market. You can target any market in the world. Dropshipping allows you to manage your dropshipping business anywhere, as long as you have a computer and an internet connection. So, broaden your reach and look for more opportunities in different markets.

Final takeaways on dropshipping in Malaysia

Needless to say, if you are looking to start an online business, dropshipping in Malaysia is a very promising opportunity.

The dropshipping business model can be great for both new and established ecommerce entrepreneurs. It is incredibly easy to set up and doesn’t require a large start-up cost.

Moreover, looking at the ecommerce market in Malaysia, you’ll notice the population is heavily tech-oriented with most of the population actively using the Internet and its various intangibles. All of this makes for a very promising market to sell to.

Diving into this market, don’t forget about the local nuances that are specific for Malaysia. It’s essential to know what and when Malaysians like to purchase, as well as the local traditions, holidays and special events. All of these aspects can heavily influence the shopping behaviour of the local customers.

Want to start dropshipping in Malaysia but skip the planning phase and get straight to earning? Well, we have a solution! You can purchase an exact copy of a store that is already making profits. After you receive it, you can start promoting and selling products right away – and even use the ready promo strategies we’ve already tested!

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Top Online Marketplaces In Asia: AliExpress vs Lazada vs Shopee

In this article, we will compare some of the top online marketplaces in Asia, AliExpress, Lazada and Shopee, in order to understand the differences between them and benefits they can provide for a dropshipping business.

In 2019, online retail sales exceeded 3.5 trillion dollars globally. And the number of people who buy products and services online keeps growing.

As ecommerce keeps developing, young entrepreneurs seek for alternatives to traditional business models. Dropshipping has become one of such alternatives.

It requires less starting budget and less investments to run the business. Even people who don’t have a lot of savings can succeed in dropshipping and start making thousands of dollars each month.

Dropshipping is based on reselling goods from suppliers (manufacturers or wholesalers) to customers. In order to earn a margin, dropshipping businesses look for products with low prices. No wonder many of them choose ecommerce marketplaces in Asia as the source of their goods. Historically, this is where manufacturing facilities and warehouses of the world’s largest corporations are located, so that’s where everyone goes when looking for a smart business deal.

In this article, we are going to compare top online marketplaces in Asia – AliExpress, Lazada and Shopee – to see which one is the best for a dropshipping business and why.

Top online marketplaces in Asia: AliExpress vs Lazada

Lazada Group is an ecommerce platform in Southeast Asia founded in 2012. In 2016 it was purchased by Alibaba Group which turned the platform into Alibaba’s regional “flagship”.

Lazada’s shops sell a wide range of consumer goods just like online sellers on AliExpress. The list includes electronic devices and accessories, health & beauty products, clothes for men and women, etc. You could say it’s a Southeast-Asian version of AliExpress.

Hence the question: why not dropship from Lazada? Let’s see what this platform has to offer.

1. Shipping coverage

One of the benefits of dropshipping is that your business doesn’t need to buy inventory in advance. Dropshipping suppliers send products to customers directly. Therefore, your business can work with any destination as long as the platform’s shipping serves this particular destination.

AliExpress serves dozens of countries worldwide, which is a huge benefit for a beginner dropshipper. However, Lazada operates only in six countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and The Philippines.

Being one of the top online marketplaces in Asia, Lazada, nevertheless, serves only 6 destinations

Moreover, each of these countries has its own site version. For example, if you want to order a product in Singapore, you’ll have to buy it from www.lazada.sg. This makes dropshipping from Lazada limited to only one destination.

It’s still possible to create a dropshipping website that can pick products from different site versions depending on the shipping destination customers choose. But even in this case, the shipping will be limited to six destinations.

2. Shipping cost and time

Many goods on Lazada come from local brands. That’s why delivery time usually takes 3-7 days. It’s much faster than what AliExpress can offer. In most cases, shipping costs about $0.74-2. Some sellers offer free shipping. Free delivery is also available in exchange for Collection Points.

But when it comes to products from abroad, the price can get a bit higher. Free shipping is still available, but in this case delivery can take up to several weeks.

