亚马逊封号事件之后,国内企业海外销售布局何去何从?


一周前,亚马逊官方发布了《致亚马逊全体卖家信》并针对近期其封锁卖家账号的政策,做出了官方回应。同时也表明了平台对于不合规卖家、非法运营的严厉惩罚的坚决态度


尤其在高度法制化的欧美国家,对于平台商户的统一规范化管理,是对于买家能够获得优质服务的基础,换言之,也是保障卖家之间公平竞争之原则和生态。中国的跨境电商卖家们,更需严格遵守国外当地的相关法制法规,以免让自己苦心经营的生意付之一炬


丰富海外渠道,维持稳定销售布局


2020年疫情的全球蔓延使得欧美电商业务蓬勃发展,越来越多的人意识到海外市场潜力而面对陌生且全新的海外市场,在国内能奏效的电商打法,在国外却不一定适用。海外用户更为分散、个性化的购物习惯,决定了企业应丰富销售渠道来迅速扩张海外市场和知名度


此次封号事件更是给接下来计划做跨境业务的商家们一个警醒,采取更多样化的渠道布局进一步加强生意的稳定性才是正确的出海之路


海外众筹首发预售作为全球来自235个国家或地区近3000万支持者集聚的国际领先众筹平台,已成为众多科技创新者梦想启航的地方。众筹不仅是跨境商家海外销售布局的首选渠道之一,更是众多中国创新企业实现品牌出海的第一步。


亚马逊封号事件之后,国内企业海外销售布局何去何从?

(海外众筹平台排名前十众筹资金最多的国家,数据来源:Mashable)


一场成功的众筹,无疑将是帮助国内企业拓宽海外销售渠道、打响海外品牌建设迈出的第一步,成功的众筹也将获取第一批忠实客户,为后期入驻亚马逊等海外电商平台,打下了坚实的基础和最强有力的谈判筹码。


近四年来,海外众筹平台的中国团队已助力中国创新企业筹得近25亿人民币,广东、浙江、江苏、北京等数百家企业通过海外众筹的方式顺利完成品牌海外冷启动,进而实现全球分销,成功打造国际知名消费品牌。

亚马逊封号事件之后,国内企业海外销售布局何去何从?

以去年刚上市的美的U型窗式空调为例,去年海外众筹平台上成功获得海外支持者$150万美元的筹款。其创新独特的造型设计,深受广大海外客户喜爱。美的空调不仅完成了每年新品的全球首发和市场验证,同时也以众筹为跳板吸引来了全球线上线下各类渠道资源。并且,通过众筹所聚集的高质量社群也成为 美的空调品牌的长期资产,为后续产品创新和渠道谈判也提供了强有力的依据。迄今为止,U型窗式空调在全球的渠道布局已相当稳定。


“对于美的来说,海外众筹给予了我们一个直接了当的机会,去深入了解消费者” 。像海外众筹首发预售这样独特的平台,不管是公司还是个人,都能从一大群人里轻松筹得资金。相反,出资的人能够获取在工厂量产正式投放市场前,相应的早鸟折扣价,第一时间享受时髦产品、当下流行产品的优先使用权。

Midea-Window Air Conditioner美的公司高级副总裁 陈振瑞


亚马逊封号事件之后,国内企业海外销售布局何去何从?


品牌化、强大社群基础是根本

与以往一般的众筹代运营不同,新电科技出类拔萃的营销与技术团队给予厂商强有力的all-in-one整套支持,当中包括:

建立海外营销策略是一方面,用户对品牌的忠诚和品牌粘性度是企业在应对第三方电商平台(亚马逊Ebay等)各类突发事件或政策时的强大后盾。

疫情期间,海外众筹平台上的支持者们便充分证明了这一点。疫情所导致的物流和供应链停滞不前,导致众筹项目发货时间延迟。与传统电商不同的是,众筹平台上的支持者们更具耐心,更具有“梦想”并愿意耐心等候好产品的最终落地;并且海外众筹平台的用户组成里有超过半数年收入高于欧美平均值,更有25%的用户属于高收入人群。换句话说,海外众筹平台上的全球支持者们是在用“闲钱”来支持好的创新,并且做全球首批体验的人,且愿意与品牌共同进步。新兴品牌或初涉海外市场的品牌如果在初期能通过众筹直接和支持者对话,积累一批这样的忠实种子用户,他们对于品牌在海外长期发展的贡献是不容小觑,也势必能陪伴品牌渡过各种难关


EEENEW众筹平台全球首发

2021年,是国内跨境电商独立站买家红利的一年,面对独立站建站工具汉化的逐渐普及以及运营商的增多。同时,也是国内厂商出海众筹红利的一年。


国内厂商面对海外销售平台的被动受限,厂商、品牌商正需要一个懂得国外市场需求、消费习惯、消费理念。无门槛、灵活高效的众筹平台资源和出海客服支持和运营。


EEENEW.com是一家集合海外众筹、首发、预售;及创新产品开发与销售,直接面对全球用户的多功能众筹平台


EEENEW 正为国内厂商的出海输出了与众不同的深入支持,从产品外观到功能卖点、设计建议与技术支持到产品众筹首发,再到产品发布后的B2B渠道经销,EEENEW平台都给予了深入高效的营销支持

THE FUTURE
如何让国内厂商产品引领世界

解锁平台的限制和推广难度实现轻松出海

创造更大的产品销售空间


👇点击下方进入公司官网 👇

亚马逊封号事件之后,国内企业海外销售布局何去何从?


