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Dropship

16
Nov

Successful Dropshipping Techniques: Pitching your Products

By Timber World, the UK’s leading dropshipping wholesaler for log cabins

A guide to successfully pitching your dropshipped products to online customers

In order to pitch your products successfully, you have match the product to the customer. To do this, you have to understand the type of customer in your market and what they are looking for when they buy something.

Common Pitching Errors

When many people starting selling dropshipped products, they tend to think that it is the features of the product that will sell it to the customer. This isn’t actually how it works. Whilst the features are important, what actually sells the product is the benefits the features give to the customer.

When selling online, you should write your product descriptions to include the benefits of the product for your customer. However, before you can do this, you have to understand the benefits the customer is looking for and to do that you need to know the different types of customer who visit your site.

For example, if you are selling a vacuum cleaner to a customer who has a small house with little storage space, instead of focusing on the vacuum cleaner’s ability to suck up dirt, you should solve the customer’s real problem. “When you’ve finished using this vacuum cleaner, it folds up easily into a compact unit, small enough to be stored under the kitchen sink.” The customer needs a space saving device. If you pitch it that way, you sell the vacuum cleaner.

What are the best types of customers to pitch to?

1) Desperate customers

Desperate customers are ones that have problems which they urgently want solving and because of this they are impatient to buy and willing to spend money to solve it. Their urgency offers you potentially rich pickings, especially with upsells, but they are also the type of customer who will complain if your products don’t solve the problem they need to remedy.

With online stores, pitching to desperate customers means writing product descriptions aimed directly at them. You have to imagine what their problems will be and explain how your products and services will solve them.

If you sell log cabins, for example, a desperate customer might be someone who needs extra space at home but cannot afford to or move; perhaps they have a growing family. When pitching your log cabin you would show how much extra space a cabin would offer and then explain all the uses it could be put to. You would then discuss other benefits that having extra space could offer: somewhere for the children to play, storage space to declutter a busy household. You could also mention that it is much less expensive than having an extension built or a loft conversion. These are all things which appeal to a desperate buyer for this product.

Think of the products you sell. Why would someone desperately need them? If you write down the ways your product could solve their problems you have the ideal content to pitch that product to that customer.

2) Customers with a hobby

A customer with a hobby is an enthusiast, someone who is willing to pay well to do something they love.  As they tend to have a passion for their hobby they will usually want the best products they can afford and this makes them a very good group to upsell too. They will, however, be quite knowledgeable about what they want and so you can’t pull the wool over their eyes with overblown marketing promises.

When you pitch to a hobbyist, you need to understand the pleasure they get from their hobby and how your products can enhance that pleasure. With log cabins, for example, there are two sorts of hobbyist that may be interested in your products: gardeners and people looking for a building in which to do their hobby.

With gardeners, you know that what gives them the most pleasure is a beautiful garden.  The pitch, therefore, has to be about how the log cabin will make a perfect centrepiece for their garden, how attractive it looks and how it will enhance the gardener’s enjoyment of their garden. You can also show how it can be used as the perfect place to sit and admire their garden.

With craftspeople looking for somewhere to do their hobby, you would pitch the log cabins as a place where they could retreat to, a quiet, spacious place with lots of natural light and the freedom to move around or store lots of their equipment. It doesn’t matter if their hobby is restoring motorbikes, making dresses or working out, but as long as you explain the benefits, the hobbyist will be attracted.

For your own products, try to imagine why someone with a hobby might want them. How could they enhance the hobbyist’s enjoyment? How could they make doing their hobby better or easier? This will help you write a product description pitched at this type of customer.

3) Repeat Buyers

Some dropshipped products are ideal for repeat buying, especially items which are disposable or have a short lifespan. Repeat buyers are people who have developed a relationship with your website and find it a place where they feel comfortable on the internet. They have learnt to trust your company and like the things you sell. This puts you in a very powerful position to take advantage of this relationship.

With repeat buyers, you need to get them to buy other products besides the ones they keep coming back for. The first thing you would need to do is research your existing customers and find out what products they regularly buy. The next stage would be to find related products that they might be interested in. You can then pitch these products to them. This can be done in several ways – via your newsletter, at the bottom of any emails you send them as part of their purchase – such as an invoice, or you could ask your dropshipping company to put printed material in the packaging for you.

Once again, you would pitch the products by linking the benefits it offers to the same benefits they get from the products they regularly buy.

With log cabins, you would imagine that there is not much scope for repeat sales, but in fact, there is. Whilst a customer obviously isn’t going to buy a new log cabin every month, there will be other cabin related products which need renewing on a regular basis, for example, wood treatment,  external paint, battery operated light bulbs, window cleaner, wooden floor oil. As a specialist log cabin retailer, you customers would think that you know the best products to sell and will buy them from you even if they are more expensive than elsewhere.  When you pitch them, flag up you expertise before explaining how they will benefit the customer.

Summary

As you can see, pitching requires you to understand your customers and the reasons they are buying from you. Once you know this, you can capitalise on it by focusing your product descriptions on meeting the needs and desires of those customers. This will help you increase sales of your drop shipped products.

If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.

 

16
Oct

Successful Dropshipping Techniques: Unique Selling Strategy

In our last article we looked at how to market your dropshipping business. In this article we are going to focus on an important marketing technique for every drop shipper: promoting your unique selling strategy.

However, you need to develop a unique selling strategy before you can go on to promote it.

What is a Unique Selling Strategy and why is it important?

