Dropshipping is a popular and easy way to sell goods without having to store them. Some will argue that perhaps it has become too popular because competition levels have gone through the roof in 2023.
In this post, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to do branded dropshipping. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right products to finding reliable suppliers. You’ll also learn how to set up your website and create a unique brand.
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Mastering Branded Dropshipping: A Step-by-Step Guide for Shopify Store Owners
Whether you’re a new or veteran dropshipper, this guide will help you. It’s time to build a successful dropshipping business on Shopify from scratch.
So buckle up, and let’s dive into the exciting world of branded dropshipping!
What is Branded Dropshipping?
Branded dropshipping is an eCommerce business model where a retailer sets up a store, sells third-party manufactured products, and brands them with their own label.
The retailer has full control over product branding and marketing, resulting in greater customer loyalty, higher margins, and beating competitors in the market.
What is the difference between traditional dropshipping and branded dropshipping?
Traditional dropshipping involves reselling suppliers’ products without any branding or customization, while branded dropshipping involves creating a unique brand identity and customizing products to match it.
Branded dropshipping can improve customer retention, brand recognition, and profit margins, but it requires more investment in building the brand and creating customized products.
Examples of branded dropshipping
- Custom T-Shirts: A seller gets plain t-shirts from a supplier and adds their own custom designs and branding. They sell the shirts under their own brand name.
- Personalized phone cases: A seller sources phone cases from a supplier and adds their own custom designs, logos, and branding.
- Private-label snacks: A seller buys snacks from a supplier and adds their own branding materials, labels, and packaging.
You might be wondering if making these brand changes is legal.
Yes, it is legal to dropship branded products. However, you must comply with the laws and regulations of your country and the countries where your products are sold and shipped.
You must also follow the brand owner’s rules and not violate their trademark or other intellectual property rights. Make sure you do the right research so your business practices remain legal and honest.
Dropshipping Branded Products
Dropshipping branded products involves creating a unique brand and customizing products to match it.
This approach requires sourcing high-quality products that can be customized, and building a brand identity that resonates with a specific target market.
Before you start branded dropshipping, you need to find the right products. Types of branded products that can be dropshipped include the following:
- Beauty and skincare products
- Clothing and fashion accessories
- Home decor and furnishings
- Pet supplies and accessories
- Electronics and gadgets
- Fitness and health products
- Toys and games
- Outdoor and camping gear
- Stationery and office supplies
- Kitchen and dining items
- Jewelry and accessories
- Sports equipment and gear
- Baby and children’s products
- Travel accessories and luggage
- Personalized gifts and merchandise
These are just a few examples of the many different types of products that can be dropshipped through a branded eCommerce store. With the right supplier and a carefully curated product lineup, you can create a unique and profitable online business that offers high-quality products to your customers.
Strategies for finding branded products for dropshipping
- Start with Market Research
Conduct thorough market research to identify the most popular and profitable products in your niche. Look for gaps in the market that you can fill with your branded products.
- Check out Competitors
Analyze your competitors’ offerings to get inspiration for your branded products. Look at their pricing, product features, and branding to see how you can differentiate yourself.
- Attend Trade Shows
Attend industry trade shows to see the latest products and trends in your niche. This is a great opportunity to meet with suppliers and source products for your branded dropshipping business.
- Use Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces like Alibaba, AliExpress, and Amazon can be great sources of products for dropshipping. You can find suppliers who offer branded products and negotiate with them to add your own branding.
- Work with Manufacturers
Reach out to manufacturers who offer private labeling services to create custom-branded products. This is a great option if you want to offer unique products that stand out from the competition.
- Use Social Media
Social media can be a powerful tool for finding branded products for dropshipping. Look for influencers and brands in your niche and reach out to them for collaboration opportunities.
- Use Product Sourcing Tools
There are many tools available to help you source products for dropshipping. Some popular ones include Oberlo, SaleHoo, and Doba.
- Focus on Quality
When sourcing branded products for dropshipping, it’s important to focus on quality. Choose suppliers who offer high-quality products that align with your brand’s values.
- Keep an Eye on Trends
Finally, stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your niche. This will help you identify new product opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
- Consider Shipping and Logistics
When choosing products for dropshipping, consider shipping and logistics. Choose suppliers who offer fast and reliable shipping options to ensure a positive customer experience.
Branded Dropshipping Suppliers
Deciding what product to sell is only the first step. You also need to find the right suppliers.
Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a supplier for your branded dropshipping.
- Reliability: The supplier should have a history of getting products to customers on time and in good shape.
- Good-quality products: They must provide products that are of good quality and meet the standards that you have set for your brand.
- Competitive pricing: Their pricing should allow you to make a profit while still providing value to your customers.
- Flexible branding options: They should offer branding options or permissions. These allow you to put your own logo on the products you sell, which is the essence of branded dropshipping.
- Good customer service: The supplier should have a helpful customer service team. They will assist you with any questions or issues you may have.