👇众筹咨询 | 品牌+市场合作👇

亚马逊封号事件之后,国内企业海外销售布局何去何从?

· END ·


关于 EEENEW访问官网

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So you’ve found some hot products to sell. Your e-commerce store is ready to launch and you have some money for advertising.

Maybe you’re thinking your work here is done and you’re ready to sit back and start making sales. Maybe you’re thinking your work here is done and you’re ready to sit back and start making sales.? I hate to be the one to break to you, but…

Finding winning products, building an e-commerce store, and throwing some cash at Facebook ads is a good start. But it’s just that — a start. 

The hard task — and the part that most aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with — is constantly generating profitable sales from your e-commerce store.

Having large numbers of web visitors isn’t a guarantee either. What matters is, are they converting?

Conversion and profitable sales are what matter. Is your traffic converting to profitable sales? What’s the average customer value? Is advertising worth it?

That’s where an Ecommerce Sales Funnel comes in.

An e-commerce sales funnel helps you increase the conversion rate of your store and generates consistent sales for your store on autopilot.

Besides that, there are a lot of benefits involved.

In this post, I crack the code for building an e-commerce sales funnel and show you the best practices for getting the most out of your funnel.

Let’s dive in.

What is an eCommerce Sales Funnel?

An e-commerce sales funnel is a system that lays out the stages prospects must go through to become customers.

It is characterized by having pre-designed stages and working autopilot.

Interestingly, most businesses have a sales funnel. But a broken one. Because you probably don’t know what it is or how to track its effectiveness.

Besides, such sales funnels aren’t intentional. They’re just a combination of random practices to attract leads.

In the end, you don’t have control over it and there are no metrics to track.

Sales funnels that work are built with the end in mind. They are intentional and you have metrics to monitor. 

Do You Need an Ecommerce Sales Funnel?

Absolutely. If you are running an e-commerce or dropshipping store, you need a sales funnel to drive qualified leads to your website and make consistent sales.

A sales funnel isn’t just for an e-commerce business. Other forms of businesses like SaaS, knowledge-based businesses, affiliate marketing, agencies, etc. also use sales funnels.

But in this post, I’m focussing on sales funnels for e-commerce and dropshipping stores.

Without even looking at your store or knowing what you sell, I can tell you that a sales funnel would make a big difference in your online business.

The sales funnel guides your prospects from the stage of finding your product to becoming a customer.

Best of all, the sales funnel offers an organized purchasing experience. Instead of serving your customers and prospects the same content, a sales funnel serves them the right content at the right time.

A helpful side effect is that it helps you identify possible leaks in your marketing strategy.

With an organized process, you’ll identify where you are losing customers and opportunities to capture more of them.

If you aren’t sold on these benefits, how about the irresistible benefit of increasing your revenue?

No one’s going to argue with making more money, right?

So, you must be wondering how it works! 

Stages of a Sales Funnel and How it Works

Similar to liquid funnels, a sales funnel has stages. For a typical real-world funnel (the kind you pour liquid through), it’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.

A sales funnel processes a large number of prospects at the top of the funnel streamlining them into actual customers.

Unless you’re some kind of wizard, there will be fewer people at the bottom of the funnel than at the top. 

But that’s to be expected. The prospects that make it all the way to the bottom of the funnel are the ones that become your customers. Customers convert into sales. And sales is the lifeblood of every business.

A typical sales funnel has three basic stages (top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel).

Top of the Funnel (Awareness)

The top of the funnel is the first stage of the sales funnel and its purpose is to generate awareness, either for your product, brand, or prospects’ problems.

 The top of the funnel is characterized by everything you do to drive traffic to your sales page.

Everything you do to generate awareness for your product and brand fits into the top of the funnel.

It includes content marketing, Facebook advertising, Youtube ads, Google ads, SEO, Instagram ads, influencer marketing, etc.

In other words, the awareness stage is your first point of contact or the start of a conversation with your prospects.

At this stage, your prospects are yet to hear about you and your products. Another possibility is that they don’t even know they have problems that need to be solved.

Your job is to educate them.

Middle of the Funnel (Consideration/Evaluation)

The middle of the funnel is the stage where your prospects start evaluating and considering possible solutions or product alternatives.

For an e-commerce store, this is the stage where your customers are looking into which product is best for them.

And in the case where your prospects already have a specific product in mind, the question would be, which e-commerce store has the best offer?

In the second stage, your prospects start considering the best product for them and the best offer.

Which is cheaper? Which is the best quality? What’s their customer rating? What are their returns and refund policies?

When prospects are weighing up offers, they look into benefits and features, quality, shipping (cost and speed), customer service, return and refund policies, and more.

Bottom of the Funnel (Decision and Action Stage)

This is the stage where your prospects make a decision. Either to buy or not to buy.

