Everyone’s dropshipping! eBay, AliExpress, and even Amazon. Don’t believe the popularity of this method? Market research shows that the dropshipping market has been growing steadily and is here to stay.
But with everyone starting dropshipping stores, the competition is tough. So, if you own or promote a dropshipping store, you’ll need to come up with creative strategies to boost sales and stay ahead of the competition.
Two tried and tested strategies that work well for Shopify stores are back in stock and pre-orders. In this blog, we’ll discuss how you can use these strategies to boost sales for your Shopify dropshipping stores.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a method where online stores do not keep their own stock inventory. Instead, they fulfill orders placed by customers through third-party stores. The third party stores directly ship the items to the customers.
The seller/store does not have to handle the products. In simple terms, a dropshipping method is where the online store is merely a catalogue that displays items of other stores.
Dropshipping – pros and cons
To begin with, let’s look at the benefits of dropshipping. In this method, the store does not have its own inventory, and hence, can have a large number of products displayed on their store compared to the traditional model where stores have their own stock.
Another advantage of dropshipping is that the store can either stick to a niche or offer products in different categories. Again, because they only have to source these products from third-party stores or wholesalers.
However, dropshipping has some common issues. Here, the stores do not have control over the supply chain or product management. For example, products can run out of stock quite often because many different stores might be sourcing them from the same seller.
But there are solutions for these drawbacks. Two awesome solutions for your dropshipping store are: back in stock alerts and pre-order strategy. Now let’s understand how the two work and when to use them.
What is back in stock?
While shopping online, you may come across products that are ‘Out of Stock’. And you might also come across a ‘Notify Me’ button. This means, if you subscribe to get notified, the store would send you an alert when the product is restocked. Back in stock notifications can help your Shopify store to bring back customers, improve sales, and boost customer engagement, among other things.
Here’s an example of how a Shopify store uses the back in stock app:
When and why to use back in stock for dropshipping stores?
When you want to understand a product’s demand
Being an online store, you will have to keep up with consumer demands and trends. For that, you will have to understand which products are in demand. Adding products without any thought is a recipe for disaster. What if they don’t sell?
So, instead of guesswork, you should try to assess a product’s demand before you add it to your store. Shopify back in stock can help you do that.
- Add the product as ‘Coming Soon’ with a ‘Notify Me’ button so that shoppers can subscribe. Use the data of the product subscription to gauge its demand.
- You could use this method to assess demand for different products simultaneously to decide which product you should add to your store.
- Let’s understand this through an example: Activate ‘Notify Me’ for two products of which you want to know the demand. Say product A and B. Compare which product is gaining more subscriptions. If it’s B, then focus more on it because the probability of selling B is more compared to A. Make these decisions based on data.
- Based on the data gathered, you could predict how many numbers you might be able to sell and communicate the same to your third-party seller so that you can ensure there’s enough stock and avoid stock-outs.
When you want to understand customers’ purchase intent
Product stock-outs are common in dropshipping stores. Because products are sourced from other stores, it’s possible that many other stores are sourcing from your seller. Thus, products may be getting sold out fast and hence going out of stock.
But that doesn’t mean you have to lose your high-intent shoppers. You can gauge their purchase intent by adding the back in stock notification option. Shoppers who share their contact details and wish to be notified, would fall in the high-intent category. If they were not interested, they wouldn’t have bothered to subscribe to your notifications. Right?
Once you have a list of these high-purchase intent shoppers, you can reach out to them with marketing and promotional communication to bring them back to your store and boost sales.
When you want to anticipate popularity before adding a new product
Adding new products to your online store is easier said than done. There’s a lot that goes behind it. From product sourcing, pricing, photography, content writing, backend, to putting in place the supply chain, etc.
In order to avoid loss of time, effort and resources, you’d want to make sure that your store has products that are popular and might sell fast. This way, you can ensure greater returns from your store.
This is where the back in stock alert app can help your Shopify store. Here’s what you can do:
- Add the product with a ‘Notify Me’ option
- Gauge the popularity based on the number of people that subscribe
- By doing so, you can plan your marketing and promotions accordingly
- Moreover, you can ensure your seller has enough stock to meet the demands
When you want to create urgency and FOMO
It’s human nature – we don’t want to miss out on good deals. And so, when we notice that things are selling out fast, we tend to purchase them instantly.