When you sell on the internet you will be in competition with other businesses who are selling the similar products, at similar prices, from similar looking websites, using similar promotion methods. It can be hard for customers to see the differences between these companies and with so many to choose from they’ll often choose the ones that appear at the top of the search engine results.

Your unique selling strategy is the things you do to make yourself different from your competitors and it’s importance is that it helps you gain an advantage over them in terms of adding value to their shopping experience. So how do you do create a unique selling strategy?

Create a unique product selection

Many people starting a dropshipping business mistakenly believe that the more products they put on their website the more money they will make. They also believe that putting on a wider choice will be better for their customers. But this is actually counter-productive.

As a dropshipping retailer, one of the first things you need to do is be a curator. You need to look at all the products which you could dropship and then choose only the ones that are relevant for your customers.

Here’s why. Let’s suppose you have a website which caters totally for people with small gardens. On it you put a range of smaller log cabins, which you have carefully chosen for your customers. If that customer visits another log cabin website they may have to spend a lot of time searching for the right sized products. It can take a lot of time to work out where to find them and whether they will fit their garden. On your website, they know that every log cabin they see will be the right size for them. It makes shopping easier for them and their online experience is more enjoyable. So, what’s your unique selling strategy? Your products are hand-picked for your customers.

In this sense, your job as a dropship website owner is to think of yourself as a personal shopper. You look at all the products available and filter out anything that would be unsuitable. What you are left with is high quality products chosen specifically for your customers. Instead of saying we’ve got millions of products, go have a look, it’s better to say, look at this fabulous selection we’ve put together just for you. Of course, you do need to have a good understanding of your customers and niche to do this well.

Improve your customer’s online experience

Before the advent of the internet, the good shopping experience was created in-store and even today, dropshippers can learn a lot from visiting real shops. What makes one shop more appealing than another? It’s not just the products they sell; it’s equally about presentation, ease of access and the quality of information given about the products.

Take these things on board and make them unique selling point for your business.

Presentation

How attractive is your website to your customers? Is there something unique about your website’s design that makes it appealing? If you are selling luxury goods, does the website feel luxurious? Is it the kind of place people would feel comfortable spending large amounts of money? If you are selling log cabins, does the website help the customer visualise their dream log cabin or show how good a garden can be with a log cabin in it?

Do you have something unique to present to your customers that no-one else can? For example, here at Timber World we offer the fastest delivery of log cabins in the UK. We can have our standard models dropped off at your customer’s house in a week. No one else can do that. We have this information shown in the slider on our homepage, so everyone who visits gets to see this important unique feature.

What is your unique selling feature? Have you won an award? Are you a member of an association that will give your company more credibility? All these are things which will make the presentation of you company better.

Access

There is nothing worse than going to a shop or a website and not being able to find what you were looking for. Is your website set up in a way that makes it easy to browse categories and sub categories? Do you have a search bar where customers can search for a specific product? Can customers search by product feature?

If you have these things set up, then make noise about it? “Our specially designed website makes finding the right product simple and quick.”

Quality of information

The standard practice for dropshippers, when listing products on their website, is to import the product descriptions and images supplied by the wholesaler and use these on their website. It’s easy and quick to do and if you use an import tool you can put thousands of products on your website in minutes.

Unfortunately, what you are doing here is making your website content exactly the same as everyone else’s and filling it with the duplicate content that Google dislikes. It won’t rank well and it won’t add any value for your customers.

To make the quality of information on your website a unique selling technique, it is best to write your own product descriptions (specifications you can leave more or less as they are).  You don’t need to do this from scratch, just take the information given from the wholesaler and change it to suit your customers.

In addition, take your own product photographs. Anyone who has ever searched through Amazon or eBay will know that if you see a product picture and click on it to have a look, you won’t bother looking at any other retailer using the same picture. You’ve seen the product once, that’s enough. If you have your own pictures, you are different from everyone else. It’s unique. Even if it’s the same product, if it’s a different picture, people might click on it, especially if there is no other picture like yours.

If you are selling garden offices, imagine what a customer would want to see. Ideally, your images would need to show a garden office fully set up with all the office equipment in there. To give your customer a way to visualise their ideal garden office, everything in the cabin would need to say ‘success’ – the décor, the accessories, the furniture, even the brand of the laptop you place on the table. Of course everything should be neat and tidy and outside the sun should be shining. Do this and you instantly make your products far more attractive to the visitor. They can now see the finished result, not just an empty cabin.

Overall

Hopefully, these tips will give you some idea of how to create your own unique selling strategy and  make your website stand out from the crowd. The key points are to: curate your products, make your website different, make it easy to find things and give information about your products, including images, t http://wholesalelogcabins.co.uk/successful-dropshipping-techniques-writing-product-descriptions-that-sell/hat other retailers don’t. Do these things and you will be much more successful.

If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.

 

8
Oct

Successful Dropshipping Techniques: Marketing Ideas

One, all too familiar, problem for people who start online businesses is that after they have put so much effort into building a fantastic website they find that once it goes live no-one buys anything.

The problem here is not having poor products or that the website design was all wrong. Other businesses will sell the same products and many will have less sophisticated websites. The reason, instead, is that no-one knows your website is there. If no-one knows it is there, you will not get any visitors and no-one is going to buy from you.

To run a successful dropshipping business one of the things you need to do to help people get to your website is do some good marketing to attract customers.

