here are several key dropshipping trends that are changing the way we do business online today!
Over the past five years, the dropshipping industry has grown by over 300%. In 2017, dropshipping accounted for approximately 23% of all online sales across the world. What does this mean? It means that the dropshipping industry is gigantic, and is only expected to continue growing. However, the industry isn't going to stay the same. The industry is set to be heavily impacted by a few key trends — trends that we will cover in this article.
If you need a refresher on how dropshipping works, we have one available here. Otherwise, let's dive into the top 5 dropshipping trends!
5 Important Dropshipping Trends:
#5 - Dropshipping Agencies
As dropshipping has become more popular, many people are realizing that their supplier or manufacturer is lacking in one area or another. Either the company is having trouble shipping products on time, they aren't packaging orders correctly, or there are issues with the tracking information. Using a dropshipping agency can solve all of these problems and more.
A dropshipping agency is a third-party company that becomes your partner for product sourcing, warehousing, and fulfillment. Rather than having your items shipped from the manufacturer individually, you can purchase your units in bulk, and have them stored at your agency's facilities. When an order comes in, the agency will receive it, prepare it (often with custom branded packaging), and ship it. This tends to be much more efficient and hands-off than working with a normal supplier.
Using an agency can allow your business to scale quickly while still providing the attention to detail and infrastructure that your business needs. It can also reduce your shipping costs since you will be able to ship entire orders from one location, rather than shipping individual items from multiple suppliers. Not to mention that purchasing in wholesale will also improve your margins.
The agency trend is still developing, but it can certainly provide a lot of value to dropshippers that want to take their business to the next level. So long as they are willing to invest to get it there.
#4 - Retail Arbitrage Dropshipping
Retail Arbitrage is a term for when you notice a price discrepancy and take advantage of it. Maybe you notice that a certain brand of headphones is on sale at your local Wal-mart for $49.99, but they sell on Amazon for $99.99. For us entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity to make some money. You can purchase the products for the lower price and flip them on the more expensive sales channel.
Retail arbitrage is really at the core of dropshipping. Most people are simply looking for cheap products on AliExpress or other sites, that they can sell at a mark-up. Retail arbitrage involves the same premise, but usually involves brand-name products and well-established sales channels.
The goal is to set up a relationship with a supplier or distributor for a product so that you can get it cheaper than normal. Note: DropCommerce can help you with that! You can also browse liquidation stores both online and in person. Once you have the products, you can set up a listing on your own site, or on platforms like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay if your suppliers allow for it.
While retail arbitrage isn't quite as hands-off as traditional dropshipping, there are still ways to minimize your involvement. But the primary benefit is that you can capitalize on one brand's name value while also leveraging a sales channel with a more established audience.
#3 - Curated Dropshipping
Curated dropshipping is an innovative form of dropshipping that has been around for ages. Every store owner needs to create value in one way or another. Some stores have the lowest price, others have the biggest selection (one-stop-shop), others have the fastest shipping, and curated stores have the best selection in a given niche.
A curated dropshipping site will have a tailored collection of the best products to solve a certain problem. For example, you could open a curated site that carries the best eco-friendly cleaning supplies. While all of the products come from brand-named suppliers, you would present them all together on your site. This way, your customers benefit from buying all of these products together, rather than finding them individually on a bunch of different sites.
DropCommerce is great for curated dropshipping. We work with hundreds of US brands and suppliers and offer 30% or more off retail prices. If you are able to create a source of traffic (e.g. paid ads, Tik Tok videos, etc), then having all of these niche products on your site can be a powerful sales engine. It's definitely one of the dropshipping trends you'll want to keep an eye on.
#2 - Branded Dropshipping
Branded dropshipping is one of the most important dropshipping trends to keep an eye on. It essentially allows your company to present itself as a fully-developed brand, even though you are just dropshipping products from another company. This way, you can compete with other big brands without investing in tons of branded inventory or other infrastructure.
First, you need to create a relationship with your supplier/manufacturer, and have them agree to customize your products before they are shipped out. We found a few examples of dropshipping stores that are already using this strategy.
This can be more difficult to set up since it involves more labor and resources on the supplier's part. However, having your company's branding on your products can truly be a game-changer in terms of customer experience and brand loyalty. It's worth negotiating a higher price point where both you and the supplier can turn a profit.
Next, you'll need to design your product's packaging. The supplier might be able to help with this. After that, you should be all set to start shipping orders.
While DropCommerce doesn't have any branding features yet, it is something that we are currently exploring with our partners and user base.
#1 - Local Products & Fast Shipping
One of the biggest dropshipping trends we've seen is the push towards local products and fast shipping. More and more consumers are becoming wary of products made overseas. These products can come from employees in questionable working conditions, contain harsh chemicals & ingredients, or take forever to ship. Buying from local businesses helps alleviate those issues, at least for the most part.
This becomes much easier when you are targeting customers in one specific region like the United States. Partnering with suppliers/manufacturers that have their facilities in the US will allow you to offer a higher perceived value to your customers.
Our company, DropCommerce, is perfect for this. We have over 430 suppliers from the US & Canada, and most of them ship to the US in 4-7 business days.
If you'd like to give it a try yourself, then come create a free account and start dropshipping today! You can begin building your own curated US dropshipping store with little more than a computer and an internet connection.
Hope to see you there!