For eCommerce stores, urgency and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) are tried and tested tactics that work brilliantly. 60% of millennials say they make instant purchases due to FOMO.
You can use the back in stock notification strategy to create urgency and FOMO in order to increase sales. When you have a ‘notify me’ button, interested shoppers will subscribe to the back in stock alerts. By gathering these contacts, you can reach out to them with targeted messages, create urgency, and drive them to make purchases.
When you want to keep a track of low-stock on your Shopify store
Your Shopify store will have not just few but many products. It’s possible that your product list is so large that it’s impossible to keep a track of it manually. Imagine having hundreds or thousands of products and having to keep a track of how many got sold, how many are remaining, and which products have gone out of stock. It’s impossible. Isn’t it?
But you don’t need to stress out if you have an automated stock alert on your Shopify store. The back in stock app will alert you as soon as a product reaches a threshold.
For example, if you’ve set a threshold of five, the app will notify you when there are only 5 pieces left of a particular item. You could then inform your third-party seller and ensure the stock is replenished.
The Back in Stock – Restock Alerts app allows your shoppers to sign up for restock alerts via a channel they prefer – email, SMS, web push or Facebook Messenger. It helps you recover lost sales by bringing customers back to your Shopify store via restock notifications.
What is a pre-order?
You must have come across pre-order options when a new product’s going to launch soon. For example, in the case of books, iPhones, video games, etc. When online stores invite shoppers to place pre-orders, it means shoppers buy products by paying in full or part before the product is actually launched.
Pre-order strategies can help dropshipping stores increase sales in many ways. Let’s see how you can make the most of your Shopify pre-order feature.
When and why to use pre-orders for dropshipping stores?
When you want to add a new product to your dropshipping Shopify store
Considering the nature of dropshipping, pre-orders can be a blessing. Dropshipping stores do not hold their own inventory. They rely on third-party stores to fulfill their clients’ orders.
Think from the perspective of a dropshipping store – you have the opportunity to sell products that you like. So, for example, when you know there’s a new product that you want to sell in your store, you could use the pre-order feature. This means, you can start selling products before they are available in your store.
Here’s a graph that illustrates the above points.
When you’re starting a new dropshipping Shopify store
What if we said you can start selling products as soon as you launch your new dropshipping store? Yes, it’s possible!
If you’re launching a new Shopify store, you can actually start selling through other channels such as social media, word of mouth, etc., with the help of pre-orders. You can confirm sales before your store goes live.
The result – chances are your products will be sold out on the first day itself. If your pre-order strategy is done right, it’s possible. It’s all about how aggressively you push pre-orders and how you reach the right consumers.
When you want to enter a new market, a new vertical
It’s common for eCommerce stores to change course – a clothing store moving to footwear or electronics. If you’re planning to enter a new market or a new vertical, the pre-order feature on your Shopify store can make this transition much easier and thought-through for you.
- By accepting pre-orders, you can assess the demand for and interest in your products
- Based on the number of pre-orders, you can plan your marketing and promotions strategy. For example, if the numbers are less, you’d need to put more effort in marketing the products.
- Conversely, if the response is very poor, you might want to rethink your plans completely.
When you’re offering limited-edition items
In line with the urgency and FOMO methods that we discussed earlier, when you are going to have products in limited editions, the pre-order strategy can help boost sales.
When shoppers see that an item is scarce and might be difficult to find, they will go for pre orders. By pre-ordering, they can secure their item immediately, as opposed to thinking that they would buy it at some point later.
When you’re offering a discount on an existing product
Again, you can use the pre-order feature when you’re going to have your products on discounts. Shoppers might not want to miss out on the discounts and will choose to place orders instantly when they know they’re going to get a discount. This is a great way to boost the sales of your discounted items.
Appikon Pre-order Today allows you to automate this entire process – from swapping ‘Add to Cart’ button to ‘Pre-order’, to pre-order tagging and discounts, to sending alerts to subscribers. With this app, you can capture purchase interest for coming-soon products, grow your email list, and increase sales.
Do you need back in stock and pre-order apps for your dropshipping Shopify store?
Having seen the ways in which you can use back in stock and pre-order to improve sales, we’d say, yes, you definitely must include the back in stock and pre-order apps on your Shopify store.
However, there’s a lot you’ll have to do to make the best use of these strategies. And for that, you can follow the above points that we discussed.