The relationship they have with your brand or product, from the top of the funnel to the bottom, plays a big role in influencing their decisions.

The decision stage is where you get to see the result of your efforts. 

A way of influencing them to take the purchasing action is to attract them with interesting offers like discounts, free shipping, and risk-free returns.

But it’s also essential to make sure the key pages on your store – product pages, checkout etc – are optimized for sales, guiding prospects through the final step to making a purchase.

Some customers’ journeys could be shorter. And some could be longer. Just like in the real world, it takes constant persuasion to get some prospects to buy from you.

The journey of each customer isn’t rigid. It depends on them. And that’s why a sales funnel works. It personalizes the experience for each prospect.

If at the bottom of your funnel, your prospects did not take your desired action, you can always retarget them.

Retargeting your prospects with relevant content and ads gives you another opportunity to persuade them, walking them through the process again.

But this time, the journey might be shorter compared to your first conversation with the prospect.

There’s also a magical stage you can reach where your customers start feeding new prospects into the top of the funnel for you. 

Usually, these are highly-satisfied repeat customers who are willing to refer others to your store. Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of getting people into your funnel.

By now you’re probably wondering how to install a sales funnel in your e-commerce business.

How to Build Your E-commerce Sales Funnel {Two-Phase Method}

With the knowledge of the stages of a funnel and the framework below you’ll be able to set up one for your business.

I split the steps into two phases.

The first phase is about putting your store in order (think: sales funnel building blocks). Your store must be able to effectively convert your web visitors.

And the second phase is about driving traffic (feeding the funnel) to your sales funnel and also measuring your results.

PHASE 1 – Setting Up your Funnel

1. Discovering your Ideal Prospect

Similar to many other marketing and sales processes, it starts with discovering your ideal audience.

Who’s your target market? What is their demographic? Where do they engage? What’s the problem they have? Discovering and understanding your ideal prospect is the first stage in building a powerful sales funnel.

Without understanding who your ideal prospects are, effective ads targeting will be difficult.

Better put, getting tangible results from your advertising budget or any other marketing strategy you are employing will be tough.

Identifying your ideal prospect will inform your decisions on which marketing strategies to employ.

For instance, if your ideal audience is young women between the ages of 25 to 35, you’ll know where to find them; Instagram, Facebook, etc.

And thanks to the advanced ads targeting features on these apps, there are filters to customize your ideal target audience.

That said, always keep in mind that selling the same product as your competitors doesn’t mean you should have the same target prospects.

You could target different people. Your competitors can sell their hair products to women while you sell yours to men.

The same product doesn’t mean the same target audience. Choose wisely.

2. Re-Engineering your Website

Creating a sales funnel looks like a complex problem that’s hard to crack. But it isn’t. The key is to begin with the end in mind.

A sales funnel is a combination of organized webpages working together to increase your conversion rates.

Building a sales funnel doesn’t mean throwing away your store and building a new one. And it also doesn’t mean neglecting your current software or tools.

It has everything to do with reworking your store for an improved conversion rate. And this is the rarely said truth.

You might have been expecting advice around which is the best e-commerce sales funnel builder to use. Funnel builders are powerful software created especially for building sales funnels.

However, irrespective of the e-commerce store builder you are using (Shopify, WooCommerce, etc), you can construct a sales funnel out of it.

You don’t need any fancy new tools or software.

Here are the essential things to work on:

PHASE 2 – Feeding the Funnel

At this point, your sales funnel framework is made. You already have the funnel. And now you need to drive traffic to it.

The idea is to generate traffic (prospects) to your sales funnel, while the funnel does its work.

Based on your ideal audience, your next step is to decide on your promotional strategies. How do you plan to generate traffic to your sales funnel?

Is it Facebook ads? Instagram ads? Organic traffic? Let’s dive into that.

3. Use Paid Ads to Generate Traffic

Paid ads are awesome if you have a considerable budget. With paid ads, you can generate quick results.

Of all the paid ads options, Facebook ads and Google ads are the best.

Facebook has a large number of users and at the same time offers advanced tools to target your audience via ads.

As an eCommerce store owner, you can either run ads to a particular product, to your brand, or informational content.

Using ScentBird as an example, here’s a current Facebook ad:

This is top-0f-the-funnel ads that generate awareness for the brand. 

4. Drive Organic Engagement with Content

The other way of feeding your sales funnel is by going the organic way without paying for ads.

And on this note, you need more optimized content to generate traffic to your funnel.

Without paid ads, here are some viable options left:

These are five possible ways to go if you are not running paid ads for your e-commerce store.

SEO is the best source of organic traffic. You want to ensure your product listings are ranking on search engines for commercial keywords.

That aside, you also want to ensure you are ranking for top-of-funnel (awareness) keywords that are non-commercial. 

To rank for non-commercial keywords, it could mean having a blog section on your e-commerce store. Or it could be having a youtube channel where you share informational content about your products and the problems they solve.

With SEO alone, ScentBird pulls in over 166K monthly traffic to their store.

Additionally, another viable method is building an audience on social media.

ScentBird also excels in this.

ScentBird has over 600K followers on its Facebook page. So, by equally publishing new content on their page, they drive traffic to their funnel.