3. Product prices

AliExpress and Lazada have very similar product categories. One can find the same goods on both these ecommerce marketplaces. Take a look at these two products:

Screenshot of identical plush crocodile toys and their prices on Lazada and AliExpress

As you can see, these are two totally identical plush toys. But let’s look at the price. The toy on Lazada costs about US$37.7 while its price on AliExpress is US$33.55. The original price on the screenshot is in Singapore dollars. If we forget about the claimed discounts, the prices will be US$50.2 and US$38.12 respectively.

On the other hand, there are many brands on Lazada that you can’t find on AliExpress. Moreover, since Lazada operates only locally, it sells groceries and pet food among other things – something AliExpress had to give up a few years ago.

Screenshot of groceries and pet products on Lazada

Summing up Lazada’s potential as an online marketplace for dropshipping

Being one of the top online marketplaces in Asia, Lazada has a lot of products to offer (including goods you won’t find on AliExpress). But the prices there can be a bit higher than on the Chinese marketplace.

As a rule, shipping cost is lower and delivery takes less time on Lazada. On the other hand, the platform only serves six countries in Southeast Asia.

Top online marketplaces in Asia: AliExpress vs Shopee

Shopee is another popular internet retail platform in Asia. It was initially launched in Singapore but is now serving a number of other countries. It sells consumer goods just like the other two platforms.

1. Shipping coverage

As of now, Shopee can sell products to Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brazil (the only country outside of the region).

Screenshot of Shopee's homepage showing which coutries are served by the marketplace

Just like on Lazada, customers need to buy goods from their national version of the ecommerce site to get parcels.

2. Shipping cost and time

When it comes to local products, shipping doesn’t take very long. Delivery usually takes about 3-7 days even for the Brazilian version of the site. However, shipping goods from abroad can take up to several weeks. For Brazil, delivery time can take more than two months.

Shipping cost isn’t high. For most products, customers have to pay not more than US$1. Many sellers offer free delivery in exchange for larger orders.

Screenshot of a product page on Shopee demonstrating the marketplace's shipping cost

3. Product prices

The prices on Shopee are generally similar to those on AliExpress. Moreover, sometimes one can find even technically complex products that are cheaper on Shopee compared to AliExpress.

Screenshot of identical drones listed on Shopee and AliExpress, and their pricesr

As you can see, these are identical drones (probably made by the same manufacturer). Still, its price on Shopee is lower than on AliExpress. In addition, you can find lots of local brands on Shopee that don’t sell their goods on AliExpress.

Shopee stores also sell groceries which you can’t find on the Chinese platform.

Summing up Shopee’s potential as an online marketplace for dropshipping

Shopee offers a wide range of goods, as well as relatively affordable and fast shipping compared to AliExpress. On the other hand, the platform serves only 7 destinations in Southeast Asia and one country in South America.

Should you choose Lazada or Shopee as an online marketplace for your dropshipping activity?

Being among the top online marketplaces in Asia, these two platforms seem like a good choice for someone who wants to resell goods from AliExpress. The fact that you can find identical products on AliExpress, Lazada and Shopee confirms that some people do it.

However, if you consider building a WordPress dropshipping store using AliDropship solutions, neither Lazada nor Shopee a good idea, and that’s why.

1. Limited market

First of all, I have already mentioned that the two ecommerce marketplaces ship products to 6 and 8 countries respectively. I’m not saying that Southeast Asia is an unattractive region for dropshipping. But the largest online retail market in the United States. Excluding this destination from your target list is a huge mistake.

2. No benefits from automated ecommerce tools

There is a range of helpful tech solutions for entrepreneurs, like AliDropship plugin, designed to let you build standalone dropshipping websites and ship goods to any country with the help of your suppliers. However, the plugin cannot dropship products from AliExpress to Lazada or Shopee.

In order to sell right on Shopee or Lazada,you will have to register as a regular seller there, pay listing fees and comply with the local policies – or find alternative dropshipping tools.

3. Smaller scope of action

Often people who want to dropship goods choose to sell products on ecommerce marketplaces such as Lazada, Shopee, eBay, Amazon, etc. They think that these sites work as advertising platforms.

Yes, these platforms do attract a certain audience and you have a chance to sell a product or two. But they cannot compare to social media marketing, especially Facebook. It is advertising on Facebook that brings you the highest portion of profit. Simply having your goods listed on Amazon or another platform can hardly beat Facebook promotion.

Which of the top online marketplaces are suitable for dropshipping?