Tips for marketing your dropshipping business

The most common method for marketing your business is to advertise. You can do this in many ways, but online, most people tend to use what is known as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. One PPC advertising you will have seen all too often is Google Adwords, where you see adverts at the top, bottom and sides of Google search results. Google are not the only company to offer PPC ads, there are many other companies out there who do the same, including Facebook and Bing.

The way advertising networks like Google and Facebook work, is that you create an advert, either text or image, and add a link to the page of your website you want visitors to go to. You then tell the ad network which search results you want your advert to appear on. The final thing you need to do is to set an advertising budget and tell the network how much you are prepared to pay for each time your ad is clicked.

If, for example, you were selling log cabins and you set up a Google Adwords account, you could arrange your adverts to appear only when people in the UK searched for the term ‘buy log cabins’. You could set the maximum you were prepared to pay to 50p every time someone clicked and fix your weekly spend to £30. (The more you offer to pay for each click, the higher up the advert list you company will appear when someone searches.)

As a result, you would be getting 60 visitors a week coming to your website and know that they had got there because they were looking to buy log cabins. What you are getting from the ad, therefore, is a targeted sales lead which you need to make the most of on your site.

Whilst you are not guaranteed to get any visitors at all from this method, you do only pay when someone clicks.  If you are not getting any visitors it will be because your ad is not appealing or because other advertisers are out bidding you and your ad is appearing at the bottom of the list.

The disadvantage of PPC advertising, of course, is that it can be expensive. Not every click will translate into a sale and different types of business have different success ratios – it could be that on average only 1 in 100 clicks results in a sale. That would mean a £50 marketing cost for each log cabin you sell. This may need to be factored into your pricing.

If you don’t have a budget for PPC advertising there are other, more creative ways to market your business. Here are a list of them:

Post about your business on Twitter

Find a relevant #hashtag for your business on Twitter and send out regular posts. Follow people who are interested in your sector. For example:

“Grab a 10% discount on the UK’s best log cabins – hurry, ends Sunday. #logcabins #gardeners”

Set up a Facebook Business page

Set up a Facebook business page and post pictures of your products on there. Then ask your personal friends to like your web page. Remember to post regularly to keep people interested. People can search Facebook like Google and find your website from there. Once you have done this on Facebook, so the same on Instagram.

Set up a Pinterest Board

Pinterest is another effective marketing tool you can use. If you were selling log cabins you could set up a board called “Beautiful Gardens” then add hundreds of pictures of gardens and garden furniture which would generate lots of people coming to look. Once you started to get people sharing your pins and following you, start adding all the pictures of your log cabins and make sure you place them in highly visible parts of your board. The pictures will link back to your website when people start clicking on them.

Get bloggers to write about your business

Inviting bloggers to write about your products or your business can introduce you to enormous new audiences, especially as blogs are one of the most shared and commented on forms of internet content. You can even ask bloggers to review your products. For log cabin and garden building dropshippers, getting a review on websites like bestgardenbuildingsuk.co.uk can be very beneficial. To get in touch, simply find the Contact Us page on the blog that most appeals to you and ask the blogger if they are interested. Depending upon the blog, you may have to pay a small fee or send them a product to review.

Open an affiliate program

One way that many businesses market their products is through opening an affiliate program. Affiliate programs are where you get bloggers and other websites to put adverts, banners and text links to your website on theirs. Unlike PPC, where you pay every time someone clicks on an advert, with an affiliate program you only pay when someone actually buys from you.

Bloggers who put affiliate adverts on their websites do it to help them make money from their blog. However, you will find that they will only advertise products which are relevant to their audience. The other thing they will do is promote the company that makes them the most money. For this reason, you are more likely to get affiliates signing up if you pay reasonable commission rates. The average is 5 -10% for physical products. For software, companies often pay up to 50% commission on each sale. For a £1500 log cabin, this could mean paying the affiliate £75 for the sale. However, if you have 100 affiliates each sending you 1 sale a week of £1,500, that would give you a turnover of £7,800,000 a year.

Affilate programs work by using software which tells you where each person who visited your site came from. If they came from an affiliate it will tell you which affiliate sent the customer and how much the affiliate earned. There are two types of affiliate program – self hosted and managed. With self-hosted you can simply get a plugin, such as AffiliateWP (for WordPress sites), which adds to your website and you set it up from there. This is an easy and free way to set up an affiliate program, but its big disadvantage is that affiliates have to find your website in order to sign up. If you are trying to get affiliates to find you then using a managed affiliate program can be better.

With a managed affiliate program you will pay both the affiliate and the company that does the managing – however, the huge advantage is that you will be given an account manager who will actively seek out the best bloggers for you and encourage them to put your adverts on their websites. There can be thousands of potential bloggers with millions of viewers ready to start finding your website – and the account manager is the person who can put everything in place. To find out more take a look at companies like Rakuten Affiliate Marketing orWebgains.

If you are considering selling log cabins or garden buildings and need a company which drop ship high quality garden buildings for you and provide you with outstanding customer support, then take a close look at our Timber World Dropshipping Account. It’s free to join.

1
Oct

Successful Dropshipping Techniques: Upselling, Cross-Selling and Bundling

As a drop shipping business owner it’s important to look at ways to maximise your sales and increase profits. For many dropshippers, this can be achieved by trying to get customer to keep coming back, time and again. However, when you drop ship products like log cabins and garden buildings, this is not going to happen; a garden building can last 20 years, even longer, so it’s important to make the most from each sale opportunity you have.

In this article we discuss three simple but very effective sales strategies used by many retailers which are ideal for maximising profits for one off sales.