In branded dropshipping, the relationship between a retailer and their third-party supplier is crucial to the success of the business. When contacting a supplier for the first time, it’s important to make a good first impression and establish clear lines of communication.
One of the main benefits of dropshipping is that the retailer doesn’t have to handle inventory or shipping, leaving those responsibilities to the supplier. However, this means the supplier is responsible for ensuring that the products meet the retailer’s branding requirements, product specifications, pricing agreements, and shipping arrangements.
By reaching out to the supplier early on, the retailer can establish a professional and open dialogue. This communication allows both parties to discuss the details of the arrangement and ensure that they are on the same page. The dialogue also provides an opportunity for the retailer to clarify their branding guidelines and product expectations, guiding the supplier accordingly.
The tone of the first contact is important to establishing a healthy and productive working relationship. Retailers should express their interest in working with the supplier and demonstrate their professionalism by asking relevant questions and making specific requests.
Branded dropshipping supplier template
The way you contact a dropshipping supplier for the first time is crucial because it sets the tone for your business relationship. A well-crafted email that is polite, professional, and informative can help you stand out from other potential clients, thereby increasing the likelihood of a positive response.
A poorly written or informal email, on the other hand, may give the impression that you are not serious about building a successful partnership. Suppliers may not take your business seriously if they feel your email wasn’t well-thought-out and written with care.
Moreover, if the supplier is highly sought after, a poor initial email may result in them not responding to your inquiry and choosing to work with another potential client.
Some of the reputable dropshipping suppliers are:
- Inventory Source
- AliExpress Dropshipping
- CJ Dropshipping
- Sunrise Wholesale
- Worldwide Brands
Here are seven pieces of advice for a successful first-contact email when contacting a dropshipping supplier:
- Be professional and courteous throughout your email.
- If possible, address the supplier by name and use their preferred title.
- Introduce yourself briefly and explain the nature of your business.
- Demonstrate that you have researched their company, products, and services.
- Inquire about the details of their dropshipping program, such as available products, prices, and shipping options.
- Ask relevant questions that demonstrate your interest and knowledge of their products.
- End your message with a thank you and a desire to continue the conversation.
How to Start Branded Dropshipping
Below is the ultimate guide for starting branded dropshipping in 2023. The process is short and simple. Also, you don’t need tech experience to get started.
Step 1: Select a Niche
The first step in starting a branded dropshipping business is to choose a product niche. A “niche” is a specific market or product category that you will focus on.
To choose a niche, consider your interests and what products you are passionate about. This will make it easier for you to market the items and build a successful business.
Here’s our go-to, tried, and trusted method for selecting a dropshipping niche:
- Identify Your Interests and Passions
Start by making a list of products you are knowledgeable about and enjoy. This list can be as long as 100 items if you like.
- Look for a Unique Niche
The next step is to look for a unique niche. This means finding a market that is not overcrowded with competitors.
You can look for products that are not widely available. Also, think about niche markets like items that are good for the environment or products for a certain age group.
- Research Market Demand
After you find unique products, the next step is to find out what people want. This involves finding out if there is a market for the products you are interested in.
You can use free tools such as Google Trends and Amazon’s Best Seller List to research market demand.
For this article, we’ll teach you how to use Google Trends to discover market demand. Start by visiting the Google Trends site.
Next, pick the area where your customers live and type in the name of your product as a search term.
You will see a trend graph showing interest over time. Consider the 5-year period for demand consistency and the 12-month period for recent demand.
You can also compare the trend of one product with another. It’s best to go with products that show an upward trend for all time periods.
- Check Competitor Offerings
Once you have found a niche, it’s time to check competitor offerings. This involves researching the products and prices offered by your competitors.
You can use tools like the AliExpress Dropshipping Center or Amazon for this process.
- Evaluate Your Potential Profit Margins
The final step is to evaluate your potential profit margins. To do this, you have to figure out how much the products and shipping will cost.
After that, compare that to what your competitors are charging. Make sure that there is enough margin for you to make a reasonable profit.
Step 2: Find a Supplier
Once you have chosen your niche, the next step is to find a supplier. A supplier is a company that will provide you with the products you will sell.
To find a supplier, you can use online directories such as Amazon, CJ Dropshipping, and AliExpress.
Remember to only work with branded dropshipping suppliers that meet the criteria we discussed earlier in this article.
Step 3: Create Your Brand
The next step is to create your brand. This involves creating a name, logo, and branding materials for your business. They should reflect the products you sell and the values of your business.
Your brand name is perhaps the most important of the three. You need to make it memorable, unique, and easy to pronounce. Start by brainstorming a list of words that are related to your niche or the products you will be selling.
Consider using a combination of words that describe your brand. Check to see if the name is already in use by another company.
Once you have a few options, take some time to consider which name fits your brand the best.
You might want to hire a professional graphic designer to help you with the logo and other materials for your brand.