Both Lazada and Shopee sell similar types of products. Therefore, it would be logical to consider dropshipping from these ecommerce marketplaces.

First of all, you could notice that in most cases delivery Lazada and Shopee takes less time compared to AliExpress. Even goods imported from abroad get delivered within a week or two since most such products come from neighboring China.

In addition, product prices aren’t that different from what you see on AliExpress. Sometimes goods on Shopee are even cheaper.

However, there are several reasons why AliExpress is a better alternative.

1. Free shipping

On AliExpress, there are thousands of products that can be delivered for free. Yes, you can find free delivery options on the other two platforms as well. But in most cases this benefit is offered in exchange for larger orders.

As a rule, free shipping from AliExpress takes much longer than delivery from Lazada and Shopee. But it’s mostly because the goods have to travel to other countries and continents. Dropshippers working with AliExpress usually solve this problem with the relatively fast and affordable ePacket.

2. International shipping

Picking Lazada or Shopee for dropshipping can be a good idea if you want to resell products in Southeast Asia. However, these platforms cannot deliver goods to the world’s largest markets located in North America and Europe. For example, when developing our own Established and Premium Stores, The AliDropship team always targets the US market as the largest one.

Dropshipping from AliExpress gives you more choice in terms of shipping options.

3. Digital solutions for the top online marketplaces

Another important benefit of dropshipping from AliExpress is that there are plenty of digital solutions for creating and running such dropshipping sites.

Some entrepreneurs successfully dropship goods on Lazada and Shopee. But if you wanted to resell goods from these platforms in Asia with your own site, you’d have to do everything manually.

On the other hand, with the AliDropship plugin, you can not only build a dropshipping site and import goods from AliExpress, but also automate most parts of the sale process.

Moreover, AliDropship can offer a wide range of add-ons for the AliDropship plugin. They can help you customize your online store, create lucrative offers and a sense of urgency to raise sales, run social media pages and many more. In other words, there’s a whole range of tools designed to make AliExpress dropshipping faster, easier and more profitable.

There’s no doubt AliExpress is one of the top online marketplaces in Asia, so it’s not surprising many entrepreneurs choose this platform for dropshipping. Today you even don’t have to build your site from scratch. The AliDropship team can create a Custom Dropshipping Store for you. Or you can simply buy one of our ready-made businesses – Established and Premium Dropshipping Stores.

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Split Test Ideas: How To Turn Your Product Page Into A Revenue Machine With The Split Test Add-On

What are the best split test ideas to explore when you’re running an online store? Let’s discuss the most promising options!

When it comes to products, there’s no such a thing as universally acknowledged role models.

Some people tend to rely on their experience, personal preferences, or intuition when they need to decide what products to sell on their websites. Acting on a hunch is more like flipping a coin: you never know what you’re going to end up with.

Some entrepreneurs prefer to follow somebody else’s example. But what works for other stores might turn out to be a dud for you and vice versa. As a business owner, you have to take into account a number of factors such as niche, audience, season, etc.

Others are more inclined to plunge into painstaking never-ending niche research gleaning insignificant details and putting off the store launch. This procrastination can last forever.

Great news: nobody forces you to follow these scenarios. We’re strongly convinced that your best bet is to work out your own success ingredients to be able to take the lead. Here’s how you can handle uncertainty and sail through.

Why experiment with split test ideas?

Split testing has proven to be one of the most effective ways to test-market ideas and get more happy customers. Essentially, split testing is an experiment you can run between two or more variants of a page. With its help, you learn which one converts the best and work out that perfect combination of images, titles, descriptions, prices, and more.

Thanks to the Split Test add-on and its powerful built-in reporting feature, validating product hypotheses and making data-driven improvements has never been that easy (and enjoyable!).

The add-on will help you identify your top-selling products by showing two (or more) versions of the same product page to different customers. You’ll get solid data to act on instead of relying on your gut feeling. Feel free to check our in-depth guide on this new tool here.

Top split test ideas to explore: what to change on your product page?

We’ve put together a list of product elements you’ll definitely want to split test to outperform your competitors. Don’t underestimate minor tweaks – they can lead to great results and generate significant revenue gains.

