From the get-go, you may have an Idea of what products you are going to sell and to whom. On the other hand, you may not have a clue what, or to whom you are going to sell to. I’m willing to bet, that most virgin dropshipping entrepreneurs fit into the latter category. Wherever you fall, you should be paying attention, and making efforts to continually improve the products which you import to your store.

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Intro

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Niche

If you want to grab a shoppers attention as they browse through your online store, then you need to have a niche. A niche is defined as a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. You don’t want too broad a range in your store, otherwise, customers will be overwhelmed by your offerings. There is just too much competition in the range of, let’s say, clothes. Clothes could be anything from sports socks to bespoke gentlemen waistcoats. A general search for “clothes” just puts you in with too many other suppliers and giants of the industry. As a small startup, you just won’t get any traffic. However, search for “waistcoats” may have a better chance of getting customers to your waistcoatsRus.com site. Waistcoats may be the bread and butter of your site, your niche, but you can also have a few side trappings such as ties, bow ties, cuff-links, and maybe a handkerchief or two. The use of specific keywords that shoppers are more likely to use, such as gentlemen’s waistcoats, tailored waistcoats, or bespoke waistcoats will cast a net to a wider audience, bringing more traffic to your site.A quick search of “dropshipping best products to sell” or “niche products for dropshipping” may give you some great ideas, the downside to this approach is somebody else is doing the same thing. You have just put yourself in competition with numerous other “lazy” sellers. C’mon, you are better than that; you have great ideas just waiting to be explored.

The Difficult Part.

Selecting the right niche is going to be challenging and requires lots of research to get it right. Go through the elimination exercise below using your niche product to see how it stands up. Be honest here, be critical, and if your product holds up, then maybe you have a great idea!Our Ultimate Guide provides an in-depth look at niche selection (page 11-14), among other topics. The guide is completely free and no sign up of any sort is required. Take a look: ​Importify Ultimate Guide

Niche in a Nutshell

The most common mistake aspiring entrepreneurial store owners make is deciding on an online store catering to too broad a category. Go ahead and eliminate any product or business idea that is simply too broad or general. So think of a “weselleverything.com” idea, and … “Kobe!” Swish that idea right into the trashcan. As a rule of thumb, the more you specialize, the more likely you’re to find success with your online store. This may be due to reduced competition, or even selling a product to a market no one has catered to yet. It may not be possible to base a store around shoes, but perhaps, “LED-lit shoes” (adult sized) shoes would be great instead of just “shoes”, or “tailored waistcoats” rather than just the generic, “clothes”!

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Niche Prerequisites

Here are some prerequisites for finding your niche. These requirements aren’t mandatory but are strongly recommended.1) Passion-based Market: do they make your customer feel proud, bad-ass, sexy, laugh? Selling products that your customers feel they need, based purely on emotion is half the battle.2) A Large Target Audience (Min, 700k)-you must have enough interested customers.3) Target-able via Facebook-Facebook Ads are one of the best marketing avenues available today.As a starting point, if your product doesn’t meet one of the prerequisites above…Kobe!

Shipping Elimination

Don’t sell products that are excessively large or heavy. Your shipping costs will cut into your profit margins. In addition, always be mindful of how long it takes to ship a certain item. If you specify free shipping because it’s affordable, perhaps your customers are willing to wait a week or two more, as dropshipping is already a business model with rather long shipping times. Selling products with affordable shipping may help ease customer worry. Lastly, consider selling only to the US. Some countries have strict and/or expensive importing and customs policies. Although, it’s entirely possible to sell to countries outside the US, make sure they’re viable options by googling them beforehand.

How does the “standup paddleboard” business look now…? Kobe? Maybe offer the surf wax instead…Copyright EliminationGet rid of branded products from your idea list! For example, eliminate everything Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Gucci, etc. We’re not looking to buy the rights to anything (sometimes they’re millions of dollars…) and you definitely don’t want to be dealing with knockoffs if you’re looking for any sort of long-term success. You’re in this for the long haul!Kobe…Kobe…Kobe…

Copyright Elimination

Get rid of branded products from your idea list! For example, eliminate everything Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Gucci, etc. We’re not looking to buy the rights to anything (sometimes they’re millions of dollars…) and you definitely don’t want to be dealing with knockoffs if you’re looking for any sort of long-term success. You’re in this for the long haul!Kobe…Kobe…Kobe…

Pricing Elimination

A pricing “sweet spot” exists with dropshipping and is something you’ll want to take into consideration. This “sweet spot” is usually within the $20 to $150 price range. While eliminating products, be aware of three numbers; the wholesale cost of the product from the manufacturer, the cost of marketing that product, and your profit margin. This is also known as the 30/30/30 model, but may be broken down other ways as well. Essentially, don’t sell products too expensive to warrant a personal phone call, and don’t sell anything where you won’t see profit margins.Mankinis – I’m not going to “Kobe” this one. It makes the customer laugh, no copyright issues, is in the “sweet spot” price range. Mankinis might just work! Once you’ve eliminated almost all of the products from your original list, we have one more elimination filter left –perhaps the most important one–which should narrow your search down substantially… A do-over!If all of your products were eliminated, you’re more than likely going to have to spark your creativity and brainstorm some more product ideas for your business. Keep your chin up and get at it! Honestly, taking your time finding a great niche and/or products will save you innumerable headaches in the future.

Eureka!

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Once you have a winning product that has been through your elimination process you are ready to import the product to your store. If this is a product that shows good potential after maybe a short trial run then I suggest you personally order the products yourself.

Actually holding your manufacturer’s products in your hands is oftentimes extremely valuable. It affords you the opportunities to take better product photos, see what the packaging looks like, compare the product with its online description, and gain all sorts of insight you would not get otherwise. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Is your product worth it? If it’s a product of little use to you afterward consider gifting it to a friend and ask them to write a review on your site!

Conclusion

The road to choosing a winning product is never a slam dunk. So many variables to success and failure. One thing for sure is your process of elimination can have a great influence on the outcome. 

Can’t wait for the next article? Then take a look at our free guide: “The Ultimate Guide to Start Building Your Dropshipping Business”.