Over 600K followers might be a dream for a new e-commerce brand, but you can jumpstart your followers or likes with some paid services.

To amass a big number of followers and engagement, here are some tips you can implement:

According to Gary Vaynerchuk, you are one piece of content away from breaking through.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know of 420Doggface208. A single video of him skateboarding to a Fleetwood Mac song launched him to social media stardom. 

If you want to grow a healthy community, keep putting out content on your social media platforms.

Content is the bridge to your prospects’ hearts. If you don’t have the time, consider outsourcing your content to experts.

Finally, you should also leverage influencers to drive traffic to your sales funnel. Influencers are powerful enough to influence your prospects’ buying decisions.

However, finding an influencer to promote your offer could be a pain in the neck. Instagram influencers are on the rise. But the problem is that some buy fake engagement.

But you have to find the best fit for your brand. 

There are influencers of different sizes. The price of getting an influencer to promote your brand isn’t set in stone.

Some could do it for you for free by just testing out the product. You just need to find the right fit for your product and business.

Besides Instagram influencers, you can also look into YouTubers and other content creators to promote your brand.

ScentBird also does this excellently. Besides reaching out to influencers to promote their brand, ScentBird also offers two forms of collaboration with influencers (Blogger Program and Affiliate Program).

The blogger program allows bloggers to get a free sample to review on their blog. This is affordable for Scentbird as a brand. Because they don’t just get a free review, they also get links that boost their search appearance.

For their affiliate program, ScentBird has been able to work with other influencers to promote their products while getting a commission per sale made.

So far, they have popular Youtubers like Ashley Elizabeth and Sande to promote their brand.

My point is, there’s no price tag on how much an influencer campaign would cost you. Similarly, there’s no limit on the effect it can have on your store.

5. Test and Tweak 

Building and feeding your sales funnel isn’t the end. 

You need to keep testing out different approaches and tweaking your funnel for optimum conversion.

Here are some things to split test and keep tweaking for optimum conversion:

By split testing, you’ll arrive at the best system to keep generating sales on your e-commerce store.

Keep in mind, there’s no perfect system. When you think you have discovered what works for you, testing and tweaking may bring you even better results.

6. Measuring your Result

There’s no marketing without analytics to understand the performance of your activities.

This is as crucial as every other step on this list. You need to measure the performance of your sales funnel to know how you are faring and what to improve.

Here’s a breakdown of the KPIs to track:

Start Fixing your Sales Funnel

Finally, building a sales funnel for your e-commerce store isn’t as hard as you thought. It doesn’t require disposing of your store. It only needs some modifications.

Moving forward, here are some things to keep in mind:

You should be pretty confident about, building a sales funnel now.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Do you have experience in building a sales funnel? Do you have any questions about the advice in this article? Drop a comment below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Olusola David is the founder and CEO of Torchbankz.com, an eCommerce entrepreneur and blogger with a keen interest in Digital Marketing for eCommerce.After starting his online business journey with Dropshipping, he now shares his trial and error experience of many years with new aspiring entrepreneurs. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Reference Link: https://www.salehoo.com/blog/ecommerce-sales-funnel-for-your-store

Is Dropshipping Dead? No More Cheap Shipping from China

Everything you need to know about the United States ending cheap shipping from China and what it means for online sellers.

Dropshipping from China has been one of the most popular ecommerce business models of the past decade. 

A big reason for this is it’s been ridiculously cheap to buy and ship goods from China to the rest of the world, including the United States.

But that might be about to change.

The reason? The United States is planning to increase shipping rates for packages arriving from other countries, including China.

That means dropshipping from China to the US is going to become more expensive. The impact of this is uncertain, but it’s likely to make dropshipping a less attractive fulfilment method, especially for sellers with low profit margins already.

The good news is that the changes are likely to be less severe than initially thought when the US government announced it was leaving the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

Now, all of this might sound a bit confusing, so bear with me and I’ll explain how we got to this point and exactly what it means for dropshipping.

BUT FIRST… let’s address the question posed in the headline: Is this the end of dropshipping?

Absolutely not! Dropshipping from China to the US might be over sometime soon.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that dropshipping as a business model is dead. 

Far from it. In fact, these changes might open up more opportunities for dropshippers in the United States. More on that below.

Let’s rewind and explain exactly what’s going on and how it’s going to impact on you and your dropshipping business.


In this article, I’m going to cover: [ hide ]


A short history of how we got here: The US, China, and the problems with cheap shipping 

So way back in 1874, before ecommerce and dropshipping could even be imagined, the US and 21 other countries formed the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

It’s an international treaty that made shipping between different countries easier and cheaper at the time.

However, over time, countries such as China have been able to take advantage of the treaty to ship goods to the US at subsidized rates.

This has come at a cost to US taxpayers and has disadvantaged US retailers and ecommerce businesses.

Today, it’s possible to ship a small package from China to the US for less than it costs to send that same package domestically within the US.

And it’s much cheaper to ship goods from China to the US than the other way around.

This is why websites like AliExpress are so popular and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are packed full of Chinese products.

There have been many examples of Chinese companies producing counterfeit and knockoff products and undercutting US businesses, aided by cheap shipping costs.