Up Selling

Up Selling is the technique of persuading customers to purchase a more expensive item than the one they initially intended to buy. For example, if you were selling a car, you could upsell by trying to get customers to buy a more expensive car or by persuading them to buy additional, premium features like leather upholstery, alloy wheels or air conditioning.

With Timber World products, you can concentrate on selling the higher spec, non-standard models, larger buildings or even persuade customers that they need to design their own, bespoke log cabin. The way you achieve this online is to make sure that each product page has a photograph and a link to a more expensive model. When selling premium features, always discuss each feature separately and explain how buying this feature would benefit the owners.

Quite often, you will find that if people being to look at one model on your website, if you show them two more expensive models, they will either decide to go for the middle priced one, or buy the cheapest but with a few premium add-ons. In this way you will have upsold.

Remember this when you design the product pages on your dropshipping website as it can be an effective sales technique to boost profits.

Cross Selling

In essence, cross selling means getting your customer to buy what they came for and something else in addition. For example, if a customer came looking for a log cabin, it would be great for business if they also went away with some decking, paving and fencing as well.

Many supermarkets and DIY stores have a technique for doing this when you are in store. You go in and pick up the product you want to buy and then, as you make your way to the checkout, you are forced to pass the section where all the deals are. By putting the deals on the way to the checkout they are tempting you with a bargain as you go to leave. Many people fall for the temptation and leave with an additional purchase that they had no intention of buying when they entered the store.

This can also be achieved with a website. The way to do this is to have a bargain section built into your checkout process. The customer adds their product to their shopping cart and clicks on checkout. When they press the confirm button, before the payment is taken a new page comes up with one or two targeted special offers, just for them. So, if they have bought a log cabin offer them something that would look nice inside the cabin as a bargain price. Let them know that only people who buy the log cabin can get the product at this special price and if they come back later they would have to pay full price for it. As a sales technique it really works.

Bundling

Bundling is where you group items together and sell them as one product. So for example you could put a mop, bucket, sweeping brush and a dustpan and brush together and sell them as a cleaning kit.  Bundling is a fantastic way to sell more products, but you have to get your calculations right for it to be effective.  The advantage for you is that you sell more products and make more money and the advantage for the customer is that they get more for less.

The difficulty is in working out the pricing, because what you are doing is selling some products at a lower price than normal. If we take a look at our cleaning kit above, we have 4 products:  mop, bucket, sweeping brush and dustpan and brush. Let’s imagine that we buy these for 40p each and sell them at £1 each. If we bundle all 4 together we can reduce the price from £4 to £3.40. In this way, we offer the customer a 15% saving.  From a profit point of view it looks like we are actually selling one of the products for 40p and not making any money on it. However, the advantage is this: most people only ever buy one product at a time, but here, by selling one at no profit, we have managed to make full profit on three products. Our turnover has risen from £1 to £3.40 and our profits have increased from 60p to £1.80.

With log cabins there is the potential to add a variety of products as part of a bundle or package. For example you could create a winter kit for log cabins, selling a heater, draught excluders, underlay, and rugs. This could be added to your website as a separate product to your log cabins and sold not only as a bundle but also as a cross-sell as people are at the checkout!

Hopefully, these three methods will give you helpful ideas how to improve sales for your dropshipping company.

If you are considering selling log cabins, why not find out more about Timber World’s fantastic log cabins and our excellent dropshipping service for retailers. Click here to find out more.

22
Sep

Successful Dropshipping Techniques: Writing Product Descriptions that Sell

Okay, so you’ve chosen the drop shipping products you are going to sell and you’ve decided where you are going to sell them. It could be eBay, Amazon or even your own website. Wherever you choose, one of the most important elements in making an online sale is your product descriptions.

Why are product descriptions so important when dropshipping?

When you buy online, you can’t see the product you are buying. All you get are pictures and words or occasionally, videos. We’ll talk about pictures and videos in a later post, but in this article we’ll look at why the product description is so vital to your success as a retailer. The reason, of course, is that it provides the information that will make the customer decide whether to buy the product or not. And, more importantly, it is what will make the customer decide whether to buy the product from you or from a competitor.

So what makes a good product description for a dropshipping product?

There are quite a few things that make a product description good and we’ll go through them here.

Stand out from the crowd

One of the first mistakes people make when selling online is to simply cut and paste the manufacturer’s sales literature on to their listing or website. True, this is probably well written and describes the product extremely well. However, when every retailer is using that description no-one stands out from the crowd. Even worse, when Google indexes all the sites listing the product, it will see the descriptions as duplicate web content and, as a result, many of the sites won’t rank for those listings, only the ones that Google considers the most relevant.

The secret to success is to rewrite the listing, keeping the vital product information in there, but changing the language to appeal to your own target market. One of the ways to do this is to focus on how the product will benefit your niche customers.

If you sell log cabins for example, you could be focussing on selling them as garden offices. Your target niche will be people who work at home. So, when you write the product description, you would mention the same features as your competitors but you will explain how those features can benefit those who need to work at home: doing this will make your company stand out to that segment of the market and make them more likely to buy from you.

Give solutions

Too many retailers fail to sell because all they do is describe the product features. Whilst customers admire products with lots of features, they are much more likely to buy if those features can solve problems or offer solutions for them.

For example, this is part of our Timber World product description:

“As the UK weather can get very cold in the winter, we do offer the option to purchase wall, floor or roof insulation for our log cabins. Choosing insulation will reduce heating expenses and let you use the log cabin in comfort throughout the entire year.”