Product title

Worried that your product title might sound a bit dry and boring? Spice it up adding a fancy epithet, why not? Emphasizing product value by using such words as ‘premium’ or ‘exclusive’ might also win you some customers.Try going into more details and make your product title more descriptive to see what effect it has on your purchasing behavior.

Headlines

Change the wording a bit, make it more personal, more benefit-oriented, longer or shorter, etc. See what emotions – negative or positive – encourage more conversions. Try out different unique selling points to understand which one has a bigger impact and really drives home your value proposition. Here is another idea: make a customer review part of your headline or ask a question.

Value proposition

To put it simply, this prop is what value you promise to deliver to customers if they buy from you and how you motivate them to choose your brand. Strong value proposition should be kept to-the-point and pain-focused. No idea where to start? Play up your exclusive competitive advantages and try converting your product features into benefits. For this purpose, identify what problems your product solves and how it can make your customer’s life better / easier / safer / healthier.

Frequently asked questions

Buying from an online store you’ve never heard of before might arouse some certain discomfort. The FAQs section is where you can publicly address common questions about your product and business in general, alleviate purchasing anxieties, and build trust with your prospects. Create a list of possible concerns and objections your potential customers might have and craft detailed answers. Consider adding images or videos and experiment with copy length and tone to figure out the perfect FAQs recipe.

Images

Add, remove, or replace images at your choice. Images that offer an up-close view of the product are highly appreciated. Consider comparing professional-looking product images with customer-focused ones: add photos showing your happy customers using the product.

Also, you might want to test out colors used in images as they heavily affect not only the way we respond to visuals but also how we perceive a brand in general.

Video

No doubt you already know that videos have proven to be huge conversion boosters and people are far more likely to make a purchase after watching a product video. Consider adding a video explainer to your product description if you don’t already have one or try shooting your own! It will elaborate on the value propositions of the product and save space on the page. Another idea worth considering is to compare video thumbnails. It takes only a couple of clicks to replace a thumbnail, but the results can be surprising.

Product descriptions and copy

You can experiment with content depth, test longer descriptions against brief and easy-to-digest product details. Tell your personal story to inspire empathy with your customers! Or, you can compare product description design: try testing paragraph copy against bullet points, add emojis or funny icons for a casual look. That’s where you can get creative!

Prices

Pricing is hands down tricky. With split testing, you can try out different pricing strategies, adjust discount values, price rounding, etc. You’ll learn how much your product should cost so that your customers feel like they’re losing money if they don’t buy this item from you.

Shipping

Consider testing free shipping against paid shipping. For example, you can pair marked up prices with free shipping to offset the potential negative effect of raising product prices. Or maybe the ‘free plus shipping’ offers will do wonders to your business. You’ll never know unless you try!

Scarcity and urgency

Play around with the ‘Only XX left in stock!’ element to see which stock level does a better job of encouraging FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Social proof

Use the power of testimonials to help your prospects validate their choice and make purchase decisions faster. You can test practically anything here – number of reviews, review body, average rating, customer photos, country flags. Choose convincing reviews that touch on the product’s benefits to lift your brand’s credibility.

Trust badges and payment icons

People tend to feel more confident giving their personal information when they see they can trust you. Nobody wants to fall victim to online fraud. In product description, switch between different reputable transaction-safe logos and confidence-inspiring badges to find those that work best for you.

Return policy

The importance of a favorable return and refund policy shouldn’t be underestimated: it can help reduce uncertainty, attract new customers, and retain existing ones. That’s why we highly recommend that you put some extra thought into your approach to returns, exchanges, and warranties. Here’s where you can take your return policy to a whole different level and make it your unique selling point. It’s no secret that sometimes a money-back and/or satisfaction guarantee badge on your product page can be a deciding factor in the purchase decision.

The most incredible thing about these testing ideas is that you can implement them yourself in no time. The Split Test add-on is the definitive testing solution that will save you the trouble of hiring a developer to adjust one thing and remove another. Once you get some zero-effort tests under your belt and unlock valuable insights about visitor behavior, you’ll likely want to keep testing to implement step-by-step improvements.

⚡ PRO TIP⚡

We recommend documenting test details – your hypothesis, product information, and test outcomes. You can do this either in the Test Description field in your test settings or in your notebook. Storing these summaries will not only help keep track of results and avoid repeating mistakes, but also will encourage critical thinking and train your intuition. Over time, it will become easier to come up with winning testing ideas.

