Five Things to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Fashion-Focused Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping businesses are booming in popularity, especially in the world of fashion. After all, it’s relatively easy to find digital retailers to help print your own fits or find cheap alternatives overseas for pennies on the dollar. Given that such businesses are all the rage right now, it’s no secret that competition is fierce in the dropshipping space.
That being said, many newbies are finding themselves either way in over their heads or seeing tepid traffic due to not having a solid marketing plan in place.
Before you jump on the bandwagon, don’t let yourself get stars in your eyes. It is more than possible to start a fashion-based dropshipping business, but only if you can answer the following five questions first.
What Does My Competition Look Like?
Perhaps the most important piece of success with any business is competitive analysis. First and foremost, you need to lock down your business’ niche and understand what other competitors are in your space. Spend some time analyzing your site versus your competitors to determine whether or not your dropshipping hub is up to snuff.
Likewise, you need to understand that there’s power in honing your company’s fashion focus. For example, it would make more sense to market yourself as a fashion brand targeted directly at millennials (think: loud colors and patterns) versus trying to appeal to a broader market. By understanding what your competitors are doing and what’s working for them, you can adjust your strategy accordingly to do something fresh.
Where’s My Supply Going to Come From?
Dropshipping through platforms such as AliExpress or sites that create fits for you seems like a solid business plan in and of itself. Bear in mind, however, that there are some potential pitfalls to relying on the platforms you don’t control:
- You may not be able to keep up with demand if your business blows up
- You’re stuck relying on others when it comes to shipping and availability
- You need to be careful with pricing and also bear in mind that there might be competitors using similar platforms
This doesn’t mean that you need to thread your fits yourself, but you do need to understand how others in your space are operating to get a feel for best practices. Again, this is why competitive analysis is so important.
How Am I Going to Promote My Brand?
Gaining traction in the fashion world is all about chasing trends and building buzz. Consider prioritizing an aggressive social strategy via platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest which thrive on visual content. If you feel that your store has viral potential, don’t be afraid to post often and get your business in front of as many eyes as possible.
How Am I Going to Build Links?
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the power of organic traffic and the referral based marketing how-to. You can’t expect to simply set up your store and hope for buyers to pour in automatically. Instead, integrate written content on-site with blog posts targeting keywords that are relevant to your store: the more specific, the better for initial link-building purposes
What Storefront Should I Choose?
There is no one right answer in regard to which platform you should use to build your business; however, Shopify, Woocommerce and Magneto are arguably the three biggest players in the space currently.
Ultimately you’ll want to look at features and price point to figure out which one is best for you. Since transferring platforms can be a pain, spend some time making your decision so you don’t have any regrets.
Starting a fashion-based dropshipping business takes time and plenty of planning if you want to see success. However, by knowing the answers for the aforementioned questions you’ll already be ahead of the game.