As you can see, the first sentence tells you about one of our features and why we offer it. The second sentence, in bold, give the solutions that the feature offers to the customer: cheaper bills and increased comfort.

If we were targeting our log cabins just at people who wanted a home office we would have written the last section like this: Choosing insulation will reduce your business’ heating expenses and let you work in comfort in your garden office throughout the entire year.

Including benefits and solutions for your specific market can greatly increase your chance of being a much more successful dropshipping business.

Write professional descriptions

If you run a business, you need to be completely professional in everything you do, otherwise customers will turn away. This includes how you write your product listing descriptions. Poor spelling, punctuation and grammar give the impression that you are an amateur outfit, perhaps not even a legitimate business. So, if you don’t want to come across as a cowboy, you have to get your English spot on.

Similarly, you need to adopt the right tone of voice in how you express yourself. Whilst the writing can be friendly and engaging, it has to come across as trustworthy, professional and accurate. Always try to use positive language to make your customers feel happy about buying from you.

Be honest and realistic

Whilst the aim of writing product descriptions is to make your product sound better than others, you must not embellish your descriptions with things that are untrue or give customers unrealistic expectations. You can’t make claims like ‘This car will never break down,’ or ‘Our aftershave makes women go weak at the knees.’ You can get into trouble with the Trade Description Act if you make inaccurate claims, but it’s more likely that you’ll get disappointed customers who never come back, ask for refunds and give you negative feedback.

Give customers the detail they crave

Here’s a fact. Product listings with very little description leave the customer wanting. To increase sales you need to write in much more detail. Detailed listings answer the customers’ questions, leave them feeling better informed, make them feel they are getting more for their money and show them that you know more about the product than sellers who write very little.

Avoid adjective overload

When you ask people to describe something in writing they often go overboard on the use of adjectives. Whilst adjectives are helpful in product descriptions, they are not as effective as solving problems or offering solutions and, if over used, can seem amateurish. So avoid things like, ‘This is a beautiful toothbrush with fantastic, soft bristles and a strong, sturdy deliciously pink handle.’ And instead replace it with ‘This sturdy pink toothbrush is specially designed with soft bristles that gently clean your teeth and keep your gums nice and healthy.’

How Timber World can help

When you decide to sell our log cabins we provide you with a Web Pack which contains all the product specifications and images needed to sell our log cabins. Of course, on top of this you will need to write your own listing so that they are unique and focussed on your target market. If you need help in writing them we can put you in touch with a copywriter with specialist knowledge of the log cabin and garden building market.

If you are interested in selling our log cabins, why not take a look at our free dropshipping account and see how we can help your business become even more successful.

 

16
Sep

Successful Dropshipping Techniques: Adding Value

When you set up an online dropshipping business and have chosen the niche you want to concentrate on and the channels in which you are going to sell, one of the next steps is to identify the ways your business can add value for your customers. The reason for this is quite simple: companies who add value are far more successful than companies that don’t.

What is adding value?

To fully understand ‘adding value’ think about this scenario. Twenty online businesses are selling the same log cabin. They all get the same amount of web traffic and they all sell the product at the same price. As the product is dropshipped, there is no difference in delivery cost and all the delivery times are the same. Yet, 90% of customers buy from one particular website. Why?

Because something that company does ‘adds value’ for the customer.

A good online retailer doesn’t just sell a product. Above and beyond that they sell a solution, offer expertise and give useful advice.

In a nutshell, ‘adding value’ is solving problems for your customers.

How do you add value for a customer?

The best way for us to illustrate how to add value is to show you how we do it. Here at Timber World we see adding value as a key element of our business and it helps us to be very successful. As a manufacturer and wholesaler, our job is to solve problems for our retailers – so how do we do this? Here’s a list of 9 ways we solve problems and add value:

  1. We help our retailers develop their website by providing them with everything they need to sell our products (images, descriptions and specifications).
  2. We white label all our products so retailers can create their own brand.
  3. We insist on a Minimum Asking Price (MAP) to prevent price wars between our retailers and to give them all a guaranteed margin.
  4. To help our retailer’s cash flow we don’t require payment until the final customer has paid them.
  5. We’ll happily provide bespoke and customised log cabins and garden buildings for when a customer requires something different. We’ll even create the 3D plans for them.
  6. We take care of the entire fulfilment process, including arranging and undertaking the delivery so our retailers don’t have to. Our retailers don’t need to warehouse and insure stock.
  7. We provide the after sales service so that is there is a problem we take care of it, not the retailer.
  8. If a customer requires installation we can provide the retailer with local installers from our nationwide register of approved fitters.
  9. We offer the quickest log cabin delivery times in the UK.

If you notice, none of these are about our actual products. Instead, they are about the things we do to make buying from us valuable to our retailers. Of course, our log cabins have to be excellent too.

So what can you do to add value to your dropshipping business?

Here are some examples:

  1. Be a one stop shop. If you sell our log cabins, sell accessories to go with it; perhaps furniture or decorations, wood preservatives and paints.
  2. Show your expertise and write articles on your website about how to look after log cabins or how to make them look good inside and out. A series of blog posts on stunning log cabin interiors would keep visitors coming back again and again and would establish you as an expert in that field.
  3. Take advantage of the value added by your dropshipper by passing on the offers of quick delivery, excellent customer service, installation, low deposits, product customisation, free delivery, etc.
  4. Where products are customisable, write articles giving advice on the customisations available and the benefits of having them. Car manufacturers do this superbly.
  5. With products like log cabins which people might struggle with building, put together articles or videos explaining how to construct them. This goes for any product that needs assembling at home.
  6. Provide highly detailed product specifications and descriptions so that customers feel your company understands the product better and really cares about informing its customers.
  7. Create a brand and a website that makes customers feel they are buying into classier lifestyle. If you are selling expensive products which your dropshipper can deliver as white label, like we do at Timber World, this can attract the type of customer who is willing to pay more for a brand that makes them feel good.  Why do people shop at one supermarket when they can get exactly the same produce for much less at another?  Because it makes them feel good to show people they can afford to pay more. Use this to your advantage.