Before launching a test decide what you want to test, why and what outcomes you expect to see when your test ends. Keep this simple formula in mind when creating a hypothesis:

Changing (the element you want to test) from ___________ to ___________ will increase/decrease (metric).

For example, your hypothesis might sound like this:

‘Replacing a professional image with a photo of a happy customer using my product will result in a 20% increase in sales’

Or like this:

‘Adding money-back guarantee badge to the description area will decrease checkout abandonment rate’

Nothing fancy, just your prediction. After all, isn’t it nice to have a well-structured vision, is it?

Although you can completely transform your product variant, we recommend testing one change at a time so that you can easily identify which modification affected product performance.

For example, if you change product title, re-write description, edit pricing formula, add more customer photos, and replace product images at the same time, you’ll have hard time understanding what exactly caused that rise in sales.

Let’s be honest: you are not your product’s target customer. And even your friends and family aren’t. They’re simply too biased to share impartial opinions. So, wouldn’t it be wiser to listen to people who actually buy from your store?

Customers themselves can show you what they need. Let us help you put products to work for you and turn “just looking” into buying. Just imagine the huge difference you can make with these split test ideas and a handy tool at hand!

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How To Start A Successful Online Store – Tips From The AliDropship Team

Are you wondering how to start a successful online store? The AliDropship team shares their experience in finding top-selling niches and building profitable dropshipping websites. 

Online shopping is getting more popular: in 2019, online sales accounted for 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide, and by 2023 this figure is expected to reach 22%. Therefore, businesses go online. With easy-to-use dropshipping solutions, even people with small budgets can start an online store.

But what does it take to create a successful ecommerce business? Is it the niche? Or perhaps is it the advertising materials? Or does web design play the most important role?

The AliDropship company offers ready-made dropshipping businesses for sale including unique Established Stores and Premium Stores (copies of our most successful self-owned shops). In this article, we are going to talk about how our team creates such websites.

How to start a successful online store: niche ideas

When you consider starting an online business, it is natural to ask yourself what kind of products could sell well. Therefore, a beginner entrepreneur usually tries to analyze different markets, study potential customers, compare prices, etc.

Of course, most entrepreneurs prefer something they like because doing what you like motivates much better than necessity.

The problem is that niches are sometimes too broad. You can’t be sure precisely what products could become your best offer. That’s why we’ve been using a different approach.

Launching new Established and Premium Stores starts with finding a product!

  • First, the team uses AdSpy to find out what other dropshipping stores advertise on Facebook and Instagram. Here we look for ads with thousands of likes, comments and shares. Sometimes the team looks for ideas on Amazon, AliExpress Dropshipping Center and Google Trends.

Examples of dropshipping ads of earphones and a sweater found on AdSpy

  • When we find something interesting, we visit the original store to check the item’s price and shipping options. We also check comments under the ad post.
  • After that, we find this or similar product on AliExpress to check the supplier’s score and prices, customer reviews, available shipping options, pictures, videos and GIFs.
  • Lastly, the team visits Amazon to check if local sellers offer similar products and for what price.

This is a simplified action plan to find and analyze any product idea for your future dropshipping store. Here you can read a standalone article on how to find ecommerce products using this method.

The AliDropship team uses this method to find goods which are then tested on our stores. If these goods prove profitable, they become our Premium Products – a subscription service that sends you new dropshipping products each week.

When the team manages to find something outstanding, a product that converts really well and earns a lot of money, this product can become a foundation stone for a new Established or Premium Store.

How to define if a product is worth your attention?

When you look for product ideas on AdSpy or similar platforms, the number of likes and comments clearly indicates that this particular product is popular. It’s also important to pay attention to when an ad was created and whether it’s still running. An old ad may have a lot of likes, but it doesn’t mean the product is popular right now. Also, browse customer comments under the post and reviews on this particular shop and on Amazon if you can find this item there.

This is what you should pay attention to when looking for product ideas on AdSpy

When you browse AliExpress looking for good products, check sellers’ ratings, how long the store’s been in business and how many followers it has. Then check the number of stars a product has (stick to those having more than four), and the number of goods sold. Make sure the price is affordable and the seller offers free or affordable shipping to your destination.