In 2018, the US government announced it was pulling out of the UPU, saying foreign postal services have been taking advantage of cheap shipments, especially China.

It’s worth noting that all of this is happening within the context of a US-China trade war, so relations between the countries are already quite tense.

The idea behind the US leaving the UPU is that it will level the playing field for international shipping and give US companies a better chance at competing on price with Chinese companies.

To anyone who’s built a business selling or dropshipping goods from China, this news might come as a shock.

But US businesses and the media have been raising this issue for quite some time (see herehere and here). 

At this point, things were looking a bit bleak for dropshipping. Some were celebrating the proposed changes, while others were worrying about the future of their ecommerce business.

But then THIS happened…

At a special meeting in September, the UPU voted to allow member countries to effectively set their own foreign postal rates.

This move has been viewed as a compromise to keep the US happy and keep them in the UPU.

This means that the US will soon be able to set its own rates for packages arriving from foreign countries.

So you can expect that shipping packages from China to the US is going to increase.

However…

It may not be as bad for dropshipping as first thought.

The new rates will initially be capped at 70% of US domestic rates, with the option to increase 1% each year up to 80%.

This means that it will remain cheaper to ship from China to the US than within the US, but it won’t be as cheap as it has been.

Could China step in?.. 

It’s possible that the Chinese government steps in and subsidizes shipping to the US itself.

China is the world’s largest manufacturing hub and it has relied on shipping subsidies for more than a century. 

It may be worth more to China’s economy to allow its companies to retain cheap shipping than to deal with the consequences of increased shipping costs.

What does this mean for dropshipping businesses?

This is probably the question that most of you want the answer to.

The new UPU deal, known as “Option V”, will mostly impact on the shipping of small packages under 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms). That means dropshipping is going to be impacted.

But how severe is that impact going to be?…

Firstly, let me cover off the basics for anyone who’s new to the concept of dropshipping.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is an ecommerce business model in which retailers don’t keep products in stock, but rather forward customer orders to a supplier, often in China, that then ships the goods directly to the consumer.

It’s popular because the barrier to entry is low. You don’t need capital to buy bulk stock and it’s easy to add profit margins on cheap goods from China. 

The subsidized shipping has also come in handy for those who’ve built businesses using this method.

Read more: Your Complete Guide to Dropshipping

So… is dropshipping dead?

Since the US first announced it wanted out of the UPU, there have been a lot of articles and forum posts saying that dropshipping is dead. 

Let me be clear…

Dropshipping is NOT dead.

Dropshipping will continue to be a viable business model, despite the likely increased cost of shipping from China. 

Dropshipping from China will become more expensive and the shipping costs will eat into your profit margins, but you’ll still be able to make it work with the right products and pricing.

If you’re running a dropshipping business in the US market and have US suppliers, you won’t be negatively affected at all. 

In fact, you’ll probably have an advantage.

Even if you’re using Chinese suppliers, there are things you can do to prepare your dropshipping business for the changes.

How to prepare your dropshipping business

Here are 5 strategies you can use to prepare your dropshipping business for higher shipping costs from China to the US.

1. Use Chinese suppliers that have US warehouses

Here’s a little known fact. You don’t have to ship products from China to work with Chinese suppliers.

Many Chinese dropshipping suppliers and manufacturers have warehouses in the US now.

Companies like AliExpress are stocking up warehouses in the US with bulk products and setting up a fulfillment service to compete with Amazon FBA.

This was done so that Chinese suppliers could offer US customers faster shipping

So it’s definitely possible to dropship products within the US using Chinese suppliers.

However, not all Chinese suppliers have inventory and order fulfillment in the US, so you’ll have to do some digging.

I expect this will become more common, especially if shipping from China becomes more expensive.

If you do decide to dropship from a US warehouse, don’t expect prices to be quite as cheap as you’re used to.

You’ll be absorbing the cost of shipping products to the US and storing them in warehouses.

But prices will still be competitive, and you’ll have the benefit of offering your customers faster shipping.

You can start by simply searching “USA warehouse” or “US warehouse” on AliExpress and making contact with suppliers in your niche.

Or when you search for a product you can choose to filter products by where they are shipped from.

2. Start using US dropship suppliers 

This is a great time to start thinking about using domestic product suppliers and manufacturers within the US.

There are a lot of US suppliers that offer dropshipping services.

Of course, US suppliers won’t be as cheap as Chinese suppliers. 

But, you can charge a premium for “Made in the USA” products. You’ll have the benefit of fast shipping, which your customers will love.

It’s also easier to work closely with the supplier and develop a more personal relationship. 

We’ve got a whole post about finding American dropship suppliers.

3. Diversify your market 

If anything, the US threat to leave the UPU and the resulting changes have revealed the problem with having all your eggs in one basket.

If all your customers are in the US, you’re going to be hit hardest by these potential changes to shipping from China.

Now’s a good time to start diversifying your market. 

Yes, the US is a big market. But you should also look at selling into the United Kingdom, Europe, Australasia, and even parts of Asia.

If you’re running Facebook ads, you can experiment by targeting groups in those markets.

If you can build a customer base in other countries, you can simply continue to dropship using your Chinese suppliers.