Here’s a list of other materials you can create besides logos:
- Business cards
- Social media
- Email signatures
- Product labels
As you progress, remember to ask friends and family for their opinions to see if the brand resonates with them.
Step 4: Set Up Your Online Store
Once you have created your brand, the next step is to set up your online store.
You can follow these easy steps to get started:
- Choose a platform: Decide on the platform you will use to host your store. Options include Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. They all allow you to dropship branded products.
- Register a domain name: Use a domain name for your store that is easy to remember and relevant to your brand.
- Design your store: Choose a design theme for your store that matches your brand and is easy to navigate.
- Add products: Choose the products you want to sell and add them to your store with product descriptions, prices, and images.
- Set up payment options: Choose the payment options you will accept, such as credit cards, PayPal, or bank transfers.
- Set up shipping options: Choose the shipping options you will offer. Popular options include standard shipping, expedited shipping, or free shipping.
- Market your store: Promote your store using social media. You should also try email marketing and other strategies to reach potential customers.
- Launch your store: Once everything is set up, launch your store and start selling your products.
Step 5: List Your Products
Once your online store is set up, the next step is to list your products. You can list your products by adding product descriptions, images, and pricing to your online store.
Make sure to include all the relevant information about the products, such as size, color, and materials used.
Here are some tips for listing products:
- Use clear and high-quality images to showcase your products.
- Offer competitive pricing to attract customers.
- Offer multiple payment options to make it easy for customers to purchase your products.
- Have a clear and easy returns policy to increase customer trust and loyalty.
- Encourage customers to leave product reviews to build social proof and increase sales.
- Offer related products to increase the average order value and increase sales.
- Optimize your product pages for search engines to increase visibility and drive traffic to your store.
- Offer fast shipping options to increase customer satisfaction and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Follow our product launch checklist for a step-by-step guide on launching your goods in the most effective way.
Step 6: Set Up Shipment Tracking
One way to stand out from a typical dropshipper is to provide shipment tracking to your customers. When done right, shipment tracking can make customers fall in love with your brand.
We recommend that you use Trackmage as your provider. Below are the key reasons to do so:
It’s one thing to offer tracking features to customers, and it’s another to actually deliver on that promise.
With Trackmage, your customer can track orders handled by over 1,000 carriers. And it all happens in real time.
Fully-Branded Tracking Pages
TrackMage offers a branded tracking page integrated with your online store. This allows customers to browse, buy, and track with only your brand.
The page is fully customizable. You also get 20+ design templates to enhance the customer experience. You can view all global shipments easily and group them by various factors.
Upsell and Cross-Sell
You can also add products to your tracking page via the product feed feature. This gives you an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell customers.
Trackmage allows you to send automatic email alerts to customers about their shipments. After each confirmed delivery, you can request feedback from the customer.
To get started with Trackmage, follow the steps in our brief tutorial.
Step 7: Market Your Products
The final step is to market your products. To market your products, you can use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also use various other methods to reach potential customers.
Note that some of these methods are better suited for certain products than others. This is especially true with branded dropshipping.
Email marketing: Products that are relevant to the customer’s previous purchases. Use this to manage customers and get repeat sales.
Paid advertising: Items with a high profit margin and that have a large target audience.
Search engine optimization (SEO): Products with high demand and low competition. You also need to have a well-defined target audience.
Branded Dropshipping vs Dropshipping
These are two similar yet different business models.
Differences between branded dropshipping and regular dropshipping
|Sellers create their own brand for the products sold.
|No branding is done.
|Sellers have control over the quality of the product.
|Sellers have no control over the quality of the product.
|Cost of the product may be higher due to branding.
|Cost of the product is usually lower due to no branding.
|Profit margin may be higher due to brand recognition.
|Profit margin may be lower due to competition and low prices.
|Strong customer loyalty due to the seller’s brand.
|No customer loyalty as customers may buy from any seller.
|Marketing is done to promote the seller’s brand.
|Marketing is done to promote the product or the store.
|Supplier selection focuses on the quality of product.
|Supplier selection focuses on the cost of the product.
|Customization of products is possible.
|Customization of products may not be possible.
|Need permission to brand.
|No permission needed for dropshipping.
Benefits of using branded dropshipping over regular dropshipping
- Branded dropshipping builds brand identity and recognition for the seller.
- It creates a unique selling proposition (USP) for the seller, standing out from the competition.
- Sellers have greater control over product quality and customer experience with their own branded products.
- Branded products can create customer loyalty and repeat business.
- It allows sellers to charge higher prices for unique branded products.
- Better pricing and profit margins can be negotiated with suppliers due to your own branding and larger order volumes.
- Branded dropshipping reduces dependence on specific suppliers or marketplaces for long-term sustainability.
By following these steps, you can start a successful branded dropshipping business. This model has some advantages over non-branded dropshipping. With branded dropshipping, you have more control over the customer experience. It can lead to fewer returns and greater loyalty.
Start brainstorming ideas for your brand today. Pretty soon, you should have a Shopify store that customers will love.