This is what you should pay attention to when looking for product ideas on AliExpress

Also, check customer reviews and customer-made photos to estimate the quality of the product.

Positive customer reviews with photos on an AliExpress product page

To build a successful online store, you need goods that will let you mark-up the price considerably. It’s especially important for products you’re going to advertise since each conversion costs money. For example, when you advertise on Facebook, expect the average cost of conversion to be about $30. So you have to make sure the final price doesn’t scare away your customers.

That’s why our team prefers products that clients will buy in quantities. For example, people often buy two car organizers to put the second one near the passenger seat. And if a family has two cars, they may buy four of them. In this case, the cost of conversion will remain the same.

This way you can sell several products after paying for a conversion only once.

How can a single product turn into a niche?

As a matter of fact, in most cases, it takes at least two or three products to define the future store’s niche. Still, even one item can serve as a center of attraction for related goods.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t actually “create a new niche” this way. Having one product or a group of items with good potential lets you pick one of the existing niches for your store.

For example, if you have discovered a T-shirt with a funny print that sells great, your obvious choice is clothes. You will probably pick similar apparel, but if necessary, you can also broaden the niche or narrow it down later. After all, instead of focusing on clothes only, you can build your store around funny or cute items from other categories.

It doesn’t mean you don’t need the rest of the inventory! The flagship product is good for advertising, drawing the attention of potential customers and leading them to your site. Yes, sometimes a dropshipping store has only one popular product while other goods don’t sell at all. And such stores can still be successful. But this is not what you should go for.

If you manage to find useful goods or items with emotional value that perfectly complement your flagship product, the rest of the inventory will make it possible to raise your average order value. To put it simply, people will buy other products along with the one you advertise, thus raising your profit.

For example, you can advertise the grooming tool to attract customers and then offer them the other goods as a part of a bundle. You can also use these offers for remarketing campaigns.

So, the idea is to find a hugely popular product, complement it with similar goods and promote them as bundles, or sets, or simply offer discounts for larger orders.

How to start a successful online store: website creation and design

During the next stage, the team builds a new website. The AliDropship plugin can be used to create either a WordPress site or a WooCommerce site, but we build our self-owned online stores on WordPress.

The process includes the following steps:

  • Buying a domain name for the future shop. The trick is to find a short and simple name that can explain potential clients what you sell and is easy to remember.
  • After that, the team installs WordPress on our hosting and installs the AliDropship plugin.
  • Next we pick a dropshipping theme that will suit a given niche and customize the site. The goal here is to build a proper site structure by creating a number of categories and subcategories, setting up the pricing formula and payment gateways to let customers pay with credit cards and PayPal, etc.
  • After that, the team takes care of the site’s design and creates banners.
  • Finally, the team imports all the products they picked on AliExpress and creates proper product pages.

This step is extremely important because when people visit ecommerce websites, you can lose them any moment. There are plenty of things that can scare customers away: the price, shipping cost, low-quality photos, vague descriptions, negative reviews, etc. Even visitors that did add products to their shopping carts may change their minds and leave.

That’s why the team tries hard to write a great product description and find positive customer reviews with real photos for each product. Here you can read more about how to create a perfect product page.

As for products that we are going to advertise, we also test their pages to see which variants convert visitors better.

How to start a successful online store: installing AliDropship add-ons

Advertising each and every product from your inventory will cost you too much. And the efficiency of this approach is questionable. That’s why the team prioritizes only a few items in the list. But in order to create a profitable online store, one has to increase its average order value, i.e. how much customers spend on average.

You can either convince site visitors to buy more of the same product or buy more goods from the same or other categories. The choice depends on what kind of products you’re going to sell. Some goods sell better in quantities while others go well when complemented with other items.

For this purpose, the team uses a number of AliDropship add-ons such as Gift Box, Bulk Discounts, Product Bundle, Recent Sales Pop-Up, etc. Note that you will have to purchase these add-ons separately if you want to try similar marketing strategies.

However, all Established Dropshipping Stores have the following add-ons installed:

After an Established Store is launched, the team also creates a Facebook page and a Pinterest account. All these additional plugins and services are included into the price.

The team builds social media communities for Premium Stores as well. But when you purchase a copy of these shops, you have to create your own social media pages.