As you can see, sharing your expertise is a key component in adding value. By solving problems for your customers you make yourself valuable to them. You become the expert, you become trusted, you are building relationships and this means you are building a serious business. Customers like that – and buy from you.

We’re doing it right now – by sharing our expertise of dropshipping to help you develop your business.  We want you to know, that if you sell our log cabins, we’ll provide the solutions to make you successful.

Next Steps

So, if you are considering setting up an online business selling drop shipped products, think carefully about how you can add value for your customers and, in doing so, compete far more effectively with your competitors.

If you are thinking about selling log cabins and other garden buildings online, then Timber World can add considerable value for you and help you add value for your customers. If you want to find more check out our dropshipping service.

 

2
Sep

Dropshipping Markets Part 2: Amazon

Dropshipping on Amazon

In our last post we looked at dropshipping on eBay in this post we’re going to look at another major dropshipping sales channel for online retailers, Amazon.

Many people actually think that Amazon only sells its own range of products. In fact, Amazon also sells products for third-party retailers and even members of the general public who want to sell their used goods. In this sense, Amazon has two branches of its core business: one is as a retailer and the other is as a version of eBay, with the exception that it doesn’t auction, it only lets you sell at a fixed price. Just like eBay, Amazon helps you carry out the sale and resolve problems with customers. In this sense, it’s an ideal place for online retailers to show case their products.

The Advantages of selling on Amazon

Easy to set up your selling account

Just as with eBay, it’s very easy to set up an account and start selling on Amazon. However, careful thought needs to be put into selling the products in the best way. If you are selling log cabins on Amazon, take time to research and see which other sellers are doing well. Analyse their sales, read their product descriptions, look at how they present their log cabins and themselves to the readers. Check your prices in comparison to theirs. What things do the reviewers say about them? By using your competitors as a guide you’ll quickly become aware of the best practice to put into place when selling your products on Amazon too.

Gigantic UK market

One of the main advantages of selling on Amazon is that your products are immediately accessible to a large and growing market. Although Amazon has been overtaken by eBay in the UK over the last few years, it is still, by a considerable margin, the second biggest online market in Britain and only slightly behind eBay in terms of visitors. It has almost 27 million visitors per month which is more than the next three biggest online stores, Argos, Tesco and Asda, put together. Just like eBay, your products will be presented in search results directly to those people searching for them, so you do not have to spend large amounts marketing your own products to drive sales.

Limited competition for log cabin sellers

For those selling niche products like log cabins and garden buildings this is an ideal way to make sure that your products get seen by those people looking for them. Amazon’s ability to put the right products in their customers search results is one way to guarantee your products will be put in front of the customer. At the time of publication there were less than 100 log cabins on Amazon UK and many of these were just summer houses or decorative sheds. There is very little competition and so the opportunities are there to those who want to launch a log cabin store on Amazon.

A name customers trust

Where Amazon wins over eBay is with customer trust. Some people are still quite wary of buying on eBay whereas Amazon seems to have more credibility when it comes to resolving issues with returning products or getting your money back. This is more perception than reality as eBay has made great strides in improving the protection for customers. However, that perception exists and can affect buying choices, especially with high value products like log cabins. If a customer saw the same product for the same price on both Amazon and eBay, the likelihood is that they would feel more secure in their purchase if they bought it from Amazon.

The disadvantages of selling on Amazon

Paying fees

Just as with eBay it costs to sell your products on Amazon. The fees vary depending on what type of product you are selling but for log cabins and garden buildings there is a referral fee of 15% for every product sold. For log cabins, this can be a sizeable amount. You will also need to pay other small fees to list your products. Either 75p per product or £25 a month is you sign up for a professional plan (over 33 products a month).

At first glance it looks like selling on Amazon is more expensive than eBay. Final sales figures for eBay are 10% whereas they are 15% on Amazon. However, on eBay you have to sell through PayPal and they also charge you either 3.4% (if you sell up to £1500 per month) or 2.9% (if you sell over £1500 per month) and on top of that there is a 20p fee on every payment you receive. With these figures added on, the difference between the two is very little. What it does mean is that you have to work these figures very carefully into you pricing structure to make sure you end up with a profit.

At Timber World, we do not limit the price you can charge for our log cabins so you will not be restricted by Amazon fees. Every other retailer will have the same fees to pay, so in essence no-one is put at a disadvantage. Even better, we do restrict how cheaply you can sell our products so that no retailer can undercut another and force them out of the market place.

Getting the product spec right

It’s important when selling on Amazon that the information you give about the products you sell is detailed and accurate. Timber World provides online retailers with a web pack containing all the product descriptions and detailed specifications as well as images you can use. This will assist you in selling our products on Amazon as it will let customers know exactly what they are getting and make your business look much more professional.