At the very least, it will buy you some time (and income) while you work out how to adjust your operations in the US to account for higher shipping costs.

There’s also less competition in these markets than in the US, so your ad spend should be lower and conversion rates might be higher.

4. Renegotiate deals with Chinese suppliers 

If cheap shipping from China really is over, but you’re still set on using Chinese suppliers, you should try and negotiate a better deal for yourself.

Chinese suppliers will be keen to hold on to valuable customers and may be open to dropping prices to account for higher shipping costs.

Here are some tips for negotiation with suppliers.

Basically, you want to try and get the per unit price down so the increased shipping costs don’t eat into your profits too much.

This might be tough to pull off for low-cost items, but you may be able to cover shipping costs entirely by negotiating better rates for high-ticket products.

5. Adopt a different business model 

The end of cheap shipping from China might have you thinking about trying a new business model.

Dropshipping is a fantastic low-cost way to get started with ecommerce, but if you’ve been doing it for a while you may want to try something different.

For instance, buying bulk products at wholesale prices may be more viable. 

That way you only pay for shipping whenever you place a large order. That might be once a month, or a few times a year.

Once you have bulk goods in the US you can offer customers better domestic shipping rates and times.

This requires a greater investment of capital up front, but it can result in greater profits.

You’ll also avoid having to pay higher shipping costs every time you sell an item, which might be what happens if you continue dropshipping from China.

You can check out our guide to the different ecommerce business models here.

Dropshipping is here to stay

Being in business is all about being adaptable and responding to change.

The potential end to cheap shipping from China will be a major change for a lot of dropshippers.

But there’s no reason to panic. Dropshipping isn’t dead. In fact, these changes could be better for dropshipping in the long run.

More Chinese suppliers with US warehouses? More business for US suppliers? More competition in the dropshipping space?

This is all good news.

We’ll be watching developments closely and will keep this article updated when we learn more.

In the meantime, make sure to prepare your dropshipping business for potential changes. 

That way, no matter what happens, you’ll continue to be successful.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts on this topic, or ideas for how dropshipping businesses can adapt to the proposed changes, please comment below.

Reference Link: https://www.salehoo.com/blog/cheap-dropshipping-from-china

AliExpress dropshipping has gotten a lot of publicity in recent years, with established businesses sharing their success stories about how it helped them grow. It’s been touted as a magical ecommerce site that lets anyone to dropship from China at no cost.

While that’s partially true, not everything about dropshipping with AliExpress is amazing. It has pros and cons.

In this post, we’re going to tell you exactly how to dropship on AliExpress from the ground up, step by step, with little to no money. We’ll also run you through the good and bad of the dropship model so there are no surprises.

Let’s get started!

What is AliExpress?

By now you’ve probably heard of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, or at least his $307 billion-dollar company Alibaba. He’s considered the Asian version of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Started in 1999, the company was a result of Ma not being able to find Chinese products online easily. The resulting platform enables Western buyers to connect with Chinese and Asian sellers and has revolutionized ecommerce around the globe.

Alibaba, the original site, is built for wholesale purchases. Sellers usually have minimum bulk order requirements. You can directly connect with Chinese manufacturers to place orders, and payment is usually via bank transfer.

Aliexpress is its sister site. It’s made for smaller retailers who don’t stock the products they’re selling, and it accepts credit card payments. Think of it as Amazon, but cheaper and with a two-week delivery time.

Instead of buying directly from the manufacturer, the sellers are actually third-party individuals or companies who are reselling to you. You won’t get the best price, but the buyer protection and ability to make single orders makes it perfect for dropshippers.

Why do I not need any start up money or capital?

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, in this case, it actually is true. Let me explain:

Because these manufacturers mass produce goods, they can sell them for pennies on the dollar.

We’re talking fancy jewelry for under $0.30 a piece, nice shirts for $1, and even electronics for a few bucks that you can resell for $50 or more.

“But I still have to buy products, so I need some money!”

Actually, you don’t. That’s where the drop shipping comes in.

You don’t have to buy a thing until you get an order on your website (which you can set up with SaleHoo Stores). So you pay for your products with the money your customers pay you.

Now, you might be thinking…

“What about shipping costs? It’s coming from China – it must cost a ton!”

Nope. With the invention of ePacket shipping, you can get these items from China for free. (Or at the most, a dollar or two.)

The only startup money you need is enough to buy a domain and hosting. So less than $20.

Now, let’s talk about what you actually need to do.

How Dropshipping With AliExpress works

Dropshipping simply means when your customer makes a purchase from your site, you order the item from your Chinese supplier and they ship the item to your customer. You don’t need to hold any inventory or worry about packaging and shipping.

Dropshipping from AliExpress requires you to first set up a store or have a place to sell your goods, like Amazon or eBay.

When a customer makes a purchase, you place the order with the seller on AliExpress. The seller ships the items and you keep the difference in prices as profit.

Once the item is sent to your customer, they believe it’s from you. There’s no reason to know it’s a dropshipping process.

As you get bigger and scale your store, you can send in bulk orders to these suppliers for better rates and terms. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right suppliers from the start and build a relationship with them.

But what about returns?

We’ll discuss those later in this guide. For now, let’s talk pros and cons.