How to start a successful online store: launching and developing a new shop

After that, the team launches the store and promotes it through the channels picked earlier. If the website starts making enough profit, we turn it either into one of our Established or Premium Stores.

Established Stores feature somewhat more unique niches, which is why we hand all the materials to new store owners completely. Premium Stores feature relatively broad niches, which is why you can buy their copies without having to worry about competition very much.

After you become an owner of such websites, all you need to do is to start promoting them in a similar way we do or develop your own strategy. For those wondering how to run a successful online store, we recommend reading our blog where we publish marketing tips, industry secrets and success stories from our customers.

This is how we start a successful online store. It’s a time-proved method the AliDropship team has been using for a long time to offer you profitable Established Stores and Premium Stores so that you could launch your own small business.

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How To Grow A Profitable Online Store That Makes Over $1M/Year

Product strategy is one of the most important aspects you should pay attention to when you run an ecommerce business. So, how to plan and execute it if you want to grow a profitable online store?

If your goal is to grow a really profitable online store, you need to pay particular attention to several crucial aspects of your business management. One of them is certainly developing a perfect product strategy for your online store that lets you make, let’s say, over $1M a year. But how to do this in real life? Well, let’s consider the example of our $1,000,000+ online store!

The backstory of The Auto Merch

the homepage of the profitable online store that makes over one million dollars a year

Today we are going to talk to you about a profitable online store run by two AliDropship employees staying on maternity leave – it’s The Auto Merch. By the way, recently, the creators of The Auto Merch gave a long interview about their success story. But we need to learn which product strategy they pursued in order to reach $1,000,000+/year, right?

Originally, this online store had nothing to do with dropshipping car products. It was created within a niche that later was found unpromising. You may ask a logical question: why did our experienced and well-qualified staff manage to rely on a niche that turned out to be prospectless for dropshipping?

The answer is clear: we test all the niches in order to provide you with promising Premium Stores only. So, you don’t need to spend your own money on this quest because we have already done this for you!

This is how The Auto Merch story began. BTW, here is an interesting fact: both store creators had no previous experience in dealing with car accessories, but managed to start a dropshipping business from scratch within the automobile industry.

What’s the secret?

Well, they began with importing several car products that seemed to be promising. And these very products have proved that the automobile industry is an extremely lucrative niche that can let you easily earn a lot. Still, at that time, they couldn’t imagine that they would be able to reach a point of over $1M/year!

How to grow a profitable online store: working out a strategy to make $1,000,000+ a year

The creators of The Auto Merch have developed a strategy that let them achieve these results. So what have they paid particular attention to? Let’s figure that out!

On what basis should you choose products for your profitable online store?

Here is an age-old question: how to choose products to sell online and which strategy to pursue?

The selection of products for your online store should be carried out after you’ve carefully examined what’s trending on Facebook, Amazon, AliExpress, and competitors’ stores. Then, it’s necessary to confirm your business ideas by means of Google Trends.

By the way, store creators introduce new items in our store on a regular basis. And these are our customers and website visitors who help us with this by their search requests on our website.

There are also a number of crucial factors you should consider when you select the product for your online store.

So focus on the products that meet the following criteria:

  • One-size-fits-all 📌
  • Perfect appearance 📌
  • Useful 📌

Actually, the story of The Auto Merch starts with a limited number of items that could have a high ecommerce potential. One of the products the store creators have chosen is this very car charger.

[slider_1]

What’s so special about it? Well, it meets all the requirements mentioned above.

  • Handy ✅

Car charger cup is a must-have for all the car owners. It can not only charge your gadgets by means of the wireless charging system, but wired charging is also possible. Meanwhile, the device is able to charge several gadgets at once.

  • All-round ✅

This car charger looks like a cup. Actually, the majority of cars have several cupholders. That’s why we can easily treat it as one-size-fits-all and it suit almost all car owners. Please note that this charger cup suits iPhones perfectly.

In fact, most people in the US prefer smartphones from Apple. We have proved this fact by means of Google Analytics. And since our target audience is mainly the US population, this is a perfect item for The Auto Merch.

  • Classy ✅

A cup charger is not, actually, able to surprise anybody nowadays. However, with this device, you don’t need to look for a place for your smartphone, and you will not be caught in wires anymore! This is really impressive. So you can not only solve the problem with charging, but also let your car interior look as it should.