Customer feedback

Just like eBay, Amazon customers are used to leaving feedback for their purchases and are able to sort their search results by both product review score and popularity. On top of this, third-party retailers are given a feedback score which looks at their customer feedback over the previous 12 months. Both the feedback on the retailer and the product will affect sales, especially if negative. Having no feedback can also cause some customers to think twice. To stop fake reviews being put on, Amazon now tells its readers if the customer actually bought the product they reviewed.

The difference between eBay and Amazon is that it is harder to get good reviews on Amazon. With eBay all you have to do is buy 10 small things and pay for them immediately and you’ll get 10 positive feed backs from the people you buy from and a score of 100% – even if you’ve never sold anything. With Amazon you have to sell and there’s much less pushiness from Amazon to make you give feedback than there is on eBay.

Getting started

If you are thinking of selling on Amazon you can begin by viewing their ‘Sell on Amazon’ page. If you are considering selling our log cabins on Amazon, or anywhere else, take a look at how our dropshipping service can help you boost your online business.

31
Aug

Dropshipping Markets Part 1: Dropshipping on eBay

When you become a retailer for Timber World, you’ll need to start thinking of where best to sell our log cabins. In this article we take a look at eBay, the UK’s largest site to retail physical goods online.   Below are some of the things you may want to consider when dropshipping log cabins on eBay.

The advantages of selling log cabins eBay

Simple set up process

Ebay has a simple set up process that can get you generating sales almost immediately. From a simplistic point of view, all you need to do is create an account, add your listing and your business is up and running.

Taking things a little more seriously and doing some basic research will help you sell more products at higher margins. Everything from the name of your business or your eBay store, the way your write listings and the quality of the images you upload will help. If you are a Timber World customer we will provide you with all the images and product specifications you need to do this. For more help on how to list your products successfully check out the excellent eBay Advice section at Makealittleextra.com

A massive and growing market

Ebay overtook Amazon as the UK’s largest online market in 2014 and has over 27 million visitors a month spending over £2.5 billion. Annually, its visitor numbers rise by an average of 4 million and it’s still growing. When you sell garden buildings on eBay, you have immediate access to this huge market.

What’s more, eBay’s advanced search algorithm will ensure that people looking for the products you are selling will see them, making you much more visible to your target audience. You job is to ensure that the way you write those listings and sell the products generate the sales. The delivery and aftersales is all taken care of by us.

Easy marketing

When you sell on eBay, you don’t need to focus on making your own website rank number one on Google or spend lots of money on pay per click advertising to try and drive customers to your site. Instead you can focus on selling to the market that eBay generates for you.

The downside of selling on eBay

Listing fees

Making a reasonable profit is the aim of running a business, so it’s always an issue when there are fees to pay to sell your goods. With eBay there is the triple whammy of paying listing fees, selling fees of up to 10% and then adding on the PayPal fees at the end.

However, this is not necessarily too much of a disadvantage because all your eBay competitors will have the same fees to pay, so in essence it’s a level playing field.   Also, if you sell Timber World products, we deliver our log cabins white labelled, so you can create your own brand to ensure that no-one else is selling the same branded product as you.

Another benefit of selling our log cabins on eBay is our pricing guidelines. We ensure that there is a minimum price for which our cabins can be sold. In this sense your profits are protected from competition. We do not set an upper limit on pricing, so you can adjust the prices upwards to take eBay fees into consideration too.

Negative feedback

The other main disadvantage of selling on eBay is getting negative feedback. This is especially important when your business is young and each sale may have a big percentage impact on your feedback score. If you have sold 10 products and get one negative feedback, your score is only 90% and this may put customers off. If you have sold 1000 products and have one negative feedback your score is 99.9% which looks much more attractive.

However, you do not need to worry too much about negative feedback when you sell Timber World log cabins and garden buildings. Most of the things you get feedback for are handled by us: we take care of delivery and ensure the high quality of our products. Your aim will be to ensure the listing describes the product correctly, which we will help you with, and maintain good communication with the customer – which when it comes to delivery, we will also help you with.

Overview

Overall, there are plenty of advantages to selling log cabins on eBay, especially for young businesses which don’t have well established websites or physical premises. Before starting, we suggest you take a closer look at our range of products and the services we offer our retailers and their customers.

Do you want to sell our log cabins?

If you are an eBay seller or thinking of selling Timber World log cabins on eBay, sign up for a dropshipping account with us today. It’s completely free.

 

12
Aug

Top No-Fee Dropshippers for Log Cabins

If you are looking to retail log cabins and garden buildings in the UK then you might have already noticed that the number of wholesale suppliers selling these products is quite small. Finding a supplier of the right calibre can be a difficult process.

Finding a dropshipper: how useful are wholesale directories?

One way to find a wholesaler is to join one of the wholesale directories. If you haven’t come across these before, basically they are websites where wholesalers list their products so that retailers can find them. It sounds like a good idea and for many it can help in understanding what products are available and where you can find them. The downside, of course, is that these wholesale directories charge monthly memberships for you to access the details of these companies, sometimes this can run into hundreds of pounds a year.

Another problem with wholesale directories is that whilst they let you know what products are available and who’s selling them, they don’t actually guarantee that you will be able to buy them. Once you’ve found the wholesaler of your choice, you’ll still need to apply for an account with them. They will then assess whether your business is the kind of customer they are looking for before they decide to sell to you or not. This decision may be based on a whole range of things: you may be based in an area where they have already met saturation point with retailers; you might not have sufficient funds to warrant credit; they may not be interested in small, internet traders; you might be wanting to sell the products in places they don’t want you to, like eBay or Amazon.