Aliexpress Dropshipping: Pros and Cons

There are good and bad things to using AliExpress for dropshipping. Here they are:

PROS

CONS

Is AliExpress safe and reliable?

Yes!

The great benefit of working with AliExpress is that it offers a lot of protection for buyers during ordering, shipping, and in case of returns. The site’s functions have been designed to keep the buyer in mind through every phase of the sale.

It’s in the best interest of AliExpress to make sure that its sellers are legitimate and deliver the goods as advertised.

However, it’s important when you’re choosing a seller on AliExpress that you take into account the company’s ratings and number of products sold.

There will be a lot of merchants selling the same item, so read what people are writing and only purchase from those sellers who have the best ratings.

One thing you should always do as a dropshipper is reach out and contact the sellers directly. Start a conversation with them, talk to them about the product, and make sure you’re working with someone reliable.

Also Read: AliExpress Alternatives: SaleHoo vs. AliExpress

What is AliExpress’ Standard Shipping?

There are multiple shipping options on AliExpress, but ePacket delivery offers the best balance of price and shipping time.

Previously, items shipped from China were sent by sea, requiring up to 2+ months for delivery in some cases. As a dropshipper, you can’t keep your customers waiting that long.

If you do, your customers will either cancel their order or leave bad reviews, neither of which is good for your online business.

Thankfully, ePacket shipping has been introduced for Hong Kong and China, allowing for your customers to get their drop shipped goods in 12-14 days. ePacket delivery is available for goods up to 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) in weight and with a value less than $400.

Other than the shipping time reduction, the other benefits of ePacket shipment are that you can provide your customers with end-to-end tracking. Customs duties are already paid for, allowing for quicker delivery direct to your customers.

ePacket delivery was once only available to U.S. customers, but has now been expanded to a growing list of more than 30 countries.

Meeting your customer’s shipping needs will be one of your customer’s biggest priorities as a dropshipper. That’s why it’s especially important that you spend the time to find a good supplier and change suppliers if they aren’t using ePacket delivery.

Your customers are used to Amazon and other services where they can get their goods overnight. This is one of the biggest reasons they’re so successful.

The more you can lower your shipping time, the greater your customer satisfaction will be. So make sure you spend the extra fees for ePacket delivery and ensure your customers get what they want in a timely manner.

How to find and choose products (niche) in AliExpress?

Choosing a niche and selling online should be a relatively simple process and can be broken down into three easy steps. However, implementing them in real life can be a lot of work.

The easiest way to start selling products is to find a hot market. What are people interested in right now? What trends are big? What is the hot item at the moment?

You need to find a market where people are spending money and which they are passionate about.

Next, you need to find out what your customers are having problems with. Take advantage of social media to reach out and ask your customers what they’re having trouble with, then think of how you can help them using products from AliExpress.

Try it right now. Think of an issue you’re having in your life.

Do you need a swimsuit for the upcoming summer season? Or are struggling to find the perfect gift for your significant other?

These are all real struggles that you and many other people go through every single day. If you listen to people, they will tell you what they need, even indirectly.

Be open to their struggles, what they want to achieve. You need to be empathetic to their needs and work to understand them.

Finally, use your online store to offer your customers what they want.

It’s that simple.

Well, maybe not in practice. When you first start an online business, the hard part is finding a product, or coming up with an offer that meets customers’ needs and creates a strong impulse to click that buy button.

People want more than a product in their shopping cart. A product is a commodity that can be easily replaced with something similar or cheaper.

When entering a niche, try to stand out.

In any business model, it’s important to offer something of value other than just the product. For example, if you are selling coconut oil, give people a recipe book with different ways they can use your product.

If you can create long-lasting value for your customers, they will buy from your ecommerce store over and over again.

To recap, in order to determine what kind of niche you should be in:

  1. Find a hot market.
  2. Ask your customers what they want.
  3. Give your customers what they said they wanted.

The great thing about AliExpress is that you can complete Steps 1 & 2 on its site.

You can find hot markets and come up with product ideas by going to AliExpress’ Bestselling page. Here you can see all of the top AliExpress products in different categories and look for an item or similar items that you might want to bundle together.

In the product listings you can delve further into customer reviews, view pictures they took, and discover any differences there may be between the product listing and the actual product upon delivery.

This last point is extremely important; many pictures or descriptions can be deceiving, so it’s absolutely important that you verify through reviews or by buying the product yourself.

But what if you want to skip the hard steps and quickly find what’s working right now?

SaleHoo has a Market Research Lab, a dropshipping tool similar to search engines that displays AliExpress’s best sellers, along with Amazon’s and eBay’s best sellers, to show you the hottest products on the market.

You can also use it to see how often the dropshipped products are selling, and find the best suppliers for those products.

Also read: 40 dropshipping business ideas to make money from your own home [Aliexpress suppliers included].

How to Add Products to Your Store

In 2017, there are many third-party applications that make it easy to import items on AliExpress into your store.

If you have a Shopify store, you can use SaleHoo Dropship, which is extremely easy to use and set up. All it takes is a few clicks to import all information, specs, and pictures into your store.