This is how our managers choose the items for online stores. Only the ultimate products that will certainly solve your long-standing issues are picked!

Which products to promote?

Creating a winning product range for your online store is not enough. It’s also essential to promote it!

Definitely, when promoting your online store, you don’t need to advertise all the products you sell. You should focus on advertising a limited number of products that seem to be the most promising. When our managers were considering how to promote a store, they decided to focus on products that can solve drivers’ most burning issues. One of such products is this car seat organizer.

[slider_2]

The point is that car producers still ignore the importance of providing standard space for smartphones and other gadgets. Definitely, you can always put them somewhere on the front panel, but their safety remains in question.

That’s why car owners have to look for a solution, and here it comes! This car seat organizer provides space for your gadgets and cups, meanwhile, guarantees that they will be safe.

Beyond this, the organizer is one-size-fits-all, and you will easily install it in two seconds. It is also of premium quality, so it won’t look as a foreign body in your car’s interior. You don’t need to worry about where to put your smartphone or something else!

If you concentrate on the products designed to solve the most burning issues, your ads are highly likely to work well and bring lots of potential customers to your ecommerce website.

How to increase the average order value?

Despite the fact that the initial prices of most car accessories are low enough and let you make a high markup, you should always make the most of your business. So what are the ways to increase the average order value?

Well, actually, there are lots of methods to increase the average check in your ecommerce store. You can create combos, combine products in sets, etc. By the way, AliDropship has designed an add-on that is going to help you with this – it’s Product Bundle Add-on!

What exactly had the store creators used to reach the results they get? In fact, as it turned out to be, one of the most useful tools that helped a lot is Bulk Discounts Add-on. It lets you offer your customers irresistible discounts for buying several pieces of the same product. So the store creators have been encouraging their customers to buy more on extremely favourable terms.

Well, Bulk Discounts Add-on itself is able to ensure a huge sale boost. However, the store creators have found the way to make the most of it. They have been using it together with the landing page on which by means of a pop-up potential customers get such an offer.

a screenshot that shows how to attract customers by means of bulk discounts and pop-up

And do you know what? It really paid off and let them increase the average order value in The Auto Merch considerably!

How to choose the pricing formula?

Pricing formula is, probably, one of the issues that ecommerce newbies are concerned with most of all. So our managers use the following scheme:

  • It’s supposed that an item has to return the conversion cost up to $30
  • An item has to bring profit that is about $20-100 that depends on product type

For the products the store creators are not going to advertise, they use a basic pricing formula AliDropship Plugin provides. Yes, AliDropship Plugin is able to change the prices of imported products automatically in accordance with the default pricing formula or the one you’ve specified!

How to boost sales (and therefore, profit) and grow a profitable online store?

What’s more, the store creators have managed to increase the average order value by 2 times. How did they achieve this? Well, one of the instruments they have used is Purchase Upsell Add-on. This add-on lets you offer additional products at the stage right after the checkout.

If you want to find the perfect item for the post purchase upsell, you need to test some of them. This is exactly what the managers of The Auto Merch were doing before they found the ones that work best. Initially, they tested those products that, in their opinion, had higher potential. Then, they found the most attractive ones in the view of customers.

BTW, you can also use follow-ups in order to boost your sales. Follow-ups are the emails that are sent to your ecommerce website visitors who have made a purchase.

What’s so special about this online marketing tool? Well, people from your email list have a chance to learn about a range of products that are available to them on favorable terms. So, this is mutual benefit!

Creating a really profitable online store: final takeaway

a picture showing how to start a profitable online store and make one million dollars a year

All the above-mentioned points indicate that it’s extremely important for you as a business owner to develop a right and efficient product strategy. And our employees proved this in practice by taking The Auto Merch to over $1M/year within the shortest period of time.

And now you don’t need to spend your own free time, effort, and money in order to test different product solutions and look for a perfect product strategy by trial and efforts. It remains for you only to pay particular attention to the measures that let us achieve such impressive performance, and make the most of your business plan!

Are you ready to replicate the success of our managers or even surpass it? With the tips we are happy to give, this doesn’t seem as challenging as it used to. Moreover, now you have an exceptional opportunity to get The Auto Merch as a Premium Store and start your $1,000,000+ dropshipping journey RIGHT NOW!

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