In essence, whilst wholesale directories do have their uses, it can be just as effective to contact the wholesaler directly and save yourself the monthly fees.

Is your wholesaler competing with you?

Another thing you need to be cautious of is the type of wholesaler you deal with. Of the log cabin and garden building wholesalers out there, there is a significant proportion who are actually retailers masquerading as wholesalers – selling to retailers at trade prices. This practice is even undertaken by one of the UK’s leading log cabin retailers which sells one of the country’s major brands. The problem with these types of companies is that you are buying your products from your main competitor. As a much larger and more established business, not only will they be able to sell the log cabins cheaper than you can, they will also have better delivery services and customer services already in place and have the higher ranking website site to generate more sales. If they undertake dropshipping on your behalf, their own sales will always take priority over yours, so if there is a stock issue, it’s your customer who will go on the waiting list, not theirs. From a business perspective, it simply doesn’t make sense to use these suppliers.

Are you being asked to pay for nothing?

Other dropshipping wholesalers will even ask you to pay a monthly fee just to use their dropshipping service. You will need to sign up for membership of their dropshipping service and you will only be allowed to order their products whilst your subscription is being paid. You’ll still need to pay for the products and the delivery on top of the membership fee. You don’t find these sorts of requirements with genuine wholesalers or dropshippers.

Use a top no-fee dropshipper like Timber World

Here at Timber World, we are a top no-fee drop ship wholesaler for log cabins. Like most wholesalers, we ask you to apply for our dropshipping account so that we can verify that you are a retailer and not a member of the general public, but once you have been accepted the only things you pay for are the products and the cost of shipping the product to your customer.

Unlike other companies, we never sell our products directly to the general public. We are essentially a log cabin manufacturer that has chosen to wholesale our own products rather than go through a range of distributors. Our focus is in producing the highest quality log cabins and providing retailers with a first class service to help them sell our log cabins, garden offices and bespoke garden buildings. We offer everything from bespoke garden building design, home delivery, after sales care and even installation. We also sell our products as white label so you can brand them as you wish. We’ll even supply all the images and product specifications for your website or sales brochures.

If you are looking for a log cabin dropshipping company that understands its retailers and can offer excellent products, quick and reliable fulfilment and very good margins, then get in touch or apply for our no-fee dropshipping account today.

 

12
Aug

How to Tell the Difference Between Fake and Genuine Drop Ship Wholesalers

If you are looking to find a dropshipping wholesaler to supply your garden building products, one of the first things you need to do is to distinguish between genuine and fake wholesalers. Genuine wholesalers are those companies who only sell their products to retailers, fake wholesalers are those who sell their products to both retailers and at a slightly higher price to the general public.

The reason you need to avoid these kinds of wholesalers is that, because they are selling to the general public, they hold the dual position of being both your supplier and competitor at the same time. What this usually means is that their wholesale prices will be too high to allow you to compete with them in the market place. They will undercut you on price. In this way, they sell products to you in bulk and then take away your business by selling the product cheaper themselves to your customers.

What’s worse is that this is not always done transparently. They will often sell wholesale through one business and retail through another. Sometimes you can catch them out when the wholesaler and retailer have the same business addresses, registered addresses and company directors.

There are other ways to discriminate between genuine and fake dropshipping wholesalers. One of the primary tactics of fake wholesalers is to charge a joining fee or even ongoing fees to participate in their dropshiping service. This identifies them as fake because the genuine wholesaler makes its money from selling goods to retailers which they sell on. The fake wholesaler makes much of its wholesale income from dropshipping membership fees and the rest from selling directly to the public. Because it competes against its own customers, those customers are never going to be successful, so it is obvious that wholesale is not the core business activity.

In order to join a genuine wholesaler you will need to apply for a wholesale account and in doing so will need to prove you are running a business. You might need to disclose your business address, Unique Tax Reference, company registration details or proof of your online shop. Different wholesalers require different types of proof. This is to make sure that they do not sell to the public. A fake wholesaler on the other hand, won’t care too much about whether you’re a legitimate business, they will just want your money.

Some genuine dropship wholesalers will require companies to pay a ‘per-order fee’ to cover the increased cost of packaging and delivery for sending out individual items. Remember, they normally distribute in bulk, so have to cover the increased costs of one off deliveries somehow.

You will also find that even genuine wholesalers offer smaller margins for dropshipping than they do for bulk purchases. This is to cover the increased cost in distribution and because they become liable for ensuring that fulfilment to the final customer is done correctly. As a retailer using a dropshipper this might seem unfair, however, any reduction in margins is offset by passing warehousing, insurance and distribution costs to the wholesaler.

The final difference between real and fake dropshipping wholesalers is that genuine ones understand the important role they play in their customer’s fulfilment process. They will have knowledgeable, dedicated staff and expert fulfilment services there to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Are you looking for a genuine dropshipping wholesaler?

Timber World prides itself on being a first class drop ship wholesaler of log cabins, garden offices and bespoke garden buildings. As both manufacturer and wholesaler of our products, it is in our best interests to ensure we do everything we possibly can to help our customers sell our products. For this reason we do not sell our products to the general public.

As with all good wholesalers, we will verify that you are a business when you register to become one of our customers; to do this you will need to sign up for a Dropshipping Account. However, we do not charge a fee to become a customer and there no on-going fee to remain one. Nor do we charge a per-order-fee. Once your Dropshipping Account application is approved and you become a customer, you only pay for the products you buy and the cost of delivery (which you can pass on to your customer).

If you would like to know more about retailing our products click here.