The biggest challenge I see people face when they are working so hard to scale up their online dropshipping business (or physical products business in general) is that:
1. You have a product that YOU love, but no one is buying it.
2. You have a great marketplace, or niche, but you don't know what the heck to sell on it.
Both of which can be very frustrating to be facing when you are trying to scale your sales. Thus; you need a "Market First" approach when you build your online drop shipping business.
What's A Market First Approach?
If your goal is to create a long-term, sustainable and scalable business selling physical products online, Then you better make darn sure you are getting into a long-term, sustainable, and scalable MARKET FIRST!!
The problem is most people are taking a "Product First" approach to your business and are spending a ton of money on figuring out who the heck wants to buy your products...
What Markets To Target?
We want a market that is:
Otherwise, we can't reach them in a scalable manner.
After all, that's what our end goal is.
Spends money online
They can have money, but sometimes they aren't spending it online (e.g. very old people)
Can be reached with paid advertising (Big if you want to SCALE)
Paid advertising is the only way to scale up for sure. Relying on organic traffic or direct social media is both time-consuming and uncontrollable.
Has been around for YEARS..and not just a flashy "trend" that will disappear in a few months
No point at building your entire business model around something that's going to disappear in a matter of weeks or months.
If you start with a "Market First" approach, you'll never have to worry about WHO TO TARGET because you do that work FIRST ...
So BOOM, we have a market we know we can reach that meets the criteria above.
Now...once you define a scalable market... With high potential then you can start the next stage of Finding the Products to sell.
How to find a product to sell?
Hmm... This one can be a bit tricky since there are tons of techniques to do this. Most drop shippers tend to develop their own techniques along the way. But here are some of my suggestions:
Find what's currently selling on Amazon.com for the market that you selected.
Find what's the buzz is all about, using tools like Buzzsumo and ahrefs.
Keep an eye on your Facebook news feed, for what your competitors are promoting. Maybe there is a trend or something hot in the market that you didn't notice.
Make a Poll This one seemed to work best for me. Whenever I come across a handful of products that are relevant to my niche, all I do is ask my "current" customers this question:
"If I was to give them a free product, which one they pick?" Or something similar.
Do a Pre-Launch
First get the buyers, then buy the product in bulk. This one tends to be less risky (that's what dropshipping is all about). For example giving away first X products for free, and they can join a waiting list to receive the item once it's in stock. If you managed to get the first X free+shipping products taken fast that probably indicates a product with high potential.
Check what's trending on major drop shipping sources
Websites like AliExpress, AliBaba and eBay can be great for inspiration.
Spy on competitors
See what others are selling best. A really known trick in the drop shipping world would be spying on all Shopify stores in your niche. It works this way (in case you didn't know it already):
In google search type in : site:myshopify.com "your-niche"
Replace "your-niche" with your actual niche name or keyword and keep the quotes. (e.g. "car accessories", "hunting"...Etc)
In general having a "Market First" approach can contribute a lot to building a sustainable & scalable physical products business. It makes absolute no sense, to build your entire business strategy around a market that is NOT sustainable nor scalable in the first place.
After finding the PERFECT niche (market) using the tips I shared on the first two sections above. You'll be already half way there. Then all you need to do is following the tips in the previous section again, with the help of our community; Finding the perfect product that matches your audience's behavior and interests.
That's it, hope that helps you out