If you are using BigCommerce, check out the AliExpress Dropshipping app, which has a free three-day trial and is just $10 a month after that.

Also read: Ecommerce Breakdown: Amazon Webstore vs. BigCommerce vs. Shopify

A few ecommerce tips:

How to Use AliExpress to Dropship

Once you have your dropshipping store using AliExpress up and running, orders should start coming in.

If you’re using SaleHoo Dropship, processing orders is really easy. It just takes a few clicks to process, ship your order, and add tracking info. Make sure that you use ePacket shipping though, as for some AliExpress sellers it’s not the default option.

The same goes for the BigCommerce AliExpress Dropshipping app, a few clicks and the orders are processed and paid for, with tracking information added later.

When ordering products through AliExpress, it usually takes 24 hours for the order to be processed. During this time, your order will remain unfulfilled.

Once the item is paid for and shipped you have to update the customer’s order information, adding the tracking info and sending them a receipt email with this info.

Types of Payments With AliExpress

Because AliExpress is a worldwide service, it offers a wide variety of payment methods.

Credit cards are the most common payment method. AliExpress accepts Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and American Express.

The biggest benefit of using a credit card is that in case returns and refunds are not given or you receive a poor product on AliExpress, you can always file a dispute with the credit card company and request a chargeback. This protection is not available on some of the other types of payment and should be a must for any dropshipper.

Alternatively, AliExpress offers these additional payment methods:

When you first sign up it takes two to five days for AliExpress to verify your card details. During this time you won’t be able to process any orders.

AliExpress’ Refund and Return Policies

AliExpress’ Buyer Protection Program has been designed to favor buyers over sellers. The company wants to ensure that you get exactly what you order and protect you at every stage of ordering through delivery.

However, be aware that many suppliers will not offer refunds.

You will have to factor that in as a cost of your business. When there is an issue, it will probably be because an order doesn’t arrive or it doesn’t match the description.

If the order never arrives, AliExpress will refund the entire purchase. You’ll have to wait for the end of the delivery period, which is around 45 days, to receive your money back.

If the order is not as described, you can return it to the seller to get a full refund, or you can let the customer keep the item and offer them a partial refund.

In this case, you’ll have to work with both the AliExpress supplier and the customer to make sure the latter remains happy. The customer will have to provide photos of the damaged or non-matching item in order for you to be able to make the dispute.

In any case, there are many options for you as a dropshipper. Just be aware that your business needs to have some liquid cash reserves to continue making orders in case there are a lot of return requests.

3 Tips to Help You Succeed in AliExpress Dropshipping

Hang in there – we’re almost done!

Before I leave you guys to start your own dropshipping business, here are three final tips to help you succeed in your new dropshipping venture.

Tip #1: Ask the supplier to NOT include a packing slip, invoice, pricing or samples.

While some of your more savvy customers will probably work out that you’re dropshipping your products, you should do what you can to make this less obvious.

One way of doing this?

When you place your order, add a note and request for your supplier to not include any promotional or packing slip materials in the package.

Tip #2: Avoid selling items that infringe on copyrights.

AliExpress is chock-full of designer knock-offs…

…but I’d recommend avoiding these like the plague.

If you don’t state (explicitly!) that these are copycat products, you could get gullible consumers who purchase them, thinking that they’re buying discounted branded items.

When they eventually get their item, and realize it’s not the real deal, be prepared to have your inbox flooded.

On the other hand, you could state that these aren’t genuine designer goods on your website…

…but this just feels like you’re asking for trouble.

I mean, famous designers rarely sue small-time eCommerce stores, but you never know.

At the end of the day, it’s much easier to just sell non-branded items!

Tip #3: Use the AliExpress affiliate program.

Still not sure whether you want to take the plunge into the world of dropshipping?

If you’re still hesitating, here’s an easier option which you might be interested in:

The AliExpress affiliate program!

In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

You set up a website and promote various AliExpress products on this website.

When your readers are interested in buying the product, they click on the links on your website, and they’re redirected to AliExpress.

When they make their purchase, the AliExpress merchant pays you an affiliate fee.

Your job is simply to get customers intrigued about the product…

…you don’t need to place orders, deal with inquiries, or handle returns.

And you’ll get a minimum of 8.5% commission!

In comparison, Amazon affiliates get 4% commission on average – so AliExpress certainly isn’t scrimping when it comes to rewarding their affiliates!

A Final Word On Dropshipping From AliExpress

No inventory needed.

No shipping costs.

Minimal capital.

What more could you ask for?

It doesn’t matter if you’re living in a 1-bedroom apartment and have no space to keep your stocks.

Hell, it doesn’t even matter if you’re living in your mom’s basement.

All you need to do is to cough up $20 or so for your domain name and your Shopify account…

…and you can get your dropshipping business set up.

Plus: 22-33% of online retailers have adopted dropshipping as their primary method of order fulfillment.

This means that dropshipping is a tried-and-tested model, and one that’s definitely profitable.

Time to stop being a salaried employee, and start

a business you can call your own.

What do you say?

If you liked this article, please take a minute to share it with your other friends who are thinking about venturing into eCommerce!

Reference Link: https://www.salehoo.com/blog/aliexpress-dropshipping